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Roomba Discovery stays in one place for awhile then backs up.

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Posted: 2010-01-04 11:52 
It makes very little forward progress. I emptied the dustbin, cleaned the brushes, and made sure the wheels turn smoothly in both directions. The front wheel spins freely and is clean. Directions, please!


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Posted: 2010-01-04 13:56 
Good day MarthaHolmes,

Welcome to the RobotShop forum.

When it makes very little progress forward, does it try to drive forward but is going extremely slow? Or does it keep backing up and spinning in circles?

If it's moving forward but very slowly, it might be your brushes have stopped turning. What you could do is check them while it's running by removing the dustbin. As well, does it always get stuck in the same place (like if you have a particular piece of carpet that has high pile, and it stops when over it)?

If it's spinning in circles, it might be a dirty bumper sensors. We'd recommend you try to clean up under the bumper along it's length with compressed air. Sometimes dust accumulates on or near the sensors and causes this problem.

Let us know how that goes. Looking forward to your reply.

Thanks,


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Posted: 2010-01-22 15:46 
 Post subject: roomba series 500
error 5, what does it means ?


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Posted: 2010-01-22 16:03 
Good day andebri,

Welcome to the RobotShop forum.

Error 5 is a charging error. Please make sure your charging contacts on the home base and on the underside of your Roomba are clean. You may also want to confirm that the battery is properly installed and that the bottom cover isn't loose in any way.

If the problem persists and your robot is still under warranty, we recommend contacting the distributor where you purchased it, or the manufacturer, iRobot, directly. iRobot's # is 877-855-8593.

Otherwise, we can always diagnose it for repairs. The details of our repair service can be found here.

If you have any questions, don't be shy; let us know.

Thanks,


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Posted: 2010-02-01 00:07 
 Post subject: What's Plan B ?
I performed the checks and cleaning you suggested but to no avail. It just sits there, going round and round.

Anything else I can try?


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Posted: 2010-02-01 09:58 
Good day MarthaHolmes,

If cleaning under the bumper did not help, then it sounds like your bumper sensors are defective. They likely need to be replaced. At this point we suggest repairing the robot. You can find the details of our repair service here.

Let us know if you need anything else.

Thanks,


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Posted: 2010-11-10 01:15 
 Post subject: Bumper Sensors
Hi Vayvazyan

I am having the problem that you thusly described in this thread (with my 500 series Roomba):

"Or does it keep backing up and spinning in circles? ...If it's spinning in circles, it might be a dirty bumper sensors. We'd recommend you try to clean up under the bumper along it's length with compressed air. Sometimes dust accumulates on or near the sensors and causes this problem."

I have cleaned the sensors diligently and even gone so far as to replace the bumper sensor array. I am wondering if perhaps I replaced the wrong sensors, though, because the problem persists. Are the 4 clear plastic enclosures that are along the front underside of the bumpers also sensors?

Also, I have noticed that the sensor housing on the nose of the Roomba has gotten damaged over the years. Could this be the problem?

Basically, I am wondering what sensors are the culprit in the problem that you described.

Thank you.


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Posted: 2010-11-10 11:33 
Hi Stillwater Balm,

Welcome to the RobotShop Forum.

The four plastic sensors you see along the bumpers are the cliff sensors. They keep your robot from going over stairs. It sounds like you may have replaced the light touch bumper array, which causes the robot to slow down when approaching an obstacle.

The bumper sensors are housed behind the actual bumper and not readily visible without taking the front bumper off. If cleaning there with compressed air has not helped, then likely they are defective. We'd suggest looking at replacing the bumper sensor boards at this point.

What are you referring to when you say 'sensor housing' on the Roomba's nose? Do you mean the small cylindrical projection on the bumper in the middle (it matches up with a corresponding sensor on the home base)? That is an IR sensor that works with the virtual walls and home base, and is not related to the bumper sensors. Often times it will get damaged/scratched or even have it's top part ripped off and will still work.

Hope this helps.


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Posted: 2010-11-17 21:04 
Vayvazyan,

Your link went to a circuit board, but I think that we are still talking about the same thing. This is what I replaced: Bumper Sensor Array. There was no improvement. Since then, I have also replaced the "small cylindrical projection on the bumper... IR sensor" because a friend told me that it did more than docking/wall sensing, but it looks like that was misinformation. Still no improvement.

I have uploaded a video so that you can see the problem. The Roomba begins it's cleaning cycle normally, but after it hits something it goes into what I like to call "panic mode", it enters a cycle of backing up slightly until it stops.

Do you think that replacing the cliff sensors would help? I have a sentimental attachment to this robot, and do not want to replace the whole thing.


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Posted: 2010-11-18 10:19 
Hi Stillwater Balm,

You are correct. Sorry about that; the link has been corrected.

Per the video your wheels are working fine, so the only other explanation is that your bumper sensors are defective. That IR bumper sensor board you saw in the link in the previous reply is what would need to be replaced; changing the cliff sensors will not fix the problem in your case.

Note that you may need two just in case; unless you can determine which side is defective, it's best to replace both.

Thanks,


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Posted: 2010-11-18 21:27 
Thank you for your guidance!

Did I read correctly on that link's page that instructions will be included with the order? I can take apart my Roomba enough to expose the brain board (as was necessary for the replacement of the sensor array and the cylindrical IR sensor) and I am technically inclined enough to solder, but I do not recognize this sensor board immediately and don't know off of the top of my head where they will go. I have become accustomed to tinkering until I've figured it out, but instructions are always a welcome addition to the process!

I can solder all day long, but I make no claim to be anything but a hobby roboticist.


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Posted: 2010-11-19 10:14 
The instructions will not be included with the actual package if you placed an order, but they are available on the products page under 'Useful Links'. Or you can find them here. Also, keep an eye on the Ultimate Roomba Resource Center; repair manuals, among other content, are posted there, and new ones should be added soon.

The bumper sensor boards are not visible without disassembling the bumper sensors; take a look at the instructions and you'll see where they're hidden away. You will have to disassemble the robot for this repair in the same way that you did to replace the light-touch bumper array.

Thanks,


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Posted: 2010-11-30 03:33 
It worked!!! Thank you so much for your advice, Vayvazyan! My robot is now running like a champ after his brief dysfunctional interlude. The instructions that you directed me to were clear and abundantly precise, and the parts from the Robot Shop were perfectly functional- I am ecstatic!


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Posted: 2010-11-30 09:59 
Hi,

Excellent. We're glad it worked, and that your robot is back up and running.


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Posted: 2012-04-08 21:04 
Vahon, I have been looking for any actions I could take for my roomba 530 that was moving only in place, not across any space. The advice to use compressed air on the bumper sensors did the trick. She is 3 years old and never had any cleaning in this area, so I guess it was time. She works perfectly now! Thanks much.


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