Robot vacuum makes cleaning into a game

This is not a Roomba hack, but a ground-up vacuum cleaner robot build. It’s the result of a class project from six students at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. There’s a slew of information available in their paper, but fair warning that it’s an 8.6 MB PDF file that we couldn’t get Google to translate. We were able to skim the PDF and cut and paste to translate the interesting bits we found.

Unlike a Roomba, which just uses a little sweeper to pick up debris, this robot actually includes a vacuum. The image above shows that the cylindrical body is wrapped in an LED matrix, with an ultrasonic sensor on the front¬†for obstacle avoidance. The robot uses a CAN bus to control the various modules inside. We don’t think there’s any autonomous function, but that’s made up for by the remote control. It communicates via a ZigBee module, and includes a d-pad, touch screen, and accelerometer.We’re a little bit hazy on how the games are played, but there are at least two interactive version: one called ball, and another modeled after the classic game of missile command.

You can check out the source code for the project in their repository, or join us after the break for two demo videos.

Comments

  1. Dan says:

    “Unlike a Roomba, which just uses a little sweeper to pick up debris, this robot actually includes a vacuum”

    Pretty sure roombas have vacuums, and not just sweepers.

  2. jon says:

    Roomba also includes a vacuum… unless you get the expanded dust bin… they expand it by removing the vacuum from the dust bin.

  3. Daid says:

    That’s some fancy LED effects!

  4. [lum] says:

    Seems a bit small of a project for 6 people at a tech school don’t ya think?

    I’m from Sweden as well. Stuff like this is not uncommon for an enthusiast to do on their own in the same time frame.

    Given an enthusiast most likely wont do a paper about their project I guess.

    Anyway it’s modular and every student was responsible for a module. I guess the LEDs where a kind of filler.

    I’m too lazy to translate it all for you. Sorry.
    But I have to re-fix and re-paint a room today so I save my energy. He he. True story though.

  5. Rooh says:

    How long until they start saying “Exterminate! Exterminate!”

  6. christoferjh says:

    We did include a “killer mode”…. and a dance to “its friday”.

  7. Gray Simpson says:

    The iRobot ‘dirt dog’ had no vacuum, but all the standard roombas do. If you need proof of thisclaim, hit the flickr feed (linked from my site) ‘sets’ ‘short hacking projects’ – a few photos of my older Roomba.

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