On the Modules and Key Techniques of Cleaning Robot (1)
Generally, cleaning robot’s system is composed of four modules: locomotive module, sensory module, controlling module and cleaning module. Locomotive module is the main body of cleaning robot, which decides the efficiency of robot’s locomotion. Most robots adopt rolling wheels as their moving mode. Sensory module, just like robot cleaner’s eyes, is also an important component of robot cleaner. Through sensors of different types, robot cleaner is able to gather information of its working environment and its operation conditions, so as to make some necessary adjustment as it works. Sensory system is mostly composed of ultrasonic range finder, contact and approach sensor, visual sensor, infrared sensor, CCD camera, and so on. Operation module functions as the brain of robot cleaner. Well-designed operation system enables robot cleaner to finish cleaning task with high efficiency and quality. Cleaning module is also vital to robot cleaner. The four modules must be coordinated in a robot cleaner to ensure its ideal operation.
Along with the rapid development of computer technology, artificial intelligence technology, sensory technology and mobile robotic technology, research on and development of cleaning robot has solid foundation and good prospect. Presently, there are some key techniques having a strong influence upon cleaning robot’s development. For example, multi-sensor information fusion technique, power supplying technique, positioning method and route-designing technique.
1) Multi-sensor Information Fusion
Cleaning robot in non-structural environment must depend on multi sensors to gather information of different types and levels. Those information is interconnected and interrelated, and sometimes even contradicts with one another. Information fusion means the process of coordinating multiple sensors to achieve sensory system with high efficiency and further to obtain conformity in describing outer environment. The application of this fusion technique brings certain advantages to robot cleaners. For example, it can ensure the system’s dependability, improve processing speed, enhance its efficiency in describing outer environment and reduce the cost in robot cleaner’s information gathering. The fusion technique is of great value in the development of robot vacuum cleaner.
(to be continued)