TI Calculator Robot

Hey guys I'm semi new to robotics, because I know lots about mechanics and building, lots about individual electronic components, but not a whole
lot in the world of applying those two with microcontrollers and getting a robot in the end. I want to use a TI calculator (almost every kid in high school or college has one) to be the main "brain" for the robot, and for it to communicate with a microcontroller board of somesort. I've been looking at the Arduino board and the Mark III controller board, and I can't decide which would be best for my application. I have the TI 89 Titanium which has an I/O port and a USB port. If anyone has a suggestion of wich board would be best or another board that would be better for the price, I would appreciate it very much. -Brandon
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Try here for a ready-to-go solution for your 89 Titanium:
http://www.smallrobot.com/scimath.html
-- Gordon
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That is a slick looking kit! I want one! Don't *need* it ... but I want it!
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wrote:

That's a neat kit. I can never find my calculator when I need it. Perhaps this one could come to me when I call it.
BRW
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BRW wrote:

That's cuz you don't treat it nicely. Put wheels on the thing and it might run away and find a home with someone else! <ggg>
-- Gordon
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I really was planning on building it my self, and not just ordering some kit (although it does look nice) I want it to be more of a learing experience for getting into robotics, if i just wanted a cool looking robot I would buy the Robosapeien or something
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

You asked about which controller board is best for the application, and this is hard to beat because it's designed for the job. You can concentrate on programming the robot itself rather than the middleware layer. They sell just the controller board if that's all you're interested in.
If you want to do it all yourself, you don't need any ready-made board, and neither of the ones you mention are better or worse for this application. Buy an AVR or PIC chip, put it in a breadboard, and program it directly as the middleware for your calculator.
Since you mention the Robosapien, why not use your calculator to power that?
-- Gordon
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Baisically all I need the middle-ware to do is be a USB (can be I/O since the TI89 Titanium has both a usb port and an I/O port) servo controller AND to be able to send back sensor information. I dont think that that needs to be a microcontroller since the TI89 would be doing all the processing, but I dont know of anything out there that I could buy or build that would simply power two servos and a couple of sensors through a USB or I/O type port. If anyone knows what kind of "controller board minus the microcontroller" board that would be, I would definitally just do that. I just suggested the arduino board since it seem closed to being what I wanted.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

USB is an asymmetric protocol; the "device controller" is rather dumb; exactly one machine on the bus must implement a "host controller" that knows how to talk to devices; this host controller is rather complicated to implement. Calculators, printers, etc. all implement the device controller and are therefore unable to communicate directly with each other. Thus, you need a microcontroller on the IO board simply to implement the communications stack that talks to the calculator.
There is an "on-the-go" supplement to the USB 2 spec that allows a USB device to switch between host and device modes, but I doubt the TI supports that. If it did, then your IO board might be able to use a much simpler USB chipset (e.g. a compact-flash interface).
http://www.usb.org/developers/onthego /
- Daniel
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So do you think (or know) if the TI89 Titanium's USB port would be able to communicate with the arduino board, to send it commands? Or should I contact someone from Arduino or TI about that?
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

You should check with the Arduino people (somebody there surely owns the same model TI), but I do not think your calculator is compatible with the Arduino board. There are also some good TI user forums, though I don't remember where they were (former HP user).
See section 3 on this page: http://www.arduino.cc/en/Guide/Howto
- Daniel
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