This robot was once an antique vacuum cleaner

Successfully maintaining a public FabLab, MakerSpace or HackSpace can be an expensive endeavor, so donations are almost always appreciated.

The GarageLab, a small FabLab in the German city of Düsseldorf, decided to encourage donations from its patrons by replacing a small plastic frog with the aptly named “Donation Robot,” which the team meticulously fashioned out of an antique Miele vacuum cleaner.

Key project components include:


Atmel-based Arduino Uno (ATmega328
  • Standard Processing and standard libraries
  • VLSI VS1000 audio module (+ custom firmware)
  • HC-SR04 distance sensor
  • Four LED stripes (two RGB on the backside)
  • 6 power-LEDs for the top
  • Servo for moving the top, servo for moving the bill-mouth
  • Three distance sensors for bill and coin detection
  • Switch for muting audio module
  • Reset button

“The work took about one year to construct, print and integrate all 3D-printed parts, wiring and software development with the Arduino Uno,” Holgar Prang told the official Arduino blog.

“Software development was the minor part, although parallel processing on the Arduino in order to run every component simultaneously required a small trick.”

Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s official page here.

1 thought on “This robot was once an antique vacuum cleaner

  1. Tony

    Even though the robotic vacuum buzz is a relatively new trend however, many people don’t know that the technology has actually been around since the 1990s. Popular brands during this time were Roomba, picaBot, Robomaxx, Intellibot, Trilobite, FloorBot, and Dyson. That said, these robotic vacuum cleaners had limited suction power and moved in a random pattern to clear floors



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