BeagleBone Black, Arduino, and robotics from a software perspective

  • 60 minute session

As a software guy who plays with hardware just for fun, I hope a talk about some of the things I've learnt along the way will be interesting to other software folks who are looking to get into hardware.

A focus on some of the differences between using the BeagleBone Black and Arduino as the core processors in embedded development. My current robot uses a collection of various atmel 328 (Arudino) microcontrollers and has a BeagleBone Black at its core:

Sometimes it is simpest to have both work together. For example, using an Arduino to provide the nessesary soft PWM refresh on an LED panel while providing a remote frambuffer to the BeagleBone Black. This way the Beagle can use modern technology like cairo and freetype to render screens and the arduino can maintain the hardware screen clocking of the framebuffer.

The talk will include using SPI from both platforms:

As well as more subtle things such as moving from the serial arduino programming to the async model of nodejs when doing inheritly serial tasks such as control over UART (serial).

I'll also mention cloud9 and bonescript for beginners, and creation of control interfaces using these on the BeagleBone Black and JQuery and Websockets on the controlling client. I have some more information along the lines of this talk coming up on but it will only be released over the next few months.


The OSDC 2014 team is dedicated to providing a friendly, safe and welcoming conference environment for everyone. We have a code of conduct to clearly outline our expectations. Our goal is to create a safe and harassment-free conference experience for all involved, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, religion, preferred operating system, programming language or text editor.