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

  • US 8,396,592 B2
  • Filed: 02/05/2007
  • Issued: 03/12/2013
  • 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 in a drive direction and turns the robot to change the drive direction;

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

    a sensor responsive to proximity of objects near the lateral side of the robot; and

    a drive controller that controls the drive mechanism to drive the robot according to a behavior having first and second modes, the controller determining detection of an object proximate the lateral side of the robot upon the sensor transitioning between a reflection state and a non-reflection state;

    wherein the drive controller is configured todrive the robot according to the first mode of the behavior to follow a sensed object proximate the lateral side of the robot by executing a first detection cycle of the sensor and upon detecting the reflection state, initiating a turn away from the followed object,execute a second detection cycle and, upon detecting the non-reflection state, initiate a turn toward the lateral side while driving the robot forward, andexecute a third detection cycle and upon detecting the non-reflection state, execute the second mode;

    wherein the drive controller drives the robot according to the second mode of the behavior by initiating a turn of the robot toward the lateral side in accordance with a turning radius and progressively decreasing the turning radius of the robot over time while driving the robot forward, thereby causing the robot to turn more sharply until the robot encounters a change in sensory input; and

    wherein the drive controller ceases the behavior upon turning toward the lateral side through an angle of more than 270 degrees before encountering a change in sensory input.

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