One-eyed, one-armed metal rolling Roomba robot

roomba_robot

[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.

Pulito: The LEGO Roomba

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.

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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.

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Google your home with a 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]

Roombas with UAV Brains Play Pac-Man



[Jack], [Cory], and [Maciej] are playing Pac-Man with Roombas on a lab floor. The Roombas are outfitted with ALIX3d2 single board computers running Gentoo and a software suite developed for UAVs at the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Research and Engineering Center for Unmanned Vehicles. The hardware and software sections are quite in-depth and make for a good read.

Roomba with dustpan style grasper

Remember El-E, the service robot that would retrieve things that you spotted with a laser? The creators of El-E are doing research into other methods of making assistance robots. Their latest contraption is an iRobot Create, basically a  Roomba, with a custom grasping hand. Instead of complex multi DOF assemblies, they have made something that works on the same principle as a dustpan. It has a thin wedge and a sweeping arm that loads items onto it. As you can see in the video, it is quite effective.

[thanks Travis]