The Zambroombi: Roomba’s Next Ultrasonic Competitor
“It changed my life. I don’t know where I’d be today without it. I used to just have to clean everything once, but thanks to The Zambroombi, I get to clean everything twice!” —Real Zambroombi© Customer
- Arduino Uno
- Adafruit motor shield
- Ultrasonic sensor
- Robot chassis w/ 2 DC motors
- Battery pack (if not included with chassis)
With the holidays approaching, I began to look at the calendar, and I became overwhelmed with stress. How am I supposed to host family gatherings AND cook and clean all by myself!? I knew something had to be done. Digging through my workbench for spare parts, I discovered the ultrasonic sensor and immediately went to work. Minutes later (easy project, try it out!), I held a new and fabulous household appliance, The Zambroombi!
The appearance leaves a bit to be desired, and the scooping design perhaps has an imperfection or two, but there is so much potential! The Zambroombi serves many functions: it sweeps up popcorn, it gives your dog a pal, it is even a friend to talk to at night. Add some bristles to a sweeping servo and give it a functioning tail, collecting and spreading dust across your house!
The Zambroombi is such a great design because I can turn it on and let it run free. Its ability to calculate an object’s distance and correct its own driving path means it can drive endlessly on its own—at least until it gets stuck on a potato.
Its astonishing ability to operate autonomously is based on the bot’s ultrasonic sensor. The ultrasonic sensor functions by emitting high-frequency sound waves (too high for the human ear to detect), waiting for those sound waves to reflect off an object, and then calculating how long it takes for the sound to return to the sensor. The sensor has included send and receive pins labeled “trigger” and “echo,” respectively, which perform most of the work for us. You can find more details about interfacing to the sensor module by looking through the code, found below in the orange code download button.