Robot cleaner, system employing the same and method for re-connecting to external recharging device

  • US 6,957,712 B2
  • Filed: 04/05/2002
  • Issued: 10/25/2005
  • Est. Priority Date: 04/18/2001
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
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First Claim
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1. A robot cleaning system comprising:

  • a robot cleaner; and

    an external recharging device;

    wherein the robot cleaner comprises;

    a driving portion for driving a plurality of wheels;

    at least one camera installed on a body of the robot cleaner, the camera for photographing external surroundings;

    an obstacle sensor;

    a distance sensor to measure a running distance of the robot cleaner; and

    a controller for photographing an image through the camera for a recognition of a connection position where the external recharging device is connected with the robot cleaner and storing the photographed image, wherein the controller is used for controlling the driving portion so that the robot cleaner can move from the external recharging device to a destination when an operation start signal is received in the robot cleaner connected to the external recharging device, wherein the controller is used for tracing a path to the connection position of the external recharging device and the robot cleaner during a robot cleaner'"'"'s return to the external recharging device while comparing a current image currently taken by the camera with a stored image of the connection position of the robot cleaner and the external recharging device;

    wherein the external recharging device comprises;

    a body member;

    sidewalls coupled to the body member for forming a seated section in the body member for holding the robot cleaner; and

    guide members coupled to the body member for guiding the robot cleaner into the seated section of the body member, wherein the guide members comprises;

    an upper guide member coupled to the body member and positioned above the seated section;

    side guide members extending frontward from the sidewalls, wherein the side guides gradually increase an opening width for guiding the robot cleaner into the seated section of the body member; and

    a pair of wheel grooves formed in the seated section for positioning the robot cleaner in the seated section.

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