Detecting robot stasis

  • US 9,317,038 B2
  • Filed: 02/26/2013
  • Issued: 04/19/2016
  • Est. Priority Date: 05/31/2006
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. A coverage robot comprising:

  • a body;

    a wheeled-drive that maneuvers the body over a surface according to drive commands from a controller in communication with the drive;

    a first stasis sensor carried on the body, and responsive to surface-relative movement of the body, the first stasis sensor comprising;

    a swivel caster assembly comprising a stasis indication wheel freely rotatable about a horizontal axis parallel to the surface and freely rotatable about a second axis at an angle relative to the horizontal axis such that rotation about the second axis causes the wheel to swivel on the surface; and

    a non-contact wheel sensor defining an area of detection around the stasis indication wheel as the wheel freely rotates about the horizontal axis and as the wheel swivels on the surface; and

    a second stasis sensor carried separately on the body from the first stasis sensor, and responsive to surface-relative movement of the body,wherein the controller is configured to;

    concurrently monitor sensory output from each of the first and second stasis sensors; and

    determine whether the robot is in a substantially stuck condition or at least partially disengaged from the surface as a function of the drive commands and sensory output from each of the first and second stasis sensors.

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