A Brief Introduction of Current Robot Vacuum Cleaners (1)
At present, in those developed countries like the U.S., Japan, South Korea and Germany, many corporations, i.e., Electrolux, Hitachi, Panasonic, Samsung, etc, have invented and produced intelligent robot vacuum cleaners.
One typical representative is Roomba, a full-automatic intelligent vacuum cleaner developed by Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) in MIT. Roomba stands as the watershed in technology. When turned on, Roomba could clean around floor in a spiral way and move along the wall if it meets a wall. After recharged fully, it could vacuum continually for 90 minutes. When cleaning is finished, or the suction chamber is blocked, or power is insufficient, it could turn off automatically. Roomba adopts infrared sensor and bump sensor as its sensors, 3 AH nickel-hydrogen battery as power-supplier. Roomba has five engines in total, two for driving, one engine to create vacuum, one to drive two brushes on the bottom, and one to vacuum dust.
According to users’ experience, Roomba cleans in a spiral way as it moves towards the edge of a room. When meeting obstacle, it takes the obstacle as the edge and cleans along the edge until the time point which was set preliminarily by Roomba when it calculates the room size. In fact, Roomba could not cover everywhere of the floor.
So iRobot developed another robot cleaner, Roomba Discovery. This robot vacuum cleaner has dirt-detecting function and could conduct spot cleaning to certain areas of floor. Compared with Roomba, Roomba Discovery has better performance in floor-cleaning and it also can automatically return to docking station to recharge. Besides, it has anti-bump function to prevent it from falling from staircase.
The most expensive robot vacuum cleaner in market is Electrolux Trilobite robot cleaner. It is navigated by ultrasonic wave system which enables the robot to easily keep away from most obstacles and measure the size of a room. One characteristic of Trilobite robot cleaner is that it is able to form a cleaning map of the room as it cleans along, then to design the best cleaning route automatically. When turned on, the in-built searching radar detects the nearest wall and moves along the walls to clean those dust. In this way, it could get the entire layout of a room and calculate the time needed to clean the whole room. When approaching obstacle, it re-designs its cleaning route so as not to miss any corner. The special designed pulley could go over the edges of carpet or wire, which will not be regarded as obstacles. Trilobite robot cleaner also has memory function, so it could go on to recharge when it runs in low power and has to return to the docking station to recharge.
(to be continued)