iRobot Roomba Hack

DJ Sures

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DJ modifies an iRobot Roomba to be wirelessly controlled with the EZ-B. He also adds a webcam and voice recognition! This is all done by soldering only two wires from an old PS2 Mouse or Keyboard.

  Have an iRobot Roomba around to help pickup? This is a fun DIY project that will convert your roomba into a voice recognition, camera recognition, autonomous, remote control cleaning machine!
  DJ has added the EZ-B Bluetooth Robot Controller to the EZ-B by soldering only two wires. Using an old PS/2 mouse or keyboard cable, the EZ-B is easily connected to the Roomba. Any of the EZ-B's 20 UART Serial ports can be used for the connection.
  But, he didn't stop there! He then added a wireless webcam to a servo and mounted on the front of the robot. This allows the roomba to follow motion and color detection! All of the Roomba features are available in both ARC software and the EZ-SDK library.
  Currently, the programming is a collection of functions:
  - Voice recognition
  - Visual recognition, color tracking, motion tracking and object tracking
  - Remote control
  - Sweeping Camera
  <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src='' frameborder='0' height='300' width='480' allowfullscreen='allowfullscreen'></iframe></div>
  <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src='' frameborder='0' height='300' width='480' allowfullscreen='allowfullscreen'></iframe></div>

  1 x iRobot Roomba
  1 x EZ-Robot Complete Kit &lt;a href="/Shop" style="color: #FF9900;"&gt;[Buy]&lt;/a&gt;
  1 x PS/2 Mouse or Keyboard for cable
  1 x three wire servo cable
  Screw Driver
  Small Side Cutters
  Hot Glue Gun
  Zip Ties

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What Roomba is used in the first video? I know in the second video listed its a discovery


What Roomba would You suggest for hacking with an IO tiny?


I found out that it was the 400 series because I did more research but is ARC still compatible with that version of Roomba?


@winter the ARC Roomba Skill should work with the 400 series. A couple of things to note:

  1. I believe you'll need an extra I/O pin to toggle the Roomba's DD (device-detect input) pin for the 400 series or you can press the power button yourself.

  2. The IoTiny doesn't have hardware UART, software serial can be used but you may have a hard time with it. The EZ-Bv4 is proven to work well as it has 3 hardware UARTs.

  3. Default baud rate is 57600 for the older Roombas so you'll need to change it in Hardware UART settings

I was able to grab some info from an old tutorial I made years ago:


There’s two different robot skills for iRobot roombas. See which one works with yours.


should i just get an ezb v4 rather than an io tiny


That's what I'd recommend:D


oh.., ill just cancel getting the entire thing because it seems too complicated


Is it possible to use the DD port with just a white wire connected to the io tiny to wake up the robot?


Yep, just a single wire attached to an EZ-Bv4 I/O pin will do.

Or you can just manually hit the power button and leave the Roomba on all the time if you don’t want to bother with the DD pin.


Ill either bother with the dd pin or just press the power button, I'm not giving up on the thing now because I realized that people use the io tiny on a roomba all the time for some reason


I guess people use the iotiny on the roomba because of the camera? If I was to have a roomba powered robot, i'd prefer to put a rock pi/x or lattepanda on on-board. That way I could use a USB camera and have self contained robot.


I'd say its because many people think the io tiny is a better choice because its smaller, doesn't cost as much, included with the new developer kit, and packs "the same punch" as the EZ-B v4. And another thing, many people were introduced to these tutorials by these videos, they constantly get recommended to kids and adults and they think that these tutorials might still work (they kinda do) and the EZB is just the better and cheaper option to them. Correct me if I'm wrong on any of this.


That sounds about right. Because ARC supports so many different hardware, I choose the best option for the job. I have many robots with Arduino. I mostly use the Arduino Pro Micro Atmega32U4. That's because it has multiple hardware UART, built-in USB and it's super small. But you generally need an onboard computer for that. Otherwise, the ESP32Cam is a good alternative to the IoTiny because it costs less and has hardware UART and camera.


one quick question that's off-topic, are you going to rerelease your music again from your old videos as in the full songs if you have them? where can i find the old songs that you made from i think around 2006-10? sorry for getting off-topic but i just wanted to know about the older songs and stuff


@Winter, Great question. I love DJ's music.

I know it's frowned upon to hijack threads like this. However there is no way to post a general discussion like this when we create a new topic. I've been frustrated like that myself in the past. It's probably the Admin's attempt to keep the forum clean and on topic of robot and Synthiam stuff.

#17   — Edited

I cannot figure out which pins on the ps2 to connect to which servo wires by looking at the video. Would someone please post this?


Hi. After 10 years of sitting in the garage, I decided to try out my old roomba 4220. I put in a new/charged battery, added the iRobot, Roomba Legacy skill, set it to "Use Old Protocol", plugged in the PS2 connector, cliccked the Init, and then clicked on the arrow buttons (the ones on the skill window) and nothing happened. Now I thought that I was not connecting, so I tried the other buttons. Main brush, Vacuum, Side brush, and Disable sensors all gave me the low  tone/ error sound. Power off did in fact shut off the roomba, so I am connected. Also, the roomba runs fine as a vaccuum--without the EZ-B. So, something strange is going on. Please advise.