Robots, Games, IoT, and Tiny Computers – Example Applications from the Embedded Systems Conference in Boston


Last week was a busy one.  We started off the week by announcing the newest member of the OSD335x family, the OSD335x-SM.  This new device has even more integration than the OSD335x but in a package that is 40% smaller with an easy to route ball map.

As if that wasn’t enough excitement for the week, a group of us also made a trip to Boston to attend the Embedded Systems Conference.  We met a lot of interesting engineers and designers that were excited to see how System-In-Package (SiP) technology could help with their designs.  While we were there we showed off some applications powered by the OSD335x SiP.  We also highlighted the wide range of development platforms that are available today.  For those of you that couldn’t visit us in Boston, here is a recap of what we showed:

Robots Powered by the BeagleBone® Blue and the OSD3358

OSD3358 Powered RobotsThe demos that attracted the most interest were our robots!  We had two that were both powered by the BeagleBone® Blue Robotics platform which features the OSD3358-512M-BAS.

The first was an inverted pendulum, a robot that balances on two wheels like a Segway.  This guy drew a lot of people to the booth as it moved back and forth on our table and couldn’t be knocked over.  The robot showcases the Programmable Real-Time Units (PRUs) in the OSD3358 which execute the real-time control loops that are required for it to keep its balance.  It also leverages the motor drive, encoder inputs, and IMU on the BeagleBone® Blue to fully control the system.

The other robot was a rover that has a USB webcam attached to it.  This robot spins around and sends video from the webcam to a laptop through WiFi.  This demo leveraged the Wireless capabilities of the BeagleBone® Blue to transmit video.

Whac-A-Mole Breadboard Powered by the GHI OSD3358 BeagleBone® TH Module

Whak-A-Mole game on a breadboard with the OSD3358This fun game was developed by our Applications Manager, Erik Welsh.  It is a version of the classic Whac-A-Mole game with 4 LEDs that sit next to buttons.  When the LED lights up, the player has to press the corresponding button before the LED turns off to get a point.  The game lets a player test their reflexes for 30 seconds.

This demo highlights how easy it is to prototype with the OSD3358 leveraging the GHI OSD3358 BeagleBone® TH Module.  The module allows you to attach headers so it can be used to bread board applications.

The board also runs the standard BeagleBone® Debian Linux distributions so you can be up and running in a matter of minutes.  Because it runs Linux you can prototype your application in whatever programming language you like.  This game was written in Python!

IoT – Wireless Sensor Network with the BeagleBone® Blue and the BeagleBone® Black Wireless

BeagleBone Blue and BeagleBone Black Wireless IOT DemoThe OSD3358 is ideally suited to be part of wireless networks that are associated with the Internet of Things (IoT).  This demo highlights this ability.  It captures different sensor data from the BeagleBone® Blue and charts it in real-time.  The BeagleBone® Blue is powered from a lithium ion battery pack and the IMU (Gyro, Accelerometer, Magnetometer, Temperature) and Barometer (Altimeter, Pressure, Temperature) are polled every second.  This data is transmitted wirelessly to a BeagleBone® Black Wireless that is acting as a WiFi hotspot.

The BeagleBone Black Wireless collects the data and displays it on different graphs that were updated in real-time.

Tiny Computers – The OSD3358 Based PocketBone Project

OSD3358 PocketBone in Mini-Altoids TinThe integration the OSD335x provides allows designers to build some cool things.  We featured one of the smallest full functioning Embedded Linux based computers.  The PocketBone is a community project created by Michael Welling.  It features the OSD3358-512M-BAS on a board that fits into a Mini-Altoids Tin.  Besides the OSD3358 the board has a SD card slot for the operating system, 2 USB ports, UART, I2C, a couple of buttons and some LEDs.  All of this is on a single sided 4-layer PCB.


Other Reference Platforms


We also had some of our other development platforms on display.  Mainly, the GHI OSD3358 BeagleBone® Development board.  It has a 5-inch capacitive touch LCD display that allowed vistors to browse the Octavo Systems website.  Along with the dev board we had the OSD3358 BeagleBone® System-on-Module which is an effortless way to integrate the OSD3358 into a development system.

Finally, the OSD3358 SBC reference design was on display.  This is a completely open source reference design that is available on product page.  This design highlights some of the best practices for designing with the OSD3358.


GHI OSD3358 BeagleBone Development Board OSD3358 SBC Reference Design


Now that you know all about the demos here is a quick video showing everything that we had.  Enjoy!

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