Embedding a bit of ease in your #DIYSuperhero designs

If you whizzed through the TI DIY Superhero blog on AroundTI, you may be wondering how exactly to go about building your superhero project.  For example, if you want to add an LED lighting feature, you may know what technology is required, but experimenting and development may be another story altogether.  To help you realize your full #DIYSuperhero potential, we’d like to recommend some tools that can help with experimentation and development of your very own Superhero elements.

Launch your super idea with MCU LaunchPads!

The TI microcontroller LaunchPad ecosystem offers a low-cost DIY design platform for each of its product lines.  The MSP430™ LaunchPad , C2000™ LaunchPad, Tiva™ C Series LaunchPad and new Hercules™ LaunchPad (introduced July 24, 2013), offer flexibility and expandability into one of the many available BoosterPack expansion boards.  These BoosterPacks, including future additions to the ecosystem, enable greater functionality and speed design and exploration.  For example, available for use with the C2000 LaunchPad is a $30 LED BoosterPack, perfect for LED lighting applications requiring real-time control and multi-string lighting or color-mixing functions.  Developers can get started quickly with TI’s free software and documentation and also share project ideas and collaborate on best practices through a large open source community that has your back!

Clever connectivity comes easy!

In a highly connected world, it’s a given that your superhero project must have wireless connectivity – perhaps Bluetooth® or Wi-Fi?  Never fear!  TI has a low-cost development tool to get you started on this feature, too – wireless BoosterPacks for use with MCU LaunchPads.  There are approximately eight BoosterPacks targeted at wireless connectivity – sub-1 GHz RF, Bluetooth, ZigBee and Wi-Fi.  For example, the CC3000 BoosterPack showcases TI’s SimpleLink™ Wi-Fi CC3000 module, a self-contained wireless network processor that simplifies the process of implementing Internet connectivity. SimpleLink Wi-Fi minimizes host microcontroller (MCU) software requirements, making it the ideal solution for embedded applications using any low-cost and low-power MCU. “We also have proprietary RF solutions covered, such as the CC110L Sub-GHz RF BoosterPack. This BoosterPack allows your LaunchPads to communicate via 868 or 915MHz RF bands, and you get 2x RF BoosterPacks for just $19. Just plug them into 2 LaunchPads, and you’ll be on your way.”

BeagleBone – complete with capes!

Now, if you need some more “oomph” to develop a motor-controlled arm or something with an LCD screen, you’ll want to try BeagleBone Black, a new, low-cost, open source, community-supported computer from BeagleBoard.org. With this beauty, based on our Sitara™ AM335x processor, everyone from hobbyists to professional developers can take the board from the box to developing in less than 3.14 minutes. And here’s the really exciting part: All of the components on BeagleBone Black, including our Sitara AM335x processor, are commercially available, enabling developers to easily go to production.  BeagleBone Black ships with the Ångström Linux distribution and supports many other Linux distributions. 

Similar to the BoosterPacks with TI’s MCU LaunchPads, BeagleBone Black's capabilities can be extended using plug-in boards called “capes” that can be plugged into BeagleBone Black's expansion headers. Integrating BeagleBone Black with these capes—such as 3D printers, a DMX lighting controller, a Geiger counter, a telerobotic submarine, LCD touch screens and more—extends the functionality of the board to enable an even broader range of innovative projects and rapidly accelerate the development process. Learn more about BeagleBone Black today!

With all of TI’s DIY platforms for embedded processors as your team of sidekicks, your superhero project is only limited by your imagination. Get started today!