Hacking Roomba

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Projects Repository

The book contains over a dozen projects. Below are a list of Roomba hacking projects that were either created before the book and more complex projects that build upon the techniques presented in the book.

Reviews of other hacking tools:


Embedded Linux

While the microcontroller inside the Roomba is too tiny to run a full operating system like Linux, there are several small and cheap Linux-capable boards that you can discretely fit on top of the Roomba.

Stay tuned for code downloads of an OpenWrt-based Linux system to control your Roomba! (or get the book :-)

For now, if you’re experienced with OpenWrt and C, you can get the “roombacmd” C library from the SVN repository and the ipkg package control files:



There are a huge number of interesting and useful sites on the Net to help you learn and practice electronics hacking. Here are a few I’ve found useful when hacking Roombas.

Roomba Related

  • iRobot.com/developers
    — official iRobot hacking site, with ROI/SCI specification.
  • Roomba Review
    — good general info site about all things Roomba
  • Roomba Review Robotic Hacking forum
    — a good place to meet other people doing Roomba hacking
  • MyRoomBud Roomba costumes
    — fun costumes for your Roomba
  • roomba.pbwiki.com
    — Roomba hacking wiki moderated by Phil Torrone
  • Roomba Buyer’s Guide
    — an iRobot investor watching for great Roomba deals. Via his site I got two Roombas for $60 each on Amazon.
  • Element Direct
    — they have the most awesome MindControl add-on for your Roomba which is a super-tiny pencil eraser-sized plugin micrcontroller (AVR, like Arduino). Its stealth size means only you’ll know that your Roomba has extra brains on-board.
  • RoombaDevTools.com
    — offers fully-assembled and -tested workalikes of the serial tether and Bluetooth interface presented in the book. A great way to get started hacking Roombas without needing to know how to solder! I’ve purchased many RooTooths from these guys, they’re great.

Hacking Sites

Electronics Tutorials

Example Circuits

Part Suppliers

  • New Parts
    • SparkFun
      — Arudino board and shield, and many other neat gizmos.
    • Jameco
      — General electronic parts, easy-to-use, also has computer parts.
    • Digikey
      — Exhaustive parts supplier. Cheaper than Jameco usually, has more variation, more hard-to-find parts.
  • Surplus Parts
    • C & H Surplus
      — Has lots of interesting and strange parts from aerospace companies
    • All Electronics
      — Good for cables, power supplies, and some LEDs.
    • MPJA
      — Also good for power supplies and just weird stuff.