Autonomous coverage robot navigation system

  • US 9,144,360 B2
  • Filed: 12/04/2006
  • Issued: 09/29/2015
  • Est. Priority Date: 12/02/2005
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. An autonomous mobile robot system for bounded areas, the system comprising:

  • a navigation beacon with a gateway beacon emitter arranged to emit a gateway beam across a gateway between a first bounded area and an adjacent second bounded area with the beacon placed in the gateway on a floor surface, wherein the navigation beacon is configured to emit a marker indicating a proximity zone about the beacon that extends into the bounded areas, and wherein the navigation beacon further comprises a beacon emitter arranged to transmit an emission into the first bounded area indicating the direction of the beacon, with the beacon disposed within the gateway;

    an autonomous coverage robot comprising;

    a beacon emission sensor responsive to the gateway beam, the emission indicating the direction of the beacon, and the marker indicating the proximity zone, and configured to detect an encoded signal included in at least one of the gateway beam and the marker indicating the proximity zone, the encoded signal comprising a unique identifier associating the beacon with the first bounded area;

    a drive system configured to maneuver the robot about the first bounded area in;

    a cleaning mode, in which the robot is redirected back into the first bounded area in response to detecting any one of the marker indicating the proximity zone and the gateway beam, anda migration mode, in which the robot is configured to maneuver toward the beacon upon encountering the emission indicating the direction of the beacon and through the gateway into the second bounded area while avoiding collision with the beacon by detection of the marker indicating the proximity zone; and

    a base station located in one of the bounded areas, the base station comprising;

    a base defining a docking direction from which the robot may properly dock; and

    a robot charger housed in the base.

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