VacBot Updated 7/19/05

 Here is a genuine household application of robotics, a electric sweeper that works extremely well on rugs, tile and wooden floors. The plan is to modify a "Dirt Devil" brand sweeper to be robotic, complete with processor, bumpers and drive motors. Here is a photo essay on its progress.

The starting point is this electric power sweeper that is rechargeable and able to run hours on end on carpets, tile and wooden floors and even concrete.

The original sweeper, on the bench ready for disassembly! It runs on a rechargeable 7.2v battery pack and will go 3.5 HOURS on a single charge. I will use the same battery to drive the motors but not the electronics. The clear part pulls out, and is the dirt tray. It was simply amazing to see how much it pulled out of the carpet in a few seconds of use!

The bottom consists of the brushes at the top, some rubberized rollers just below to set the sweep depth, and to the lower left a hatch for the battery. The wheels are free wheeling. The object is the weight of the front end sets the pressure on the floor, so that will stay the same here.
The NiCad Battery pack puts out 7.2 volts, and will run the 6v rechargeable drill motors I'm using for the drive just fine.
More to Come - this is just the beginning! HOME

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