The CEENBoT-TI refers to a special firmware that you flash up to the CEENBoT, that allows it to interpret commands issued from select TI (Texas Instruments) Scientific Calculators to allow the CEENBoT to perform a variety of tasks. Basic tasks include manipulating and controlling the CEENBoT's stepper motors to set speed, acceleration and travel distance. Users can also query the state of the IR proximity sensors as well as control the indicator LEDs on the controller board. Programs are written on the calculator itself using a programming language called TI-Basic that is supported out of the box by select TI scientific calculators. Within the program, users send commands to the CEENBoT using specially formatted commands in their TI-Basic programs that manipulate the CEENBoT in a variety of ways. The purpose of the CEENBoT-TI firmware is to serve as an interpreter of these calculator-issued commands.
The calculator connects to the CEENBoT via the so-called serial LINK cable as shown in the below figure. To do so, a special adapter is required for CEENBoTs with controller board revision 2.21. CEENBoT controller boards with revision 2.23 already come equipped with the connector that is part of the controller PCB itself that the cable plugs into. Information about the hardware, and the TI-adapter board can be obtained by contacting CEENBoT, Inc.
Develpment of the CEENBoT-TI ws driven by the University of Nebraska College of Education. It was meant to be used by entry-level junior-high students (as well as high-school) for doing basic robotics tasks and as an improvement to the Norland Robotics Platform, pictured below.
Users of the CEENBoT had a desire to use it in the same manner as the Norland robot, which was limited by the fact that its motors only moved at a single speed (ON or OFF) and only came equipped with a single mechanical bump sensor at the center of the frame. The CEENBoT, in comparison, has two IR bump sensors, and motors can be independently controlled with variable speeds and acceleration parameters. Not to mention other controllable features such as LEDs, and the ability to query IR and pushbutton states on the CEENBoT.
It has been used by a few educational institutions in the state of Nebraska as well as in competition, such as the Nebraska Robotics Expo (below).
The initial CEENBoT-TI software infrastructure was written by Nicholas Wertzberger. It was then adapted into the mainline CEENBoT-API with minor modifications where it's currently maintained.
The CEENBoT-TI supports the following (tested) calculators:
If you are considering using CEENBoT-TI you are highly advised to test it yourself with the model(s) of interest for suitability and purpose before committing to its use with a larger audience, as the CEENBoT-TI is mainly an experimental feature of the CEENBoT-API.
If you want to make use of CEENBoT-TI you must fulfill the following requirements:
Use of the CEENBoT-TI with AVR Studio 4 is no longer supported. However, you can still use it at your own risk. Old documentation is kept for this purpose. Please note that using Atmel Studio 6 is so much better and highly recommended. AVR Studio 4 only works on old 32-bit Windows (such as Windows XP) and does not work with newer versions of Windows. You should avoid it if at all possible.
The above set of requirements assume you're NOT using the CEENBoT Utility Tool and have not migrated your CEENBoT to make use of the Program Loader at which case you would need a USB-To-Serial cable (with gender changer) instead of the AVR-ISP cable. Furhter information can be found here.
The general steps you should carry out to get started with CEENBoT-TI is as follows, provided, of course, that you meet all the requirements:
Note that the guide mentioned above is written for AVR Studio 4, while the recommended version is Atmel Studio 6. I wish I could say an updated version is in the works, but for the time being you will have to use the current guide and extrapolate what you need to do (which is just flash the firmware).
Please read the Things You Should Know Before You Use CEENBoT-TI section further below before you proceed with experimenting with the CEENBoT-TI firmware & command interpreter.
Please note that revision numbers have no relation to other files or the static library. The fact some documents have the same revision number is pure coincidence.
|CEENBoT-TI Driver/Firmware||Intel Hex||v1.05.029R||79KB||7/7/2015||Download|
|CEENBoT-TI: User's Guide & Command Reference||1.04||1.6MB||7/7/2015||Download|
Your CEENBoT comes pre-programmed with a default firmware, which throughout all documentation in this site is simply referred to as the factory firmware authored by the makers of CEENBoT. It is very important for users to be aware that the 'factory firmware' and a 'CEENBoT-TI firmware/interpreter' are completely separate and distinct pieces of firmware.
When you flash up and overwrite the contents of FLASH memory of your CEENBoT with the CEENBoT-TI firmware, you are erasing the factory firmware given everytime you flash up a program, a 'chip erase' is performed as part of the programming process of the ATmega324 microcontroller (or alternatively, if a chip erase is not automatically performed, the previous firmware is simply overwritten). When you do this, you do not have access to any of the factory firmware's features, of which the most important is the ability for you to RECHARGE YOUR BATTERY! So let me reiterate this one more time to be clear:
You need the factory firmware to recharge your battery AFTER you're done playing with your CEENBoT, whether it was running CEENBoT-TI or not.
This means that you need to have access to the factory firmware in hand (i.e., saved somewhere on your computer, or thumb drive, etc) ready for when you need the battery charging feature. You can obtain the factory firmware in two ways:
So, please keep in mind the following points:
If your CEENBoT shows symptoms of a low battery while running CEENBoT-TI firmware, STOP what you're doing, flash up the factory firmware and recharge your battery! If your CEENBoT completely dies out, you will be UNABLE to do this!
 - "Texas Instruments Calculator Controlled Robot". Norland Research. Accessed: Jul. 6, 2015. Available Online. URL: http://www.smallrobot.com/scimath.html