Beaglebone Black

The JS hardware underdog!

Some web devs think of robotics as impossible

1) "I don't know/like C/C++/BASIC"

In general, the implication that robots have a really steep learning curve.

HINT: I don't like those languages either, and if I can figure out robotics, so can you!

My Personal Mission

It is my personal mission to make sure web developers don't feel alienated by robotics.

I want to eliminate web devs saying: "I can't do robotics, I work in JS"

Disclaimer: I'm a huge fan of ALL the NodeBots.

What is the BeagleBone Black


1gHz ARM Processor


2 gigs flash storage (expandable via MicroSD)

3D graphics accelerator

2x dedicated PRU

46 x 2 pin headers

What's different

SSH directly - no need for 2nd screen

Analog output pins x 8

Accessible PRU micro controllers

JS on the BeagleBone Black

JS is a first-class citizen

Node pre-installed

Cloud9 running on port 3000

Available libraries


Much more typical library, procedural, a bit bare-bones


Reminiscent of johnny-five, evented, pretty new

Downsides of BeagleBone

A little hard to get ahold of

Community support in general not as prolific

(Though JS support compared to RPi is strong)

2) "But I don't know electronics!"

Electronics Lesson

What I know about electronics

Inputs: 3 wires - ground, input pin, power

(There might be a resistor in the power pin)

Outputs: 3 wires - ground, power, output pin

(Usually a resistor in the power or output pin)

That's it.

You now know just about everything I know.

How to get more information

Fritzing diagrams:

(Also the johnny-five repo has a seriously nice amount of diagrams/tutorials that are adaptable)

Demo Time!

What's next?

Angstrom -> Debian

(Better serial drivers selection, stability)

Beaglebone-IO being worked on

open-pixel-control being worked on


You, too, can do robotics!

Build something, document it, and show it off!

Because excitement is contagious

Thanks for listening!


Engineering Evangelist @ RetailMeNot


By kperch


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