New University Robotics Kit and Curriculum from TI Prepare Future Engineers for Systems-Level Design

Closing the education-industry gap with Texas Instruments Robotics System Learning Kit

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In India, the field of robotics is increasing in popularity as a career path as more students learn about the integration of systems and engineering disciplines. To stay competitive in this world of increasing complexity and efficiency, today’s engineering students must graduate with an understanding of engineering concepts across multiple disciplines and products. To equip future engineers with this strong foundation in systems-level design, Texas Instruments (TI) has announced its newest educational solution for the university classroom, the TI Robotics System Learning Kit (TI-RSLK).

The TI-RSLK is a low-cost robotics kit and classroom curriculum, which provide students with a deeper understanding of how electronic system designs work. The first in the series, the Maze Edition, has more than 60 electronic and mechanical components, including the industry-leading SimpleLink MSP432P401R microcontroller (MCU) LaunchPad Development Kit. TI’s SimpleLink MCU platform is the broadest portfolio of connected ARM MCUs in a single software development environment, delivering flexible hardware, software and tool options for Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics applications.

Through the curriculum, students learn the function and purpose of each hardware and software component included within the TI-RSLK system. With this groundwork, students can write and develop their own code and then build their own fully functioning robotics system. This learning journey culminates in a robot that can complete line-following challenges, compete against other TI-RSLK robotic system and solve its way through a maze.

The Indian undergraduate engineering curriculum focuses on fundamentals and teaches each component of electronics system design separately across different courses. Texas Instruments’ system design course integrates all components and teaches design trade-offs, complementing the current syllabus. TI-RSLK kit along with its associated software provides an appropriate platform for students to deploy classroom learnings in a hands-on environment. We hope the Indian academia will find it useful and adapt it in classroom sessions” says, Sanjay Srivastava, Director – University Program, Texas Instruments India.

The TI-RSLK was developed with Jon Valvano, Ph.D., an electrical and computer engineering professor at The University of Texas at Austin, with the intention of supplementing university faculty curriculum. The TI-RSLK Maze Edition comes with 20 learning modules covering basic to advanced topics. Each module is complete with lecture videos and slides, lab documentation and demonstration videos, quizzes and classroom activities. The kit and curriculum are fully customizable, allowing faculty to choose how they integrate the TI-RSLK into their class. The TI-RSLK is targeted to teach embedded systems and applications and can be expanded and used in a variety of engineering classes at any level along a college student’s learning journey.

“Future engineers can’t push the boundaries of technology unless they first understand what the boundaries are,” says Peter Balyta, Ph.D., president of TI Education Technology and vice president of academic engagements and corporate citizenship. “I’m confident that as students gain a stronger understanding of how electronics systems work, once in their career they will create the technologies of the future that will astound us all.”

Purchase options and availability:

The TI-RSLK Maze Edition comes with three options for purchase:

o   The TI-RSLK Basic kit teaches the foundations of an electronic system and includes the TI SimpleLink MSP432 MCU LaunchPad Development Kit.

o   The TI-RSLK Advanced kit builds on the concepts and components found in the basic kit and adds wireless communication concepts with the SimpleLink Bluetooth low energy CC2650 wireless MCU BoosterPack plug-in module and SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3120 wireless network processor BoosterPack plug-in module that enables the robot to be competition-ready against other TI-RSLK robots.

o   The TI-RSLK Upgrade kit can be added to the basic kit to create the advanced kit.

The TI-RSLK kits can be purchased from Element 14 at http://www.element14.com/RSLK. Further information about the TI-RSLK can be found at www.ti.com/RSLK.

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