Scooba 450 SCI commands

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Scooba 450 SCI commands

Postby Benji » February 11th, 2016, 1:37 am

Good evening all!

Just recently got myself two Roomba 870's and a Scooba 450. The first thing I did with the Roomba's was to get the Thinking Cleaner WiFi module so I could hook them up to my SmartThings home automation hub which mostly works fine, I'm just getting used to how Roomba's react and how the Thinking Cleaner modules work.

Anyway, it got me thinking about the Scooba 450's USB port which just appears to be a USB-->Serial interface (using an STM32) and what it could be used for so I did some Googling and found vic7767's info about the battery charging status which just repeats regardless through the serial connection while it's charging and finally, the self-diagnostics information.

But there didn't seem to be any more info than that (unless I've completely missed it) so it got me curious to see whether or not the Scooba 450 would respond to the same SCI commands that a Roomba does....

So I found Anna Sandler's wonderful information about programming the Roomba and started going through some of the tutorials:

http://www.robotappstore.com/Knowledge- ... ba/18.html

So I started with the simple 'beep' tutorial (command 141) and low and behold, the Scooba 450 beeped! I even got it to play the jingle bells tutorial at the end! So I tried to send a drive command (137) and off it went (much to the displeasure of my USB cable)! We're getting somewhere! What I really want to see is if I could get it to start cleaning via this method so I crossed my fingers and sent the 135 command.... SUCCESS! It began cleaning!

Many of the commands work, getting the sensor data (142), even streaming the sensor data (148). Many of the commands don't work which sadly includes command 143 "Force-Seeking-Dock" as I was hoping to get the Scooba to act more like the Roomba and even use the Roomba's dock (I know I'd have to find a way to widen the charging pads). Alas it didn't seem to want to go back to the dock but I suspect that's because the command is disabled since the Scooba was never designed for the Roomba style of dock.

What IS interesting though is if Rooma dock is close to the Scooba, the Scooba will refuse to start a clean with the button or even if you send command 135, additionally if I pull the sensor data constantly I can see that the Scooba is receiving two different IR commands from the Roomba dock verified by covering the two different IR emitters on the dock separately.

Anyway, just curious if anyone else has fiddled with the SCI commands on the Scooba 450 and found anything interesting?

I haven't done any firmware updates on the 450 yet, because I'd prefer to to see a changelog before I do!
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Re: Scooba 450 SCI commands

Postby mfortuna » February 11th, 2016, 7:38 am

This is great info. Thanks for sharing. Broken 450s could become a great platform for custom experiments. I assume it has more commands like the 500 series and up and is not the 400 series SCI.

You could even try scheduling it :)
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Re: Scooba 450 SCI commands

Postby vic7767 » February 11th, 2016, 10:46 am

Boy, that was a very quiet change to the Scooba firmware. Great news though Benji. I suspect that the Scooba 450 may use the same OI commands that are in the "iRobot® Create® 2 Open Interface (OI)" document. Testing shall begin.

The command 143 "Force-Seeking-Dock" may work if you first send the clean command and then send the docking command. When time permits I will try that sequence and see if the Scooba will behave.
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Re: Scooba 450 SCI commands

Postby Benji » February 11th, 2016, 12:24 pm

vic7767 wrote:Boy, that was a very quiet change to the Scooba firmware. Great news though Benji. I suspect that the Scooba 450 may use the same OI commands that are in the "iRobot® Create® 2 Open Interface (OI)" document. Testing shall begin.

The command 143 "Force-Seeking-Dock" may work if you first send the clean command and then send the docking command. When time permits I will try that sequence and see if the Scooba will behave.


Yeah I think you're right since it looks like the 'stream' sensor data option appears in the Create 2 OI and that seems to work since it will blast the sensor data at you constantly until you use the command to tell it to 'pause' the stream. I haven't tried the other commands though since a lot of them pertained to things like Digital and Analogue I/O's which I figured probably wouldn't be present.

I did try covering the Roomba dock so I could start a clean, uncovered it and then tried to send the 143 command but it didn't 'seem' to want to try and dock still. I say seem because the Scooba likes to spin and the USB cable connected to my laptop doesn't so I may have cancelled it before it had a chance to attempt a dock.

I was looking at those AirControl things vic7767 listed, I think they'd be pretty useful for other projects as well but wasn't sure if I could get away with the AirControl 2.0 Mini or if I HAD to get the "Standard". With the AirControl module I'd be able to let the Scooba roam more freely without worrying about destroying my USB cable/laptop.
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Re: Scooba 450 SCI commands

Postby vic7767 » February 11th, 2016, 12:37 pm

Both AirControl modules will work. However, the mini does not contain its own battery. I have a min set up with a 7.4 volt LI-ion pack and a dc to dc regulator set for 5 vdc to provide remote access via the micro USB port. When I get a chance I'll try the Clean/Dock commands on a 450 here and see what happens.
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Re: Scooba 450 SCI commands

Postby vic7767 » February 11th, 2016, 6:57 pm

Fired up one of the WiFi Air Console units and sent commands to the the Scooba 450. The command to start the 450 to begin cleaning works as it should but there is no response to the docking command. I kind of suspected this would not work since there is no low battery level that triggers a docking sequence as well as no docking indicator on the top panel.

One benefit of sending the clean command is that once a cleaning session is done you can empty the dirty tank, fill the clean tank and start another cleaning session without the Scooba complaining about "Please charge my battery". It just starts up and begins another cleaning run. Of course there is a LI-NMC 4400 mAH pack installed so there is plenty of reserve power for a second run but in the past when trying to coach the 450 into a second run required several special button presses to get the robot to actually begin another run. With the ability to send the clean command via the OI all the frustration is eliminated.
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Re: Scooba 450 SCI commands

Postby Benji » February 11th, 2016, 11:16 pm

vic7767 wrote:Fired up one of the WiFi Air Console units and sent commands to the the Scooba 450. The command to start the 450 to begin cleaning works as it should but there is no response to the docking command. I kind of suspected this would not work since there is no low battery level that triggers a docking sequence as well as no docking indicator on the top panel.

One benefit of sending the clean command is that once a cleaning session is done you can empty the dirty tank, fill the clean tank and start another cleaning session without the Scooba complaining about "Please charge my battery". It just starts up and begins another cleaning run. Of course there is a LI-NMC 4400 mAH pack installed so there is plenty of reserve power for a second run but in the past when trying to coach the 450 into a second run required several special button presses to get the robot to actually begin another run. With the ability to send the clean command via the OI all the frustration is eliminated.


Booooo on the 143 command front but I suspected that would be the case. Awesome that sending the 135 command bypasses that 'need to charge first' check that happens when you press the physical clean button. Now.... I wonder if we can build a bigger tank......

Let me know if you find anything else, I was going to start playing with the LED commands but it was getting late, I was getting tired and I was having difficulties understand the command structure.

Additionally, if anyone with an older Roomba (IR based) Remote knows what the IR code is for the clean button, please let me know! It seems to work on older Scoobas so I would imagine it works on the 450 as well. I found this video:

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Re: Scooba 450 SCI commands

Postby SE_machine » April 28th, 2016, 3:56 pm

That's definitely an older remote. I have the remote for the Discovery series (with Spot, Clean, and Max buttons instead of room sizes), and it will turn the Scooba on and off, start a clean or dry cycle and drive it around. Unfortunately, the Scooba 5900 won't put solution down while manually driving.
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