Interesting Beaglebone news: In one of SeeedStudio‘s latest blogposts by Eddie Hu about RaspberryPi alternatives there is a competitive analysis with an interesting item. There seems to be a plan within SeeedStudio to release an alternative BeagleBone with Grove sensor connectors, with the (code)name “Beaglebone Green”.
The Grove line of products is a set of breakout boards with standard connectors to Analog, Digital, I2C or UART. Most of these tools are sensors and the add-on boards to Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and other small computers. Their site already lists 156 products.
Technically, one of the best boards for the purpose of using a lot of their sensors at the same time is the BeagleBone Black. Their board has specifically added things like analog i/o and real-time processors so no extra Arduino is necessary, like on the Raspberry for instance. The only problem is the intimidating expansion ports that most of the time just work as side bumpers. They do that job very well by the way
The people at SeedStudio already made a Grove Cape for the BBB, but that is almost as big as the BBB itself, and seems not to adhere to the cape instructions as it has no EEPROM to provide setup info. It also has only two Analog(dual) ports, two UART ports, and two I2C ports. As most Grove sensors only use one of the analog ports, it can get full rather quickly, unless you mod the cables yourself. The digital ports are easily reachable from the GPIO itself, but that is beside the point with Grove modules. All that could be solved by a BB version with a lot of adapters built-in.
So SeeedStudio adapting a BeagleBone to become extra Grove friendly would be a huge boost to the usability for hackers prototyping new ideas with their system. Add to that the possibility that people could add a lot of tutorials to that base, moving the Grove Wiki documentation from mostly Arduino based, to BeagleBone Green based. As prices for ARM based development boards keep falling, the competition to dethrone Arduino seems to be mounting.
We asked about it on the blog yesterday, the post was moderated, but no more info was given. Maybe more will be known soon, there is a mail gone out to ask for more info.
We will also ask someone within the BeagleBone project for more info.
I could not find more info on search engines, maybe you all could do better?
I’m looking forward to it
Update: I got some answers from the SeeedStudio people, they confirm they are working with TI on the a BeagleBoard Green, but haven’t got approval yet. They are sample testing now, and hope to sell the boards in May of 2015. I have asked for more info, but there was no reply yet (two weeks, so chances are low).
The people from Beagle/Circuitco haven’t replied yet (also two weeks ago) or acknowledged receipt of my mail. Maybe i should do a follow-up mail?
More news when it happens.