Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

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

Filed under

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

today's howtos/technical

Graphics: X.Org Foundation Board of Directors and Vulkan

  • Six Candidates Are Vying For This Year's X.Org Foundation Board
    There are six candidates running for this year's X.Org Foundation Board of Directors with four seats being open this election. Those six candidates for this year's X.Org elections include Eric Anholt (Broadcom), Robert Foss (Collabora), Bryce Harrington (Samsung), Keith Packard (HP), Laurent Pinchart (Ideas on Board), and Harry Wentland (AMD).
  • Vulkan 1.1.71 Released As The First Update To Vulkan 1.1
    The first point release to the Vulkan 1.1 release from earlier this month is now available. Vulkan 1.1 promoted a lot of functionality to core while also officially adding sub-groups and protected content support. This Vulkan 1.1.71 point release adds a new extension and fixes. This first point release to Vulkan 1.1 is officially version 1.1.71. This is because when Vulkan 1.1 was created, Khronos decided not to reset the patch number... Vulkan 1.1 was technically 1.1.70 and not 1.1.0. So now with this first update it's bumped to Vulkan 1.1.71.
  • AMDVLK Vulkan Driver Updated With Improvements For Sub-Groups & Multi-View
    The AMD developers working on their official cross-platform "AMDVLK" Vulkan driver have updated their open-source code-base for Linux users. On Friday the AMD developers pushed to the open-source repository their latest work, their first update since introducing Vulkan 1.1 support back on launch day earlier this month.

Programming: Google Opens Maps APIs, Survey, Firefox Addons and GCC

  • China's open source AI, a GitHub tool for licensing, and more news
  • Google Opens Maps APIs and World Becomes Dev Playground
    Google this week announced that it will open its Maps APIs to video game developers, which could result in far more realistic settings in augmented reality games. With access to real-time map updates and rich location data, developers will have many choices of settings for their games. The APIs will provide devs with what Google has described as a "living model of the world" to use as a foundation for game worlds. Developers will have access to more than 100 million 3D buildings, roads, landmarks and parks from more than 200 countries around the globe.
  • Developers dread Visual Basic 6, IBM Db2, SharePoint - survey
    Stack Overflow’s annual survey has revealed the tools and tech that developers love to hate: Visual Basic 6, IBM Db2 and SharePoint. According to the poll, which took in the views of more than 100,000 devs, Rust is the most loved programming language for the third year running. It is closely followed by Kotlin, which makes its debut in the survey. [...] At the other end of the spectrum is Visual Basic 6, which has been voted most dreaded programming language. Visual Basic 6 is also linked to lower pay, with Stack Overflow saying that devs using it are “paid less even given years of experience”.
  • [Firefox] March Add(on)ness: Momentum (2) vs Grammarly (3)
  • Intel SGX Enclave Support Added To GCC
    The latest feature addition to the GCC compiler this week is support for Intel's new "ENCLV". ENCLV is a new intrinsic that is part of the Intel Software Guard Extensions (SGX). The Enclave happens to be a trusted execution environment embedded into a process with isolated memory regions of Enclaves are protected areas of execution and the ENCLV instruction is needed to put application code into that special mode.

BSD: HAMMER2, Split, and ZFS

  • HAMMER2 Gets Many Fixes On The Latest DragonFlyBSD Git
    The HAMMER2 file-system has been available with install-time support since DragonFlyBSD 5.0 while the latest Git code continues to revise this next-generation FS for DragonFly. Landing overnight in DragonFlyBSD were several HAMMER and HAMMER2 improvements.
  • [Older] Exploring permutations and a mystery with BSD and GNU split filenames

    In summary, gsplit's default file naming behavior is to add a letter to the prefix and suffix of a filename whenever it reaches 26^r - 26 files (with r being the current length of the suffix), so you don't need to worry about running out of filenames (just disk space, haha).  

  • Turbocharging ZFS Data Recovery

    Besides being able to display the new debug information, zdb has another new feature that brings its capabilities on par with the kernel: the ability to set global libzpool variables.