iRobot Scholarship idea : Pool Cleaner

I've seen mods for the roombas before, where the robots are water sealed, and then the wheels are turned into propellers. My idea is that I could water proof the robot in plexi glass, or something, and then a net on it, to collect all the leaves, dead bugs, and other stuff that collects on the surface of a pool. normal pool cleaners only vacuum the floor of a pool, and it takes days for floating leaves and other grime to sink to the bottom. With a robot like this, I could just set it in the pool, and let it clean everything up. What's nice is, when company is coming over, it's embarrassing to have a dirty pool...this modification would allow you to quickly clean up your pool-even on short notice. Update (for some clarification): What I would want to do, is make a case for it, so that you can simply remove the wheels, and connect the propellers/steering device to where the wheels were, then just place the roomba in the watertight case, and it would be able to swim around and clean! Also, i'm working on some sketches of how it would work. I'll post those when they are done.

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ewilhelm10 years ago
This might be a little late, but one of the tricks I know for building underwater robots is to pressurize the inside of the robot; so, if there are any leaks, air leaks out rather than water in.
Weissensteinburg (author)  ewilhelm10 years ago
That's a really neat idea, and it makes a huge amount of sense. Unfortunately, I am past that point...we're ready to add the bushings, axles, bearings, etc. today. The entire box is waterproof, except for the lid, which will still have weather stripping. Thanks for the idea though, if I ever one another one, i'll definitly try that.
Weissensteinburg (author) 10 years ago
Ok guys, so my latest design works like this:

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If that stays how it should...then the X's are water wheels, the -'s are axels, the o's are bearings. The robot will be places on top, so each wheel will power one propeller. The bearings will be used to keep the axels in place. Bushings will help keep the axles water tight...but I need help finding rubber bushings...does anyone know where to look? I'm using 1/2" pipe as the axle, which needs to fit through the bushing. Also, i'm seeing measurments on bearings such as 5x11..what does that mean?

Thanks =]
> I need help finding rubber bushings . O-rings epoxied to the case? Would need to be a relatively loose fit or you'll lose too much power from the drag. . cooblades "grease seal" might work. . > Also, i'm seeing measurments on bearings such as 5x11..what does that mean? . I used to know that, but can't recall it to save my life. It's hell, getting old. Check out the web site of a bearing manufacturer (eg, Timken) and see if they have a page that explains it.
apparently the drawing didn't hold up.
SacTownSue10 years ago
Mighty pricey! Yours is really interesting tho.
Weissensteinburg (author)  SacTownSue10 years ago
I've seen that, the thing is though, their cleaners don't clean the entire surface, like this will.
Weissensteinburg (author)  cooblades10 years ago
My latest idea consists of a short length of metal pipe, with some kind of ridge, because the robot rolls with tracks like a tank, not wheels, so hopefully I can make the wheels spin the pipe, which then uses something (like the coupling) to spin the propeller on the outside. Where can I get a pre made propeller? Radioshack, maybe?
I don't think Radioshack'll carry anything like that. Try a hobby store.
I order them from tower hobbies. Their cheapest are about $1.15.

If it were up to me I would just take apart the irobot and rip the connections off the motor and use a external motor to power the boat. It costs more but its easier. However your pipe idea is very novel, I would love to see a video if it works.
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