cargo bay for accepting a connection
from computers, microcontrollers, or
other electronics. A secondary hardware
interface sits on the exterior
circumference of Create. This second
interface is even older and wilder than
the archaic DB- 25 — it’s a seven-pin round
mini-DIN jack. Whew! So, forget USB
interfaces, we’re going “stone age” for
sending our serial strings to Create.
Okay, not quite that prehistoric.
There is a nice modern wireless interface
that we can slip into that DB- 25
connector. A Bluetooth adapter can be
inserted into the OI hardware interface
for enabling serial string communication
between our robot platform and RPi.
bind yes; device xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx; channel 1; comment “Bluetooth SPP to Create”; }
A Bluetooth adapter that fits into the cargo bay
connector is the CR8 Bluetooth adapter from Element
Products ( elementdirect.com). Unfortunately, this product
is no longer available from them. A newer Bluetooth
module — Bluetooth Adapter Module (BAM) for iRobot
Create ($59.95) — fits into the cargo bay connector and can
be purchased through Element Products’ online store.
Save the rfcomm.conf file and run:
Enable Bluetooth on the RPi with Raspbian Linux OS
and a low cost USB Bluetooth dongle. For example, inside
your command line terminal program, you would type the
sudo rfcomm bind all
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install bluetooth bluez-utils blueman
For reference, the following serial port settings are
used for communicating with the BAM:
Baud: 57,600 bps
Data Bits: 8
There can be some difficulty in establishing a Bluetooth
Stop Bits: 1
Serial Port Profile (SPP) connection between the RPi and
BAM (or, even with the original CR8 Bluetooth adapter).
Follow these generic instructions for ensuring a useable
Hardware Flow Control: None
Software Flow Control: None
If your RPi doesn’t have pySerial installed, use:
1. From the RPi Bluetooth, enable Device Discovery and
find BAM or CR8. These adapters use the device
name “Element Serial.” [In terminal, type: hcitool
sudo apt-get install python-serial
2. Pair the device with the Passcode “0000” (i.e., four
zeroes, exclusive of double quotes) and refresh
services. [In terminal, type: sudo bluez-simple-agent
Serial scripts can now be sent wirelessly to Create.
Just remember Bluetooth Python scripts for BAM should
3. Select the SPP service option and record the enabled
COM port’s name.
Now, open a line editor program:
bluetoothSerial = serial.Serial (“/dev/rfcomm1”, baudrate=57600)
sudo nano /etc/bluetooth/rfcomm.conf
Add these lines:
SERVO 10.2014 41
Three Raspberry Pi Model B+ USB ports are needed for a Bluetooth dongle, Wi-Fi adapter, and USB audio adapter.
Remote control of the robot can also be added into this
mix via an app running on the remote user device. While
most Create script commands can and should be handled
autonomously by the telepresence robot, you may want to
add the capability to forcibly “storm” out of an office after