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TI brings the Internet of Basketball to life at Maker Faire Bay Area 2016

The countdown to Maker Faire Bay Area 2016 has begun and we are super excited to showcase the Texas Instruments (TI) LaunchPad™ Development ecosystem at the TI booth! To make things more exciting, we will be co-located and adjacent to the BeagleBoard.org booth on the Maker Faire show floor in Zone 2!

To showcase how well the TI LaunchPad ecosystem and BeagleBone boards can work together, we co-developed an Internet-connected basketball arcade game. You may remember the IoB (Internet of Basketball) system we created from a two-part blog series we posted a few months ago. However, the system has gone through several iterations to incorporate BeagleBone Black. In its current implementation, we have a hybrid local/external cloud-based system.

Here’s a high-level block diagram:

As you can see, we have a lot of TI components working together to create a complete Internet-connected basketball arcade game. 

The internet-connected basketball hoop

  • At the heart of this system is the SimpleLink™ Wi-Fi® CC3200 wireless microcontroller (MCU) LaunchPad development kit. The CC3200 is a single-chip MCU with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. We use the I/Os of the CC3200 to detect made baskets, display scrolling messages on an array of 8x8 RGB LEDs and drive two large seven-segment displays for real-time scoring.
  • In addition, we are using the Wi-Fi connectivity of the CC3200 wireless MCU to interface to our local Sitara™ AM335x-powered BeagleBone Black-based server, which is running a node.JS application and MQTT Broker for publishing and subscribing real-time messages.
  • Through a REST-ful interface, our CC3200 LaunchPad can pull player profiles, update scores, get statistics and more from the BeagleBone Black-based server, all over Wi-Fi.
  • Via MQTT, the CC3200 can also publish real-time scoring information to the BeagleBone Black server, which can visualize the latest and greatest scores on a JavaScript scoreboard.
  • We are using a bevy of TI analog devices, shift registers and power ICs as well:
    • TI’s TPS54383 step-down converter provides power to our system.
    • TI’s TPIC6C596 8-bit shift register/LED driver for our 7-segment scoreboard.
    • TI’s 74HC595D and TI ULN2803ADW Darlington Transistor Array for the array of 8x8 LED matrices.

BeagleBone Black-based local server

  • The BeagleBone Black hosts and runs our web server, runs our MQTT broker and the node.JS application that runs a lot of the logic behind IoB. 
  • Using Node-RED, we were able to create a complex node.JS application using simple nodes that we were able to drag-and-drop then wire together!
  • Lastly, BeagleBone Black is able to update and query an external cloud-hosted mongoDB database, hosted by mlab.com via a REST-ful API. We decided to keep the scores in an external cloud-hosted database so that anyone can access the data anywhere in the world.