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Asked — Edited

Ez-B With Irobot Braava


I see you have iRobot Roomba using EZ-B. Can we EZ-B with Braava? If so then how to that?



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The new iRobot Braava is the renamed Evolution Mint floor sweeper. It does not have any published commands nor open interface capabilities presently.
Funny enough, I started doing a bit of reverse engineering on the Evolution Robotics Mint about 6 months ago, @DougPope graciously donated one of these Robots to my previous employer for us to hack but unfortunately I didn't get very far and the Mint had to be left behind.

I did find that the Mint has an external USB interface for firmware updates and communication I believe. I hooked it up to my PC and didn't get a response so I'm guessing that the USB is a OTG Host port rather than a slave port. I also found that the NorthStar Indoor GPS system is 2 high powered IR transmitters pointed at 45 degrees to the ceiling in 2 different directions on the Cube side and a module consisting of 4 IR receivers pointed at 45 degrees in all 4 directions, with amplification for each received signal, on the robot side. Oh yes and I might add there's 2 layers of Daylight filtering for the IR signals to get through, one of the robot outer shell and the other on the receive module itself.

In terms of the NorthStar system and the way it works I was hypothesizing the the robot does a trigonometric style calculation to calculate the distance from the Cube and that it keeps track of where it's been relative to the Cube, but that's as far as I got. Here's some photos of the Mint (with Cube) and the NorthStar Receive module internals. I'll upload the mainboard and cube photos when I can find them.

In the end I found that the Mint wasn't easily hackable, there wasn't an easy serial interface to access like the Roomba. And while I'm not 100% sure if the same can be said for the Braava my guess is that iRobot probably hasn't strayed far from the original design and probably didn't add an Roomba-like interface.

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Yesterday I connected my Mint in the PC's USB port and I did not get any response, so I pressed both buttons together and my PC recognized the Mint as a serial port. But after I disconnected it would not turn over. When I press the power button it flashes all LEDs very fast and nothing happens. USB continues to be recognized when I turn on the PC. I disconnected the battery but nothing happened. I think I erased the flash or the Mint entered in the Debugger mode

Wow that's a real neat device. I'm surprised the debug mode was so easily accessible. Hopefully it's recoverable. The cube idea is pretty neat. I take it that the cube replaces the IR beacon of the charger on older Roombas?
have the Target to debugger and Programming Microcontroller Mint AT91SAM7S256.
I can try to see what happened. I can try to connect a terminal to the serial port of the microcontroller.

I'm also a Neato XV-11 bought it broken and repaired. It also has a USB port, but the Neato accepts several commands to use it as a robotics platform.

The Northstar cube is used to provide navigation during a cleaning run and the unit can navigate back to where it started from when the cleaning session is finished or the battery need recharging. The unit must be placed into the optional charging base or the power supply plugged directly into the charger jack. There are no IR location buoys used for navigation.

I also connected a PC via USB to a 5200 Mint and converted the Mint into a Doorstop.
You know how do I get out of the Doorstop?

Unable to leave the Doorstop even disconnecting the battery.

So far I have been unable to get the 5200 to do anything since the USB connection to my PC was established then some LEDs flashed then the 5200 went dead and nothing else. I have since then purchased a used 5200 from ebay and use my doorstop model for spare parts.
This is a problem I ran into earlier this year:


What happens is when it's plugged in and you press two of the buttons together, it gets into a part of the firmware that doesn't like what you're doing and it basically self-destructs. I'm sure it's not on purpose, but what it does is send either invalid commands to the LED driver or overpowers the LEDs and 1 or more of them burn.

Once burnt, they allow too much current through and on powerup they cause the board to brown out and shut off. This causes the short flashing and or faint noise that's heard when you press a button, because that's what it does when it boots up normally: flashes the lights and makes that loud 'happy' noise.

I was able to get mine replace under warranty, but I don't recommend trying it to anyone else. I'm eventually going to hook up a JTAG connector to the board, but I have other things on my plate for now. I recommend any hacking that happens to be after a code dump of the processor. I can help read the firmware if anybody does manage to get it off.