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Current Ideas Page

I'm saving off this copy of the ideas page before revamping it in any significant way for the 2013 application.

Welcome! hopes to be accepted as a mentoring organization in the Google Summer of Code for 2013!! Here we collect project ideas for the 2013 GSoC.

Background 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, 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 GSoC projects included 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. has benefited from sponsorship from Texas Instruments, CircuitCo, Digi-Key and others, but avoids any dependence on that sponsorship for sustaining the effort. The project has evolved over the past few years with over 100,000 boards in circulation with developers and strong roots in the Linaro, Yocto Project, Angstrom Distribution and Linux communities---and support for running most major Linux distributions including Ubuntu, Android, Fedora, Debian, ArchLinux, Gentoo, Buildroot and many more.

All accepted students will get hardware before the first week of coding for testing their project. 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 about 150 people logged-in, most with sufficient experience to explain the process.

For more information check out and

Students looking for ideas

Student proposals can create projects from the following ideas or propose their own project based on their own ideas. From reading about previous Google Summer of Code projects, the key to success is being passionate about your project, so propose something that is extremely interesting to you, even if it not on the list. We will be glad to help students develop ideas into projects on the BeagleBoard IRC or the BeagleBoard mailing list. There are many more ideas of what can be done and we will match projects to students interest and help scope the proposal to something that can be completed in the Summer of Code time-frame.

There are more than 300 existing projects listed at If you are interested in one of those projects, talk with the project members to see if there are any aspects of their projects with which they can help you contribute. There are also several ideas on the ECE497 class project idea list.

Mentors wondering where to help

Please start by registering your idea below following the template given by the existing examples. Further, scroll down to the bottom and give everyone a bit of information about your expertise and availability by adding yourself to the table.

General requirements

All projects have the following basic requirements:

  1. The project must be registered on
  2. All newly generated materials must be released under an open source license.
  3. Individual students shall retain copyright on their works.
  4. Source code generated during the project must be released on (to be cloned to on successful completion).
  5. The registration on must include an RSS feed with project announcements and updates at every milestone. Sources for the RSS feed should be,, or some other established blog hosting service with known reliability.
  6. To help you to break your project down into manageable chunks and also help the project's mentors to better support your efforts, weekly project status reports should be e-mailed to the project's mentors and the organization administrator (Jason Kridner). 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.
  7. Students will provide two recorded presentations, 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
  8. 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 For assistance, please visit 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 to test your application or you can ask anyone on the chat or mailing list to help you test.
  9. 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 community.

Fundamental infrastructure projects

These projects fundamentally improve support of existing open source projects for ARM-based devices in general and the BeagleBoard in specific, bringing the broad body of high-level open source applications into smaller, lower-cost, lower-power systems that can go anywhere.

Improve boot support

There are many bootloaders available for the BeagleBoard and other ARM embedded devices, and all can be given improvements for ease-of-use for new users. Nevertheless, U-boot is the most used one and the one that most new Beagleboard users will come in contact with, so improving U-boot for new users gives the most benefit for the project.


  • U-boot updates
    • Add support for the OMAP3 EHCI controller in U-boot
      • BeagleBoard and BeagleBoard-xM both have an USB EHCI controller that is currently not supported by U-boot
      • OMAPPedia reports some patches are available for PandaBoard that could be reused for BeagleBoard
    • Add support for USB MSC devices
    • Add support for the Ethernet controller on the BeagleBoard-xM that is connected via the EHCI controller
    • Verify TFTP support
    • Debug USB OTG MUSB driver
    • Clean up DFU patch on mailing list and get accepted mainline
    • Replace x-loader with u-boot SPL for NAND
    • Replace x-loader with u-boot SPL for MMC/SD
    • Replace x-loader with u-boot SPL for USB
    • Replace x-loader with u-boot SPL for serial
  • Create console or Qt-based helper application to boot BeagleBoard entirely over USB, including loading kernel over DFU or TFTP and NFS-mounting the file system

Possible mentors: Jason Kridner, Khasim Syed Mohammed, Steve Sakoman, Dirk Behme, Laine Walker-Avina

Display driver improvements

Many people get stuck with the BeagleBoard due to being unable to configure the resolution and timing for their monitor. Fortunately, the BeagleBoard hardware is quite capable of reading the EDID information from the monitor, enabling the software to


  • Add EDID reading support into the BeagleBoard kernel
  • Add automated resolution configuration
  • Implement Xrandr for BeagleBoard

Existing project: linux-omap
Software skills: C, ARMv7 assembly (desired), Linux kernel driver development, X11 knowledge
Possible mentors:

JTAG debugging

Implement, configure and document a complete open source based JTAG debugging development chain for ARM Cortex A8 in OMAP3 used on Beagle Board. This includes final port of open source JTAG software OpenOCD for OMAP3 on Beagle, and then configure and document all software (and hardware) components involved. This could look like:

ARM Cortex A8 <-> OMAP3 <-> BeagleBoard <-> Flyswatter (*) <-> OpenOCD <-> GDB <-> Eclipse (CDT)

(*) Note: Flyswatter is used as example JTAG dongle here. All OpenOCD JTAG dongles able to deal with 1.8V and configure EMUx pins correctly can be used.

Goal: Able to single step kernel code using OpenOCD, GDB, and Eclipse
Existing project: OpenOCD
Hardware skills: Able to monitor logic-level digital signals
Software skills: C, ARMv7 assembly
Possible mentors: Dirk Behme, Laine Walker-Avina

NOTE: TinCanTools will donate Flyswatter boards for this project

Multimedia and user experience projects

Add DSP support to VLC

Possible mentors: Vladimir Pantelic

Add DSP support to MPlayer

MPlayer is often used to play video on the Beagleboard and a lot of users are asking for it. Most are surprised that there is no DSP support (yet). Task to be performed would be to add DSP support to MPlayer using TI DSPLink and CodecEngine and the free DSP codecs that TI provides. CE support already exists in a branch of VLC, the task is to make that also work in MPlayer and do that in a memory efficient way (0-copy between ARM and DSP components)

Goal: Able to play video in MPlayer using DSP codecs
Existing project:
Existing project:
Software skills: C
Possible mentors: Vladimir Pantelic

DSP accelerated color conversion

Multimedia on the Beagleboard can already make use of the DSP, yet there are still steps like color conversion that can take a lot of CPU resources (e.g. in gstreamer). Task to be performed is to move some of that processing to the DSP side where possible, preferably to run in parallel with ARM side processing. C6Accel could be used as the framework to run parts of the SW on the DSP.

Goal: Able to do e.g. DSP color conversion in a gstreamer pipeline or in FFmpeg/Mplayer
Existing project:
Existing project:
Existing project:
Existing project:
Software skills: C
Possible mentors: Diego Dompe

DSP accelerated USB webcam gadget

The Linux USB stack now has a webcam gadget, this means a Beagleboard with a connected camera can act as an USB webcam towards a host PC. Using CodecEngine and the TI DSP codecs, the webcam gadget could use the DSP to more efficiently stream already compressed video data to the host PC.

Goal: Able to stream encoded (MJPG/H264) video data to the host using the USB webcam gadget
Existing project:
Existing project:
Software skills: C
Possible mentors:  ???

Speech recognition

TI has released source for a speech recognition library that runs on the ARM processor of the OMAP3 on the BeagleBoard. This software has now a LGPL v2.1 license. Using speech recognition library, several tasks could be performed:

  • Voice recognition integrated into Ubiquity: Integrate Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Ubiquity, and voice recognition on the BeagleBoard with a microphone. Use of a Wiimote could provide additional interactive capabilities.

Creating a gstreamer plugin for the library would improve the ability of other applications to use it.

Existing project:
Possible mentors: Lorin Netsch, Sourabh Ravindran, Diego Dompe (if done with gstreamer)

Add DSP support to GNU radio

Goal: GNU Radio is a popular Software Defined Radio package for PC based computers. GNU Radio also runs on the Beagleboard and can make use of the floating point unit on the ARM. However, the DSP on the Beagleboard has tremendous potential for increasing GNU Radio's capability on small hardware. The project difficulty is based on the level of effort desired by the student, it should be fairly easy to create a standalone GNU Radio block that talks to the DSP via dsplink, or very complex to modify the GNU Radio block scheduler to launch block on the DSP directly.
Existing project: GNURadio
Software skills: C++
Mentors: Philip Balister

Optimize OpenCV with C6Accel

Possible mentors: Leo Estavez, Gagan Maur

Hardware + software projects

These are "Make"-style projects that advance general knowledge for creating and improving end products for consumers. These projects should need to generate code, not just documentation, and the hardware steps should be reasonably simple to reproduce.

Create JavaScript tutorial for hardware control

Create a live-editable tutorial written in HTML and JavaScript to explore I/O (GPIO, I2C, SPI, USB, etc.) using the Linux kernel. The Node.JS JavaScript interpreter enables you to use your

Existing project: Node.JS-based Cloud9 IDE running on a BeagleBoard
Existing project: HTML and JavaScript slideshow Education application to hold the tutorial
Existing project: Matrix GUI

  • Bundle Cloud9 into an Angstrom recipe for easy installation
  • Bundle the Education application into an Angstrom recipe as well
  • Create server-side library for GPIO that probes the kernel to discover the GPIO pins
  • Create browser-side library for exposing GPIOs and events in the browser upon GPIO interrupt events
  • Create libraries for I2C
  • Create libraries for SPI
  • Create libraries for USB HID host
  • Create libraries for USB GadgetFS and HID client
  • Modify Matrix to provide local hosting of the Education application

Possible mentor: Jason Kridner

BeagleWall + Kinect

Update the software utilized by the BeagleWall to create a screen-less green screen effect where foreground objects are superimposed on the video being played. A threshold on the depth channel would be turned into a alpha channel to enable overlay.

Existing project: omapfbplay
Existing project: libfreenect
Possible mentor: Mans, whatnick, Mark Yoder

Beagleboard Hardware Control Library

Create a user space library that makes using hardware connected to the Beagleboard expansion connectors easier to use. This includes functions to control GPIO pins (and trigger on GPIO Interrupts) and to send and receive data over I2C and SPI. All this should be well documented so that a new Beagleboard user can learn quickly how to control and interact with attached hardware.

Goal: provide a library to interface with GPIO, I2C and SPI on the Beagleboard
Hardware skills: basic
Software skills: C
Possible mentor: ???

Adding Sense to Beagle

Sensory aware applications are becoming more mainstream with the release of the Apple iPhone. This project would combine both HW and SW to add sensory awareness to beagle. First, additional modules such as GPS, 3-axis accelerometers, Gyroscopes, Temperature Sensors, Humidity Sensors, Pressure Sensors, etc, would be added to beagle to compliment the microphone input in order to allow sensing of the real world environment. Then SW APIs would need to be layered on top to allow easy access to the sensory data for use by applications.

The Freespace module is already working with the BeagleBoard as are many other sensors. This project should seek to summarize how to connect as many sensors as possible on one place on the eLinux wiki.

Possible mentor: Mark Yoder

CarPC API and implementation

Creating a set of APIs and libraries allowing for rapid deployment of flexible modular CarPC environments. The project is about creating toolkit for the enthusiasts easying the creation of beagleboard-based customized carputers, covering the hardware interaction and providing an object-oriented interface to both rich input data (GPS data, maps, OBD and similar buses, voice control, cameras, internet data on traffic, variety of HID input sources, et cetera) and different output options randing from a trivial alphanumeric LCD panel to multiple displays with personal audio jacks. Ideally, this would drastically lower the entry barrier into carputer programming drawing more developpers in and abstracting them from hardware implementation, in the same time allowing the freedom of component choices which would promote DIY carputer asssembly. The code should as well be as compatible as possible with existing Linux CarPC projects(LinuxICE) and new idustry initiative GenIVI (which aims at using MeeGo).

Community infrastructure projects

Updating UI/backend

The website is currently written in JavaScript using Helma and makes use of several Java components through JavaScript. One advantage of this is you can actually run an instance of the web server on the BeagleBoard with a full clone of the website.

Software skills: JavaScript, XML, HTML/CSS
Mentor: Jason Kridner

To be classified

Angstrom Linux and Rowboat Android

Some people want to play Angry Birds or run other Android apps on their BeagleBoard. Of course, you could use the Rowboat Android project as-is, but then you'd have to give up all of their typical Linux/X11 applications available in Angstrom. This project would use an Android-enabled kernel and a combination of both an Angstrom and Rowboat Android file system. The input and display methods required for Android would need to be adjusted to run within an X11 window.


  • Rowboat running in a window
  • Provide input method that works in a window
  • Phase 2: Use adb to invoke apps
  • Phase 3: Hide window when at the launcher
  • Phase 4: Enable SGX in the Android
  • Phase 5: Add Rowboat build into Angstrom (maybe this should go first?)
  • Phase 6: Start using the user libs from Angstrom (probably futile)


Easy Video Chat Client on Beagle Board. Porting Ekiga ( - an open source VoIP and video conferencing application for GNOME. The client should be able to talk to ekiga software running on PC as well as another beagle board. Optimizations would involve porting audio and video codecs on Ekiga to DSP plus supporting video streaming over USB for webcam support.

Raw ideas that need to be fleshed out

Some additional ideas can be found on the BeagleBoard contest page and the BeagleBoard project page.

  • RTEMS BSP for Beagle board: Medium RTEMS is a free real-time operating system. This project would require developing an RTEMS Board Support Package for the Beagle board. The Beagle board has come up multiple times in our community as a excellent device for students, hobbyists, and a starting point for customized boards. I am the maintainer of RTEMS and would be willing to co-mentor this with someone from the Beagle board community. --JoelSherrill 23:12, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Spectrum analyzer using the DSP: Medium Write a program that uses the DSP to take an alsa input and to all the math and a GUI on the arm that display the realtime spectrum. The DSP side needs to use xdais so other DSP programs can run at the same time.
  • Porting open-source codec to DSP (MadPlay, VLC, some of the mplayer codecs …: Medium
  • OpenGL DSP acceleration: Hard Research and implement OpenGL ES using the DSP on beagleboard. The DSP side needs to use xdais so other DSP programs can run at the same time. Can take a look at Vincent OpenGL ES open source implementation and add DSP to it
  • beagle as DLNA/upnp renderer, server, controller, or media player.
  • Wiimote + Pico Projector + 3D art tool
  • OpenCL implementation that uses the DSP and/or NEON (could be used as framework for any dsp/neon acceleration)
  • Video extender – take in video via usb webcam, compress it using video encoder, stream it over ethernet (could be like a security camera). Could/should be implemented using DLNA protocols (e.g. view on ps3 or tv's).


Name IRC nickname Native language Other languages Timezone Software help Hardware help Focus projects
Jason Kridner jkridner English - US Central web development, C, shell/perl scripting wiring, timing diagrams, basic debug infrastructure improvements
Leo Estevez TBD Spanish English, French, German(basic) US Central C, mobile operating systems wiring, timing diagrams, basic debug computer vision
Hunyue Yau ds2 English US Pacific Android, C, Linux, scripting Yes
Frans Meulenbroeks eFfeM Dutch English, basic understanding of German CET C, User Interface, Linux, booting, performance improvement, networking technology no
Kevin Hilman khilman English fluent in French US Pacific
Luis Gustavo Lira Spanish fluent in English and French)
Koen Kooi _koen_ Dutch Fluent in English CET Buildsystem integration, distribution not really
Katie Roberts-Hoffman katier English nope US Central Android, DSP integration (Link/CE/etc) nope
Mans Rullgard mru English, Swedish Some German GMT C, Assembler
Mike Zucchi notzed English Australia/South C, Assembly, Java, SIMD. Applications, libraries, GUI, multi-threading. not much
Philip Balister Crofton
Robert Nelson rcn-ee English - US Central C, Shell Scripting, Deb packaging
Soren Steen Christensen soren.ssc Danish Fluent in English and some German CET C/C++, ASM, Device Drivers OMAP chip, HW design, Low level development & debuging All kind of HW and low level SW stuff
Mark Yoder yoder
Jeff Osier-Mixon jefro English (US) US Pacific documentation
Laine Walker-Avina Ceriand English US Pacific C, Assembly, Buildroot USB protocol & logic analyzers, Various JTAG probes OpenOCD, bootloaders, Linux kernel
Frank Walzer franktango German English CET C++, OOP Debug, JTAG, Interfaces Graphics, GUI, Build systems
Khasim Syed Mohammed khasim English Hindi India C, C++, Assembly, Linux device drivers, board bring up, bootloaders Schematic review, board development
Siji Sunny siji English Hindi India C,Operating Systems(Ubuntu-Arm,Angstrom,Android,Debian),Open Source Application/GUI Development(Clutter,GTK),RF Programming,Language Computing,Text processing,Unicode,Fonts No Language Computing, Text Processing, Operating System, Text To speech ,GUI,Build Systems
Devaraj Rangasamy Deva Hindi, Tamil English India Android, Linux Kernel Base Port No Language Computing, Text Processing, Operating System, Text To speech
Joel Sherrill DrJoel English - US Central RTEMS maintainer, real-time, cross tools No RTEMS BSP
Diego Dompe ddompe spanish english GMT -6.00 Expert on most areas of embedded development, Gstreamer, GUI, DSP development No GStreamer