Charging system for mobile robot, method for searching charging station, mobile robot, connector, and electrical connection structure

  • US 6,764,373 B1
  • Filed: 10/27/2000
  • Issued: 07/20/2004
  • Est. Priority Date: 10/29/1999
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
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First Claim
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1. A charging system for a mobile robot comprising the mobile robot that is battery-driven and moves in a self-controlled way within a work space, and a charging station for accommodating the mobile robot for a battery charging operation, the mobile robot being of the at least four-footed type which walks like an animal and has a power connector on the abdomen of a torso unit thereof, the charging system comprising:

  • a concave receptacle with a power connector on the inner bottom portion of the receptacle;

    wherein the receptacle supports the mobile robot in a lying down position;

    visible recognition data arranged in a predetermined location of the charging station;

    image pickup means mounted on the mobile robot;

    calculating means for calculating a range and a bearing from the mobile robot to the charging station, based on an image picked up by the image pickup means; and

    searching means for causing the mobile robot to search for the charging station, based on the calculation result provided by the calculating means.

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