980 hack to input a virtual boundary?

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980 hack to input a virtual boundary?

Postby mgg » June 5th, 2017, 7:54 pm

I'm working on an art project that requires hacking three Roomba's to vacuum a defined shape in large open space. From everything I've read only the virtual mapping in the 980 seems to promise the possibility of defining an invisible boundary that the roomba will not cross. Would here be a way that earlier models could be hacked to accurately follow a defined path? I read a idea posted a while back about modifying to detect UV-sensitive light as a simple way of creating a virtual boundary viewtopic.php?t=5983

This is well beyond my ability. I'd appreciate any input on how to approach this, maybe someone even wants some work to help me on this? Many thanks

Mike
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Re: 980 hack to input a virtual boundary?

Postby vic7767 » June 5th, 2017, 8:34 pm

The iRobot firmware is proprietary and attempts to modify it can lead to possible legal action. You can use 3rd party hardware to connect to the SCI port and send different commands to turn on the drive motors and travel distances you define as well as wheel direction, speed, etc. All the Roomba commands are documented in the iRobot Roomba Open Interface document as well as the iRobot Create 2 documentation.
Roomba and Neato Mods, come visit: http://www.vic7767.com/

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Re: 980 hack to input a virtual boundary?

Postby glnc222 » June 6th, 2017, 1:14 pm

Black painted boundary? Magnetic strip boundary? Guide wires in the floor? Cheaper random nav robots or specifically Roomba? Any sort of additional boundary detector can be interfaced to the robot's cliff sensor circuits.
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Re: 980 hack to input a virtual boundary?

Postby mgg » June 6th, 2017, 5:27 pm

The boundary needs to be invisible to the human eye and the floor is concrete so can't really embed anything in the flooring. It should be specifically Roomba that looks unmodified but can be an older model. The idea is that it can vacuum multiple solid shapes and leave the rest of the floor un-vacuumed.

I wonder if Roomba commands (3rd party hardware) are used to command the drive motors to follow a specified path, then as the path is repeated over and over again it won't be able to exactly replicate it's previous path? Aka get a blurry edge to the shape?
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Re: 980 hack to input a virtual boundary?

Postby glnc222 » June 6th, 2017, 6:28 pm

Is this a cleaning operation or some sort of display? The UV paint idea would require a sensitive visible spectrum sensor for the fluorescence, probably a camera -- not my specialty. IR sensors would have to be tested on the light. There is a camera at Sparkfun. An Arduino or other micro controller would operate it. Is there room to mount it? One visible light phototransistor I played with was not very sensitive. However, any sensor could easily be interfaced to cliff sensors for boundary response by the robot (circuits posted in Neato forum projects if interested, Optical Boundary Marking thread; the cliff sensors are similar IR proximity sensor standard parts in all the brands, just output a voltage varied with distance sensed).
Otherwise the robot would need to be independently programmed, for a specific motion pattern, or controlled through some WiFi connection with any system for that in the robot already. Lot of programming.
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