Texas Instruments’ #DIYwithTI Events Produce ‘Chief Geeks’

Texas Instruments


Texas Instruments (Nasdaq: TXN) realizes there’s a little bit of geek in many of its employees, but to the Dallas-based chipmaker, that’s a great thing.

To showcase the geek abilities of its employees, TI held four #DIYwithTI events last week around the globe, including one at its headquarters in Dallas. The events were an opportunity for employees to show what they could create using TI parts, and the company named “Chief Geeks,” in China, India, Germany and Dallas.

Texas Instruments

A proud team during the #DIYwithTI event.

“The best part about this event is the TIers who are passionate about their products, which leads to higher levels of innovation,” Greg Delagi, senior vice president of our Embedded Processing business, said during his to the fourth-annual event in Dallas.

Texas Instruments’ employees created many types of devices

The company said the employees created a variety of devices, from home-automation and energy harvesting systems, to temperature systems and garage parking assistants.

Delagi said the event was an opportunity for TI employees to work together to create innovative products. “It’s an opportunity for cross-pollination of ideas — with embedded folks working with analog folks on a variety of different technologies,” he said.

Texas Instruments

A #DIYwithTI team shows of its robot. (Photos courtesy Texas Instruments)

The four international “Chief Geeks” were chosen based on votes cast by more than 1,000 employees who attended the global #DIYwithTI events, and then voted on their favorite inventions, TI said.

Each project showed a system solution

The company said the the projects ranged from smart door entry systems to a TI BeagleBone Black plane spotter designed to prevent mid-air collisions between drones and airplanes.

“Each project demonstrated a system solution view of how to use TI parts in applications that matter for the DIYers who created them,” said Hans-Martin Hilbig, program manager for Texas Instrument’s MSP430 team in Freising, Germany, that modifies drone quadcopter with TI parts. “The DIYers were proud to present their projects, and many visitors were impressed about the creativity.”

TI said that once the votes from around the world were counted, these projects and their makers soared to the top and received the honorary title of “2016 Chief Geek” in their respective regions.

  • Air-O-Care, an air quality and pollution monitoring system that is easy to use, scalable and environmentally friendly, by Prathap Ghorpade, Manoja Vinnakota and John Roshan Samuel in Bangalore, India.
  • Multimedia Vanity Case by Wolfgang Wirth in Freising, Germany – a multimedia sound system built from his daughter’s recycled beauty case.
  • Koopa the Robot by Bart Basille and Amy and Walter Schnoor, high school robotics team mentors based in Dallas.
Texas Instruments

Wolfgang Wirth in Freising, Germany shows off a multimedia sound system built from his daughter’s recycled beauty case. (Photos courtesy Texas Instruments)

Chief Geeks each received a bronze medal

The Chief Geeks in each region will receive bronze medals engraved with their names, the company said.

Texas Instruments said that many of the projects are based entirely on TI parts, including Will Cooper and Dave Smith’s energy harvesting/plant-watering system, which uses the company’s microcontrollers (MCU).

Cooper and Smith’s project is designed to harvest energy for a sustainable garden, and can be programmed to water on a timer or use a soil moisture sensor to turn a pump on when needed.

Engineers Mark Easley and Daniel Ogilvie showed an Internet-connected basketball using four Texas Instruments parts, including the company’s CC3200 SimpleLink single-chip wireless MCU and several TI analog and power devices.

Their system tracks and stores your score while you shoot hoops, the company said.

“These projects are a creative way to showcase TI technology,” said Daniel, an MSP430 applications engineer. “I like to see our employees using parts they wouldn’t normally use in their day-to-day jobs – people from microcontrollers using processors, and vice versa.”

Don’t miss our special #DSW16 coverage: Subscribe to the Dallas Innovates e-newsletter.

R E A D   N E X T