Now that youve learned how to program your Create (see Lesson 1) and wirelessly communicate with your Create (see Lesson 2), its time to explore the iRobot Command Module expansion ports—and expand your create. Armed with four ports, dubbed ePorts, the Command Module provides unprecedented access to the I/O pins of its onboard Atmel ATmega 168 AVR microcontroller.
The only trouble is how can you tap into these I/O pins?
While the jury is still out on the iRobot Command Module Breakout Board (#4818; suggested retail should be $5.99), Element Products sells the eProto board which can plug into any of the four Command Module ePorts. Priced at $4.95, eProto is supplied as a two-part kit: DB-9 male plug and a sweet 1 3/16 x 1 1/4-inch PCB. Whats so sweet about a PCB without any components? Plenty, you can add your own.
Assembly is easy enough—just solder the supplied DB-9 plug to the underside of the PCB. Done. Hey, time yourself; you just assembled an electronic kit is less than 5 minutes.