Under the hood of the Roomba i7+

The very latest news and updates for the iRobot Roomba robotic vacuum, the Scooba Robotic Washer and the Dirt Dog workshop sweeper. All discussion and troubleshooting questions go here.

Re: Under the hood of the Roomba i7+

Postby bytemaster0 » October 16th, 2018, 12:47 am

Vic, thanks so much for your teardown. Love the info on the processor architectures as have been discussed - great to hear that there's plenty of IPC horsepower to go around. One question: When you did your teardown, did you ever figure out what the little black brush protruding on the underside of the device is?

Specifically, if you flip the bot over, with bumper facing up, there's a small black brush on bottom right, immediately to the right of a screw, and below/left of the cliff sensor. Image attached, and circled. If you were able to expose that part, does it have one wire or two coming out of it?

I thought I could faintly tell from your first PCB image that there might have been one reddish wire coming from the main PCB and going to that area. If there's one wire, I'd guess it's a grounding system. However, if you see more than one, could it be some sort of pile height detection, connected to a strain gauge? I'm a bit worried, you see, because I accidentally yanked on it once, as I was manually putting the bot on its debris removing base. I thought it was a piece of fuzz or lint, so I pulled on it, thinking it would dislodge. Obviously, I learned that this was a permanent part of the bot. If it is indeed a sensor, I'm worried I might have damaged it.

iRobot reps have no idea what it is, or what it's for. One rep even suggested it was cosmetic. Hah! It's a mass-manufactured bot, nothing is thrown in for kicks. It clearly goes deep into the main support structure, as removing the cover doesn't expose it at all! Would love to hear your thoughts, if you were able to explore it. Thanks!
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Re: Under the hood of the Roomba i7+

Postby vic7767 » October 16th, 2018, 9:40 am

I do remember seeing that mini brush during disassembly. Problem being other interests about CPU power and part numbers took priority. Of course the i7 is now back together but will get taken apart soon in search of an answer to this small device.

The main difficulty now is there does not seem to be any on board diagnostics or ascii output port that would possibly identify the brush style sensor.
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Re: Under the hood of the Roomba i7+

Postby rotorwash » Today, 10:00 am

Hey Vic do you think it would be hard to get the brains of an i7 into a 980 shell? I really am hating that the i7 is horrible at picking up debris compared to the 980.
I'm half tempted to try and frankenstein something since the mapping is awesome on the i7 but thats about it.
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Re: Under the hood of the Roomba i7+

Postby vic7767 » Today, 10:16 am

That would be a bit of a challenge. Super hack for sure. Without the ability to perform diagnostics on the i7 I'm not too keen on trying such a feat. Good luck with your possible attempt. Keep us posted.
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Re: Under the hood of the Roomba i7+

Postby rotorwash » Today, 11:17 am

I was hoping for something more positive from you Ha!!! everything seems so modular. I was hoping for a plug and play with the main board. Figured the sensors and motors are all about the same.
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