Sunday 14 February 2021

Day 335 of self-isolation - Fifteen stone nine

Fifteen stone nine

I was fifteen stone nine this morning, a new low. Um - not an absolute new low, there was a time in the dim and distant past when I was lower. But a new low in recent history.

Rover got stuck while cleaning. I searched all over, under couches, under beds, I couldn't find her. Ladysolly did a better search than me, and found her stuck in the bathroom, tucked in to a corner by the toilet, and unable to escape.

Experience with Rover has led me to two features that I want.

1) Mapping. I want the robot to make a map of the house, and I want the map to persist, and not be drawn afresh each day. And then I want to be able to say "Clean this part and not that".

2) I want that map to show where the robot is, and I want to know the battery state.

3) I want it to be able to clean, run out of battery, automatically recharge, then resume cleaning where it left off.

4) I want the auto-empty.

And that's why I'm looking at vacuum cleaners like the Roomba S9+ and similar.


  1. Have you watched Vacuum Wars on YouTube? He reviews vacuum cleaners, especially robot vacs

    I've got a low end Eufy Robovac, and whilst it doesn't map or have "no-go" areas, I don't have too much problem. The charging unitbisbon living room but I can put it in another room, shut the door and set it to room mode. Instead of heading home when done it just stops.

    I've not known it dropping hair balls either, though the bin gets amazingly full the first few times you use it, but it settles down.

  2. I think you have a vacancy for a proof reader :-)
    > two features that I want.
    1. …
    2. …
    3. …
    4. …

    We’ve had a Roomba for a few years and it works very well. It’s not one of the top end models but I’m very happy with it.

    It doesn’t do mapping but does a random walk, so it doesn’t always go everywhere. Sending it on another tour usually does the trick.

    It does occasionally get stuck but it calls for help. It’s important to make sure it has a good run at things so a bit of preparation is necessary. It’s not very tall but I had raised a couple of pieces of furniture so it could get under.

    Auto-empty is irrelevant for us as we have neither carpets nor resident furry friends.

    The cliff detection works fine.

    It’s important to keep the contacts clean so when it docks it can charge properly.

    As I’m sure you know it uses linux and there’s a well defined programming interface and a lively customisation network.

    There’s a serial port hidden on the top of ours and it’s possible to connect a microcontroller and get it on the network. It can them be controlled by Home Assistant for scheduling. Your high end model will probably have this built in.

    For an example of what can be done with it check out this video:

    I expect your filter will strip out the above URL, and if it doesn’t you probably won’t click it anyway. Very wise. In which case do a search for:

    YouTube Upgrade Your Old Roomba to a Smart BotVac

    Most of it is probably irrelevant, but you may find it interesting anyway.