Author Archives: Lucas Allen

TI-Innovator Ranger Demo and Code

TI-Innovator Ranger Demo and Code

A few weeks back, I added my review of the TI-Innovator. I had a couple of demos in that review, and I’ve been adding an explanation and code so interested teachers and students can try them out in their own classrooms. In this post, I’m taking the TI-Innovator Ranger for a spin. The Ranger technology is nothing new for Texas Instruments calculators, going all the way back to the TI-83 family of devices. A simple explanation of the Ranger is that it sense out a pulse of sound and then measures how that sound bounces back to see how close the nearest object located in front of it is, much like sonar.

In the past, Texas Instruments has provided apps and programs to use on TI devices that work with the Ranger to have your graphing calculator generate plots like distance vs. time or velocity vs. time. I’ve used this in my classes from middle school through high school to discuss concepts like rates of change.

There are some importance differences with the TI-Innovator Ranger. First, it is a much smaller device that connects to the the Innovator Hub. Second, the expectation is that a user will write their own program to use its measurements rather than one provided by Texas Instruments. That’s exactly what I’ve done in this demo video. Rather than create a distance vs. time plot, I’ve used the speaker in the TI-Innovator Hub to give audio feedback.  Here’s the video:

How did I accomplish this? In fact it took only about 10 lines of code to get this type of response from the Innovator, all of which would be appropriate for an Algebra I class. Essentially, I had the TI-Nspire get a reading of the distance, d, detected by the ranger. Then, I had a very simple linear function that took that distance and created a new variable, f, larger (higher) for small distances and smaller (lower) for larger distances. The Hub is then instructed to play a brief tone of that frequency. To make this behavior repeat for a while, I wrapped it in a For loop that iterates 200 times.

Define rngalm()=
Prgm
Define d=0
Send "CONNECT RANGER 1 TO IN 1 "
For n,1,200
Send "READ RANGER 1"
Get d
Define f=1000-d*300
Send "SET SOUND eval(f) TIME .1"
Disp d
EndFor
EndPrgm

Again, I think all that given a little time to break this into its components, all of this could be understood by a 14 year old as one of her first exposures to programming. This is what makes the TI-Innovator an attractive device in the mathematics or science classroom, its ability to combine simple math and science concepts with coding.

TI-Innovator Hub Demo

I recently added a review of the TI-Innovator. I had a couple of simple demos in there, and I promised I’d show how I did them later. Here’s the first of two blog posts explaining one of those demos. This one is really simple, just playing a few notes from the original Super Mario Bros… Continue Reading

TI-Innovator Review

TI-Innovator Review

  A few months back, Texas Instruments announced a new STEM education product they had developed that would encourage kids to develop coding skills right on their graphing calculators, the TI-Innovator. The Innovator would work with either the TI-Nspire CX family or the TI-84 Plus CE, the latest generation of Texas Instruments graphing calculators. I… Continue Reading

How to Draw Mario on the TI-Nspire

A few months back I had some time on my hands and did a post on how to graph Mickey Mouse with the TI-Nspire. Today I found myself in the same situation and decided to try my hand with the classic Nintendo character Mario on the Nspire. I imposed the same rules on myself as… Continue Reading

Texas Instruments Announces TI-Innovator

Texas Instruments Announces TI-Innovator

UPDATE: I have posted a hands on TI-Innovator review. Continuing to build their brand as a way to teach and learn STEM skills in the classroom, Texas Instruments has announced exciting new hardware, the TI-Innovator Hub. The TI-Innovator was created using the TI LaunchPad™ Board technology and is designed as a classroom tool that introduces students… Continue Reading