Mouser Electronics is pleased to congratulate the winners of the Texas Instruments Innovation Challenge North America Design Contest, including the team from Texas A&M University that took top honors. Mouser is the exclusive sponsor of the contest, which encourages engineering students to invent real-world solutions by submitting design projects that use TI technology.
Nearly 180 teams from accredited engineering colleges and universities across the United States, Canada and Mexico participated in the challenge, and the winning designs addressed problems in the medical, space and health and wellness industries. Entries were judged on five criteria: originality and creativity of design, real world application, level of engineering analysis, usage of TI ICs and processors and working demonstration of design in a video.
The first-place team, made up of Dakotah Karrer, Vince Rodriguez, David Smith and Trent Tate from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, took the expression “shooting for the stars” to a new level with their project, RF Satellite Communication system that integrates TI’s Sub-1 GHz CC1120 radio frequency (RF) transceiver with the CC1190 RF front-end amplifier technology. The students worked with Texas Space, Technology, Applications and Research (T STAR) to create a prototype of a space communication system that will be used to conduct low-Earth orbit research, a crucial need for space exploration efforts.
Second place was awarded to David Cuevas, Nathan Glaser, Joe Loredo and Rafael Salas, another Texas A&M team, for their Powered Programmable Elbow Orthosis. The brace-like device uses a TI ultra-low-power MSP432 microcontroller to restore upper arm functionality to users suffering from a range of injuries or disorders that weaken muscles and muscular activity. Matthew Bries and Nagaraj Hegde of the University of Alabama took third place with SmartStep, a device that uses a TI Bluetooth® low energy CC2540 wireless microcontroller to monitor a person’s activity through the insoles of their shoes.
“Throughout its history, Mouser has been a strong supporter of education and innovation,” said Kevin Hess, Mouser Electronics’ Senior Vice President of Marketing. “We are proud once again to have played a part in this contest and we congratulate all of the winners.”
The top three teams were recognized at an awards ceremony on July 19 in the TI Engineering and Innovation Hall at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas. Winning projects were selected for their use of engineering practices and were judged on industry-ready standards, such as quality of the design and written documentation and effective use of TI technology. The contest awarded cash prizes of $10,000 for first place, $7,500 for second place, $5,000 for third place and $1,000 for categorical prize winners.
The following university teams won the category prizes:
• Best chance at commercialization: University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez
• Best video demonstration: University of Florida
• Best use of TI wireless technology: Purdue University
• Most innovative home application: Carnegie Melon University
• Most unique concept: Rowan University
• Best overall use of TI products: University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez
• Best environmental: Florida State University
• Best humanitarian: University of Wyoming
• Best semester project: University of Texas at Austin