... I got a hold on the book "Hacking Roomba
", but sadly when I start reading it and try to use the resources in the book. Like very official links on irobot
.com and roombadevtools.com I see they are dead and non exsisting. ... This most likely because the book is old.
Obsolete, but not useless, yet not intended for use with 5XX (R3), or later Roombas, since R3 was probably not even in the concept stage at iRobot
HQ when sales of Tod's book peaked!
..I feel that hacking my Roomba is a dead end.
Not quite, as the resident hackers have just pointed out.
Do the new Roombas have the ROI also? Mine does, but it's a 521 ...
Yes, all Roombas since the R2 (4XXX) Discovery series have the 7-socket MiniDIN connector that permits SCI/OI comm with Roomba's firmware & hardware. Be sure to d/l a copy of the 500-series Open Interface Specification
(I think it is available somewhere around rr). Pay attention to subtle differences between pin assignments of R3's MiniDIN vs R2's. Be aware the the "Vpwr" level on pins #1//#2 is not quite as high as the actual battery voltage and pin #5 is BRC rather than DD. Baud-rate increased to 115,200 bps for R3.
It seems like iRobot
doesn't care anymore as the irobot
.com/hacking is dead. ...
I'm guessing iRobot
never cared a whole lot about letting hackers enter its realm. The Company had incorporated a test access connector (the MiniDIN jack) with each Roomba (starting July 2004) for the purpose of testing Roomba's subsystems prior to boxing it for shipment. A great many Roomba users were writing that they would like to play around with Roomba -- IOW a lot of squawking was going on via the bull.-boards, fora, and iRobot
's hosted Yahoo message site. iRobot
probably thought it could make some money by creating an Open Interface add-on that would permit owners to mess with controlling sub-systems and reading telemetry.
So, it followed through by producing the SCI Spec in 2005 (I think) and adding OI firmware snippets that allowed the robot to respond to serial commands. That seemed to quell noise from owners.
did not / will not give away any firmware code, and I think that makes the command set so limited that no one has a chance to adjust any of Roomba's cleaning behavior for their own purposes.
OTOH, the Company still makes / sells one useful bit of hardware that you should not be without. It is the serial interface cable assembly, with MiniDIN plug on Roomba's end, and USB plug to your PC on the opposite end. Its price is about $20 (a much better deal than attempting to build the similar, DIY adventure, SCI/MiniDIN-to-DB-9 cable detailed in Tod's book).