Hacking Roomba

Archive for November, 2006

iRobot Create: Roomba as robotics platform

Engadget has a nice little article based on FCC docs about how iRobot is coming out with a specially-configured Roomba targeted at the robotics hobbyist.


This is great news. One of the problems covered in the book in many places is the difficulty in attaching add-ons (non-destructively) to the Roomba. With the 6-32 mounting holes and the cargo bay, this new Roomba will be perfect for the more serious robotics hobbyist. The Roomba is a wonderful robot base, it’s nice to see iRobot publicly acknowledge that.

This new Roomba variant is no longer a true Roomba because they’ve removed the vacuum capability. I’m a big fan of alternative uses for things, so for most people I’d recommend getting a normal Roomba and a Bluetooth adapter.


Cylon Roomba – they do exist

With my recent infiltration of the Roomba home world, I was able to capture behind-the-scenes footage of several Roombas as they plan the takeover of humanity. Kevin and Alex were right in Diggnation #71, this is how the first Cylon war begins.

Behind-the-scenes video:

(revver link, youtube link)

Build your own Cylon Roomba.
Learn about how they work in order to reprogram them and avert the Cylon war!


New Roomba Prototyping Cable for Arduino

In the book I discuss how creating a “Roomba Prototyping Plug” is useful when prototyping Roomba circuits with microcontrollers. The plug described is general purpose for use with any microcontroller and is easily built.

A slight variation of that plug allows a Roomba to work with an Arduino board with no additional circuitry or wiring. Not only does it allow you to control the Roomba from Arduino, but the Roomba also powers the Arduino board.


Higher-res images and full photoset.


Cool new Roomba hack from Isobot

Chris Meyers, aka isobot has created a really neat Bluetooth hack for his Roomba Red.

isobot roomba

It looks to be similar in implementation to my Bluetooth adapter but is mounted internally to the Roomba, opening up the possibility of stealthily hiding the adapter. And hiding the fact that the Roomba can now talk back to and be controlled by a computer.

I bet someone could lay out a little PCB with surface mount components that would be really tiny and easily fit within a Roomba.


Hacking Roomba cover orange, not blue

I just received my copies of the book and it turns out the cover is orange.
So look for a friendly orange book online or at your local bookseller.

hacking roomba

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Hacking Roomba now available for pre-order

I am thrilled to announce that Hacking Roomba, my book about how to turn your Roomba into your own singing, dancing, art making robot is available for pre-order on Amazon and will be shipping in mid-November, just in time for the holidays!

hacking roomba cover small

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