Exploring BeagleBone
eBook - ePub

Exploring BeagleBone

Tools and Techniques for Building with Embedded Linux

Derek Molloy

  1. English
  2. ePUB (adapté aux mobiles)
  3. Disponible sur iOS et Android
eBook - ePub

Exploring BeagleBone

Tools and Techniques for Building with Embedded Linux

Derek Molloy

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In-depth instruction and practical techniques for building with the BeagleBone embedded Linux platform

Exploring BeagleBone is a hands-on guide to bringing gadgets, gizmos, and robots to life using the popular BeagleBone embedded Linux platform. Comprehensive content and deep detail provide more than just a BeagleBone instruction manual-you'll also learn the underlying engineering techniques that will allow you to create your own projects. The book begins with a foundational primer on essential skills, and then gradually moves into communication, control, and advanced applications using C/C++, allowing you to learn at your own pace. In addition, the book's companion website features instructional videos, source code, discussion forums, and more, to ensure that you have everything you need.

The BeagleBone's small size, high performance, low cost, and extreme adaptability have made it a favorite development platform, and the Linux software base allows for complex yet flexible functionality. The BeagleBone has applications in smart buildings, robot control, environmental sensing, to name a few; and, expansion boards and peripherals dramatically increase the possibilities. Exploring BeagleBone provides a reader-friendly guide to the device, including a crash course in computer engineering. While following step by step, you can:

  • Get up to speed on embedded Linux, electronics, and programming
  • Master interfacing electronic circuits, buses and modules, with practical examples
  • Explore the Internet-connected BeagleBone and the BeagleBone with a display
  • Apply the BeagleBone to sensing applications, including video and sound
  • Explore the BeagleBone's Programmable Real-Time Controllers
  • Updated to cover the latest Beagle boards, Linux kernel versions, and Linux software releases.
  • Includes new content on Linux kernel development, the Linux Remote Processor Framework, CAN bus, IoT frameworks, and much more!

Hands-on learning helps ensure that your new skills stay with you, allowing you to design with electronics, modules, or peripherals even beyond the BeagleBone. Insightful guidance and online peer support help you transition from beginner to expert as you master the techniques presented in Exploring BeagleBone, the practical handbook for the popular computing platform.

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Part I
Beagle Board Basics

In This Part

  • Chapter 1: The Beagle Hardware Platform
  • Chapter 2: Beagle Software
  • Chapter 3: Exploring Embedded Linux Systems
  • Chapter 4: Interfacing Electronics
  • Chapter 5: Practical Beagle Board Programming

The Beagle Hardware Platform

In this chapter, you are introduced to the BeagleBone platform hardware and its variant boards. The chapter focuses in particular on the BeagleBone and PocketBeagle boards and the various subsystems and physical inputs/outputs of these boards. In addition, the chapter lists accessories that can be helpful in developing your own Beagle-based projects. By the end of this chapter, you should have an appreciation of the power and complexity of this computing platform. You should also be aware of the first steps to take to protect your boards from physical damage.

Introduction to the Boards

Beagle boards are compact, low-cost, open-source Linux computing platforms that can be used to build complex applications that interface high-level software and low-level electronic circuits. These are ideal platforms for prototyping project and product designs that take advantage of the power and freedom of Linux, combined with direct access to input/output pins and buses, allowing you to interface with electronics components, modules, and USB devices. The following are some characteristics of the single-board computing (SBC) boards:
  • They are powerful, containing a processor that can perform up to 2 billion instructions per second.
  • They are widely available at relatively low-cost, as little as $25–$90 depending on the board chosen.
  • They support many standard interfaces for electronics devices.
  • They use little power, running at between 1 W (idle) and 2.3 W (peak).
  • They are expandable through the use of daughter boards and USB devices.
  • They are strongly supported by a huge community of innovators and enthusiasts.
  • They are open-hardware and support open-software tools and applications for commercial and noncommercial applications.
The BeagleBone and PocketBeagle boards run the Linux operating system, which means you can use many open-source software libraries and applications directly with them. Open-source software driver availability also enables you to interface devices such as USB cameras, keyboards and Wi-Fi adapters with your project, without having to source proprietary alternatives. Therefore, you have access to comprehensive libraries of code that have been built by a talented open-source community; however, it is important to remember that the code typically comes without any type of warranty or guarantee. If there are problems, then you have to rely on the good nature of the community to resolve them. Of course, you could also fix the problems yourself and make the solutions publicly available.


The BeagleBone and PocketBeagle boards are quite different in physical appearance, as displayed in Figure 1-1, but they are similar devices under the hood. To illustrate this, both boards are typically booted with the same Linux image on a micro-SD card. The Linux image will automatically detect and configure the differing hardware during the boot sequence depending on the board it is booting.
Pictures of (a) BeagleBone Black Wireless board, (b) PocketBeagle board, and (c) an Adafruit PCB Ruler board.
Figure 1-1: (a) BeagleBone Black Wireless, (b) PocketBeagle, and (c) an Adafruit PCB Ruler for relative scale
The BeagleBoard.org Foundation is a U.S. nonprofit corporation that aims to provide embedded systems education in open-source hardware and software. Over the last ten years, the Foundation has developed high-quality boards that are renowned in the open-source community for their detailed documentation, for their extensive support, and for providing a strong bridge between idea prototyping and commercial product design.
The platform boards are formed by the integration of a high-performance microprocessor on a printed circuit board (PCB) and an extensive software ecosystem. The physical PCB is not a complete product; rather, it is a prototype refer...

Table des matiĂšres

  1. Cover
  2. Table of Contents
  3. Introduction
  4. Part I: Beagle Board Basics
  5. Part II: Interfacing, Controlling, and Communicating
  6. Part III: Advanced Beagle Board Systems
  7. Index
  8. End User License Agreement