Navigation method and system for autonomous machines with markers defining the working area

  • US 6,255,793 B1
  • Filed: 11/07/1995
  • Issued: 07/03/2001
  • Est. Priority Date: 05/30/1995
  • Status: Expired due to Term
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First Claim
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1. A method for automatically operating a robot within a working area enclosed by a boundary comprising the steps of:

  • providing a boundary along edges of an area so as to provide a boundary outlining the working area, said boundary being detectable by a sensor;

    providing boundaries along edges of each area enclosed in the working area, in which it is desired that the robot should not operate, said boundaries also being detectable by a sensor;

    providing a sensor positioned on the robot, said sensor for detecting said boundaries;

    providing processing means connected to said sensor and receiving an input therefrom;

    providing location means on said robot to determine the coordinates of the robot relative to an arbitrary origin, at any specific time;

    providing direction finding means on said robot;

    providing memory means to store values generated by said processing means and, optionally, by said location means;

    moving said robot into said area;

    (a) causing the robot to move along each of the boundaries provided around or within said working area and to make a complete traversal of said boundary outlining said working area, to detect said boundaries and to memorize their shape, and to store in the memory means values representative of the coordinates of said boundaries, relative to an arbitrary origin, thereby to initially generate a basic map of the working area;

    (b) causing the robot to start from an arbitrary starting point having known coordinates within the basic map of the working area;

    (c) causing said robot to move autonomously along a path, said path comprising at least a plurality of substantially straight lines between portions of said boundaries, and to detect a boundary when in the vicinity of the boundary; and

    (d) during said movement;

    continuously determining the coordinates of the robot by analyzing data obtained from the location means and by detecting the vicinity of a boundary; and

    correcting the actual position of the robot on the basic map by comparing the calculated and the actual coordinates of each detected boundary.

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