iRobot Create

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This is an unmodified iRobot Create with Command Module (the small green attachment).

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.[1][2] 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.[1][2] 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".[3]

The platform accepts virtually all accessories designed for iRobot's domestic robots and can also be programmed with the addition of iRobot's own Command Module (a microcontroller with a USB connector and four DE-9 expansion ports),[3] although it is no longer being sold.


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.[citation needed] 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.[3]

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.[citation needed] The Universal Real-time Behavior Interface (URBI) environment also contains a Create interface.[4]

The Microsoft Robotics Studio and the Webots simulation environment contain IRobot Create models.[5][6]


A team of iRobot Create robots at the Human-Automation Systems Lab, Georgia Institute of Technology.
iRobot with mounted camera and minicomputer
Simulation of an iRobot Create in Webots

The iRobot Create is popular in the robotic research and hobbyist community. Some examples of iRobot create projects:

  • The iRobot Create has been included in parts kits for the International Botball Competition since 2007.[7]
  • The iRobot Create is used as the main platform for the Autonomous Robotics course at Brown University.[8]
  • The iRobot Create and a simulator developed in MATLAB are used in the Autonomous Mobile Robots course at Cornell University.[9]
  • For US$500, hacker Johnny Chung Lee created a Telepresence robot using the iRobot Create and a netbook.[10]
  • Combining the iRobot Create with an Xbox Kinect, student Philipp Robbel created a 3D mapping robot.[11]


In 2007 iRobot hosted the "Create Challenge", offering US$5,000 with the goal of creating an "innovative robot that's functional, helpful, entertaining, whimsical or simply amazing".[12] The winner was Danh Trinh, with their "Personal Home Robot" which "reminds owners to take their medication, turns lights on and off, and controls appliances."[13][14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Miller, Paul (2006-11-29). "iRobot Create: Roomba hacking for the everyman". Engadget. Retrieved 2013-01-29. 
  2. ^ a b Kanellos, Michael (2007-01-07). "Build your own bot, courtesy of iRobot". CNET. Retrieved 2013-01-29. 
  3. ^ a b c Banks, Zach (2009-05-01). "Fun with the iRobot Create". Linux Journal. Retrieved 2013-01-29. 
  4. ^ "Programming Tools". Retrieved 2013-01-29. 
  5. ^ Henning, William (2007-04-04). "iRobot "Create" Platform". Neoseeker. Retrieved 2013-01-29. 
  6. ^ Hoxsey, Alec (2009). "Create-ing a Robot Simulator". Kalamazoo College (Oberlin College). Retrieved 2013-01-29. 
  7. ^ "Engineering Tools". Botball Educational Robotics Program. Retrieved 2013-01-29. 
  8. ^ "Robotics". Brown University. Retrieved 2013-01-29. 
  9. ^ Kress-Gazit, Hadas (2013-01-22). "MAE 4180/5180: Autonomous Mobile Robots". Cornell University. Retrieved 2013-01-29. 
  10. ^ Eaton, Kit (2011-02-10). "$500 iRobot Hack Lets You Be Two Places at Once". Fast Company. Retrieved 2013-01-29. 
  11. ^ Carmody, Tim (2010-11-18). "Control a 3-D–Mapping Robot With Gestures? Just Add Kinect". Wired. Retrieved 2013-01-29. 
  12. ^ "iRobot Create Contest Rules". Tom's Hardware. 2007-05-14. Retrieved 2013-01-29. 
  13. ^ Jones, K.C. (2007-10-30). "Personal Home Robot Wins iRobot's Create Challenge". InformationWeek. Retrieved 2013-01-29. 
  14. ^ Melanson, Donald (2007-10-30). "iRobot announces winner of Create Challenge contest". Engadget. Retrieved 2013-01-29. 

External links[edit]