Method and system for multi-mode coverage for an autonomous robot

  • US 7,663,333 B2
  • Filed: 06/29/2007
  • Issued: 02/16/2010
  • Est. Priority Date: 06/12/2001
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. A mobile robot, comprising:

  • a drive mechanism that both drives the robot forward across a floor in a drive direction and turns the robot to change the drive direction;

    an optical sensor responsive to proximity of an object to be followed on a lateral side of the robot, the optical sensor comprising an emitter having an emission field and a detector having a detection field, the emitter and the detector both collimated to have a finite volume of intersection of the emission and detection fields with a focus point located ahead of a drive wheel of the drive mechanism in the drive direction;

    a floor area cleaner disposed on the lateral side of the robot; and

    a drive controller that controls the drive mechanism to turn the robot to follow the object on the lateral side of the robot, by changing a robot turning radius to maintain continuous detection of the object by the sensor, including turning the robot toward the lateral side while decreasing the robot turning radius in response to cessation of detection of the object proximate the lateral side;

    wherein the controller controls the drive mechanism to follow a path having a turning radius proportional to an angle of turn.

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