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: