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I am working on a remote control project that involves using Node.js and Socket.io to transmit joystick data from a webpage to my BeagleBone Black.

However, I am somewhat disappointed with the BeagleBone - it seems like what should be such simple tasks such as connecting to Wi-Fi can be quite tricky...

My question is: Are there alternative boards I should be looking at? Boards that also have Node.js libraries with PWM support, could stream video from a webcam, but are easier to set up and have a larger developer community?

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In addition to the RPi, as TobiasK suggests, the Arduino boards have:

to mention but a few links.


However, before you abandon your BeagleBone, have you looked at:

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You will find only two boards with a larger developer community and one of them is supporting node.js, PWMs and USB-interfaces. It is the raspberry Pi.

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You could also consider the ESP8266. It can be programmed directly with the Arduino Developers Kit (see ESP8266 Arduino). In that sense the developer community overlaps heavily with that of the Arduino family. The way it integrates into the Arduino SDK basically makes it just another flavor of Arduino, although the pinouts aren't physically compatible.

The ESP8266 even when on a breakout board is a smaller than a typical arduino and does have PWM support as well as digital IO and ADC.

The advantage of the ESP8266 is that it has builtin wifi and can act as wifi host and client simultaneously. Getting a simple web page running from the ESP8266 has proven to be quite easy. Many examples are included in the SDK that is specific to the ESP8266 which are really just specifically tailored Arduino sketches.

Also, given the answer from greenonline that NodeJS can run on Arduino, I believe that the instructions at the link he provided should also work with the ESP8266. I'm not positive if Node.JS can run concurrently with the web sketches.

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