Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Warm and Fussy

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Laser Rust Removal Roomba

Roomba-style robot with laser to remove rust from vehicle undercarriage
  [vote for,

Most vehicle corrosion occurs on the underside of the vehicle, and heavily contributes to mechanical failure of components, as well as in shortening vehicle life. Laser rust removal machines offer amazingly convenient capability for removing rust. The laser's frequency is specifically attuned to removal of rust and dirt, and thus spares other surfaces from any destructive effects. [see link below]

The idea is for a Roomba type of robot device that would move around underneath a vehicle while using such a laser to remove both dirt and rust from the underside of the vehicle. This would help in vehicle maintenance and longevity. The Roomba-style robot would have an extended power cord trailing from it to supply the necessary electrical power for the laser to operate.

The Roomba-style robot would navigate by using a camera with optical recognition software to know where it was underneath the vehicle. That camera could also be used to provide the owner with visual inspection of the underside of the vehicle without the need for a hoist. (Sometimes you just want to see what the underside of your vehicle looks like, to know what kind of condition it's in, just as a matter of routine inspection.) The fully-stitched video image would be wirelessly transmitted to an app on the user's phone device, where the image could be recorded and stored for future reference. (Maybe you want to send that image to a mechanic or someone else, to have them assess what's wrong, before bringing the vehicle in.)

Perhaps a cheap and basic model of the Roomba robot would just have the camera and do the visual inspection stuff, without doing the rust removal. It could be the size of a hockey puck, instead of Roomba size, and wouldn't need a power cord. Revenues from sale of this basic inspector model could be used to fund the development of the more advanced version with the laser rust removal.

Finally, a separate sprayer-roomba could be used to spray anti- corrosion coating or wax onto the vehicle underside, especially at specific spots requiring touch-ups and extra protection.

The same phone app could be used to interface with all 3 robot devices.

sanman, Oct 07 2020

Laser Rust Removal explained https://www.youtube...watch?v=ACGSzBXKONo
Brief Explanation of Laser Rust Removal [sanman, Oct 07 2020]

2nd function https://youtu.be/Lfz2bYgr5LM
method for smaller items [wjt, Oct 10 2020]

Ryobi Water Broom https://www.youtube...watch?v=w686wb1gjx8
Vehicle Undercarriage Cleaner [sanman, Oct 10 2020]

Directed Energy Deposition https://www.youtube...watch?v=oPMjaYWM0X0
Depositing metal where needed using directed energy [sanman, Oct 11 2020]


       Yep. (+)   

       I question how fine a degree of control an untrained Roomba pilot can exhibit undercarriage, while also shooting lasers with precision, but then again, it is an excuse to shoot lasers willy-nilly without bothering actual pilots.
4and20, Oct 07 2020

       As I mentioned, the robot would use optical recognition software to navigate itself around beneath the vehicle. This would be assisted by inputting the vehicle make & model into the phone app, which would give relevant information to the robot, such as the dimensions and layout of the vehicle undercarriage. Using the "internet of things" approach, the full image taken of the vehicle's undercarriage by camera could be relayed through the phone app or directly via the home wi-fi, and ultimately sent to a central server, for further analysis and comparison. (As you know, many modern garage door openers also connect to internet via wi-fi, to allow remote operation.) This type of data mining would allow for better understanding of corrosion on various vehicle models, in order to achieve best possible treatment. (As with Facebook, etc, by making use of the service, you are agreeing to allow data on your vehicle's corrosion to be collected and made use of by others.) Furthermore, as shown in the linked video, the laser is attuned to removal of rust & dirt only, and does not affect normal uncorroded surfaces. Indeed, it does not even damage flesh, although there would be product warnings against staring into the laser, etc.
sanman, Oct 07 2020

       Hi, I am simply using the word "Roomba" for convenience in suggesting how the product would generally look and move, and am in no way suggesting that the actual product be named "Roomba". Similarly, we sometimes use the word "Xerox" to generically refer to photocopying. More important than the product's actual name is how it ultimately looks and operates.
sanman, Oct 07 2020

       Why not just make a carsized laser pad you can park over and laser the hell out of that puppy?
4and20, Oct 07 2020

       Hi, I'd thought about that too. It would probably be significantly more expensive, being a larger device. That might be something you install at a professional automotive garage or maintenance facility. Heck, perhaps it could even be installed at a car wash. The corrosion-zapper pad/bar could zap the underside of your vehicle after the main car wash has been done and the vehicle undercarriage has already been blow-dried. Yeah, that could be a useful idea too, but the roomba idea would be for the home.
sanman, Oct 07 2020

       Brilliant in so many ways. Build it, we will come.
blissmiss, Oct 08 2020

       If the wheel diameter was bigger than the thickness, some jacks would allow a 2nd function.
wjt, Oct 10 2020

       2nd function? I'm not sure I understand exactly. Do you mean the Roomba would be able to elevate itself while underneath the vehicle? For what purpose? Like if it had some kind of brush or scraper attached to it, in order to use that on certain spots? Well, I suppose if you want to get fancy, you could have a rotating brush drum that comes up, sort of like the rotating brush on the bottom of some vacuum cleaners. I guess that could remove heavier dirt, before the laser gets used.   

       Or maybe a cheaper model could have the brush and no laser. It would just give your underside a good scrubbing. You could have different models at different price points.
sanman, Oct 10 2020

       Here - I've added another link to a product I just found on Youtube. It's a "water broom" that can clean the underside of vehicles, and even clean your driveway as well. It doesn't even need any separate pressure washer system attached to it. Not bad for $40 - cheaper than a Bidet.
sanman, Oct 10 2020

       Okay, how about this name: Underguard
sanman, Oct 10 2020

       2nd function : If the wheels were all driven independantly, the not moving robot would act as a plane with rollers on it. This plane could rotate smaller rusty objects(see link) and laze them.
wjt, Oct 10 2020

       I see what you're getting at - it would require that the objects being rotated be sufficiently light and have suitable geometry. Perhaps a device built like a lathe could rotate an object to have the laser completely scan its surface. I think there are also robot camera setups which are able to photograph an object from all angles, and those might likewise be able to zap an object from all angles.
sanman, Oct 10 2020

       Wheels are getting more advanced all the time, some even crab. Since this is in a workshop setting, things have to be reasonably beefy.
wjt, Oct 11 2020

       //some even crab//
That's possibly a good idea: legs! (Especially for those who don't have a nice smooth driveway or garage floor.)
neutrinos_shadow, Oct 11 2020

       Maybe the Roomba could adjust the height of its wheels so that it can get closer to the underside of the vehicle when required. I wonder if some kind of Laser Metal Deposition could also be possible? [See the new link I've added]
sanman, Oct 11 2020

       [sanman] This is adding up to be very complicated engineering marvel. Changes/advances can easily be added with the money earnt from the really useful, simple first successful product.
wjt, Oct 14 2020

       [wjt] Perhaps we can make our initial inspector roomba model even cheaper and simpler. Suppose your smartphone can be the brains & eyes of the roomba. Imagine this roomba is just a thin plastic chassis with small motorized wheels. Your phone plugs into the roomba via a USB connector, and also fits snugly lying on the topside of the chassis. A clear plastic lid on top swings shut, to keep your phone protected from any drips or grime beneath the vehicle. An app running on the phone would steer the roomba around the underside of the vehicle, while the phone camera does the video imaging of the entire underside, stitching everything together into one big image. You then retrieve your phone from the roomba, and it now has the image of the entire underside of your vehicle. The phone with its selfie camera has been used to take a 'selfie' of the vehicle's underside. Perhaps you don't even need to buy separate batteries for the roomba, and could power the wheel-motors from the phone, using the USB connector. You'd just have to ensure your phone was fully charged before using it with the roomba. The whole gadget would be cheap enough that you could sell it in gas stations - it would be hanging on a rack by the cash register, next to the slim jim beefsticks.
sanman, Oct 17 2020

       Sounds good. Add some mount points on the chassis and some cheap solder points into the motors and the product is ready for human imagination as well.
wjt, Oct 17 2020


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle