Self-guided, self-propelled, convertible cleaning apparatus

  • US 5,634,237 A
  • Filed: 03/29/1995
  • Issued: 06/03/1997
  • Est. Priority Date: 03/29/1995
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
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First Claim
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1. A self-guided, self-propelled, convertible cleaning apparatus which comprises:

  • a cleaning unit comprising;

    (a) cleaning means for cleaning an area;

    (b) moving means for moving said cleaning unit in two mutually orthogonal directions over said area;

    (c) position detection means for detecting the position of said cleaning unit relative to a starting position and outputting position signals indicative thereof;

    (d) obstacle detection means for detecting obstacles located within said area that hinder the motion of said cleaning unit and outputting obstacle signals indicative thereof;

    (e) power cable means for powering said cleaning unit from an external power source;

    (f) fastening means for fastening said power cable to said external power source;

    (g) loop detection means for detecting when said power cable has looped around said obstacles and outputting loop signals indicative thereof; and

    (h) control means for controlling said moving means in conjunction with said obstacle signals, said position signals, and said loop signals to enable said cleaning unit to automatically traverse said area, evade said obstacles, and prevent looping of said power cable around said obstacles; and

    tensioning means for removing slack from said power cable to ensure that said power cable is taut at all times.

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