Year with Roomba

  • Tutorial

About a year ago, I happened to become the lucky owner of iRobot Roomba 564 pet, since then he regularly carries out combat duty on the expanses of our 4-room apartment according to the scheme: 4 times a week (minimum). The other day, my hands finally got to him, I decided to thoroughly clean the "fighter for cleanliness", and at the same time hold a photo shoot and tell Habr about some of the features of servicing this beast.
I hope that the topic will help you choose the best robot vacuum cleaner for yourself, and I will make every effort to tell you what pitfalls await you in Roomba vacuum cleaners.

Under the cut a lot of photos of the disassembled vacuum cleaner, wool and a little fused plastic.

Purchase history

About four years ago, my wife began to systematically terrorize me on the subject: "Let's take a puppy." I wandered for a long time, although I myself love dogs, only one thing stopped me - study. Both of us at that time studied at the university and worked, sometimes the time was not that for an animal, for personal life, there was absolutely no time left. In the end, I promised that when she finished studying, we got ourselves a dog. And so it happened, and in 2009 we bought a dog, took a Golden Retriever puppy, a boy, and called it Elvis.

The first year with the dog passed as we expected, with a variety of dog quacks: “Bitten furniture, bitten legs, mines, wet floor and periodic molting”. The symptoms of puppyhood have passed over time, but here is the molt ... she, how to explain this to you, has become CONSTANT !!! For three days without a vacuum cleaner, a tumbleweed of wool moved around the apartment, the space under the front door began to be insulated by itself, artificial snowdrifts made of wool under sofas. To drag an old vacuum cleaner around the apartment every other day frankly - is a bit sick! And we decided to make our lives easier. At first it was thought towards Scooba, but the iRobot representative heard about dog hair, energetically waved his hands and said that only the special Roomba series for animals would cope with THIS. They decided on that.

Some subtleties and tips

Having received the vacuum cleaner, I set it to charge for a day, as instructed me to exhort.
The next day, we removed everything from the floor, stuck one of the two dust collectors that came in the kit, and started to drive around the apartment. It should be noted that before this we hadn’t specially cleaned for three days, to increase the WOW-effect. The vacuum cleaner rolled around the apartment for half an hour, intimidating our four-legged pet and squeezing under the bed, then reported a clogged dust bag. With a bit of resentment at iRobot, I shook the wool out of the garbage bin, brushed the wool off the brushes and started it again. After 20 minutes, the piece of iron got up again and started yelling about the pollution of the tank. He shook it out, cleaned it, matyagunsya and went to extreme measures - opened the instructions. As it turned out, I stuck the wrong dust bag. I used a dust bag for daily cleaning, and I needed it for wool. The next day, we turned on the vacuum cleaner with the “right tank” and he drove around the apartment for about 2 hours, writing funny pirouettes and imprinting himself in various furniture, the dog tried to hunt him, but quickly cooled and began to molt from a “fearless buzzing beast” »On the sofa, so that he would not bother. This time, the wool tank was jammed to the eyeballs, and there was a stable felt coating on the brushes, I cut it stupidly with scissors. Here and there around the apartment, we still found some wool, mainly in corners and places where the robot could not get into. But it was in the open and it was annoying! But during the subsequent operation, I realized what was the problem. The fact is that as soon as the dust collector is filled with wool, especially if it is long (5cm or more),
From the foregoing, I have identified several rules for myself.

1. Use the correct dust collector.
If you need a perfect floor, almost like after wet cleaning - use a regular dust collector. But only after the vacuum cleaner has walked with a tank for wool, otherwise you get tired of cleaning.

2. Get out often.
In our case, every day, in extreme cases, every other day. Then there is not much wool on the brushes and the rollers are not erased.

3. Theoretically, the robot can get out of one or two wires, in fact this is 60% true, the fact is that the principle of "pulling out of the wire" only works for the side brush. Therefore, do not leave wires on the floor, especially thin ones.
Somehow iRobot, wound the Galaxy Ace charging wire onto the main roller, I must say the wire was thin there, as a result, the wire interrupted.

4. Lift important, and in general things from the floor before cleaning (he somehow collected an SD card from me).

5. If there is furniture that is just below the rumba, it is better to fence it off with a virtual wall. The fact is that the optical wall sensors at the vacuum cleaner are not located on the upper edge of the vacuum cleaner, but almost in the middle, in this regard, when the rumba moves along low furniture, he always tries to climb under it. Sometimes he does it, he gets stuck and has to be freed and restarted. Fortunately, there is only one such place.

6. The vacuum cleaner can search for a base for a very long time, because it detects it not with the help of radio frequencies, but with an infrared sensor. Therefore, try to install the base in an easily accessible and open place.

These are, perhaps, the basic rules when working with a vacuum cleaner.

We clean the rumba

The cleaning process itself on average takes no more than 5 minutes, for this we need to take the following steps:

1. Put Roomba upside down.

2. Remove the dust bag and shake the contents into the trash.

3. Open the brush compartment, to do this, press the two yellow latches (they can be seen in the upper photo, one is broken off because the valiant mother-in-law tried to clean the vacuum cleaner herself (Lyuba - hi!)). And remove the brushes themselves.

By the way, I have never changed them, although the kit contains spare ones.

4. Remove the pile from them and clean the bearing niches.

The blackness inside the niche is molten plastic. The hair is wound around the axis between the bearing and the niche; the more it is wound, the more the bearing presses on the brush. And it still rotates, in short, you can kill a brush or block of brushes in 10 cleanings, if you do not follow.

5. Unscrew the side brush and remove the wool from under it. I must admit that this and the following procedure is required no more than once every four to five cleanings.

6. Take out the front wheel, just pull it up.

Here you have to push the axle out of the wheel, because a pile is also collected there, thereby complicating its rotation.

Actually that's all, we collect the rumba in the reverse order and return to the base.

Prepare Roomba

To do this, we need:
1. Phillips screwdrivers, different sizes.
2. Plastic spatula for disassembling phones.
3. About an hour.

Let's get started!

1. Unscrew 4 bolts and remove the bottom cover.

A battery awaits us there:

Ni-MH for 3 Ah, 14.4V.

And also access to the brush block:

2. Four more bolts, and the brush block is removed (markings above).

1. Brush drive connector. 2. Wheel tension and belt. 3. The brush drive itself.
4. Pollution sensor (I would be grateful if someone could tell how it works)

3. Enclosed brush drive unit.

And open.

Some contamination is visible, but the grease is still fresh. Given the useful life is quite good.
He wiped the gears, smeared it with Vaseline and closed it back.

4. Pry off the top cover with a plastic spatula and snap off the mount.

5. We remove the bumper by unscrewing 8 bolts in its lower part and carefully remove it, in the same place, in the turret there is an infrared receiver (fastened with two bolts). It serves to define virtual walls, base and IR remote control.

The bumper has an embrasure made of dark, translucent plastic, for 6 optocouplers. They serve to identify objects and walls, as well as to search for a base.

The front part without a bumper.

Further on the colors:
* red - IR receiver.
* lime - optocouplers for navigation.
* blue - 4 height sensors, also made by optocouplers.
* Purple - bumper shock absorbers.
* yellow - limit switches to determine the side of the collision.

6. The upper part of the robot, without the main cover.

Another 10 screws for access to the board (red) and a programming connector (green).

7. Turn off the bolts, and only the control unit separates us from the brain of the robot.

8. Two more bolts under the main film of the control unit and we are on target.

Here we see an absolute salad of a huge number of resistances, diodes, transistors, comparators, converters, ice, buttons, conders, etc.

For those who want to take a closer look at the full format, however, the focus has not been successful everywhere:
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9. And again 4 bolts ...

* red - battery contacts.
* light green - the control controller from STM, by the way it seems this is a special revision for iRobot, because I did not find a datasheet on it, and the letters “IRO” appear at the end of the model number. Here , you can look at the datasheet for this mk series.
* blue - wheel connectors.
* yellow - connector for side brush.
Well and below the power part of the motor control, of which there are five pieces.

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10. Well, under the board, the frame of the vacuum cleaner.

It should be noted quite clean, with a dozen hairs inside and all.

All parts together.

We assemble in the reverse order.


I can frankly say - Roomba is worth the money and fulfills it to the fullest. All recommendations are absolutely true only for our individual apartment and its inhabitants, but for you this may vary depending on the area, the availability of pets and other factors.
I did not disassemble the undercarriage, the side brush and the dust collector turbine, since there was nothing to look at, just the motors.
I also note that over the entire period of operation I have never changed a single spare part and did not resort to the help of a service center.
Finally, I am in no way affiliated with iRobot or other companies in the industry.

1. The text may contain punctuation, grammatical and semantic errors, about which please inform me in PM.
2. Thoughts, ideas, questions, technical amendments - on the contrary, are welcome in the comments.
3. I apologize for any technical inaccuracies.

Thank you for your attention, Good luck to everyone and inexhaustible optimism!

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