Won't dock with sensors covered

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Won't dock with sensors covered

Postby Chevalij » January 20th, 2019, 3:33 pm

Have a black carpet, so I covered the sensors. That worked great, until it tried to dock. It would go to the dock,but acted like it's bumping into something. Remove the covers on the sensors, docked fine. I've seen a similar complaint but no resolution. Any ideas?
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Re: Won't dock with sensors covered

Postby RTC » January 21st, 2019, 1:18 am

Chevalij wrote:Have a black carpet, so I covered the sensors. That worked great, until it tried to dock. It would go to the dock,but acted like it's bumping into something. Remove the covers on the sensors, docked fine. I've seen a similar complaint but no resolution. Any ideas?


Which Roomba?

Cliff sensors? Floor tracking sensor? What did you cover with?
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Re: Won't dock with sensors covered

Postby Chevalij » January 23rd, 2019, 10:27 am

It's a 780. I covered all of the sensors with white paper laminated with packing tape.
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Re: Won't dock with sensors covered

Postby RTC » January 23rd, 2019, 2:57 pm

Chevalij wrote:It's a 780. I covered all of the sensors with white paper laminated with packing tape.


I looked at the manual online and the 780 only has cliff sensors (6 around edge) not the floor tracking sensor (round hole) that my 980 has.

Did you cover the sensor on the top (round bump) used to "see" the Home Base, Virtual Walls, and Lighthouses?

Does the 780 just drive by the Home Base as if it wasn't there at all, or does it approach as if to dock but then get "frightened" and run away from the Home Base? If it is getting "frightened" it might be using the front couple of cliff sensors to recognize that it is on the black plastic housing of the Home Base.

Probably not related, but I had an intermittent problem for a while where my 980 would just drive by the Home Base as if it wasn't there at all. It turned out this was because the Home Base was plugged into a UPS. Do not plug into a UPS (or any other power converter) it confuses things and can cause damage, possibly voiding the warranty! Unfortunately many iRobot customer support people are unaware of this issue or deny it is even an issue (even though it is stated in the manual, though somewhat cryptically).

Quoting from the 780 manual (battery section):
  • Charge using a standard outlet only. Product may not be used with any type of power converter. Use of other power converters will immediately void the warranty.
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Re: Won't dock with sensors covered

Postby RTC » January 23rd, 2019, 7:23 pm

As a test I taped white paper over the front 2 cliff sensors of my 980.
While it wandered around a bit before lining up on the Home Base, it docked perfectly.

Removing the paper it lined up and docked immediately.

Maybe the 780 is different from the 980 in its docking rules.


--


Note: to put the tape on my 980 and not cover the charging contacts much of the tape was attached to the bumper. If you had to do the same on your 780 there may be a mechanical issue there (although it didn't cause a problem in my test).
Last edited by RTC on January 24th, 2019, 1:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Won't dock with sensors covered

Postby vic7767 » January 23rd, 2019, 8:39 pm

The cliff sensors have nothing to do with sensing the docking buoys used to align with the home base. You can suspect some type of mechanical interference between the robot and the home base.
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Re: Won't dock with sensors covered

Postby Chevalij » January 24th, 2019, 12:19 pm

Just covered the bottom sensors. It approaches the dock and climbs into the dock, but immediately backs up and cleans again. I've been very careful to ensure that the charging pads are clear and clean. Possibly not covering the sensor adequately? Will disassemble and try to "short" the sensors optically...
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Re: Won't dock with sensors covered

Postby vic7767 » January 24th, 2019, 3:56 pm

You can test your cliff sensor mod by putting your Roomba into the Built in Test program and check each cliff sensor by placing your covering over each sensor and see if the sensor reports a cliff fault or not.
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