When we first heard of [Dino]’s all-terrain Roomba, we hoped the ‘stair-climbing Roomba’ problem had finally been solved, but the final build turned out much cooler.
A year ago, [Dino] built a small robot based on a rocker-bogie suspension. This suspension system has been used on every Mars rover, including the huge Mars Science Labratory scheduled to land on Mars next year. [Dino] beefed up the suspension from the previous version and changed the wheels and center of gravity. Now, the little Roomba rover seems quite capable of climbing over objects as tall as itself.
The control of the rover is similar to other Roomba hacks we’ve seen – just tapping a few transistors. [Dino] is using a Seeduino and an ultrasonic sensor to avoid collisions. [Dino] says that he’s thinking about pivoting each wheel independently to get around the skid-steering, but maybe an omnidirectional wheel would be better suited.
Check out the video after the break for a demo of the Roomba rover traversing the treacherous boulder strewn terrain in [Dino]’s garage.
Continue reading “Converting a Roomba into a Mars rover”
Instructables user [matchlighter] wanted to see what he could program his Roomba to do, so he decided he would make his little cleaning machine report its status on Twitter whenever something happened.
He popped open the Roomba’s case to access its serial connector, crafting a simple interface cable from some spare Cat5 he had sitting around. He added a small voltage regulator between the Roomba and his Arduino in order to protect it from the high power output present while the Roomba is charging. Once the proper bits were in place, he hooked the Roomba’s serial interface to the Arduino and attached a SparkFun WiFly shield to allow for wireless communications. After a bit of coding, the Roomba was sharing its activities with the entire world on Twitter.
Not only did he want the Roomba to tweet, but he decided that he also wanted the ability to control it from the web. He created a simple interface using a handy library he found online and was sending cleaning commands to the Roomba in short order.
While there is no video of the Roomba in action, you can check out what it is up to here, and there’s plenty of code to be had on his Instructables page.
[Erik] was looking for a sturdy robotics platform and was initially considering the iRobot Create, until he found that he could score a Roomba Discovery series for a fraction of the price. The Discovery includes a battery, which is missing from the iCreate, though it also has all of the standard vacuum bits included as well.
He immediately removed all of the vacuum parts once he got his hands on the Roomba, and began adding the support structure to house the rest of his robot’s components. The robot is controlled via a small laptop which sits on top of the Roomba’s base, and features a panning and telescoping webcam to provide feedback to the operator.
The robot has been under construction for a little over a year now, and has had a few upgrades over that time. The original laptop was swapped out for a newer dual-core model, and the webcam was upgraded to a model featuring motion tracking. The whole thing has been skinned in thin sheet metal for a sleek look, and he has added a servo-driven arm as well.
The project is not quite complete, and he hasn’t really stated what he plans on using the robot for, but it looks good so far – we can’t wait to see it when it’s finished.
When [Dave] installed hardwood flooring in his house, he needed a solution to help automate the monotonous task of routine sweeping. Rather than go out and buy one of the many existing automated sweep robots out there, he decided to use his passion for LEGO Robotics to design and build a NXT based Swifferbot he calls Pulito. His version implements all the important features such as object avoidance using bump sensors, an IR beacon used to automatically return to the charging station, and a photoresistor to monitor the charge of the battery. [Dave] also includes a nifty LEGO sensor multiplexor, allowing him to save on I/O ports, which is almost worth sharing by itself.
Videos after the break.
Continue reading “Pulito: The LEGO Roomba”
Enjoy this 20 minute video dissection of a Roomba 4000. There is lots of great information here, as [Dino] does the dirty work. It is pretty dirty too. Remember, the Roomba is a vacuum. What a pleasant way to waste 20 minutes of your morning. Part 2 is after the break.
Continue reading “Roomba dissection videos”
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.
Continue reading “All terrain Roomba”
Meet GåågleBot. GåågleBot is a modified roomba that will not only vacuum your home, but collect data while it does it. While it is carrying out its normal duties as a floor cleaner, it will take pictures, collecting and analyzing all the data for later searches. With built in OCR, you can actually search for things using text strings.
Aside from just carrying out its normal job, you can also remote control it via the web. You can even control theirs!
[via Boing Boing]