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Vacuum Cleaner Mod
Sunday, 06 January 2008

C6jones720 sent in this modification to add a small vacuum cleaner to his 914. Chris writes:

I don’t know about you guys but when I show people my robot after their initial reaction of “Wow – a real robot!” their next reaction is to say “So, what does it do?”

If I had a penny for every time I was asked that question, I would be a rich man. So I got to thinking. I’ve got this amazing 914 robot with such great potential, what can I make it do for me?

Well one of those robotic applications people always seem to mention is vacuuming the floor. Realistically its not that huge a task, and given that the robot has digital I/O available it should be possible to use it and make a 914 perform the task of vacuuming a small floor. I thought I’d give it a go and see what happens:

I popped down the local shops and purchased a cordless vacuum cleaner. It comes with its own 6volt lead acid battery. It simply consists of a motor and a battery. If the On/Off switch was forced to On always, it would be a simple task to turn the vacuum on and off using a relay and a transistor.


I seem to recall one of James’s videos on the site showing his robot drive around avoiding obstacles using Player. It struck me at the time that this would be suitable for use as a vacuuming algorithm. The vacuum would be switched on whilst the robot drove around a room. After a preset period of time the robot would turn off the vacuum and return to the docking station for charging.

You can also check out a video of the vacuuming 914 in action on YouTube:

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