Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Online Challenges

Cleaning Bot


Entry ID #: 8657
Created: Mon, Dec 7, 2020 3:11 PM


We wanted to create a robot with the means to clean tables easier, and more efficiently than conventional methods. What we quickly realized was that VEX did not have a part that we could use to make a cleaning apparatus. The 3D printed part that we designed is meant to hold cleaning wipes and apply enough pressure so that the robot can complete a pre-programmed set of commands to clean a table. With the device we designed combined with the robot, you can clean multiple tables simultaneously and completely contactless. 


Robotics Explanation:

The part is meant to be  mounted to the front of the robot to apply pressure so that when disinfectant wipes are attached, it can clean the surface of a table. The part is mounted by two slots on two prongs extending from the back of the part. The robot itself uses omnidirectional wheels, and with this, the robot can clean in forward back movements, and left to right movements without needing to rotate at all. We designed this so that the robot can be as precise as possible when cleaning a table. Inside the bot, there are two wheels that are placed on the ground by a servo motor, allowing for direct side to side movement without the need for turning. When a program is introduced to the robot for a specific table, it is able to clean it after simply setting it on the table and pressing a button


3D Modeling Explanation: 

We first used a 2D sketch to create the plate for where the disinfectant wipe connects to. Then, four small rectangular holes were made to attach the wipes with the part. Finally, we designed two supports that extend up to the robot, with screw holes to attach the part to the chassis of the robot. The screw holes were also rectangular in design to allow adjustments for different heights, depending on how much clearance was left for the wipe. We used Autodesk Inventor Professional 2020 to design our 3D part.



We learned how inconsistent the 3D printing process can be, and how the virtual design doesn’t always translate to the real world. We had multiple parts that we thought would work but didn’t. One of our parts would have taken 27 hours to print and another actually broke our 3D printer.  We plan on using 3D modeling mostly in the classroom for projects, but our teacher is also nice enough to let us refine our skills outside of class in 3D modelling and printing. The software we use enables us to create custom parts for different situations and problems that could arise in future projects or competitions. 3D modeling software will definitely help in the future, as it is being used in virtually every industry to create and innovate. Becoming skilled in 3D modeling can open up a lot of career paths and opportunities for the future job market.

Links / Videos

This video demonstrates how the VEX cleaning bot works.