Robotic vacuum cleaner

  • US 7,937,800 B2
  • Filed: 11/02/2004
  • Issued: 05/10/2011
  • Est. Priority Date: 04/21/2004
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. A robotic vacuum cleaner comprising:

  • A casing having a lower major wall which is adapted to confront a floor surface to be cleaned, and which includes a central area that defines a central axis normal to said central major wall, and a surrounding peripheral area that surrounds said central area about the central axis, said surrounding peripheral area including a leading region which is positioned ahead of said central area when said casing is driven to move along the floor surface, and a left front region and a right front region which flank said leading region;

    a suction unit which is disposed in said lower major wall, and which is adapted to draw dust from the floor surface to be cleaned;

    a motor-driven wheel unit which is disposed on said lower major wall and behind said leading region;

    a drive motor unit disposed to drive said motor-driven wheel unit to move said casing along the floor surface;

    a tactile sensor unit including a shielding plate, a left sensor, and a right sensor, wherein the shielding plate, which when receives an applied force it is able to shift toward said casing in the side where the shielding plate receives the applied force and shifts back to its original position when not receives the applied force, is mounted to said casing and outwardly covers said leading region, the left front region, and the right front region, and wherein the shielding plate shifts toward the left front region or the right front region of said casing to depress the left sensor or the right sensor according to which front region of said casing is a depressed side, and wherein after the left sensor or right sensor is thus depressed by the shielding plate, said tactile sensor unit generates a switching signal until releasing the shielding plate from depressing the sensor by allowing the shielding plate to shift outward from the depressed side; and

    an electrical control unit coupled to said tactile sensor unit and said drive motor unit, said electrical control unit being operable to control said motor-driven wheel unit to operate in a starting mode in which said casing is moved along a spiral path, with said leading region heading forwards, wherein upon receipt of said switching signal from said tactile sensor unit, said electrical control unit is configured to cause operation of said motor-driven wheel unit an edge-cleaning mode, in which said motor-driven wheel unit is initially controlled by the electrical control unit to turn said casing away from a detectable obstacle until there is not received said switching signal from said tactile sensor unit, is then controlled by the electrical control unit to move said casing forward a predetermined distance along the floor surface, and is subsequently controlled by the electrical control unit to turn an activating angle such that said casing moves forward to contact with said detectable obstacle, until there is not received said switching signal from said tactile sensor unit and repeats the same.

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