Roomba 535: Will it work with old Virtual Walls?

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Roomba 535: Will it work with old Virtual Walls?

Postby My Roomba is Rambo » August 23rd, 2007, 1:26 pm

Just ordered the new 535 from HSN (Thanks Geek Granny=Alice!) Will it work with my old collection of virtual walls?
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Postby THX-1138 » August 23rd, 2007, 1:30 pm

Most likely they will but the 'light house' function will not. :wink:
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Postby geekgranny » August 23rd, 2007, 2:39 pm

THX-1138 wrote:Most likely they will but the 'light house' function will not. :wink:


To further explain.... the old VWs don't have Lighthouse capability although the 535 Roomba does. So all the old VWs will do is contain the Roomba but not guide it. The Lighthouse VW allows you to use it either in "containment" or "guidance" mode via a switch on the VW.

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Postby My Roomba is Rambo » August 23rd, 2007, 4:58 pm

Thanks you two. Can't wait to see the new bot...Think I'll call her "Snow White"
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Postby geekgranny » August 24th, 2007, 11:48 am

Yeah, I may just have to name these. Scoobas are the only ones with names.

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Discovery virtual walls are Incompatible with 500 series

Postby bjv » August 24th, 2007, 2:13 pm

I just received an email reply from irobot re compatibility of 535 and "old" virtual walls:

"The virtual walls from the Discovery Series are not compatible with the new 500 Series Robots. However, there are new virtual walls called Virtual Wall Lighthouses?, which will improve the Roomba's efficiency of cleaning multiple rooms in one cycle. "

I am now on the phone with a technical rep who confirms that the old virtual walls (I have about 8 from my old roombas and replacements) ARE USELESS with the 500 series robots. It is totally different technology -- wireless vs. infrared. This is very disappointing since I just purchased a 535 yesterday and it has only one lighthouse virtual wall. I have rooms with multiple openings into each other, and usually only want to clean one room at a time.

Any suggestions?
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Postby seahorsejl » August 24th, 2007, 2:38 pm

Hmm.. from my reading though, the RF wireless only seems to be for the lighthouse feature which allows the Roomba to go from room-to-room. But just to block a pathway you never want the Roomba to go into, I can't see why the old VW's wouldn't work. Unless the new Roomba's are a different height...

I think you need the forum operator here to give us a definitive answer on this, as he has a new 500 series already.....
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Re: Discovery virtual walls are Incompatible with 500 series

Postby robotreviews » August 24th, 2007, 2:47 pm

bjv wrote:I just received an email reply from irobot re compatibility of 535 and "old" virtual walls:

"The virtual walls from the Discovery Series are not compatible with the new 500 Series Robots. However, there are new virtual walls called Virtual Wall Lighthouses?, which will improve the Roomba's efficiency of cleaning multiple rooms in one cycle. "

I am now on the phone with a technical rep who confirms that the old virtual walls (I have about 8 from my old roombas and replacements) ARE USELESS with the 500 series robots. It is totally different technology -- wireless vs. infrared. This is very disappointing since I just purchased a 535 yesterday and it has only one lighthouse virtual wall. I have rooms with multiple openings into each other, and usually only want to clean one room at a time.

Any suggestions?


Unfortunately, the people that you spoke with are mistaken. The new models ABSOLUTELY work with the old virtual walls. (Edit: see post below, they work, but not always as expected.) I can confirm that the old model Roombas WILL NOT work with the new virtual walls though. They pass right through them.

I will try to make up a quick video clip to settle this for you once and for all.

Regards,
Craig
Last edited by robotreviews on August 24th, 2007, 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby robotreviews » August 24th, 2007, 3:02 pm

Ok, a quick update. The old virtual walls will definitely block the new model, but it would seem that they aren't very compatible with the new models.

The Roomba 560 will AVOID AN OLD VIRTUAL WALL LIKE THE PLAGUE.

It won't go anywhere near it, regardless of where the beam is pointing. So while it can be used to block certain ares, it does NOT function correctly.
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Postby scooterboy » August 27th, 2007, 10:58 am

roombareview wrote:Ok, a quick update. The old virtual walls will definitely block the new model, but it would seem that they aren't very compatible with the new models.

The Roomba 560 will AVOID AN OLD VIRTUAL WALL LIKE THE PLAGUE.

It won't go anywhere near it, regardless of where the beam is pointing. So while it can be used to block certain ares, it does NOT function correctly.

This is very, very bad news.

I'm not sure the lighthouses will let me schedule rooms to be cleaned like I currently do with my scheduler walls. I was counting on the older walls still being usable with the new 560.

Very disappointing.
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Postby scooterboy » August 27th, 2007, 11:31 am

roombareview wrote:The Roomba 560 will AVOID AN OLD VIRTUAL WALL LIKE THE PLAGUE.

It won't go anywhere near it, regardless of where the beam is pointing. So while it can be used to block certain ares, it does NOT function correctly.

Can I get a clarification? What exactly does "anywhere near it" mean? 1 foot? 5 feet? 10?
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Postby robotreviews » August 27th, 2007, 1:51 pm

It varies depending upon the model of virtual wall that you have, but it appears to be anywhere from 1 to 3 feet.

It would seem that if you really wanted to use your old virtual walls, you could probably get them to work in a satisfactory manner by simply blocking the beam from the back and the sides, possibly with some creative tape placement over the IR emitter on the virtual wall.

Keep in mind that the new virtual walls will work much better with scheduling either way. Whereas you need to program a schedule into the older virtual walls, the new virtual walls all activate automatically whenever a 500 series Roomba starts cleaning.

Regards,
Craig
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Postby scooterboy » August 27th, 2007, 2:25 pm

roombareview wrote:Keep in mind that the new virtual walls will work much better with scheduling either way.

If I understand the new walls correctly, they will only work better if I have my current roomba following the same pattern everyday, which isn't the case.

I currently have roomba clean 4 rooms for me, one room each day. Each day, only some of my virtual walls will turn on, which leads roomba to start in a diffferent room depending on the day of the week.

Whereas you need to program a schedule into the older virtual walls, the new virtual walls all activate automatically whenever a 500 series Roomba starts cleaning.

This leads me to believe that roomba will follow the same pattern everyday with the new lighthouse towers. It will always start in the same room, go to the same next room, etc. I suspect that even with a longer battery life, the fourth room will often get short-changed. Maybe I'm wrong.

But the fact remains that not being able to program the lighthouse towers individually takes away some of the control I currently have over roomba's patterns.
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Postby robotreviews » August 27th, 2007, 3:04 pm

scooterboy wrote:I currently have roomba clean 4 rooms for me, one room each day. Each day, only some of my virtual walls will turn on, which leads roomba to start in a different room depending on the day of the week.


Wow, that's a very clever system you have there. :)

In your particular case, I would agree that you would probably prefer to use your old scheduling virtual walls. I have no doubt that you would be able to adapt them to work properly with the new model, it really is a question of simply focusing the beam more precisely, but since it is infrared, it is very easy to block the signal wherever you don't want it to 'leak'.

For the vast majority of people, I would think that the new system would work better though.
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Postby scooterboy » August 29th, 2007, 1:41 pm

Another question that occurred to me:

Say the new roomba is docked in a hallway, with two rooms down the hall that each have a lighthouse in the doorway.

Will one of the two lighthouses always be the first to let roomba in, while the other lighthouse blocks it out? Or will the "first" lighthouse vary depending on which one roomba happens to approach first?

Hopefully I'll solve this question tomorrow when my 560 arrives. 8)
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Re: Compatability (Virtual Scheduler walls and 500 Series)

Postby kflack » January 30th, 2010, 1:55 pm

scooterboy wrote:Another question that occurred to me:

Say the new roomba is docked in a hallway, with two rooms down the hall that each have a lighthouse in the doorway.

Will one of the two lighthouses always be the first to let roomba in, while the other lighthouse blocks it out? Or will the "first" lighthouse vary depending on which one roomba happens to approach first?

Hopefully I'll solve this question tomorrow when my 560 arrives. 8)



Hi

I just purchased 2 Virtual Wall Schedulers (Discovery Series) to use with a Model 510. Wanted to replicate what you said you were doing. Have different unit turn on each day for different rooms.

The unit arrived and I compared themto the virtual wall that cam with my 510...

First off the level of the top sensor and the infra red beam are both different on both units. (Most likely explaining) the difference in operation described by other replies...

I tried raising the level of the unit to match the virtual walls that came with the 500 series. and regardless of my efforts the robot ignores these 400 series wall and proceeds to go through them.

Now triing to add a schedule rather than just pusing the on/off button to see if it makes a difference...

Always the possibility the 2 unit I rec'd (2nd Hand) are defective...

Really would like to see (Video Confirmation) that the OLD Virtual Wall Schedulers work properly with the 500 series.
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Re: Roomba 535: Will it work with old Virtual Walls?

Postby kflack » January 30th, 2010, 2:27 pm

Did the program schedule as well, and although the Schedulers appear to be operating normally. I.E. Accept a schedule and turn on (Green Light) the roomab 510 ignores both of them as if they are not there...

I really need confirmation that they should work properly with the 510 as I will ask for a refund from the seller if they are defective...and should work as virtual walls...
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Re: Roomba 535: Will it work with old Virtual Walls?

Postby vic7767 » January 30th, 2010, 2:29 pm

Use a digital camera and look at your VWs to verify that there is an IR (White dot) signal active.
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Re: Roomba 535: Will it work with old Virtual Walls?

Postby kflack » January 30th, 2010, 2:57 pm

vic7767 wrote:Use a digital camera and look at your VWs to verify that there is an IR (White dot) signal active.


Wow Vic

You are too much....I was searching for a way to see the beams, and vola you were there for me.... !

It works....

The 500 series IR beam as seen though the digital camera shows a flashing beam.

The 400 series IR beam as seen though the digital camera shows a solid beam...

See attached video (YouTube)

[video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=na_qebKFUAY[/video]

Unfortunately, it seems that the 510 series does not like the virtual walls from the 400 series....
Enough so so as to ignore them completely.....

Any more ideas ?
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Re: Roomba 535: Will it work with old Virtual Walls?

Postby vic7767 » January 30th, 2010, 3:13 pm

I have both a 510 and a 535 here that work with my 4th gen VWs as well as a Scooba VW. The problem is that both of my 500 series Roombas over-react to the VWs so that they have to be located further away from the area you want to block.
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