Roomba 570 scratch protection
I wish iRobot would build the sides of their robots with more scratch resistance plastic or rubber. The plastic they use may be cheaper but a robot that runs into furniture to find its way around the room really needs better protection.
I protect my iPod and digital camera with plastic film sold by bestskinsever, invisibleshield and others. The film is basically the same as 3M Scotchguard. It is less than 1mm thick and is highly resistant to scratches. It is aparently the same film used to protect helecopter blades from damage. I haven't read about anyone else using these for protecting roombas but I think it's an ideal solution. The protective film is cheap, thin (does not change the appearance of the roomba), slightly soft (protects furniture from bumps) and easy to install (only requires soapy water to activate the stickiness). The film is highly adhesive (does not come off by itself) but is actually easy to peel off and leaves no visible marks or residue behind.
I bought some A4 sheets from bestskinsever and cut them to the right shape to protect all around the sides of the roomba and around edges on the underside of the roomba. The flim performs perfectly. After 3 weeks of use, the roomba still looks brand new with no visible scratches on the sides and all my furniture remains undamaged.
Manually cutting the plastic film to shape is time consuming but installing the film is much easier to install on the roomba then an iPod LCD because you don't need to be overly careful with dust particles and optical clarity.
Here's some pictures of the protected roomba 3 weeks after the protective film was installed:
A shot of the front right of the roomba. There's two strips of film in this photo. One over the right hand sensor bar and one over the plastic under the sensor bar. Cutting the strips for the sensor bar was the most difficult because of the round edge at one end of the sensor bar (far left in the photo).
A close shot of the end of the roomba's left sensor bar. You can see that the sensor bar and the plastic surrounding it are covered with seperate strips of plastic film. The protective film gives reflections a slight "orange peel" looking effect.
It's a bit difficult to see but there are panels of plastic film protecting the back of the roomba too.
Here's a close up of a couple of plastic film panels protecting the side of the roomba.
Here's a close up shot of the front center of the roomba showing the two protected sensor bars.