Repair guides and support for the autonomous Roomba vacuum cleaning robots by iRobot.

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Vacuum will not go straight

I am having the "circle of death" problem with my Roomba Scheduler vacuum. Vacuum just turns around in a circle. Any solutions for this?

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Please add more information so that we can help you out. Have you tried cleaning the wheels? Hair can often get stuck in there, causing unnecessary friction.


Becky Duncan, which Roomba do you have?


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Becky Duncan, on a Roomba, this is called the"Circle Dance" not the "Circle of Death" :-) Here are a couple of things you can try before you get a chance to tell us which specific model you have. DRIVE WHEEL Module inspection and cleaning

Check the wheels for obstructions.

Push the wheels up and down several times and shake out any loose debris that may be trapped in the wheel well.

Make sure the wheels turn freely.

If there is uneven resistance between the wheels, hold down Roomba’s SPOT and

DOCK buttons for 10 seconds to reset the robot and try again.

Check tires for wear and tear.

If tire treads are no longer visible, or if large tears are present, replace wheel modules.

If wheel module problems persist on flat surfaces when there are no obstacles present, replace wheel modules.

The other thing to consider is dirt/grime at the optical encoders that sense wheel motion. Take a look at those and clean those with some isopropyl alcohol. Last but not least, you can also check the drive motor on the module.

There are two wires, a Red and a Black one that connect to the motor.Find those two wires on the connector that plugs into the connector on the main board, apply power form a 9V battery to those wires, the motor should turn in one direction. than reverse the wires, and the motor should turn into the opposite direction. If it does not, replace the motor, if it does you may have a bad component, either a diode or a power transistor (pretty common) on the H Bridge. Hope this helps, good luck.

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Just a few ideas. (1) The wheel to the outside of the circle has a broken speed sensor. Could be a cracked magnet disk that is on the back of the motor. Do a visual inspection on the magnetic disk. You can see it on the back end of the motor.The fix is a new Left wheel assembly. If you run the built in test (instructions all over the place, you tube and more) You can see the left wheel turn very fast, like maximum speed, The right wheel will be slower. The fix is a new Left wheel assembly. (2) Mother board is not reading one or the other wheel sensor. This is a last resort thing. Easy to trouble shoot with an oscilloscope. (3) Right wheel fouled with crud causing it to run slow. Clean it with another real vacuum or blow out with compressed air. (4) Front Sensor covered with junk. Blow compressed air between the front bumpers and the panel inside.

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The broken /stuck motor will be the one on the inside of the circle. If one of the wheels is turning and the other is stopped, the stopped one acts like an anchor and the other wheel drives in a circle around it. If a wheel is slower than the other, it will be the one closer to the center of the circle.

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Becky Duncan will be eternally grateful.
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