Robot cleaner

  • US 7,474,941 B2
  • Filed: 07/12/2004
  • Issued: 01/06/2009
  • Est. Priority Date: 07/24/2003
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
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First Claim
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1. A robot cleaner that removes dirt from a cleaning surface while automatically running along a predetermined path, the robot cleaner comprising:

  • a cleaner body having a driving part to drive the robot cleaner and a suction part to remove dirt;

    a bumper attached to the cleaner body for protecting the cleaner body from a shock caused by a collision with an unexpected obstacle during the running operation;

    a bumper supporting unit for elastically supporting the bumper so that the bumper moves between a first position where the bumper is separated from the cleaner body by a predetermined distance and a second position where the bumper retreats from the first position;

    a plurality of micro switches disposed at opposite sides of the cleaner body for detecting the collision with the unexpected obstacle, each micro switch including,at least one switch portion disposed at the cleaner body, andat least one plate spring disposed adjacent to the at least one switch portion for switching on/off the switch portion, the plate spring elastically supporting the bumper in the first position and being biased to switch off the switch portion when the bumper is in the first position and elastically deformed to switch on the switch portion when the bumper is displaced to the second position,wherein the switch portion is switched on when the switch portion contacts the at least one plate spring and the switch portion is switched off when the switch portion is spaced from the at least one spring plate; and

    a controller for controlling the driving part and the suction part,wherein the controller determines that an unexpected obstacle lies in front of the robot cleaner when the at least one switch portion is switched on, the controller thereby changing the predetermined path of the cleaner body to avoid the unexpected obstacle.

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