Beaglebone Blue: a competitor for Raspberry Pi 3, but with features for robots

Beaglebone was and is a direct competitor for Raspberry Pi. With Pi 3, Raspberry introduced the WiFi and Bluetooth connections. With Blue, Beaglebone does the same.

In terms of processor and the RAM memory, Blue is a bit anemic. With the 1GHz processor and 500MB RAM, Blue will hardly cope to a framework for robots like ROS and an operating system such as Ubuntu Mate. Instead, Raspberry Pi 3 is doing quite well while running Ubuntu Mate and ROS.

If to build a robot with a Pi 3 board you need driver motors and sensors, with Blue things are slightly lighter. Connectors for sensors, a driver for DC motors, Analog to Digital converters, battery connector, or IMU and barometer sensors. All these things make the difference between Blue and Pi 3.

Blue comes with 4GB of flash memory. No matter what operating system and what software you choose to run on Blue, everything must fit in these 4GB of internal memory.

The price is $ 79.95. Only three distributors are now selling the Blue board. They are Element14, Mouser, and Arrow.

And the specifications:

  • Processor: Octavo Systems OSD3358 1GHz ARM® Cortex-A8
  • 512MB DDR3 RAM
  • 4GB 8-bit on-board flash storage
  • 2×32-bit 200-MHz programmable real-time units (PRUs)
  • On-board flash programmed with Linux distribution

Connectivity and sensors

  • Battery: 2-cell LiPo support with balancing, 6-16V charger input
  • Wireless: 802.11bgn, Bluetooth 4.1 and BLE
  • Motor control: 8 6V servo out, 4 DC motor out, 4 quad enc in
  • Sensors: 9 axis IMU, barometer
  • Connectivity: HighSpeed USB 2.0 client and host
  • Other easy connect interfaces: GPS, DSM2 radio, UARTs, SPI, I2C, analog, buttons, LEDs

Software Compatibility

  • Debian, ROS, Ardupilot
  • Graphical programming, Cloud9 IDE on Node.js
Beaglebone Blue

Beaglebone Blue

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