Hi and welcome to the Valetudo Newcomer Guide Late 2021 Edition
This should hopefully answer all the questions you might have and also be interesting to read for people that haven’t been following the recent development.
Valetudo is a cloud replacement for vacuum robots enabling local-only operation. It is not a custom firmware. That means that it cannot change anything about how the robot operates.
What it can do however is protecting your data and enable you to connect your robot to your home automation system without having to detour through a vendor cloud, which, apart from the whole data problematic, might not be reachable due to your internet connection being down or some servers in the datacenter being on fire.
Not having to leave your local network of course also benefits the latency of commands, status reports etc.
Valetudo aims to be proof that easy to use and reliable smart appliances are possible without any cloud and/or account requirements. Maybe at some point it might help convince vendors that there is another way of doing things.
Valetudo can be used by anyone with a basic understanding of the english language.
In the last 6 months, a lot has happened that makes using Valetudo even easier.
The UI has been completely rewritten from the ground up and now supports more features while being simpler to understand.
Furthermore, there’s an Android Companion App now, which helps find a Valetudo-enabled Robot on your network as well as join new ones running Valetudo to it.
While Valetudo can be used by anyone with a basic understanding of the english language, it cannot be installed just with those skills.
To install Valetudo you will need some understanding of linux-ish operating systems as well as computers in general and maybe even some basic hardware hacking stuff. If you lack these skills, please consider asking a friend or computer repair shop to help you with that.
As Valetudo is just the hobby project of some guy on the internet, it is not possible (nor intended) for it to provide first-level/tier-one support.
The Goal of Valetudo is to both remove cloud connectivity as well as provide an abstraction layer so that no matter which robot you’re using, with Valetudo on it, everything should be pretty much the same.
This of course also includes support for companion applications such as Valeronoi, which can build a Wi-Fi signal heatmap from the data provided by Valetudo. Make sure to check that out.
By default, Valetudo provides control over your vacuum robot via a responsive webinterface that works on all of your devices. It can be used on phones, tablets as well as your desktop computer.
Furthermore, there’s a REST-interface documented with Swagger UI as well as MQTT. With support for both Homie and Home Assistant Autodiscovery for MQTT, you should be able to connect Valetudo to the open-source smarthome software of your choice.
Valetudo fully supports:
as long as your robots firmware can actually do that.
By replacing the cloud, you also gain access to your own data, which you can use however you like.
For example there are already a few applications that turn your map data into various other formats such as Minecraft Worlds or Source-Engine maps. There’s a huge amount of possibilities yet to be explored.
Due to the openly documented, standardized and easily accessible Map Data, one can use any Valetudo-compatible Vacuum Robot to map out a new home, write some glue code to transform it into the 3d software of their choice and use that precise floorplan to figure out where to put the furniture.
The supported robots docs page should give you an idea, which robots you should buy and shouldn’t buy. If you scroll down a bit, you will find that each model has a description that you should read.
If you want to use Valetudo, please buy a supported robot.
Please refrain from buying any random robot just to then ask how we can make Valetudo on that thing happen.
Unless there are very good reasons to support a new Model/Brand/etc. such as
it likely won’t happen as chosen the strategy is to stick to a few well-supported and actually good models.
The rooting instructions page will point you to the right guide for your robot.
If you’re looking for answers/supported, the first place to look are the docs but you know that since you’re already here. If these don’t contain the answers you’re looking for but you actually know them, feel free to open a PR to enhance the docs :)
Furthermore, you can also check the Telegram Group. Telegram features a very powerful full-text search so make sure to use that before asking.
There’s also the option of using the Github Discussions feature. The same “search before you ask” applies here. If you experience issues, please don’t immediately file a bug report but instead only do that if you’re 100% sure that it is actually a bug.
In general and especially if you’re new to open source, It’s strongly recommended to thoroughly read and understand “How To Ask Questions The Smart Way”, since that will make interactions much better for everyone involved.
You don’t need to be a developer to contribute to Valetudo, because the best way to support the project is to support other Valetudo users of which there are quite a few.
Just stick around in the Telegram Group, the IRC and/or the Github Discussions :)
If you’re a developer, the usual stuff applies. They may be Issues tagged with “Good First Issue” which should be the right place to start.
If you intend to open a PR, please make sure to make yourself familiar with the PR Template.
If you intend to add a new feature, you should expect the discussion thread to be open at least a few weeks until you can start working on that. Please note that no response doesn’t mean yes. PRs not following these rules will be closed without further discussion