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TI-83+ Robot from Norland Research
Posted by Eric on 2 August 2000, 03:43 GMT

Kevin FitzGerrell sent in a link about a new Calculator Robot from Norland Research. This robot uses a TI-83+ for controls, and allows a user to easily construct a TI-BASIC program that calls an assembly program to move the robot around. Pretty nifty stuff.

 


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Re: TI-83+ Robot from Norland Research
Ryan Castellucci  Account Info

ohhh I want one of those!

     2 August 2000, 04:04 GMT


Re: Re: TI-83+ Robot from Norland Research
Ciaran McCreesh  Account Info
(Web Page)

One of what? The robots or the girls?

Ciaran

     3 August 2000, 20:07 GMT

Re: Re: Re: TI-83+ Robot from Norland Research
freakonaleash881  Account Info

Cleavage sells... Except when the product sux0rs,like this one does.

     3 August 2000, 22:09 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: TI-83+ Robot from Norland Research
Desh Fernando  Account Info

It certainly does ...

     27 April 2001, 15:50 GMT


Re: Re: Re: TI-83+ Robot from Norland Research
alejandro wagmister  Account Info

You mean the girl? The person on the left is obviously either a boy or a tomboy. However, the girl on the left is rather tantalizing *drool*. Slp slp. I do want one of those, the robot or the chic.

Alf

     11 August 2000, 01:59 GMT

Re: TI-83+ Robot from Norland Research
David Phillips  Account Info
(Web Page)

This is interesting, but not a new idea. David West built a robot and controlled it using a TI-86 in assembly language over a year ago. The interesting part is that they are trying to market it. At $89, it is pretty expensive for a hobbyist, especially for such a limited robot. One would learn a lot more by build it him/herself from scratch, and would probably save money as well. I found one quote to be particullarly funny:

"Compare this to other robot kits. You get a LCD graphic display, basic or assembly programming built in, a keypad, loads of programming information on the web, and plenty of memory. And you can write your programs on you desktop computer and download them into your robot quickly and easily."

Considering that the TI-83+ retails for $99 (although you can find it cheaper), that makes this an expensive robot. For $190 in parts, you could build a much nicer robot. Of course you wouldn't have an 83+ calculator with it, but who would want one of those anyway? :)

     2 August 2000, 04:06 GMT

Re: Re: TI-83+ Robot from Norland Research
Dan Englender Account Info
(Web Page)

"At $89, it is pretty expensive for a hobbyist, especially for such a limited robot."
...I think it's cheifly aimed at the education market, but I'm not sure. Also, the robot can be expanded, at least slightly, as it has some currently unused input and output lines.

     2 August 2000, 04:19 GMT

Re: Re: Re: TI-83+ Robot from Norland Research
David Phillips  Account Info
(Web Page)

Yeah, it looks like they are aiming at the educational market, but I don't see it as being that big. Possibly a high school class would get use out of it, but other than that, there isn't much use. My high school had many of those CBL/CBR add-ons that cost hundreds of dollars, and in four years of math, I used them once for a day. So maybe schools will buy them, but that is doubtful. Any college level class is going to have you build a robot yourself, and I would guess that any high school class involving robotics would as well.

     2 August 2000, 04:27 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: TI-83+ Robot from Norland Research
Rick Rowland  Account Info
(Web Page)

Yes, it's a shame that TI chose to sell a great product with very little support. TI likes to keep things secret, so in the mean time they prevent anyone from using their product to the fullest. I'm sure your teachers would use the CBL more; they just can't get any good documentation on the darn thing! There are hundreds of teachers using the CBL more than your teacher chooses. If you are really interested in getting more use for the CBL, email me and I will send you a mail list that your teacher can join to get some help. The new CBL is awesome; wish they would get it released.

Rick Rowland
Norland Research
http://www.smallrobot.com

     4 August 2000, 07:10 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: TI-83+ Robot from Norland Research
aoejedi  Account Info
(Web Page)

Anyone else remember the LogoWriter/Lego robot? We had the LogoWriter part and the Lego part but not the interface at my school.

     11 August 2000, 02:08 GMT


Re: Re: Re: TI-83+ Robot from Norland Research
L_Kishyak  Account Info
(Web Page)

and besides...and REAL ti-guru would get one (83+ owners)...and you could use "Wacky Numbar Generator (version)" to port it to your calculator (if you have the 86, or 89...)

hey, couldn't control this thing with CalcSys?
I want one of these...so bad...that is like the perfect fair booth item!

Steve

     3 August 2000, 12:53 GMT

Re: Re: TI-83+ Robot from Norland Research
matt c  Account Info
(Web Page)

david, do you have any links to hobby robotic sites?

     2 August 2000, 05:46 GMT


Re: Re: Re: TI-83+ Robot from Norland Research
Justin B  Account Info
(Web Page)

http://www.coolrobots.com

     4 August 2000, 20:33 GMT

Re: Re: TI-83+ Robot from Norland Research
Titan_X  Account Info
(Web Page)

Well, if it's true that David West created an asembly robot over a year ago, I wish he had patented it. Then he could sue the pants off these bastards who are trying to rip off people with their piece of junk. I agree. People would learn a LOT more if they built it themselves. You can buy the parts at any local Radio Shack for a LOT less (or special order them through Radio Shack Unlimited).
By the way, I just wanted to say that the girl on the right had nice cleavage.
That is all.

     2 August 2000, 05:46 GMT

Re: Re: Re: TI-83+ Robot from Norland Research
deuist Account Info
(Web Page)

Check out my url for the original story on Dave's TI-86 robot.

     2 August 2000, 16:14 GMT

Re: Re: Re: TI-83+ Robot from Norland Research
Kevin FitzGerrell  Account Info
(Web Page)

Cheaper to buy the parts at Radio Shack? I think not. From a similar bot I built:

2 R/C servos (Hitec HS-300BB) - $21 each, Foam model aircraft wheels (Kyosha 55mm) - $6.00 each, tailwheel and bracket - about $3.00, serial servo controller (Ferretronics FT639) - $20.00, misc items (ICs, perf board, caps, connectors, microswitches, bump switch arms, DB9 connector, battery box, resistors, wires, etc...) - about $20. My total -- $97, mostly at Tower Hobbies and Digi-Key.

Their $85.95 shipped sounds pretty reasonable for what you get (or else I wouldn't have sent the link). You can certainly build cheaper robots from scratch, but this is a reasonable price for a kit. Kits like these are especially convenient for people who's main interest in robotics is the software. If I was going to offer a product like this I'd want it to support most TI and HP calcs with serial I/O, but it's still pretty cool.

     2 August 2000, 23:23 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: TI-83+ Robot from Norland Research
Titan_X  Account Info
(Web Page)

Radio Shack doesn't even carry half of those things. And if you paid that much, man... they sure saw you coming. I could get it for a heck of a lot less... well, I guess it's probably because I get an employee rate...
The girl on the right still has nice cleavage... *sigh*

     3 August 2000, 06:05 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: TI-83+ Robot from Norland Research
Kevin FitzGerrell  Account Info
(Web Page)

You're right, Radio Shack doesn't carry most of those things, and the ones they do cost too much. As I said, most of those items came from Tower Hobbies (for the R/C and model stuff) and Digi-Key for the rest. Looking around the net I don't see much better prices for the equipment (I included shipping). I could have gotten cheaper servos, but for wheel drive servos I like the ball bearing Futabas.

     3 August 2000, 17:09 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: TI-83+ Robot from Norland Research
Mercury  Account Info

Well, no wonder man!!! try going to someplace like hobby warehouse or somethin, go and pick up a recent copy of R/C car action... you went cheap on components and still got out in the hole... Tower is extremely overpriced, at least it was last time i checked

     4 August 2000, 03:55 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: TI-83+ Robot from Norland Research
Kevin FitzGerrell  Account Info
(Web Page)

Thanks for the tip -- Hobby Warehouse doesn't list the 300BB servos I used, but I could have gotten 425BB pros and saved $2 each. They don't stock the wheels either, but looks like the price would have been about the same. Of course since Hobby Warehouse would have reamed me on the shipping (there's no UPS ground service to Alaska, so they ship 2nd day air) I'd have been further in the hole.

     4 August 2000, 05:42 GMT


Re: Re: Re: TI-83+ Robot from Norland Research
Rick Rowland  Account Info
(Web Page)

I hope you are using an Apple Computer, not that stolen Windows operating system:)

Goodness, you must be from the past! Radio Shack is now a cheap radio control car store, a stereo store, a cell phone store, a computer store? You should visit one today. They are not an electronics supply store any more. Got a part number from Radio Shack for a 2.5mm stereo plug for the link port? How about a LP2950 low drop out 5v regulator? You get the picture, hard to do much with what they keep in stock.

I guess I should of asked David West about building a robot using a Z80 processor in 1978 when I built my first one. But, I couldn't find him at the time. Al Gore had not invented the internet yet:)

And yes, if anyone is interested in building a robot by themself, just email me. I will give you a list of where to buy every componet, where to have the pc board made, how to program the PIC processor and where to buy any programmers and software needed. We will help you select a scope and any test gear you need. I will give you instructions on how to modify a servo for uses as a gear box. Plus, when you are done, we will get you up and building a small amplifier for sound, a ir range finder, a wheel encoder, a digital compass, sonar range finder, a battery level indicator, radio and inferred remote control, and anything else you think you want to build for your robot.

Rick Rowland
Norland Research
http://www.smallrobot.com

     4 August 2000, 07:06 GMT

Re: Re: TI-83+ Robot from Norland Research
James!  Account Info

Everyone who even thinks they might want one of these should immediately go get a LEGO Mindstorms robotics set instead. They are COOL! They have way more capabilities than this robot, and can be expanded with any LEGO pieces you still have lying around from your younger days. You can build a line-following robot with the basic kit, not with an add-on, and program it yourself. It's not just a toy, either. I've seen pictures of LEGO robots built by serious researchers at prestigious colleges!

     3 August 2000, 02:14 GMT


Re: Re: TI-83+ Robot from Norland Research
Rick Rowland  Account Info
(Web Page)

Wow, didn't see this coming for such a simple robot kit.
Seems to be a lot of talk about other robot kits, but know body wants to mention them. So here is a list:

Boe Bot www.parallaxinc.com $199
Rug Warrior www.acroname.com $580
Micro Mouse www.lynxmotion.com $95
Carpet Rover www.lynxmotion.com $115
Talrikbb www.mrrobot.com $200
Explore Bot www.robotstore.com $229
Lego Mindstorm www.legomindstorms.com $200
Fischertechnik www.robotstore.com $599

Also, if anyone has any others, please add them to the list. Being a small company we do this for fun, trust me there is no money to be made in robot kits! Our main product is S.A.M. If you check out the links on our web site, you will see plenty of references to other robot suppliers and do it yourself sites. If you have a robot you want to share with the rest of the world, be sure to send us a link or pictures. We will be happy to post it on our web site. If you do not buy from us, I hope you purchase one of the kits above and enjoy the robotics hobby as much as I have for the last 25 years.

Rick Rowland
Norland Research
http://www.smallrobot.com

     4 August 2000, 06:49 GMT

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