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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)#


All support for BeagleBone Blue design is through BeagleBoard.org community at BeagleBoard.org forum.

Production board boot media#

Are there any books to help me get started?#

The book BeagleBone Robotic Projects, Second Edition specifically covers how to get started building robots with BeagleBone Blue.

For more general books on BeagleBone, Linux and other related topics, see https://beagleboard.org/books.

What system firmware should I use for starting to explore my BeagleBone Blue?#

Download the latest ‘IoT’ image from https://www.beagleboard.org/distros. As of this writing, that image is https://debian.beagleboard.org/images/bone-debian-9.5-iot-armhf-2018-10-07-4gb.img.xz.

Use http://etcher.io for writing that image to a 4GB or larger microSD card.

Power-up your BeagleBone Blue with the newly created microSD card to run this firmware image.

What is the name of the access point SSID and password default on BeagleBone Blue?#

SSID: BeagleBone-XXXX where XXXX is based upon the board’s assigned unique hardware address
Password: BeagleBone

I’ve connected to BeagleBone Blue’s access point. How do I get logged into the board?#

Browse to to open the Visual Studio Code IDE and get access to the Linux command prompt.

If you’ve connected via USB instead, the address will be either or, depending on the USB networking drivers provided by your operating system.

How do I connect BeagleBone Blue to my own WiFi network?#

From the bash command prompt in Linux:

sudo -s (become superuser/root)

   connmanctl> tether wifi off (not really necessary on latest images)
   connmanctl> enable wifi (not really necessary)
   connmanctl> scan wifi
   connmanctl> services (at this point you should see your network
   appear along with other stuff, in my case it was "AR Crystal wifi_f45eab2f1ee1_6372797774616c_managed_psk")
   connmanctl> agent on
   connmanctl> connect wifi_f45eab2f1ee1_6372797774616c_managed_psk
   connmanctl> quit

Where can I find examples and APIs for programming BeagleBone Blue?#

Programming in C: http://www.strawsondesign.com/#!manual-install

Programming in Python: mcdeoliveira/rcpy

Programming in Simulink: https://www.mathworks.com/hardware-support/beaglebone-blue.html

My BeagleBone Blue fails to run successful tests#

You’ve tried to run rc_test_drivers to ensure your board is working for DOA warranty tests, but it errors. You should first look to fixing your bootloader as described http://strawsondesign.com/docs/librobotcontrol/installation.html#installation_s5

I’m running an image off of a microSD card. How do I write it to the on-board eMMC flash?#

Refer to the “Flashing Firmware” page: https://git.beagleboard.org/beagleboard/beaglebone-blue/-/wikis/Flashing-firmware

Meanwhile, as root, run the /opt/scripts/tools/eMMC/bbb-eMMC-flasher-eewiki-ext4.sh script which will create a copy of the system in your microSD to a new single ext4 partition on the on-board eMMC.

I’ve written the latest image to a uSD card, but some features aren’t working. How do I make it run properly?#

It is possible you are running an old bootloader off of the eMMC. While power is completely off, hold the SD button (near the servo headers) while applying power. You can release the button as soon the power LED comes on. This will make sure the bootloader is loaded from microSD and not eMMC.

Verify the running image using version.sh via:

sudo /opt/scripts/tools/version.sh

The version.sh output will tell you which version of bootloader is on the eMMC or microSD. Future versions of version.sh might further inform you if the SD button was properly asserted on power-up.

One you’ve booted the latest image, you can update the bootloader on the eMMC using /opt/scripts/tools/developers/update_bootloader.sh. Better yet, read the above FAQ on flashing firmware.

I’ve got my on-board eMMC flash configured in a nice way. How do I copy that to other BeagleBone Blue boards?#

As root, run the /opt/scripts/tools/eMMC/beaglebone-black-make-microSD-flasher-from-eMMC.sh script with a blank 4GB or larger microSD card installed and wait for the script to complete execution.

Remove the microSD card.

Boot your other BeagleBone Blue boards off of this newly updated microSD card and wait for the flashing process to complete. You’ll know it successfully started when you see the “larson scanner” running on the LEDs. You’ll know it successfully completed when it shuts off the board.

Remove the microSD card.

Reboot your newly flashed board.

I have some low-latency I/O tasks. How do I get started programming the BeagleBone PRUs?#

There is a “Hello, World” app at https://gist.github.com/jadonk/2ecf864e1b3f250bad82c0eae12b7b64 that will get you blinking the USRx LEDS.

The libroboticscape software provides examples that are pre-built and included in the BeagleBone Blue software images for running the servo/ESC outputs and fourth quadrature encoder input. You can use those firmware images as a basis for building your own: StrawsonDesign/Robotics_Cape_Installer

You can find some more at https://beagleboard.org/pru

Are there available mechanical models?#

A community contributed model is available at https://grabcad.com/library/beaglebone-blue-1

What is the operating temperature range?#

`0..70` due to processor, else `-20..70`

What is the DC motor drive strength?#

This is dictated by the 2 cell LiPo battery input, the TB6612FNG motor drivers and the JST-ZH connectors

  • Voltage: 6V-8.4V (typical)

  • Current: 1A (maximum for connectors) / 1.2A (maximum average from drivers) / 3.2A (peak from drivers) per channel