Build kit for self-balancing robot EduMip based on BeagleBone Blue. Unpacking and assembly. Part 1

Published on May 23, 2018

Build kit for self-balancing robot EduMip based on BeagleBone Blue. Unpacking and assembly. Part 1

  • Tutorial

The robot can keep the balance on two wheels, a pretty smart ride. On board a full linux, there is wifi. You can program through the web interface. There are instructions and sources for running ROS on it. In general, a lot of opportunities for creativity.

I have long wanted to play with a robot with a gyroscope, an accelerometer, a compass and learn ROS. I didn’t want to solder and make anything like before. And here BeagleBone has one paid computer with a built-in expansion card for the BeagleBone Blue robots, which has the necessary sensors and engine drivers. After some time, a kit for assembling the EduMip robot in the states was finalized for it and they wrote instructions on how to launch ROS with the source code on it. In general, I fired up.

What is included:

  • wheelbase with motors / gearboxes / wheels / encoders / wires
  • 2-cell 1400 mAh LiPo
  • 12 volt charger
  • BeagleBone Blue

EduMIP was created in the UC SAN DIEGO COORDINATED ROBOTICS LAB robotics laboratory. Used in online courses, universities and circles of robotics.

EduMIP is a learning platform:

  • Dynamic modeling and feedback control of unstable systems.
  • Robot motion planning and collision avoidance.
  • DC motor control via H-bridges and encoders.
  • Orientation assessment via IMU and Barometer.
  • Communication over WiFi (802.11 b / g / n) and Bluetooth (4.1 / BLE).
  • Charging, balancing, protecting, and monitoring a (included) Lipo 2 cell battery.
  • Multi-threaded, event-based C programming in Debian Linux.

EduMIP is compatible with Python, ROS, MATLAB & Simulink, and LabVIEW.

The EduMip chassis was developed in collaboration with WowWee.

EduMIP is easy to expand using 3D printing; there is an extensive software library for millions of standard sensors and communication devices: USB, I2C, SPI, CAN, UART (GPS, DSM2), PWM (servos, ESCs), GPIO, ADC.

All the same, I had to buy another soldering iron to solder the wires to the motors, for this money you could immediately solder. The rest of the kit is quite high quality and well packaged.

Collected in one evening. Motors and wheels in my opinion are squishy. I am glad that there was no need to practically solder, all the electronics on one board. The battery is charged through the board, from the script you can see the battery voltage.

The undoubted advantage for me is that wifi and full linux is built into BedgleBone. Immediately stands Cloud9 IDE and you can program the robot in the air in python and other programming languages. The board has 4GB of memory on which Linux Debian is already written, so you can start and program without a flash drive. Only for ROS it is necessary to record the image on a memory card.

In the next part, I will analyze how to program it, while stuck on how to install additional libraries from this robot in Debian.