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RoombaComm Java Library

26 July 2009, by Tod E. Kurt, Paul Bouchier and Jonathan Pitts


The author of the book "Hacking Roomba", Tod E. Kurt, wrote a java library and several graphical and command-line clients for Roomba which were described in his book. The library abstracts the low-level interface to the Roomba, and presents higher-level operations. However, the associated graphical client, RoombaCommTest, which can be used to drive Roomba around, is particularly popular. Along with the library, it provides turnkey software for remotely controlling Roomba. Several DPRG members are doing projects based on the Roombacomm library & RoombaCommTest.

As released, the library did not support the 500-series Roombas. DPRG member Paul Bouchier upgraded the library to add 500-series support.

There are several limitations of the Roombacomm library; notably, it assumes use of a serial port (hard-wired or bluetooth serial), and there is not a web interface. DPRG members are working to overcome these limitations - Jonathan Pitts built a TCP/IP socket interface based on some of Tod's work, and created a .jsp file to front-end the library running in a Tomcat web application container.

A better vehicle for club-member collaboration on library improvements was needed. With Tod's permission, a subversion repository was created on the DPRG SVN server, and the library & applications were checked in. The repository is world-readable; Paul Bouchier & Jonathan Pitts currently have commit rights. All software in this repository is licensed under the GNU GPL, which meets the definitions of Free Software and Open Source software. Patches and other contributions are welcome.


  • Tod E. Kurt
  • Paul Bouchier
  • Jonathan Pitts
  • Matt Black

SVN Checkout Procedure

To check out the roombacomm code from the DPRG SVN server, use the following command:

svn checkout http://svn.dprg.org/repos/roomba/roombacomm


SVN write access is limited to DPRG members. If you have a patch you'd like to submit, email it to Paul or Jonathan. You can find their email addresses on the DPRG member list.


Article Copyright © 2009 by Dallas Personal Robotics Group, all rights reserved.