Get Started with BeagleBone AI

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BeagleBone AI features powerful machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities for embedded Linux automation, manufacturing and AI applications. This guide will get you started to explore the powerful features the board has to offer.

What you'll need

1x Beaglebone AI

1x Host PC

1x 5V / 15W USB-C Power supply

Power up

Beaglebone AI power
  • Connect your USB C power supply to a socket and the BeagleBone’s power port.

The boot sequence will start, which takes about 60 seconds. The green LED next to the USB-C connector will turn on and the LED’s next to the ethernet port will be indicating as follows:

LEDGPIO signal FunctionLED activity
D2GPIO3_17Linux runningHeartbeat
D3GPIO3_5Micro SD activityOff
D4GPIO3_15CPU activityFlashing
D5GPIO3_14eMMC ActivityOff
D8GPIO3_7WiFi/Bluetooth activityOff

After the boot sequence has completed, the BeagleBone AI will be hosting its own Wifi Access Point (AP) which should be visible in your host PC’s network manager. The SSID will be BeagleBone-XXXX where XXXX varies for each board.

Connect to WiFi

Beaglebone AP
  • Connect to the AP from your host PC using the password BeagleBone. Once a connection is established LED D8 will turn ON

Configure internet access

  • Connect to BeagleBone-XXXX WiFI network from your computer, the default password is BeagleBone.
  • Using Chrome or Firefox, navigate to the BeagleBone’s IP address: You will briefly see the following Cloud 9 screen:

Internet Explorer will not work correctly

Cloud 9

You will then be greeted with the BeagleBone’s Terminal interface showing a message about upgrading your software.
First, you’ll need to connect your BeagleBone to the internet through your WiFi.

Beagleboard connect to wifi
  • Enter the commands listed in bold into the blue bash-“beaglebone” tab pressing return after each one. Ensure to replace the line starting MyWifi with your WiFi’s id which will appear in the Terminal window as you go through the process.
  • Enter your WiFi’s password when prompted with Passphrase?

You should now have your BeagleBoard AI connected to your WiFi network and your host PC. This is a one-off process to configure the board and it should reconnect automatically when switched on.

On our BeagleBone, after re-booting the USB0 interface was configured as the default route. We edited /etc/network/interfaces in the bash terminal adding the following to the end of the file to set the gateway for wlan0 and re-booted:

iface wlan0
	# Your gateway IP

Update Linux kernel & system components

To ensure the BeagleBone AI is using the latest Linux kernel, it is recommended to complete the following updates.

  • Enter the following commands displayed in bold in the bash Terminal window:
    debian@beaglebone:/var/lib/cloud9$ cd /opt/scripts
    debian@beaglebone:/opt/scripts$ git pull
    Already up-to-date.
    debian@beaglebone:/opt/scripts$ sudo tools/
    [sudo] password for debian:temppwd
    debian@beaglebone:/opt/scripts$ sudo shutdown -r now
  • Reboot the BeagleBone by pressing on the Reset button.
Beaglebone AI reset

When the BeagleBone starts up and Cloud 9 IDE reconnects, you’ll need to update the distribution components and example code.Enter the following commands displayed in bold the bash terminal:

debian@beaglebone:/var/lib/cloud9$ sudo apt update
[sudo] password for debian:temppwd
debian@beaglebone:/var/lib/cloud9$ sudo apt upgrade
debian@beaglebone:/var/lib/cloud9$ sudo apt install -y ti-tidl mjpg-streamer-opencv-python
debian@beaglebone:/var/lib/cloud9$ git pull

Example code

In the left-hand panel of the Cloud 9 IDE are several example applications each with information on how to run them, covering:

DSP programming with OpenCL

BeagleBone’s PRU (Programmable Real-time Unit)

TI Deep Learning (TIDL) API with mjpg-streamer

beaglebone sample code


Avoid corrupting the eMMC storage by shutting down the system correctly.

  • Enter the following command from the Cloud 9 bash terminal:
    sudo shutdown -h now

The system can take up to a minute to shut down. Afterwards, all the LED’s on the board will be off and any Cloud 9 connections will terminate. Only remove the power supply once the shutdown sequence has completed.

BeagleBone AI has a Power button next to the Ethernet connector but this doesn’t shut the system down. It can, however, be used to boot the board after it has powered off.

Beaglebone AI power button


Congratulations! You have setup the BeagleBone AI with a wireless connection to your network and updated the system and software to the latest versions.

You can now begin to explore the examples available from within the Cloud 9 IDE that demonstrate the capabilities of this powerful development board.

The board also comes with very detailed on-line technical documentation in the System Reference Manual.


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