iRobot Roomba to patrol coop perimeter and pick up loose feed

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by BillHoo, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. BillHoo

    BillHoo Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm getting ready to build a small coop and run on top of a concrete pad.

    Inside the run will be a layer of shavings / gravel for the hens to scratch around in. I got a small electric fence charger to keep the critters out.

    Friends and anti-chicken folks tell me the birds will scatter feed and attract rats.

    I got an iRobot Roomba Dirt Dog, that I plan to sweep up the perimeter around the coop regularly. Thinking of decorating it with aluminum, reflective pinwheels to scare away any animals that might come near the coop. Maybe even put on some pokey metal spines in case the fox wants to get too close.

    Does anyone else use any "automation" products to maintain the coop?

    Later, I plan to set up a wireless pan and tilt camera from D-Link so I can keep an eye on things. The D-Link camera allows remote control of appliances like lights and such. I think I can set it up to ring an alarm and turn on lights to scare off the neighborhood fox if I see him on my PC screen or iPhone. It can also alert me via email of movement in areas where there should not be movement.
     
  2. suezqz_64

    suezqz_64 Out Of The Brooder

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    I do not think you need a BattleBot to keep your chickens safe. A covered coop would be sufficient. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012
  3. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I absolutely LOVE this idea! When I read the thread title, my first thought was that it might be good for scaring off predators too. Please let us know how this works out!
     
  4. BillHoo

    BillHoo Out Of The Brooder

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    And I might be able to empty the swept up feed back into the coop for the hens to scratch around for.

    hehe....Battlebots!!!

    I figure a metal pinwheel would rotate in the breeze, maybe direct a small laser pointer at it so it creates a dazzling lightshow for the predator.

    The metal spines around the Roomba could be connected to a charged capacitor - something like a cattle prod circuit.

    If the visual display does not scare a predator and it decides to attack this poor little shop vaccuum, it'll get a nasty electric shock!!

    A few 2 x 4 s are probably all I need to define the perimeter - wouldn't want this thing to get loose in the neighborhood and wreak havoc on the neighborhood cats!

    This is something I would have to take pictures of!
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012
  5. blessedchick

    blessedchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was laughing when I read this since the idea never crossed my mind to use a Roomba in the coop...and I have a Dirt Dawg! I used it for about a year in my (indoor) bird room for scattered parrot food, etc. Unfortunately it bit the dust, so to speak, and I haven't been successful at bringing it back to life. Before the Dawg I had just a regular Roomba...2 of them...and they each lasted about a year. Either the task of scooping up feathers, dander, pellets and seed shells every other day was too much for it to take, or I just have cruddy luck with robotics. So I'm still using my Shop Vac (which I plan on getting a duplicate after the coop is finished) on the bird room with great results while the Roomba sits in the "Dawg" house...collecting dust instead of sweeping it...

    Please let us know how it works out for you! I hope that it will be a great success!
     
  6. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just make sure the chickens cannot get to it - it might scare some but others might want to dismantle all the pretty whirling pinwheels and gizmos.
     
  7. BillHoo

    BillHoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, the idea is to have the Roomba patrol a perimeter just outside the coop.



    I've never used any of the Roomba products in a harsh environment. In fact, I got it last year and never pulled it out of the box. I think they have problems with the batteries losing their ability to charge after a while.

    Or this:
    http://benchmark.20m.com/reviews/iRobotDirtDog/DirtDogReview.html
    "One minor problem I had with the dog is that it would be running normally then act as if it had magically entered a zero area room it could not back out of. Giving the dog a good air bath using compressed air are solved the problem. Apparently giving the dog an air-bath every so often is a good idea."

    "The bottom line though is that the Dirt Dog isn't truly durable enough for more than the most light and casual use. Mine basically wore out in less than four months of use due to a worn drive train. Even if it were durable enough, the unsophisticated navigation logic and short run time means that it can't really clean a typical shop without additional accessories which renders it not as helpful or convenient as one might expect. The limitations could be lived with but not the durability issue. I do look forward to the day when someone comes up with a truly capable machine."
    Yea, I'll keep it away from actual contact with the hens. Any rodents in the area better watch out! And if it konks out after a few months, I think it would be a worthy experiment toward a generation of totally automated Robot Chicken Coops


     
  8. The Lazy L

    The Lazy L Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote: Yep.
     

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