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I want to post the following question.


How does the TI Evalbot pcb-on-wheels avoid damage from ESD?

If you haven't heard, TI is running a $125 discount on their Stellaris-based Evalbot. And it's normally $150. For $25 (no shipping for me at least), you get an ARM-CortexM3 based robotics platform with a lot of advanced features. If you didn't read the Hackaday article, use the coupon code 2JLP-R4XRT3 at TI's overloaded web store to order it on the cheap.

It looks like this. As you can see from the image and from the frame at 2:01 in this video, the wheels and bump sensors are made out of PCB, and connected directly to the circuit board. Driving this thing across the linoleum spells ESD disaster to me.

Someone recommended dragging a wire (Like a gas or ambulance's static chain) connected to the ground plane underneath the robot to dissipate static buildup. Is this necessary?


I'll admit that a bit of my desire to post this question is due to a wish to make sure the community doesn't miss this deal and to cultivate future support/interest in the product. I have legitimate questions about the ESD dissipation of the pcb-on-wheels design, load capabilities, potential docking methods, etc, but a component of the question is to publish some news. How can I do this better?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Unfortunatelly, the coupon has expired. At least for me here in Brazil \$\endgroup\$ – Daniel Grillo Oct 5 '10 at 13:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's too bad. It worked here 4 hours ago, which looks to be an hour earlier than your post. You just missed it! \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Vermeer Oct 5 '10 at 16:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yup, just got email confirmation from TI. It was supposed to last until the end of the week, but they cut it off today. \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Vermeer Oct 5 '10 at 22:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ TI answer: ESC Boston attendees received a special coupon for a highly discounted EVALBOT. We’ve had to temporarily discontinue use of the coupon code - in your order, use of the code will result in a “this coupon is expired” response. Full price orders are still available. We expect to re-enable use of the ESC Boston coupon code by October 11th, and the coupon code expiration date will be extended by the amount of time that we had to discontinue its use. When re-enabled, the code will be accepted only for ESC Boston attendees and orders will be validated against the ESC Boston attendee list. \$\endgroup\$ – Daniel Grillo Oct 6 '10 at 16:50
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Pop your question in the main E&R stack so everyone can see it, it looks more than relevant to me.

If you feel it's necessary to publish news and links to fully illustrate your question, that's cool with me, it's better than having a lack of background / detail.

The only time it's not cool to publish news and links is when people are shamelessly promoting products without proposing legitimate questions or debates based upon said product, they seem to get spotted early and down-voted into oblivion anyway.

What I think - post away, it's a good question!

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'll revise it since the promo is over, but I'll remember this for next time. \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Vermeer Oct 5 '10 at 22:42

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