Let's Make Robots!


Vaccums the floor.. in the future



It has a funky name because I like funky names. Otherwise, it's ultimately just a box, with four cpu fans to create suction, and move around and bump into things to avoid them. 


I want it to be square, because - corners in the house are square. It's just stupid to make a round vacuum cleaner (in my opinon...)

 I want omni directional because I want it to be able to follow a wall to the corner, then move along the next wall without having to turn. 






 So here is a rough idea of what I hope it will look like. The top panel is pulled up to see the guts of it.

blue outer box is just a place to hang the bumper switches and to stop the wheels tangling in small children. The green inner box is where the batts, motors etc hang out. The four grey boxes represent the four 6cm cpu fans, and the smaller grey box in the middle is a protection  for the cpu - I imagine it will get dusty in there.

The four small cubes in the bottom corners of the big blue box are the cliff detectors.


My problem:

The omniwheels I have are not quite gripping the floor. The rollers on the omnis are hard plastic though - so I suppose it's expected. 

I tried to mitigate the problem by suspending all four wheels, while this worked a bit, it didn't work entirely. Simply adding more weight also helped, but then it gets heavy, which means the power losses will be higher. Ideally, I want omniwheels with rubber rollers - I'm checking with DAGU to see what they have.




Update 28th Oct.

 It turns out that DAGU don't stock omnis with rubber rollers, so I've ordered a bunch from


 I mounted the fans, and bolted the side panels on. I have a bit of an aversion to using hot glue to hold  things together, especially if they're going to vibrate a bit- so I have to think of a better way to mount the four fans. Anyhow, The sides of the inner box are bolted on with small angle brackets and 2x10mm bolts. The gaps in the joining are small enough to be sealed with hot glue - hopefully I can make it neat enough.








I'm so bustin' out wit mah fully sick ride yo.

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I think that the problem is that the rollers are made of hard plastic. I just found another blog where some guy had exactly the same problem as I'm having - he's solved it by getting different wheels - so I'll look into that and post whatever happens....
I am also not a big fan using hard plastic wheels. DC motors probally a must watching your video. I had no luck.My omniwheel growbot is on the shelf until get the $$ to get better wheels. Check it out here. I am using continous futiba motors for now. Hard plastic are a waste of time and I tried many ways.

I think your servos seem to work okay? having motors also means I have to have a driver chip, which takes up the small amount of space available...


It seems that MANY people have this skidding problem with their wheels - perhaps we can collectively convince DAGU to stock some rubber-coated omnis......

They already have a company that makes decient wheels. I have seen them on utube. Originally used as rollers in the industry. Here are a few links you might find usefull.





I am planning on double wheels if my Ebay business ever gets off the ground. I am just starting to play with H bridges and the Pololu serial dual motor control. Totally different programming for sure and H bridges eat up I/O. I learned the hard way servos don't have the speed for plastic wheels. I am surprised yours works so well considering. I am using the same wheels as you. Must be the speed. My flex body design has some flex to it. A supension is a must for 4 wheels.


I'm one step ahead of you - I ordered 10 of those badboys this morning! 

Not to bug but any progress on the Vac-Bocks? How did the CPU fans work out? Are the rubber coated omniwheels gripping better?

I`d been doing a lot of thinking lately about the next version of my vacuum when it hit me, these cheap PCI slot coolers for PCs have the radial fan type that works best for vacuum cleaners! 


Still curious how a whole load of CPU fans would go compared to something like this.

Hi Ezekiel!

Tragically, this time of year is a very, very busy one for me, so progress is ultra-slow. Especially considering that I have to do everything four or five times, because of mistakes etc.

In any case, I will certainly post an update when I've finished the current job, which is trying to pack the uC, two motor drivers, an inverter chip and a switching regulator into a space that is 4.5x4.5x2 cm. I'm going for a kind of t3-d circuit where I mount the 4 ICs on separate cards, and mount them vertically onto a kind of motherboard. It's fiddly.

The CPU fans seem to have a good suction, but I'll be tweaking that a lot to try to optimise it. They're middle-range power, but I cant remember their power rating. If they're not good enough, I can get some more powerful ones quite cheaply at the local electric junk stores.

In any case, yes, the rubber wheels came and they're a vast improvment, but still not perfect, despite suspending them on the springs. Of course, my floor is certainly not very flat - so perhaps I should be more forgiving. My conclusion is - do NOT bother with plastic omniwheels wheels it is just a waste of time and money and is enormously frustrating.

How's home? hot? Are you starting up your robot-building empire there? There's not as many australians as japanese, so it should be easier to subdue the entire country in a shorter timeframe.