There are so many questions asked when a new user gets an iRobot Create in the mail. The iRobot Create Forum is a great place to ask questions with some regular visitors ready to answer them. I've tried to bring together all of the basics here to help you get started.
What to Buy? I would recommend purchasing the iRobot Create with an APS Battery and Docking Station. This will give you the best (in my opinion) starter platform complete with auto-docking capabilities for when the battery gets low. If you don't have a favorite microcontroller, or know what one is, then purchase the Command Module also.
What you Get.
Optional. The Command Module is optional and is a quick and convenient way to get started with a microcontroller (brain) for you to program which can control the Create and respond intelligently to bumps and cliffs and virtual walls which will all be sent from the Create to the brain.
Direct PC to Create
Using a PC as your main Controller for the Create.
- RF Wireless Communications
- RF IR Communications
iRobot Command Module (ATMega168 Processor)
Using the iRobot Command Module with the Create.
- Adding another Serial Port
Parallax Propeller Processor
Using a Parallax Propeller processor to control your Create.
How to add sensors to your Create, Command Module, or Propeller.
- IR Range Sensor
- IR Beacons / Virtual Walls
- Digital Compass
- PIR Motion Sensors
- Thermopile Array
- WiFi Camera
- Temperature Sensor
- Light Sensor
- Servos on the Create
- Servos on the Command Module
- Servos on the Propeller
- Locking Wheels in DROP Position