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How to Program Roomba - RealTerm Terminal

  By Anna Sandler

We will take our first steps using RealTerm, a freeware terminal software, available from:
It’s a very simple program that can be useful when playing with Roomba’s SCI commands.
This freeware will scan for open ports in your computer, and once onnected, can send commands and receive data from your Roomba.
Make sure your Roomba is turned ON and the serial cable is connected or a Bluetooth device is paired with your computer before continuing.

New to the serial port/ Bluetooth communication? Please read this chapter and learn how to configure your environment to send and receive SCI commands.
Make sure that your environment is configured properly before you continue.

RealTerm general settings

Open the RealTerm and go to the Port tab.
  • For iRobot Create, Roomba 4XX series and Dirt Dog, configure the Baud rate to 57,600.
    For other iRobot products (series 5XX and 7XX) set the Baud rate to 115200.
  • Set the Parity to “None”,
  • the “Data Bits” to 8,
  • the “Stop Bits” to 1
  • and “Hardware Flow Control” to None.

Port settings

The challenging part is to find the right port number. (Which represents the connection to the Roomba through cable or Bluetooth) we will use trial and error metod for now.
On a PC, you can use the device manager to see the active ports (Right click on the Computer icon -> Manage -> select System Tools-> Device Manager).
Device Manager
Device Manager

You can see from the example above that the following port numbers are active: 12, 13, 8, 9.
Return to the RealTerm configuration, and insert one of the port numbers in the port text box.
RealTerm Configuration
RealTerm configuration

To test the connection - make sure the Open button is pressed, and then press the Change button.
Now you can send commands to the port (go to Send tab), and check if Roomba is responding.
If you are connecting with a Bluetooth device - pay attention to the lower- right side of the screen shot below.
RealTerm Status
RealTerm status off

Repeat these steps (changing the port number, and click “Change”) until your status looks like the screen shot below if you are using a Bluetooth connector:
RealTerm Bluetooth Status
RealTerm status on

Alternatively, if you are using a Bluetooth device, you can simply open the devices and printers (on your PC), find your Bluetooth device-> right click and select its properties-> Hardware tab-> you can see in the Name section the port that the device uses:
Bluetooth Device Properties
Bluetooth device properties

Sending commands to Roomba

After we’ve found the port, go to the “Send” tab on RealTerm.
Insert the desired commands as numbers, and press "Send Numbers" button.
Your screen should look like this, and your Roomba should react to these commands.
RealTerm Commands
RealTerm sending commands to Roomba

What's next?

Let's move forward and send commands to Roomba!

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