TI Adds Some Linux Support For Evalbot – We’ve Got Hardware Coupon Codes For You!

In case you missed it, Texas Instruments sells a little robot called the Evalbot as a development platform for ARM Cortex-M3 microcontrollers. Since its release we’ve seen a few hacks on the hardware; the image above is a proof of concept for developing for the device under Linux. We have criticized TI in the past for not natively supporting Linux with their IDEs. We’re not sure how it will play out, but they have added new software package options to go along with the hardware. You’ll notice on their PR page that there is now an option to use CodeSourcery. It is a trial of the full version, but at least it is a step in the GNU direction from their previous offering.

The Hackaday team has been talking off and on with TI about the hardware. We’re happy to say that they’ve been listening to the Internet community about their likes and dislikes; following various online groups that have sprouted up to talk about Evalbot projects. It sounds like they’re thinking about hosting a contest using the hardware. So maybe you want to get your hands on one so that you can familiarize yourself and hit the ground running if/when that contest starts. You’re in luck, we can help save you a few bucks.

The first time that Texas Instruments tried out a $125-off coupon code the deal got away from them. It had been meant for attendees of the ESC Boston conference. They honored the deals that went through before the proverbial run-on-the-bank got shut down. This time around they’re using serialized deal codes to limit the number of give-aways. We’ve got 200 of them just waiting for our loyal readers to use. One code will let you purchase one Evalbot for just $25 (instead of $150).

Please take a moment to decide if you actually want (and will use) one of these robots, and decide if you are willing to shell out the $25 to order it. You see, we don’t want this deal going to waste. If you decide this is for you, send an email requesting a code to:We’re all out! We’ll dish out the deal on a first-emailed-first-served basis. We will update this post when all 200 have been claimed.

We will not tolerate anyone gaming the system and so we reserve the right to disqualify any email submission for any reason in an attempt to maintain some semblance of fairness. Also… if you’re planning to pick this up just to resell it for cash you’re a loser.

[update: Those who emailed us requesting a code should begin receiving replies this evening or tomorrow.]

[Update 2: here is the specific bot you should be trying to buy. ]

109 thoughts on “TI Adds Some Linux Support For Evalbot – We’ve Got Hardware Coupon Codes For You!

  1. @Caleb Kraft Thanks for the coupon!
    I did put a EKK-EVALBOT in my basket and chekout for free. I didn’t got any error message.
    Should i cancel my order and make a new order with the EKI-EVALBOT?

  2. I’m not a HAD editor, but I send my e-mail at 1:20 (3 hrs, 15 mins ago), so if you were roughly that fast, I’d say you’re probably okay.

    I got my code an hour later, but I have a feeling I was one of the first to e-mail them.

  3. You can download the documentation packs on the website now, search the page for the MFG number of the kit you got. Few hoops to jump threw to download it, but its not bad.

  4. TI is doing great lately.
    have to say that since the day I missed the first promo code I have been using a rss reader…
    would be nice to get hands on this, as it takes a lot of time to build a platform like this.

  5. USE THIS LINK CLICK ONE OF THE OPTIONS AT THE BOTTOM http://focus.ti.com/mcu/docs/mcuorphan.tsp?contentId=114871&DCMP=evalbot-2&HQS=Other+PR+evalbot-2-pr-tf

    It took me a long time of fighting with that website. First it registered and sent me a confirmation of my email address, then it would not let met log in using the password, then the recovery password wouldn’t work so I registered a new email…. it worked right away… Then I could not apply a cupon code until I selected one of those above. Maybe they don’t like gmail accounts there? I don’t know… It was a PITA

  6. Son of a… that’ll teach me to sleep, now won’t it? Its exactly what I needed for prototyping a project I’ve been designing these last few weeks.

    I hope those of you who got coupon codes understand what you’re getting into when you order one. TI has everything back-ordered beyond the half-life of bismuth, and (at least for now) they’re proprietary/license-oriented folks who are accustomed to writing documentation for the big players, not hobbyists.

  7. Don’t feel bad if you didn’t get in on the evalbot. While it is a neat little bot it isn’t all it is cracked up to be. I got one two months ago and I like it but find it limited in what you can do with it. The reason is the way the hardware is implemented. For motor control you only have two outputs that are powered. For input there is two switches on the board for bumpers. Size is another issue because it means that adding hardware to support more sensors starts to cause problems because it adds weight and height and that makes the bot too heavy to navigate anything but flat smooth surfaces and the motors do not have enough torque to turn at heavier loads. If you add something too tall it makes it unstable because it supports itself off two wheels and uses a third peg leg for stability.

    I think the bot mainly targets people wanting to learn very basic robotics with a bot that runs a around a room, bumps into things, maybe maps a room by running into things, etc. The hardware itself is excellent with a lot of potential but it is really overbuilt for the evalbot the way it is now. You could easily take an arduino , two motors and two switches and be able to do everything the evalbot can do in its default setup.

    What TI should have done is made the evalbot as a development board for robotics with all the pins easily accessible and it probably would have cost them far less . I plan to use the evalbot to form a larger robot project but when done the only thing being used off the evalbot itself will be the processor . I will have to attach a second board to the evalbot connectors to implement the board into something really useful, add my own motors and drive controls and sensors, and to me that is wasting a lot of parts that could have been left out to begin with and saved cost. Anyone not in on the deal go buy a small ARM development board for $40 and add your own motors and you have really a better start at a robot than the evalbot.

    Another thought is if there is an evalbotII that maybe it would be best to put all the brains of the unit on a daughter board and left the 2 motors and switch on a secondary board as anyone taking this further will not need them.

    It is a good start for a robot project for beginners , and at under $50 , but I would not recommend it for anyone wanting to do something more advanced, and certainly not worth the full price when ARM boards with even more hardware cost less, just get a ARM board and go from there.

  8. I ordered the EKY version yesterday. The coupon covered the full 149$. But not shipped yet, as its out of stock. I hope it’s not going to be the same like with the Launchpad…. :(

  9. Got mine i hand fed-ex today! That was way faster than the last batch of stuff I ordered from them. I can’t wait to build it and start hacking. I’m going to need a macro lens for taking pictures though.

    Thanks Hack-A-Day!

  10. Oh, my still shows $25 for all versions. Anyways, i will buy a couple. I have a doubt. If i take a CCS version and IAR version. Can’t they be interchanged, i.e. CCS code on IAR EVALBOT. Is there any restriction ?

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