NeatoControl - program for diagnostic neato robots

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Re: NeatoControl - program for diagnostic neato robots

Postby vic7767 » December 12th, 2015, 3:07 pm

The creator of the Neato Control program heX has included the latest update 2.6 into the first post on the first page of this thread. Anytime there is an update the latest working version will be inserted.

goonie0 wrote:The Scanner tab?
That is the tab Lewly mentioned and also include the text file from the Get LDS command.
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Re: NeatoControl - program for diagnostic neato robots

Postby goonie0 » December 12th, 2015, 3:37 pm

Yes, I believe I am using the latest version.

I will post the screenshot and text file ASAP. When I was reviewing the GetLDS readout yesterday I remember seeing 8xxx (8080, etc.) error codes. I will post the comprehensive file later today.

Thanks for all of your help, I appreciate it.
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Re: NeatoControl - program for diagnostic neato robots

Postby goonie0 » December 12th, 2015, 7:36 pm

Here's the screenshot (old laptop wasn't letting me do a screenshot, so had to take one using my phone) and the GetLDS .txt log file.

Let me know if anything jumps out at you.
Attachments
File Dec 12, 3 29 56 PM.jpeg
Screenshot
GetLDS - 12-12-15.txt
(10.64 KiB) Downloaded 120 times
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Re: NeatoControl - program for diagnostic neato robots

Postby Lewiy » December 13th, 2015, 5:06 am

Unfortunately your test has a little information. It is necessary to repeat it in a small room, freed from furniture and other items. Use boxes to close the perimeter if needed. Without the black surfaces.
You can see some LIDAR scotomas on my screenshots - parts of the perimeter which lidar can not see. They are repeated in the same sectors after a slight rotation of the robot around the vertical axis . This confirms that the unreflecting surfaces are not the cause. These areas are shown in red on a linear scale at the top of the image. Error lines such as 331,0,0,8035 or 21,0,32896,8080 in GetLDS correspond to red zones. Analyzing GetLDS it is easy to calculate that my LIDAR is blind on 15%. While the robot is able to compensate for the shortfall in the field of view by rotating the body, but navigating errors can occur from time to time. Complete failure occurs when a blindness critical mass is formed. It seems your unit has too many red zones. I counted more than 100 error lines in your GetLDS - about 30%. The verdict unfavorable to LIDAR.
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Test1.jpg
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Re: NeatoControl - program for diagnostic neato robots

Postby goonie0 » December 16th, 2015, 1:43 am

Thanks, Lewiy, your insights are very helpful.

I'll look to repeat my test in a more enclosed space. Would it be okay to simply place the unit in a box with maybe about 1 feet of space between itself and the wall of the box?

If indeed the LIDAR is malfunctioning, then perhaps I should replace that part. Where can I find a good replacement?
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Re: NeatoControl - program for diagnostic neato robots

Postby glnc222 » December 16th, 2015, 2:27 am

The lidar works in a box but all the reflections are higher intensity than at longer distances within a room, so not the best test. Ebay may be the only source for lidar assemblies at this time, though inquire of Vic7767 who sometimes has parts. Cost near $100. Many Neato's were bought just to strip out this unit for other uses in robotics.
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Re: NeatoControl - program for diagnostic neato robots

Postby Lewiy » December 16th, 2015, 3:13 am

goonie0 wrote:Would it be okay to simply place the unit in a box with maybe about 1 feet of space between itself and the wall of the box?

Yes. Thus it will be possible to identify the completely blind sectors, even on a short distance. But if the short distance test will be OK then May require additional tests in a bigger room to determine the lidar distance range (the beam strength can be weaken over time, so the range decreases and there are navigation errors). Sometimes the GetLifeStatLog command helps to confirm the lidar fault. Post it here in a text file. And GetLDS too.
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Re: NeatoControl - program for diagnostic neato robots

Postby goonie0 » December 18th, 2015, 3:21 am

Lewiy wrote:
goonie0 wrote:Would it be okay to simply place the unit in a box with maybe about 1 feet of space between itself and the wall of the box?

Yes. Thus it will be possible to identify the completely blind sectors, even on a short distance. But if the short distance test will be OK then May require additional tests in a bigger room to determine the lidar distance range (the beam strength can be weaken over time, so the range decreases and there are navigation errors). Sometimes the GetLifeStatLog command helps to confirm the lidar fault. Post it here in a text file. And GetLDS too.


Okay, so here are two LIDAR scan images plus associated GetLDS txt files.

Small area about 2' x 3'
Neato 12-17-15.jpeg
Small Room LIDAR Scan Image

GetLDS - 12-17-15.txt
GetLDS Small Room
(5.4 KiB) Downloaded 84 times


Larger room that's about 9' x 6'.
Neato Large 12-17-15.jpeg
Large Room LIDAR Scan Image

GetLDS - 12-17-15 Large Room.txt
GetLDS Large Room
(5.5 KiB) Downloaded 76 times


Note that the three "protrusions" within the large image is expected. The two on the left are from the legs of a desk that I couldn't move. The one on the right is part of a wall that separates two alcoves.

Looking at the GetLDS file I see 68 ErrorCodeHEX out of 360, so ~18.9% error rate.

How do things look to you guys? Seems like there aren't that many gaps in the LIDAR scans to cause the issues I'm experiencing.
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Re: NeatoControl - program for diagnostic neato robots

Postby Lewiy » December 18th, 2015, 11:00 pm

goonie0 wrote:Seems like there aren't that many gaps in the LIDAR scans to cause the issues I'm experiencing.

It looks better than in the first test. But we must keep in mind one more thing. The lidar cap has legs which overlap alternately the laser and the photosensor while rotating . Therefore, each side thick leg has two shadows in the diagram below. The front leg is significantly thinner in the frontal projection, so it does not overlap the photosensor, but leaves a shadow of a laser in a lateral projection. So 5 legs give 9 shadows normally (sectors in proximity 30, 40, 83, 117, 167, 203, 253, 286, 328 degrees with error code 8035). Robot ignores these errors while navigating. So I removed the legs shadows in your lidar diagram. Now the sectors with error codes 8080, 8021, 8002 remained in the diagram (in green). And we see that the lidar has a malfunction. Perhaps it is caused by failure of the slip ring. Makes sense to look at the lifestatlog to find out whether the lidar issue has a a decisive impact on navigational ability.
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Normal.jpg
Normal
Your LIDAR.jpg
Your LIDAR
Without  legs shadows.jpg
Without legs shadows
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Re: NeatoControl - program for diagnostic neato robots

Postby goonie0 » December 19th, 2015, 12:38 am

Great diagrams, thanks for putting that together for me.

I'll run lifestatlog and see what I get.

Getting closer to the answer!
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NeatoControl - program for diagnostic neato robots

Postby djos » January 3rd, 2016, 3:23 am

Can anyone explain how to use the battery test/report/reset options please?
Current Robot's:
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Re: NeatoControl - program for diagnostic neato robots

Postby glnc222 » January 3rd, 2016, 3:51 am

I do not recall any specific program options to perform battery testing in the technical sense. Batteries are tested with hardware, a battery testing instrument which charges and discharges the battery along with time to determine the charge capacity. The Neato itself does not perform this function though it attempts to indirectly measure the capacity from the effects of running the vacuum. The Neato has no load to apply to the battery besides its motors used for cleaning and would take a long time anyway were it to have such a load to apply.

The Neato responds to deteriorating battery capacity over time by reducing the programmed run time to maintain a reserve for returning to base. The "New Battery" menu option resets this monitoring and restarts calibration of the battery over time. The Neato will observe the amount of charge delivered to the battery when charging and make some use of it not known in detail. For example, it switches from blinking the indicator ring light orange to green when about 1ah of charge is delivered.

The program displays a measure computed by the Neato designated Fuel Gauge which is per cent full charge. It is supposed to be near 100 after Neato fully charges the battery. Should this figure be inconsistent with full charge known directly it can be manually adjusted with USB command. The figure could also play in diagnosing malfunctions of the charging system.

The Neato measures the battery voltage, the charging voltage, the charging current and the operating current load form the system and motors. These can be used to assist in measuring the battery capacity by running the fan alone, for convenience, with display of the discharge rate current. Noting the time required for the battery to be mostly exhausted then allows calculating the battery capacity and comparing it to its original rating.
I had not noticed any automation of this procedure in the program, but it has been revised since last used.
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NeatoControl - program for diagnostic neato robots

Postby djos » January 3rd, 2016, 4:16 am

Glnc222 you misunderstood my question, there is a "recharge" tab in version 2.6 and I'd like to get a better understanding of its purpose etc.

There also appears to be a battery capacity ? Indicator on the main page.
Current Robot's:
Neato BotVac 80 w/ Li-NMC Battery , 2x XV11 w/ Li-NMC Battery
iRobot Roomba 561 w/ NiMh Battery & Aerovac Bin, Scooba 380 w/ Li-NMC Battery

Previous Robots:
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Re: NeatoControl - program for diagnostic neato robots

Postby Lewiy » January 3rd, 2016, 7:45 am

djos wrote: to get a better understanding of its purpose etc.

Some guys firmly believe that if they discharge a weak Neato battery to 12V, it will reset the "memory effect" and the battery will be renewed. Hex added the RECHARGE tab for them. After the regular cleaning you need to set the battery level to 100%. Then use a vacuum motor and brush motor as a load for the complete discharge of the battery. Following you need to charge the battery completely. It is assumed that the lifetime of the battery dramatically increases thereafter. However, the effect is temporary in practice. You have to buy a new battery after 1-2 months.
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Re: NeatoControl - program for diagnostic neato robots

Postby djos » January 4th, 2016, 12:03 am

Thanks Lewiy.
Current Robot's:
Neato BotVac 80 w/ Li-NMC Battery , 2x XV11 w/ Li-NMC Battery
iRobot Roomba 561 w/ NiMh Battery & Aerovac Bin, Scooba 380 w/ Li-NMC Battery

Previous Robots:
iRobot Roomba 562PE w/ Aerovac Bin & Sealed-bearing CHM
Evolution Mint 4200
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Re: NeatoControl - program for diagnostic neato robots

Postby glnc222 » January 4th, 2016, 3:18 am

The improvement in batteries from performing charge-discharge cycles usually applies to NiMh batteries worn from self-discharge in excessive shelf-life. This is why the manual instructs to exercise the battery initially. Extreme cases can damage the cells beyond repair, with excessive deep discharge. For a good battery with some failure of the Neato to properly set the Fuel Gauge just set it manually with the program.
Batteries worn out from use cannot be revitalized by exercising them as far as I know. The "sticky" ones from shelf life are not really worn out and are a different situation. If the battery has been recharged over 200 times it is getting on towards the maximum life maybe 300, varied with quality of mfg.
When not in use I charge NiMh batteries every six months to keep them functional, just a guess.
Smaller AA, AAA size NiMh batteries now have less self-discharge and advertised long shelf life, originally Eneloop brand now widely copied, which does not apply to the high drain types used in robots.
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Re: NeatoControl - program for diagnostic neato robots

Postby glnc222 » January 5th, 2016, 2:29 am

Quick Battery Capacity Check
It is not necessary to observe the entire discharge curve to detect a worn battery. The voltage under load falls from around 16v -- you would have to check -- to around 14v from full charge to the end of a run lasting an hour, or more on hard floors. Running the fan alone around 1 amp or one third load for twenty minutes could reveal a more rapidly declining discharge curve than followed by a new battery. Maybe a new battery declines only 0.2v in that period, but one declining 0.4v would be substantially worn. Severely worn batteries might even show an initial loaded voltage too low.

There is a data logging feature of the Command section in Neato Control which can output the discharge curve data to a file. I have not used it so cannot give detailed instructions. Some users have taken such data and manipulated it with a spread sheet "pivot table" feature to make graphs, unnecessary for the purpose here.

So what is needed is a little benchmark data for a new battery for comparison with ones to be tested. Apologies I do not have those figures. Some curves are shown in the lithium revisited thread but not sure useful; mostly for charging purposes.

Note that with NiMh batteries there can be a short steep section of the discharge curve initially after which it flattens out. May apply to lithium batteries as well.

The data found on the web does not intensively cover the effect of wear on batteries so extensive tables of discharge curves at different stages of wear are not found, at least outside private industry materials or technical books. Such data is certainly needed by hybrid car makers for instance, to make product specifications and warranties. The properties involved can be different over a wide range of different battery construction, so data for one type will not be translatable into Neato batteries. Hybrid cars use $25 cells with huge drain capacity and long life, very different despite the same basic chemistry in $3 Neato cells (twelve in the robot, hundreds in the cars).
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Battery "Recharge" process reversible?

Postby humanoid » January 15th, 2016, 3:55 pm

I am thinking of trying the process in the tab "Recharge", which from what I understand changes the voltage Neato considers full and empty.

Is this reversible?
Can I reset the neato to original configuration and wipe out my changes?
Will disconnecting the batteries wipe out this configuration?

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Re: NeatoControl - program for diagnostic neato robots

Postby glnc222 » January 15th, 2016, 4:28 pm

There is a per cent full Fuel Gauge parameter which can be manually set over USB. Whether voltages can be specified I do not know. There are different voltages associated with battery type, settable to NiMh or Lithium. It would be a little strange operationally to change the voltages in the modeling of the battery as this is determined by the design and the battery chemistry. If you set Fuel Guage to full, that does not by itself mean any change in voltages used.
The per cent applies to quantity of charge relative to capacity, not exactly the same as voltage though related. It would be complicated to reverse engineer this in more detail. Perhaps others know more.
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Re: NeatoControl - program for diagnostic neato robots

Postby humanoid » January 15th, 2016, 4:46 pm

Thanks. The process is built into the tool so I have no details on what it does.

The question is different: Is it reversible? And if so how do I reset the values to stock configuration?
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