ECE434 Project - BoneBot

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thumb‎ Embedded Linux Class by Mark A. Yoder

Team members: J. Dalton Stichtenoth and Isaac Austin

Grading Template

I'm using the following template to grade. Each slot is 10 points. 0 = Missing, 5=OK, 10=Wow!

00 Executive Summary
00 Installation Instructions 
00 User Instructions
00 Highlights
00 Theory of Operation
00 Work Breakdown
00 Future Work
00 Conclusions
00 Demo
00 Late
Comments: I'm looking forward to seeing this.

Score:  10/100

(Inline Comment)

Executive Summary

Picture that summarizes the project.

The purpose of this project is to create a small remote controlled robot using the BeagleBone Black as the core. To make the actual building of the robot as simple as possible, we will be borrowing a chassis from the Rose-Hulman Mechanical Engineering Department. We will also be using phone app Blynk as the user interface to control the robot. It will have an autonomous mode where it uses 2 stationary IR sensors to avoid objects in front of it.


For this project, we borrowed a plexiglass Chassis for the base of it. However, anything that can support the weight of the hardware and can be fitted with 2 DC motors will work. The original scope of the project was to build the framework out of Legos before we found out how expensive Legos are. Besides that, the breadboard, and the Beaglebone, we needed 2 IR sensors, a Battery, a USB WIFI dongle and an L293D H-Bridge. We used KeyesIR sensors because they come built in with potentiometers for range alterations, but if you don't anticipate having to change the values, the KeyesIR can be reduced down to a smaller and less intensive size. The battery is self explanatory, as we wanted this to be able to move without the constraints of being connected to a laptop through a USB cable. The Battery should be around 5V, with a current over 1 Amp. As long as it meets those requirements, and can connect to the DC Jack port, the battery should be sufficient. The WIFI dongle is to allow WIFI communication. The implementation of which will be described in the next section. This part can be skipped if your Beaglebone comes with WIFI capabilities. Lastly on the hardware, we have an L293D H-Bridge. This allows us to control the movement of the DC motors in 2 directions. If we wanted to implement bi-directional movement without an H-Bridge, it would have required much more hardware and made the breadboard exceptionally messy. I would recommend that whatever H-Bridge you decide to use, that you get one with the "D" at the end, as that means that the diodes are built into the IC and don't need to be manually added.

Installation Instructions

These installation instructions are performed on the Beaglebone Black while running an Ubuntu 18.04 Operating System

  • First, the Blynk-library and bonescript to interface with the Blynk app need to be installed using:
bone$ sudo npm install -g --unsafe-perm onoff blynk-library
bone$ sudo npm install bonescript

At this point, the code should run, so all we have to do is get it connected to WIFI and run on startup To run the program on startup: bone$ sudo nano /lib/systemd/BoneBot.service Insert the following lines into the file: [Unit] Description=description of code

  • Include your github path as a link like this to the read-only git site:
  • Be sure your is includes an up-to-date and clear description of your project so that someone who comes across you git repository can quickly learn what you did and how they can reproduce it.
  • Include a Makefile for your code if using C.
  • Include any additional packages installed via apt. Include and files.
  • Include kernel mods.
  • If there is extra hardware needed, include links to where it can be obtained.

User Instructions

Once everything is installed, how do you use the program? Give details here, so if you have a long user manual, link to it here.


Here is where you brag about what your project can do.

Include a YouTube demo the audio description.

Theory of Operation

This project only runs off of a single

Work Breakdown

Isaac Austin:

  • Piloted the writing of the final code
  • Handled wiring on the breadboard
  • Javascript coding on Object avoidance and Blynk Control

Dalton Stichtenoth:

  • WIFI capabilities
  • Soldering
  • Acquiring parts and materials
  • Running a function on startup
  • Documentation

Future Work

Additional Work that could be added onto this project:

  • Currently the wheels turn very slowly, improving the power supply so that the Bot moved at a faster pace would improve the project
  • The movement is limited to 4 directions, Straight, Backwards, turn right, and turn left. Using PRU GPIO and PWM pulses to vary the motor speed and add additional directions of movement to the project
  • Wifi, and subsequently the Blynk application, takes a long time to connect upon boot. Improving that functionality somehow so that it works right after booting up
  • The IR sensors have a limited range of view when it comes to object avoidance. Improving the field of view through rotating the sensor or adding more of them would improve the functionality of the autonomous mode
  • Beyond those improvements, this project only utilizes 6 GPIO pins, so adding your own special flair, like a buzzer horn or turn signals, can make it feel more personalized


Give some concluding thoughts about the project. Suggest some future additions that could make it even more interesting.

thumb‎ Embedded Linux Class by Mark A. Yoder