Like most people I was skeptical about getting a robotic vacuum cleaner, so as a trial run I thought I would buy the now obsolete iRobot Roomba 530 which was heavily discounted (they're still available in Australia, showing how behind the times we are).
Of course, as soon as I got it home I fell in love with it and for once had clean carpets!
Unfortunately, this model doesn't come with a remote (I ended up getting a Logitech Harmony which allows me to control my robot slave) or a scheduler to allow scheduled cleans during the day while I was out.
I had to PRESS A BUTTON before I left the house to make it clean! Not hard but I generally forgot to do it.
Rather than forking out money to buy a scheduler (which may or may not have worked with this model) I built my own. The black box in the picture.
This bare bones, super simple scheduler allows me to leave the house without having to do anything and come back to clean floors. As long as the Roomba is charged and at the docking station.
It's cheap, takes less time to build than writing this instructable. And best of all, powered by an Arduino Uno!
I've been stalking instructables for several years now and this is the first time I've actually documented a project all the way through well enough to make into an instructable. I have tried to include as much detail as I could to help others. Feedback on both the project and the instructable are very welcome.
Step 1: Requirements
What you'll need:
- A Roomba controllable by Infrared. Mine is a 530. I think most models below the 530 use similar IR codes so you might be in luck. Do a little research, there are a lot of great forums out there.
- 1 x 940nM Infrared LED
- 1 x LED (whatever colour you like, I picked red, this is to just signal if the device is on or not)
- 2 x 330 Ohm resistors (One for each LED)
- 1 x Arduino Uno (or similar, I initially used Arduino duemilanove, but the Uno works with the same script and set up perfectly)
- 4 lengths of wire (I used 2 wires with pins for my breadboard cut in half)
The power supply and Timer
- A power supply ( I used a spare USB cable type A/B - the one that plugs into the Arduino, connected to a AC/USB adaptor)
- A 24 hr timer switch (Cheap one from IKEA) - This is used to do all the scheduling, just set the timer to power up the arduino which then sends the "Clean" command to the Roomba.
- A project box to keep everything neat.
- A computer with the Arduino IDE (I'm using Arduino IDE 1.05)
- The Arduino IR library from https://github.com/shirriff/Arduino-IRremote
(installation instructions on the site)
- Soldering Iron to join everything together first (use a breadboard to test everything works first!)