Hacking Roomba

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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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Welcome to Hacking Roomba!

Hello and welcome to the official website for the book Hacking Roomba.

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iRobot announces Roomba Dirt Dog

dirt dog

The iRobot Dirt Dog Workshop Robot looks to be essentially a heavy-duty Roomba made for workshops and light outdoor work.

As it also appears to have an ROI port, all hacks in presented Hacking Roomba should also work with the Dirt Dog.

More info about the Dirt Dog can be found at this article at The Mercury News.

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DorkBot SoCal Presentation: Un-everyday Environments

I gave a presentation at the June 3rd meeting of the SoCal instantiaton of dorkbot held at the wonderful Machine Project gallery. The theme was “Un-everyday Environments”, with robotic vacuum cleaners of the future being just one part of that. I brought along an entourage of Roombas to demonstrate the hackability of and fun available with these little robots.

Some of the things I talked about:

– RoombaMidi / Roombas making music
– Roomba Spirographs / Roombas making art
– Roomba as robotics experimentation platform
– What’s needed to hack a Roomba

You can see the summary of the meeting at the Dorkbot SoCal Past page.

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RoombaMidi: Roomba as MIDI instrument

roomba midi
As mentioned on Makezine, Hackaday, Engadget, and MusicThing, you can now make your Roomba a MIDI instrument with RoombaMidi.

Full details on how to do this with your Roomba are in the upcoming book Hacking Roomba. There’s also an abbreviated version with all the code available.

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MIT Technology Review article

MIT’s Technology Review did a nice short article about Roombas and hacking.

One Bluetooth-enabled Roomba was given a green fabric pelt and was used in a real-life Frogger game at the SXSW Interactive conference in Austin, TX, this year, and ThingM’s Tod E. Kurt is collaborating on a live-action Pac-Man re-creation, with reprogrammed Roombas dressed up as Pac-Man and ghosts, navigating a maze and vacuuming up tissue paper dots.

MIT Review excerpt

The key part of the article is the popup “Roomba tour” (click on the “click here” link in the article). Thank you, MIT review. I consulted a bit on the article so I’m happy they referenced me.

(and thank you MikeK for originally reporting this)

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