Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Online Challenges

Electronics Online Challenge Sponsored by Texas Instruments

Back by popular demand! Texas Instruments (TI) is one of the largest semiconductor design and manufacturing companies in the world. That means we make amazing technology that is inside many of the most innovative electronic products you use every day. For example, you may not have realized it but TI technology is at the heart of the VEX IQ controller and many TI components are used inside the device. We want to challenge you to look at your world with the eyes of an engineer and explore the inner-workings of an electronic device of your choice. Once you choose a product, you will deconstruct the device, catalog what you find inside, and then submit a final report with your findings on what you discovered.

TI technology is also probably inside many of the electronic products you use every day. For example, TI components are inside the VEX IQ controller, BEATS headphones, GoPro Hero 4 camera, Tesla cars, and the Samsung Galaxy. We challenge you to find a device (we recommend choosing something you don’t mind breaking apart, for example an old phone), and carefully deconstruct the device so you can find out what electronic components are inside. Most semiconductor chips are labeled with the company name and component name. Then conduct online research to discover what the component does and what its role might be within the entire system of the electronic device.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Smart phone, tablet or mobile device
  • Camera, voice recorder, video camera, tv remote
  • Headphones, speakers, music player
  • Watch, Pedometer, GPS navigator, Garage door opener
  • Computer components like mouse, monitor, keyboard

SAFETY TIPS: Before starting this challenge, make sure to have your chosen device approved by your team coach/leader/mentor/parent for safety purposes. Also note that some devices contain capacitors that hold a charge and extreme caution should be used. Any electrical device that contains a power source must be disconnected or removed before disassembly (unplug all cords and remove all batteries). You must wear safety glasses during the disassembly process.



Texas Instrument


Robotics Challenge


This is an iSymphony model cr8cd that we are breaking down and observing. We chose to break this one down because this does things that we use everyday with features like a clock, a radio,  a speaker system, iPod docking, and a CD audio system. These components will help us learn how lots of things operate and we will be able to use this knowledge later on in life.


 Starting with the motherboard. The Motherboard is the main circuit board, its main purpose is...


Electronics Online Challenge: Samsung S4


This is team 5081E: The Mechanatee's submission for the Electronics Online Challenge.

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36637A - Hard Disk


In conducting this research project, we discovered a lot important components and the true electrical function of them. We had heard of before, but never looked into. While this device is not associated with Texas Instruments, we learned more about the very global path that the products we use must travel in order to make it into our possession and how even the simplest of devices is very complex on the inside. We also concluded how the hard disk works.

1- Commander intervention IC (lfh-88i6540) to perform its processors where the command gives reading or writing...


Awkward Cats 1069K Texas Instruments Challenge


Hi! We're Piper, Mia, Indira, and Milo and we are the Awkward Cats from Berthoud Robotics Club. We chose to dissasemble the Que! Fire CD RW for this project. Some of our challenges we faced were meeting virtually because of Covid and that they device is older, so we had a hard time looking up some of the components. We learned a lot of new things and we hope you like our report! 

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Texas Instruments Home Computer TI-99/4A


For this challenge, our team disassembled a TI-99/4A home computer. The TI-99/4A is a famous piece of hardware among computer enthusiasts because of its game-changing 16-bit microprocessor.

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Blackout Robotics Electronics Challenge


On behalf of team 6105C Blackout Robotics, this is our submission for the 2020-2021 Texas Instruments electronics online challenge.

For this project, I took apart the DJI Phantom 1 drone and evaluated subsystems and circuitry components. Through the analysis and research, I discovered a lot about flight control, GPS control, and essential circuit components like capacitors, integrated circuits, diodes, transistors, RTCs, and crystal oscillators.

The report is linked below. Best of luck to everyone!

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Nokia 3310-3G: The Three Main Parts


This submission is by Elena W. (53732D; Team Dino-Mite) from All Nations Community School. Read more to find out about the retro and classy Nokia 3310-3G phone.

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T.I. Challenge - Dissecting an XBOX


While taking apart the Xbox controller, we took several notes and four different pictures of different areas inside of the controller. In order to take apart the controller, we needed a Torx T8 and Y10 screwdriver, a spudger. and a pair of tweezers.

In the first picture, we are able to see one of the two main mother boards. The different objects that we pointed out in this photo were the battery connectors, the antenna cable, and the board connectors. The battery connectors are what holds and allows the batteries power to flow through the controller. The connector snaps the two...


Cassette Tape Recorder


For the challenge I have decided to take apart an old cassette tape recorder (here are some labeled pictures I have taken on the things I saw) First, I unscrewed the 3 screws on the back pannel and the 2 in the battery pan and then removed the outer rear shell from internals. Next, I was able to remove the front shell from the...


Electronics Challenge Submission- Shanari Buckner


Attached is my submission for the challenge. I took apart an Asus Zenpad Z8s tablet. 

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Deconstructing Cisco Router


With the isolation situation from each of our team members, performing through ZOOM meetings for the deconstruction of a daily used electronic device which was approved by our mentor was a challenge all its own. Each member was able to research the purpose & roles of the inner workings of the chips and components within our device. Our document includes: Final Summary with Introduction, Summary, Research findings and conclusion of Lessons learned; photograph of exterior, interior and internal components including captions; and research documentation related to each component. Thank you...


3204C Electronics Challenge


3204C Team entry to VEX Electronics online challenge.

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Sony DVD Player (Antique Netflix)


For this online challenge, I took apart a Sony CD/DVD player (model number DVP-NS57P). I chose to take this apart because I wanted to see what components were inside and what powers this piece of technology. I also created a decision matrix*. Before I took anything apart, I did four things. The first thing I did was write a hypothesis. Here is what I thought I would find:

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Texas Instrument Electronic Online Challenge


In this challenge, I took apart an LG Optimus Fuel phone and documented the chips I found.

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Lightning Ninjas


TI Online VEX Challenge

The device we chose is the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. We chose this because it is a piece of technology we use every day.  It’s fascinating that something so small can do so many functions.  We wanted to learn what was inside that makes the phone work and understand all the engineering that went into it. The phone we took apart was a broken phone from one of our parents. 

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NanoBeasts - Sony Blu- Ray Player Electronics Challenge

Team Name: LMJ

Team Number: 2952 B


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ESHS P.O.T.O.T.A.O.E.S. TI Electronics Online...


Texas Instruments Online Challenge Submission

Maxwell Busse

El Segundo High School

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Struc Sharks


Struc Sharks


Once our team heard about the Texas Instruments challenge, we immediately wanted to participate in it. We learned that the device had to contain technology made by TI. I have a TI-84 Plus CE and my sister has a TI-84 Plus. We didn’t want to take apart something that we actually use, so we went to a thrift store and bought a 21-year-old TI-83 Plus for 20 dollars. I did a graphing test between the 3 graphing calculators and found that the TI-84 Plus CE came in first and the normal TI-84 Plus came in last. The 21-year-old calculator came in 2nd!

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