Method and system for robot localization and confinement

  • US 20050067994A1
  • Filed: 08/19/2004
  • Published: 03/31/2005
  • Est. Priority Date: 01/24/2001
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. A confinement system for a mobile robot having propulsion elements for moving the robot, the confinement system comprising:

  • a signal emitter operable to transmit a first beam and a second beam;

    a retro-reflector positionable to reflect at least a portion of the first beam back to the emitter;

    a first signal detector operable to detect the reflected portion of the first beam, the reflected portion of the first beam between the emitter and the retro-reflector defining a confinement barrier;

    the emitter being operable to transmit the second beam when the first signal detector fails to detect the reflected portion of the first beam;

    a second signal detector, adapted for mounting in association with the robot, and operable to detect the second beam; and

    a controller, operable to control the robot'"'"'s propulsion elements and responsive to detection of the second beam to control the propulsion elements to move the robot to avoid the second beam;

    wherein if operation of the robot causes the reflected portion of the first beam to be blocked such that the first signal detector fails to detect the reflected portion of the first beam, then the emitter is operable to transmit the second beam which, if detected by the second signal detector, causes the controller to control the propulsion elements to move the mobile robot to avoid the second beam.

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