Instructables
Picture of iRobot Create Pool Skimmer/Cleaner
For my entry in the iRobot Create contest, i've made a pool skimmer that uses the create's wheels to power it. The process can be done entirely mechanically - no programming necessary. Before I start, I'd like to acknowledge the fact that parts of it do not look a apristine as they could. This is due to the fact that instead of going and getting all new parts, I recycled what components I could.
 
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Step 1: Materials

This is probably the hardest step for me to type, because things very so much depending on what you have, but I will tell you what I used - you should use whatever is available to you.

Plexiglass
2 ball bearings
Bike inner tube
4 Chinese take out containers
Spare blocks of wood
Various PVC pipe fittings
1/2 in. conduit pipe
Gorilla glue
J.B. Weld
Multi purpose caulk
Masking tape
Create
Hot Glue
Heat Shrink Tubing
Velcro
And more..

A lot of my materials were improvised based on what was happening. For instance, I already had pipe, and when I got the bearings, they were different sizes, hence the PVC fittings.

Step 2: PVC Box

You will need 2 15x15in squares of pvc, and 4 15x6in rectangles.

Drill a hole the size of your conduit in the middle of 2 rectangles as close to the bottom as you can, allowing space for the bearings. i.e. put the bearing at the bottom of the plexi, and trace the inside of it to know where to drill.

If you don't have the right sized drill bit, go one size up, and make a bushing out of the inner tube.

Be warned that when using any power tools on the plexi, it will start to melt as you go, so you will have to stop frequently.

Use the caulk to glue all but one of the squares together. (so it's a rectangular prism without a top) Book ends are helpful for keeping the pieces in position while they're drying.
highvoltage6 years ago
Great idea! And I'm with Mr. Rig It on the patent thing, if you have a good idea, by all means try and get it patented! I can't say how many time I've had a good idea and then seen it on the market three months later. But it's up to you. Great instructable too, but I like everybody else would love a video! I have to say though, you're pretty brave putting a $200+ setup in your pool, that's pretty crazy, lol. Good luck, and keep building! You don't see too many homemade water robots floating around. (yes, I know it's pun, and I LAUGHED AT IT!!)
Weissensteinburg (author)  highvoltage6 years ago
Thanks!

"you're pretty brave putting a $200+ setup in your pool"

Plenty of testings before the robot ever touched water. =]
Shut Up Now6 years ago
another way to do this would be to take an RC boat thats like a foot long and attach a skimmer to that, however that would require a lot of torque so maybe one should replace the motor with that made for a rock crawler-high torque. i should do that when i have some money.
Meragness6 years ago
thats such a good idea! when i first saw he picture, i thought it was one of those pool-vacuums that are at the bottom, but that would be risky
Mr. Rig It6 years ago
Dude that is a great idea. I think you are the only one who was brave enough to put there expensive robot in the water. How long do the batteries last? Could you hook up some solar cells to it and let it run all day? Cool idea and good use of materials. Good job.
Weissensteinburg (author)  Mr. Rig It6 years ago
It doesn't much, if any, more power than usual. I haven't let the batteries run out though.
I'm sure it's possible to add solar cells, I just don't know how.

Thanks =]
Is there an actual model on the market like this? You may be on to something with this.
Weissensteinburg (author)  Mr. Rig It6 years ago
Not that I know of =]
You should talk to your dad about it, you may have a unique opportunity to get your own patent.
Weissensteinburg (author)  Mr. Rig It6 years ago
I've looked into it..just so much paperwork, and money. =[
True $3000 min for a patent, copyrights are only about $75
Weissensteinburg (author)  Mr. Rig It6 years ago
But copyrights don't apply to inventions. Maybe the plans for one...but anyone could then take the idea and make it differently.
True but it would be milesstone in you life. Did you know the only US pres. to have a Patent is Linclon
acer736 years ago
Thats pretty good. Would it be possible to post a time lapse video of it cleaning in the pool
theque6 years ago
nice work
Weissensteinburg (author)  theque6 years ago
Thanks =]
marc926 years ago
do the bumpers work so it knows when it hits the side of the pool??
Weissensteinburg (author)  marc926 years ago
No, I have it set on spiral, and the currents from the jets will influence it too. (If you have jets)
Punkguyta6 years ago
Pool skimming for the lazy? For an average man's pool it can't take more than 5 minutes to do can it? I could see if it were a lake however...
Weissensteinburg (author)  Punkguyta6 years ago
Sure! It could be for a lake clean up party, too!
i-Skimmer races anyone?
Weissensteinburg (author)  Punkguyta6 years ago
haha! That'd be pretty fun.
Pool-skimming video! Gives it to us.
I'll see if I can =]
trebuchet036 years ago
Hilarious!
theque6 years ago
does it clean on its own or by remote control?
Weissensteinburg (author)  theque6 years ago
You just have to set it in the pool and turn it on, then go and grab it when it's done.
theque6 years ago
ohh coolzorz