TI's latest robot kit is a Real Slick MAX for $109

The Texas Instruments RSLK MAX bot kit is intended for college engineering classrooms, but at $109 seems like a lot of fun. (TI)

Texas Instruments announced a $109 robotics kit for college engineering classrooms that offers solderless assembly to build a fully functioning embedded system in under 15 minutes.

The TI-RSLK MAX updates the TI-RSLK series launched in 2018. It has a microcontroller development kit, sensors and a versatile chassis board to make the robot into a mobile learning platform capable of maze-solving, TI said.

A supplemental curriculum helps students learn ways to integrate their own hardware and software to build and test a system. Wireless communications and Internet of Things functions can be added to remotely control the robot or allow robot-to-robot communications.

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The TI-RSLK MAX costs $109 and includes the MCU development kit and all components required for assembly. Expansion accessories are available for purchase.

The kit was developed in collaboration with Jon Valvano, professor of electrical and computer engineer at The University of Texas at Austin. A short video describes the robot.

The kit’s chassis board is integrated with a 5V DC-DC regulator, a 3.3 V linear regulator, built-in dual motor drivers and sensor interface connectors. The robot chassis assembly includes red wheels, two gear motors and an encoder assembly. There are two bump sensor board assemblies and an 8 channel QTRX line sensor array for line following and obstacle avoidance. 

The curriculum modules include videos, lectures and class activities. Six AA batteries are not included. The entire robot assembly measures about 6 inches in diameter.

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