I have a couple tough questions for you---they regard running
Roomba-Discovery's built-in self-tests.
Starting a few months ago, owners that had their robots quit working
properly, and, after having done everything they could think of to fix
it themselves, ultimately called iRobot's Customer Support phone number
to see what could be done about the duff unit, were told by the CS-Rep
that their floor-cleaner's warranty was null & void, simply because the
customer had admitted s/he ran the built-in tests as part of their
Is it iRobot's current policy to nullify a floor-cleaner's warranty when
the owner performs the set of factory self-test?
If it is, what is the technical basis for that?
And, last, would you please reference documentation which makes that
Thank you very much.
Customer Support wrote:Hello Gordon,
Good question...Good timing.
The BiT (Built in test) is not designed for use by anybody other
than trained iRobot employees for the purpose of diagnostics.
It has never been advertised, approved or suggested to customers by
iRobot. It is generally suggested by people on discussion boards and
sometimes it is suggested to people that should be contacting
Technical Support rather than try to determine the issue themselves.
When the BiT is performed on a robot, it shuts off all fail safes
that the robot has (ie: cliff sensors) as well as the ability to
protect motors from over current.
If not done properly, the BiT can open the possibility of damage to
the robot as well as other things within its environment. It may be
considered a Factory Test, but it's only available to the public
because a user figured it out and it has since been passed around
the internet...This does not make it OK for owners to perform this
Since iRobot does not recommend this in any documentation, it is
clearly covered in our warranty under several instances, but is best
described as "applications and uses for which this product was not
As for why we would do this...
If a customer is within their warranty and they encounter a problem,
they should always contact Technical Support first. Only measures
that iRobot gives to the customer should be performed by the
If a customer has a circle dance issue and it's easily fixed by an
OSMO but the customer chooses to do the BiT first, they run the risk
of over current to the motor in the wheel module that is
experiencing the encoder issue and because of this it would render
the robot inoperable. However, we would not know that because the
wheel resistance would not change.
iRobot would then send the customer an OSMO which would not fix the
problem and we would have to then send the customer a replacement
robot because of this. This practice would put additional expense on
iRobot and delay the customer's overall correction of the problem
because of the test that they decided to perform before calling
Why do you bring this up at a good time?
iRobot has changed the policy on the BiT for customers that are in
If you are in warranty and you experience a failure the first thing
should ALWAYS be to contact Technical Support at
www.irobot.com/support. However, if you experienced the failure
first and then use the BiT to help determine the issue, you will
still be in warranty as long as you contact Technical Support to
take the next step in correcting it.
If you are in warranty and choose to use the BiT without having
experienced a failure or issue with the robot, the warranty on the
robot will be void.
I hope this clears up the reasoning behind our initial policy on
this matter and how going forward we will still continue to enforce
it to some degree.
pcharouz wrote:Did anybody try it with the sheduler?
Rogue4 wrote:I went ahead and entered into the diagnostic mode on my Roomba Discovery, and sure enough, the first test told me exactly what I was thinking. My right bumper, the side with the spinning brush, was showing up as being struck (even when it wasn't). I removed the four screws that held on the bumper cover, popped off the cover, and I quickly discovered the culprit. The right bumper spring arm mechanism was COMPLETELY covered in dust. I removed the dust by hand, gave it a quick burst of air, and turned the unit over to find that the right bumper was no longer showing up as being struck! YES!
So long story short: buildup along the right bumper, which is common since the spinning brush is on that side, caused a malfunction in the spring arm for the right side of the bumper, so the unit constantly thought that the right bumper was being struck, hence the circles. Once the dust was removed, the unit worked perfectly!
Thank you so much for posting these diagnostics!
drivingblind1 wrote:I used a small leaf blower to blow out dust and junk off the bumper sensors. This cured the death spiral in my 400 series.
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