Category: Scarabeus

A small project transforming a cheap RC car into a robot rover!

Web interface for a BeagleBone controlled robot

Given a situation where one needs to implement a simple RC interface for a robot. What’s more straightforward? We could create a thick client and implement a server application for the robot but that’s too complicated. In order to have something light-weight and portable I was thinking of implementing the RC interface using some HTML and possibly some cgi.

The outcome of this tutorial will be a webpage that looks like this:


Building a Rover project day 7 – assembly 2

Since now we have the wifi working, continuing the effort of last time we finally got to do the next assembly step.

Mounting the BeagleBone on the rover.

It was no big deal.

4 screws to fix the BeagleBone onto the plastic board, some tape for a USB hub and some ideas to hide those way too long USB cables somewhere.

The camera is just for prank, we will have to think of a place to put it, and also a way to hide it’s cable.

Building a Rover project day 6 – wifi

Important note: This steps were validated on the following Angström version:


The difference between this and the previous tutorial is that in the new version of Angström they introduced a light-weight network manager daemon called connman. On one hand this makes things easier but on the other hand it renders all the old tutorials unusable.

To see how to get your hardware running with the BeagleBone read this tutorial:

Building a Rover project day 5 – info about your wifi hardware

This short article is describing how to set up a new wifi stick for the BeagleBone running the Angström linux distribution.

Plug your BeagleBone, connect to it and also plug the wifi stick.

Let’s see what do you have:

root@beaglebone:~# lsusb
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0ace:1211 ZyDAS 802.11bg
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub

Those 2 hexa numbers are already enough information to determine which driver to use with the stick.

They are called vendor and product id.

Building a Rover project day 3-4 – wifi

Important note: This steps were validated on the following Angström version:


For later versions the classic Linux utilities are controlled by connman so this tutorial will fail to work.

So we managed to set up the cheap wifi stick. I have no idea about it’s name,  the chipset is ZyDas1211.

If you are unsure what chipset your wifi stick has, open it up and check the chip.

Read this post for more on this topic.


Building a Rover project day 2 – PWM on BeagleBone

When I bought the BeagleBone it didn’t have PWM support. It was disabled for some reason by default. Luckily in the latest kernel they put it back.

The minimal kernel for PWM is: Angstrom v2012.03-core – Kernel 3.2.5+ .

The one I downloaded:
Which has a 3.2.18 version kernel.

This is optional, but you can update to the newest version.
The first step is to update the BeagleBone. You will need the BeagleBone to be online. Then here are the necessary commands:

opkg update
opkg upgrade


Building a Rover project day 1

Continuing yesterday’s work Árpi moved out to do some shopping for heat-sensors and a wifi-stick for the BeagleBone.
I did some the code for the Arduino which is basically a command interpreter based on the code of the OpenROV project.

We successfully mounted the servo motor that does the steering and experimented with drilling an extra hole into one of those metal builder parts to shorten the steering axis – no good yet.

Drilling screw hole
Drilling screw hole


Building a Rover project day 0

It’s summer time! Best way to spend it, to hide from the sun inside in your room and create rover. Our first rover will be the Scarabeus! It will be created from an RC car (which we bougth from local supermarket). We tried it without customizing anything of it, here you can see the video: