All terrain Roomba

This little rover gets around on rough terrain pretty well. [Dean Segovis] built it using parts from a Roomba. The Roomba uses wheels in conjunction with gearboxes that handle a lot of the dirty work in getting this prototype going. [Dean] grabbed four of them, as well as the motor controller board and batter, and installed them on this Rocker-bogie suspension. In the video after the break he mentions that this would be quite a good climber if the batter were relocated to the center of the body. An ultrasonic sensor adds obstacle avoidance with and Arduino taking care of the processing. We can’t wait to see future versions of the Roomba’s rough-and-tumble outdoor cousin.

[via Make]


  1. fartface says:

    does it suck up the dirt off the rocks?

  2. Mike nelson says:


  3. DaemonsWithin says:

    Curious as to how ‘batter’ is implemented as a viable energy source… ^^

  4. YesThatIsSarcasm says:

    @DaemonsWithin – It harnesses the power of the rising yeast in order to propel it over great distances, as well as a cushion for the suspension when it goes over rough terrain. It also absorbs the heat from the micro controllers and servos in order to further the baking process…the only byproduct is a muffin of your choice. Have the Roomba bring you coffee and you have breakfast.

  5. nimitzbrood says:

    @YesThatIsSarcasm – but if you think of it in biological terms that muffin is the…umm…output of the Roomba and would you really want to eat that? ;-)

  6. tauroid says:

    @nimitzbrood Yes i would… as long as the power plant is food safe.

    what i notice is that for an ATV this little buy is remarkably scared of heights.(i think this is the ghost of roomba)

  7. wdfowty says:

    What, no DJ?

  8. andrew says:

    You know it would be REALLY nice if the people shooting the videos to showcase their work (and a good job on it too, I think the bot’s awesome) USED A DAMNED TRIPOD so you could actually get a sense of how the feature (the rocker-bogie suspension) was operating with the terrain. I can see he’s running after the thing but a tripod and simply sweeping the camera across the path would have shown this creation off MUCH better.

  9. Stephen says:

    I agree with andrew. or a camera with stabilazation built in. Great creature though. I was listening to the creator’s comments about some of the issues, and after a few adjustments I think they will have a real rock crawler on their hands.

  10. PocketBrain says:

    Hmmm…. I have a couple of spare Roombas…

  11. Roly says:

    I like the simple suspension geometry and all-wheel drive … but it looks like we are basically back to skid-steering – requires more power to rip up whatever it is running on. Could be helped a lot by some “smart wheels”.

  12. wdfowty says:

    oh…and muffins don’t use yeast to rise. just so ya know :D

  13. Dino says:

    OK sorry about the shaky camera work. My cam DOES have image stabilisation but I was all over the place. Yeah, a tripod would have helped. At least it’s not so shaky after a minute or so. I’m in the process of making a better rover with and all aluminum chassis and bigger wheels driven internally by the Roomba wheels! I’ll be taking that one to the Bay Area Maker Faire in May. Check in with for updates.
    Ciao for now.

  14. YesThatIsSarcasm says:

    @wddfowty Fine….Baking soda…happy? :-p

  15. Dino says:

    I just had a phone interview with WIRED.COM. They’re runing a story on me and my robots! Should be up tomorrow sometime. :)

  16. crow says:

    Congrats Dino, looks like a great build. I’ll be looking out for the interview.

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