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Roomba Lighthouses: Tips and Tricks by Aurobo

iRobot Virtual Wall Lighthouses: tips and tricks


This article expand the manufacturer's description of Virtual Wall Lighthouses with some useful tips and tricks. It can be applied to the robots that support the lighthouse mode of operation, e.g. Roomba 780, Roomba 880, and some early Roomba 560.

Depending on the mode selected, a Virtual Wall Lighthouse (VWLH) can act as both a Lighthouse and a Virtual Wall.
- Virtual Wall mode completely blocks off areas you don't want your robot to access.
- Lighthouse mode acts as a gate, automatically blocking and opening designated areas during Roomba's mission to allow Roomba to efficiently clean multiple rooms. After the Roomba has completed cleaning each area as designated by a VWLH, the VWLH guides Roomba back to its home base.

In order to operate properly, the VWLH must be paired with the Roomba. This usually happens automatically, but sometimes you should advise your Roomba to re-discover available VWLHs. This might be required, for example, when you lighthouse was paired with another Roomba or if you reset the robot (e.g. replaced its battery). In order to initiate re-discovery, you need to remove the VWLH batteries for a minute and then re-install them back. When you run the robot next time it will automatically pair with the lighthouse. The LHVW should be in the mode you want it to perform prior to starting cleaning. It should also be placed in the location you want it in before starting your Roomba. If a LHVW paired successfully, it will show a green light when the robot starts cleaning.

Maximum cleaning time regulated by Lighthouse is about 25 minutes per room. Using the range selector you can adjust the length of this barrier up to 2.4 meters. Setting a longer range will drain the batteries of the VWLH faster.

The VWLH uses two different paths to communicate with the robot. First, they us infra-red (IR) invisible beam to block off areas. Second, the robot uses a radio frequency (RF) signal to communicate with VWLH and control their behaviour, e.g. turn on the power or shut down the beam. At some rare cases, the operation of VWLH can be disturbed by either IR or RF devices. An example of an IR device is a TV remote. An example of an RF device is a WiFi internet router or remote-controlled toy. If such interference occurred you might need to relocate the interfering device to remote location.

This article was published on Tuesday 14 July, 2015.
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