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I'm potentially getting a Roomba vacuum robot as a gift, and I was wondering which model might be the best to go with? I would like it to clean, but I'm by nature a tinkerer and will definitely be trying to play around. I'm a software developer by trade, but I play around with IoT devices and RPi's, as well as extensive Arduino programming in college. I found this article, and I'm wondering if there are only certain models that would allow for this kind of mod: https://hackaday.com/2021/03/09/roomba-gets-alexa-support-with-an-esp8266-stowaway/

If this is the wrong place, please let me know. Thanks!

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Unfortunately, the latest generation of Roombas (i.e. the "i", "j", and "s" series) don't include the "hacker port". So they are not really hackable at all. (But if all you want is Alexa integration, they do have that already).

Only certain models of the 600 series have the serial port or the Open Interface hardware that make it "hackable". This feature is being phased out, and I'm not sure you can guarantee a hackable version if you buy one online.

So your best bet is to just get a dedicated hackable Create 2. If you really want it to vacuum, you can purchase the parts separately to make it a functional vacuum. However, you won't be able to use the internal payload area for your electronics.

But if you are willing to wait, I'd highly recommend getting the Create 3. It is a much more modern robotics platform. Again, I think you probably can turn Create 3 into a working vacuum, but it is probably harder.

Disclaimer: I work at iRobot where I am developing the next generation of consumer robots. However, my postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent iRobot's positions, strategies, or opinions.

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