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Mastering BeagleBone Robotics

Book Description

Master the power of the BeagleBone Black to maximize your robot-building skills and create awesome projects

In Detail

Robots are quickly bursting from the world of science fiction right into our own living rooms. The small-but-mighty BeagleBone Black embedded processor provides the power and capability to program your own robotic projects using its complete Linux development environment.

Mastering BeagleBone Robotics lets you push your creativity to the limit through complex, diverse, and fascinating robotic projects right from scratch. Start off simple by building a tracked robot that moves, sees its environment, and navigates barriers. Go aquatic with a sailing robot that controls its rudder and sail, senses the direction of the wind, and plots its course using GPS. Then plunge beneath the surface of the waves as you create and control a robotic submarine to explore the world underwater with a webcam link. Walk on all fours with a limbed creation, and take to the skies as you create a quadcopter, then use the BeagleBone Black to make it autonomous and fly in its own direction using its own power.

What You Will Learn

  • Power up the BeagleBone Black to develop with both Python and C
  • Control DC motors to guide a tracked robot forward, backward, and side to side
  • Add sonar and infrared sensors to let your robot see its own way
  • Use a USB webcam to have your robot seek out and track colored objects or movements
  • Communicate with the servomotors of a robo-sailboat using a long-range wireless interface
  • Teach your robo-sailboat to navigate to a bearing and distance using GPS
  • Connect your BeagleBone Black to a flight controller to guide robots through the air
  • Make your robots autonomous and capable of controlling themselves
  • Downloading the example code for this book. You can download the example code files for all Packt books you have purchased from your account at If you purchased this book elsewhere, you can visit and register to have the files e-mailed directly to you.

    Table of Contents

    1. Mastering BeagleBone Robotics
      1. Table of Contents
      2. Mastering BeagleBone Robotics
      3. Credits
      4. About the Author
      5. About the Reviewers
        1. Support files, eBooks, discount offers, and more
          1. Why subscribe?
          2. Free access for Packt account holders
      7. Preface
        1. What this book covers
        2. What you need for this book
        3. Who this book is for
        4. Conventions
        5. Reader feedback
        6. Customer support
          1. Downloading the example code
          2. Downloading the color images of this book
          3. Errata
          4. Piracy
          5. Questions
      8. 1. Preparing the BeagleBone Black
        1. Unpacking and powering up
          1. Installing an operating system
          2. Connecting to an external computer
          3. Installing a Windows manager
        2. Installing additional core software packages
          1. Installing a vision library
          2. Installing sound capability
          3. Creating and recording sound
        3. Making your BeagleBone Black speak
          1. Installing speech recognition
          2. Improving speech recognition accuracy
          3. Responding to voice commands
        4. Adding additional hardware and software for a fully functional core system
        5. Summary
      9. 2. Building a Basic Tracked Vehicle
        1. Choosing the tracked platform
        2. Connecting a motor controller to control the speed of your tracked platform
          1. Choosing the battery
          2. Connecting the motor controller
          3. Connecting the motor controller system
        3. Controlling your mobile platform programmatically using the BeagleBone Black and Python
          1. Adding program arguments to control your platform
          2. Accessing motor control via voice commands
        4. Summary
      10. 3. Adding Sensors to Your Tracked Vehicle
        1. Basics of sensors
        2. Adding distance sensors
          1. Sonar sensors
            1. Adding an array of inexpensive sonar sensors to the project
          2. IR sensors
        3. Dynamic path planning for your robot
          1. Basic path planning
          2. Avoiding obstacles
        4. Summary
      11. 4. Vision and Image Processing
        1. Connecting a webcam to the BeagleBone Black
        2. Using OpenCV
        3. Finding colored objects in your vision system
        4. Following colored objects with your vision system
        5. Finding movement in your vision system
        6. Following movement with your robot
        7. Summary
      12. 5. Building a Robot that Can Walk
        1. Building robots that can walk
        2. Working of servomotors
        3. Building the quadruped platform
        4. Using a servo controller to control the servos
        5. Communicating with the servo controller via a PC
        6. Connecting the servo controller to the BeagleBone Black
        7. Creating a program on Linux to control your quadruped
        8. Issuing voice commands to your quadruped
        9. Summary
      13. 6. A Robot that Can Sail
        1. The BeagleBone Black and robots that can sail
          1. Building the sailboat platform
          2. Controlling servos with the BeagleBone Black
          3. Controlling the servos on the sailboat from a program
        2. Remote control of the sailboat
          1. A ZigBee tutorial
        3. Summary
      14. 7. Using GPS for Navigation
        1. Beginning with a GPS tutorial
        2. Connecting GPS to the BeagleBone Black
          1. Communicating with the GPS
        3. Parsing the GPS information
        4. Calculating distance and bearing
        5. Summary
      15. 8. Measuring Wind Speed – Integrating Analog Sensors
        1. Connecting an analog wind speed sensor
        2. Getting sensor data from the wind speed sensor
        3. Some basics of sailing
        4. Summary
      16. 9. An Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle
        1. Building the hardware for the ROV
        2. Controlling brushless DC motors using the BeagleBone Black
        3. Program to control DC motors using the BeagleBone Black
        4. Connecting to the BeagleBone Black via a long LAN
        5. Accessing a camera for your project
        6. Summary
      17. 10. A Quadcopter
        1. Basics of quadcopter flight
        2. Building the quadcopter
        3. Connecting the BeagleBone Black to the quadcopter
        4. Controlling the quadcopter using the BeagleBone Black
        5. Summary
      18. 11. An Autonomous Quadcopter
        1. Controlling quadcopter flight wirelessly
        2. Adding a game controller to your system
        3. Adding a webcam for autonomous flight
        4. Adding GPS for autonomous flight
        5. Summary
      19. Index