With all of the recent creative innovation in the maker world due to the growing popularity and availability of small, cheap computer boards, Texas Instruments has also gotten into the fun with its Stellaris Launchpad platform. The Launchpad equips developers with an ARM-based evaluation board that provides onboard emulation and debugging for project builds without the need for external hardware. In fact, a group from TI chose to show off their own creative skills at this year’s SXSW Festival by assembling and displaying a future Texas Instruments prototype mouse based on the Stellaris board.
The Stellaris LM4F120H5QR board provides users with a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4 processor operating at 80 MHz, 256 kb of Flash memory, two 20-pin dual-gender stackable headers for Boosterpack compatibility, and several peripheral options including: USB, SPI, 12C, MSPS ADC, and UART ports.
For this project, the TI group made use of a Stellaris sensor prototype pack’s onboard accelerometer to communicate motion to a Windows XP PC via USB. The accelerometer senses motion left, right, up, and down, passing it down the Stellaris board headers to the ARM processor, which then communicates the information to the computer. TI’s spokesperson Austin Blackstone then demonstrated its use by controlling an on-screen pointer’s movement on Microsoft point, though he points out that the group was unable to work out the click-and-drag feature in their 30 minutes of preparation.
No information was given about what the technology is a prototype of, but Texas Instruments assures us of a big surprise that will be announced later in the year. In addition, just as the TI group showed the creative potential of a few simple modifications to their project-based board, so too will several other makers lucky enough to attend this year’s SXSW festival. Were you able to check out the maker tent in between the overwhelming presence of emphatic musical performances and film screenings?