Autonomous floor-cleaning robot

  • US 8,516,651 B2
  • Filed: 12/17/2010
  • Issued: 08/27/2013
  • Est. Priority Date: 01/03/2002
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. An autonomous floor-cleaning robot comprising:

  • first and second wheel assemblies configured to propel the robot along a cleaning surface;

    a brush assembly comprising a motor and a brush, the motor arranged to rotate the brush as the first and second wheel assemblies propel the robot across the cleaning surface;

    a plurality of control sensors operative to regulate the normal operation of the autonomous floor-cleaning robot, the plurality of control sensors comprising a proximity sensor, a prohibited area entry prevention sensor, and a wheel rotation sensor;

    a plurality of emergency sensors operative to detect situations adverse to the normal operation of the autonomous floor-cleaning robot, the plurality of emergency sensors comprising a cliff detector array, a first and a second wheel drop sensor, and a stall sensor; and

    a controller configured to control the first and second wheel assemblies based upon signals from the plurality of control sensors and the plurality of emergency sensors, wherein the first and second wheel assemblies each comprise a wheel and a tension spring, each tension spring biasing pivotal movement of a respective wheel through an arc to a position in which an axis of rotation of each respective wheel lies below a bottom plane of the autonomous floor-cleaning robot, and the first and second wheel drop sensors each comprise a contact switch configured to transmit a signal to the controller when an axis of rotation of a wheel of each respective wheel assembly lies below the bottom plane of the autonomous floor-cleaning robot.

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