New 5XX Foolproof Cliff Sensor Work around

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New 5XX Foolproof Cliff Sensor Work around

Postby vic7767 » January 7th, 2008, 8:42 pm

OK, this time you don't have to worry worry about "Shiny side up".

This will make your Roomba Blind, It can hurt Itself.

Here's a mod I just tested. When I flipped the Roomba over and pressed clean. it walked right off the table. No 'Please check Roombas cliff sensors".

Use good quality white printer paper. Cut a 1 and a half inch wide strip of paper 11 inches long. Now you have one long strip. Cut the strip into four 2 inch long pieces. Cut a little angle on the end to insert into the wide part of the sensor. Refer to the picture for two pieces that are laying on the Roomba just above the charger plates. Observe all 4 cliff sensors are blocked and held in place with scotch tape.
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Last edited by vic7767 on January 7th, 2008, 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Fraggboy » January 7th, 2008, 9:00 pm

Please note that when you do the above modification, that the cliff sensors are disabled, and will fall to the death if you have stairs/second story, etc.

Also, if your Roomba needs repair from iRobot, please take them off, or iRobot will render your warranty useless, since this voids the warranty.. ;)
Chris

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Postby vic7767 » January 7th, 2008, 9:23 pm

Thanks Chris, I forgot the disclaimers, guess I got carried away. Wanted to share right away.
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Postby Fraggboy » January 7th, 2008, 9:51 pm

No worries Vic!! Thanks once again for sharing your mods!! :D

We appreciate them!!
Chris

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Postby THX-1138 » January 7th, 2008, 11:00 pm

[url]Thanks once again for sharing your mods!![/url]

Not really a mod but instead it's a work around to a problem iRobot should find a solution for. Either way, I agree with Fraggboy, we appreciate Vic's contribution! :wink:
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Thanks for the help.

Postby FrankyDog » January 30th, 2008, 12:37 am

I somehow had early success with tin foil, but it stopped working after about a week because dirt got inbetween the sensor and the tin foil. After looking online again I realized I should have cut the tin foil longer like you show above with the paper. I readded new longer tin foil but it didn't work this time. I got the "Please clean cliff sensors" message. Then I tried the smaller pieces of foil like before. That didn't work either. At that point I was really confused and tired of working on my robot that is suppose to give me less work and stress, not more.

Anyway... this paper easily did the trick and it doesn't seam to be as finnicky or hard to work with as tin foil.

I purchased my 560 from sears with a 45 day return for any reason policy. I'm 14 days in and am loving it...when the cliff sensors are disabled. I'm watching it closely though. When you dish out $350 for a robot, you better make sure it works before your return policy runs out.

Any behavior I should keep my eyes open for?
Or is it that if it's working it's working properly?

Thanks again!
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Postby THX-1138 » January 30th, 2008, 12:50 am

Hello FrankyDog, Welcome to this forum :wink:

Congratulations on your purchase, you will quickly find the many benefits of owning a cleaning robot. If you have not already, check out some of the popular topics to know of some issues that may show up on your 500 series roomba. Things to look out are:

- Rumble sound from the flexible brush
- Breakage of side brush arms
- Err2 or Err5 when charging the robot
- Premature clogging of dust intake squeegees
- Unable to dock properly for charging

They are not show stoppers but definitely things that need to be addressed by iRobot if they come up. There are fixes for some of these issues and work around for others.
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Addition to work-around

Postby tempusfugit » January 31st, 2008, 2:41 pm

Hi all

New to the Roomba World - just entered 2 days ago.
Fascinating device 8) am quite pleased with it thus far....

I was quite surprised to find this forum - which has been most helpful already after I found my first issue with the Roomba....

Have an area rug (downstairs rec room) with a black border and y'all know the issue.

Did a search on the forum and found Vic's work-around - which is being employed/used as I type this - excellent solution - thanks kindly for it.

As I was preparing to cut the copy paper I realized that if I drew a grid pattern on the sheet I could get as many as 25 of these "blinders" from the one sheet - time and tree saver !!

After you cut the 1" excess piece from both sides (of a regular 8 1/2 x 11 sheet) you'll be left with 25 rectangles.
Once you cut them in one direction, you can pile them on top of one another and only have to make the minimal amounts of cuts.

Same applies to the angle cuts, but you might want to "half" the pile for easier cutting.

I've stored my "extras" in an envelope for future use....doesn't take that long to apply them. I will remove them when the downstairs is finished to prevent any mishaps when the unit is upstairs again.

I bought the 530 model and am quasi thinking I should have bought a higher model to get the "lighthouses" as opposed to the 2 "walls" that came with it....but I don't really need a scheduler as I'm retired....

Any comments on the pros/cons appreciated.

Cheers = Roger
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Postby Fraggboy » January 31st, 2008, 2:47 pm

Roger, Welcome to RoombaReview!! :D

I'm glad you found the information you needed for it to work in your home.

For me, I'm very happy with my Roomba/Scooba. They perform a service in which I don't like to perform. I'm sure you will get addicted, and add Roomba's, or a Scooba to your fleet!! :)
Chris

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Postby tempusfugit » January 31st, 2008, 2:55 pm

Thanks for the welcome Chris.

I'm sure I'll continue to use the forum, be an active member, and hopefully make some sort of meaningful contribution as I become more familiar with the product.

The vast majority of our floor surfaces are wood - so the Scooba is on the radar screen :wink:

Cheers = Roger
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Postby fancyfreewv » January 31st, 2008, 4:10 pm

Vic, I had a few issues with this mod today.

I have new longer pile carpet in slate blue - much darker than my former pale green. I have noticed quite a few issues with the bots since getting this. The 535 goes much slower on the darker carpet than the 560 does. I am going to do some deck/battery swapping to see if that is the issue but so far it's the same all the time.

I decided to try your mod on the 535 to see if giving it a brighter surface would change anything. It did not but in the meantime...... The new "tile" laminate flooring caused it lots of grief with the mod installed. It will not run at all on this surface which is grey, beige and mottled to look like real tiles. It just goes totally in circles for some reason. Putting in the slate blue carpet room it does correct cleaning but no faster than without the white paper mod.

Any comments?
Nancy - Mom to 3 Furbabies - Bentley, Chelsea, Whiskey & 3 Roombas - 535 (Half Trax) and 560 (Shadow) and Dirt Dog (Old Yellow)
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Postby Fraggboy » January 31st, 2008, 6:01 pm

Nancy, when was the last time you cleaned(Compressed air) under the bumper? Also, are you running any flourescent lights when you are running the Roomba's?

When I have my kitchen light on, and while the Roomba is in the kitchen working, he won't drive fast until I turn off the light, which is a CF bulb. Also, dirty IR's will cause the slow type of behavior. I have had to take off the front bumper to clean them twice now where the compressed air didn't work..


..Just some thoughts
Chris

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Postby vic7767 » January 31st, 2008, 6:24 pm

When the white paper "blinders" are placed over the cliff sensors, they in effect prevent the Roomba from seeing any color/design on the flooring, all that is sensed is the IR beam reflection. The behaviour you are describing has more to do with the sensors on the front of the bumper not under the bumper.
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Postby fancyfreewv » January 31st, 2008, 7:26 pm

Fraggboy wrote:Nancy, when was the last time you cleaned(Compressed air) under the bumper? Also, are you running any flourescent lights when you are running the Roomba's?

When I have my kitchen light on, and while the Roomba is in the kitchen working, he won't drive fast until I turn off the light, which is a CF bulb. Also, dirty IR's will cause the slow type of behavior. I have had to take off the front bumper to clean them twice now where the compressed air didn't work....Just some thoughts


I use those replacement coil flourescents in my lamps but this was early today when no light was needed. I don't use overhead lighting at all and certainly no flourescents as I find them harsh on the eyes.

I clean with my air compressor each time I clean the robot. I have never taken off the bumper however. Might have to look into doing that with the 535 which is a month older than the 560. I'm going to try the battery switch over too.

Thanks
Nancy - Mom to 3 Furbabies - Bentley, Chelsea, Whiskey & 3 Roombas - 535 (Half Trax) and 560 (Shadow) and Dirt Dog (Old Yellow)
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Postby Beryl » March 9th, 2008, 1:56 pm

I did a quick google-search and discovered this mod. THANK YOU! I bought two of the 500 series and already scheduled a return since they will not clean my beautiful dark bordered area rugs. Keeping my area rugs clean everyday was the main reason I purchased these.


Why doesn't the company warn consumers of this design quirk??


I will try this modification and if it works, I'll keep my roombas. I will definitely use my vw to protect them from tumbling downward.
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Postby fancyfreewv » March 9th, 2008, 3:02 pm

Beryl wrote:Why doesn't the company warn consumers of this design quirk??


They do - on their website. Just not in the literature or before you buy it or on the box. :evil:

From the IRobot website:

Roomba 500 series and dark surfaces

"Roomba is designed to avoid cliffs and other obstacles. Sometimes, under certain lighting conditions, Roomba will ?see? black or very dark floor surfaces as cliffs. It is recommended that you do not use Roomba on these floor surfaces. Also, do not block or disable the Cliff Sensors, as this may create an unsafe operating condition."
Nancy - Mom to 3 Furbabies - Bentley, Chelsea, Whiskey & 3 Roombas - 535 (Half Trax) and 560 (Shadow) and Dirt Dog (Old Yellow)
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Postby Beryl » March 10th, 2008, 6:46 pm

This fix worked nicely. The modified Roomba will remain in the sunken den and family room to avoid accidents.

I will need to get some stronger tape because simple scotch-type tape didn't last a single cleaning cycle.
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Postby robotastic » March 12th, 2008, 3:37 pm

I tried white tape and foil tape (high temp flue tape) on the cliff sensors and neither worked. The white paper trick, however, worked as advertised on my new 560. Strange, my old disco had no trouble with the same bit of dark flooring that miffs the 560.
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Re: Thanks for the help.

Postby TechLarry » March 12th, 2008, 5:35 pm

My solution for this was to use that silver tape that is used in heating/air-conditioning service to seal up joints.

I think it's made of alumimum.

I just gut it into 1" lengths, 4 per bot, removed the sticky side paper (it's still silver on that side), and put it over the ports. It seals up nicely (that's what it's designed to do).

Like others have said, however, be careful. This disables the sensors and if you pick up your roomba to sniff the brushes it may eat your face off :)

-Larry

FrankyDog wrote:I somehow had early success with tin foil, but it stopped working after about a week because dirt got inbetween the sensor and the tin foil. After looking online again I realized I should have cut the tin foil longer like you show above with the paper. I readded new longer tin foil but it didn't work this time. I got the "Please clean cliff sensors" message. Then I tried the smaller pieces of foil like before. That didn't work either. At that point I was really confused and tired of working on my robot that is suppose to give me less work and stress, not more.

Anyway... this paper easily did the trick and it doesn't seam to be as finnicky or hard to work with as tin foil.

I purchased my 560 from sears with a 45 day return for any reason policy. I'm 14 days in and am loving it...when the cliff sensors are disabled. I'm watching it closely though. When you dish out $350 for a robot, you better make sure it works before your return policy runs out.

Any behavior I should keep my eyes open for?
Or is it that if it's working it's working properly?

Thanks again!
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Postby robotastic » March 13th, 2008, 2:47 am

TechLarry,
I tried that trick with the aluminum tape and couldn?t get it to work. Robot kept telling me to clean the sensors. Is yours also a 5xx roomba? Do you have photos?
Thanks,
Craig
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