Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

A Beaglebone, a Blender, a Board, and a Swarm.

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
Software

Hardware isn’t generally my thing. When it comes to software, I like to break and create. But in my opinion, hardware should just work. But even though that’s another story altogether, it did explain my apprehension when I greeted the UPS guy one morning delivering a BeagleBone Black.

Let’s begin with the BBB. It’s a computer the size of a credit card, which isn’t that impressive if you realise that your phone is a computer. I find the best way to explain it is in terms of two other products, the Arduino and the Raspberry Pi. The Arduino is a similarly sized (comes in multiple sizes though) controller where you can upload scripts, plug in a hardware circuit (wires and lightbulb, that sort of thing), and have it control the circuit. Despite its power in hardware control, it only has a small scripting interface for you to do your programming. The Raspberry Pi is the opposite. It’s a full Linux computer (based off Debian), but does not have proper hardware controls out of the box. The BBB provides the best of both worlds: a full Linux system (Angstrom Linux, but of course you can flash your own), and a ridiculous number of IO pins to control circuits. All this awesome power at 45USD.

The next step upon receiving this wonderboard was obvious. Let’s build a swarm of robots. Along with two university friends, Lawrence Huang and Gloria Nam, we set out planning the system.

rest here




More in Tux Machines

Linux Foundation Sysadmins Open-Source Their IT Policies

The Linux Foundation is no stranger to the world of open source and free software -- after all, we are the home of Linux, the world’s most successful free software project. Throughout the Foundation’s history, we have worked not only to promote open-source software, but to spread the collaborative DNA of Linux to new fields in hopes to enable innovation and access for all. Read more

Libreation Of Ireland

The politics of Ireland have been complex but they were using GNU/Linux a lot back in 2008 according to StatCounter but there was a huge drop when “7” emerged. Slowly but surely, GNU/Linux is back in Ireland. Read more

Open Source’s money issue

These past years -and months- we have had several examples how lack of funding can cut a project’s ability to develop, patch and maintain its codebase and by project I mean developers not getting adequate money, if no money at all, for what they do. There is really two sides to the same coin here. There’s the one where an entire industry re-uses entire FOSS stacks or components, sometimes without even acknowledging it licence-wise or even just in name. And there’s the other side, where the same industry will not compensate anyone upstream, because the license terms enables simple reuse and distribution of those software components. Read more

Acer bets on Android gaming with $300 Predator 8 tablet

Is the market ready for an 8-inch slate running Android 5.1 Lollipop designed for gamers? We'll find out starting in November. Read more