written by Babak Parvizi
A couple of years ago I attended Google I/O where they unveiled the Accessory Development Kit (ADK), which enabled Android developers to start interacting with hardware devices such as the Arudiuno. It had been a while since I felt excited about something, and this really got my attention. Having been primarily a front-end software developer, I had never heard of the Arduino or microcontrollers before, but Christmas was about to come early. The generous people at Google gave us all Arduino ADK boards, and I couldn’t wait to get home and start learning this new world that I had never experienced before.
I started with the “Hello World” equivalent for electronics by making an LED blink. I learned how to turn a servo, made noise using a piezo, and so on. It was then time to visit Radio Shack and start experimenting with more advanced sensors like a rangefinder and infrared sensors. Arduino made these experiments easy as the sketches were readily available, and it was just a matter of plug and play.
Ultimately, my goal was to be device and platform agnostic. I didn’t want to be constrained to just Android devices, and I desperately wanted to expand my efforts to the iPhone or any other device of my choosing. Unfortunately, Apple turned down my application for the MFi licensing program, and my hopes to connect the Arduino to my iPhone via the 30 pin dock connector or Bluetooth quickly evaporated. I turned my efforts to using the ethernet and the wifi shields, but found communication via HTTP to be too limiting and underperforming. Feeling restricted, I quickly grew disenchanted and lost interest.
Update to the Latest Angstrom Distribution
First, make sure your BBB has the latest Angstrom distribution installed. You can find the distribution information using the following command once you ssh into the board:
root@beaglebone:~# cat /media/BEAGLEBONE/ID.txt
Cloud9 GNOME Image 2013.06.20
The latest distribution at the time of this post was Cloud9 GNOME Image 2013.06.20. Here are some really excellent tutorials on updating to the latest image:
In the next post we will configure our BBB for PWM!