Scooba TECHNICAL COMMENTS

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INTRODUCTION

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 Assembly

Scooba'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 Receptacle

Scooba'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 some differences.

--Serial-Port Connector

As 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 Inlet

Owners should know what this is, what it contains, and where its located -- so they can guard against abusing it.

--Striker-Plate, Tank-Latch

A 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 Interface

Battery 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 robot.

--Tank-Sensor's Connector

When 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 Assembly

Scooba'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 page.

--Control Panel

More information about Control-Panel functions may be found in the Owners-Manual, so this section is largely a photo-expose`.

--Drain / Vent Apertures

None 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 Assembly

    Lets 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 System

    Scooba'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 Assembly

    Talk about 'new'! Here is an inside and outside view of the cleaning-solution pumping system -- a double-action diaphragm pump.

    --Blower / Impeller Assembly

    Obviously, 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 Discovery floor-vacs.

    --Reed-Switch Position Sensors

    Numerous 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 Module

    Upon 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 System

    Unlike 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 Sensors

    Scooba 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

    --Speaker

    Scooba uses the same speaker as found in Roombas. Showing its location within the robot, is about all that can be done!

    -ACCESSORIES DESCRIPTIONS AND COMMENTS

    --Battery Pack

    Twelve 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 Base

    Most likely owners will chose to charge the battery in this module.

    --DC-Power Supply

    Scooba's battery-charging power- supply is nominally the same as a Discovery's Fast Charger, but there are improvements in this one!

    --Virtual-Wall Unit

    Said 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 hatch.

    --Cleaning Solution and Measuring Beaker

    Here are some notes about the Clorox-product, the supplied measuring beaker (using that word to avoid "cup"), and recommended Clorox dilution ratios.

    ERROR CODES

    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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