Replacement AeroForce™ Bin with Gen 3 Motor for Roomba 960

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Replacement AeroForce™ Bin with Gen 3 Motor for Roomba 960

Postby marquesalan » December 12th, 2016, 12:10 am

Replacement AeroForce™ Bin with Gen 3 Motor for Roomba 980
So the new motor is actually in the dust bin? Does this mean I could order the 980 dust bin and use it on my 960 as an upgrade? Would the robot know it was the wrong dust bin? They look identical. Would the carpet boost feature work or is the something that is only accessible through the firmware of the 980? Thanks!
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Re: Replacement AeroForce™ Bin with Gen 3 Motor for Roomba 9

Postby vic7767 » December 12th, 2016, 11:05 am

Carpet boost function is dependent upon a sensor mounted on the bottom of the 980. Does the 960 even have the carpet sensor ?
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Re: Replacement AeroForce™ Bin with Gen 3 Motor for Roomba 9

Postby marquesalan » December 12th, 2016, 1:46 pm

Yes it does. They call it a floor sensor in the manual. Same name as the 980 model. So even without the carpet boost. Is it still a better vacuum motor than the 2nd generation?
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Re: Replacement AeroForce™ Bin with Gen 3 Motor for Roomba 9

Postby vic7767 » December 12th, 2016, 2:56 pm

I suspect that the firmware is the same on both models. But, there may be hardware components that support the two speed vacuum motor in the 980 that are not on the 960. Maybe someone with both models can swap dust bins and perform an operational test.
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Re: Replacement AeroForce™ Bin with Gen 3 Motor for Roomba 9

Postby marquesalan » December 12th, 2016, 5:23 pm

I could always order the 980 dustbin and try it in my 960 and see. Worse case, I send it back.
I thought all the hardware components for the suction where only inside the dustbin and not inside the robot? It could be the software program linked to the app. Once it identifies that is a 960 instead of 980 maybe the extra options are greyed out but technically could still possibly work. I can't imagine they redesigned the whole inside.
Besides the battery life and the carpet boost, I don't see a difference between the two. But those two items could be where the extra $200 comes from.
I was just curious. Otherwise I can just wait for the price to drop for the 980 although the 960 is a nicer looking unit.
Thanks for your input!
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Re: Replacement AeroForce™ Bin with Gen 3 Motor for Roomba 9

Postby marquesalan » December 17th, 2016, 9:41 am

You cannot use the 980 dust bin in the 960, well that is what iRobot told me but I haven't tested it.
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Re: Replacement AeroForce™ Bin with Gen 3 Motor for Roomba 9

Postby ps0001 » August 1st, 2018, 4:49 pm

I just tested this and the answer to the question is: "kinda". The Roomba will start cleaning just fine, but the 960 has different hardware, different firmware, or both, so the bin will stay in carpet boost mode. Sometimes it'll keep cleaning for a while, otherwise the robot will throw a bin error.

I suspect this happens because the 980's bin draws more current than the 960's bin and the processor almost definitely monitors current consumption. I haven't tested anything yet--and I probably won't, because I already have a 980--but it might be possible to circumvent this by either reducing the current consumption of the bin (which kind of defeats the purpose) or fooling the processor into thinking the bin is drawing less current than it is.

Interestingly, given my observations and research, I don't think there's a distinct "carpet sensor" in either the 960 or 980. I think the 980 infers that it's on carpet based on the current consumption of the CHM. There are a few reports of 980's suffering from permanently activated carpet boost, and the remedy is simply clearing hair/fur from the ends of the rollers.

If that's the case, it might be possible to design a simple piggyback circuit that monitors the current drawn by the CHM and modulates the current supplied to the bin. But that's a lot of work for modest gains!
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Re: Replacement AeroForce™ Bin with Gen 3 Motor for Roomba 9

Postby marquesalan » August 1st, 2018, 5:40 pm

Thank you for your info! I did some research and the Carpet Boost feature does not clean the carpets that much better than the 960. I know it's a newer motor but many reports seem to favor the old motor design over the new one. Mine is working great and I am glad I saved $200.
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Re: Replacement AeroForce™ Bin with Gen 3 Motor for Roomba 9

Postby Brett » August 1st, 2018, 8:42 pm

ps0001 wrote:... I don't think there's a distinct "carpet sensor" in either the 960 or 980 ...

AFAIK, this is the "Carpet sensor" on the 980:
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Re: Replacement AeroForce™ Bin with Gen 3 Motor for Roomba 9

Postby marquesalan » August 1st, 2018, 8:48 pm

My 960 has that as well. In the manual it's technically called a "Floor Tracking Sensor".
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Re: Replacement AeroForce™ Bin with Gen 3 Motor for Roomba 9

Postby ps0001 » August 1st, 2018, 9:46 pm

I can confirm, my 980 and the 960 I have in my hands both have that sensor. From what I read in an IEEE article about the 980, it's basically an optical computer mouse that the processor uses to track X/Y movement. Computer mice accumulate drift over time, but the user closes a feedback loop that compensates for the error. Since Roombas are supposed to be autonomous, the 960 and 980 use their cameras to identify and store visual landmarks which they use to periodically calibrate their positions and compensate for the drift. You might already know all that, but I find it really fascinating and I love talking about it. :D
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Re: Replacement AeroForce™ Bin with Gen 3 Motor for Roomba 9

Postby vic7767 » August 1st, 2018, 10:40 pm

Test 20 in the BiTs program resident in the 980 presents the following info:

The sensor being referenced is referred to as "optical-floor-sensor"


factory-test 20 navigation-sensors
wait: (= nav-factory-test-mode mission-state-testing-bit)
wait: (nav-status-flag? passive-test-ready)
(behaviorlink-gyro-ok?) PASS
wait: (/= nav-factory-test-mode mission-state-testing-bit)
wait: (/= (nav-bit-report.get-flags) -1)
navigation-sensors results
calibration optical-floor-sensor:1 gyro-gain:1 gyro-linearity:1 camera-int:1 camera-ext:1
flags:1 gyro:0 deg odom:0 deg mouse:0 mm arclen:0 mm
current delta odom:0 deg max delta odom:20 deg current delta mouse:0 mm max delta mouse:30 mm
(nav-calibration-ok?) PASS
(optical-floor-sensor-ok?) FAIL
(gyro-sensor-ok?) PASS
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Re: Replacement AeroForce™ Bin with Gen 3 Motor for Roomba 9

Postby marquesalan » August 2nd, 2018, 6:23 am

So pretty much they both are the same sensor on both units? Is this sensor what tells the 980 to turn on Carpet Boost?
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Re: Replacement AeroForce™ Bin with Gen 3 Motor for Roomba 9

Postby vic7767 » August 2nd, 2018, 9:18 am

Yes, carpet boost is triggered using this sensor. (NO it's NOT)

*****After placing a cotton ball into the sensor opening and then sealing it with a piece if tape and starting the 980 with carpet boost the Roomba does in fact use the current sensor to detect brush deck motor current to activate the boost circuit on carpet and not the optical sensor. My previous statement is incorrect.*****
Last edited by vic7767 on August 2nd, 2018, 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Replacement AeroForce™ Bin with Gen 3 Motor for Roomba 9

Postby ps0001 » August 2nd, 2018, 11:19 am

I'm not so sure that's the case. My understanding is that 9xx Roombas use this sensor for positioning and to detect movement. The 980's processor monitors the CHM's power consumption, which is proportional to the friction between the floor and the rollers. The friction is theoretically lower on hard surfaces, so if there are changes in power consumption while the robot is moving, it infers that it transitioned to a new floor type.

This makes sense because, like I mentioned, some 980 owners reported their Roombas getting stuck in carpet boost mode. The solution was to simply clear hair/fur the ends of the rollers. The fibers must have increased friction, thus increasing power consumption and activating carpet boost.

Take a look at this patent owned by iRobot: https://patents.google.com/patent/US9993129B2/en

"In some implementations, the controller circuit is configured to detect a change in operation of the cleaning head assembly as a change in resistance to rotation of a motorized roller of the cleaning head. In some applications, the controller circuit is configured to detect a change in resistance to rotation of the roller as a change in power generated by a motor driving the roller. In some embodiments, the controller circuit is configured to monitor motor power as a function of one or more of motor current, battery voltage and motor speed."
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Re: Replacement AeroForce™ Bin with Gen 3 Motor for Roomba 9

Postby vic7767 » August 2nd, 2018, 1:39 pm

See my correction EDIT in the previous reply.
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Re: Replacement AeroForce™ Bin with Gen 3 Motor for Roomba 9

Postby ps0001 » August 2nd, 2018, 3:56 pm

Thanks for confirming my suspicion! That's was a good test you designed!
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