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Thread: "zoned" infrared (And Roomba)

  1. #1

    Default "zoned" infrared (And Roomba)

    Any tips on Zoning infraRed outputs?

    I would like to have ...oh.... 20 or so seperate IR ouputs.

    What I would like to do is to "force" my roomba back to his dock (Or other areas) by flooding certain areas with the "invisible wall" codes in a sequential form.

    For example, if I hit a "send Roomba Home" button, girder would turn on IR emitters embedded in walls/basebords near the outside of the house. If roomba sees any of these signals, he will turn away from them. My thoughts are I could slowly "herd" him a certain area by manipulating these emitters scattered about the house. I could send him back to charge, or force him towars another room.

    But how do I have independant control of 20+ IR outputs?

    This is not high on my priority list, but I was curious if anyone had any thoughts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2001


    Can the ocelot do that many zones?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Darmstadt Germany


    USB-UIRT can handle 3 zones but I am not sure how many USB-UIRTS you can attach to one PC/girder instance

  4. #4


    You know, I got to thinking, and I don't really need all of those IR zones.

    I only need 1 ir Zone (Roomba Ir)

    Just using connecting blocks, i could set up each area of LEDS to be switched on or off by some other device. (Turn on/off the power to the connecting block, or simply open and clos a lead for the LED's with a relay)

    I think this should work because all of the emitters will actually be transmitting the same signal, just at different times.

    With a little creative relay and power switching, it should work!

    I just need a device that has 32 (or so) outputs that I can use to drive relays.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004


    I thought that the Rooba could find it's docking station on it's own? Doesn't it come with a remote control? If so, would it not be easier to use a few IR remote extenders and just send it the appropriate signal that way?

  6. #6


    He will find his way home if he is in the same room as the dock.

    If he is in another room, he usually runs out of juice before he gets there.

    I suppose I could. turn each area on and off with X10 or relays......

    I will be flushing the emitters into the wall though, so I think running wired would be better in this case.

    I guess the biggest thing is still control. All of the zones cant come on at once. That would confuse him, and he would go crazy.
    They have to come on in stages. Farthest away from the dock, slowly "zoning" towards it, thus "herding" roomba.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2004


    Quote Originally Posted by gorfllub
    . All of the zones cant come on at once. That would confuse him, and he would go crazy.
    We wouldn't want that. I've heard stories about Roombas going postal. :wink:
    Just curious, how does the base communicate with the bot to help it find it's way back?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Vermilion, OH


    There are many 32 channel relay systems out there. They will cost a little but here are a few to look at. This one is cool as it has feed back. you can check which release are on/off without having the software remembering which...

    Here is a whole bunch on the same website. All controlled from a serial port or w/a usb/serial converter.

    And another one

    And another

    phidgetsusa has some good stuff.

    Hope this helps

  9. #9


    Cough Cough Hack Hack.....

    That 1st board is Cool. But WAY too much dough... I mean darn it, relays are but pennies a piece..... This kind of thing cannot be "worth" that much.

    right idea, wrong price. Something like that should be $129 max (IMHO)

    The last one is getting a little closer.......

    Anyhow, Roomba's home sends out another IR signal as well. (he is attracted to it, Lol)

    So I guess you could do a combo of herding and leading to get the job done.

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