Question about iRobot Roomba 560 Robotic Vacuum

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My Discovery 4210 Roomba will run normally for about 20 minutes on a smooth, wooden floor. It then begins the following sequence: run forward a few inches, turn in a tight counter-clockwise circle a few revolutions, stop, power off a few seconds, power up, repeat cycle from forward run. The sequence can be repeated seemingly endlessly if I don't turn off the power manually. I've replaced the motor, and led revolution sensor system on the left drive wheel. I've blown the dust out of everywhere. After I let the unit stand and recharge the entire process can be repeated time and again. I've had the unit apart so many times that I've had to use larger screws in some places because the threads in the screw holes have worn out. Anyone have a good, reliable answer to the cause of this behavior?

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  • cdigiovanna Oct 16, 2009

    I have totally disassembled the drive wheel assembly and replaced almost everything in it including the led rotation counter source and receiver and the drive motor. I also replaced the drop down switch for that wheel. I do not know what digritz is referring to when he writes of an "optical encoder". I'm guessing he's referring to the led stuff I replaced.

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This robot vacuum has a electronic micro processor that controls the unit and tells it how to operate and where to go based on programmed parameters. It's quite a technical marvel. I have dropped a link here for contacting the company tech support line. They will be able to find a replacement part or give you the correct solution to the misbehavior of the machine.

Go here:

http://homesupport.irobot.com/cgi-bin/irobot_homesupport.cfg/php/enduser/ask.php?p_subject=Side%20wheel%20error%20message%20persists%20after%20troubleshooting%20-%20FAQ%20498&prod_lvl1=788&p_prods=788&p_pv=1.788

Posted on Oct 16, 2009

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It sound like your Roomba is doing the "Circle Dance". Even though you may think you have thoroughly cleaned it out the problem most likely is the optical encoder. Despite the snug fitting hub cover, dust can still enter. When the optical encoder used to sense wheel motion get even a little dirty the dreaded "Circle Dance" ensues.
Since I am not familiar with your specific model and I am unsure to what extent you have disassembled your Roomba, I can only give general steps.
You need to to gain access to the optical encoder. This means the body needs to be separated. Also any fender attachment and the hub cover. Under that you will find the optical encoder along with the drive belt and wiring for the encoder. A can off compressed used for cleaning keyboards works best because it's clean air unlike what you might get from an air compressor. There is really on need for further dis-assembly from this point. If you need more specific details on a particular area or are unsure about anything please don't hesitate to ask.
Hope this helps.

Tell the truth. You just love taking it apart don't you. :)

Posted on Sep 29, 2009

  • david mcclellan
    david mcclellan Oct 16, 2009

    There are a couple more things I can show and tell you about your Roomba trouble. The first is the show part.

    I have included some pictures that show the location of the optics I was referring to.

    Now the tell part.
    There are two possible solutions to your problem the first I out lined in the prior response. That along with the pictures should allow you to identify and clean the optical encoder sensor. This is an issue because of the sensitivity of this sensor. The real problem for you is even if you get it clean and functioning correctly, the problem is likely to reoccur.
    A more permanent solution is to reduce the sensitivity of the sensor making it less likely to repeat the "Circle Dance" issue.
    This can be done by way of an OSMC update.
    I have added a link to a site that offers this upgrade. It basically allows you to control and modify certain function of your Roomba.

    This site also offers a diagnostic and exchange program.
    However from all that you have already done. You probably have the "I don't care if it's broke or not! I want to take it apart anyway gene". So I also included a link to a site that give detailed instructions on the diagnostic test feature of the Discovery since it's way to much to include here. Please let me know if you need any other help or need anything clarified and I'll do my best. Good luck.



    http://www.protechrobotics.com/proddetai...

    http://mysite.verizon.net/gsplews/Diagno...


  • david mcclellan
    david mcclellan Oct 26, 2009

    Wanted to know how the robot repair was going?

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