SPARK Project #2, Post #2

Computers & Mobile
SPARK Project #2, Post #2



In a previous post, I covered several of the available SPARK computing systems, so I won’t revisit SPARK hardware too extensively in this series. I will share any interesting discoveries I make working with the Create, iRobot’s very simple yet comprehensive robot base. In addition, I’ll try to include useful technical details. Of course, as much as the mechanical engineer in me loves to spend time designing and building robot parts, the Create is a nicely developed and well documented platform, so this project is primarily focused on software.


I don’t have to worry or think about how the parts I machined might or might not fit together, or whether the motor control board I built will overheat and turn into a pile of smoldering mosfets. The Create takes that worry away, and gives me a mobile platform which I can control via a standard RS-232 serial port.

There is a small catch. iRobot designed the Create with an 8-pin mini-din connector and 0-5v serial port voltages. To connect my Create to my iCop computer, I require an adapter. Fortunately, one can be purchased from iRobot at a reasonable price, or you can make your own.

So now I have the cabling to talk to my Create, but I need to know how to configure messages and what to send in order to control the robot.

Continue on to read the full post here.

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Kipp Bradford is a technology consultant and entrepreneur with a passion for making things. He is the Senior Design Engineer and Lecturer in Engineering at Brown University, where he teaches several engineering design and entrepreneurship courses. Kipp is also on the Technical Advisory Board for Make Magazine.

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