Robot cleaner system having external charging apparatus and method for docking with the charging apparatus

  • US 6,748,297 B2
  • Filed: 04/03/2003
  • Issued: 06/08/2004
  • Est. Priority Date: 10/31/2002
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
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First Claim
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1. A robot cleaner system comprising:

  • an external charging apparatus and a robot cleaner, the external charging apparatus comprising a power supply terminal connected to a wire through which a utility power is supplied, and a terminal stand for supporting the power supply terminal and fixing the external charging apparatus to a predetermined location, the robot cleaner comprising a driving unit for moving a cleaner body, an upper camera disposed on the cleaner body for photographing a ceiling, a charging battery disposed in the cleaner body for being charged by power supplied from the power supply terminal, a bumper disposed along an outer circumference of the cleaner body and outputting a collision signal when a collision with an obstacle has been detected, and a charging terminal disposed at the bumper to be connected with the power supply terminal and being connected to the charging battery, wherein, prior to starting an operation, the robot cleaner photographs an upward-looking image using the upper camera, calculates the location information of the external charging apparatus, and stores the location information in the state of being connected to the external charging apparatus, and, when returning to the external charging apparatus, the robot cleaner calculates a return path based on the current location information calculated from an image photographed by the upper camera and the stored location information of the external charging apparatus and returns to the external charging apparatus along the return path.

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