Adding A Rotating Side Brush to Neato XV's

News and information about the Neato XV-11 Robotic Vacuum. All discussion and troubleshooting questions go here.

Re: Adding A Rotating Side Brush to Neato XV's

Postby chris-s » July 19th, 2012, 6:33 am

glnc222 wrote:Mondial-Shop.com France delivered a VR-100 side brush to the U.S., with some delay. Mail itself can take 2-3 weeks from France. Stock was exhausted for two weeks before shipment was possible. Yet it has been unusual to deliver any VR-100 products to the U.S.; perhaps production has finally expanded. This is the only merchant supplying these items outside of Europe I've encountered. Thanks to chris-s for reporting this store.
You're welcome !
For information, this is the only merchant wich sells VR100 robot and accessories outside of Germany.
I think you can also order the full VR100 robot : http://www.mondial-shop.com/jec/index.p ... &Itemid=54
It is described as "used" but it has never been used., because it is forbidden to sell new VR100 outside of Germany.
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Re: Adding A Rotating Side Brush to Neato XV's

Postby glnc222 » July 20th, 2012, 8:37 pm

VR-100 Brush Simplified Coupling
VRbrushmounted.jpg
VR-100 brush on XV-11 (stem shortened 1/8")

VRbrushshaft.jpg
M3 hex nuts coupling to VR-100 brush with magnet


The VR-100 side brush fits the XV model with the stem shortened 1/8" and M3 hex nuts used to fit the socket. No other alteration of the brush seems appropriate; it is used same as the VR-100 vacuum.

[edit] Other ways to attach the magnetic brush could be M3 hex head machine screws and metric threaded steel hexagonal spacers on a screw shaft (apparently used in F_Robot's installation in Germany).

The shaft coupling can be further simplified because M3 hex nuts have 1/4" O.D. same as the ball bearing already clearing the brush guard clip. Slightly expanding the cutout for the shaft (not done here) in the brush guard would allow opening over the fitting, eliminating a removable shaft and scavenged nut driver coupling. The hex key can be permanently coupled in a 1/8",3mm straight coupling or M3 bolts used instead, and screwed into the nuts, or plain 1/8" shafts (harder to couple to the hex nuts). The thread is not left-handed optimum, but crazy glue can probably resist the torque tending to unscrew it. (Maybe not needed -- if the screw head is at the bottom, the thread is correct? Up-down switches? The head can also retain the nuts.)
VRm3screwshaft.jpg
Pan Head M3 screw shaft for VR-100 brush, 30mm (cut to size)

Glue must also be used on the motor shaft, if not an actual notch in the shaft for the set screw, resisting back and forth sliding, because the brush magnet is so strong, pulling off the brush repeatedly could work the coupler down the shaft. A flat spot still must be filed on any round bolt used to engage the set screw for torque (and for sliding -- no glue, or the shaft cannot be removed, the hex nuts not fitting through the case). A nylon spacer coupler with self-threaded set screws, eliminating tap tools, might also work on the uniform shaft. M3 bolt diameter is nominally 3mm same as the motor shaft. Bolts can be cut with a bolt cutter (typically included on electrical crimp pliers) compared to hardened hex keys requiring a hacksaw or Dremel cutter.
ServoCity offers a stainless steel coupling expensive at $8, but saving work.

Hand made brushes can use the same coupling with neodymium magnets available for pennies on Ebay. Otherwise the removable hex key coupling remains useful for hand made brushes.

Extraction Test With VR-100 Side Brush
VRbrushremainspread.jpg
VR-100 brush remains of level teaspoon coffee on 2" border


[late added note: back scattering debris is probably from positioning behind the front intake, so only the outer tip sweeps into the intake, while the inward part sweeps behind the intake, at least away from the wall for future passes. Surprising it even works as well as it does.]

VRbrushRemains.jpg
VR-100 bush remains of level teaspoon coffee test


There is no extraction on carpet which grips debris, same as with hand made brush. Effectiveness may be slightly less with the XV mounting 3/8" farther from the front intake than on the VR-100, ideally requiring a slightly wider brush to provide the same coverage. Still there is good extraction shown in the test.

Conclusion

Adding the side brush to XV-models is fairly inexpensive with the $15 micro gear motor from ServoCity and similar cost of a VR-100 side brush, if you can get one. Minimal alteration of the Neato case is needed with three small holes for mounting and the motor coupling readily made as far as these things go, requiring no special tools. Apart from circuits for wall following control, wiring is minimal. It is also possible to make a brush from scratch, but experimental and more work, with epoxy molding etc., and expensive brush material.

Another alternative is the "static side brush for Neato", thread at http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=16035&p=107695&hilit=static+brush#p107695
Last edited by glnc222 on November 7th, 2014, 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Adding A Rotating Side Brush to Neato XV's

Postby glnc222 » July 22nd, 2012, 3:50 pm

VR refinements?
Image

Possibly a photo artifact, but this VR-100 picture may show a depression in the corner of the brush guard main brush cover, right under the brush arm shown, assisting the side brush sweep into the front intake. A VR owner would have to clarify. Relates to the back-scatter effect shown in tests. Cutting out a corner of the guard on the XV model might improve pick-up. The farther back position on the XV could worsen the effect, with more arm length behind the front intake.
It looks like the ideal brush form would be a wide thin hub off the floor, with down-angled short bristles for peripheral action only.
Maybe 2" wide with 1/2" angled bristles. The back-scatter is caused by the inward portion of the brush arms not reaching the front intake, and just sweeping out away from the wall.
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Re: Adding A Rotating Side Brush to Neato XV's

Postby glnc222 » July 22nd, 2012, 4:17 pm

Brush damage on carpet

Running the VR brush a couple times on mostly carpet does appear to fray the bristles, from getting gripped by the carpet compared to hard floors. No pick-up was observed anyway on carpet in tests, except maybe large objects. Similar effect observed on hand-made brush with thicker bristles. Might not be just from polyester bristle material.
Attachments
VRbrushused.jpg
VR-100 brush used on carpet with XV model
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Re: Adding A Rotating Side Brush to Neato XV's

Postby chris-s » July 22nd, 2012, 4:56 pm

This photo will probably answer your question :

Image
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Re: Adding A Rotating Side Brush to Neato XV's

Postby chris-s » July 22nd, 2012, 4:58 pm

Another pictures of the VR100 here :
http://www.kelrobot.fr/forum/viewtopic.php?t=182
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Re: Adding A Rotating Side Brush to Neato XV's

Postby chris-s » July 22nd, 2012, 5:01 pm

Don't you think that your brush is too close of the wheel ?
Probably the wheel is touching and destructing the brush.
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Re: Adding A Rotating Side Brush to Neato XV's

Postby glnc222 » July 22nd, 2012, 6:32 pm

The wheel edge is forward when extended out on springs. When running, the wheel is depressed in the housing, edge farther back, greatly increasing clearance to the brush. Turn it over and press down on the wheel to see the effect. A microswitch detects full extension on springs to give the "put me down" msg on the LCD.

I don't know how much cleaning they get out of that shaping of the intake cover corner; seems it could be molded in epoxy for the XV. My longer test brush had good pickup as it stands, and I'd rather not ruin a brush guard. It gets down to a lot of small details. The brush radius is only 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches, so a quarter inch is relatively large.
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Re: Adding A Rotating Side Brush to Neato XV's

Postby glnc222 » July 22nd, 2012, 7:23 pm

XV brush guard corner mod
VRguardmod2.jpg
underside of XV brush guard


Duplicating the VR-100 brush guard access to the side brush does not look difficult. The small area marked must be opened to the vacuum channel, cutting off the corner of the hump and opening a hole through the partition shown. The semicircular opening to the right is the outside edge of the main brush, so the new opening is all behind it.

[oops -- careful with the hole through the partition, need to check that on VR-100. May be needed closed for vacuum to front brush. Need to see opposite side of the squeegee.]
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Re: Adding A Rotating Side Brush to Neato XV's

Postby glnc222 » July 23rd, 2012, 12:53 am

[edit] 2014: the 270rpm Robotzone micro gear motor is listed at ServoCity with the plastic case separate
http://www.servocity.com/html/270_rpm_micro_gearmotorblocks.html
but has been found also at another dealer:
http://www.karlssonrobotics.com/cart/Mi ... OgodaQQArw

Brush Damage and Wall Following

Restriction of the disarray on the brush above from carpet looks limited to one arm. Could be a symptom of dragging around without rotating, which Chris-S warned about previously on wall following -- one arm in an awkward position. I don't think that's a problem on hard floors. Too tedious to test this any further, and I'm not using it on carpet anyway, with no advantage. Some of those VR-100 pics show brushes a bit worn brushes as well. They're more like dusters than cleaning brushes, usually fairly stiff and rugged.

Last word -- the guard corner explained

I think what's going on there is the hump to the side on the XV brush guard is cosmetic, and rests on the floor in a way keeping the side brush tip from maximum reach to the corner of the intake. The VR flattens this out with some curve to the side to smooth the brush across the corner; same can be done to the XV. The partition ending the vacuum channel probably remains, as it's end is at the squeegee similar to the VR pic.

Everything needed to add a side brush seems to have been covered now. Only others' experience doing this remains, unless there are questions.

Edit: other mods for a variety of cleaning tweaks at http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=16475

[edit] A VR-100 owner reported newer models added an odd case protrusion deflecting the brush downward at the side, possibly to clean carpets better or generally deal with the flat shape of the brush; I noted a need to slant the brushes down when making one from scratch. The new feature tends to wear the brushes out faster.
VRbrushaddition.jpg
VR-100 revised brush guard side brush deflector
VRbrushaddition.jpg (16.46 KiB) Viewed 7358 times


[edit] VR-100 side brush motor pics (courtesy member A4refillpad)
Attachments
VR100A.jpg
VR100A.jpg (14.16 KiB) Viewed 6351 times
VR100B.jpg
VR100B.jpg (9.94 KiB) Viewed 6351 times
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Re: Adding A Rotating Side Brush to Neato XV's

Postby glnc222 » April 17th, 2014, 11:44 pm

German Installation of Micro Gear Motor Brush

A German forum member M.E. undertook to install the micro gear motor from Servo-City with a closer duplication of the Vorwerk mounting than shown previously. To position the brush as on the Vorwerk VR-100 the mounting of the bumper switch has to be moved. How this was done is shown below. Epoxy putty can do many things.
Not shown is the sealed ball bearing in a metal plate behind the case bottom. Special adjustment of the spring tension is needed with the modified paddle at an angle, to balance springs on both sides of the Neato.

bumpswitch.jpg
motor mount with modified bumper paddle and switch holder

paddlemod.jpg
replacement (left) of original bumper paddle (right)

brushshaft.jpg
side brush mounting with 3mm hex spacer and flat head screw shaft

brushmounted.jpg
Vorwerk brush attached to Neato

modeswitch.jpg
selector switch for wall-following side brush control



The motor and the plastic case are now sold separately, and the case sides for mounting screws take 1/4". Without rebuilding the bumper switch as shown, cutting off one side of the case and using a different mounting with an angle bracket, can get the motor shaft half way to the full mod used in Germany.
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Re: Adding A Rotating Side Brush to Neato XV's

Postby andrew881 » September 8th, 2015, 12:18 pm

Sorry if i ask but english is not my first language so it is hard for me to read all the pages. Is there a simple (for someone mot an engeneer or technic) way to add the lateral brush? Which is the best and simplest procedure among all those explained? Could someone make a guide for people a bit Noob in modding?
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Re: Adding A Rotating Side Brush to Neato XV's

Postby glnc222 » September 8th, 2015, 1:17 pm

See Google Italian translation below.
Any such modification voids the warranty on the vacuum.

If you are not skilled in using tools, soldering wires etc., drills and so on I do not recommend this work. Making mistakes could damage the unit. It depends on what you want. It is experimental. The work is a hobby in itself.

The Botvac and Vorwerk machines use a better method of driving the side brush using a belt instead of a gear motor. The gear motor is noisy, like the Neato drive wheels with similar gears. It works but probably not as well as the Botvac or VR100. I had made a drilling guide to make the holes in the case but sent it to Germany. If you really want the side brush it is best to sell the XV and buy a Botvac or VR100. There are many other improvements in newer units worth the cost..

There are many fine details of how to do the work I could not explain easily. There is also the language barrier. Holes must be precisely positioned in the case. You need specific types of screws, ball bearings and so forth. If you do not have all the tools and materials needed it could be expensive. The parts themselves could cost $30 in the U.S., I do not know Italy.

You should know the side brush is not effective on carpet. The brushes wear out and can need replacement at least two times in a year.

This project was done when the side brush was not available in the U.S. I wanted to see how they work.

If you really want to do this I will assist where possible.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Google:
Tali modifiche invalida la garanzia sul vuoto.

Se non siete esperti nell'uso degli strumenti, fili di saldatura, ecc, trapani e così via non consiglio questo lavoro. Fare errori potrebbe danneggiare l'unità. Dipende da ciò che si desidera. E 'sperimentale. L'opera è un hobby in sé.

Le macchine Botvac e Vorwerk utilizzano un metodo migliore per guidare la spazzola laterale con una cintura, invece di un motoriduttore. Il motoriduttore è rumoroso, come le ruote motrici Neato con attrezzi simili. Funziona ma probabilmente non così come la Botvac o VR100. Avevo fatto una guida di perforazione per fare i buchi nel caso, ma ha inviato a Germania. Se si vuole veramente la spazzola laterale è meglio vendere il XV e comprare un Botvac o VR100. Ci sono molti altri miglioramenti in unità più recenti vale il costo ..

Ci sono molti piccoli dettagli di come fare il lavoro, non potevo spiegare facilmente. Vi è anche la barriera linguistica. I fori devono essere posizionati proprio nel caso. Avete bisogno di specifici tipi di viti, cuscinetti a sfera e così via. Se non si dispone di tutti gli strumenti ei materiali necessari che potrebbe essere costoso. Le parti si potrebbe costare $ 30 negli Stati Uniti, non so l'Italia.

Si deve sapere la spazzola laterale non è efficace sul tappeto. Le spazzole si consumano e possono avere bisogno di sostituzione almeno due volte in un anno.

Questo progetto è stato fatto quando la spazzola laterale non è disponibile negli Stati Uniti volevo vedere come funzionano.

Se si vuole veramente fare questo mi aiuterà, se possibile.
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Re: Adding A Rotating Side Brush to Neato XV's

Postby andrew881 » September 9th, 2015, 8:07 pm

Thanks I do not reAlly need google translator (which is quite bad too) for simple answers but I get tired translating many pages. I know i could get a botvac but i do not want to spend more money and i find the idea of having same result more or less with almost no expense.rewarding. Also i like to do things on my own. I wonder if i could attack an external gear moving the brush so to be sure not to.damage the bot. If you want to help me, you could tell me where the procedure is explained best among these pages.
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Re: Adding A Rotating Side Brush to Neato XV's

Postby glnc222 » September 9th, 2015, 9:04 pm

I will compose summary complete instructions for you soon. This thread is more of a blog tracing multiple experiments, a development log. You need a final instruction sheet.
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Re: Adding A Rotating Side Brush to Neato XV's

Postby glnc222 » September 9th, 2015, 11:44 pm

Summary Instructions -- Parts List
no guarantees -- just what I used.

1. Botvac / VR100 side brushes http://www.ebay.com/itm/4X-side-brush-for-HEPA-Neato-BotVac-Pet-Allergy-70e-D75-80-D85-Vacuum-Cleaner-/271688534400?hash=item3f41e60980

2. 270rpm micro gear motor and case (100:1 reduction, 12v)
ServoCity U.S. http://www.servocity.com/html/270_rpm_micro_gearmotorblocks.html
Enclosure https://www.servocity.com/html/micro_gearmotor_enclosure.html#.VfDwJ5f9VqA
Germany Karlsson Robotics http://www.karlssonrobotics.com/cart/Micro-Gearmotor-270-RPM-6-12V/?gclid=CMuSueC5rr0CFYFQOgodaQQArw

3. shaft coupler 3mm to 3mm ServoCity #625206 https://www.servocity.com/html/set_screw_shaft_couplers.html#.VfDc7Jf9VqA
Make sure the hex wrench needed is supplied or ordered separately.

4. Nylon spacers #4, #6 3/4 inch https://www.servocity.com/html/_4_nylon_spacer.html
https://www.servocity.com/html/_6_nylon_spacer.html

5. 3mm or 1/8 in. bearing or bushing (for M3 bolt shaft)
1/8" ball bearing #535010 https://www.servocity.com/html/non-flanged_ball_bearings.html#.VfDfg5f9VqA
3mm ball bearing http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-Pcs-683-2RS-3x7x3-mm-Rubber-Sealed-Ball-Bearing-Bearings-683RS-BLUE-/331650158807?hash=item4d37e3d0d7
3mm bushing http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-Pcs-Plain-Oilless-Bearing-Sleeves-Composite-Bushing-3mm-x-5mm-x-5mm-/321323663292?hash=item4ad061ffbc
It may be possible to make a bushing by drilling out threads in an M3 hex nut.

6. M3 bolts and hex nuts for drive shaft mating with brush socket (length to be determined and cut to size)
M3 bolts http://www.ebay.com/itm/10PCS-100PCS-304-Stainless-Steel-Hex-Cap-Screws-Bolts-M3-M4-/161567256454?var=&hash=item259e28af86
M3 hex nuts http://www.ebay.com/itm/100pcs-M3-3mm-Stainless-Steel-Hex-Full-Nuts-Screw-/171375451454?hash=item27e6c5dd3e

7. Pan/round head and flat head 6-32, 4-40 and unknown metric size long mounting machine screws
ServoCity 6-32 pan head screws https://www.servocity.com/html/6-32_pan_head_phillips_machine.html
6-32 flat head screws https://www.servocity.com/html/6-32_flat_head_phillips_machin.html

(The motor case holes self-thread 6-32 screws, but the 6-32 head is too big to clear the brush guard clip frame.
To avoid cutting the frame use 4-40 screws and fill the case holes with epoxy and re-drill.
The flat head screw is under the brush guard, counter-sunk. Metric spacers and screws could be used, size unknown. Note 1.5 in long screws may be needed, maybe even longer. The longer ones can be hard to find, as for longer length larger screws are most common.
It is also possible to spin the 6-32 screw in a drill against a file to reduce the head diameter. This could be the best method.)

8. Epoxy putty http://www.ebay.com/itm/Henkel-431348-Epoxy-Repair-Putty-Stick-Multi-Purpose-2-oz-/191564658780?hash=item2c9a24b85c

9. Electronic component: fast PTC resettable polyfuse http://www.digikey.com/product-search/en?keywords=MF-USMF020-2CT-ND Bourns MF-USMF020-2
Also listed on Ebay from both China and the UK.
-- tiny, must be soldered between spade lugs for heat spreading and covered in heat shrink tubing. Required to prevent damage to Neato circuits when the motor stalls.

10. Other electronic components for more complex control circuits -- to be listed separately. e.g. wall following control. Do not order from Digi-Key until all needed parts are selected for shipment in one box.

Selected photos in this thread:
polyfuse Image

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image


So let me know if you can build this before writing more instructions.
Every box shipped from the U.S to Italy can cost $20 in postage, so be careful. The dollar exchange rate is in an unfortunate state.
Last edited by glnc222 on September 10th, 2015, 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Adding A Rotating Side Brush to Neato XV's

Postby andrew881 » September 10th, 2015, 4:16 am

Thanks man! This is great. I will look for these items as soon as i can hoping to find these in Europe or maybe Italy. Then when I will have a good amount of free time I will try to make the mod myself. I have always wanted to do some mechanical job. But wait until i confirm i can find these things at a good price, otherwise i will not even start.
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Re: Adding A Rotating Side Brush to Neato XV's

Postby glnc222 » September 10th, 2015, 12:46 pm

Try the motor from Germany or China if found, screws and spacers in local hardware, the polyfuse in a European electronics distributor or ebay, Digi-Key (Digi-Key supports small orders), the brushes from China or local Neato, Vorwerk supplies, the bearing or bushing from China (usually the only source). Always check the thread here on precautions when opening the Neato case: LCD cable and drive wheel switch levers, bumper paddles (see main page Mods & Repairs list). I will have a few tips on assembly.
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Re: Adding A Rotating Side Brush to Neato XV's

Postby andrew881 » September 10th, 2015, 7:29 pm

Also i am going to start when 100% (or 99, or 95) sure not to damage my unit.
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Re: Adding A Rotating Side Brush to Neato XV's

Postby glnc222 » September 10th, 2015, 8:41 pm

I forgot you might be able to make a bushing by drilling out the threads in an M3 hex nut.
Notice that only small holes are drilled in the case. A larger hole is needed in the corner of the brush guard.
The unit will work without the motor installed. Do not drill holes without further instructions to obtain precision.
The center hole is best filed as a notch, not drilled.

The polyfuse is listed on ebay from both China or the UK. This insures no damage to the Neato.
Are you not still under warranty? You could wait until it expires.
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