Creativity, geekiness on full display at DIY with TI events


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Twenty individuals and teams showed off their creative do-it-yourself innovations during the third-annual DIY with TI Showcase Event on Friday at the South Campus. On the same day, TI India hosted a first-time DIY event in Bangalore.

“I’ve wanted a chance to meet other people who like to work on things themselves. It’s rare to find that anymore,” said Brent Herling a senior product and test engineer in TI’s Battery Management Solutions group. He displayed metal sculptures created using discarded car parts and other objects, including a 1970s-era TI watch.

“This is a wonderful way to bring together a group of people who have a common interest in doing things for themselves.”

TI AvatarSeveral hundred TIers checked out the Dallas exhibit, which included a tweeting popcorn machine, an Internet-connected hat, electronic music-and-video equipment, a smart sprinkler system, and robots. All of the items were built using our microprocessors, sensors and other devices.

Jason Rubadue, an analog field applications engineer from Seattle, Wash., was named U.S. chief geek after receiving 212 of 696 votes for his patented FanFlare Rally Light. The wearable light display flashes faster and faster as the noise level increases in a sports arena.

Trey German, a LaunchPad applications manager from Houston, Texas, took home second-place honors for an electric vehicle he built for the Power Racing Series and for a digitally connected meat smoker.

A team including Rachel Moore, Steven Smith, Bart Basile, John Griffith and William Toth came in third for a material-moving robot they built while mentoring local high-school students.

“This event is great because you see so many different kinds of projects and so many different people from different organizations,” said Dave Smith, who demonstrated an irrigation system called Chili-Gation that he developed to automatically water his habanero chili plants. “It’s an interesting time for us to get together and see what other people are working on at home.”

DIY with TI in India

TI AvatarIn India, more than 30 employees demonstrated 15 projects during the inaugural DIY with TI event there.

“TI turns ambitious dreams into realities by creating technologies and products that improve and enhance our lives,” said Santhosh Kumar, president and managing director of TI India. “In the same vein, TI do-it-yourself hobbyists turn technology toward creating interesting real-life solutions. It is very inspiring to see TIers participate with such enthusiasm in the DIY event, showcasing their passion for TI technology.”

Chief geek honors in India went to Prathap Ghorpade, John Roshan Samuel and Manoja Vinnakota for their Hale Car, an invention that analyzes a car’s mileage data, speed and other information and then delivers real-time feedback about an automobile’s performance via a smart phone. A panel selected the winning team.

Runners up included a project that takes local weather and humidity into consideration before watering plants remotely and an application that helps users maintain groceries in a kitchen. Other projects included a device to manage hot water flowing from a tap, a gadget that helps find misplaced keys and other items, and a buzzer used to conduct in-house quiz competitions.

TI AvatarInnovation on their own time

DIY with TI recognizes and encourages hobbyists who innovate on their own time using TI devices. The program began in 2013 and has gained traction around the world. In addition to India, sites in China and Germany have also featured the creations of do-it-yourself enthusiasts at DIY with TI events. Each site will select a chief geek. Later this year, employees around the world will vote for a global chief geek from among the regional winners.

In addition, TI interns in Dallas will demonstrate their homemade creativity during a DIY with TI event for them on Aug. 4.

“DIY Day is amazing,” Trey said. “If we can show people all the cool things we can do with the technology, they’re going to want to do it, too. We want people to make cool stuff that’s going to make the world a better place, and that’s what this event embodies.”

See more photos from the Dallas event.