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Why would iRobot provide the serial port and Open Interface serial protocol in their residential models? I understand making their Create2 product STEM friendly. But why spend the extra cost for the same hardware/software in the residential models? I mean, I am glad they do! I am just curious about the business model.

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It has been on models going back before the 400 series. In fact the Create 2 is just a reconditioned Roomba 650 with the brushes removed, no special firmware

It Can also be used to run diagnostics which is probably its original purpose as most of the parts are easily replaceable such as drive wheel motor assemblies... they even use captive screws

It also provides a means to update the Roomba firmware

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