Asked — Edited

Telepresence Robot Idea

I would like to have my robot be controlled over internet with a Vr type Headset. Like one that you set the phone inside. I would tie the headset phone motions to the movements of the Tin Mans head pan and tilt.That way when my grandchildren 900 miles away want to telepresence with us it can. I also want them to be able to drive the Tin Man around the house and look around.

I would like some suggestions as how to do it.

I was wondering if I could put an iphone on the robot with pan and tilt then face time with them and let them control the iphone with an app running in the background. The vr head motions might be tricky.

I am not a great programmer but I am working on it. I do seem to get by.

Phones seem to have all the capability to do vr We might as well use them.


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I too am thinking of doing a Telepresence robot setup. I have a current need for one. Would be interested in how to get EZB to do this.


The biggest issue I see with remote access is charging. There are plenty of ways to control the robot remotely and communicate. Getting it back to the charger and safety charging without someone there to assist is the biggest challenge. A lot of people here have worked on it to some extent or another. The simplest is to us an iRoomba create as the base since it already k owns how to navigate back to its charger and doesn't need to power down when charging. There are other solutions, but take more customization and creativity.


@thetechguru, I agree charging is a major issue and iCreate is a good solution



@Nink I think you found one of the old articles on Roomba and EZB

Here is what I have been trying...

After many hours of reading the great Roomba/Create tips in the many, many, many posts in the Community Forum, I decided to take the plunge and interface an EZB to a Roomba. I’m considering the Roomba as a base for a Companion type robot for a senior who is in assisted living with remote caregiver support by their family. I like the Roomba because of its self-docking capability and the ability to supply always-on power to the EZB so that it could always be listening to the senior. It’s critical that the senior does NOT have to get up to plug/unplug power as well as not having to manually push a Clean button on the Roomba

First off thanks to @DJ-Sures, @Richard-R, @Steve-G, @Robot-Doc and many others for all the great information including scripts, a custom Movement Panel and details on Roomba model variances

In my case, I decided to use a low cost (~$300) current Roomba model (650) as it's only $100 more than a Create 2 (which is really a refurbished series 600), but adds cleaning. In fact, if you remove the top cover of a Create 2, you will see the series 600 cover below it. Thanks to @rbonari for pointing out that the Create 2 has NO cargo bay connector which included some neat features on the original Create (based on Roomba 400 series) such as a power toggle line. ?

On the Roomba 650, the SPC (Serial Port Connector) is located under the removable top cover. The cover removal is even documented in the provided Owner’s Manual.

My first tip is that if you are put off by soldering wires to a tiny 7pin mini DIN connector, consider the pre-made iRobot Create 2 Cable from . You will still have to solder on the proper EZB connectors from a servo extension cables, but that's a lot easier than soldering wires to the small connector. This cable connects both TX and RX pins as well as power and ground. There are other cables with a connector just on the 7pin mini-DIN end, but some of them have no supplied color code information for the wires and you must figure out the pin connections yourself. Be careful, it’s possible to ruin the Roomba motherboard with improper connections

Another tip is to be careful if setting the Roomba on a work table with its dock powered up. It appears that the Roomba detects manual physical undocking as a command to start moving!

One small quirk, the Roomba 650 will ONLY charge from the Home base, even though the 650 User’s manual describes battery charger socket on the device. iRobot has integrated the charger into the Home Base unit there is no separate cord for direct charging

I decided to go with @Richard-R’s sample program because his Movement Panel uses the UART instead of SendSerial and because of all the great scripts he included and it worked GREAT with my Roomba 650. I did not have the intermittent connection issues some others had using the non-UART pin s Everything was going fine until I ran into the same problem that several posters had noticed of not being able to wake up the Roomba after it was docked for a few minutes. Some posters said they didn’t have this issue, but @Robot-Doc said it due to a feature that was removed starting with the Roomba 500 series ? It appears that iRobot changed pin 5 from DD(Device Detect) to BRC(Baud Rate Change) so it’s now used to change the baud rate.

As @Robot-Doc goes on the point out, your choices on the series 500 of later become manual push of the Clean button, IR command from a remote or soldering a relay across the contacts on the Clean button. I really don’t want to take the relay approach so I’m looking for ways to send the IR Clean command. I found several DIY IR generator programs, but decided first to look at using my existing Logitech Harmony Hub which sends a great job of sending IR commands to a TV and other IR controlled devices and I will be training it with a Roomba remote. As a temporary workaround, I added an HDD servo on port D0 with a couple of extension cubes to manually press the Clean button with a short pulse to turn the Roomba on. This will work because the EZB is powered by the Roomba battery through a DC/DC (Buck) converter so that the EZB gets a steady 7.4 volts Roomba battery could go to 22v during charging TBD.. add picture The ARC program is setup to auto connect to the PC running ARC running on a Windows tablet. The laptop auto launches the ARC program using a shortcut with script. I plan to move the tablet to the Roomba later to make the companion robot self-contained. One thing that I really enjoy is that my EZB is ALWAYS ready to go since its powered on continuously by the Roomba battery through a DCD/DC converter. I can control the Roomba by Amazon Alexa or a joystick anytime, but of course, the tablet running ARC must be on and running the program Please note that the power on the serial connector is limited to 250ma, just enough to run the EZB and one servo. I’m going to start looking into directly tapping the battery. I added several scripts to report Roomba status and to Dock and undock the Roomba.

Regards, Frank


An assisted living robot with telepresence would be just the thing I need for my my mom. She is a stroke victim, wheelchair bound, and cant speak , at least not that good anymore. She has a live-in aid, but recently I have been looking for new ways to help keep her entertained and her mind active, so have been looking into seeing what robotics might be able to do for her care.


@RoboHappy Are you looking for a commercial product or something you could build yourself from EZ-Robot parts?

Regards, Frank


@faenglem Yes, I am kind of looking in both directions. But also something that hopefully will take little effort to setup ( and avoid programming- love to build, hate to program). Most things I have seen are geared towards those with limited abilities and for those who can still speak. I need a machine that could somehow entertain her and can interact with her despite not being able to speak well. I have yet to find that though. Thks :-)




( and avoid programming- love to build, hate to program)
I don't see the point in building a robot if you don't or can't program it?... It's just a matter of taking the time to learn. EZ Robot makes programming so simple to boot. There is is RoboScratch and Blockly for kids and newbees and then there is ez script that can pretty much do anything you want... My point is without programming isn't your builds just a robot paperweight?....


Yeah Yeah, I know...I still hate programming. Id be happy to pay some one to do it for me :-) I'm a hardware guy. Even at my job, I build, they program. Heck, had a hard enough time learning basic in my youth. Anyway. I have limited time, so I need to find a turnkey off the shelf solution if possible. I think ive seen some ideas around ere, so any ideas would be awesome, and a big thank you :-)


@ RoboHappy & @Nink

Please take a look at the project I just posted "EZB Roomba Basic"

I plan to add more Telepresence features

Regards, Frank



Sorry for shouting I was really excited.

OK off to order a roomba.

Looks like Icreate is not avail in Canada so US Customs shipping etc.... searching for a 650 or something on ebay ... I love my old hacked roomba red but when the battery goes flat....


very cool, look forwsrd to seeing it grow :)


@RoboHappy, I think you should check out another thread where @Ellis, @Nink and myself are collaborating with others on a telepresence robot using a Roomba.

Its not a completed project, but it can give you some ideas on how to get started we'd like your feedback and there is a sample project you can download and I have plans to make a tutorial

Regards, Frank