Method and device for sensing of obstacles for an autonomous device

  • US 5,867,800 A
  • Filed: 09/30/1996
  • Issued: 02/02/1999
  • Est. Priority Date: 03/29/1994
  • Status: Expired due to Term
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First Claim
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1. A method for sensing proximity for an autonomous device, said autonomous device including wheels, a motor, and a microprocessor and proximity sensing system for orientation and guidance of said autonomous device, said proximity sensing system including a transmitter and receivers, said receivers having signal interfaces for transmitting digital signals to said microprocessor and being arranged in one of a slanted plane and along a curved baseline, comprising the steps of:

  • transmitting a wave from said transmitter, said wave having a slow propagation and being transmitted within a continuous sector of a normal travelling direction of said autonomous device;

    detecting reflections of said wave by a number of said receivers during a predetermined time slot, corresponding to a proximate area, thereby obtaining a three-dimensional direction to an obstacle;

    a transmitting digital signals from said number of said receivers to said microprocessor in response to said detecting;

    processing said digital signals by said microprocessor and creating an orientation data base within said proximate area;

    utilizing said data base continuously for orientation and guidance of said autonomous device with respect to detected obstacles during continued automatic motion of said autonomous device, and obtaining further proximity data for use by said microprocessor in combination with said data base for orientation and guidance of said autonomous device during said continued automatic motion by processing further digital signals transmitted from a number of said receivers to said microprocessor in response to further of said transmitting and detecting on the same wave frequency within said predetermined time slot during said continued automatic motion.

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