Robot confinement

  • US 8,781,627 B2
  • Filed: 06/19/2009
  • Issued: 07/15/2014
  • Est. Priority Date: 03/17/2006
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
Patent Images

1. A robot lawnmower comprising:

  • a body;

    a drive system carried by the body and configured to maneuver the robot across a lawn;

    a grass cutter carried by the body;

    at least one tilt sensor carried by the body, the at least one tilt sensor configured to monitor a robot tilt to provide terrain data to determine whether the body is maneuvering over surface phenomena that may be treated as obstacles;

    at least one wheel drop sensor carried by the body, the wheel drop sensor configured to sense when at least a portion of the drive system enters an extended position indicative of loss of wheel contact with the lawn surface;

    a detachable manual handle configured to be attached to the body; and

    a handle connector carried by the body, the handle connector configured to detect if the manual handle is attached to the body;

    wherein the drive system is configured to operate in an autonomous mode when the handle connector detects that the manual handle is detached from the body and redirect the robot away from multiple different types of obstacles including obstacles indicated as surface phenomena represented by the tilt sensor, and as loss of wheel contact represented by the wheel drop sensor; and

    wherein the drive system is configured to operate in a manual mode when the handle connector detects that the manual handle is attached to the body.

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