[originally published 15 Feb 2006 in Makezine blog and edited by Phil Torrone
If you liked the serial port cable/board Roomba how to, you’ll really like this one – controlling a Roomba via Bluetooth! Roomba’s have a serial port that let you entirely control them. Adding a Bluetooth serial adapter to wirelessly control the Roomba isn’t that hard to do. It looks just like a serial port to the OS, so the software from the previous how to works with it too.
This was the first version I built, trying to make it as small as possible. While the x & y dimensions are a little smaller, the z dimension is about twice as tall. Since this is a nicer prototyping board with plated holes, it feels a lot sturdier than the second version using the cheap Radio Shack board.
See Flickr photo with notes.
Larger version here.
If the BlueSMiRF could take the +16VDC the Roomba puts out, the voltage regulator circuit below wouldn’t be needed and we’d save a lot of space.
These Radio Shack prototyping boards are cheap ($1.79) which is nice, but since the holes aren’t plated thru with metal, getting solder to stick well is sometimes problematic. However, this does mean that if you mess up, it’s easy to remove parts.
After testing continuity and voltage tests on all the pins going to the Roomba and the BlueSMiRF, I plugged in the BlueSMiRF and tried talking to it with the computer. When that succeeded, I plugged it into the Roomba and tried talking to the Roomba. Success!
Every gadget deserves a little enclosure. Since this was Bluetooth, I figured a blue floss container was appropriate.46 comments