Let's Make Robots!

iRobot Rooma 530 Robot

It roomba's around the house... :)

IMG_3560-Roomba-Motherboardtesting.jpgThis really was just built to learn how to program C# robotics applications. A goal is to have some type of object tracking via the webcam, currently it uses just the roomba standard sensors for navigation. Outdoors I have a GPS module that I will be testing in a local tennis court once summer comes back and the snow is gone....








 This is a picture of the SCI control cable, it connects to a standard serial port TTL 5V, (uses a max232 for the PC connection), and has one special control line to wake up the roomba.


The next picture shows me making a template from lexan to hold the CPU, HDD, and various other components.


Lexan cut into a roomba shape....


 This is a power wire added to a remote switch as there is no longer access to the main top power button. I will actaully be adding a small cable assebly to bring out the dock, clean, demo and lights to a control board ontop of the robot.


 Guenuine Microsoft XP Professional COA, ;)


Test fitting all the components before final assembly...


Completed robot... see youtube video of its first power on and run...


Got some basic object tracking working, set to keep and follow a red object at a specified distance.


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I'm actually familiar with the create series of robots... The cost for one is higher than the cost of the Roomba 530 robot if you want something useable on a day to day basis.

The Create is $129.00 with no automatic charge base, no rechargeable battery pack, no brushes or cleaning components, it is also based on the older chassis designs which are prone to problems and as well the older units also have far less sensors. I see no value for the average hobbyist to purchase the create, even if budgets are an issue you can buy the Roomba 530, sell the battery pack, base station and brushes/cleaning system on Ebay for far more than the difference between the two units.

IMHO the only place for the Create is in an educational environment, where the schools educational discount and buying power of purchasing 10+ units makes it a much more affordable robot than say purchasing 10+ 530 Robots. For the home and general hobbyist the 530 is a far better choice. You get a much more capable robot, can learn about and play with far more sensors, have the ability to work with the self charge base, and don’t have invest in Energizer stocks to afford the AA batteries.


Do you know of some sites where some of this info is listed? I've got an apprently second generation Roomba Red from a garage sale, and was interested to see a comparision between models, such as which robot has what sensor, etc. Also any specific pointers to what mechanical issues exist between models. I saw mention of an IR sensor for remotes and additional dirt sensors for the new 5xx series, but not much more info yet.