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Hi there, I need help to build a robotic vacuum cleaner, I want it to have a Real Time Clock in it so it completes a vacuum cycle (Around the whole house twice) at 11 o'clock. I want to attach ping sensors to one of the servos so it's constantly checking if it's too close. How do I set it to travel around the house? Do I have to input individual micro steps eg. 1600 Left 1500 right so on... Or is there another way to do so? Eg giving it a house map. Can I please get some help?

Vacuum I already have this
http://www.stihlusa.com/vacuums/se61.html

Arduino UNO on its way...
Motor Shield...
http://www.adafruit.com/products/81

What torque stepper motors should I use

Will
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I don't think you connected the grounds, Dave.
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What is the battery life of your vacuum cleaner?
Its mass?
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If you just give it a command of steps to follow each time, it's quite easy for it to get of course if it has to clean the whole house, especially if obstacles are found.
I think you would need some sort of reference points, so the robot knows what it's exact location is.
You could put IR lights transmitting specific signals around some different places of the house so the robot knows approximately where it is.
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Chester, UK
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Am I the only one to spot an 8 foot hose attached to that machine?

You'll need to control both the machine and the hose... and will it be powered from that mains cord?

How will it negotiate stairs or steps? (you did say 'around the whole house').

And I'm intrigued as to why it needs to clean your floors twice.

I'd recommend a wife - if you haven't already got one.

They're ever so good at multitasking, too.

 smiley
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Gosport, UK
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No, I saw the hose too. And the 8.3Amp motor, and the 6kg weight.

There's a very good reason why Roombas, and the like, all look rather similar.
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Hi there, inside it's quite easy to lose the hose and to connect it straight to the pump. I want to use a motorbike battery or similar, I have a few around. Also we have dogs and there fur is stuck through carpets. We have no stairs inside or similar, I need to know if it can work.

Will
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I want to use a motorbike battery or similar
8.3 amps at 110 volts translates to 76 amps at 12 volts.
Got a very big bike?
As has already been noted, Roombas and the like are all very similar sizes for very good reason.
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Hi there,  I can always use another vacuum cleaner. So on the note of controlling it what's the best option

Will
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Get a Roomba and start hacking.

http://www.robotshop.com/ca/robot-parts-roomba-development-hacking-1.html
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Hi,

Does it have to be a Roomba as I live in NZ and would like to use a cheap one of trademe (NZ version of ebay)

Will
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I don't know about the hackability of others. There is quite a community of Roomba hackers though.

There is no reason why you couldn't build your own, but you need to be realistic about the project. A house-main powered motor is not realistic, in my opinion.
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Hi what about one of those handheld vacuum cleaners, it already would have a charging base and would be reasonably compact. Also how many IR receivers would I want.

Will
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Also how many IR receivers would I want.
The only possible answer to that question is "enough to do the job".
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I was meaning more, one per room or how many roughly

Will
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It depends on what navigation algorithm you decide on.
If you've got simple IR beacons flashing different codes in different rooms, like lighthouses, then you probably only need one IR receiver on top of the cleaner.
However, if it has a restricted receive angle, you may need more.
You may need more than one beacon per room, if you've got occluded corners.
If you go for a more complicated bidirectional navigation, then you'll probably need more fixed receivers too.

Note, none of this is simple (IR can reflect when you don't expect it to, and can be absorbed when you expect it to reflect), so, as I said, "enough" is the only sensible answer.
If it were simple, there'd be loads of workable cleaners on the market.
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Do not send technical questions via personal messaging - they will be ignored.

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