VX-14 bluetooth via mini-usb?

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VX-14 bluetooth via mini-usb?

Postby npaulseth » January 15th, 2013, 5:43 pm

Hi guys, I am new to the forum and am trying to see if what I want to do is possible. I have been trying to figure out a way to bluetooth enable my neato so I can remotely start the "clean" command when I am not home. Now I heard that the board has been redesigned and the traditional way of bluetooth enabling the neato via the header on the board is not available anymore. So, my question is - can I use the mini-usb port and a usb bluetooth adapter to communicate with the neato?

Thanks guys/gals.

(PS - the way I would remotely start it, if possible, would be placing a mini server neat the neato docking station. Then I would remote in and putty to the neato and send the "clean" command.)
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Re: VX-14 bluetooth via mini-usb?

Postby vic7767 » January 15th, 2013, 5:58 pm

The XV-14 may still have the internal circuit board pinout for a bluetooth. The only model that has the newer board without the rs232 interface is the XV-21.
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Re: VX-14 bluetooth via mini-usb?

Postby mfortuna » January 16th, 2013, 11:42 am

The problem with trying to use the Neatos USB port with a bluetooth dongle is the Neato has to recognize the USB device, have a driver for it, enumerate it, and then use it as a serial device. It sounds like the Neato USB port is internally connected to the serial port so I doubt the Neato can even recognize a USB device is plugged in.
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Re: VX-14 bluetooth via mini-usb?

Postby glnc222 » January 16th, 2013, 3:05 pm

Any info on the mysterious edge connector added on the XV-21 main board?
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Re: VX-14 bluetooth via mini-usb?

Postby npaulseth » January 16th, 2013, 5:34 pm

That's what I wasn't sure about. I didn't know how robust the OS on the Neato was. I thought I read that it was linux based, but I didn't if it had USB hosting built into it. The serial pins/holes on the board will have to do, assuming that the VX-14 has that still.
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Re: VX-14 bluetooth via mini-usb?

Postby vic7767 » January 16th, 2013, 6:43 pm

glnc222 wrote:Any info on the mysterious edge connector added on the XV-21 main board?

Not sure the area Mike mentioned is anything that can be used.
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Re: VX-14 bluetooth via mini-usb?

Postby glnc222 » January 17th, 2013, 12:46 am

Cables Unlimited Wireless USB Kit with Transmitter and Receiver
http://gamestoysonline.com/product/9078_Cables-Unlimited-Wireless-USB-Kit-with-Transmitter-and-Receiver-with-Base-Black.html
caution: cables unlimited liquidated 2011. Out of stock many places. Used ones Amazon.
Reviews noted line of site short distances only (similar some wireless video devices). Web comments product category never sold well.
But -- if the only contact needed is to initiate a Neato run at the base...
(though why can't it have a cable in and just pull off it going out? a robotic unplugger? assumes manual plugging back in is acceptable, say when emptying)

Another category is WiFi access pt adapters to ethernet -- use with Ethernet to USB adapters. No direct WiFi to USB except as WiFi network hosts, wrong end. Connect enough junk...
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Re: VX-14 bluetooth via mini-usb?

Postby c.mueller » January 17th, 2013, 3:04 am

vic7767 wrote:
glnc222 wrote:Any info on the mysterious edge connector added on the XV-21 main board?

Not sure the area Mike mentioned is anything that can be used.

This looks like a (Micro-) SD-Card slot footprint ...
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Re: VX-14 bluetooth via mini-usb?

Postby glnc222 » January 17th, 2013, 2:15 pm

Arduino possibilities
A host usb for Arduino (standing in for a PC): http://www.robotshop.com/arduino-nano-usb-host.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=base&utm_campaign=jos

A Bluetooth for output:
http://blujay.com/item/Arduino-Bluetooth-Module-Slave-Wireless-Serial-Board-FREE-shipping-9040100-3959664

Interesting Arduino processor:
http://www.coridiumcorp.com/prod-specs4a.html?gclid=CIb235eA4LQCFQqe4Aod_V0AFg
seems to have low power specs

WiFi also possible -- but which side?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/WiFi-RedBack-1-0-Arduino-Nano-Compatible-/280824800822#vi-content

Not exactly cheap adding everything up -- duplicating a good part of Neato's capacities already in it. But that's how it's done with proprietary things. There have been cameras pointed at terminal screens running character recognition, just to be kosher.
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Re: VX-14 bluetooth via mini-usb?

Postby npaulseth » January 17th, 2013, 3:57 pm

glnc222 wrote:Cables Unlimited Wireless USB Kit with Transmitter and Receiver
http://gamestoysonline.com/product/9078_Cables-Unlimited-Wireless-USB-Kit-with-Transmitter-and-Receiver-with-Base-Black.html
caution: cables unlimited liquidated 2011. Out of stock many places. Used ones Amazon.
Reviews noted line of site short distances only (similar some wireless video devices). Web comments product category never sold well.
But -- if the only contact needed is to initiate a Neato run at the base...
(though why can't it have a cable in and just pull off it going out? a robotic unplugger? assumes manual plugging back in is acceptable, say when emptying)

Another category is WiFi access pt adapters to ethernet -- use with Ethernet to USB adapters. No direct WiFi to USB except as WiFi network hosts, wrong end. Connect enough junk...



I tried to initiate the "clean" command yesterday via USB, and the LCD on the the neato said something like "Will clean house when USB cable is removed".
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Re: VX-14 bluetooth via mini-usb?

Postby glnc222 » January 17th, 2013, 4:51 pm

Possible Neato would see usb disconnected if the 5v power line in it was cut off -- would have to test.
Just terminating a com program session doesn't work.

Some USB hubs can cut the power line under computer control:
http://www.amazon.com/Cisco-Linksys-USB2HUB4-USB-4-Port-Hub/dp/B00007AKAZ
at least as mentioned in: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3246077/controlling-simple-relay-switch-via-usb

You can still cut all the usb lines with small relays controlled by one 5v power line. You'd only need to cut the data lines, not the ground returns. There are only five lines I think (see Wikipedia). One double throw 5v relay I used in the Battery Monitor circuit at Digi-Key for two at once.

Maybe the RS232 port inside the Neato on older systems, used with Bluetooth adapters, has more direct control than the USB link.

Arduino's could certainly do whatever you want even if relays need to be attached.

Getting wild and woolley.
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Re: VX-14 bluetooth via mini-usb?

Postby glnc222 » January 17th, 2013, 9:40 pm

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Re: VX-14 bluetooth via mini-usb?

Postby gal_vee » January 18th, 2013, 3:57 pm

why not simply re-set schedule in the morning, although I keep thinking how
I will connect my neato to the net via Wifi.....
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Re: VX-14 bluetooth via mini-usb?

Postby glnc222 » January 19th, 2013, 12:33 am

USB hub power control not relevant -- is used in Windows 7 Power Mgt, sleep/wake control to turn off external devices such as a disk drive when asleep, so not usable.

A usb relay control peripheral such as the cheap one listed above is required to disconnect the USB lines to a Neato, so it will clean after being given a USB command. If the cable is taped to the side of the charger, Neato will pull off it, very loose fit on those micro plugs compared to full size. The relay control is one usb device, Neato another. First send Neato's command, then a command to the relay controller. Most relay controllers are expensive and may be for power line voltage appliances.

The purpose of remotely starting cleaning compared to scheduling is puzzling -- but can be done.
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Re: VX-14 bluetooth via mini-usb?

Postby npaulseth » January 21st, 2013, 11:12 am

I agree that it seems puzzling, but my wife is a light sleeper and is in grad school for nursing right now. Her schedule is completely random, so I never know really when she is going to be at home studying, sleeping, or at school/hospital. Also, I think it would be a neat thing to be able to do.
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Re: VX-14 bluetooth via mini-usb?

Postby glnc222 » January 21st, 2013, 1:07 pm

I always look for the cheapest way, and maybe you can use sleep/wake power control on a PC, if you could give a PC the command to sleep to activate the Neato. Don't know exactly how remote access programs like GoToMyPC work. PC's can be configured to wake on external access. Or what an ethernet-to-usb adapter will do connected to a router with ethernet jacks. If you can get the 5v line on a PC's USB jack or an adapter on a router to go off, you don't need any hub, just wire that to a 5v relay. I expect the hubs just respond to the 5v input by shutting off the same external power plug they have to boost the capacity. It's such a non-standard application everything must be checked.
Look for free, open-source remote access tools, and maybe some Skype thing.
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Re: VX-14 bluetooth via mini-usb?

Postby glnc222 » January 21st, 2013, 5:38 pm

Incidentally Forth definitely used in Arduino's: http://www.offete.com/328eForth.html and other searchable references. Whether easier for simple things depends on what you know and have already, and what you need to combine it with. Add on modules, interfaces with packages might be a problem.
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Re: VX-14 bluetooth via mini-usb?

Postby vic7767 » January 21st, 2013, 6:29 pm

I've found a WiFi solution for the comm port on the Roomba, Create, and Scooba but cannot get it to work via the USB port using just the Rx-Tx leads and Gnd. Anyone have a clue how to wake up the Neato comm port after pressing the Clean button once ?
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Re: VX-14 bluetooth via mini-usb?

Postby glnc222 » January 21st, 2013, 7:40 pm

From Wikipedia's article:
The host includes 15 kΩ pull-down resistors on each data line. When no device is connected, this pulls both data lines low into the so-called "single-ended zero" state (SE0 in the USB documentation), and indicates a reset or disconnected connection.

A USB device pulls one of the data lines high with a 1.5 kΩ resistor. This overpowers one of the pull-down resistors in the host and leaves the data lines in an idle state called "J". For USB 1.x, the choice of data line indicates of what signal rates the device is capable; full-bandwidth devices pull D+ high, while low-bandwidth devices pull D− high.


Also USB goes between smart IC's for handshaking, bit rate control, data packetizing absent on RS232 uarts.

Reproduce what a PC does when recognizing a Neato and opening a com session.

Unless Neato Shut-Down, USB detects attached devices without powering control panel on.
Last edited by glnc222 on January 21st, 2013, 8:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: VX-14 bluetooth via mini-usb?

Postby mfortuna » January 21st, 2013, 7:46 pm

Vic7767, where exactly are you connecting the wifi adapter?

Should I move this to the hacking section?
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