Bumper Lowering Mod

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

Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby NightHawk » June 15th, 2014, 1:44 am

I had this same problem with the new BotVac 80 model with my kitchen nook dining table sloping legs and tubular base chairs. Also a plastic pedestal fan and a 1inch high leg part of exercise equipment in another room. In all these cases the 'bot would try to climb it and get stuck.

Too bad Neato didn't fix this issue with the re-designed new BotVac models when they had the chance!
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby glnc222 » June 15th, 2014, 2:03 am

Are you going to fix it? I'd try cardboard and double stick scotch tape (permanent type, for hold) first. The bumper has a better mechanism than XV's. Going high up the bumper increases sticking surface for strength -- lots of tape, but removable. Extend down to 1/2" above floor. Instead of the wall sensor there is the side brush obstruction. There may still be enough contact around the sides to not get stuck. The thing is, it tends to try side-swiping maneuvers when bumped in the front, requiring some side coverage of extensions. Persistent machines. The Prime Directive to clean everywhere...seek out dirty spaces, clean new areas, go where no bot has gone before.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby NightHawk » June 16th, 2014, 2:00 am

Why can't Neato have more user selection options in an "advanced" menu area where a user could configure thresholds and enable/disable certain robotic actions like attempting to climb obstructions? I don't have anything I want the 'bot to climb in my house, I just want it to vacuum the floors, and only have to go maybe 1/4" up or down between a transition between carpet and kitchen tile floor or a throw rug.
If a software upgrade would allow me to control that action it would be perfect.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby glnc222 » June 16th, 2014, 2:34 am

Interesting possible option, but I don't think the sensors can distinguish heights to climb well enough for what you want. There could also be variations among user's environments requiring a lot of fine tuning. The more elaborate solution is marking up the room map on a graphics screen, which was demonstrated by Ecovacs with a smartphone feature last year, but has not yet been delivered; supposedly this year (posted in another thread, "wish list"). The announced Vorwerk VR200 for year end has a remote and phone interface, but what features are not yet revealed. Try visiting the bars in beautiful Wuppertal, Germany, where they are headquartered.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby NightHawk » June 16th, 2014, 4:09 pm

I don't want the 'bot to climb anything at all, just vacuum the floors.
There should be a menu option to at least disable the climbing attempts in the bot's program, just stay level.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby NightHawk » June 16th, 2014, 4:11 pm

Yep a smartphone control interface and built-in wifi would be great, I thought of those as suggested features before too.
Neato marketing should realize their products appeal to the techno-geeks and we want those kind of features!
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby SubZero » July 15th, 2014, 6:14 am

I'm sorry for not replying earlier as I was away from the forum for about 5~6 months.

Here are the STL in a zip file that contains both the left and right parts of the bumper. Let me know how it works out.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby glnc222 » July 15th, 2014, 5:28 pm

This could be a candidate to upload to sites which can print on demand for users.
Certain sections of the 3-D printing sites Cubify ( cubify.com ), i.materialise ( i.materialise.com ) and Shapeways ( shapeways.com ) are like online bazaars of print-on-demand products. There, you can purchase objects that others have designed and uploaded

There may be more. The file link has been added to various places to maximize visibility, including the German roboter-forum.
It is probably more expensive to have this printed by a service, instead of your own printer, than to craft it from inexpensive materials in hardware stores, but is certainly more elegant and convenient. The future of parts delivery.
There may be an issue of requiring separate longer screws to use with the piece, not sure. Check the prior posts.

Thanks to member Subzero for making this available.

[edit] 3D Printing Services
Checked out Shapeways.com service. Cost of printing each of the two bumper parts $20 each, in black or white (extra for other colors). Interesting site. When the file is uploaded, it shows a graphic rendering of the item to be printed and its dimensions. The UPS Store mailing and copier service in the U.S. has added 3D printing services but seem to be commercially oriented to larger orders.

Cheapest way is $3 for plastic right angle corner guard material cut with scissors. Cover with duck tape if wanted opaque (wrap around the bottom as well, for a softer edge). Ace Hardware etc.
Last edited by glnc222 on November 16th, 2015, 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby glnc222 » November 2nd, 2014, 7:28 pm

BotVac Version

Several variants. One in another thread http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=19572 with video.

bumperxtndr.JPG
BotVac Bumper Extender

A cardboard strip appeared adequately stiff for a BotVac version, fastened with one strip of double sided tape across the top and shipping tape over the top edge and back vertical edge of the sides (the double sided strip may not be necessary, have not tested; there is a large holding area on the shipping tape alone).

Appearance can be improved with paint or colored duck tape. Covering the cardboard also improves durability.

This particular corrugated board is from an Amazon shipping box size K3 with a perfect length 19" flap. 2 1/4" wide strip. To stiffen further I would glue pieces of the thin hard bubble wrap packaging plastic cut from some item purchased, to the underside of the bottom edge. [edit] strips from thin 3/4" corner guards good as well, inexpensive; a bit of the angle can be left for both a smooth bottom edge curve and strong stiffening. While this cardboard engages the bumper in tests no idea how durable it would be. It works because the pressure is partly taken by the side pieces and because the exposed skirt is only 1/2" high, limiting leverage against the bottom bumper edge.

The corrugations also supply perfect mounting for the supporting wires of an over-head pinch protector.
http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=15853&hilit=pinch

The companion tilt-limiting mod preventing the lowered front bumper edge from hitting the floor can be made from a strip of duct/duck tape applied inside the wheel well and tied with thread (or by itself) to the top end screw on the wheel arm, size T8 Torx screw (not visible in many photos because anodized black). The holding strip is vertical under tension for maximum sheer across the tape glue area. No need to open the case. http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?p=127169#p127169
Last edited by glnc222 on October 20th, 2016, 6:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby glnc222 » November 3rd, 2014, 11:26 pm

Bending Plastic

[edit] The vinyl plastic on corner guards for walls bends without heat and can be fastened with stronger automotive double sided foam mounting tape. Use the wider guards over 1 in. and cut with scissors, leaving a small right angle for stiffness along the straight parts. Bend completely to fit snug before taping on. Such tape is expensive but still less, and easier, than cutting up plastic trays.

Commonly available ABS plastic sheet bends when heated. This small piece done with brief application of a flame. To make a BotVac 2" wide bumper extension some way to heat a blade or rod that long is needed. Heat guns? Clothing steam iron edges? Some sort of resistance wire? Corner of a big rectangular power resistor? Expensive. Needs an expert.
Otherwise handy as cuts with scissors.
There is 1/16" solid vinyl PVC which might bend cold, but is twice as thick as the corner guards.

ABSplasitic.JPG
1/16" ABS plastic heat bent, 3/8" wide
Last edited by glnc222 on September 8th, 2016, 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby glnc222 » November 4th, 2014, 3:30 pm

Heat Bending broad ABS strips:
[edit] A clothes iron can be used to bend this plastic. Only medium setting needed.

Clamp the 2" strip with the end to bend sticking out under a board providing an edge to bend over, for heating from underneath. Cover area near the bend with a couple layers of shipping tape to protect everything but the crease, just to be nervous. Pull up on the end to bend while moving a lighter flame back and forth under the crease not leaving on any spot more than a moment.
Needs a 12" x 24" ABS sheet to cut with scissors such as Ebay http://www.ebay.com/itm/12-x24-x1-16-WHITE-ABS-PLASTIC-SHEET-VACUUM-FORMING-TEXTURED-FRONT-SMOOTH-BACK-/281265320372?pt=US_Car_Audio_Video_Dashboard_Installation_Kits&hash=item417cb831b4
$10 delivered vs free cardboard...
ABSwide.JPG

[edit] a cheaper 12x12 sheet makes two halves to join in the center with tape; probably good.
Last edited by glnc222 on January 26th, 2017, 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby glnc222 » November 5th, 2014, 7:19 pm

For BotVac Rubbermaid drawer organizer has bent sides, and needs two pieces joined in the middle (l extractable from one organizer). See post below with photos for best fitting model.
Last edited by glnc222 on November 11th, 2014, 11:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby glnc222 » November 8th, 2014, 5:57 pm

Correction Botvac: you need the 6x9 tray so can cut into half of the 6" side with two right angle pieces with 3" sides of the Botvac. Cut to 6.25" long part, join two in the center of the bumper front. Available white or black, the bottom is not used. (The 12" long tray is a half inch too short for the whole Botvac front, so two pieces needed.)
Rubbermaid Home 2916-RD-WHT Drawer Organizer Tray (white)
[edit] not best fit -- see next post.
http://www.amazon.com/Rubbermaid-Home-2916-RD-WHT-Drawer-Organizer/dp/B000BQKIYQ/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1415483448&sr=8-9&keywords=rubbermaid+drawer+organizer
Only $3.50 at Walmart in white.
Some other brands have too large rounded corners.
Note sides slope and so does the Botvac; lesser slope with Rubbermaid brand. Align the corners best.
[edit] At the center joint, the vertical edge of one side can be taped to bot, under the other side, which is taped onto the first on outer surface -- further securing the pieces.
Also a small part of the tray bottom can be left for a smooth curve bottom edge of the piece.
Not tried yet. What's in your drawer?
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby glnc222 » November 11th, 2014, 11:34 pm

Botvac Drawer Organizer Construction

[edit] Not necessary but if wanted, easily remove the bumper https://youtu.be/vwcTcr0Wpwo
[edit] With Botvac the companion "Tilt Reduction Mod" http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?p=127304#p127304 is more necessary because the extension is only taped on. When the front is pushed into the floor it will push up on the extension. Wide double stick tape on the bumper might work but the tilt reduction appears advisable. The tape there has held well when properly arranged. Easier to install opening the case but can be done without opening with proper dexterity and a thin screwdriver probe. Takes practice. You could always use screws on the bumper except for the warranty -- no spare parts yet...

The Botvac stalled atop a 1.5" high floor lamp base the XV bounced off, so the lower bumper mod had to be completed. The Botvac apparently climbs better. Only one of several runs exhibited the problem, so it depends on just what angle of attack on the obstacle occurs etc. Will have to see if this extension corrects the behavior over time.

Rubbermaid makes a variety of drawer organizer trays, and the single bay ones have too sharp a corner to best fit the Botvac corner, leaving 1/4" gap between the more rounded botvac edge and the added plastic. These trays also have a hard plastic difficult to work with knife and scissors.
bumplow3.JPG
corner too sharp on single bay Rubbermaid tray


One solution is rubbermaid two-bay Gadget Tray in a softer plastic easier to work and wider curve at corners.
Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Rubbermaid-No-Slip-Gadget-Black-FG1J1609BLA/dp/B0046EDHUG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415760982&sr=8-1&keywords=rubbermaid+gadget+tray
(outside U.S. search model number FG1J1609BLA e.g. amazon.fr http://www.amazon.fr/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?__mk_fr_FR=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=FG1J1609BLA)
Germany https://www.amazon.de/Rubbermaid-1922436-No-Slip-Gadget-Black/dp/B0192D9KME/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1467303919&sr=8-1&keywords=Rubbermaid+1922436
and at Walmart about $8 -- covers two botvacs.
bumpercut2.jpg
Rubbermaid Gadget Tray


Pairs of side cutouts joined in the center and taped over the top edges, around behind the sides, and under the center overlap, are shown here. Camera flash reflections show the tape more prominent than actual. The whole could be wrapped in less reflective duck tape. An angle must be cut off the sides to match the receding angle of the botvac corners. Part of the tray bottom is left as a curved underside of the extension edge, possible only on the front side from the angle geometry. This stiffens the long front piece and makes a softer edge.

bumpercut1.jpg


To keep the edge from digging into the floor when the back of the bot flips up, the tilt limiting mod must be used (just some tape and thread). http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?p=127169#p127169
[edit] Though see later post below possible method without http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?p=128887#p128887

bumplow1.jpg
Botvac bumper lowered with plastic extension

bumplow2.JPG
Botvac bumper extension bottom curved edge


There are other brands of trays not checked, but this shows what to look for. Target store ones had too sharp corners.
Raw sheet plastic to build with is not expensive but is only mail order, and has to be bent with heat etc., and will not have the bottom curved edge feature.
I have not tried double stick duck tape or carpet tape, as for only this application rolls are expensive.
[edit] 3M Command Adhesive Picture Hanging Strips locking tape (better than velcro) might also be tried.
Last edited by glnc222 on June 30th, 2016, 12:39 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby glnc222 » November 12th, 2014, 2:03 am

bumplow5.JPG
Botvac colored bumper extension
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby glnc222 » November 22nd, 2014, 11:58 pm

Botvac extension almost color matched Apple Barrel craft acyrlic gloss 2oz Michael's etc., lighter than Dark Gray, darker than Dolphin Gray. Granite? mixed for this. Room light better than camera flash.

bumpergray.JPG
Botvac bumper extension color matched acrylic paint


[edit] paint did not hold up on the corners, and I may cover those with clear tape or more varnish.
[edit] Best stick to colored duck tape or the more expensive, non-residue Gaffers tape. If painted, a plastic binder is needed such as in Krylon plastic paint, available only in large spray cans. Cheap solution may be clear tape over the acrylic paint, which forms a kind of continuous rubber sheet.
[edit] Clear shipping tape over paint holding up well. Paint sticks enough and tape prevents rubbing off. Not over reflective.

Alternatives
[edit] A German dealer is selling a self-stick from on ebay etc., Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8zSogulFCY

Another way to make one could be the plastic from wider 1 1/8 in. corner guards, e.g. Trimaco, in hardware stores. Leave a small right angle at the bottom in front for stiffness, bend around the sides fully, fitting snug.
Then apply stronger automotive double-sided mounting tape the full vertical distance for strength. Needs to extend down only 1/4 in. or so.
Last edited by glnc222 on August 13th, 2016, 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby glnc222 » January 25th, 2015, 8:25 pm

YouTube video reports Botvac stuck on barstool bases without lowering the bumper. Shown with another method of lowering the bumper, just in front. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12Phod5WXyo&x-yt-cl=84503534&x-yt-ts=1421914688
[edit] Report of similar problem here apparently not needing modification, caused by a defect. http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=18114
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby DogHairCleanUp » January 27th, 2015, 5:29 am

Does lowering the bumper, on the Botvac 65 with the combo brush, affect the brush contact and the cleaning ability?
Roomba vs Botvac Review Photos 01/28/15
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=18315
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby glnc222 » January 27th, 2015, 1:34 pm

I do not see how it would affect cleaning. The bottom edge of the extended bumper is aligned with the bottom flat edge of the brush guard. The brush is recessed farther towards the back. The effect is not climbing some things, which in some cases might need to be climbed. It still climbs height transitions which it can safely go over without getting trapped -- and avoids ones which trap it. The entire range is not fully known -- as very few users report anything about it. So the whole environment has to be considered.
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Re: Bumper Lowering Mod

Postby DogHairCleanUp » January 28th, 2015, 12:20 am

Did you stay with the Rubbermaid 6"x9" tray for the Botvac. How is your bumper holding up? I will look for the tray. It's too bad we have to do this. The Roomba seems to handle this part better. Do you think Botvac will fix this soon? Thanks for sharing your ideas.
Roomba vs Botvac Review Photos 01/28/15
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