Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tip of The Month: The Roomba 500 Red Dot Killer

iRobot is currently the only successful company that dedicates itself completely to domestic and military robotics. At the moment there are more than 2 million Roomba robots cleaning homes around the planet but the success has a price. The price is mass production which results in cheap materials and engineering to provide all of us a chance to own a relatively economical cleaning robot. So knowing this fact and if you wish to have your little buddy running for years to come then get to know the "Red Dot Killer" found in iRobot's 500 series Roomba.

The Roomba adjusts its brush assembly to effectively clean many types of floors (carpet, rugs, tile, etc.). The way iRobot pulled it off was by having a mechanism within the main brush assembly that adjusts the height with a cable. The more resistance the main brush has the higher the brush assembly will lift off the floor and vice versa.

The cable develops a slack when the Roomba is idle and it tightens when the main brush motor turns on. The slapping of a cable that is not anchored will sooner or later lead to the tear of the brass end. You end up with a useless Cleaning Head Module with a broken off brass end.

So to make sure you save this cable you will need to do the following:

  1. Remove the bottom cover by removing the four screws
  2. Remove the Cleaning Head Module by removing the screws from the chasis
  3. Inspect the condition of the "Red Dot" sticker
  4. Replace or re-enforce the "Red Dot" with stronger adhesive tape (duct, all weather, etc.)
  5. Test your work by pushing the cable upwards to see if it pushes the tape out. Fix if needed.
  6. Re-assemble everything in reverse

This tip will prolong the life of your Roomba 500 series robot so it can continue cleaning your floors.


Stephen Wilson said...

Thanks! Your photo helped me reassemble my cleaning module after a repair.

Nikolai Tesla said...

You are welcomed! Great to know that they helped you.

Mike said...

my 530 brushes quit turning but the cable you decribed is still intact. Could there be another issue, or is there a way to check the motor?

Nikolai Tesla said...

Hello Mike,

Sorry for my belated response. If your brushes quit after a while it may be due to overheating. Pay a close inspection of the brush motor to see if dust has accumulated inside it, if so clean it out and try again. Keep me updated with your results.

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