iRobot Create is a hobbyist robot manufactured by iRobot that is based on the Roomba platform and was introduced in 2007. However, iRobot Create is explicitly designed for robotics development, rather than simply hacking the Roomba. In place of the vacuum hardware of the Roomba, the Create includes a cargo bay which houses a 25 pin port that can be used for digital and analog input and output. The Create also possesses a serial port through which sensor data can be read and motor commands can be issued using the iRobot Roomba Open Interface protocol.
This is an unmodified iRobot Create with Command Module (the small green attachment).
The platform accepts virtually all accessories designed for iRobot's domestic robots and can also be programmed with the addition of a small "command module" (a microcontroller with a USB connector and four DE-9 expansion ports).
Due to the limitations in storage space and processing power of the iRobot Command Module, many choose to utilize an external computer in controlling the Create robot. Since the built-in serial port supports the transmission of sensor data and can receive actuation commands, any embedded computer that supports serial communication can be used as the control computer. Popular choices include the gumstix line of computers and netbooks.
A number of robot interface server / simulators support the iRobot Create. Most notably, the Player Project have long included a device interface for the Roomba, and has recently developed a Create interface in Player 2.1. The Universal Real-time Behavior Interface (URBI) environment also contains a Create interface.
The Microsoft Robotics Studio and the Webots simulation environment contain IRobot Create models.
A team of iRobot Create robots at the Human-Automation Systems Lab, Georgia Institute of Technology.
Simulation of an iRobot Create in Webots Due to its small size and low cost, the iRobot Create is popular in the robotic research community. In particular, research projects in the area of multi-robot networks favors the Create robot. Examples:
iRobot with mounted camera and minicomputer
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