Thursday, July 17, 2014
On 3:47 PM by Richard St-Pierre
OverviewThe BeagleBone Black is increasingly moving outside of the office or workshop and into the field, with more and more industrial projects being powered by this tiny ARM platform (read more about the emergence of large-scale, industrial BeagleBone projects here).
Getting your BeagleBone Black ready for industrial application, is much like wearing a hard hat and steel-toe footwear; the right preparation can make all the difference. There are a number of things you can do to help get your BeagleBone ready for more rugged installations, including embedded applications.
What you will need
- BeagleBone Black with display and keyboard
- BeagleBone expandable case Orange or Black (recommended)
- AC adapter 5 Volts, 2 Amp (suggested)
- WiFi Network Connection
STEP 1 - Protect Your BeagleBoneYou start with a sturdy expandable steel case, in either 'safety' orange or black. The case will help protect the BeagleBone from impacts or damage while retaining access to all of the components.
STEP 2 - Mount the BeagleBone Where You Need ItTo ensure that the case stays in place.
STEP 3 - Give Your BeagleBone Wireless CapabilitiesA wireless connection with an extended range antenna (like the UWN200) will ensure a reliable network connection, while removing cables that can get damage or tangled.
Installing Wifi Adapter (instructions).
STEP 4 - Add Customized Interface to Existing EquipmentThe BeagleBone, with its generous GPIO (General Purpose Input/Output) connections and measurement capability is a perfect computer for collecting data, or controlling devices and equipment. There are many expansion capes that can be used to automate and simplify tasks.
The pre-punched DB9 connector allows customized interfacing control signals or adding an RS232 interface to existing equipment.
ApplicationsThe BeagleBone has no moving parts, with solid-state memory holding the Linux operating system and file structure. The Debian Linux distribution found on the current version of the BeagleBone is also widely supported, giving the BeagleBone the combination of performance and versatility perfect for a wide range of industrial applications.
The small size of the BeagleBone means that it can easily be installed in locations where you might not typically expect to find a fully-functional computer. The flexible communication interface (SSH, VNC) means that a display and keyboard is not required to be attached to the computer.
See available tutorials including automating measurements with the BeagleBone.