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Eclipse Authors: Liz McMillan, XebiaLabs Blog, Ken Fogel, Sematext Blog, Marcin Warpechowski

News Feed Item unleashes "cape" plug-in board design contest for BeagleBone enthusiasts worldwide

-- BeagleBone users have two months to design and submit an original cape design.

DALLAS, Nov. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Capes aren't just for Halloween. The beloved cartoon superhero Beagle had a cape that he flew with year-round, and now is asking BeagleBone enthusiasts to create their own "cape" plug-in boards to fly BeagleBone to greater heights. Starting today, developers, makers and hobbyists worldwide are invited to enter the BeagleBone Cape Plug-in Board Design Contest. The three winners of the contest will each be awarded a $1,000 cash prize, BeagleBone tools and the chance to have their original cape plug-in board design manufactured and sold through CircuitCo Electronics. These expansion boards, creatively called "capes," allow hobbyists and makers to quickly and easily enhance BeagleBone's capabilities with cameras, LCD touch screens, motor controls, battery power and more.

Today, thousands of designers, makers, hobbyists and engineers have adopted BeagleBone for its one-of-a-kind functionality as a credit-card-sized Linux computer that connects with the Internet and runs software such as Android 4.0 and Ubuntu. With plenty of I/O and processing power for real-time analysis provided by the Sitara™ AM335x ARM® Cortex™-A8 processor from Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI), the cape plug-in boards help developers differentiate products and accelerate time to market.

BeagleBone Cape Plug-in Board Design Contest guidelines

Contest participants will have until Dec. 31, 2012, to submit an original cape design. Some of the requirements include:

  • Providing a schematic.
  • Designing a cape with bill of materials (BOM) not exceeding $60 if building 500 boards.
  • Recording a video describing the cape idea and uploading it to YouTube.

On Jan. 7, 2013, a listing of all the submitted entries that meet the minimum requirements stated on will be published. A judging panel led by, TI and CircuitCo will determine the three contest winners. The online community can show their support via Google+ and Facebook Likes. Winners will be announced Jan. 14, 2013. Sponsors include TI, CircuitCo, Mouser, Total Phase and Adafruit.

"BeagleBone has already inspired many community members to create innovative technologies such as underwater robots, weather stations and security systems," said Jason Kridner, community advocate, enthusiast and employee of TI. "Our goal with this contest is to continue to cultivate creativity and help hobbyists, developers and students worldwide transform their BeagleBones to fun and practical projects such as the BeagleBone Mustache Cam and 3D printers." community members expand development options for BeagleBone

Inspired to expand development options for their BeagleBone mini-computer platforms, participants in the community have already created numerous cape plug-in boards to enhance the sensors, actuators and interfaces available on the BeagleBone platform. The cape plug-in boards can be plugged into BeagleBone's two 46-pin dual-row expansion headers, providing similar headers so that up to four cape plug-in boards can be stacked at a time.

BeagleBone users also benefit from the thriving community of more than 5,000 active members who interact and collaborate through an online support system. There are currently more than 20 BeagleBone cape plug-in boards that were created by the community. Popular capes include the BeagleBone LCD7 Cape, which delivers touch screen capability, the BeagleBone Camera Cape, which enhances automatic identification and data capture with sensors, and the Weather Cape, which provides data including temperature, barometric pressure, humidity and ambient light.

"The BeagleBone Cape Plug-in Board Design Contest is a way to foster innovation for open hardware and take BeagleBone to the next level," said Clint Cooley, president, CircuitCo. "We're excited to see what contest participants develop and how their designs will impact the open source community moving forward. The possibilities are endless."

For more information and to submit an original cape design, visit For more information about capes, visit


A small group of enthusiastic engineers interested in creating powerful, open and embedded devices are pioneering new ground in open hardware and have worked together on the concept and realization of the BeagleBone, BeagleBoard and BeagleBoard-xM. The resulting open-source hardware platforms bridge desktop and embedded development, allowing developers to design to their specification and collaborate with the open source community on creative new applications. The community has more than 5,000 members and aims to engage passionate developers and fuel their innovations, whether they are designing projects for work or fun. With publicly hosted open source software, social media feeds of on-going development and an active community mailing list and live chat, developers have easy access to support and exchange of ideas. Visit to get started today.


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