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How can I power a kinect using the iRobot Create 2 base? (Turtlebot)

asked 2016-06-06 16:03:17 -0500

blazerman345 gravatar image

Hey everyone!

I'm creating a turtlebot from scratch. I have an iRobot Create 2, a kinect sensor (and all its cables), and an acer netbook.

How do I provide 12V power to the kinect using the create 2? I saw a lot of tutorials online and they say to use the serial port on the create 2 base. However, if I do this, then how do I connect the create 2 to my netbook?

Currently I am using the serial to USB cable to connect the irobot to my netbook. Is there a way to splice this cable and use it for powering the kinect?

Or will I need an external 12V battery?

Thanks! I'm relatively new to electronics, so any help is appreciated!

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answered 2016-09-22 23:22:17 -0500

Raika gravatar image

iRobot has published instructions about getting power from the Create 2's internal battery here. The Kinect can be powered by the main brush motor driver, you just have to regulate it down to 12V. They recommend using an inductor but I did not end up needing one. You just have to send power to the main brush motor when you start up your turtlebot, which is opcode 144 of the Create 2 open interface.

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answered 2016-06-06 17:42:41 -0500

jacobperron gravatar image

I have recently successfully spliced the USB cable shipped with the Create. You may have come across this tutorial on how to create a serial to USB cable. I believe there are only 4 pins used to communicate with the robot and the remaining 3 unused pins include an unregulated power source and ground. Unfortunately, upon inspecting the cable these 3 pins were not actually connected to the insulated wires inside the cable. I ended up just salvaging the USB end of the cable and soldering my own 7-pin connector at the other end. I connected a voltage regulator to a pair of the unused power and ground wires and was able to power a RaspberryPi no problem :)

I only required 5V, but if I recall correctly the unregulated power line puts out about 14V. In any case you'll probably need a regulator.

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This sounds like a good idea. Why did you solder your own 7 pin connector if the cable shipped with the create already has one?

Also, do you recommend a voltage regulator with a switch? I don't want my kinect eating away my robot's battery.

blazerman345 gravatar image blazerman345  ( 2016-06-08 12:44:39 -0500 )edit

I found the existing 7-pin difficult to salvage because of it's enclosure and I had another one lying around anyways. I also used a switch, which is really handy if you want cut the power without actually disconnecting the cable.

jacobperron gravatar image jacobperron  ( 2016-06-08 15:32:27 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2016-06-06 16:03:17 -0500

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Last updated: Jun 06 '16