Autonomous surface cleaning robot for wet and dry cleaning

  • US 7,761,954 B2
  • Filed: 08/07/2007
  • Issued: 07/27/2010
  • Est. Priority Date: 02/18/2005
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. A surface treatment robot comprising:

  • a robot body having forward and rear ends;

    a differential drive system mounted on the robot body and configured to maneuver the robot over a cleaning surface;

    a controller in communication with the drive motor and configured to differentially steer the robot and be capable of maneuvering the robot to pivot in place;

    a proximity sensor responsive to a potential obstacle forward of the robot, wherein the controller is configured to alter a heading setting in response to a signal received from the proximity sensor indicating a potential obstacle;

    a cliff sensor responsive to a potential cliff forward of the robot, wherein the controller is configured to alter the heading setting in response to a signal received from the cliff sensor indicating a potential cliff;

    a liquid applicator housed in the robot body and configured to dispense a liquid onto the cleaning surface while the robot is moving in a direction of forward travel of the robot and suspend dispersion of the liquid while moving in a reverse direction of forward travel of the robot; and

    a squeegee vacuum assembly housed in the robot body and comprising;

    a squeegee attached to the robot body and formed with a longitudinal ridge disposed proximate to the cleaning surface and extending across a cleaning width for providing a liquid collection zone at a forward edge of the ridge;

    a liquid collection zone defined by the robot body, the longitudinal ridge collecting waste liquid within the liquid collection zone as the robot moves in a forward direction of travel;

    a vacuum chamber partially formed by the squeegee disposed proximate to the longitudinal ridge and extending across the cleaning width, the vacuum chamber in fluid communication with the liquid collection zone by a plurality of suction ports defined through the squeegee; and

    a vacuum for generating a negative air pressure within the vacuum chamber for drawing waste liquid collection within the liquid collection zone into the vacuum chamber;

    wherein the cleaning robot has a mass of less than about 10 kg, there is between about 1 cm and about 10 cm of cleaning width for every 1 kg of cleaning robot mass, and the cleaning robot has an average drag force of 30-40% of the thrust provided by the drive system.

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