Asus WL-520GU wireless router with an USB port is another inexpensive hardware for the Roomba hack. It has everything needed to get started.
I purchased this router a few months ago (C$30 after MIR) and flash DD-WRT to run as a client bridge to serve as a wireless print server for the computer users upstairs.
After I purchased my used Scheduler last month, my plan is to remove the brush deck. Build a platform at the void to build myself an inexpensive "Create". I have not started yet. I have to play with the SCI first.
1. It accepts DD-WRT, OpenWRT and Tomato OS which are all Linux based. Configuration is done by browser. You may need to telnet to it if the function that you need does not have web UI.
2. It has a build in USB port. Cheap USB hub can be added to accept more than one USB devices.
3. Add a USB flash drive to store the your Roomba "hackware".
4. You have two options for the SCI communication:
4a. Buy a commercially available USB to Roomba device
4b. Internally, WL-520GU has a serial test point that can be used for SCI communication. It is TTL signals. It can be used to connect directly to SCI without RS232 level conversion. But I would add TTL driver to isolate the signal.
5. LAN webcam can be connected to one of 4 local LAN ports.
1. Need to know linux commands well if you are already know. Since the OS is optimized to run in small footprint, you need to use vi to edit file.
2. Setup development to cross-compile your Roomb "hackware"