snow melting robot

Inside the Roomba and Scooba and more, Cool mods, Repair and Upgrades - including the all new iRobot Create Kit. Let's void that warranty baby!

snow melting robot

Postby roboroomba » July 13th, 2011, 5:38 pm

Last winter I made remote control snow melting robot by taking a flat piece of metal I found that's about 1 foot wide and 5 inches long and nice and thin. I took a Peltier cooler (one side gets hot the other gets cold) I got from an old car cold box and attached it (the hot side) to the top of the metal plate with thermal past so that when I powered on the cooler it heated up the plate. I then took the plate and bolted it on to the bottom of a RC truck so that the plate was about 1cm above the ground. I then attached the cooler to an switch and a nine volt battery.

this worked really well and I am thinking about trying to make a larger version that could possibly be sold. I was also thinking that It could be made so it would have a camera on it and a larger range so that you could control it from your house instead of having to be no more than 6 feet away from it.


I am wondering if any one else would be interested in the project, and how many people would buy something like this.
roomba 510, roomba 440, roomba 550 (parts bot), roomba red (programing robot)
User avatar
roboroomba
Robot Addict
 
Posts: 463
Joined: October 10th, 2010, 10:14 am

Re: snow melting robot

Postby bhylak » July 13th, 2011, 8:50 pm

I'd be interested in helping with something like this. It's cool, but I think it'd be better to get it autonomous.
Ben

Homemade Telepresence Robot:
http://mayarover.blogspot.com/
http://www.instructables.com/id/MAYA-Te ... nce-Rover/

There are only 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don't
User avatar
bhylak
Robot Addict
 
Posts: 1637
Joined: October 17th, 2009, 7:30 pm

Re: snow melting robot

Postby roboroomba » July 14th, 2011, 4:28 pm

it would be cool to make it autonomous but sine you would probably use it to clear snow and ice from your sidewalk and driveway and maybe a patio, I just don't know how you would make it know to just do that. I am not good with the programming and electronics so If I end up doing this project I would like someone else to be in charge of that. I can design the mechanics and body of it. I have some CAD programs on my computer . Also is there any one here that has or has access to a CNC mill?
roomba 510, roomba 440, roomba 550 (parts bot), roomba red (programing robot)
User avatar
roboroomba
Robot Addict
 
Posts: 463
Joined: October 10th, 2010, 10:14 am

Re: snow melting robot

Postby bhylak » July 14th, 2011, 6:21 pm

me. :)
Ben

Homemade Telepresence Robot:
http://mayarover.blogspot.com/
http://www.instructables.com/id/MAYA-Te ... nce-Rover/

There are only 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don't
User avatar
bhylak
Robot Addict
 
Posts: 1637
Joined: October 17th, 2009, 7:30 pm

Re: snow melting robot

Postby Fraggboy » August 3rd, 2011, 10:23 am

The main drawback of Peltiers is their power requirements. In your invention you might want to have 2 separate batteries on-board. 1 to power the Peltier itself, and the other to power the on-board electronics/motors/etc.

Also, once you melt the snow, it turns to water, drops to the ground and then would freeze back up. You might want to use spiked treads for traction. It would still be a fun project. ;)

Have fun and keep us updated!
Chris

:confusion-shrug:
Website Question? Check out the FAQ section.
Roomba/Scooba Question? Check out the READ FIRST section.
:text-search:
Before posting, check out the improved Search engine. Your question might have been answered already.
User avatar
Fraggboy
Robot Master
 
Posts: 3601
Joined: March 2nd, 2007, 4:13 pm
Location: In the USA

Re: snow melting robot

Postby roboroomba » August 4th, 2011, 5:46 pm

it could have a squeegee and a vacuum to suck the water into a tank
roomba 510, roomba 440, roomba 550 (parts bot), roomba red (programing robot)
User avatar
roboroomba
Robot Addict
 
Posts: 463
Joined: October 10th, 2010, 10:14 am

Re: snow melting robot

Postby Fraggboy » August 4th, 2011, 6:23 pm

Kind of like a Scooba, sure. But, then you would need to insulate the tubes/tank so they wouldn't freeze back up.

Just random thoughts. I'm not trying to discourage you. I'm very intrigued to see a prototype of how this robot would look/function.
Chris

:confusion-shrug:
Website Question? Check out the FAQ section.
Roomba/Scooba Question? Check out the READ FIRST section.
:text-search:
Before posting, check out the improved Search engine. Your question might have been answered already.
User avatar
Fraggboy
Robot Master
 
Posts: 3601
Joined: March 2nd, 2007, 4:13 pm
Location: In the USA

Re: snow melting robot

Postby vic7767 » August 4th, 2011, 6:48 pm

Another application for that lefover anti-freeze in the big bottle.
Roomba and Neato Mods, come visit: http://www.vic7767.com/

http://www.Robot-Doc.com/
User avatar
vic7767
Robot Master
 
Posts: 11713
Joined: January 14th, 2006, 8:31 pm
Location: Haughton Louisiana - USA

Re: snow melting robot

Postby bhylak » August 4th, 2011, 7:45 pm

I think a plow would be a better idea. It could map out the edges (Maybe with something like virtual walls..) so it can push it to the edges.
Ben

Homemade Telepresence Robot:
http://mayarover.blogspot.com/
http://www.instructables.com/id/MAYA-Te ... nce-Rover/

There are only 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don't
User avatar
bhylak
Robot Addict
 
Posts: 1637
Joined: October 17th, 2009, 7:30 pm

Re: snow melting robot

Postby cadcoke4 » August 21st, 2011, 1:34 am

As a person who is now on crutches, and will probably be using them through the entire winter, I would personally be very interested in such a device. Here are a few thoughts;

#1; I have tried an A.C. powered electric snow thrower, and found it to be woefully underpowered for dealing with the hardened compressed snow that the snow plow puts onto my side walk and driveway. Melting might still be an option, but would require a great deal of energy.

First, someone should check my work here. It has been quite a while since I had physics, and of course, it was all metric. For some reason they think the US students only should learn how to do engineering in other countries. Anyway, My book says It takes 334 Joules to melt 1 gram of ice. In standard US units, this is 3.17 BTU per Ounce. Or, with battery power in mind, 157.83 Watts for one Minute will melt one Ounce. Note that the ice will probably be below freezing, and you probably want to take it a bit above freezing, and that will take extra power. Your peltier junction will reduce power needs a bit, but I doubt it will help much.

Any battery operated device will probably not be sufficient. Propane might be a viable source for heat instead of the peltier junction. Be sure to calculate the energy you need to melt the quantity of snow you imagine you want to handle.

And even if you have enough power to melt the snow, you will still need to regularly dump the melted water somewhere. With that in mind, why bother to melt the snow at all. Just transport it while it is still frozen. So, I think the melting approach should really be abandoned.

#2; I imagine a fairly low power robot using a any method other than melting, could easily with fresh fallen snow, as long as you get to it before it gets too deep. (I.e. pick up small amounts with a front-end loader arrangement, or a snow blower.)

#3; Any robot expecting to go over ice and snow will have to be constantly navigating by something other than odometry. There is going to be WAY to much slippage for odometry to be useful.

Joe Dunfee
Last edited by cadcoke4 on August 21st, 2011, 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Joe Dunfee
cadcoke4
Robot Addict
 
Posts: 111
Joined: October 8th, 2006, 12:14 am

Re: snow melting robot

Postby bhylak » August 21st, 2011, 7:36 pm

How about adding wheel chair motors to a snow blower? (Because we can 100% trust a robot with spinning blades)

Ben
Ben

Homemade Telepresence Robot:
http://mayarover.blogspot.com/
http://www.instructables.com/id/MAYA-Te ... nce-Rover/

There are only 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don't
User avatar
bhylak
Robot Addict
 
Posts: 1637
Joined: October 17th, 2009, 7:30 pm

Re: snow melting robot

Postby cadcoke4 » August 21st, 2011, 8:55 pm

I came across some youtube videos of people using propane flame throwers to melt snow. Actually, I was imagining that the propane would heat some sort of metal plate that would press against the snow. Somehow giving a robot a flame thrower just doesn't seem appropriate.

Anyway, I found the energy in Propane. It has 22,000 BTU's per pound. So, one pound would melt 433 lbs of snow. Which seems WAY too much. I must be wrong in my calculations somewhere. Perhaps I am imagining the way that much of the heat from a gas stove just rises into the air without heating the item in a pan and is wasted..
Joe Dunfee
cadcoke4
Robot Addict
 
Posts: 111
Joined: October 8th, 2006, 12:14 am


Return to Robotic Hacking

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Fraggboy, neato and 291 guests