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In November, Rick over at Norland Research kindly sent along an early version of his E3 Robot, meant to work with the newest TI-84 Plus family calculator, the TI-84 Plus CE. Unlike all of its TI-83 Plus/TI-84 Plus predecessors, the TI-84 Plus CE lacks the 2.5mm I/O ("DBUS") port that allowed easy connection to external hardware. The reason for that omission is not clear, but the fact remains that all hardware compatible with the TI-84 Plus CE must use USB for communication. TI has simplified this by providing built-in USB serial support for some platforms, and TI's TI Innovator Hub is a great example of USB-connected hardware for the TI-84 Plus CE. Therefore, Norland needed to update their classic calculator-controlled robot kit that used the 2.5mm DBUS port to use USB instead. The way they have done this is to overhaul the robot to connect to the TI Innovator Hub.

In the video below, I connect my TI Innovator Hub and TI-84 Plus CE to the new robot, and write two simple programs. The first lets the calculator control the robot wheels, independently spinning each one backwards and forwards. The second program is a little more complex, detecting collisions using the front bump sensors and using the motors to back the robot away from obstacles. The robot is easy to use, and if you have TI Innovator Hub(s) and TI-84 Plus calculators in your classroom (or home), you have everything you need to make it work. If you don't already have the TI Innovator Hub, it's an unfortunate (but necessary) result of the TI-84 Plus CE's missing 2.5mm I/O port that you need to buy that as well as the robot itself. It appears that this robot is not yet available from Norland Research's website, but Cemetech will have the news when it is available.

Watch
Hands-On with Norland Research E3 Robot for TI-84 Plus CE

OMG this is AWESOME. Now I can make my calculator even more fearsome! And I can become even more addicted to my calculator! Awesome! I NEED one of these...
A calculator that rolls around on two wheels, with a very tall body.

Hilarity inevitably ensues.

*imagines a classroom full of these bumping into each other*
oldmud0 wrote:
A calculator that rolls around on two wheels, with a very tall body.

Hilarity inevitably ensues.

*imagines a classroom full of these bumping into each other*


Sounds like 7th grade algebra with my old algebra teacher....
I would prefer it if it were able to function without the use of the TI-Innovator; but I guess that's okay Razz Awesome work for sure! Super neat stuff.
I just saw the video a few hours before this topic was created, it's pretty cool! Makes me wish I had a innovator hub. Smile
My robotics class is actually making a similar robot but with Ultrasonic sensors instead of bumpers and a raspberry pi instead of a calculator. I'm a little surprised to see how similar the code is to python code. This code looks soooo much simpler than what we have to do. Smile I can't wait for it to be available! I think I'll actually inform my robotics teacher about it, it cant be that much more expensive than a pi. right? Very Happy
That's really neat! If I didn't already have two expensive robot kits I hardly ever use anymore, I would probably get one!

What is the TI-Innovator, though?
I saw the video before your post here, and it looks awesome! If I only had the TI-Innovator... Razz
This is AMAZING! Now I can nag my parents for more goodies Very Happy. Maybe this will come out to be something like VEX or NXT Idea
MateoConLechuga wrote:
I would prefer it if it were able to function without the use of the TI-Innovator; but I guess that's okay Razz Awesome work for sure! Super neat stuff.
It would indeed! How would you propose doing that?

TheLastMillennial wrote:
I just saw the video a few hours before this topic was created, it's pretty cool! Makes me wish I had a innovator hub. Smile
My robotics class is actually making a similar robot but with Ultrasonic sensors instead of bumpers and a raspberry pi instead of a calculator. I'm a little surprised to see how similar the code is to python code. This code looks soooo much simpler than what we have to do. Smile I can't wait for it to be available! I think I'll actually inform my robotics teacher about it, it cant be that much more expensive than a pi. right? Very Happy
You should totally suggest it to your teacher!

Switchblade wrote:
That's really neat! If I didn't already have two expensive robot kits I hardly ever use anymore, I would probably get one!

What is the TI-Innovator, though?
That sounds easy to fix by Googling TI-Innovator. Wink Take a look at Hands-On With the TI-Innovator and Unboxing the TI-Innovator Hub and Breadboard Pack.

Rick has also kindly emailed me to let me know that although personal events have prevented him from working on the robot in a while, they have some updates and upgrades to the prototype in the pipeline. I've also heard that TI might be exploring a robot in some way as well.
KermMartian wrote:
It would indeed! How would you propose doing that?

Well, just connect the TI-84 Plus CE directly to the robot, and do some magic USB stuff to get it working Razz
  
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