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Current Ideas Page

For a quick view of how the BeagleBoard relates to the open source development community, take a listen to Mans and Koen's interview with the Linux Outlaws.


Summer code of ideas for 2009

This page collects ideas for BeagleBoard specific Google Summer of Code 2009. Some additional ideas can be found on the BeagleBoard contest page and the BeagleBoard project page.

Student proposals can create projects from the following ideas, or students are free to propose their own project based on their own ideas. From reading about previous Summer of Code, the key to success are people passionate about their 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 irc or the mailing list. Don't worry about the sheer number of ideas we have, we will be glad to match projects to students interest and help scope the proposal to something that can be completed in the Summer of Code timeframe.

Also look at for some projects that use the Beagle Board. If you are interested in one of these projects, talk with the project members to see if there are any projects they can help you with.

The Easy, Medium, and Hard grouping for the ideas is very subjective. What is easy for one person, may be hard for another.



VNC client on Beagle board

Enable Virtual Network Computing on Beagle board to allow remote access to desktops. TightVNC ( derived from VNC can be ported to a Embedded Linux distribution.


MP3 player based on Beagle Board. This could involve porting Rockbox ( - an open source firmware for mp3 players to Beagle Board. Additional effort would involve creating Rockbox plugins to port the audio decoders and encoders to the DSP side. MTP device class support need to be added on USB as well.


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.

Ubuntu Mobile on Beagle MID

Porting ubuntu mobile version on Beagle board ( and enable support for standard applications used in standard internet tablets/MIDs - media player, browser.

Open source 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.

Beagle variant of "from 0 to 60 in 5 seconds" make a beagle that starts in < 5 seconds

Modify Beagle boot loader and OS to boot in < 5 seconds. While for desktop systems boot time might not be critical, for an embedded system like Beagle Board it often is. For an embedded system there often are external requirements which need fast boot to react properly to external events. For example external sensor signals, user input or even wake up signals in extremely deep sleep which needs re-start of operating system.

For Linux OS, there are already several resources how to reduce boot time available, e.g. boot time and suspend to disk for ARM articles.

Review, select, and apply some of the known technologies for BeagleBoard.

Ideally, should come up to a GUI prompt, such as with Android, Angstrom, or Ubuntu.


NEON Support for FFTW

FFTW is a library for calculating the Fast Fourier Transform. The current implementation of FFTW contains SIMD optimizations for several instructions sets. It should be possible to add optimizations for the NEON SIMD co-processor in the Beagle Board. FFTW is widely used in the open source sommunity and this project would make FFTW far more useful on processors with NEON instructions. The mentor is particularly interested in improving GNU Radio on the OMAP3 and improving FFTW performance would be very useful.

Codec Engine (C64x+) implementation of Ogg Theora

There was a Neuros GSoC project to port Ogg Theora to the C64x+ last year, but it was never finished. See the Neuros project page to understand the status.

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.

Audio-based translator

Utilizing voice recognition on the BeagleBoard with a microphone, submit text to Google Translator, then perform text-to-speech.

Spectrum analyzer using the DSP

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.

Android integrated into embedded distributions

Utilize Open Embedded to build Android including Android kernel patches and integration of accelerated multimedia. Add the 'repo' tool to Open Embedded to pull the Android open source code, apply kernel patches, and patch Android to utilize OpenGLES and GStreamer with the GStreamer-TI plugins. Android file system would co-exist with Angstrom file system.

Cairo support for OpenVG

Cairo has an experimental openvg backend (found at And there is some work that shows noticeable performance improvements on top level applications like webkit (

Port MPlayer or GStreamer with DSP codec support

GStreamer is a multimedia package that handles streaming and file playback for a variety of multimedia files. The port was done for DaVinci, it would be cool to have a simiilar port done for Beagleboard.

USB Webcam

Implement a USB Webcam (video input) driver for the BeagleBoard.

Ogg Vorbis audio xDM encode and decode codecs

Implement NTFS and/or Mac OSX file systems

Read/write for SD cards and such

Develop a ‘simple’ DSP loader Linux application that will allow user to load DSP image from ARM side

Porting open-source codec to DSP (MadPlay, VLC, some of the mplayer codecs …


USB sniffer

Come up with a USB sniffer solution. Idea is that the device to be sniffed is connected to the USB host port of the beagle and the beagle itself to the original host. The beagle will pass-trhu all usb data while logging that data. This could be a great help diagnosing USB problems or reengineering USB communication to a device (by logging the behaviour of a device when connected to a PC (software solutions for that exist too (usbsnoop), but a hardware solution could also support replay etc.

USB device audio support

The Linux USB gadget infrastructure doesn't have audio device class support (but Linux does have USB host audio support. There is some work on a gadget MIDI audio driver. Some work has been done over at Blackfin, but is reported as not working very well. Getting USB isochronous endpoint, gadget audio driver connected to audio on BeagleBoard would be beneficial to all OMAP3 isochronous USB needs, better isochronous gadget support in Linux (there are no standard gadgets test for isochronous endpoints), and a prove out a real gadget driver that requires isochronous endpoints. Anyone wanting to learn about communication protocols, a well designed layered communication implementation, and a chance to work at the driver level will enjoy this project.

Touchscreen and LCD open hardware design

BeagleBoard rev C has a new connector for attaching an LCD. The Touchscreen and LCD open hardware design project would consist of a schematic, PCB layout, and bill of materials that can be purchased easily over the Internet. On online PCB fab could make the PCBs cheaply. Only a soldering iron should be needed to populate the PCB. Once built, the user could connect the PCB to their BeagleBoard had have an LCD with touchscreen support. This project is targeted toward those interested in hardware and shouldn't require any complex software if a well supported touch screen controller chip is selected.

OpenCV DSP acceleration

Research and implement hardware acceleration for OpenCV using the DSP on beagleboard. The DSP side needs to use xdais so other DSP programs can run at the same time.

Power Aware Computing APIs

Power consumption is a major problem in mobile devices. While there are many HW level power management features in processors such as the OMAP35x, SW lacks the ability to manipulate and control those features. Research those power features and implement kernel APIs to allow applications to manage their power more efficiently.

OpenGL DSP acceleration

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

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.

Port XBMC Media Center to Beagle Board

XBMC is an open-source, cross platform media center that would allow you to display high definition video on your TV that is streamed from your local network or the internet. XBMC on Beagle Board would would be a very low cost, low power platform that would allow the media center to literally be embedded in the TV. XBMC could run on an Ubuntu distribution of Linux and would requiring the development of OpenGL ES complaint DirectFBGL drivers.

Smart Energy Monitoring Console

The ZigBee Smart Energy profile is a wireless standard for utility companies and consumers to securely monitor and manage home energy consumption by communicating directly with smart appliances that report their power usage. By interfacing the Beagle Board to an MCU and RF transceiver monitoring the energy consumption of a home and it's appliances, the Beagle Board could act as a dedicated terminal to track and control energy usage of power hungry devices.

Wiigle Board (low cost video game platform)

Develop an open source platform for video game development by generating the drivers to standard interfaces such as wireless accelerometers or game controllers. Off the self microcontrollers can be leverages to handle the I/O and RF interfaces, and the Beagle Board would handle all processing and display. By generating a clean, open standard, the community could port existing games or use this as their preferred platform for video game development. The concept could be extended by porting known console emulators (NES, Genesis, SNES, etc) to run classic games on a unified, low cost platform.

x86 emulation

Development or tuning the an emulator like qemu to emulate the x86 instruction set at a reasonable speed to run legacy x86 apps developed for another non Linux OS. Possiblities include Windows 9x, 2000, etc. An alternative approach to use qemu to emulate an x86 Linux system and run Wine up top of that. Yet another approach might be to add an emulation engine inside wine. The goals is to be able to run x86 applications. The OS is optional.

MUSB enhancements

The MUSB block on the Beagle has a lot of potential but the driver is currently rather buggy. This project will be to fix the driver so the MUSB implementation as paired with the PHY used on the Beagle board can work reliably as a USB OTG device. This means it should be able to at least reliably go back and forth between host and device mode without a reboot by just changing from a A to a B cable AND be able to force host or device mode in software. See the Nokia N8x0 devices for a sample behavior of how software can force this. An initial estimate is code needs to be implemented to force the PHY into host or device mode as requested by SysFS.

Android running as a windowed application

Modify Android to work within an embedded system as a windowed application.

Real-time audio room analyzer/equalizer

Implement a real-time audio room analyzer/equalizer. Using techniques such as PN sequence “noise” correlation, analyze the acoustic characteristics of a room and adjust the multiband filter responses for the high fidelity music output, all in real-time. If the room acoustics change, even with something as transient as a person walking into the room, the filters adjust in real time to maintain the same frequency response for the specified region of the room.

Adjustable sweet spot for a high-end sound system

Create an adjustable sweet spot for a high-end sound system. Use a sensor (thermal, webcam, whatever) to determine the placement of humans in the audience of a home theater or small concert hall. Using appropriate timing delays in all pass filters and perhaps adjusting the frequency response, provide an optimized “sweet spot” for a 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1 sound system. The program will be able to “move, ” “grow,” or “shrink” the sweet spot area to provide the best acoustic experience for the greatest number of audience members, or as determined by some other user selectable criteria.

Inexpensive teleprompter that adapts to the speaker

Design a small inexpensive teleprompter that adapts to the speaker. Using an image sensor and appropriate algorithms to determine the speaker’s location and direction of gaze, use a picoprojector to project the teleprompter output on a variety of predetermined surfaces. The surfaces could be special glass as with current teleprompters or simply a convenient wall of the room! As the speaker moves their head or even moves around the stage or room, the teleprompter provides the projected output where needed.

Protect the ears of concert-goers

Protect the ears of concert-goers. Design a wideband real-time beamformer that would direct less sound energy to the front rows of a concert hall or stadium and more to the back rows, to equalize the relative volume. Since beamforming algorithms are frequency (wavelength) dependent, the BeagleBoard would need to analyze the music content and adjust the beamforming parameters as needed in real-time.


GPS application that works with USB GPS receiver (e.g. or

Jogger’s Friend

Gather heart-rate data and GPS position information Use it to analyse the value of exercise and to suggest different exercise patterns to optimise the benefit to each individual.

HiFi Companion

Develop analysis algorithms to characterise the acoustic properties of a room, then present suggestions to optimise those characteristics to get best results from audio systems

Voice Scrambler

Develop algorithms for real-time scrambling of voice conversations for transmission across unsedcured connections.

Brain Mouse

Interpret brain signals so that a PC cursor can be controlled by thoughts to point and click on the screen.

Intelligent Thermostat

Improve the thermostatic control of a domestic heating system by more intelligent control based on the analysis of forecast weather. Enable remote control of the system through IP Internet access.

Open Source PLC

Imagine Beagle opening and closing curtains, rendering audio when someone enters a room, turning on a fan as the temperature rises in a trombe wall - but only if the room temperature is cool, or a million other control applications. There are several automation standards, including [IEC 61131] and [AutomationML]. However, there is no open source software available that implements any of these standards (puffin/MatPLC seems to have fizzled)! Create an Open Source PLC project supporting a freely accessible standard.

One-laptop-per-child ( ) with Beagle

Ideas not worked out

Move Firefox to Cairo on OpenVG and minimize memory footprint

Implement OpenVG with the C64x and DMAs

more codecs on the dsp (e.g. mp3 encoder/decoder, mpeg2 decoder, codecs for IP telephony (with video), ...)

port LXDE (see

beagle as upnp renderer

good text to speech support, xDM-based algorithm

Clean MythTV, Boxee, XBMC, or Miro builds

facial recognition with depth analysis using pico projector and webcam

Poert face-recognition and/ore fingerprint recognition user app running on top of Android OS thru USB webcam

high-speed 3d scanning with pico projector and webcam

implementing a single pixel camera with beagleboard, pico projector and webcam; accelerate processing using DSP

USB class converters (MTP to mass-storage, audio to midi, ...) or invasive sniffer

Wiimote + Pico Projector + 3D art tool

Extend Android with extra sensory operations (GPIO/PWM controls, temperature sensors, barometers, etc.)

DSP libraries for Android (both portable C and optimized implementations with C64x+ and/or NEON)

Gesture-controlled web browser

Power monitoring (

Off-line Google App host on an SD card

Commodore 64 emulator via S-Video and Bluetooth keyboard

Printer and Scanner Drivers for Beagle

JPEG2000 codec running on BeagleBoard

Video extender – take in video via usb webcam, compress it using video encoder, stream it over ethernet (could be like a security camera)

DVD player – hook up USB dvdrom drive and playback video and audio

Receive and/or transmit IR signals (like from a remote control. Since I don’t think Beagle has an IR receiver, you’d probably need something like (there are many others out there, too

Recording/logging data coming from instrumentation (e.g. Fluke multi-meter) … even better, combine with some DSP algorithm to “crunch” the data.

====Telescope interface that let a telescope track items in the sky (important if you’re trying to photograph things). Something along these lines for Beagle might be neat.

USB midi keyboard interfacing

Beagle-based Linux Fileserver

Beagle-based Skype phone (VOIP application that connects microphone & speaker to ethernet). Could use either USB or Audio headset/mic-speaker

Solar cell powered beagle-board (hardware/software). For potential laptop/computer applications

Incorporate accelerometer (SPI or I2C interface) to lay the foundation for neat motion detection apps (hardware/software)====Youtube on Linux (Angstrom) on Beagleboard

ekiga Wi Fi Video Softphone (existing open source video conferencing code )that works on Linux (Angstrom) on Beagleboard Ekiga is already compiled for the arm-7 on Angstrom ( So The project would be to optimize it for the Beagle (and probably some debugging as Ekiga on beagle apparently is not that stable).

Cellular Wireless card plug into USB on Beagleboard (

Windows CE 6.0R2 running on Beagleboard using armv7 (Cortex A8) instruction set

2D Graphics acceleration using Cortex A8 Neon Coprocessor on Beagleboard

SWFDEC using Cortex A8 / Neon coprocessor for acceleration