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

  • US 9,104,204 B2
  • Filed: 05/14/2013
  • Issued: 08/11/2015
  • Est. Priority Date: 06/12/2001
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. A mobile coverage robot, comprising:

  • a drive mechanism comprising drive wheels that both drive the robot forward across a surface 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 proximity sensor aimed forward of the drive wheels in the drive direction, the proximity sensor responsive to an object proximate the lateral side of the robot;

    a tactile sensor responsive to a bump event between the robot and an object, the tactile sensor comprising a bumper switch; and

    a plurality of floor level sensors, each floor level sensor responsive to a condition of an area below the robot, the floor level sensors comprising;

    a cliff sensor aimed forward of the drive wheels in the drive direction and responsive to a presence of a cliff in the drive direction of the robot; and

    a wheel drop sensor responsive to a wheel drop event; and

    a drive controller in communication with the proximity sensor, the tactile sensor, and the plurality of floor level sensors, the drive controller configured to;

    operate the robot to follow a sensed object on the lateral side of the robot;

    operate the robot to travel in an altered direction in response to a bump event between the robot and the object, and to shut off the robot in response to determining that the bumper switch has been constantly depressed for a predetermined amount of time;

    operate the robot to avoid a cliff; and

    reduce the velocity of the robot in response to a wheel drop event.

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