Method and system for positioning an autonomous mobile unit for docking

  • US 6,504,610 B1
  • Filed: 07/22/1999
  • Issued: 01/07/2003
  • Est. Priority Date: 01/22/1997
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
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First Claim
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1. A system for positioning an autonomous mobile unit for docking, comprising:

  • a transmitter and a detector arrangement, wherein one of the transmitter and the detector arrangement is arranged at the autonomous mobile unit and the other of the transmitter and the detector arrangement is arranged at a docking device, the transmitter emitting a slot-shaped light beam which is substantially perpendicular to a drive surface of the autonomous mobile unit, the detector arrangement including at least one position detector which is oriented substantially parallel to the drive surface, the detector arrangement for detecting a position of the light beam;

    an evaluator which receives data from the detector arrangement and evaluates a change of relative position of the light beam with respect to the detector arrangement to control movement of the autonomous mobile unit wherein the light beam assumes a predetermined position on the detector arrangement; and

    three-wheel kinematics, wherein it is determined whether it is possible for the autonomous mobile unit to attain a desired docking position based on the kinematics and depending on a docking interval, and the autonomous mobile unit is distanced from the docking device, if it is determined that it is not possible for the autonomous mobile unit to attain the desired docking position, sufficiently far enough to enable the autonomous mobile unit to ultimately attain the desired docking position.

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