System and method for performing mobile robotic work operations

  • US 5,974,348 A
  • Filed: 12/13/1996
  • Issued: 10/26/1999
  • Est. Priority Date: 12/13/1996
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
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First Claim
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1. An automated gardening system for performing tasks in a garden comprising:

  • at least seven navigation beacons positioned around a perimeter of said garden, each beacon emitting electromagnetic radiation across said garden; and

    a robot for moving through the garden and performing gardening tasks;

    wherein said robot includes;

    a panoramic image collector which gathers and focuses said electromagnetic radiation from each navigation beacon at a common focal plane to form at least seven beam spots corresponding to the respective navigation beacons, wherein the relative position of said at least seven beam spots in said focal plane varies depending upon the position and the orientation of said robot within the garden;

    an imaging camera positioned at said focal plane to detect at least seven beam spots and output electrical signals representative thereof;

    a navigation module for processing said electrical signals from said imaging camera to determine the position and orientation of the robot within the garden;

    a controller for controlling at least one driver motor and at least one implement, each driver motor propels said robot along a predetermined path and each implement performs a gardening task along said predetermined path; and

    wherein said controller controls each driver motor to drive said robot along said predetermined path based on said detected position and orientation determined by said navigation module.

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