Terrapin Resources

Coding with the Tiles

Each TacTile Reader comes with 25 tiles.

  • 8 Forward tiles
  • 8 Back tiles
  • 4 Left turn tiles
  • 4 Right turn tiles
  • 1 Pause tile

The Extension Pack offers additional tiles to expand the capabilities of the TacTile Reader. It contains:

  • 4 45°-degree left turn tiles
  • 4 45°-degree right turn tiles
  • 3 Open repeat bracket tiles
  • 3 Close repeat bracket tiles
  • 2 Pause tiles
  • 2 2x, 1 3x, 2 4x, 2 6x, and 2 8x tiles to specify the number of times to repeat code inside the brackets.

Each tile offers both vertical (portrait) and horizontal (landscape) orientations.
Flip a tile over to see the alternate orientation.

These orientations allow students to position the TacTile Reader either horizontally or vertically in the TacTile Reader. Note that a forward tile sends a forward command to the robot, regardless of how it is positioned in the TacTile Code Reader.

If tiles are changed after the Send button is pressed, the robot still follows the original program that was sent to it.

Have students start with just a few tiles so they can see how the tiles send commands to Bee-Bot or Tuff-Bot.

Constructing a program

Each TacTile reader has positions for up to 10 tiles. To construct a program, students place the direction tiles in the desired order. A red LED will light above each tile position to show that the TacTile reader has recognized the tile.

When the program is complete, press the Send button, which transmits the code to the robot. To help debug the program, an LED will light above the tile that is currently being executed.

When all the program steps have been completed, students can modify or debug the program by changing the tiles or positions.