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Some questions about the Turtlebot & the Create irobot

asked 2011-10-24 09:43:58 -0500

kd8bxp gravatar image

Question, can I use a different iRobot then the create to make a turtlebot,I've found a few of the irobot vacuums that are reasonable in cost. or is it just better to buy a Create?

The 2nd question would be, if another iRobot will work, is it better to "play" with it without adding the Kinect sensor at 1st, to get a feel how the robot is different, or does that matter any at all. I have most of the parts that are used for the Turtlebot now, I am missing a iRobot (which is probably the most important thing :-) ) But have the kinect, and an aspire one I can use for this project.

Money's tight, so doing this as cheap as possible is going to be the key for me. And this will be the 1st time I've used ROS, but from what I've read/seen this is what I want to use for my robotic projects.

Thanks for the help.

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answered 2011-10-24 12:02:09 -0500

mmwise gravatar image

Below I have tried to outline the trade offs between using an irobot create and a roomba:

Power: The kinect requires about 0.5-0.8A when running (when the fan turns on there is a current spike). The irobot create has the ability to source/provide 1.5A of current through the DB25 connector in the bay of the robot. The roomba only has the ability to source/provide 0.5A through the MiniDIN connector. Currently documentation is provided on for building or purchasing a board to power the kinect from an irobot create; you will need to figure out something for the roomba ( has been working on a solution for this as well you might be able to get a power board from them).

Localization: [FACT] The wheel encoders on the irobot create and early version roombas are terrible, users have reported that later version roombas have better encoders and do better with localization. However if you want to use an irobot create you will need a gyro and this is designed into the TurtleBot power board. The encoders might be good enough on the roomba but this is completely untested.

Software Integration: The TurtleBot stack is meant to run on an irobot create and is tested against that platform. However users have been working with roombas as well, so you could get support from this forum. Just be aware that it may not be a plug and play solution.

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Asked: 2011-10-24 09:43:58 -0500

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Last updated: Oct 24 '11