Robotic vacuum cleaner with edge and object detection system

  • US 7,801,645 B2
  • Filed: 03/11/2004
  • Issued: 09/21/2010
  • Est. Priority Date: 03/14/2003
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
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First Claim
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1. A robot comprising:

  • a motion unit;

    a two-dimensional (2D) array of detectors supported by the motion unit, each detector having a counter associated therewith, the 2D array operable to generate a frame of distance indications to one or more features in an environment in which the robot operates;

    an infrared sensor including;

    (a) an infrared light source configured to produce a plurality of modulated pulses of infrared light directed toward the environment of the robot; and

    (b) at least one optic element configured to focus a plurality of reflections of the infrared light pulses from the environment of the robot to the 2D array of detectors, causing the detection of the 2D array of detectors, wherein the modulated pulses enable detection of low-energy diffuse reflections; and

    at least one processor operatively coupled to the 2D array of detectors, the processor operable;

    (a) to determine one or more features of the environment based at least in part on one or more frames of distance indications; and

    (b) to control the motion unit of the robot to avoid the one or more detected features.

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