Mechanics and Construction > Mechanics and Construction

Anyone do this for a living? (need a massive rhomba type robot)

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Just wondering if someone could give me an estimate as to how much something like this would cost. I know, I'm an outsider, and this may seem ridiculous, but some of you may find this interesting.

I want to build a robotic floor distressing machine, similar to the Rhomba, but using 2 car batteries stacked on top of each other to add weight as well as give it more juice.

The idea is to have a machine that will purposely distress a hardwood floor using a metal wire brush instead of nylon vacuum bristles, as well as having 3 randomly placed metal spikes on the wheels. The machine would run exactly as does the Rhomba machines do, so as to randomly cover a room in x minutes (ie 5 hours for 200 sq.ft). Also, I don't know how much more difficult this would be, but possibly use some type of grinder that randomly drops on the floor every so often as to leave a different type of gash on the floor here and there.

I run a hardwood flooring company and am looking for a way to randomly distress hardwood floors without breaking my back and knees. I have over $20k invested in tools, and always looking for new toys!


If the 'bot only needs to run in un-furnished rooms, then you could probably have one built for a few thousand dollars. The main thing would be solving the mechanical robustness of actuating force onto the floor.
I know the folks over at Trossen Robotics build robots on contract, but I think they specialize more in walkers than rovers.

Roomba control board with wheelchair motors, electronics and batteries. Throw in a few power converters, and an extra motor or two and this probably wouldn't be too difficult to accomplish. I think jwatte is right about the costs...without thinking about it, off the top of my head I would have guessed around 5K including a roomba, a good used wheelchair to strip down, and misc parts/motors, plus engineering time.

I'm curious though...couldn't you use something similar to a commercial floor buffer, and just make an attachment for the bottom of it instead of using the buffing pad? It would be a lot cheaper, quicker, and easier to maintain and probably transport, too.


Thanks for the reply. Yes I would definitely need it to be robust. I'm thinking the robot needs to be 100-200 lbs at least. The 2 car batteries could give me 80-120 lbs to start + motors (another 50lbs?). Do you know of any other companies I could call? I may call Trossen and see if they would be interested.

John, a buffer would not work for many reasons. The wheels would need to be much smaller in diameter than a wheelchair. I'd like it to have a similar footprint in size to rhombas.

How big is a roomba these days? My wheelchair robot is on a platform that's about 18" square, and and 3 feet tall. She weighs over 150lbs and I'm not even done adding toys to her yet. lol.

Smaller wheelchair wheels can be about 8" in diameter. If you want roomba-sized wheels, that may be an issue. There's a lot of weight you'll be moving around, and at fairly high torque. I'm not sure wheels the size of the roomba could handle those stresses.


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