Building your own robot that can clean your house may sound complicated, but it's actually quite simple with an Arduino microcontroller and a handful of common household items. In this article, I'll walk you through a step-by-step guide on how I built my own cleaning robot using an Arduino Uno, servo motors, and materials easily found around the house.

Gathering the Necessary Components

Here's what you'll need to build your DIY cleaning Arduino robot:

Arduino Uno

The Arduino Uno is the microcontroller board that will function as the robot's "brain." It's inexpensive, widely available, and easy to program.


Servos are motor devices that allow for precise control of movement and rotation. I used two standard servos to power the robot's wheel motion.

Battery Pack

An external battery pack provides power for the Arduino and motors. A pack with 6 AA batteries worked well.

Motor Shield

A motor shield attaches on top of the Arduino and lets you control DC motors with your code.


The robot needs two wheels to move around. I salvaged two wheels from an old remote control car, but you can also 3D print or laser cut a wheel design.

Body Materials

For the robot's body, you can use cardboard, wood, plastic - anything sturdy you have available. I used an empty tissue box.


That's it for components! With just an Arduino, two servos, and basic craft materials, you'll have everything you need.

Assembling the Body

Here are the steps I followed to assemble the robot's chassis:

1. Cut the Tissue Box

I started by cutting down and flattening out a rectangular tissue box which would serve as the robot's body. Make sure to leave clearance under the body for the wheel and caster to spin.

2. Mount the Wheels

Next, I mounted the two drive wheels on either side of the body using hot glue. The wheels should have enough traction to propel the robot on smooth floors.

3. Add Caster Wheel

A caster wheel in the front center balances the robot and allows it to turn smoothly. Use hot glue to secure the caster wheel to the front underside.

4. Attach Components

I secured the Arduino, motor shield, battery pack, and servo motors to the top of the body with tape and glue. Arrange components neatly so wires can connect between them.

With the body assembled, it's time to wire up the electronics.

Wiring up the Circuitry

Here are the steps I followed to connect the components:

1. Connect Servos to Motor Shield

Plug the control wires of each servo into the motor shield attached on top of the Arduino. This allows control of the servos through code.

2. Connect Battery Pack

Solder or use jumpers to connect the positive and negative terminals of the battery pack to the power rails on the motor shield. This provides 6V power.

3. Connect Light Sensor

I added a simple photocell light sensor to detect dirty spots on the floor. Connect 3 wires from the sensor to 5V power, ground, and an analog input pin.

4. Connect Arduino USB

Finally, connect the Arduino's USB port to your computer with a USB cable. This allows uploading code to the Arduino.

With all the electronics wired up, it's time to program the robot's logic and movements.

Programming the Arduino

The Arduino code gives the robot its cleaning behaviors and actions. Here are the key functions I programmed:

Set Motor Speeds

This allows setting unique speeds for the left and right drive motors to steer and turn the robot.

Read Light Sensor

This reads the analog voltage value from the light sensor pin to detect if the robot is over a dark/dirty spot.

Move Forward/Backward

Logic to spin the motors forward or reverse for straight movement.

Turn Left/Right

By setting different left/right motor speeds, the robot can make smooth turns.

Cleaning Behavior

When a dirty spot is detected, the robot reverses, turns, moves forward over the spot, and repeats to "clean" it.

I used Arduino's loop() function to continuously run the above logic. The full code can be found on my GitHub.

After testing the code, it was time to put the robot to work!

Taking it For a Test Drive

Before unleashing my cleaning robot in the house, I tested it on a small dirt track I made on the floor. Here's how it performed:

The test was a success! Now it was time to demonstrate the Arduino cleaning bot's skills on some real household messes.

Putting It To Work Around the House

I set my DIY robot loose in a few rooms around the house to tackle dust, debris, and dirt on our floors. Here were the results:

While it couldn't match a Roomba in cleaning performance, I was impressed how well it did with simple components!

Key Takeaways from My Arduino Cleaning Robot Project

Building a cleaning robot with an Arduino and basic craft supplies was a fun, rewarding experience. Here are my main tips for anyone wanting to create their own:

While my Arduino cleaning robot isn't ready to replace a Roomba yet, this was an enlightening project that helped me learn a ton about DIY robotics. I hope this guide gives you a solid foundation for creating your own simple cleaning robot! Let me know if you have any other questions.