IoT Roomba


I just fixed up an old Roomba 595, and I’m interested in setting it up with a microcontroller for telemetry and remote control. I’m looking for a couple other like-minded folks who may want to do the same to their roombas so we can work on this together.

Roombas have a mini-DIN connector under the top bezel, which provides power from the battery, plus a 5v UART serial interface. This is all well documented and supported.

There are number of ESP8266 firmwares that can utilize the UART API and expose it over a web interface, or hook into MQTT:

The parts to this project are:

  • Find a switching regulator that can take the unregulated battery power down to 3.3v for the ESP8266
  • Create a 5v-3.3v level convertor for the UART (many people seem to get away with simply using a voltage divider)
  • Figure out how to conceal all this in the roomba and make it robust
  • Choose one of the firmwares and modify to taste

Who’s with me?


hell yes - I am in and doing this exact thing right now. I was going to use a nano and an HC-06 board but game to try ESP as well. I have a 540 which has no scheduler so my motivation was to set one up with the ESP.

@steveroy are you in? I have an ESP board I can shoot you if you want one.

P.S. If anyone wants a Roomba I have an old first gen one that might do the trick for you.
P.P.S. If you find a broken Roomba nab it as we have the parts to fix them (like IR LEDs and other electronics but we can also 3D print stuff)


I have a 595 I’d modify - it’s up at the family cabin right now, but I’m heading up there soon and will bring it back down with me. Sounds like a fun project.




Hi @Janet,
Can you bring the First Gen Roomba & the ESP board?
Thanks Janet & Luke!


Hi @Rebel_without_Clause sorrysomeone has already messaged me about using those (esp board and roomba).