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BeagleBone Black for Embedded Measurement and Control Applications

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Instrumentation Division Technical Session 1

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Stephen A. Strom Pennsylvania State University, Erie

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Stephen Strom is a lecturer in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology department of Penn State Behrend, and holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. His career includes over thirty years experience in designing and programming embedded systems and has multiple patents for both hardware designs and software algorithms

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David R. Loker Pennsylvania State University, Erie

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David R. Loker received the M.S.E.E. degree from Syracuse University in 1986. In 1984, he joined General Electric (GE) Company, AESD, as a design engineer. In 1988, he joined the faculty at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. In 2007, he became the Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology Program. His research interests include wireless sensor networks, data acquisition systems, and communications systems.

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Lower-division courses in an Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology (ECET) program provide the background needed for introductory programming and embedded microprocessors. A C/C++ programming course emphasizes the software development process, language constructs, algorithms, and structured procedural design and possibly object oriented design. A microprocessor based course covers software design in C for input and output interfacing for various applications. For IoT applications, there is a need in upper-division courses to cover new, powerful, and inexpensive system-on-a-chip (SoC) devices that are capable of performing the responsibilities of a computer on a single chip and can be used in a variety of courses. One such device, the BeagleBone Black (BBB), is an open-source Linux platform that contains a variety of busses (SPI, I2C, CAN), general purchase I/O pins, serial ports, PWM outputs, and analog inputs.

The intent of this paper is to demonstrate the usage of the BBB in a variety of upper division courses, illustrating several applications. Some potential courses include measurements and instrumentation, wireless communications, control systems, and advanced microprocessors. Labs covered with the BBB include digital and analog I/O operations, UART interface, TCP/IP interface, touch screen display, and student chosen end-of-semester lab projects. Programming is achieved using C++ and Python. Several of these labs will be discussed in this paper, along with schematics, configurations, and results.

Strom, S. A., & Loker, D. R. (2018, June), BeagleBone Black for Embedded Measurement and Control Applications Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29844

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