Bumper Lowering Mod

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Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby glnc222 » October 21st, 2013, 8:37 pm

Bumper Cover Replacement for Downward Extension

The bottom edge of the bumper is lowered 3/8" to engage furniture and fixtures as thin as 1/2" which Neato can be trapped on when climbing, such as scandinavian chairs with runner legs, tubular legs, lamp stands etc., while sliding well over thinner obstacles Neato climbs safely. (BotVac version added below http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?p=127168#p127168)
Vorwerk VR200 application in German forum http://www.roboter-forum.com/showthread.php?9828-VR-200-und-Freischwinger

Image
example from a member reporting problem
frame.jpg
short video of problem. click below

Video.MOV
(985.38 KiB) Downloaded 467 times


German Robobumper product video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8zSogulFCY more tubular chair legs.

[edit] A similar problem reported with pedestal table legs http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=18069
tableleg.jpg
pedestal dining table leg


[edit] Bar stool example with video http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=18454
barstool.jpg
bar stool base


[added] The 2015 camera guided Roomba 980 also gets trapped the same on these curvy bar stools. It may be due to the pole lifting the bot in the middle while the wheels remain on the ground, though why it cannot back off is not clear. Weight on the wheels is reduced so loss of traction could be the problem.
Roomba post http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?p=133893#p133893

Attaching small stick-on bumpers to the bottom edge is not reliable, having insufficient hold, and not possible on the sides. The down extension here is made as an integral part of a replacement for the screwed-on cover on the bottom of the bumper, which secures the bumper against the bottom of the case preventing upward sliding. Inexpensive plastic right-angle wall corner protector or corner guard material from hardware or building supply is used for the replacement; cuts easily with knife and scissors and bends in smooth curves. Transparent, paint if preferred. About 20" is needed, typically in 4ft lengths around $3.
Home Depot http://www.homedepot.com/p/Trimaco-5-8-in-x-5-8-in-x-4-ft-Nail-On-Plastic-Corner-Guard-Residential-01434/202061350
similar found at Ace Hardware. Colored versions mail order only http://www.wallguard.com/corner-guards/corner-guards-en/2325-corner-guard-assorted-wing-sizes.html

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Wall-Protex-Nail-Corner-Guard/dp/B005LDBMWQ/ref=sr_1_15?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1382368772&sr=1-15&keywords=plastic+corner+guards

lower1.jpg
lowered bumper engages 1/2" high obstacles

lower2.jpg



Corner protectors come in several types; the nail-on (no glue) 5/8" type is used here. Do not use hinged adjustable types.
lower4.jpg
corner protector with smooth bend


The plastic is cut to match the regular Neato bumper cover, and reduced 1/8" in width to 1/2" for proper depth.
Screw holes are 1/8". The original cover against the clear plastic serves as a guide for cutting and drilling.
limiter7.jpg

lower3.jpg
original and replacement bumper covers


[edit] the bend point on the corner protector is best slightly inside the corner to match the Neato case with a curved bend. Do not overlap increasing thickness.

[edit] The same shape can be cut with scissors from a Rubbermaid 6x9 drawer tray, in two pieces, with more cutting than the right angle strip protector. In white [edit]The black has a 1/16 rubber coating almost impossible to remove and is not suitable. Lots of plastic boxes also look promising, with thin sides e.g. http://www.ebay.com/itm/1x-New-Plastic-Clear-Transparent-Storage-Container-Box-Case-/110962609099?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19d5e30bcb
limiter5.jpg
Rubbermaid Drawer Tray Cutouts



screw attachment spacers

Spacers are required between the new cover and the screw holes in posts on the bumper, replacing molded fitting of the original cover. 5/16" O.D. 1/8" thick specialty nylon washers found at Ace Hardware were used here, though #8 hex nuts could also be used (for the thickness). [edit] When thick washers/spacers are unavailable, a couple turns around the screws of insulated 22 gauge solid hook up wire can also serve.
The spacer thickness is critical in that the cover must slide over the case bottom and under the edge of the brush guard, forming a slot in which the cover slides.
Nylon spacers cannot be glued to the cover with crazy glue, maybe epoxy. For quick installation a thin strip of mounting foam tape was inserted in the spacers allowing them to be held in the screw threads to hold the spacers in place without falling into the bumper when attaching. [edit] a little heat shrink tubing might work as well, just has to be cut off to reuse the original. For that matter, just positioning the unit vertically so screws are horizontal when installing could suffice. [edit] Or do one screw at a time turning in just enough to stay, holding the spacer by hand. Lay paper over the gap if concerned about accidents. [edit] Washers on the screws can be taped to the plastic one at a time while just starting the screw, to prevent dropping off, then remove tape.
[edit] spacers ebay http://www.ebay.com/itm/100-Pcs-Nylon-6-Screw-Spacer-5-16-OD-x-140-ID-x-1-8-LONG-Mi13SP092-/271190534162?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f24372812
Stocked in Ace Hardware stores as well.

lower5.jpg
spacers held on screws with imbedded foam tape bits

unnecessary: do one screw at a time holding with fingers

Wall Sensor Screw

The corner screw under the Wall Sensor is short because of the sensor fitting, and is too short for use with the spacer. The hole for this screw has a raised edge allowing resting the 5/16" spacer in place without holding onto the screw (#8 hex nuts will not fit; two #6 nylon washers can be used, #6 hex nuts and a 1/32 lock washer). This screw can be omitted (left in for handy stowage) or replaced by a longer screw cut to size with a bolt cutter or hack saw. The case screws are Metric sheet metal or self-tapping, size M2.9 length 16mm, with 8-9mm needed on the short screw, 3/8". Fastener distributors on the web supply these screws which match the thread pitch already cut into the soft plastic on the Neato case; other sizes will destroy these threads previously cut by the original screws. E.g. Instock Fasteners, or ebay http://www.ebay.com/itm/100-pcs-M2-9-8-Screw-self-tapping-screw-Cross-Head-Screw-screws-/280789248587?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item416057ea4b

Tilt Reduction Required
The flip or Tilt Reduction Mod http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=17095 limiting wheel arm swing is required with this bumper mod to prevent the lowered edge from digging into the floor with the excessive angle at which Neato tilts, unnecessary for practical climbing obstacles. Simple thread tie end of thread, no hardware needed.
Image
screw out slightly for attaching thread; goes all the way in; bottom around end of the spring

other methods
This mod replaces previous experiments with plastic sheet stuck on the front and side surface of the bumper, dependent on glue or double sided tape, and adding unnecessary material over the existing bumper.
http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=16736

other mods
Links to other mods for utility cleaning listed at http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=16475
Last edited by glnc222 on March 12th, 2016, 5:46 pm, edited 28 times in total.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby SubZero » October 24th, 2013, 1:52 am

Hi glnc222,

This is my first post and I have been following the postings here for sometime before eventually purchasing the VX-21 in Sept. I must compliment you (and many others) on your dedication to improving this wonderful product.

Battery problems (lasting only 20 ~ 25 minutes) aside, which was solved by a replacement, I too went looking for ways to improve the Neato.

Here's my attempt:

Guard Assy Big.JPG


This is my 2nd version. The first being shorter on the sides and doesn't extend all the way to the back. The top piece is the existing bottom part of the bumper and the add-on bumper screws onto it using the 6x front screws only. Cannot use the side screws as that is blocked by the brush guard.

The 1st version was 3D printed and have been testing for 3 weeks. Now it does not mount low furniture and the stand fan base anymore. Will print this version soon. Will also post real pictures on the 1st version soon.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby glnc222 » October 24th, 2013, 12:27 pm

Beautiful construction. This is several pieces glued together, as 3D printers don't make so large a piece? I suspect you have to replace the existing cover instead of add onto it. I've wondered if those printers could make new parts for Neato.
Photos of furniture presenting a problem for the Neato may interest readers -- and help prove to the company they should fix the product.
[edit] A 3D printing thread in the General topics section http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=16942

[edit] can you make the wheels, for using replaceable treads? (If too big, gluing four radial sections has worked well for 3500yrs)

[edit] a plastic block and rotating top piece for the tilt reduction mod, to be glued or taped in. [irrelevant with thread loop method added -- simpler than expected]

[edit] I was concerned that flat head, countersink screws would be needed to fit under the brush guard but apparently the original pan head screws still fit with heads exposed atop thin corner protector.
Last edited by glnc222 on October 27th, 2013, 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby SubZero » October 24th, 2013, 10:33 pm

There're 2 pieces. Wanted to make it one but was too long and has to be split to 2 pieces. Now each piece is 165mm or 6.5" wide.

My difficult furniture has feet exactly like your scandinavian chair that you have in your photo. The floor standing fan that I have has a base much like your lamp stand behind your chair. My floors are all hardwood and tiles, no carpets at all.

Here are some photos that I took last night.

20131024_204814.jpg
Front View 1
20131024_210248.jpg
Front View 2
The split between left and right bumper is visible. The black velcro, used to protect the bumper from being scratched by stair railings, is aligned to the bottom edge of the big bumper. Add-on bumber is just below that.

The ends of the velcro extends past to cover the gap as this gap sometimes get caught when the Neato is turning or reversing with objects on the ground has a sharp edge. The flappy end has proved not to be a problem so far.


20131024_204845.jpg
Side View
The sides does not go all the way back. The next version will take care of that.


20131024_205023.jpg
Bottom View
This shows how the add-on bumper is screwed onto the bottom of the existing bumper assembly. There are counter-bore designed to prevent protruding screwheads. All screws are replaced by ones that are 10mm longer that the existing ones.


20131024_205247.jpg
Bottom View - Brush Guard removed
The existing bottom bumper is still present and not replaced. The entire add-on bumper adds 2mm or 5/64" on each side and the front although it does not look like it is that small in this photo. It lowers the bumper by 10mm or 3/8".
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby glnc222 » October 24th, 2013, 11:59 pm

3D Printer Code for Above
Supplied later http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/download/file.php?id=7160



You may not need to go back further on the sides the way Neato moves -- hard to push that part into something.
Thickness rigidity of your add-on does not need side screws, transfers force to the front edge.
The corner protector plastic used above may be much stronger than Neato's thermoplastic -- so many different kinds -- so am not sure whether you can 3D print an equivalent replacement of the cover itself with a right angle flange strong enough. The screws on the side slide under the brush guard, requiring the right angle fitting if screwed there.

You do not appear to have tilt limiting, which is not always necessary except in certain wall/furniture situations.

To test excess tilt, position Neato parallel to a wall with the wall sensor towards the wall, about 18" away. Place a low obstacle board or box (held in place) perpendicular to the wall 2 ft or so in front, making a corner at the wall. Spot Cleaning, Neato will turn into the wall and follow it into the obstacle corner and flip up against the wall. This can ruin navigation on pile carpet and under cabinets -- depends on the details.

[edit] tilt reduction requires only a loop of thread, no hardware; see end of that thread. Photo added above.
Last edited by glnc222 on July 15th, 2014, 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby SubZero » October 27th, 2013, 9:50 pm

Yes, I agree that there's no need to go all the way back on the sides but it just makes the design more complete. In my environment there seem not to be a need for tilt reduction. Will continue to monitor during supervised runs but so far it doesn't reverse and tilts up when doing its job.

Your existing cover design may be too thin for strong 3D print but suitably redesigned as you suggested with strengthening flanges should be doable. I prefer add-on to replacement for fear of loosing unused pieces laying around for long periods.

Here are some photos of the lengthened sides:
20131027_123416.jpg
Sides goes all the way back and vertical clearence
20131027_121643.jpg
Low Angle View from back
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby glnc222 » October 28th, 2013, 1:04 pm

If interested in distributing this to other Neato users, one possibility is firms which print for buyers. cubify.com, i.materialise.com, and shapeways.com are bazaars to purchase objects that others have designed and uploaded.
Using existing screws then becomes more important. Plenty metric machine screws in U.S. hardware stores but not the sheet metal screws needed. size M2.9 for Neato cases.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby vic7767 » October 29th, 2013, 3:15 pm

Here's one more mod option for those who like to do it yourself, have a small hacksaw, some sandpaper, and super-glue.

You can order these 1/4 inch square tubes of ABS plastic that are 15 & 1/4 inches long and come in a pack of 5. Sandpaper the front edge of the Neato bumper, cut the square tube off so that is just fits the length of the front bumper and sandpaper one side of the square tubing, add a few dots of super-glue along the front bumper and the tubing then press together. Wait a few hours for the glue to set and Vola, you're in business.
Attachments
001.JPG
Roomba and Neato Mods, come visit: http://www.vic7767.com/

http://www.Robot-Doc.com/
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby glnc222 » October 29th, 2013, 5:37 pm

By itself the bar on the front is insufficient in tests, where the Neato sweeps the side over obstacles; the software programs a very thorough attack on obstacles, retrying at different angles and what not, impressive detailing. The sides then require sheet over the side or replacement of the whole cover piece as above, or the continuous U-shape shown, the way the brush guard extends farther than the front. The whole cover is not much more work than side sheets and a better fit. Screw attachment preserves the original cover part without glue, and is more suitable to strike stresses.

Plastic supply includes right-angle forms as well as the bar. In grey vinyl http://www.amazonsupply.com/polyvinyl-chloride-opaque-squared-corners/dp/B00CPRF6R8/ref=sr_1_1?sr=1-1&qid=1383081797&filterBy.feature_twelve_browse-bin=6523563011 [edit] too thick even at .08" (1/12) -- needs to be about 1/32" Also much more expensive than popular corner protectors when sold in small quantities.

[edit]The black Rubbermaid tray turns out unsuitable with a 1/16 rubber layer almost impossible to remove.
The corner protector is easier to cut and work; a leather punch might suffice for the holes besides drills. Plastic binder Krylon Fusion spray paint is best for coloring, but several coats of latex can work on the inside.

[edit] colored corner guard: http://www.wallguard.com/corner-guards/corner-guards-en/2325-corner-guard-assorted-wing-sizes.html


[edit] the white Rubbermaid pieces made for demonstration are available if anyone needs for their furniture; leave address privately. [edit] Sorry all gone with sale of the XV getting Botvac. Try the 3D printer file in this thread; some websites may offer printing services. The corner guard material is easy to work.
Last edited by glnc222 on November 12th, 2015, 2:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby glnc222 » December 12th, 2013, 4:13 pm

use for boundaries
An alternative to mag strip boundaries is temporary obstacles such as wood boards. With the lowered bumper, long pieces of some moldings or dowel etc. might be usable for temporary boundaries. I have already used mag strip taped to a stick for quick placement and stowage in one case. The same plastic corner protector 5/8" comes in 8 ft. and can also trip the bumper. Stiff things can be fastened at the ends without having to glue down all along. It's cheaper than mag strip if nothing else, but much more bulky without the lowered bumper. 1/2" also is less an obstruction to walking than higher barriers needed without the mod.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby shortcircuit » March 12th, 2014, 2:47 pm

Hi everyone,

As I tried for the first time today my new neato signature, I was a bit disappointed by the fact it was not able to set free from my living room chair due to the high level of the bumper. So I came across this thread looking for this very same idea of lowering this bumper.

SubZero, your design is very clean, I like it very much and it seem to have passed all the tests, congrats!
I also happen to have access to a 3D printer in my local hackerspace/fablab... Would you consider sharing your source files of your design? That would be awesome!
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby glnc222 » March 12th, 2014, 5:49 pm

You might want to request by PM in case the member is not following the forum.

[edit] code supplied later http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/download/file.php?id=7160
Last edited by glnc222 on July 15th, 2014, 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby shortcircuit » March 13th, 2014, 3:43 am

glnc222 wrote:You might want to request by PM in case the member is not following the forum.


Good idea, done.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby frenchie » April 17th, 2014, 2:24 pm

How about aluminium U channel. They're only a few dollars and available in all kinds of size. I might have a leftover piece somewhere to try when I have a minute. I'll report back here.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby shortcircuit » April 17th, 2014, 2:38 pm

What a coincidence, I just finished pasting my bumper extension.

I went for the quick-and-dirty pasted cardboard route. It's just carboard pasted around the bumper, making it taller.

The first attempt made my neato super-dumb, like spinning-on-itself-and-then-declare-the-room-cleaned-dumb. Well, I just did not see that I covered a sensor hole with the cardboard.

I finished the second attempt, with a new hole through the cardboard for the sensor, but my neato is discharged. I'll report back there too for the results!

Edit: I pasted using hot-glue gun, and for the record it left absolutely no trace when I removed the cardboard of the first try.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby glnc222 » April 17th, 2014, 4:22 pm

How about aluminium U channel. They're only a few dollars and available in all kinds of size. I might have a leftover piece somewhere to try when I have a minute. I'll report back here.

I am not familiar with all construction materials. The thing about the bumper is the right angle piece must be very thin to slide under the brush guard, and metal tends to be less rigid than plastic at that thickness. You would also need a hack saw or Dremel cutter.

[edit] looking online U channel is usually 1/16" thick for strength. Too thick for the bumper addition.
There is thinner aluminum sheet in my hardware store, which might be bent into a U-shape. The plastic corner guard is cheaper.

Also metal will not be as soft against things bumped as cardboard or plastic, though you could cover it with duck tape for a plastic finish.
The problem with flat pieces put on the sides is the darn wall sensor opening. The whole corner has to be left open. That is why the right angle material is needed for best results, though it will be interesting to see how the cardboard works. Cardboard also tends to be not stiff enough, why I tried some 1/16" plastic sheet before discovering corner protectors can be smoothly bent into shape. Funny how these things are not noticed right away, even though I had a piece of it lying around all the time.

Another advantage of the right angle material is it does not have to extend high up the sides to get enough glue area to resist pressure on the bottom edge when bumping.

The BotVac moved the wall sensor conveniently behind the bumper. But the removable bottom cover of the bumper edge appears to be gone, with a better, unitary bumper construction.
They did not fix the bumper height and seem preoccupied with internal mechanical improvements.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby glnc222 » April 17th, 2014, 4:54 pm

Edit: I pasted using hot-glue gun, and for the record it left absolutely no trace when I removed the cardboard of the first try.

Neato's thermoplastic parts are easily warped by heat, so I would not have thought of using hot glue.
I wonder how it compares in hold to other glues. Never used it.
For temporary things double stick tape -- the permanent grade -- is surprisingly strong in attachment, over a sufficient area. Area is the problem with glue. Not good for small pieces.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby glnc222 » April 19th, 2014, 2:23 pm

A German user's bumper extension with hand made spacers from 5mm aluminum rod, 3mm screws. Could be sheet metal.

bumper.jpg

bumper2.jpg

[edit]
Aluminum U-Channel Revisited

The existing plastic edge cover is 3/32" thick, so 1/16" aluminum could work. The reason a thin plastic was used is to get the screw heads low enough. Screws are countersunk into the original plastic, so that has to be done to the aluminum as well. In addition, bending 1/16" aluminum might be hard, but have never done it. The underside of the "U" would also butt against the bulging edge of the brush guard; a right-angle was used here instead of a "U". I think there are right-angle aluminum forms in hardware stores along with U-channel. It's just more expensive and harder to work than a $3.00 plastic corner guard.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby bugmenot » June 14th, 2014, 12:55 am

Did anyone manage to get an STL file or something for this they could share? Here in Portland it shouldn't be too hard for me to find someone to print one off for me and I would love to have an elegant solution to my damned POÄNG chair.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby glnc222 » June 14th, 2014, 3:05 am

[edit] code supplied later http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/download/file.php?id=7160

The member does not seem to be supplying that software -- no reports. The easiest way is to get 3/4" 4ft corner guard in Ace Hardware along with 1/8" nylon spacers there (at Ace by the piece, only what you need). Inexpensive, cuts with scissors, wire cutters, fairly easy.
(no spacer under the short corner screw; leave in underneath not to lose)

I could send you a two piece version in white cut from an organizer tray I don't use (photo above somewhere), with spacers, for $5 postage included. Or one I cut from corner guard, painted gray inside. Contact privately if interested. (It is so simple, if I ever need one can always make another.)
Best way to color is cover with duck tape.

Not so easy on a BotVac with unitized bumper construction. A large band of plastic of the right consistency to bend around the corners would have to be glued onto it (unless screws were used voiding the warranty; double sided tape might work as a removable version). At least the wall sensor is not a problem.
Last edited by glnc222 on July 15th, 2014, 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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