Roomba Avoids Black Color Pattern on Rugs

I have two Roomba Discoveries and niether one of them would roll over BLACK color lines in any of my area rugs. They would stop at the edge of the BLACK and change direction as if they detected a step or ledge. I contacted Irobot customer support. They couldnt help so I experimented and found a solution.

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Step 1: Locate Roombas Step Sensors

Note: this fix is meant to be used only when you run the roomba in an area where it will NOT approach ledges or steps since the roomba will run right off the step and fall. So just line up a pair of shoes end to end across the top of the step or ledge so the Roomba will bump the shoes and change directions.

To fool Roombas ledge / step sensors so it will run over Black colors in rugs etc. we need to locate the sensors affected in this tip So first, turn your roomba discovery over ( I have the "Discovery" model, this may work on other models, just try and see) and locate the four sensors along the bottom edge of the front bumper. if you look down inside the openings you see along the bottom edge, the sensors look like little L.E.D. lights poking out a little bit.

Step 2: The "MASKED" Sensor :-)

Put a piece of masking tape over each of the four sensors located along the bottom edge of the front bumper. The senors will not be able to see anything but the tape and it will run over top of black color patterns in rugs.

Step 3: Sens...less Vacuuming :-)

Now the Roomba will roll over any colored rug....remember to block all steps and ledges while the sensors are covered. When finished simply pull off the tape and the Roomba will regaine its senses :-)



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    11 Discussions


    Question 5 months ago on Step 3

    We have a new rug with distinct geometric shapes/colors. Roomba would not vacuum this rug. I covered all 4 of my sensors with white paper and tape. Roomba gave Error 6, Move Roomba to new location. So I took off the two side covers, but still sees the distinct lines in the rug. Any further suggestions? Cover half of the sensors?

    2 answers

    Answer 4 months ago

    I am returning to post a solution that I found. The cliff sensors have an infrared transmitter and receiver with a barrier in between. Using a short piece of the side of a CD case (the serrated surface acts like a prism for the infrared) taped over each of my four sensors allows Roomba to ignore the dark, distinct shapes. Be aware you do now need to block any steps or use one of the electronic barriers.


    2 years ago

    Thanks Doiturownself, I just gave away a perfectly good Robomaid for the simple reason I moved to a place that has black carpet and the vacuum wouldn't work properly . I wish I'd known your trick. Bravo!


    2 years ago

    Thank you for this solution. I've tried 2 other robot vacuums (LG hombot & Zoef) and the Roomba is the only one that's actually is able to clean the rug without getting stuck because of the legs of my furniture or because of the rug itself. The initial problem with the Roomba was my black & white rug, but because of your solution I was able to put pieces of white paper on top of the ledge sensors. The white tape I used was still too transparant.


    2 years ago

    I have a couple of Roombas, one being a new Model 860.

    I have a new Oriental Rug, nice, plush and solid black in the design which neither of my Roombas will cross. Now with this fix they're just merrily carrying on and doing their thing, so thank you doityurownself in cleaning.

    I had thought that this might be a fix but I used an opaque tape and Roomba was able to detect the changes, then I did the "Google Search" thingy and yep, we got 'er done.


    3 years ago

    I'm very disappointed in my Roomba all the money I spent to buy it and it is so not worth it doesn't even do rugs allways stops and gets confused on what it's doing worst product ever


    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is a case where a company tries to go cheap and save a dollar or two per product. They should use ultrasonic sensor instead of infrared for distance as it will not be affected by color at all.


    7 years ago on Step 2

    it did not work for me with a dark masking tape. off to the store for a lighter color.

    You could have switched out the carpet... The newer Roomba's don't seem to have that odd cliff issue. My 560 crosses the black in my northern Aghanistan rug without hesitation, and also doesn't fall down the stairs. Now if only I could redesign the robot to vacuum the stairs...