Process and autonomous apparatus for the automatic cleaning of ground areas through the performance of programmed tasks

  • US 5,341,540 A
  • Filed: 12/06/1991
  • Issued: 08/30/1994
  • Est. Priority Date: 06/07/1989
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
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First Claim
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1. Autonomous apparatus for automatically cleaning ground areas, comprising a support frame of the type comprising known tools adapted to said cleaning, propulsion and steering means by wheels, an electrical supply by on-board battery, various converters and relays, and control levers allowing operation of said tools and said propulsion and steering means, which apparatus is covered with a protecting body and comprises an electronic system of micro-computer type composed of at least one microprocessor, a fixed read-only memory, an erasable memory and various input/output cards connected in particular to the various components allowing operation and start-up of said tools and propulsion and steering means, fixed distance monitoring sensors and at least one initialization sensor, which sensors are connected to at least one of said input/output cards and are placed on said protecting body, further comprising a console on which said control levers are grouped, said console presenting a display and a keyboard, and said console being connected to a specific input/output card of the microprocessor, which read-only memory of the electronic system is loaded with a program ensuring, on the one hand, permanently and in known and automatic manner, the management of all the input/output interface cards and of all the equipment connected to said cards, and on the other hand, as required and successively in several places and for different tasks, a learning phase by memorization of a cleaning task made manually in a first step, then a phase of execution by repetition of this recorded cleaning task, and this in automatic manner even in the case of an unexpected obstacle detected by said distance monitoring sensors and from the same reference point on which said initialization sensor is reset at the beginning of each execution of the same task on the same learnt path, which apparatus comprises a known positioning system compatible with fixed reference beacons located near the ground area to be cleaned and from which, and at any chosen moment, said apparatus is positioned on said ground area.

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