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2013 Intern Design Challenge

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Texas Instruments 2013 Intern Design Challenge

Every year, interns spending their summers at Texas Instruments are challenged to test their creativity, technical prowess & might in a competitive design challenge based on TI technology. This year, we are challenging our interns to create a solution based on a TI MCU LaunchPad or the new BeagleBone Black.

Design Challenge Banner.png


  • Choose your own adventure (i.e. development platform):
    • MSP430G2553 LaunchPad
    • Tiva C TM4C123 LaunchPad
    • C2000 TMS320F2027 LaunchPad
    • Sitara AM335x-based BeagleBone Black

  • Design & build a plug-in module for your chosen platform
    • Create a BoosterPack for the LaunchPad or a Cape for the BeagleBone Black!
    • Your design should be original, mind-blowing, useful and/or just-plain-awesome!



  • The winning team in each category will win $750!
  • Chance to have your design productized!
  • Get a picture with Mr. Rich Templeton, the TI CEO and all-around great guy!
  • Get a wafer autographed by Rich!
  • Featured on TI Blogs and mentioned on TI social media channels!


  • LaunchPad BoosterPack People's Choice
  • LaunchPad BoosterPack Best Technical Design
  • BeagleBone Cape People's Choice
  • BeagleBone Cape Best Technical Design

OK, how do I get started?!

To participate in this year's challenge, you have to register your team!

You can do so by filling out this registration form (word document), then sending it to Katie Smith (

Once we receive your completed registration form and everything checks out, we will add your team to the list of officially-registered teams at the bottom of this wiki. At that time, we will put in a request for your desired hardware platform and have it shipped out to you ASAP.


A complete submission should include:

  • Name & Description of your design
  • Video demonstrating & explaining your design (Youtube)
  • All design files (schematics, gerbers, BOM, etc) & code must be provided (GitHub or other code repositories are highly-recommended)
    • For a LaunchPad-based project, we also recommend creating an Energia library
  • A complete BoosterPack for the LaunchPad or Cape for the BeagleBone must be fabricated & working
  • A team picture for use during the demo session
  • Consolidating everything into a write-up/landing page is also required. We recommend using the following:


(A complete copy of the rules can be found here)

  • Participants must be an active intern at TI in the US during Summer of 2013
  • Contest begins June 11th; no materials will be distributed prior to the kickoff
  • Your team's design must be based on an MCU LaunchPad or BeagleBone Black
  • Teams must be 4 members or less
  • In order to sign up for the contest and receive your free MCU LaunchPad or BeagleBone Black, please return your completed team registration to Katie Smith ( no later than July 1st. You don't need to have a team name or design idea to sign up, just what platform you'd like to use. Once successfully registered, your team will be listed in the matrix below. Upon registering, your team is also eligible to receive a $50 stipend to help offset the cost of producing a final model.

Important Dates

Design Challenge Kickoff June 11, 2013
Dallas Info session June 11, 3 - 4 PM CDT South Campus, CONF 3 & 4
Houston Info session June 13, 3 - 4 PM CDT Bldg 2, Conference Room 2
Santa Clara Info session June 19, 3 - 4 PM CDT Building C, First Floor, Conference Room Seacliff
Deadline to register teams July 1
Design submissions due July 25, 11:59PM CDT
Voting starts July 29
Voting ends August 1
Awards Ceremony & Demos with Rich Templeton August 2, 11AM - 1PM CDT  South Campus, FL Auditorium / S1 & S2

Office Hours

Need real-time help? There's several office hours with technical experts to help you out.

BeagleBone Black Office Hours

MCU LaunchPad Office Hours July 11 – Office hours:

  • MSP430 – 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM (CT), SC Building, Blanco Conference Room
    • Dial in # 972.995.7777, Participant Passcode: 2413 8128#
  • C2000 – 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM (CT), Stafford Conference Room 2
    • Dial in # 972.995.7777, Participant Passcode: 4386 1854#
  • Tiva C-series – 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM (CT), Congress Conference Room
    • Dial in # 972.995.7777, Participant Passcode: 1170 6712#

Helpful Design Resources & Communities/Forums

MSP430 LaunchPad design resources


C2000 LaunchPad design resources

C2000 LaunchPad.PNG

Tiva C LaunchPad design resources

Tiva LaunchPad.PNG

BeagleBone Black design resources


Other design resources

You can refer to these resources/partners for making boards:

Here are some design tools that you may find useful:

Team Registration and Project Submission!

Once you've successfully registered by submitting your completed registration form, your team will appear in the matrix below. Please do NOT add yourself; doing so does not constitute registering, and the line will be deleted. Once the contest is complete and projects are finished, please update project information in the table.


Group Number Team Name & Members Description & Title of your project Image or youtube video                                                                     Links to design files, project write up, documentation, etc Location/TI Group LaunchPad Type Attending demo session? equipment needed
2 RFABulous Puppy Food Bowl - David Whitfield, Nathan Hogg, Tahsin Alim Do you live in a household with multiple dogs? Are you tired of having one skinny dog and one obese dog? Are you tired of having your dog eat the cat food? RFABulous Puppy Food Bowl prevents multiple dogs/cats from sharing food and keeps the dog food fresh. gLnL3QtqlAE 200}}
NOTE: Skip to 1:21 to see the demonstration
Autonomous Dog Bowl RFAB - Richardson MSP430 Yes Monitor and a dog
7 We Be (un)Jammin' - Joey Yuen, Shelby Turner, Samuel Chabot Attention all Product and Test Engineers! This is a boosterpack for YOU! Have you ever put a stack of units into a castle handler to be tested, walked away, and come back a few hours later only to find out that your units didn’t test because of some silly handler jam? Well not anymore! The Jam Alert boosterpack is a way of remotely viewing real-time information on jams that may be occurring. No more lost test time!
xlxyaD67RwU 200}} Jam Alert EP, Processors - Stafford, TX MSP430 Yes VGA cable, monitor/TV.
9 LP Team 9 - Christopher Chiarella, Brian Frantz, Mark Garrett, Benjamin Moore The TI FlexPack enables developers on the Tiva-C, C2000, and MSP430 launchpads to interpret EMG potentials from muscles and create a diverse catalog of applications. The FlexPack provides a dual-channel EMG input that can be easily calibrated for different muscle groups using potentiometers on the board. Applications include game control, robotics, muscle-controlled prosthetics, and physical therapy. Ald0VPfLXJ8 200}} TI FlexPack EP, MCU - Stafford, TX Tiva C-series Yes 1 Monitor, 1 VGA Cable
16 Red Raiders - Richi Vyas, John Fenske Bright Light Touchpad: The Bright Light Touchpad is a capacitive enabled touchpad and LED matrix designed for large scale applications.
Project Page RFAB, DLP - Richardson & Plano, TX C2000

18 EP-Light - Ye-Sheng Kuo, Zhenhua Yu Visible Light Communication (VLC) is an emerging area to mitigate the crowded RF bandwidth. The VLC features with high bandwidth, line-of-sight security. Also, VLC could be integrated in a normal lighting infrastructure, which offers an additional method for wireless communication. VLC is particular useful in an environment which RF signal is not available, for example, the airplane during take-off and landing or underwater condition.
cgST2gnOH2M 200}} EP-Light EP - Dallas, TX MSP430 Yes Extension cable
20 FlashBot - Yingzhe Hu, Minjie Chen, Jalal Uddin There are times when GPS is not enough or available. The aim of our project is to get direction using an alternative source: Light. It could be sunlight, flash light and etc. To achieve this, we arm two sides of our vehicle with two photo resistors. The sensed signal tells the direction of light. Then the vehicle driven with PWM from MSP430 make turns accordingly based on the sensed signal comparison. One cool part of the project is that our code runs real time on Android devices runnning Basic, communicating with MSP430 through Bluetooth. 5-tPJojaGgI 200}} FlashBot Kilby Labs - Dallas, TX MSP430 Yes None
1 Amy + Harry - Harry Kennedy, Amy Domino, Brennan Tran

DLS - Dallas, TX Tiva C-series

3 The Doctor's Companion - Kristen Villemez

PE, Linear Power - Dallas, TX Tiva C-series

4 LP Team 4 - Daniel Ogilvie, Sam Friedman

EP, MCU - Austin, TX Tiva C-series

5 BDK - Curtis Mayberry, Hyejeong Song

EP, Processors - Columbia, MD Tiva C-series

6 Gator Instruments - Dennis Gonzalez

HPI - Dallas, TX Tiva C-series

8 Real Men of Genius - Luis Vinke, James Smith

EP, WCS/Power, BMS - Dallas, TX MSP430

10 Techno Bosses - Meghan Dano, Brian Kilberg, Jeffrey Marsar, Richard Li

TMG, HVAL - Dallas, TX Tiva C-series

11 LP Team 11 - Keith Cyr, Cameron LaFollette

EP, MCU - Dallas, TX Tiva C-series

12 LP Team 12 - Grant Uland, Matthew Harper, Alexander Oborny, Mary Wong

Various - Dallas & Plano, TX Tiva C-series

13 Meticulously Changing the Universe (MCU) - Jesse Ziegler

EP - Stafford, TX MSP430

14 Raleigh - Michael Raleigh

HVAL, SPG - Dallas, TX MSP430

15 Tnlt - Nicholas Su

SVA - Santa Clara, CA Tiva C-series

17 Puppet Master - Jason Yang

HVAL, SC - Dallas, TX Tiva C-series

19 EC 311 - Ross Pimental, Andres Preciado, Russell Weatherley

SVA - Santa Clara, CA C2000

BeagleBone Black Projects

Team Name & Members Description & Title of your project Image or youtube video Links to design files, project write up, documentation, etc Location/TI Group Attending demo session? Materials needed
1 Maine Fab - Jacob Powers, Ross Dolan OBD-II Interface: We built a cape that interfaces the BBB with a OBD-II decoding chip which returns diagnostic information from a vehicle to the BBB for viewing. rY4K2vpc8YI| Promo Video |left|200}} TMG - S. Portland, ME No Too many to list.
2 SensorCape - Michael Leonard
The SensorCape is a sensor packed add-on for the BeagleBone Black. Add powerful sensors to your next project! What will you make next?
{{#evp:youtube|pDhNsOiMf9o| First Run Tests |left|250}}
SensorCape Project Page. HVAL, ACS - Dallas, TX Yes Two Monitors, My Personal Desktop
4 T.G.I.J. - Idan Shtayer, Juan Cortez, Tommy Snyder, George Chen Using an analog joystick and an 16x16 Bi-Color LED Matrix, we designed a game similar to that of Snake using BeagleBone Black's already-installed Cloud9 and native Javascript support TGIJ Team.JPG{{#evp:youtube|GIzinW9XSk4| Promo Video TGIJ |left|250}} 16x16 Beagle Matrix Dallas, TX - Various Yes Personal Laptop
5 Capeless Crusaders - Victoria Ehlinger, Armaun Mirshamsi, Lindsay Langford, Jeremy Seidel Our concept was to create a new handheld gaming console powered by the BeagleBone Black. The design features classic controls (ABXY, d-pad) and an ergonomically designed case to house the BeagleBoy cape. Unfortunately, we were not able to complete the design before the deadline. So we lived up to our "Capeless" namesake.
{{#evp:youtube|ulZzFabnbY8| Teaser Trailer |left|250}}
Dallas, TX - Various No
13 BBB Team 13 - Max Thrun Older brother of the LaunchPad GamingPack, the BeagleBone GamingCape transforms your BeagleBone into a full fledged hand-held gaming console capable of playing all the classics such as NES, Gameboy, Sega GameGear, and even Doom. Just drop in 4 AAA batteries and you'll be playing your favourite games in no time. Gamingcape.png BeagleBone GamingCape EP, MCU - Dallas, TX Yes monitor + VGA cable
22 ESH's RFID Cape - Edwin Flores, Sheng Zhao, Amulya Kattimani

Our cape brings RFID/NFC capabilities to BBB using TI's TRF7970ATB.

We designed two applications:

  • Cape2Login: Allows you to login your computer without a password using RFID tagged badge.
  • Cape2Shop: Eliminate checkout lanes and personalize shopping using this handheld device which scans RFID tagged items and catalogues your purchases.

RFID Adaptor Cape features:

  • Fully functional RFID and NFC capabilities on the BBB
  • Three status LEDs, one power LED, Push button
  • Communication via SPI
  • Compatible with TRF7960/A and TRF7970/A Target Board (TB)
  • TB supports ISO15693, ISO18000-3, ISO14443A/B, and FeliCa

Source code is available for item identification and video streaming on our project site.

Promo Video
RFID Cape.jpg
{{#evp:youtube|Ywk79DdCk2w|RFID Adaptor Cape as Cape2Login and Cape2Shop |left|200}} {{#evp:youtube|WD-8vUvm6Sc|RFID Adaptor Cape for Beaglebone Black introduced|left|200}}
RFID Adaptor Cape
EP, Processors, Stafford, TX Yes
Monitor with HDMI, Power strip
25 BBB Team 25 - Jonathan Garay, Ross Kerley, Aditya Jain, Timothy Andreas It is a cape for the BeagleBone to create a autonomous solar powered car.
E614poemrOY|autonomous solar powered car|left|200}}
SVA - Santa Clara, CA No
3 There Is An I In Team - Aleksandras Kaknevicius

DLS - Dallas, TX

6 MegaHurtz - Paul Gomez

LP - Dallas, TX

7 BB Team 7 - Evan Sawyer, Josh Cook, Will Elswick, Samantha Williams

HPA - Dallas, TX No
8 HJM Cylinder - Jin Zheng, Mark Mills, Hector Ramos

EP - Dallas, TX

9 Hopeful Hobbyist - Nathanael Cruzado

EP, Processors - Dallas, TX

10 BBB Team 10 - Jose Pena

EP, Processors - Dallas, TX

11 TIerdie - Kaitlin Smith, Gabe Ayala, Kevin Rockwell, Kevin LaRosa

Various - Dallas, TX & WA

12 VegetaBeagle - Benjamin Kanevsky, Deborah DeLuca

TMG - Sherman, TX

14 The NSA - Blake Schippel, Jimmy Vogel

Dallas, TX

15 The Bonder - Justin Chambliss

DLP - Dallas, TX

16 Pocket Bench Top Lab - Michael Yuhas This design provides a dual supply, several adjustable voltage references and a DMM attachment for the beagle bone all operated with a 'user friendly' linux interface.

AEO, ALPS - Dallas, TX


Oscilliscope, Powersupply, DMM
17 BBB Team 17 - Mark Baker, Anthony Hernandez

EP, AEO BMS - Dallas, TX

18 Team One Point Zed - Jose Barcenas

EP - Dallas, TX

19 BBB Team 19 - Ronald Formusch

EP - Dallas, TX

20 BeaglePhone - John Boyd

HVAL - Dallas, TX No
21 Just another BBB team - William Hodges

EP, Processors - Dallas, TX

23 The Perfect Pitch - Omar Hasan, Andrea Pickel, Paul Winkler, Saumya Gandhi

DLP/Analog - Plano & Dallas, TX Yes