The Shield I/O cape allows you to run Arduino shields on a BeagleBone Black. The concept was developed by Impressx and launched on the crowd funding site Indiegogo at the beginning of this month.

The cape gives you access to almost all the currently available Arduino shields and interfaces with either 3.3 or 5 V logic. Precision voltage divider networks allow the measurement of analog signal levels up to 5 V without the need for an external voltage reference. It features dedicated level shifters for 14 digital GPIO pins, PWM, I2C and SPI signals.

Support is also provided for shields using the ICSP header. Power can be sourced from the BBB or from an external supply. Shield I/O can be configured with or without an additional 16 pin port expander (MCP23017) accessible via the I²C bus. An on-board EEPROM supports automatic firmware loading via Device Trees in Linux. SPI interfacing is provided by pins D10 through D13 or from the ICSP header.

There is already a wide selection of different capes available for the BeagleBone Black but if you really need to add some Arduino shields to the mix Shield I/O could provide a simple, low cost solution.