I demonstrate how to read position of a rotary encoder connected to the BeagleBone Black. I use the eQEP (enhanced Quadrature-Encoded Pulse) decoder module built-in to the BBB's TI Sitara ARM processor.
NOTE: This requires the TI eQEP Linux kernel module from Nathiel Lewis (http://nathanielrlewis.com/?p=87) which is inlcuded on BeagleBoard.org Debian image for BBB since 2014-May-14 (http://beagleboard.org/latest-images)
Further information on the eQEP kernel module and API for Python & C++ is in Nathaniel's GitHub repo: https://github.com/Teknoman117/beaglebot/tree/master/encoders
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