Introduction: How to Build a Roomba Bot
Step 1: Measure and Cut the Wood for the Platform
The body of the robot will be made of 1/8" plywood. This will be a good mixture of sturdy, light, and easy to work with. Make two octagons for the top and bottom, and 8 rectangles for the sides.
Step 2: Drill Holes for Bottom, Top, and Sides
Drill the holes for the bottom top and sides. We will be using #6 machine screws to hold the platform together. On the bottom, drill an access hole for the Roomba's power button and for the Roomba serial cable (big enough for the serial cable to pull in and out). Drill 6 holes where the Roomba will attach to the platform.
Step 3: Connect the Sides to the Bottom
Starting at the bottom, connect the sides to the platform using 1" angle brackets and #6 machine screws. Use a washer on the outside and bottom, and a washer and lockwasher with the nut to give a good snug fit. Start at the front, and work your way towards the back. Leave the undrilled side off, this will be the door to our access panel.
Step 4: Connect the Sides to the Top
Repeat the same procedure for the top.
Step 5: Attach the Hinges and Clasp for the Access Door
Step 6: Add Caster Wheel to Roomba.
Take the Roomba with the vacuum assembly removed (you can follow my previous instructable on how to this), and cut a piece of wood that will fit in the exposed area where the vacuum and dust bin used to be. Also, cut another piece of wood that will go on the top, and will sandwich the Roomba. Place the bottom board on the Roomba, and drill the holes where the upper platform will attach to the Roomba, drilling through the board and the Roomba. Make sure to not drill through the button panel. Place the caster wheel on the bottom platform, and drill holes going through the bottom board, Roomba, and top board. Fasten the caster wheel.
Step 7: Attach Platform to Roomba
The first two pictures will show what the assembly looks like that I use to attach the top platform to the Roomba. I use a spacer to lift the platform slightly off the Roomba, keeping it from accidentally pressing buttons. Attach the platform side first. Then slide the Roomba down into the screws sticking up and fasten.
Step 8: Attach Webcam and Notebook
My Roombabot uses a netbook computer for control and a Yoostar webcam for cosmetics and eventual image processing algorithms. Drill a hole in the top that will allow your webcam and any other wires to go through. Then drill holes and fasten your webcam mount to the top. Next, run your serial cable through the hole in the bottom and plug it in. Attach the serial and webcam cables to your netbook, place it inside the platform, secure the access door, and there you go!
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