I’ve been experimenting with SPI and I2C on my Beaglebone lately. When I first tried using them at the beginning of the year, I found they required a level of Linux Kung Fu that was beyond me. However, both of these protocols are now supported from “userland” applications in both Angstrom and Ubuntu. A Google search turns up plentyofworkingexamples for SPI and I2C on the Beaglebone, along with some more advancedprojects. I think the water’s safe safe for the rest of us.
I’m going to begin with SPI. Ultimately I’ll be using a graphical LCD, specifically anAdafruit ST7565-based LCD, but in this article I’m going to use a simpler character LCD backpack, also from Adafruit, that uses the popular and well-documented 74HC595 SPI chip.
From the fine people who have brought us the Beagle Board, we now have a smaller, lighter, but powerful single board linux computer, Beagle Bone! We like this move to a more compact and integrated SBC. For example, there is onboard Ethernet and USB host, as well as a USB client interface (a FTDI chip for shell access). It even comes preloaded with Angstrom Linux on the 4 GB microSD card!
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.