I bought a Roomba Red in September 2006 when it’s on sale at Amazon. It worked fantastically well for about a year, but then the battery started to die out. As soon as I unplug it from a full charge the light turns amber, and it would only run for less than 30 minutes.

So I bought a li-ion battery from glo69 on roombareview.com, and it worked extremely well, due to both more power and much lighter weight than the original NiMH battery. However Roomba soon started acting weird. It’s not exactly the notorious Circle of Death, but close: it would make very frequent turns and could not go straight for more than a foot, so it mostly stayed in one spot and often got stuck, also partly because it’s running faster from the better battery.

Now I think the problem was just the edge detectors were covered by dust, so Roomba always thought it’s over stairs and turned back. But I’d wanted to clean its interior for a long time, so finally I made up my mind to do it.

The wonderful Fix Circle of Dance site made it really fool-proof. The most important thing is I printed the screw location picture on a full page, and punch each screw through the paper as I took them down so that they wouldn’t get mixed up.

The inside of Roomba can be a prop for a horror movie. I first used pliers to pick out the large dust chunks–yes, chunks of dust, and there’re plenty of them! Then I used a wipe, and finally a dust blower. The result?

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And now Roomba can run a couple of happy hours again.

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