A Technical Explanation of Robot Vacuum Cleaner’s Operation

Most robot vacuum cleaners are easy to operate and use. However, how do they perform the cleaning task is not explained in the manual handbooks. Now, an explanation of how robot vacuum cleaners work is given in a technical point of view. For the sake of convenience, Hoba Robot, a nice type of Chinese robot vacuum cleaner is used here as an example.
Once the start button is pressed, then the robot cleaner begins its first step: to calculate the size of the cleaning floor. An infrared signal is sent out by the robot. The signal will bounce back to the infrared receiver whenever it reaches the wall. After the size of the room is figured out, the robot cleaner could work out the time needed to clean the floor and carry out cleaning task.
The robot cleaner moves along in a spiral way to clean the floor. During cleaning, the robot could keep away from staircases with the help of four sensors on the bottom of the cleaner. These sensors repeatedly send out infrared signals and receive signals that bounce back. If the robot cleaner approaches staircases or other low areas, the signals will not bounce back, then the cleaner stops moving ahead and turns to another direction. When the robot cleaner bumps against other objects, it will move backward, move around and move forward successively, until it finds an unblocked way.
Another infrared sensor is called wall sensor located on the right side of the robot cleaner. This sensor guides the robot cleaner to move along the edge of wall or furniture but will not collide with it. In this way, the cleaner could vacuum and clean the floor near the edge, especially the corners in a room.
If the robot cleaner runs low in power, it will return to the docking station to recharge by means of the infrared receiver in the front side. The robot automatically searches the infrared signal sent out by the docking station. After it gets the signal, the robot cleaner moves toward the signal source, and then connects itself to the station.
If some area needs no cleaning or interruption, a virtual wall should be launched on the entrance of the area. When the robot cleaner moves near the virtual wall, it will receive the signal sent out by the virtual wall and make turns.

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