Roomba 980 error 17

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Roomba 980 error 17

Postby Transammatt » March 13th, 2017, 12:09 pm

Love my roomba but the error 17 is killing me.
Roomba will clean for up to two hours it's almost done and returns to base for more juice.
After the recharge it goes back out and within 20-30 min I get the error 17 message.
Anyone having this problem with there 960-980?
I'm thinking with my kids and wife opening and closing the doors it may be confusing the robot?
Maybe at night there is not enough light?
What do you guys think.
Irobot not to concerned that there is a problem. But told me they may send me a new one if it keeps happening.
Thanks
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Re: Roomba 980 error 17

Postby vic7767 » March 13th, 2017, 12:26 pm

So, is your 980 cleaning only in the dark? at night? Does the err 17 occur in daylight?
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Re: Roomba 980 error 17

Postby Transammatt » March 13th, 2017, 12:53 pm

Yes after dark, I do have some lights on. I read somewhere on here that night light would be enough light so see?
I will run after I go to bed with lights on and see what happens.
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Re: Roomba 980 error 17

Postby vic7767 » March 13th, 2017, 1:02 pm

That is my understanding also. The 980 and 960 should also work in total darkness but without VSLAM enabled. Defaults to earlier Roomba AWARE program. I'm not sure what err 17 actually is associated with. Movement, mechanical, battery ?
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Re: Roomba 980 error 17

Postby Transammatt » March 13th, 2017, 5:13 pm

If Roomba says “Error 17. Please open the iRobot App for help,” it means Roomba cannot complete its cleaning job. Ensure the following:

Ensure there were no changes to the environment during the cleaning cycle (i.e. closed door, moved furniture).

It is possible for Roomba to drive over transitions, such as doorway thresholds, that it cannot drive over again to leave the area. In this case, you may need to use Dual Mode Virtual Wall® Barriers to section off these areas to clean.

Ensure the house has adequate light (daylight or dim lighting is sufficient) for Roomba to navigate. Extremely dark rooms could obscure the iAdapt® localization camera and cause problems with navigation and coverage.

Excessive clutter could contribute to this error. Clear cluttered areas or use Dual Mode Virtual Wall® Barriers to block off problem areas.

Ensure the camera is clear of any dust or debris. Wipe the clear window on the top surface using a microfiber or soft cotton cloth that has been lightly dampened with water or a screen cleaning solution.
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Re: Roomba 980 error 17

Postby opres » October 2nd, 2017, 5:16 pm

I would like to ask you how did you solve your problem as I'm having the similar one.
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Re: Roomba 980 error 17

Postby Weloveourroomba » October 20th, 2017, 1:29 pm

I am having the same problem.
Roomba is clean, cleaned up most of the apartment in the daylight.
Before returning to the base, like one meter in front of the base it will stop and
have the error 17. It’s very annoying.

Does anyone know how to solve this problem?
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Re: Roomba 980 error 17

Postby G-Man71 » November 16th, 2017, 6:11 pm

I have this problem a lot with my Roomba 980. It’ll head back to the charging base and then it’ll stop about 3 or 4 feet from the base and give me an error 17. It doesn’t do this every time, but enough to make it annoying. I’ll probably try to contact iRobot to see if they have any suggestions.
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Re: Roomba 980 error 17

Postby Tjfortuna » December 15th, 2017, 3:05 pm

Yes I’m having the same problem.
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Re: Roomba 980 error 17

Postby RonJ103 » January 10th, 2018, 2:16 pm

I just experienced this issue as well. The roomba was sitting a few feet from the dock. Just sitting there for no reason saying "Error 17". Once it was instructed to go to the home dock, it did so without any issues.
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Re: Roomba 980 error 17

Postby DakotaFox » January 16th, 2018, 10:29 am

I get error 17 often too, 3 or 4 times a week. My 980 will get 1 to 4 feet from the base and stop and announce 17. Sometimes it is in the middle of a cleaning job, in the middle of the floor and stops and announces error 17.
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Re: Roomba 980 error 17

Postby jbaugh » April 11th, 2019, 1:30 pm

Has anyone found a solution to this error 17 problem. My Roomba 980 exhibits the same behavior. I replaced the battery with a new one. This did not help. Roomba stops 2-3 feet from home base completely discharged.
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Re: Roomba 980 error 17

Postby RTC » April 11th, 2019, 2:58 pm

I do not recall getting any error 17s in the more than 2 years that I have had my 980. But when I get any "Please open the iRobot App for help" errors all I can do is follow the printed instructions in the manual as I cannot operate a smartphone, so I do not have the App to open for help.

I have had a few times (early on) when the 980 had gotten into a dark room at night and I found it just spinning round and round. No error was reported and turning on a light in the room stopped the spinning and it continued the cycle with no further problems. I now make sure lights are on in all rooms when it cleans at night.

I did find by accident that plugging the Home Base into a UPS causes all sorts of strange often intermittent problems. Including failure to find the Home Base! Always plug either directly into the wall outlet or a surge suppressor, never a UPS or any other type of "power converter"! The manual, in the battery section (I think it s/b in the Home Base section) warns that plugging into a power converter can cause damage to the unit and will void the warranty!
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Re: Roomba 980 error 17

Postby George Jetson » May 18th, 2019, 4:49 pm

More info:

Photo May 18, 1 41 20 PM.png

If I remember correctly, incandescent light bulbs emit quite a bit of IR. I know it was recommended to not position the 5XX/6XX/7XX series Home Bases in close proximity to light fixtures with incandescent bulbs...but haven't seen that warning with the 8XX/9XX bots.
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Re: Roomba 980 error 17

Postby RTC » May 18th, 2019, 7:46 pm

George Jetson wrote:If I remember correctly, incandescent light bulbs emit quite a bit of IR.


While incandescent lights emit far more IR than visible light, it is constant unmodulated IR. The Roomba's sensors look for modulated IR, not unmodulated IR. They should not be significantly disturbed by incandescent lighting, unless the IR emissions are intense enough to saturate the sensors effectively blinding them temporarily.
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Re: Roomba 980 error 17

Postby George Jetson » May 25th, 2019, 6:11 pm

I don't understand the physics of it as well as you obviously do RTC, but that makes sense. All I know is that early-on in my Roomba ownership experience, the 560 wouldn't dock. It was either iRobot CS or someone from this forum that made me aware of the IR issue. My Homebase was located right next to a floor lantern with three 100w incandescent bulbs. Once I moved the Homebase away from the light fixture the problem went away :confusion-shrug:
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Re: Roomba 980 error 17

Postby RTC » May 25th, 2019, 10:12 pm

George Jetson wrote:I don't understand the physics of it as well as you obviously do RTC, but that makes sense.
...
My Homebase was located right next to a floor lantern with three 100w incandescent bulbs. Once I moved the Homebase away from the light fixture the problem went away :confusion-shrug:


Of the electric energy put into an incandescent bulb 80% to 90% comes out as heat with maybe 1/3rd of that IR radiation and the other 2/3rds heats the air and is carried off by convection (less than 1% of the heat is conducted away through the metal fixture). The remaining 20% to 10% of the electric energy put in comes out as visible light radiation (with less than 1% of that as UV radiation). This is due to the shape and location on the spectrum of the "black body curve" of an object at the temperature of the lightbulb's filament.

Hmm, yes it could be possible for three 100W bulbs to blind the Roomba's sensor so that it cannot detect the Homebase's modulated IR signal. That would produce ~85W of constant IR radiation (~29W per bulb) and iRobot probably used sensors that saturated above perhaps 50W produced at typical lamp heights. A good margin of safety, but still easy to exceed in multiple lamp fixtures.

I use either CFL or LED lamps in most fixtures. For these of the electric energy put in less than 5% comes out as heat and the remaining more than 95% comes out as visible light (the CFLs do emit a few percent as UV radiation). Neither can saturate a Roomba's IR sensors and they are much less expensive to operate.

P.S. My degree was in Electronics Engineering Technology.

P.P.S. Yes I know energy is measured in watt*hours or kilowatt*hours not watts (which is power), but it makes the explanation above simpler to follow when everything is in the same units. The difference is just a multiplication by time of operation of the lights.
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Re: Roomba 980 error 17

Postby leonicholson » May 25th, 2019, 11:24 pm

I use either CFL or LED lamps and the only problems I've had with our 980 was in dim light.
So long as I run it during a sunny day, never a hiccup.
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Re: Roomba 980 error 17

Postby RTC » May 26th, 2019, 3:05 am

leonicholson wrote:I use either CFL or LED lamps and the only problems I've had with our 980 was in dim light.
So long as I run it during a sunny day, never a hiccup.

Yes, below a certain level of ambient visible lighting the camera is unable to identify "landmarks" and the 980 becomes disoriented or lost. Always keep some lights on if running it at night.
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