My Roborover mods...

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nicerobot's picture
My Roborover mods...

Hi there.   I made some mods to my Roborover I thought some people might be interested in. 


I changed the eyes to orange and the mouth to red.  I kind of miss the original green eyes now but have gotten somewhat used to these.  I also added LEDS to the non-functional mini headlights.

Roborover LED mods

Headlight mod

A couple of LEDS were also added to the lower rear:



Honestly something every WoWWee bot needs!  Originally black, this button was actually salvaged from a disected Roboreptile.  Wiring the switch was easy - the real challenge was getting the button to match Roborover's odd off-yellow color LOL :)

Mute Button 



Simple but effective, a couple of snap switches were tapped into Roborover's front bumper sensor to keep him from falling off ledges.  I originally only had one switch that simply closed the bumper circuit when the roller on the switch went off the edge.  I soon found out this was ineffective because the bot's main circuitry required an off-on-off sequence to activate the reverse of the drive motors.  To fix this I added another switch in a staggered arrangement to simulate the momentary contact required. 

Edge detection


 The most involved of these mods was adding a small vacuum to the bottom of Roborover so he could clean the top of my desk of debris while roaming/moving around.  I basically gutted the whole battery compartment area and retrofitted a small, 3-volt hand held mini vacuum into the robot.  The bottom of the vacuum has bristles to help sweep the debris in the suction port.  I had a problem though because I only wanted these bristles making ground contact while the vacuum was operational to reduce wear/tear/drag at all other times.  To solve it I modified Roborover's back suspension replacing the spring in the rear castor with a softer one and incorporated a latch/switch mechanism.  To use the vacuum, you slightly press down on the back of the robot, which lowers the bristles a few millimeters until they make contact and also activates the vacuum motor.  A small switch is then pushed in to lock the robot in this position while the vacuum is operating.  The two lower rear LEDS are actually on the same circuit as vacuum's motor.  The vacuum is easily emptied by removing the black cover on the bottom (see photo). 


Emptying debris from vacuum


Installing the vacuum meant relocating the batteries - which actually ended up being a huge headache.  Roborover's such a skinny robot that there really isn't anywhere else to relocate those 4 bulky "C" batteries internally.  What I ended up doing was replacing them with 4 high capacity Nimh rechargeable AA batteries and added 2 more AA batteries on a separate circuit to power the vacuum/rear LEDS.  So that all batteries could be recharged internally, I incorporated charging jacks on the right side of the robot (see photo).

Rechargable batteries

That's it!  Hope you like the mods!!  



kindredd's picture

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G mods! best use of the roborover yet. Love the vacuum idea and the edge detection. Any chance that we will see a tutorial someday?

Good work!

FreddyA's picture

Before I was blind, I now can see. I'm getting a roborover and now it's time to think of the mod to make the arms and upper body useful, maybe a overhead scooper. Great job on these mods, clean and worth the work.


robopizza's picture

Nice work! Very inspirational.


nicerobot's picture

Thanks for all the compliments guys! I could possibly do a tutorial someday if there was enough interest. I don't have any electronics/engineering degree so there weren't any complex circuits and the wiring was pretty basic. If anybody has any specific questions I'd be happy to answer them. For those interested in hacking I will say getting into the head is a somewhat involved process. Fortunately another member posted a roborover thread that helped out in that respect. To get inside the head you have to open the torso first - and to do that you have to remove the red screw cover on roborover's left shoulder by prying it off with a small knife/screw driver/thumbtack, then remove screws one at a time.