Method and system for robot localization and confinement

  • US 6,781,338 B2
  • Filed: 10/29/2003
  • Issued: 08/24/2004
  • Est. Priority Date: 01/24/2001
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. A robot confinement system, comprising:

  • (a) a transmitter that includes a signal emitter and a signal detector, the signal emitter being operative to broadcast a first beam and a second beam;

    (b) a retroreflector positioned and operative to reflect at least a portion of the first beam back to the transmitter;

    (c) the signal detector being operative to detect the reflected portion of the first beam, the reflected portion of the first beam between the signal emitter and the retroreflector defining a barrier for the robot confinement system;

    (d) the signal emitter being operative to broadcast the second beam when the signal detector fails to detect the reflected portion of the first beam; and

    (e) a mobile robot including (e1) means for moving the mobile robot to avoid the second beam, (e2) a detector operative to detect the second beam, and (e3) a control unit, operative in response to detection of the second beam, to run an algorithm for moving the mobile robot to avoid the second beam broadcast by the signal emitter;

    (f) wherein if operation of the mobile robot causes the reflected portion of the first beam to be blocked such that the signal detector fails to detect the reflected portion of the first beam, the transmitter signal emitter is operative to broadcast the second beam, which is detected by the mobile robot detector, causing the control unit to run the algorithm to move the mobile robot to avoid the second beam.

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