I returned my Roomba 980 for crazy navigation

The very latest news and updates for the iRobot Roomba robotic vacuum, the Scooba Robotic Washer and the Dirt Dog workshop sweeper. All discussion and troubleshooting questions go here.

I returned my Roomba 980 for crazy navigation

Postby trollstrollr » June 29th, 2018, 3:13 am

I bought my first robotic vacuum, a roomba 980. It was great. As far as cleaning goes it was well worth the money.
The navigation was idiotic. It wasn't A.I. it was intentional inefficiency. It went in and out of each room 3 to 6 time depending on the mode. It took 2.5hrs to do 700sq feet of 1400sq foot house in the econo mode because it had to charge for 90 minutes before it finished the last 5 minutes, and 10hrs in the full power, edges clean, two pass mode. I looked into it and they divide the house up into zones instead of rooms. This seems so senseless. It was driving me insane watching it stop in the middle of the room and travel to the other side of the house to do some little spot then go back and never shutting down the vacuum for the sake of travel.

It's a shame because i love this thing. I have a dog that sheds and i just got divorced and i don't vacuum. It change my life. I'm forced to put things away to keep the floor clear, and it fluffed up my carpet making it look brand new.

What am i missing? I'm a retired electrical engineer so i can understand a technical explanation.

Thanks
trollstrollr
 
Posts: 6
Joined: June 28th, 2018, 5:14 pm

Re: I returned my Roomba 980 for crazy navigation

Postby leonicholson » June 29th, 2018, 9:56 am

That's why we use a couple old 595 Pet Series. Not sophisticated, but simple and dependable. We use two at the same time to better the random factor and our two dog home stays clean.
leonicholson
Robot Groupie
 
Posts: 66
Joined: November 3rd, 2017, 5:25 pm

Re: I returned my Roomba 980 for crazy navigation

Postby Brett » June 29th, 2018, 10:00 am

trollstrollr wrote:... It was driving me insane watching it ...

As I said in your other thread on the subject, don't.
Time flies like an arrow.
Fruit flies like a banana!
User avatar
Brett
Robot Addict
 
Posts: 339
Joined: November 2nd, 2009, 8:50 pm
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: I returned my Roomba 980 for crazy navigation

Postby gregj » July 1st, 2018, 5:33 pm

People who love to micromanage machines amaze me. Did it clean ok, or ware you just not able to accept that machines (and people) do things their own way?
meep
User avatar
gregj
Robot Addict
 
Posts: 175
Joined: November 15th, 2013, 3:57 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: I returned my Roomba 980 for crazy navigation

Postby parallax2 » July 3rd, 2018, 11:25 pm

You are being too picky. I also own a roomba 980 and my house is amazingly clean. I suggest you simply stop watching it.

For a technical explanation - the regions will be used to limit the complexity of the navigation algorithm. You might have a concept of doorways and rooms, but the robot likely does not. It has random shaped "paths" that it can navigate, some of those go though doors and others go behind furniture or under tables.

Between any two different locations there will be one or more "portals" through which the robot can drive. The robot has to ensure that there are no more portals leading to uncleaned house to consider the job done. As the size of your house and the resolution of the navigation increase, issues start to come up about navigation data storage and the time taken to clean the house.

By cleaning the house in regions, the engineers behind the robot can guarantee that the robot only needs to store detailed data about one region in memory at a time. They can limit this region size to say 5x5m and then do exhaustive testing on regions with different shaped obstacles. They can then PROVE that the vacuum can handle all feasible regions. They can also make guarantees that the robot will eventually mark a region complete in a timely manner. This then expands to guarantees that the robot can manage N regions.

Consider regions in a circuit design. You wouldn't merge the power supply circuitry with the circuit consuming the power. You'd choose a boundary, i.e earth, 0v and 5v. But a huge amount of thought has gone into where this boundary should be - the robot isn't smart enough to place the boundary between regions exactly on the walls of your house. So it just makes a "line in the sand" and does the best it can.

Bear in mind the longest path the robot is going to navigate while moving around a region is limited, because the region size itself is limited, so it's not so bad.

I for one appreciate a pragmatic approach that works. Now that you have some insight into why it might be a good idea, I hope you can just enjoy watching your fat little robot friend make your house spotless.
parallax2
 
Posts: 1
Joined: July 3rd, 2018, 11:05 pm

Re: I returned my Roomba 980 for crazy navigation

Postby flat5 » July 5th, 2018, 5:21 pm

To add to some of the excellent explanation thus far...

If you are a technical person, I'd say you can gain a pretty quick appreciation for what the 900's do by writing a simple simulator that takes descriptions of irregularly shaped areas, and try to write an algorithm that covers these general shapes with just forward, back, and turn commands, with no apriori knowledge of anything about the geometry, just the "bumps" when it hits an edge and an approximate estimate of sensed position.

This is a fairly involved technical problem, and doing it robustly and efficiently is not at all a simple endeavor.
flat5
 
Posts: 28
Joined: January 1st, 2010, 1:42 pm

Re: I returned my Roomba 980 for crazy navigation

Postby gregj » July 6th, 2018, 5:54 am

Look at the OP name. Spot the problem. I think this is just an equivalent of a teenager calling a radio and saying "poo".
meep
User avatar
gregj
Robot Addict
 
Posts: 175
Joined: November 15th, 2013, 3:57 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: I returned my Roomba 980 for crazy navigation

Postby trollstrollr » July 10th, 2018, 8:41 pm

I understand what everyone is saying and appreciate the input. As far as the crazy guy goes.

It took 10 hours to do 900sq feet of a 1400sq foot house on the full cleaning mode.
It took 3 hours on the easiest mode.
i have a washing machine room that only has room for two people to stand, and it went in and out of it three times in the easiest mode. Some times it would go there from a distance and then return, the whole time with the vacuum in the full mode traveling over the same spots 5 or 6 times in its travels.

I would have thought that with the camera and the latest technology it could be a little more efficient. I was very surprised to find out that it didn't seem to learn from the first pass. I thought the mapping feature was for that but it seems its only to show you what was cleaned.

Why doesn't it learn from the mapping then vacuum the next time more efficiently?
Not a complaint but a serious question for the technical expert. I'm curious.

I do know the designers have there reasons so i shouldn't have sounded so negative but these are very legitimate complaints and i'm home all day so i can't help but see this, and i don't have ten hours to go somewhere just to have my small house vacuumed. I admit i obsess on things a little more than i should.

Thanks for all the technical help. I understand now. I think my mistake was thinking these things were little geniuses. I guess word "robot" made me picture that. Like all small computers there are limits to there abilities. They clean great.

I actually went back to Best Buy to re-buy it after coming to the conclusion that it must be the number one rated robot vac on the market for a reason, and that i'm just obsessing like i always do, but the price went back up.
I bought it for $699 with two VW's and now it's $799.
Last edited by trollstrollr on July 11th, 2018, 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
trollstrollr
 
Posts: 6
Joined: June 28th, 2018, 5:14 pm

Re: I returned my Roomba 980 for crazy navigation

Postby trollstrollr » July 10th, 2018, 8:55 pm

i have the name trollstrollr because thats my character in World of warcraft. I'm not a troll.

LOL
trollstrollr
 
Posts: 6
Joined: June 28th, 2018, 5:14 pm

Re: I returned my Roomba 980 for crazy navigation

Postby a1robotrepair » July 10th, 2018, 9:28 pm

Lack of memory in the bot for cleaning location memory.
Amazon Prime Day July 16.
Roses are red Violets are blue Poems are hard Flowers and Chocolate
http://www.daycounter.com/Calculators/
a1robotrepair
Robot Master
 
Posts: 930
Joined: October 14th, 2013, 8:40 am

Re: I returned my Roomba 980 for crazy navigation

Postby jdong » July 11th, 2018, 2:54 pm

Having run to run mapping would also mean now it has to be able to detect whether or not it’s still cleaning the same house. There’s not really an advantage of persistent memory. It needs to be able to navigate a house the first time and every me after that.
jdong
Robot Addict
 
Posts: 278
Joined: April 10th, 2015, 11:24 pm

Re: I returned my Roomba 980 for crazy navigation

Postby ps0001 » July 11th, 2018, 3:53 pm

jdong wrote:Having run to run mapping would also mean now it has to be able to detect whether or not it’s still cleaning the same house. There’s not really an advantage of persistent memory. It needs to be able to navigate a house the first time and every me after that.

I respectfully disagree. I think persistent memory would be tremendously useful.

The one killer feature I think the 900 series is lacking is the ability to clean specific rooms or areas. I don't have a 9xx (yet), but I use my "dumb" 5xx Roomba to clean my house in sections: the high traffic living spaces and kitchen every day, the bedrooms every other day, and the low traffic living spaces once or twice a week.

There isn't really a time of day when everyone is out of the house, so I also stagger the start times; e.g. the bedrooms get cleaned during the day, and the living spaces and kitchen get cleaned after bedtime.

There's nothing I want more than to schedule cleanings on a room by room basis. Okay, that's a bit hyperbolic, but I think it would be pretty cool. Plus, I use an Amazon Echo to control a lot of other aspects of my home, so I'd also really love to be able to shout "Alexa, tell Roomba to clean the master bedroom!"

I read some news articles and press releases about this a couple of years ago. It seemed like iRobot was working on a feature that would be able to automatically determine which areas of your floorplan represent different rooms. I assume they were doing that so you could give each room a label and schedule cleanings separately. And, why not? I'm certain the 9xx hardware is capable of it. Sadly, I haven't seen any mention of it anywhere. I sure hope it's still in the works.
ps0001
 
Posts: 14
Joined: December 5th, 2017, 4:25 pm

Re: I returned my Roomba 980 for crazy navigation

Postby jdong » July 12th, 2018, 3:05 pm

I don’t think we are disagreeing. I agree there are some interesting and useful use cases for having a persistent map. Cleaning specific rooms as you mentioned, but also having memory of obstacles it couldn’t surmount, or app-based No Go areas, etc.

I was just saying that it should not be the solution to more “efficient” cleaning patterns.
jdong
Robot Addict
 
Posts: 278
Joined: April 10th, 2015, 11:24 pm

Re: I returned my Roomba 980 for crazy navigation

Postby ps0001 » July 12th, 2018, 4:50 pm

jdong wrote:I don’t think we are disagreeing. I agree there are some interesting and useful use cases for having a persistent map. Cleaning specific rooms as you mentioned, but also having memory of obstacles it couldn’t surmount, or app-based No Go areas, etc.

I was just saying that it should not be the solution to more “efficient” cleaning patterns.

Ah, yes, I understand what you were saying now. We're on the same page!
ps0001
 
Posts: 14
Joined: December 5th, 2017, 4:25 pm


Return to iRobot Roomba and Scooba Chat

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: BCCISProf, mfortuna, vic7767 and 387 guests