Scooba TECHNICAL COMMENTS
This document has been prepared to provide Scooba owners with an
intermediate level of knowledge about how their floor-scrubber does its job,
and what features it contains which help to get that work done. Many interior
views of hardware features are provided to show the under-the-hood layout of
Scooba's main elements, and to show its mechanistic simplicity. From the
visual information presented, an owner may develop a sense of pride in owning the
most robust domestic robotic appliance created, so far, by the iRobot
Corporation. Having said that, however, it must be acknowledged that newly
designed equipment generally pass through a period of re-development to
overcome weaknesses which are revealed by service in the field. Scooba will
not escape that experience.
While going through these pages, it will become very obvious that a certain
level of Scooba disassembly has taken place to obtain the information published
herein. Upon doing that work, and gaining an appreciation of the high quality of
design and manufacturing of the Scooba assembly, and paying particular attention
to how well the electrical interfaces have been sealed from moisture intrusion,
it is the author's opinion that for Scooba owners to venture inside the robot
with the intention of repairing a fault, there is not much that they might
need to do, but when faults do appear there will be very little hope for an
owner to achieve a successful fix. Such attempts at internal repair is, in fact, not
recommended; and, there will be a number of reasons given, herein, to
support that recommendation.
On the other hand, there will be a small percentage of owners who lack
warranty replacement; and within that group there will be individuals with the
necessary technical expertise to work on Scooba's innards. For that subset of
owners, advisories will be provided to warn them of difficult operations. There
will also be hints given, for those capable persons, to indicate where
maintenance, or repair tasks are feasible.
To proceed, click on any of the topical menu-item summaries that follow.
-OVERVIEW OF OPERATING MODES
--The Hydro-Pneumatic Path within Scooba
Find out how those crumbs, and dried coffee
splotches get picked up and captured by Scooba's machinery.
--Tank AssemblyScooba's tank-duo is a
complex assembly of plastic castings, duct-work, sensor-bits, and a
fluid-connection. See how it all plays together in this section.
-ROBOT ASSEMBLY'S EXTERNAL FEATURES
--Charging ReceptacleScooba's battery may be charged
while inside the robot, or with the battery removed -- similar to the methods
used with the Roomba floor-vacs. However, Scooba's charging receptacle exhibits
--Serial-Port ConnectorAs in the Discovery series of
floor-vacs, Scooba also has been fitted with a serial-connector. Its location
will befuddle anyone who may be planning on using their own navigation control!
--Cleaning-Solution InletOwners should know what this
is, what it contains, and where its located -- so they can guard against abusing it.
--Striker-Plate, Tank-LatchA quick glance is all
that's needed here. Its not a stimulating item of hardware at all, but owners
should recognize it, and the curious may want to know what is underneath the plate.
--Battery to Robot InterfaceBattery
power-leads and temperature-sensor leads are brought through the battery-case
wall via two pairs of connectors. This note covers the battery-to-robot
mechanical interfaces, and introduces two pairs of male connectors which
penetrate the upper-chassis, and deliver power and temperature-data to the
--Tank-Sensor's ConnectorWhen the Tank Assembly is
lowered into a latched position on the robot, this two-contact receptacle mates with
a male, bi-pin connector built into the underside of the Tank.
--Front-Wheel AssemblyScooba's Front-Wheel Assembly
is moderately complex. This section introduces the wheel and describes its
known behavior. More information about the wheel can be found in a subsequent
--Control PanelMore information about Control-Panel
functions may be found in the Owners-Manual, so this section is largely a
--Drain / Vent AperturesNone of
several subtle drain-openings are discussed in Scooba-literature. Nor are two
very obvious drain-like features on the underside of the robot discussed at all.
Identification of the actual drains is straightforward, but the two other, very
obvious, features defy classification. At present they seem only able to
ventilate the robot, but they have such complex design features that another
planned task for them is suggested.
-ROBOT ASSEMBLY'S INTERNAL FEATURES
---Inside the bot"INTERNAL" means we have to go
inside the robot. How is that done? What hazards are there? Will it go together?
--Drive-Wheel AssemblyLets look at one of Scooba's
drive-wheels, from inside the robot; then see what it takes to remove it from
the lower-chassis -- so all the rest of the assembly can be seen.
--Brush Drive SystemScooba's scrubbing-brush is
driven with a motor that is substantially bigger than Roomba's main-brushes
motor. Speed-reduction gearing is all compound, spur-gearing, of new design.
--Pump AssemblyTalk about 'new'! Here is an inside
and outside view of the cleaning-solution pumping system -- a double-action
--Blower / Impeller AssemblyObviously, this is the
heart of the air-moving system. No details are known about the blower, but you
will see it is substantially more robust than the little sucker used in the
--Reed-Switch Position SensorsNumerous position
sensors within Scooba, all depend on the technology of the hermetically-sealed,
magnetically operated "reed" switch. In this section, see what their
installations look like, and what actions they support.
--Control ModuleUpon removing the
Lid from the Control Module, a number of familiar 'faces' are seen! But, some new devices
have been added for power-control of Scooba's larger motors.
--Front-Wheel's Sensor Module
Scooba's Front Wheel is fitted with a cranked plunger-rod which
actuates a wheel-turn counter, and also performs wheel-drop
notification. This page reveals what is known about this sensor module.
--Bumper-Switch SystemUnlike the Roomba bumper
systems, Scooba's avoids the use of slotted optical switches. Instead,
rubber-sealed spring-diaphragm type switch-elements respond to Bumper movement. See
some details on this page.
--Cliff and Wall SensorsScooba is designed to get along with
just three Cliff-Sensor modules. Based only on visual inspection, the
construction and modus operandi are identical to Roomba's Cliff Sensors. The
same can be said for the wall-following sensor
--SpeakerScooba uses the same speaker as
found in Roombas. Showing its location within the robot, is about all that can
-ACCESSORIES DESCRIPTIONS AND COMMENTS
--Battery PackTwelve cells are sealed into this
battery case, there are no screws. Battery re-builders will be hard-pressed to
rework the Scooba battery pack! This page provides a few external views and
identifies the battery's terminals.
--Charging BaseMost likely owners will chose to
charge the battery in this module.
--DC-Power SupplyScooba's battery-charging power-
supply is nominally the same as a Discovery's Fast Charger, but there are
improvements in this one!
--Virtual-Wall UnitSaid to be very similar to the
Discovery Scheduler's style of VWU, Scooba's is indeed slimmer than the older
VWUs; and the two D-cells easily slip into the compartment via a slip-off side
--Cleaning Solution and Measuring BeakerHere are some
notes about the Clorox-product, the supplied measuring beaker (using that word to avoid "cup"), and
recommended Clorox dilution ratios.
To the extent currently possible, associations of code-identifiers with
sensor points are given in this section.If you wish to access brief discussions of the dozen
groupings of numbered and alphabetically identified error codes shown in the
table on page-18 of the Owners-Manual,select this link..
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