Hacks, Mods, and Parts for your favorite Robot

Maintenance Flash (1)

This Maintenance flash applies to all iRobot Roomba and Dirt Dog models that use the swivel front wheel.  If you have noticed your robot move in an erratic manor for no reason then this flash may help you resolve what is possibly causing this strange activity.

The front wheel can gather up debris that can be seen on the ends of the metal axle that the wheel rotates on.  Many owners remove the wheel assembly and pop out the wheel and clean off the offending debris that is visible on the two ends of the axle.  Then the wheel is installed back into the swivel assembly and holy smokes, the robot is still doing strange things.  You try and spin the front wheel but it does not turn freely.  All the debris has been removed from both ends, what gives ??

There is a second hidden area where debris builds up inside the swivel wheel that is invisible without totally removing the wheel and then pushing the axle out of the wheel.  Voila, directly in the middle of the metal axle is an indentation where debris builds up and is overlooked by MOST robot owners.  Not only does this cause strange movements by your robot but it may also cause early failure of the wheel axle by making the surrounding plastic normally used to snap the axle in place become deformed from heat damage.  Refer to the following image.


Maintenance Flash (2)

Anytime a battery is installed inside your Roomba or Scooba there is an active electronic circuit that is ALWAYS ON when the battery is there.  This circuit continually monitors for an IR Remote Control signal.  If your Roomba or Scooba is not connected to a battery charger the battery will completely discharge in about 5 to 7 days.  After that amount of time the battery is dead and if charging is attempted on the battery it may damage the internal charging circuitry of your Roomba or Scooba.  You can try and restore the battery itself by using an external charger that supports multiple cell NiMH or NiCD batteries.  Once the battery is recovered and properly charged it may then be installed back into your robot.