Autonomous floor-cleaning robot

  • US 8,763,199 B2
  • Filed: 06/28/2010
  • Issued: 07/01/2014
  • Est. Priority Date: 01/03/2002
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. An autonomous coverage robot comprising:

  • a robot housing including a substantially arcuate forward portion, as defined in a plane parallel to a floor surface;

    a motor drive mounted in the robot housing and configured to maneuver the robot on the floor surface;

    at least two drive wheel modules controlled by the motor drive comprising independently driven drive wheels moveably attached to the robot housing and biased toward the floor surface, each of the drive wheels being moveable downwardly in response to the each of the drive wheels moving over a cliff in the floor surface;

    at least one side brush, comprising at least two discrete brush arms, wherein each brush includes a terminal end having a plurality of bristles, driven about a nonhorizontal axis, at least a portion of the at least one side brush extending beyond a peripheral edge of the robot housing to direct debris to within the peripheral edge of the robot housing while the robot is maneuvered across the floor surface, at least a portion of the at least two discrete brush arms periodically occluding an emission path of an emitter of at least one of a plurality of cliff sensors as the robot is maneuvered across the floor surface;

    the plurality of cliff sensors housed in the forward portion of the robot housing substantially near a forward edge and spaced from each other, each cliff sensor comprising an emitter and a detector aimed toward the floor surface and configured to receive emitter emissions reflected off of the floor surface, each cliff sensor responsive to a cliff in the floor surface;

    at least one obstacle sensor, disposed at a front side of the robot, each obstacle sensor being responsive to obstacles encountered by the robot;

    a wheel drop sensor, associated with each drive wheel, that is configured to sense when a drive wheel moves in a direction away from the robot housing and which sends a signal indicating a wheel drop condition of the drive wheel; and

    a controller in communication with the plurality of cliff sensors, the at least one obstacle sensor, each of the wheel drop sensors, and the motor drive to redirect the robot in response to a signal from one of the plurality of cliff sensors, the at least one obstacle sensor, and at least one of the wheel drop sensors.

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