Texas Instruments Powers New LEGO Robotic Platform
When powerful calculators and LEGO team up, it means great things for STEM-learning.
By Robotics Trends News Sources - Filed Sep 11, 2013

Texas Instruments has announced that Sitara processors, along with TI connectivity and analog solutions, have been selected to power the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 robotics platform that is now available. The robotics tool kit contains hardware and software to create customizable and programmable robots and features a programmable brick computer powered by TI’s Sitara AM1808 ARM9™ processor to control the motors, monitor sensors and run Linux. Additionally, the brick contains TI’s CC2560 Bluetooth connectivity solution, which allows users to control their robot with a mobile device using an iOS or Android app.

“We are excited to be part of the MINDSTORMS program, which will help create an interactive environment that fosters a growing passion and enhanced technology skills,” said Miller Adair, general manager for Sitara processors, TI. “TI’s Sitara processors and Bluetoothconnectivity power the new EV3 brick that lays the foundation for users to explore and learn about construction, engineering and programming through hands-on problem solving that is first and foremost fun.”

A closer look at the technology that powers next-generation toy robots

TI’s Sitara AM1808 processor makes it possible for EV3 users to do more with the new MINDSTORMS platform, which offers increased performance, new sensors and greater flexibility than ever before. The highly scalable AM1808 processor enables interactive touch screens, high-resolution displays, fast performance, and multiple, flexible integrated connectivity options for a robust offering—all while maintaining low design costs and power levels. This low power consumption prolongs battery life and reduces heat emissions to enable portable, fan-less applications. Other applications include portable navigation, handheld gaming, educational devices, building and industrial automation and more.

Benefits of the TI technology powering the MINDSTORMS EV3 include:

  • Flexible Sitara processor that increases performance from 48 MHz to 300 MHz.
  • Sitara AM1808 ARM9 processor is scalable up to ARM® Cortex™-A8 with the Sitara AM335x processor generation.
  • Integrated connectivity, including a high-speed USB communication and USB host interface.
  • Linux support.
  • TI’s CC2560 Bluetooth solution for improved user experience.
  • High-efficiency power management integrated circuits to extend battery life, including theTPS62590 and TPS40210 DC/DC converters.
  • Analog signal chain devices, such as the high-precision ADS7957 16-channel SAR analog-to-digital converter, and the space-saving SN74LVC2G07 gate driver in NanoFree™ package. 

Availability

In addition to being available in retail stores, a special version of the platform, LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Education, is optimized for student use and available for classrooms through LEGO Education.

STEM Education

For many years, TI has played a leadership role in driving innovative education programs. This collaboration with The LEGO Group extends TI’s commitment to support the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education initiative. Over the past five years, TI and the TI Foundation have contributed more than $150 million to education.

 

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