Robot snow shovel

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Robot snow shovel

Postby james » January 28th, 2009, 1:53 am

Finally a robotic snow shovel!

I-Shovel is the world's first and only Autonomous Robotic Snow Shovel. With its patent pending technology, I-Shovel keeps your drive way snow free and ready, so while your neighbors are shoveling their drive ways, you can be on your way.

I-Shovel automatically detects the snow accumulation and cleans the drive way automatically. It has a built in computer to control the shoveling process and various sensors to figure out the perimeter. Unlike snow throwers that are usually used to clean snow after the storm, I-Shovel is designed to wake up and shovel snow when ever it senses reasonable accumulation of snow. This concept makes it possible to devise a shoveling mechanism with relatively low power consumption and no dangerous moving parts, enabling it to operate unattended. This is a convenience that was only available so far with heated drive ways which are much more expensive to own and operate.


Check out http://www.i-shovel.com

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Re: Robot snow shovel

Postby Fraggboy » January 28th, 2009, 7:10 am

Interesting find. I watched the video. There are a few things that come to mind that would hinder the sales for a few people.


1) It moves relatively slow, so when it gets to the end of the driveway, there will be snow accumulated by the house again, thus having the robot re-shovel the snow.

2) What if a person/child/pet gets in the way of the shovel? How does it know to stop for them? Granted there are sensors they said that when it's overloaded it will stop.

3) Cost? They claim when it's in production, that it will be cheap. How cheap?

4) What about freezing rain? In some places it could quickly freeze up a driveway in a matter of seconds. How does it perform on Ice, with a load of snow it's trying to shovel to the side? What does it do? Just stop and turn around? Stop? ??
Chris

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Re: Robot snow shovel

Postby SE_machine » January 28th, 2009, 11:15 am

That's neat. I was wondering when someone would do this. The technology has been there for years (Roomba has been out for what, seven years now? Correct me if I'm wrong). I had an idea of doing this last year with an old Roomba Disco, but I didn't know of a way to remotely control from 150 feet away. BTW, robot modifiers, if you don't want to wait around for this to hit the market, you can create your own with an old Roomba Disco or Create (if you use a Roomba, be sure to remove the cleaning head, side brush, and dust bin and that it has the right firmware for Rootooth drive) Swap out the regular drive tires with high traction tires. Add on the shovel attachment, which will have to be custom made. Find a Rootooth, a Bluetooth transmitter for your computer if you need one, maybe an actuator or servo to lift the shovel so that the robot can use a home base to charge, Roomba Status software, which can be found here: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=6941&hilit= , and if the back of the Roomba tends to lift up, you may either remove the springs on the drive tires or add weight to the back of the Roomba. Covering the Roomba's body with thin plastic covering would provide snow and rain protection (where I live, it can rain while there is snow on the ground).
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- A used Scooba 5900 as a Christmas gift to my Mom. Fixed with TV remote IRED, OSMO soon.
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Re: Robot snow shovel

Postby Fraggboy » January 29th, 2009, 3:26 am

Tim,

The only issues I see by using a Roomba, or a Create is weight, and pysical size. One would have to add substancial weight to the drive wheels to get some sort of traction on the snow/ice, plus counter-balance the shovel, and depending on the bucket size it would take a long time to clear a driveway.
Chris

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Re: Robot snow shovel

Postby SE_machine » January 29th, 2009, 6:43 pm

I know about the weight issue, but the I-Shovel (without the shovel on) and Roomba seem to be close to the same size (except for height). For the shovel on the Roomba, I'd use the same one that the I-Shovel uses. I'm still trying to figure out the lift device for the shovel on my idea, because the actuator used on the I-Shovel is slow. The main problem I'm facing is that the Roomba has no component that has bi-directional electricity to it for power raise and lower on the shovel.
Tim - 3 unmodified Disco SE's since 2005
- Roomba 570 with DIY Rootooth (BlueSmirf Silver) and "Roomba Touch Drive" Android App.
- A used Scooba 5900 as a Christmas gift to my Mom. Fixed with TV remote IRED, OSMO soon.
****- 500 series' owners, Check out my poll at viewtopic.php?f=3&t=11144&start=0&view=viewpoll
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