3D Robotics

New Beaglebone Blue board designed for robotics

3689712685?profile=originalThere's much to like in the new Beaglebone Blue board. Along with the usual Beaglebone processing power and Linux support, it has built-in IMU sensors, good WiFi, proper connectors and (for rovers) motor drivers and wheel encoders. It's also just $79, and supports ArduPilot out of the box!

But before you toss your RasperryPi 3/Navio 2 combo (which is awesome but costs more than twice as much), here are a few things to keep in mind. 

  • No built-in GPS (not a big deal, since outboard GPS is the standard)
  • Not really designed for video. There's no HDMI in or out, and no GPU. You connect a USB camera but it's not as well supported as video is on the RaspberryPi 3
  • Community support for Beaglebone is not as strong as RaspberryPi

That said, for ground rovers I think it's a very interesting choice because of the built-in motor driver and encoders. I'm going to give one a shot. 

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  • Great :-) ,

    This will be a nice complement of your post and a great demonstration of an affordable linux based FC.

  • 3D Robotics

    Unfortunately, Ning doesn't keep records of posts that aren't approved. They just disappear. If he can PM me a copy of his post I can see if I can tell why it wasn't approved. Normally moderator give a reason why they send posts back. 

  • No reasons given, just no answers.

    If you can look at it would be greatly appreciated, In the mean time I'll ask Mirko to contact you directly.


  • 3D Robotics

    Patrick: I haven't seen that, but there are lots of other moderators who can approve or send a post back (usually because it's missing some required bit, like an image at top). Was he given a reason for the post not being approved?

  • Chris,  Mirko has tried a few times to get the BeagleBoneBlue Ardupilot based autopilot publisged on DIYDRONES, but never got it approved.. Are you aware of that ?

  • One other thing I just realized that it lacks is a camera CSI input. It's will be USB camera only.

  • Developer

    The problem with all most all ARM boards I know of, is that the GPU and dedicated video HW parts are still black boxed with abysmal or even nonexistent software support. And using the CPU part only for computer vision / computer learning etc. is a dead end.

    The only ones I know of with decent software support is the Nvidia Jetson and Ti chipsets. Still black boxed, but they at least come with working drivers and HW support for the popular frameworks like GStreamer, OpenCV etc.

  • Is ardupilot able to use brushed motors? Has this been used to make a brushed quadcopter as well? I see them using the motor drivers for mip etc but did not see an example of a brushed quadctoper made with this.

  • Yes Mirko did the BeagleBone Blue integration with Ardupilot and it is now available for download. As JB pointed out,details are on Ardupilot discuss, Mirko will publish here pretty soon. As a side note JB , the PRU are used for PPM and PWM signal encode-decode and other precision timing usage.
  • It does have 2x PRU and a Core M3 MCU as well, so maybe it's time to port APM to one of them to free up the A8 CPU for imaging/video?

    Gary for more APM info have a look here and foolow the links to Mirko's Git: http://discuss.ardupilot.org/t/beaglebone-blue-released-linux-enabl...

    The main shortcoming for using it as a educational tool is the removal of a HDMI output.

    Otherwise the price, the included 2S lipo charger, 4A UBEC, built in DC motor controller (just add some coreless motors, frame and a battery to fly!) and wifi mesh (802.11s) makes it excellent money for value all-in-one drone kit.

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