BeagleBoard/GSoC/Ideas

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Welcome!

BeagleBoard.org has not yet been accepted as a mentoring organization in the Google Summer of Code for 2017! Below, we're collecting project ideas for the GSoC-2017.

What is Google Summer of Code?

Spend your summer break writing code and learning about open source development while earning money! Accepted students work with a mentor and become a part of the open source community. Many become lifetime open source developers! The 2017 student application window is open March 20th 2017!

Google Summer of Code is open to post-secondary students, age 18 and older in most countries.

Read more on the GSoC site for next year and the FAQ.

BeagleBoard.org Background

BeagleBoard.org is a volunteer organization that seeks to advance the state of open-source software on open-source hardware platforms capable of running high-level languages and operating systems (primarily Linux) in embedded environments. Born from taking mobile phone processors and putting them on low-cost boards to build affordable desktop computers, BeagleBoard.org has evolved to focus on the needs of the "maker" community with greater focus on the I/O needed for controlling motors and reading sensors to build things like robots, 3d printers, flying drones, in-car computer systems and much more. Past BeagleBoard.org GSoC projects included creating an interpreter for tiny CPUs, adding SPI and sensor support to Python, an HTML and git based tutorial sharing environment, porting autopilot software to Linux, an open source 100MHz 14-channel logic analyzer, using Android tablets as Linux displays, putting ADC support in Linux under the IIO framework, using Android phones as a network boot source, Running Arduino code on Linux, Robot Operating System support within the Yocto Project build system, Minix I2C support, an RPC framework for heterogeneous processor communication, a transparent USB packet sniffer, ARM optimizations for XBMC, ARM optimizations for FFTs, make-shift pulse-width-modulation and RPC optimizations for OpenCV. BeagleBoard.org has benefited from sponsorship from Texas Instruments, CircuitCo, Digi-Key, element14 and others, but avoids any dependence on that sponsorship for sustaining the effort. The project has evolved over the past few years with over 1,000,000 boards in circulation with developers worldwide and strong roots in the Linaro, Yocto Project, Angstrom Distribution, Debian and Linux communities---and support for running most major Linux distributions including Ubuntu, Android, Fedora, ArchLinux, Gentoo, Buildroot and many more.

BeagleBoard was inspiration for Raspberry Pi[1] and is available for about $50 through over 30 distributors world-wide (and is even available at Micro Center and Radio Shack in the USA), but is more than a throw-away computer. It is an instance of true open hardware, exposing users to the broader world of electronics, demystifying computers and fostering an environment of clones that have changed the industry for good.

Students will be expected to demonstrate an understanding of cross-compiling before being accepted, but support for demonstration is available through the IRC channel that typically has approximately 150 online chatters logged on at any time, most with sufficient experience to explain the process.

Every accepted student will be sent a BeagleBone Black Wireless, BeagleBone Black, BeagleBone Blue, SeeedStudio BeagleBone Green, SeeedStudio BeagleBone Green Wireless or BeagleBoard-X15 before the first week of coding for testing their project.

Additional hardware will be provided depending on need and value.

For more information, check out http://beagleboard.org and http://beagleboard.org/brief.

Students looking for ideas

Student proposals can encompass projects inspired from the following list of ideas or can include personal project ideas. Previous Google Summer of Code projects show that the key to success is being passionate about your project, so propose something that is extremely interesting to you, even if it is not on this list. We will be glad to help students develop ideas into projects via the BeagleBoard GSoC IRC or the BeagleBoard-GSoC mailing list. There are many potential project ideas and we will match students to projects based on their interests and help scope the proposals to something that can be completed in the Summer of Code timeframe.

There are more than 500 existing projects listed at http://beagleboard.org/project. If you are interested in any of the projects listed on the BeagleBoard.org projects page, contact the project members to see if there are any aspects of their projects that can be enhanced to create a GSoC project. There are also several ideas on the ECE497 class project idea list. You can also check out last year's idea page.

Mentors wondering where to help

Please start by registering your ideas for student projects below by following the template provided with the existing ideas. Furthermore, scroll down to the bottom and give everyone a bit of information about your expertise and availability by adding yourself to the table. Jason will make final approvals for mentor assignments based on if we first get accepted as a mentoring organization and best matching mentor skill sets with student project ideas deemed valuable to the community.

You will also need be invited by an administrator to register on the GSoC site and request to be a mentor for BeagleBoard.org.

General requirements

All projects have the following basic requirements:

  1. Students must create accounts on Github, eLinux, Freenode and Google Groups prior to creating their application.
  2. All newly generated materials must be released under an open source license.
  3. Individual students shall retain copyright on their works.
  4. Students will demonstrate their ability to cross-compile and utilize version control software by creating a "Hello World" application and generating a pull request to https://github.com/jadonk/gsoc-application/tree/master/ExampleEntryJasonKridner. For assistance, please visit http://bbb.io/gsocchat or utilize the beagleboard-gsoc Google Group. The "Hello World" application must print your name and the date out in an ARM Linux environment. Freely available emulators may be used to test your application or you can ask anyone on the chat or mailing list to help you test.
  5. All projects will produce reusable software components and will not be "what–I-built-over-my-summer-vacation" projects. Including a hardware component is welcome, but the project *deliverable* will be software that may be utilized by a wide audience of the BeagleBoard.org community.
  6. Students will demonstrate their ability to collaborate by creating an eLinux wiki page for their proposal and utilizing Freenode to collect quotes regarding the usefulness of their proposal to the BeagleBoard.org community. The wiki timestamp will help mentors recognize the provenance of ideas from prospective students. Use of Google Docs for proposal development is discouraged due to insufficient revision control and extensive use of computing resources having numerous documents open simultaneously.
  7. Source code generated during the project must be released on Github (to be cloned to github.com/beagleboard or merged with appropriate upstream project upon successful completion).
  8. To help you to break your project down into manageable chunks and also to help the project's mentors to better support your efforts, weekly project status reports should be e-mailed to the the beagleboard-gsoc Google Group. Each status report should outline:
    1. what was accomplished that week,
    2. any issues that prevented that week's goals from being completed and
    3. your goals for the next week.
  9. Students will provide two recorded audio/video presentations uploaded to Youtube or Vimeo (screencasts are appropriate), one near the beginning of the project summarizing their project goals and another in the wrap-up phase to summarize their accomplishments. Examples can be found on http://beagleboard.org/gsoc. There is no requirement to show your faces or use English.

Idea template

Description

Goal:
Hardware Skills:
Software Skills:
Possible Mentors:
Upstream Repository:
References:

Ideas

BeagleBone Audio Platform

Goal: BeagleBone and/or BeagleBoard-X15 as Audio Signal Processing Platform (e.g. effects box for musicians), possibly implementing Audio Video Broadcast protocol
Hardware Skills: Possibly design of highly accurate real-time clock cape
Software Skills: User space for demo apps, possibly kernel space for network / PTP timestamping
Possible Mentors: Robert Manzke, Henrik Langer, tbd
Upstream Repository: Beagle Kernel or Use Case repo
References: Audio Project from 2016 BeagleBoard/GSoC/2016_Projects, CTAG face2|4, http://bela.io/, Beagle Audio Cape

BeagleBone synchronous data collection

Goal: Synchronous data collection via the PRU. This complements BeagleLogic which asynchronously acquires data.
Hardware Skills: Understanding of a synchronous signal
Software Skills: C and assembly programming
Possible Mentors: Hunyue Yau
Upstream Repository:
References: BeagleLogic from prior years.

BeagleBone GPU offload

Goal: Sample programs to utilize the GPU for computations. The GPU on most of the BeagleBone/Board are limited to OpenGL ES 2; Goal is to provide sample programs to show using GLES2 for computations.
Hardware Skills: N/A
Software Skills: OpenGLES
Possible Mentors: Hunyue Yau, Robert Manzke
Upstream Repository: possibly thebookofshaders
References: http://thebookofshaders.com/

BeagleBone/Beagle board PRU DMA

Goal: Create a sample program to demostrate using EDMA on the PRU to transfer data to and from the main (DDR) memory with a Linux host. Most existing code utilizes(wastes) the 2nd PRU on the PRUSS for data xfer. Using DMA can allow the PRU to be used for other purposes.
Hardware Skills: Datasheet/specification reading
Software Skills: Assembly language programming/Linux kernel programming
Possible Mentors: Hunyue Yau
Upstream Repository: N/A
References: N/A

BeagleBone Remote Seismometer Node

Goal: Working prototype remote seismometer, web-based control and display. Determine DAC bandwidth and accelerometer requirements, implement data acquisition code, integrate with control / display interface. Stretch goal: integrate device with BOINC/QCN.
Hardware Skills: Datasheet/specification reading, patch cables/breadboard/soldering
Software Skills:C/assembly and python programming, basic understanding of serial buses, sensors and data, physical principles
Possible Mentors: Steve Arnold, Stephanie Lockwood-Childs
Upstream Repository: N/A
References: generic project desc. , BeagleBone Green , quake catcher network , PRU-ICSS

BeagleBone Sonic Anemometer / Basic Weather Station

Goal: Working prototype sonic anemometer using BeagleBone, PRUDAQ, and ultrasonic sensors. Analyze methods for accuracy/sensitivity (eg, time-of-flight vs. phase difference) and implement "best" method. Use PRUs for independent real-time control of ultrasonics. Example architecture and software on github (see repos and references below)
Hardware Skills: Datasheet/specification reading, patch cables/breadboard/soldering (at least two), serial/debug
Software Skills: C/assembly and python programming, basic understanding of serial buses, sensors and data, physical principles
Possible Mentors: Steve Arnold, Stephanie Lockwood-Childs
Upstream Repository: beagle-sonic from prior years, also UChSonicAnemometer from Univ of Chile.
References: PRU-ICSS , sonic anemometer basics

BeagleBone Cubesat Software/Platform Integration

Goal: Integrate BeagleSat "satellite" platform with existing MAVLink/autopilot framework, including previous GSoC BeagleSat magnetometer application. Determine best autopilot platform for BeagleBone (mainly begalepilot vs. apm2) based on science experiment needs; using BeagleSat project magnetic field measurements as example, requirements include SPI burst data reads from 2 independent magnetometers (ie, use BBIO MPU9250 SPI driver for data acquisition). Integrate navigation model with autopilot firmware and selected Beaglebone hardware and data acquisition example.
Hardware Skills: Datasheet/specification reading, soldering/prototyping, serial/debug
Software Skills: high-level language skills (Python, C, etc), some knowledge of micro-controller compilers and targets, kernel config/programming and serial bus interfaces (some)
Possible Mentors: Steve Arnold, Stephanie Lockwood-Childs
Upstream Repository: BeagleSat , MAVLink , BeaglePilot
References: BeagleBone Blue board features , Building (ardupilot) for BeagleBone Black on Linux , MAVLink Commands

BeagleBone-based Serial Terminal Server

Goal: Often in embedded development it is valuable to have a serial terminal server which can retain a serial port connection along with buffered past I/O separate from a typical host PC, either for longer term logging of serial port data or to enable remote management of a device via serial port. Commercial units which have this capability are very expensive. The BeagleBones have 4 highly capable UARTs exposed besides UART0 through the cape connectors and a simple cape hardware could easily enable a BeagleBone to physically have all the interfaces needed to be a serial terminal server. The cape hardware does not need to be created for this project to go forward, so long as other devices which connected to the BeagleBone terminal server used 3.3 V UARTs themselves.

This project would begin with a survey of existing software which could be adapted to provide a terminal server experience (for example something as simple as using GNU screen with some adaptations over an SSH connection to the BeagleBone) and then proceed to create software changes needed to enable such operation in an easy to use and deploy way. This resulting (or found) software would likely end up being generic for Linux based serial terminal servers. The end result of this project should likely be an easy to deploy SD card image to enable someone to setup a low cost serial terminal server based on a BeagleBone in only a few minutes.

A reach goal would be to enable the cape hardware and also to potentially provide DC relays which could switch 5-12 V at 2-3 A such that development boards could be powered on and off through the same software interface as is used for the serial communications. Since hardware is not the focus of GSoC, actual development of such hardware should not be the focus of the project itself.
Hardware Skills: Datasheet/specification reading
Software Skills: C programming/Linux kernel programming
Possible Mentors: Michael Welling
Upstream Repository: N/A
References: N/A

PRUs to offload processing of raw data from on-board Peripherals

Goal: The goal is to be able to access on-board peripherals like the McSPI, McASP etc from the PRUs and to be able to use fetch data directly from these peripherals. This will allow to offload processing of the Raw data onto the PRUs. The project will basically involve developing C libraries for the PRUs to connect to these peripherals, developing DT overlays for the peripherals to be used and developing Drivers to reserver the device on behalf of the PRUs.
Hardware Skills: Datasheet/Specification reading
Software Skills: C programming/Linux Kernel Programming, Assembly language
Possible Mentors: Zubeen Tolani, tbd
Upstream Repository: N/A
References: pru-software-suppor-package

Port BeagleBone USB-based bootloader server from C to JavaScript (node.js)

The BBBlfs project is capable of booting a BeagleBone into USB mass storage class mode. This will eventually be integrated into a variant of http://etcher.io to make an all-in-one BealgeBone flasher/updater.

Goal: Booting BeagleBone into USB mass storage class mode should be as easy as 'npm install beaglebone-boot; cd node_modules/beaglebone-boot; npm start' and connecting the board with the BOOT button pressed via USB.
Hardware Skills: understanding bootloaders, knowledge of USB
Software Skills: C, JavaScript (node.js)
Possible Mentors: Jason Kridner
Upstream Repository: TBD (https://github.com/beagleboard/node-beaglebone-boot)
References: https://github.com/ungureanuvladvictor/BBBlfs, https://boundarydevices.com/u-boot-usb-mass-storage-gadget/, https://github.com/tessel/node-usb

Mentors

Name IRC nickname Native language Other languages Timezone Software help Hardware help Focus projects
Jason Kridner jkridner English - US Eastern JavaScript, C, u-boot wiring, timing diagrams, basic debug BoneScript development
Michael Welling m_w English - US Central C, Linux kernel schematics, PCB, FPGA, Robotics Kernel development
Robert Manzke rma German English, Spanish CET C, C++, JavaScript, Audio Processing, OpenGLES, GLSL Cape Design, Audio Codecs, SPI Audio FX Project, OpenGLES on Beaglebone
Henrik Langer henrix_ German English CET Linux kernel, C, C++, Audio Processing, OpenCL, JavaScript Audio Codecs, I2S, SPI, I2C Audio FX Project
Hunyue Yau ds2 English Pacific C, PASM Any No specific focus/any
Zubeen Tolani zeekhuge Hindi English IST C, PASM PRU, basic debug, wiring PRU based projects
Stephen Arnold nerdboy English Math PST8PDT toolchains, libraries, Python, sensor buses Components/Data sheets, wiring/breadboard, debug Data acquisition, earth science, other fun stuff
Vladimir Pantelic av500 English, German Math CET C, kernel, Android, embedded computing Components/Data sheets, wiring/breadboard, debug electronic music, microcontrollers
Jonathan Cameron Jic23 English GMT Kernel
Matt Porter mdp English C EST5EDT U-Boot, kernel, USB, DMA, performance data sheets, schematic review, debug
Trevor Woerner tlwoerner English EST C, userspace/app development, embedded development, real-time, OE/Yocto/build/CI
Anuj Deshpande anujdeshpande English GMT+530 C, Python, JavaScript. Userspace, web app. debug, schematic
Name IRC nickname Native language Other languages Timezone Software help Hardware help Focus projects

Previous mentors