Building your own robot to clean your house may sound daunting, but it's actually quite achievable on a budget. With some basic electronic and programming skills, you can create a simple DIY cleaning bot for under $50.

Selecting the Robot Chassis and Motors

The foundation of your cleaning robot is the chassis and motors. You'll want a chassis that's low profile so it can fit under furniture but still has enough clearance to handle various floor types. Some good options include:

For motors, small geared DC motors are inexpensive and provide sufficient torque. Choose motors with an integrated gearbox for simplicity.

Selecting the Robot's Control Board and Brains

The robot will need a small control board and microcontroller "brains" to operate the motors and sensors. Good options under $20 include:

These boards can all be programmed using C/C++ or MicroPython.

Adding Sensors to Guide the Robot

Sensors give your robot awareness of its surroundings. For a cleaning bot, useful sensors include:

Many all-in-one sensor modules contain multiple integrated sensors for convenience.

Powering the Robot

The robot will need a portable power source. Good options are:

Make sure your battery pack provides enough current for the motors - at least 500mA. Use a boost converter if needed.

Programming the Robot's Control Logic

Here are some key steps for programming your robot's behaviors:

Taking an iterative approach allows you to gradually build up functionality.

Constructing the Frame, Motors, and Electronics

With components selected, it's time to assemble them into a finished robot. Here's a high level process:

Make sure wires have some slack and things like buttons are accessible. Add bumpers or other finishing touches.

Testing and Iterating Your Cleaning Robot

Once built, test your robot and make any necessary tweaks:

Don't be afraid to take things apart and make modifications as issues arise. It takes some trial and error to get everything working well.

With persistence and creativity, you can build an inexpensive DIY robot capable of cleaning your house autonomously. The process of designing, constructing, and programming it will also give you valuable robotics skills. Get started on your own cleaning bot today!