BeagleBone GamingCape turns BeagleBone Black into a GameBoy (emulator)

The BeagleBone Black is a $45 device that you can use as a computer, hardware prototyping board, or a number of other projects. It’s kind of like a cross between an Arduino and a Raspberri Pi.

And it turns out you can use one as the brains of a pretty awesome handheld gaming console.

Max Thrun designed the BeagleBone GamingCape, which transforms the BeagleBone Black into a portable gaming device complete with an LCD display, battery compartment, gaming buttons, a headphone jack, and even USB and Ethernet ports.

The GamingGape has a 320 x 240 pixel 16-bit color TFT LCD display, an analog joystick with 2 thumb buttons, a gyroscope, accelerometer, and magnetometer. It runs on 4 AAA batteries.

Meanwhile the BeagleBone Black brings a 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor, 512MB of RAM, and 2GB of storage to the party.

While those specs might sound pretty anemic by today’s standards, they’re more than good enough to run older games designed for classic consoles. The system can run emulators for NES, Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advance, Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear, and of course, the ever-popular DOOM.

Thrun doesn’t plan to mass produce the GamingCape, but all of his designs, including schematics, 3D printers, and software are available from his website.

BeagleBone GamingCape

According to his bill of materials, the whole project cost about $162 to build — but it also requires a fair bit of technical expertise.

If you haven’t already clicked play on the video above, I highly suggest you take a look. It’s one of the most exciting DIY hardware videos I’ve seen in a while.

via CNX Software

  • Bob

    I hate to be all negative but could of gotten a PSP Go and gotten all the same emulators.

    • J.R.

      I don’t mind negativity. However, it’s “could have”.

      • Bob

        touché

  • Omar Badar

    Amazing! I am ordering a BBB right away.

  • pr0ph3t

    “It’s kind of like a cross between an Arduino and a Raspberri Pi.”
    It’s a single-board computer; just like the Raspberry Pi; so not “a cross between Arduino and Raspberry Pi”. The really cool side is that it’s not a full marketing stuff like the RaspPi and that the chip is not a proprietary horror; like in the RaspPi.