New 5XX Foolproof Cliff Sensor Work around

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Postby x0D » April 26th, 2008, 9:16 am

Worked like a charm! Now Consuela can vacuume my room! Thanks for the workaround.

To keep her from going down the stairs, I will use virtual walls.
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Mailing labels

Postby rhmk812 » September 23rd, 2008, 10:05 pm

Anyone else try mailing labels? I used the white kind that work with laser printers. Seems to work if it helps anyone. No scotch tape needed this way.
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Re: New 5XX Foolproof Cliff Sensor Work around

Postby Dondlelinger » December 7th, 2008, 10:11 pm

Thanks this was exactly what i was looking for a nice quick fix! work like a charm thanks vic!!
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Re: New 5XX Foolproof Cliff Sensor Work around

Postby jrfent » December 8th, 2008, 2:16 pm

I tried several different methods of this.

Best result: cut up bright white business cards and cover the sensors with them. Use masking tape to hold them on. The cards need to be off the surface of the sensors - so cut them bigger than the sensors and they will make about a 1/8th inch gap off the surface of the sensor.

Maintaining: The sensors will get dusty. You can peel back one side of the masking tape to dust them off and be able to use the same masking tape for a couple months.

This works really well. But again - make sure your roomba has no exposure to dropoffs.
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Re: New 5XX Foolproof Cliff Sensor Work around

Postby mimontgom » April 6th, 2009, 11:22 am

with the Roomba 530, you need only block off the four light sensors in the manner described and illustrated in the photo. The two other odd-shaped ones seem unnecessary.

Have a mostly black couple of big rugs, thanks much for the workaround!

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Re: New 5XX Foolproof Cliff Sensor Work around

Postby groovey grandma » April 11th, 2009, 4:09 pm

I am a new member with an old problem. The romba 500 going around in circles. I took off the cover and bumper and cleaned the sensers and inside bumper cover and put it back on. Now it goes around in circles and I get a 9 beep bumper error. Is the bumper supposed to fit back on tightly to the machine or be loosey held so it can be pushed in?
As an arthritic grandma, I would like to know before I take out all of those screws again with that little screwdriver.
Also, I tried to run a diganotistic test and the first thing it said was hold all three SML(or maybe it was RML) buttons down with the power off. What and where are the these buttons?
Thanks, Groovey Grandma
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Re: New 5XX Foolproof Cliff Sensor Work around

Postby vic7767 » April 11th, 2009, 4:53 pm

So far there is no know way for the 5XX model Roomba to be placed into the factory diagnostic test mode by pushing a sequence of buttons. If you have a PC, a Create cable or Rootooth and a software package you can send some special commands to place the robot into diagnostic mode.

The 9 beep error you have is due to a faulty IR pair on one of the two bumper sensors mounted inside your Roomba and is not one of the cliff sensors. If under warranty now would be a good time to contact IRobot for support.

It is difficult to disassemble and repair the bumper sensor.
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Re: New 5XX Foolproof Cliff Sensor Work around

Postby groovey grandma » April 11th, 2009, 5:24 pm

Thank you Vic,

Could I have done something to the IR(whatever they are) when I was cleaning the dust out of the machine?

Would it help if I took it apart again? Maybe I got the wire in front of it. I have had this for several years. How long is the warrenty good for? I can not find my book or warrenty copy. This grandma appreciates any and all help.
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Re: New 5XX Foolproof Cliff Sensor Work around

Postby vic7767 » April 11th, 2009, 6:37 pm

The bumper sensor is not exposed to the operator of the Roomba, you could not have damaged it by removing the front bumper cover.

IRobot only covers your Roomba with a 1 year warranty. You might check where you purchased yours, it's possible depending on the seller that you still have a warranty.
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Re: New 5XX Foolproof Cliff Sensor Work around

Postby groovey grandma » April 12th, 2009, 3:19 pm

I am glad to know I did not harm it by taking it apart. If I send it in to one of the repair shops, can they fix it for less than $75? Can my local Sears dealer fix it even if I did not buy it there? Is there anything I can do at home?

Thanks for yourn help. Groovey Grandma
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Re: New 5XX Foolproof Cliff Sensor Work around

Postby vic7767 » April 12th, 2009, 4:12 pm

Check here, this site repairs Roombas. Sears does not. www.ProTechRobotics.com

Also you can purchase parts at the same URL and replace the sensors yourself, it will require disassembly of your Roomba.
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Re: New 5XX Foolproof Cliff Sensor Work around

Postby mfortuna » April 13th, 2009, 7:55 am

You may want to remove the bumper cover and get some compressed air into the bumper sensors.
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Re: New 5XX Foolproof Cliff Sensor Work around

Postby marquesalan » July 8th, 2009, 2:27 pm

Has anyone tried using a white vinyl like the material you get at a sign shop? It is pretty much a white sticker.
No need for tape and it applies smoothly.
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Re: New 5XX Foolproof Cliff Sensor Work around

Postby vic7767 » July 8th, 2009, 3:38 pm

Technically it should work just fine. Try it and post back with your results.
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Re: New 5XX Foolproof Cliff Sensor Work around

Postby dresta2 » July 28th, 2009, 8:12 am

White self-adhesive address / filing labels work well also. I use the Avery 1/3 cut (model 8478) filing labels. They are the perfect width, so you don't have to do much cutting. The adhesive side of the label is not very reflective, so what I did was cut one label about 2/3 in length. Then stick the two pieces together (back to back) so that the adhesive shows on either side of the smaller label (see pic). Then all you have to do is stick it directly on top of your cliff sensors. It's pretty quick & easy and you don't have to mess with tapes and cutting strips of paper.

Image
Image
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Re: New 5XX Foolproof Cliff Sensor Work around

Postby synapse88 » September 30th, 2009, 11:34 am

What potential negatives are associated with this mod...besides the obvious one of your robot falling off cliffs?

I read someone noticed that roomba won't pick up on floor patterns and its performance might change. Is that a possibility? Does it change its vacuuming depending on carpet vs tile vs hardwood etc, and do these cliff sensors detect these different floor types or is that up to some other sensors?
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Re: New 5XX Foolproof Cliff Sensor Work around

Postby vic7767 » September 30th, 2009, 11:55 am

The IR cliff sensor is just that, it senses when there is a drop-off or dark color. It does not detect patterns on the floor, the robot just cleans. There is a deck height adjustment wire that determines how high the cleaning brushes are positioned during a cleaning mission.
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Re: New 5XX Foolproof Cliff Sensor Work around

Postby Gordon » September 30th, 2009, 12:32 pm

There are several ways to trick cliff-sensing by these robots (so they are not aware of anything that appears to be a "cliff"). Here's two methods that require no soldering operations:

1) Apply to the robot something that can travel with it, and which always appears to be an acceptable floor.

Item (1) is what this thread has been about, up to this point. An alternate approach to that stick-on tactic (and which many owners have asked about) is this one...

2) Discard the concept of simulating the 'floor', and instead simply bypass the act of reflecting optical energy off anything by use of direct optical coupling between sending and receiving halves of each cliff-module.

Invoking Item (2) is done by physically strapping, side by side, each cliff sensor's IR emitting diode (IRED) together with its partner IR-detector (a photo-transistor, (PT)). Doing such a thing is invasive to the robot, hence, the owner should be beyond concern about iRobot's warranty; and, their cleaning environment must be compatible. While the work is reversible, it is permanent in the sense that no periodic attention, refurbishment, etc., will be necessary.

The process for accomplishing Item (2) on a 5XX Roomba has been nicely detailed by member Dajiu, in his post at:
viewtopic.php?p=58152#p58152
...and it seemed to me Dajiu's work should be accessible via this thread.
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Re: New 5XX Foolproof Cliff Sensor Work around

Postby Gordon » September 30th, 2009, 12:54 pm

synapse88 wrote:..., and do these cliff sensors detect these different floor types or is that up to some other sensors?
There is an automatic deck-height adjustment system that responds to changes in brush-motor torque (mechanical load) and causes the motor (plus brush-deck, to which it is attached) to climb a vertical wire cable to set how high, or low the cleaning brushes are positioned.
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Re: New 5XX Foolproof Cliff Sensor Work around

Postby bob61 » October 20th, 2009, 9:34 am

Thanks to OP for posting this tip. I just purchased a Roomba 550, replacing my Roomba 415 which I was very happy with. We have a couple rugs with black border (2") and while the 415 had no issues with it, the 550 just won't even try to clean it. With a dog, getting the hair off the rugs is key to using Roomba daily. Doing a search I found this message (and useful forum of other Roomba/Scooba info). I'll try the paper on sensors and see if that keeps me happy. If not, back this goes to Amazon ;)
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