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BeagleBoard.org launched the BeagleBone last October as an inexpensive, hacker-friendly variant of the BeagleBoard. The price ($89) and size (it comes with a custom Altoids-like tin) have attracted a small community of hardware hackers looking for an open embedded Linux solution for projects requiring a bit of horsepower and speed. One shining example is the OpenROV underwater robot platform, which is BeagleBone-powered and runs OpenCV and Node.js for live camera streaming. Another great example is Ninja Blocks and Ninja Cloud, a sensing platform that couples the BeagleBone and Arduino.

For those of you who like lists of specs, the BeagleBone is an ARM Cortex-A8 processor running at 720 MHz with 256 MB of RAM. General purpose input and output is handled through two 46-pin expansion connectors, and connectivity is by built-in Ethernet or USB host. An SD card hold the default Angstrom Linux distribution. Sound interesting? Check out our own Matt Richardson’s Getting Started with BeagleBone tutorial, or pick one up in the Maker Shed (you’ll probably want the DVI-D Cape as well).

Accessibility drives innovation; for their commitment to making open and hackable hardware accessible, we’re pleased to nominate BeagleBoard.org (and by extension their partners at TI and Digikey) for the 2012 Makey awards.

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Shawn Wallace

Shawn Wallace

Shawn Wallace is a MAKE contributor, artist, programmer, and editor living in Providence, R.I. He designs open hardware kits at Modern Device and organized the Fab Academy at the Providence Fab Lab. He makes iPhone synthesizers with the Fluxama collective and is a member of the SMT Computing Society.


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