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

  • US 8,463,438 B2
  • Filed: 10/30/2009
  • Issued: 06/11/2013
  • 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 first lateral side of the robot, transverse to the drive direction;

    a forward obstacle sensor system responsive to objects encountered by the robot while moving in the drive direction, the forward obstacle sensor system comprising first and second obstacle sensors disposed on a forward portion of the robot, wherein the first obstacle sensor is disposed on the first lateral side of the robot and the second obstacle sensor is disposed on an opposite, second lateral side of the robot with respect to the drive direction;

    a side sensor positioned to detect proximity of objects on the first lateral side of the robot, transverse to the drive direction; and

    a drive controller that controls the drive mechanism to turn the robot;

    wherein the drive controller is configured to, in response to detecting an object by the forward obstacle sensor system proximate the forward portion of the robot, determine an approximate angle at which the detected object was encountered by the robot, and when the angle is on the second lateral side of the robot with respect to the drive direction, turn the robot to position the floor cleaner substantially adjacent the detected object while monitoring with the side sensor proximity of the object on the first lateral side of the robot, and then drive the robot in the drive direction to follow the detected object proximate the first lateral side with the floor cleaner substantially adjacent the detected object.

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