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Roomba 530 and bluetooth adapter - no success!

February 21st, 2008, 11:43 am

Hello everybody,

I'm trying to connect to my Roomba 530 via the serial port, which does not really work...

I am using the serial-bluetooth adapter from sparkfun, connected according to the guide here.
The problem I'm experiencing is that my roomba does only react on command 137 (DRIVE) and on 153 (which is not specified as valid command in the ROI/SCI spec from iRobot) but not in the way expected - it starts SPOT cleaning (and does this regardless of the state it is in [passive, safe, full]).

The other thing I notice is that upon powering on, the Roomba sends something between 126 and 134 bytes of data, which I have no clue what they are supposed to mean.

On the connection, everything is configured fine (57600baud, 8N1), I can fire up the service menu of the bluetooth adapter (by sending "$$$") without any problems.

I used various tools trying to get control over my roomba (both from the web as well as self made) - but with no success. Just the behaviour described above...

Anybody has any clue what could be the problem?
Has anybody successfully connected and controlled his/her Roomba 530 over the interface?

Highly appreciate any feedback!

best regards
blauzaan

February 21st, 2008, 12:39 pm

First thing to try would be to change the baud rate. The 5XX series interface runs at 115200 instead of 57600. The data you receive when powering up would be the ascii text info from the bootstrapper program. Once the baud rate is corrected you should be able to read the ascii data. The commands may work properly when the comm speed is changed.
Last edited by vic7767 on February 22nd, 2008, 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Works!!!

February 22nd, 2008, 2:10 pm

Hi Vic,

It works! Thanks a lot for your help!
Roomba support wasn't as helpful as you were - even though the answer is such an easy one. :-) Changed the baud rate of the adapter to 115200 and suddenly, everything works perfectly!
How do you know this? Trial and error or is this specified somewhere? Couldn't find anything on the web.

February 22nd, 2008, 3:47 pm

Great, glad that it worked for you. There is another version of the ROI written specifically for the 5XX Roomba models. On page 4 of that document there is mention of the baud rate on the SCI port. There are also lots of other goodies not available on the 4XXX models, like, sending a complete schedule to the 535 Roomba, without using the WCC.

February 25th, 2008, 5:46 am

found it! http://www.irobot.com/filelibrary/iRobot_Roomba_500_Open_Interface_Spec.pdf

(strange, this url seems not to be very widely known - i.e. not many links pointing to it: search google for links)
Strange that there's not a single link on the official iRobot pages - just your posting in the iRobot forums...

thanks & regards

February 25th, 2008, 6:44 am

blauzaan wrote:(strange, this url seems not to be very widely known - i.e. not many links pointing to it: search google for links)


It depends what you search for in Google - sometimes you can be lucky and sometimes you can end up with 500 pages of what seems like totally irrelevant stuff.

I just sreached for:

roomba 500 ROI

and got to it on the second item in the list

However search for

roomba 500 SCI

and you get nothign useful :D

February 25th, 2008, 6:45 am

debugger wrote:
blauzaan wrote:(strange, this url seems not to be very widely known - i.e. not many links pointing to it: search google for links)


It depends what you search for in Google - sometimes you can be lucky and sometimes you can end up with 500 pages of what seems like totally irrelevant stuff.

I just searched for:

roomba 500 ROI

and got to it on the second item in the list

However search for

roomba 500 SCI

and you get nothing useful :D

similar problem but changing baud rate didn't fix it...

March 9th, 2008, 1:51 am

Hi,
i'm having similar problem to the original post, but changing baud rate to 115200 didn't fix it. Please help!...

i'm having trouble controlling my 530 remotely via Rootooth.

i can get the 530 to start remotely from my PC, but I can't then control it from my PC - once started, it always goes forwards for a short distance, does a 180, then goes back for a short distance, then starts what appears to be a spot clearning cycle.

i tried using the SCI tester.exe and also the Create.1.0.0.10.exe to control it from my PC, but no matter what command i typed in, it always does the same thing. I tried typing the drive command that is supposed to make it go in reverse, but it still goes forwards.

what am i doing wrong?

(it's probably something basic and dumb, but i've been troubleshooting for the past two hours and am getting no where.)

thanks.

March 9th, 2008, 5:27 pm

Once you connect via SCI Tester all you have to do is send the safe mode command by clicking the rectangle button. Then when you select the directional arrows the Roomba will move in that direction until you release the mouse button.

After you sent the command to Rootooth to change the baud rate to 115200, did you send the ATMD command ?

similar problem but changing baud rate didn't fix it-2nd try

March 14th, 2008, 2:26 am

Thanks for the reply vic7767.

After I connected via SCI Tester, I clicked on the initialize safe mode button then then clicked and held the left directional button. The Roomba still went straight for a foot or so then did a 180, then started what appears to be a spot cleaning cycle.

After you sent the command to Rootooth to change the baud rate to 115200, did you send the ATMD command ?

Sorry, but I'm not sure what the ATMD command is. I tried looking up ATMD in the Roomba 500 open interface, in Google and in wiki, but couldn't find any relevant references. Can you please explain this?

Also, I just filmed a video of all of the steps I'm doing so you can see exactly what I'm doing in case I'm missing something dumb, and I'll try to post that up on youtube tomorrow and put a link to that here.

Your help is much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

March 14th, 2008, 10:43 am

Sorry, I should have explained that the ATMD command is sent to the bluetooth device and is not a Roomba command.

March 14th, 2008, 8:42 pm

I am having the same issue. It is making me feel like an idiot. I got the rootooth plugged it in and setup pairing with no problem. I then opened real term and connected to the correct com port. i tried inputting the +++ like the giude i have says but any time i hit the + key or any special character it just starts the "Dance" by going forward 180 and them spiral cleaning. I cant get it to show anything in the terminal screen. there is no text at all. What am i missing?

March 14th, 2008, 10:52 pm

There is a program you can download from the hacker forum here. Just go to the the thread named "Gregs Scratchpad". Greg has provided a program that will let you send commands to the Roomba. Realterm, and Procomm don't send the proper commands to the Roomba. You don't want to send ASCII commands. Also you can test your Rootooth communications by connecting a 9 volt battery to the proper pins and run a discovery on your PC. Once you establish a connection you should be able to send the " +++ " string and program your Rootooth.

Still having trouble

March 15th, 2008, 12:22 pm

Hi,
Thank you for the suggestions.

I'm still having trouble, and I uploaded a short video of exacting what I'm doing to connect to the Roomba, starting from connecting the Rootooth to the Roomba, then connecting to the bluetooth via win XP, then starting SCI tester and connecting via COM port 5.

Can you look at it and let me know what I'm doing wrong?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pU2w-Ttuuo
The video quality isn't too good, but i talked through all the steps that i did in the video, so hopefully it's clear what i'm doing.

March 15th, 2008, 2:15 pm

OK, I see the problem. You have done everything correctly. What is at issue here is the SCI Tester program.

The drive commands that are in the SCI Tester program are written for the earlier Roombas. The new 5XX Open interface commands are just a bit different for controlling the 5XX models.

Go to this thread and download this program, It works a little better than the SCI tester.

http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewto ... mba+status

March 15th, 2008, 3:38 pm

This driving me crazy. Now my roomba doesnt respond to anything. My computer sees the bluetooth and connects fine. there is a com port (7) however it does not respond to any commands. I tried putting the roomba into 19200 mode by holding down the power button for 10 seconds and it still connects fine but does not react to any of the buttons. i am not even getting the dance anymore.

March 16th, 2008, 12:27 am

Thanks for the reply vic7767.

I tried the new program you suggested, but it doesn't work either. :-(
I'm planning to create a short youtube of that and will upload it tomorrow in case i'm doing something wrong.

Thanks again for your help and sorry that this isn't working yet. :-)

Regards.

Roomba 530 + Rooth Grief

March 22nd, 2008, 1:45 pm

Hi all,
Thanks for excellent answers so far... its just about keeping me sane.

I have:
a Roomba 530,
a Rootooth (http://www.roombaexchange.com/proddetai ... =DEV-00684)

As well as the roomba status problem.

I am seeing the problem that the only response i can get from the roomba is it starting the spot clean (as other people have described).

I see everyone talking about sending +++ to set up the ADT commands, however whenever i try to send + the roomba goes off spot cleaning.

Can someone please give me an idiots guide to doing this......

Its driving me absolutely up the wall.

Currently the rootooth is connected to the roomba, bluetooth paired to my pc with Com Port set up on com 5.

Thanks so much to anyone who can get me up and running.

March 22nd, 2008, 3:42 pm

mthompson, while you have everything up and connected to your PC. Plug in the power supply directly to the Roomba. You should begin receiving ASCII characters once per second with the battery charging information. What do you see ?

March 24th, 2008, 11:50 am

Thanks for your reply.

I dont see any data received.

Ive paired the roomba via bluetooth, setup coms monitoring program on the correct port. Pluggest the charger directly into roomba (Not the Base Staton). I don't see any received data. Sending an ASCII ',' sends roomba into spot cleaning mode.
Ive tried bauds 19200, 57600, and 115200 all with no handshaking and all produce no data received.


Could it be thative gotten my roomba into a state? Is it worth me removing the battery?

Thanks again for your advice.
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