sageman wrote:well neato dont use anything significant an old apple laptop in power and they just makes small squares for the neato so it dont get overloaded
vic7767 wrote:There are a lot of Roomba skeletons from the 4XX and 4XXX models that could be used as a hardware platform. The MCU, CPU could be removed and a breakout board installed that would allow different PIC devices to be interfaced and tested. Another avenue would be with the introduction of the 5XX, 6XX and 7XX model Roombas, there are a multitude of pre-built modules (drive motors, Brush Decks, Side brushes) that could be used in a open source concept vacuum robot.
mfortuna wrote:I think a controller board with support for a "open" MCU could be developed without too much trouble. Using a roomba as a test vehicle seems like a good choice. Since all roombas use off-the-shelf MCUs I wonder if the existing firmware can be overwritten. I don't think the flash is locked since Irobot does issue updates from time to time. So if someone took a 500 series controller board, soldered a header to the JTAG connector on the board, it should be possible to completely overwrite the flash with a opensource image.
It's also possible to depop the MCU and wire in an Amega or other MCU. I remember someone doing this on a 400 series controller.
The next step would be to design a controller board with the various sensors and charging circuits. I think this would be a big effort for one person. A team approach seems better.
bhylak wrote:I think the main problem with the roomba is not that the hardware is wrong, it's that there's not enough sensors. Even the Neato has a bumper. Because of this, I'm with Ed. I have plenty of 4XXX Robots (about 6) that are apart and I'd be willing to donate/mess around with)