Stretch suddenly making noise

Occasionally the robot has made strange noises, but usually restarting the robot fixed them. This time, however, the noise is consistent. In particular, it seems to be coming from the motors that rotate the camera on the head? It’s like a whirring with some amount of grinding/grating sound. Is this indicative of a larger problem? Is there something we can do to clean it or check if something is misaligned?

So far we’ve tried: restarting the robot several times, homing it, commanding the head to rotate, and running, which gives the following:

---- Checking Devices ----
[Pass] : hello-wacc
[Pass] : hello-motor-left-wheel
[Pass] : hello-pimu
[Pass] : hello-lrf
[Pass] : hello-dynamixel-head
[Pass] : hello-dynamixel-wrist
[Pass] : hello-motor-arm
[Pass] : hello-motor-right-wheel
[Pass] : hello-motor-lift
[Pass] : hello-respeaker

---- Checking Pimu ----
[Pass] Voltage = 13.686727285385132
[Pass] Current = 2.7476073845344433
[Pass] Temperature = 33.769572392488136
[Fail] Cliff-0 = 24.50970458984375 out of range -50 to 20
[Fail] Cliff-1 = 22.13348388671875 out of range -50 to 20
[Fail] Cliff-2 = 28.3507080078125 out of range -50 to 20
[Fail] Cliff-3 = 41.443115234375 out of range -50 to 20
[Pass] IMU AZ = -9.788532257080078
[Pass] IMU Pitch = -1.6660072803497317
[Pass] IMU Roll = 2.300811767578125

---- Checking EndOfArm ----
[Pass] Ping of: stretch_gripper
[Pass] Calibrated: stretch_gripper

[Pass] Ping of: wrist_pitch

[Pass] Ping of: wrist_roll

[Pass] Ping of: wrist_yaw
[Pass] Calibrated: wrist_yaw

---- Checking Head ----
[Pass] Ping of: head_pan

[Pass] Ping of: head_tilt

---- Checking Wacc ----
[Pass] AX = 9.529446601867676

---- Checking hello-motor-left-wheel ----
[Pass] Position = 2.0953028202056885

---- Checking hello-motor-right-wheel ----
[Pass] Position = -1.8785152435302734

---- Checking hello-motor-arm ----
[Pass] Position = 2.4048545360565186
[Pass] Position Calibrated = True

---- Checking hello-motor-lift ----
[Pass] Position = 67.13237762451172
[Pass] Position Calibrated = True

---- Checking for Intel D435i ----
Bus 002 Device 002: ID 8086:0b3a Intel Corp. Intel(R) RealSense(TM) Depth Camera 435i
[Pass] : Device found 

Our cliff sensors being out of range doesn’t seem related to the present issue? And we’re not currently relying on them for anything, but if there’s something we should do about that as well, please let me know.

Thanks! Overall very happy with our Stretch, it’s been working quite well.

1 Like

Hi @Sam, welcome to the forum and thanks for including the log! Everything in the log looks good, and regarding the “out of range” cliff errors, you can use to calibrate the cliff sensors for the type of floor you’re on, if you’re planning on using them.

It’s difficult to tell why the camera pan/tilt motors would be emitting a noise without seeing the issue, although it seems unlikely that it’s indicative of a larger problem since the rest of your system check log looks perfect. It would be helpful to see a video of the issue, either through a recorded video or live on a support call. Let me know which you’d prefer!

I took a video, but if you’re available a video call might be more efficient. Let me know how to contact you. Thanks!

Sounds good. Can you reach out to

Blaine from Hello Robot here, posting the resolution to this issue:

The whirring noise turned out to be coming from the small fan that sits at the bottom of the camera module. We replaced the fan, and the issue was fixed.

If this happens to anyone else, please let us know at and we can assist with the repair.

1 Like