The BeagleBone Black is a low-cost credit-card-sized development platform with good support from a fast growing community. The BeagleBone Black differs slightly from the regular version by providing you with an onboard micro HDMI port, 512MB of DDR3L DRAM, 4GB onboard flash memory, an AM3358 processor at 1GHz, and making JTAG optional with a user supplied header. Ultimately, the BeagleBone Black is still perfect for physical computing and smaller embedded applications.
With plenty of I/O and processing power for real-time analysis provided by the TI Sitara™ AM3358 ARM® Cortex™-A8 processor, BeagleBone Black can be complemented with cape plug-in boards which augment Black’s functionality. They’re called capes because Underdog is a beagle and he wears a cape. Makes sense, right?
At over 3 million Dhrystone operations per second and vector floating point arithmetic operations, BeagleBone Black is capable of not just interfacing to all of your robotics motor drivers, location or pressure sensors and 2D or 3D cameras, but also running OpenCV, OpenNI and other image collection and analysis software to recognize the objects around your robot and the gestures you might make to control it. Through onboard micro HDMI or VGA and LCD expansion boards, it is capable of decoding and displaying multiple video formats utilizing a completely open source software stack and synchronizing playback over Ethernet or USB with other BeagleBoards to create massive video walls. If what you are into is building 3D printers, then BeagleBone Black has the extensive PWM capabilities, the on-chip Ethernet and the 3D rendering and manipulation capabilities all help you eliminate both your underpowered microcontroller-based controller board as well as that PC from your basement.