Obstacle sensing apparatus for a self-propelled cleaning robot

  • US 5,293,955 A
  • Filed: 12/30/1992
  • Issued: 03/15/1994
  • Est. Priority Date: 12/30/1991
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
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First Claim
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1. An obstacle sensing apparatus for a self-propelled cleaning robot which automatically carries out cleaning of a floor space while traveling on the surface, the apparatus comprising:

  • a body having a front wall, opposite sidewalls, and a rear wall;

    mounting members disposed at both sides of the front portion of the body at the intersection of the front wall and the sidewalls, each mounting member being made of a three-sided plate comprising a central portion extending transversely to a central longitudinal axis of said body, a first side portion bent at an angle of ninety degrees relative to the central portion, said first side portion extending rearwardly from said central portion and parallel to a respective sidewall, and a second side portion inclined at an angle of forty five degrees relative to the central portion and having an outer surface facing outwardly from the central longitudinal axis;

    ultrasonic distance-measuring means including first, second and third ultrasonic elements disposed at respective ones of the three side portions of each said mounting member, each said ultrasonic element being mounted for directing ultrasonic waves in a direction extending perpendicular to a respective side portion, and an ultrasonic distance measuring circuit connected to the ultrasonic elements; and

    control means for judging presence and absence of an obstacle on the basis of the output of said ultrasonic distance-measuring means, thereby controlling the direction of travel of said body.

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