Neato XV Lidar problem

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Neato XV Lidar problem

Postby humanoid » January 28th, 2017, 6:20 am

The robot cannot navigate anymore, it moves randomly around the same spot where it started.

On Neato control, the Lidar scan shows a wrong scan, but every two seconds has a splash of a correct scan of the room. It keeps going like this, every two seconds one snapshot of the room, but wrong image in between.

Lidar speed is 4 (=240 RPM?) and the lidar motor speed oscillates between fast and slow every two/three seconds. The lidar motor makes more noise than I remember it should.

I did some vacuuming of the lidar from the outside, didn't change anything.

Is it a known problem with a known cause?

Is it more likely a mechanical issue (like a belt or dirt that slow it down) or an electronic issue (in that case it is not worth fixing)?

Thanks
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Re: Neato XV Lidar problem

Postby someoneclever » January 28th, 2017, 8:42 am

Try swapping lidar with another robot.


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Re: Neato XV Lidar problem

Postby vic7767 » January 28th, 2017, 10:16 am

The Neato has a very common problem with Lidar dc motor failure. Replacing the motor resolves the issue.
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Re: Neato XV Lidar problem

Postby glnc222 » January 28th, 2017, 3:06 pm

Lidar speed must be very close to the 300 rpm 5rps spec because it uses timing to tell in which direction it is pointing. The low RPM reported is typical of failure in the motor or belt. The brushes in the motors wear out.
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Re: Neato XV Lidar problem

Postby humanoid » January 28th, 2017, 4:41 pm

What voltage does the motor run on (I want to test it)?

Looks like I need to open it and see what's wrong.

How complicated is it to replace the motor? Do I have to disassemble the entire robot, or is there a quick fix like getting the lidar out from the top?

I would like to get to the lidar with minimum disassembly, so bumper, wheels, other motors, etc will hopefully stay.

Also is it possible that it is a bearing? A shot bearing can add more drag and slow it down.
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Re: Neato XV Lidar problem

Postby vic7767 » January 28th, 2017, 6:44 pm

Sorry, there are no shortcuts to accessing the Lidar motor for replacement. The motor can be tested with a1-1/2 to 9 volt battery. Normally it runs on 5 vdc within the Neato. There is a large turret ball bearing assembly that is not sealed but normally does not suffer from contamination.You will be able to determine if there is turret bearing damage by lifting the O-ring drive belt off and spin the turret by hand to feel for roughness.
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Re: Neato XV Lidar problem

Postby humanoid » January 28th, 2017, 8:25 pm

Thanks Vic.

When the robot is disassembled, can I install the batteries and connect it to Neato Control to check that I actually fixed the lidar before putting it all back?
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Re: Neato XV Lidar problem

Postby glnc222 » January 28th, 2017, 8:45 pm

The cables from the lidar must be plugged into the system board limiting how far away you can operate it. You could leave the XV top cover off except the system will not run unless the LCD is plugged in, so you would have to dismount the LCD from the top cover. The wall sensor in the top cover must also be plugged in. You could put on the top without fastening all the screws. Not much saving in effort trying to run without the top cover. There is an instrument for running the lidar outside the Neato; they get removed for other robotic interests. It is a stand alone unit with a serial interface.
When disassembling it is not necessary to remove the drive wheels. The springs must be released, but then tape the wheel assemblies in place. You just have to be able to remove the top cover to access the lidar. Screws under the bottom cover and under front of the dust bin. Careful not to yank on the LCD cable, which can tear off the LCD -- surface mount soldered. Put epoxy glue on for a strain relief. See "disassembly precautions" link Mods & Repairs list main forum page.
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Re: Neato XV Lidar problem

Postby humanoid » January 28th, 2017, 10:39 pm

Just for education, after removing and installing the lidar you can put the batteries and top cover on, connect Neato Control, and see the lidar working.
The only things necessary are the top with the screen and the batteries. Much quicker than putting it all back.

Cleaned and washed belt, no difference (still 4 rotations per second). The belt seems little loose, but I don't know how tight it is supposed to be.

So the question now is whether to replace the belt, motor, or both?
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Re: Neato XV Lidar problem

Postby glnc222 » January 28th, 2017, 10:58 pm

U.S.west coast belt http://www.ebay.com/itm/Neato-XV-Lidar-O-Ring-Drive-Belt-NEW-Replacement-/272453238322?hash=item3f6f7a7e32:g:xMsAAOSwImRYCEZ~
East coast http://www.ebay.com/itm/Neato-Vacuum-XV-Series-Replacement-LIDAR-O-Ring-belt-New-replacement-parts/152378448382?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D20131003132420%26meid%3De07461f7ed9742548bfba6d6840e7fd4%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D4%26rkt%3D6%26sd%3D272471827697

Belt might stretch over long use? One user replaced the motor only to find the belt was the problem.
Apparently the tachometer is on the lidar not the motor (optical sensor in the drum).
Belt should be 82mm ID Nitrile grade 70, thinnest 1.75mm-2mm (85 OD) if from distributors on line. Cheaper by the bunch?
Last edited by glnc222 on January 30th, 2017, 1:09 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Neato XV Lidar problem

Postby humanoid » January 28th, 2017, 11:52 pm

My belt is 1.7mm thick. Which actually makes the 82mm ID 85mm OD math work better.
I think it may not be the belt, since it does not slip easily if I try to turn the motor by hand and stop the lidar from rotating. This part is under very light load, so I can't imagine is more load than I put myself.

Also noticed that the red wire goes to the plus on the motor. I read everywhere that it is the opposite. Did Neato switch the colors of the wires at some point?
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Re: Neato XV Lidar problem

Postby vic7767 » January 29th, 2017, 12:35 am

humanoid wrote:Also noticed that the red wire goes to the plus on the motor. I read everywhere that it is the opposite. Did Neato switch the colors of the wires at some point?
It's only the after market dc motors that are offered by some sites like mine that have printed the warning about only connecting the black lead to the (+) mark in the motor.
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Re: Neato XV Lidar problem

Postby humanoid » January 29th, 2017, 12:43 am

vic7767 wrote:It's only the after market dc motors that are offered by some sites like mine that have printed the warning about only connecting the black lead to the (+) mark in the motor.

Thanks. So if I get the motor on your site, do I have to connect the red wire to the plus, or to the minus of the aftermarket motor?

Lidar_Motor_Small.jpg
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Re: Neato XV Lidar problem

Postby humanoid » January 29th, 2017, 1:03 am

Another experiment:
Disconnected the belt and let the motor run without any load on Neato Control. The RPM goes up and down in two-three second cycles. It does not stay at steady speed. So now at least I know it's the motor or the electronic control of motor RPM.
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Re: Neato XV Lidar problem

Postby glnc222 » January 29th, 2017, 1:14 am

The polarity just controls the spin direction. If it does not work one way, reverse it, no problem. The Neato Control Program will reveal whether it is working. I have used several parts from Vic over years. Links to other users' work on lidar in the Mods & Repairs index list top of main forum page, lots of pics and tips.
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Re: Neato XV Lidar problem

Postby glnc222 » January 29th, 2017, 1:16 am

The motor may need the mass of the lidar as a flywheel to stabilize the speed. It does not seem to be under feedback control, or it is not exact and takes time to adjust.
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Re: Neato XV Lidar problem

Postby humanoid » January 29th, 2017, 1:56 am

So if I get the motor from Vic with power connector attached, I don't have to worry about polarity, right?
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Re: Neato XV Lidar problem

Postby glnc222 » January 29th, 2017, 3:40 am

Vic may correct me, but I believe the cable to the motor may have a connector for the lidar board but is soldered at the other end to terminals on the motor or spliced to wire leads supplied on the motor (unless it goes separately to the Neato system board -- examine it). You would solder and use a bit of heat shrink tubing or tape over the splice at the motor end. If you do not solder, smallest twist wire nuts in hardware stores could be used (why leads are supplied on the motors). Preserve the original cable with the lidar or system board connector. (You will find several items in the Neato wired this way, with sensor boards soldered to cables, while others have little plugs on the sensor boards as well as the system board end.) As other users have found with replacement motors the black wire had to go to the terminal marked positive on the motor for the proper rotation direction (the original motor appears to be special order for Neato, different part number, which may have different internal connections).

You are going to have to pull the press fit pulley off the original motor and transfer to the new motor shaft. I am not sure whether this requires a special tool. You might be able to get leverage under the pulley with something or just pull with pliers. Ask Vic, expert on such mechanics.
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Re: Neato XV Lidar problem

Postby humanoid » January 29th, 2017, 4:16 am

Interestingly the motor on this XV spins clockwise, while on my other older XV counter clockwise.
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Re: Neato XV Lidar problem

Postby glnc222 » January 29th, 2017, 5:06 am

Is one a Rev113 Cruz system board and the other a Rev64 Binky? (shown over USB if board not available). Botvac's used a Vorwerk lidar with improved, optical data coupling.
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