North Texas students recently had the opportunity to test drive Texas Instruments’ newest educational robot.
TI-Innovator Rover is the Dallas-based semiconductor company’s first robotics solution for middle and high school students.
It can connect to the TI-Innovator hub, a classroom tool introduced last September to extend the functionality of graphics calculators and can be powered by either a TI-84 Plus CE or TI-Nspire CX graphing calculator.
Peter Balyta, president of TI Education Technology, said in a release that TI developed Rover to “demystify robotics,” offer students a less intimidating gateway into coding and potentially spark their curiosity in science, technology, engineering, and math subjects.
That interest could prepare them for their future.
“Research shows that students involved in robotics are more likely to pursue advanced math, science, and computer science courses. And, even two times more likely to pursue STEM careers,” Balyta said in a Dallas ISD video.
During a recent pilot session with Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas, students used their mathematical skills to write basic code enabling the calculator-controlled robotic car to dance, crash, or draw.
“Normally, I’m really distracted when it comes to math, but this was fun enough for me to pay attention,” said Zamantha Romero, a freshman at Sunset High School, in a TI release.
Talented and Gifted students at Dallas ISD’s William B. Travis Academy were also among the first to use the new robot.
“Given the sheer joy we have seen on students’ faces as they learned to code during our testing phase, we are excited to see how Rover will inspire more young minds through an introduction to robotics,” Balyta said in the TI release.
Rover will be available for purchase in the U.S. and Canada later this fall and in Europe in early 2018.