The new Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ is the first board since 2014’s Raspberry Pi 1 Model A+ to utilize the smaller form factor. It’s more compact than the standard models, but not as small as the Raspberry Pi Zero/Zero W. Despite the small size, it’s still fairly powerful with its A 1.4GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU and 512MB of RAM. In their first tutorial, ianderson3 demonstrates how to use that power to revive a dead Roomba.
ianderson3 found the dead Roomba in a local thrift store bargain bin for $5. The battery and the rest of components were in good shape, but the Roomba’s motherboard was dead. Basically, it was the perfect candidate for a Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ retrofit. ianderson3’s tutorial has a thorough explanation of the build, so you can follow along yourself.
In addition to the Raspberry Pi, this project also requires a dual H-bridge motor driver, a battery for the Raspberry Pi, a USB webcam, and a couple of other miscellaneous components. For software, ianderson3 took advantage of the code provided by Dexter Industries for their browserBot. That software configures the Raspberry Pi as a websocket server so it can be controlled from any computer or mobile device through the web interface. The webcam will provide a video feed, so the Roomba can be piloted remotely.