If it comes to complex robotics software I’m always looking for ROS. I wanted to be able to use it on my BeagleBone but Ubuntu was not satisfying so I though of keeping Angstrom since it is the ‘official’ distribution of the board but I had trouble with installing ROS onto it. The final solution was to install Debian Squeeze on the BeagleBone so ROS can go on the top of this. The importance of Debian is that it supports all hardware interfacing features Angstrom does (PWM, GPIO, Analog). First I tried Fuerte but there were some problems and I don’t really need any fancy stuff yet so I went back to Electric. Firstly, I followed the install instructions for Debian here: http://www.eewiki.net/display/linuxonarm/BeagleBone
Then the install instructions for ROS here: http://www.ros.org/wiki/electric/Installation/Debian
It took a while to compile everything.
The system is running fine, eating a lot less resources than Ubuntu and doesn’t have some annoying features as Angstrom does. I created a small package which basically wraps some already existing Python libraries for the BeagleBone.
You can check all ROS related stuff I made for the BeagleBone here: http://buggers.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/buggers/beaglebone/ros_pkgs/