Having a robot that can clean your house while you relax or do other things sounds like a dream come true. With the rise of smart home devices and affordable robotics components, this dream can become a reality by building your own simple cleaning robot powered by Arduino.

In this comprehensive guide, I will walk you through the entire process of constructing an Arduino-based cleaning robot from the ground up, including the parts you need, how to assemble it, coding it to navigate and clean autonomously, and troubleshooting any issues that arise. With just some basic robotics skills and coding knowledge, you can construct your own intelligent cleaning assistant to handle household chores for you.

Parts Needed

Building a cleaning robot requires various electronic components that work together to mobilize it and provide automation. Here are the key components needed:

Arduino Microcontroller

The Arduino microcontroller is the brain of the robot, controlling its movements and actions. I recommend the Arduino Uno as a beginner-friendly option that is inexpensive but capable.

Chassis and Motors

The chassis provides the frame and body of the robot. A compact chassis with 2-3 wheels and DC motors allows the robot to move around. Motor drivers are needed to control the motors with the Arduino.


Ultrasonic sensors and infrared sensors are necessary for the robot to detect obstacles and navigate around your home. The sensors provide critical input to the Arduino to prevent collisions.

Cleaning Mechanism

A vacuum pump, sweeping brushes, or mop can be attached to clean as the robot navigates your home autonomously.

Battery Pack

A rechargeable battery pack provides the power needed for the motors, Arduino, and other components. A 7.4V or 11.1V pack with at least 1000mAh capacity is ideal.


With the components ready, it's time to assemble them into the full cleaning robot. This requires mechanical assembly as well as electrical wiring:

Constructing the Chassis

Wiring up the Electronics

Attaching the Cleaning Mechanism

Based on your cleaning method - vacuum, sweeper, or mop - securely mount the cleaning device onto the front or bottom of the chassis. Make sure it does not obstruct the wheels or sensors. Some brackets or clamps can help attach the cleaning mechanism firmly.

Programming the Arduino

Now it's time to give the robot a brain! The Arduino microcontroller needs to be programmed to make the robot fully autonomous.

Importing Required Libraries

To start, we need to import the libraries used for the various components:

#include <Servo.h> //for controlling servo motors
#include <NewPing.h> //for ultrasonic sensor

Initializing Pins, Variables and Objects

Next, we initialize the input and output pins, variables, and objects to store sensor data:

//Initialize trigger and echo pins for ultrasonic sensor
const int trigPin = 9;
const int echoPin = 10;

//sensor object
NewPing sonar(trigPin, echoPin);

//variables for storing distance values
int distanceRight;
int distanceLeft;

//Servo motor objects  
Servo servoLeft; 
Servo servoRight;

Setup Code

In the setup() section, we configure the pin modes and initiate the servo objects:

void setup() {

  //configure trig and echo pins as inputs and outputs
  pinMode(trigPin, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(echoPin, INPUT);

  //attach servos to pins


Main Control Loop

In the loop(), the main logic continuously runs to control the robot:

void loop() {

//take ultrasonic distance readings
distanceRight = sonar.ping_cm(trigPin, echoPin);
distanceLeft = sonar.ping_cm(trigPin, echoPin);

//check right side distance
if(distanceRight < 20){
//if obstacle detected on right, back up and turn left

//check left side distance
else if(distanceLeft < 20){
//if obstacle detected on left, back up and turn right

//otherwise, move forward slowly


The full code can be found on my GitHub.

Troubleshooting Issues

Despite the best efforts in assembly and coding, issues can arise that prevent the robot from working properly. Here are some common problems and their solutions:

Robot veering off course: Recheck wheel alignment and verify code logic for turning. Consider adding stabilizer wheels.

Sensors not detecting obstacles: Adjust sensor positioning and sensitivity. Check connections. Increase detection threshold distance.

Cleaning mechanism not working: Ensure attachment is secured. Check power connections. Test mechanism separately by giving direct power.

Battery drains quickly: Get a higher capacity battery rated for high discharge. Reduce motor demands in code. Ensure no short circuits.

Motors or servos not responding: Verify wiring between Arduino, motor drivers and motors. Check power connections. Re-upload code to Arduino.

Arduino becomes unresponsive: Rule out short circuit. Check for loose connections. Reset Arduino by disconnecting and reconnecting power.


Building your own Arduino-powered cleaning robot is a fulfilling project that requires planning, technical skills, troubleshooting ability and patience. The result is an intelligent automated assistant that can vacuum, sweep or mop for you while you put your feet up! I hope this guide has provided you a thorough overview of the entire process from components to coding. Let me know if you have any other questions as you embark on your robot-building journey!