General questions & answers on the Stellaris EVALBOT

We're updating the web pages, because we're getting these questions everywhere. In the meantime, I hope this information helps those who have questions about the new Stellaris EVALBOT.  For product pictures and general overview information, see www.ti.com/evalbot

There are three product options available at this time:

  1. a bundle of the Micrium uC/OS-III book with Stellaris EVALBOT projects plus the EVALBOT kit (EKB-UCOS3-BNDL)
  2. just the EVALBOT kit (EKB-UCOS3-EVM)
  3. just the Micrium uC/OS-III book (EKB-UCOS3-BOOK)

Most people should choose option (1), as the current documentation and setup of the EVALBOT is intended for use with the book and the projects in the book. The documentation for EVALBOT (getting started, schematics, how to use it) is in the book.

The EVALBOT comes pre-programmed with an autonomous drive mode application. After a brief (and I think fun) assembly exercise of putting together the wheels and the physical bumpers, you can turn it on and it will move straight or in a slight curve for a while, and then execute a random turn. If the robot's bumpers detect a collision with an object, the robot will back up and execute a random turn.

For tools in using this release of the EVALBOT and book bundle, the book and EVALBOT assembly instructions give you the software download links for downloading:

  1. Micrium uC/OS-III eval version
  2. Micrium uC/Probe eval version
  3. the projects for using EVALBOT with Micrium uC/OS-III and uC/Probe
  4. IAR Embedded Workbench for ARM (EWARM) 32K Kickstart Edition

All of these tools are free in their evaluation versions, although the eval versions have a few limitations ( for example, 8 variables for uC/Probe; 32K program size for IAR EWARM). All the projects in the book fit within the evaluation limits.

In 1Q2011, Texas Instruments will release an evaluation kit version of the EVALBOT that works with your choice of multiple ARM-based tools chains and allows the choice of an RTOS or no RTOS use at all. Our typical out-of-the-box tool chain support options are: Keil RVMDK-ARM; IAR EWARM; TI Code Composer Studio; Code Red Technologies Red Suite; Code Sourcery Sourcery G++; and generic GNU.

38 Replies

  • Hi,

    I think it would be reasonable to offer schematics of the EVALBOT online, not only in or with the book; the same way it is done with other evaluation kits.

    Thank you.

  • I am looking for the source code for running the SImpliciti stack on the EVALBOT.

     

    Can some one can please post the source code for the EVALBOT and CHRONOS watch ( TI demo of EVALBOT in ESC BOSTON 2010 ).

     

    Thanks,

    MD

  • In reply to mdani:

    Hi mdani,

    the SimpliciTI stack 1.1.1 is part of the latest StellariWare. Find it here http://focus.ti.com/mcu/docs/mcuorphan.tsp?contentId=87903 (download SW-LM3S-6459 to get the whole thing).

    The CHRONOS (default) software package is available here http://focus.ti.com/docs/toolsw/folders/print/ez430-chronos.html.

    Well, since I'm in Europe I did not see the demo you're talking about (maybe TI will present it on the electronica fair next month too); seems to be a special software running on both tools.

    Rgds
    aBUGSworstnightmare

  • Where can I get the code and documentation in electronic form for the EVALBOT?

    I just got the kit from Mouser, and there's no CD or anything, just the book.

    Schematics in the book are useless, I cant read the small texts.

    I've tried register at the uCos web-site to get access to the download, but get no response.

    This is REALLYbad service, I bought a complete kit, so I could get started rightaway with coding and didn't expect to be hunting around for software and the most basic information.

    /J

     

  • In reply to Jesper:

    Hi Jesper,

    The schematics, README First document, and the User's Manual will all be on the web by the end of the week.  You will be able to find them on these pages:

    www.ti.com/evalbot

    www.ti.com/ekb-ucos3-bndl

    www.ti.com/ekb-ucos3-evm

    You can get the software from Micrium's web site at: http://micrium.com/page/downloads/os-iii_files

    Remember, the EVALBOT is currently packaged in conjunction with the Micrium uC/OS-III book.  In first quarter 2011, it will be available as a typical Stellaris kit with a variety of tools and software ported to the board.

    Regards,

    Sue

  • In reply to Sue Cozart:

    Thank you,

    Books like the telephonebook sized uC/OS-III are probably nice as a showoff in the bookshelf, but totally outdated, almost useless and a waste of trees.

    "Getting" the software from Micrium is not that easy, as it requires activation and it takes several hours for them to respond. Is this really 2010?

    I finally got the download link from Micrium, but as I'm developing this on on Linux, it's not of much use as it requires that sodding EVARM Windows-only compiler.

    And there was NO schematic or any other information on the EV-board included.

    Anyway, I wasn't really much interested in the uC/OS stuff, but more as a board for testing out the LM3S9B92, so I'm REALLY looking forward to the REAL version of this kit with GCC support.

    But, when we get to Q1 2011, I'd most likely have reinvented the wheel myself.

     

    Thanks anyway, the LM3S9B92 is an interesting device and I'll be looking forward to the web-version of the information later this week.

  • In reply to aBUGSworstnightmare:

    We will be showing the demo of Stellaris EVALBOT plus the Chronos watch at Electronica and at a number of other shows world-wide.  Be sure to come by TI's booth!

    The source code for the demo will be publically available in 1Q2011, when we introduce EVALBOT as a standard Stellaris evaluation kit:

    In 1Q2011, Texas Instruments will release an evaluation kit version of the EVALBOT that works with your choice of multiple ARM-based tools chains and allows the choice of an RTOS or no RTOS use at all. Our typical out-of-the-box tool chain support options are: Keil RVMDK-ARM; IAR EWARM; TI Code Composer Studio; Code Red Technologies Red Suite; Code Sourcery Sourcery G++; and generic GNU.

     

  • In reply to mdani:

    The source for the Chronos/EvalBot demo isn't available just now - sorry. It will appear when we release the EvalBot StellarisWare kit early next year. In the meantime, though, if you want to try to recreate the demo without a dependency on uCOS-III and buildable using other toolchains, all the software you need is easy to get hold of already and only minimal effort is needed to port it to EvalBot. Here are the steps I took:

    1. Get hold of the StellarisWare release for dk-lm3s9b96 (SW-DK-LM3S9B96-xxxx from this page) and install it on your machine.
    2. Download the additional installer for SimpliciTI support (from this page) and install it in the same place as the previous package.
    3. Get the schematics for the EvalBot (from here).
    4. Get the Micrium software release (from here) and install it.
    5. Extract the base drivers for the board from the micrium release. In my installation, these are in folder "Micrium\Software\EvalBoards\TI\LM3S9B92-EVALBOT\IAR\BSP" and modify these to remove the uCOS-III dependencies (there are very few dependencies in these drivers so this is very straightforward). Copy the results into your StellarisWare tree somewhere (c:\StellarisWare\boards\ek-evalbot\drivers would be my choice but it's up to you).
    6. Create a new SimpliciTI BSP by copying the files from C:\StellarisWare\SimpliciTI-1.1.1\Components\bsp\boards\dk-lm3s9b96 to a new folder called something like ek-evalbot at the same level as the dk-lm3s9b96 BSP.
    7. Modify these files to apply to the EvalBot based on looking at the schematics for the board. Basically, this involves changing the GPIO definitions used for the LEDs, buttons and SPI interface to the radio.
    8. Now that all the driver bits are in place, write yourself an application to use them. Use the C:\StellarisWare\boards\dk-lm3s9b96-em2-cc1101-915-simpliciti\simpliciti_chronos example to figure out the protocol used by the Chronos watch when it sends accelerometer data. This is also a good app to use to get the radio communication set up and to see how SimpliciTI is used. You should be able to use whichever toolchain you normally use with StellarisWare at this point. Use one of the existing example makefiles or projects as a guide to set up the new application.

    I'm adding this purely to help you out if you are really keen to get started ASAP. Please note that we won't be officially supporting EvalBot as a kit outside of the uCOS-III environment until early next year so I can't promise to answer too many questions on this until then.

    Have fun!

     

  • In reply to Dave Wilson:

    Thanks for the tips, Dave.

    I'll simply take my lwip project for the LM3S6965 and convert. That's should be pretty simple. I can't see any need of SimpliciTI for anything.
    Just waiting for the schematic and documentation to come up.

    I much appreciate the help and response here and fully understand this is not a "regular" evaluation-kit yet.

    But I was really disappointed by the lack in information in the package, and the need to wait several hours to be allowed to download the information which should have been included in the first place. The fact that I really loathe the IAR tools didn't make me feel better ;-), but I understand that as a business decision.

    I'd say that the current state and quality of the documentation is not what it use to be for TI boards, but I'm sure that will be much better in Q1 when the kit goes out.

    Again, thank you very much for your inputs and responses.

     

     

  • In reply to Jesper:

    Jesper,

    My last post was really intended for the people who had been asking for the source to the specific demo we showed at ESC. This was an EvalBot equipped with a low power radio and controlled by a Chronos watch using it's accelerometer data to set the motor speeds. The information regarding pulling drivers out of the uCOS-III BSP and basing your code on a dk-lm3s9b96 distribution is still relevant. In your case, I would start with the ek-lm3s9b92 version of StellarisWare, though, rather than ek-lm3s6965 since there are some differences that would likely cause some frustration. enet_lwip is included in the ek-lm3s9b96 release too and it also contains a bunch of USB examples that you don't have in the ek-lm3s6965 version.

    I understand your frustration at the lack of documentation but please realize that the EvalBot was only supposed to be used in conjunction with the Micruim book for now and that, in the vast majority of cases, ESC attendees who got the coupon were also given a copy of the book containing all the documentation so this shouldn't have been an issue. BTW, the schematics are now posted here.