Adafruit customer, Eric Boehlke, builds his own BB-8 robot with Beaglebone Black.
This project started in early June. I was just beginning to look into what type of development platform I could use for the robot. My dad’s coworker lent me his BeagleBone Black to check out and to see if it was something I wanted to use. The BeagleBone Black is a low-cost micro-computer with many connectivity options making it great for robotics. I designed my version of BB-8 with two robots that work together to achieve the right motion. One robot would balance on top of the ball and another, inside the ball, would steer. Everything in this project was new to me. I needed to learn about a new development platform, learn how to program with different motors, figure out how to wire up sensors, learn a new language, and many more things. I felt well prepared for this challenge because of all of my previous years of robotics. I had so much fun! This project taught me so many new things about robotics, such as building and designing the frame, Kalman filters, pros and cons of different programming languages, how to choose batteries, PID controllers, and much more. Although my BB-8 is not perfect, I have learned a great deal and I plan to continue to improve the robot and learn more about robotics.
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