Raspberri Pi to Romotive Interface

Fun with Robotics

Gerardo Capiel
Jan 12, 2014 · 2 min read

I just finally got a working prototype of a project I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I was a Romotive backer on Kickstarter — one of the first successful personal robotics products on the site. Romotive’s robots (aka Romos) typically use an iOS or Android device for their brain. Given my current skill set, I find hacking on Raspberry Pi much easier and wanted to be able to use a Pi for Romo’s brain.

To get this working, I discovered an archived blog post that described the audio protocol between the mobile device and the Romotive hardware. It’s a PWM signal (all new to me). I was able to hack the hello_audio sample program that comes with the Raspberry Pi to generate square waves in the frequency and pattern of the Romotive Protocol. Right now, I can send basic commands to the Romo in the binary protocol described on the blog to make it move each of its motors for a specified amount of time. Next I’d like to build a web interface that simplifies control and also displays a video feed from the Raspberry Pi. I might also try to create a web-based Scratch-like programming interface for it. You can find the current state of the project at:

http://github.com/gcapiel/pi_romo

Keeping my craft by hacking on RPi, robots and stuff

Weekend Hacker

Keeping my craft by hacking on RPi, robots and stuff

Gerardo Capiel

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Former VP of Engineering at Benetech and entrepreneur passionate about Robotics, the Internet of Things and Tech for Good

Weekend Hacker

Keeping my craft by hacking on RPi, robots and stuff