Bedford, MA, United States
Bedford, MA, United States

This article is about the robot company. For other uses, see I, Robot . iRobot Corporation is an American advanced technology company founded in 1990 and incorporated in Delaware in 2000. It designs robots such as an autonomous home vacuum cleaner , the Scooba that scrubs and cleans hard floors, and military and police robots, such as the PackBot. iRobot is a public corporation, based in Bedford, Massachusetts. Wikipedia.


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Patent
iRobot | Date: 2017-02-22

A mobile floor cleaning robot (100) includes a robot body (110) supported by a drive system (120) configured to maneuver the robot over a floor surface (10). The robot also includes a cleaning system (160) disposed on the robot body, an imaging sensor (510) disposed on the robot body, and a controller (150) in communication with the drive system and the imaging sensor. The controller receives a sequence of images (514b) of the floor surface (10), each image (514) having an array of pixels (516). The controller segments each image into color segments (23) by color quantizing pixels (514) of the image and determining a spatial distribution of at least one color of the image based on corresponding pixel locations (517). The controller then tracks a location (12a) of at least one color segment with respect to the imaging sensor across the sequence of images (514) for determining a drive command for issuance to the drive system (120) to maneuver the mobile floor cleaning robot (100).


Patent
iRobot | Date: 2017-01-27

A power-saving robot system includes at least one peripheral device and a mobile robot. The peripheral device includes a controller having an active mode and a hibernation mode, and a wireless communication component capable of activation in the hibernation mode. A controller of the robot has an, activating routine that communicates with and temporarily activates the peripheral device, via wireless communication, from the hibernation mode. In another aspect, a robot system includes a network data bridge and a mobile robot. The network data bridge includes a broadband network interface, a wireless command interface, and a data bridge component. The data bridge component extracts serial commands received via the broadband network interface from an Internet protocol, applies a command protocol thereto, and broadcasts the serial commands via the wireless interface. The mobile robot includes a wireless command communication component that receives the serial commands transmitted from the network data bridge.


Patent
iRobot | Date: 2017-05-17

An autonomous floor cleaning robot includes a body, a controller supported by the body, a drive supporting the body to maneuver the robot across a floor surface in response to commands from the controller, and a pad holder attached to an underside of the body to hold a removable cleaning pad during operation of the robot. The pad includes a mounting plate and a mounting surface. The mounting plate is attached to the mounting surface. The robot includes a pad sensor to sense a feature on the pad and to generate a signal based on the feature, which is defined in part by a cutout on the card backing. The mounting plate enables the pad sensor to detect the feature. The controller is responsive to the signal to perform operations including selecting a cleaning mode based on the signal, and controlling the robot according to a selected cleaning mode.


Patent
iRobot | Date: 2017-05-17

A mobile robot (100) that includes a robot body (110) having a forward drive direction (F), a drive system (120) supporting the robot body, and a robot controller (150) in communication with the drive system. The robot also includes a bumper (130) movably supported by a forward portion (112) of the robot body and an obstacle sensor system (400) disposed on the bumper. The obstacle sensor system includes at least one contact sensor (420) disposed on the bumper, at least one proximity sensor (410) disposed on the bumper and an auxiliary circuit board (450) disposed on the bumper and in communication with the at least one contact sensor, the at least one proximity sensor, and the robot controller.


Patent
iRobot | Date: 2017-02-08

A robot lawnmower (10) includes a robot body (100), a drive system (400), a localizing system (550), a teach monitor (600), and a controller (150) in communication with one another. The drive system is configured to maneuver the robot lawnmower over a lawn. The teach monitor determines whether the robot lawnmower is in a teachable state. The controller includes a data processing device (152a) and non-transitory memory (152b) in communication with the data processing device. The data processing device executes a teach routine (155) when the controller is in a teach mode for tracing a confinement perimeter (21) around the lawn (20) as a human operator pilots the robot lawnmower, when the robot lawnmower is in the teachable state, the teach routine stores global positions determined by the localizing system in the non-transitory memory, and when the robot lawnmower is in the unteachable state, the teach routine issues an indication of the unteachable state.


Patent
iRobot | Date: 2016-12-05

A location estimation system for use with an autonomous lawn mowing robot, comprises a plurality of synthetic surfaces positioned with respect to a mowable space in an environment, a radiation source coupled to the lawn mowing robot, a detector coupled to the lawn mowing robot and configured to detect radiation reflected by objects in the environment, and a controller configured to controllably direct radiation from the radiation source to scan the environment, and to vary at least one of an output power of the directed radiation and a scan rate of the directed radiation, as a function of detected radiation reflected from one or more of the synthetic surfaces.


The invention is related to methods and apparatus that use a visual sensor and dead reckoning sensors to process Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM). These techniques can be used in robot navigation. Advantageously, such visual techniques can be used to autonomously generate and update a map. Unlike with laser rangefinders, the visual techniques are economically practical in a wide range of applications and can be used in relatively dynamic environments, such as environments in which people move. One embodiment further advantageously uses multiple particles to maintain multiple hypotheses with respect to localization and mapping. Further advantageously, one embodiment maintains the particles in a relatively computationally-efficient manner, thereby permitting the SLAM processes to be performed in software using relatively inexpensive microprocessor-based computer systems.


Patent
iRobot | Date: 2017-06-07

A mobile floor cleaning robot (100) includes a body (110) defining a forward drive direction (F), a drive system (120), a cleaning system (160), and a controller (150) in communication with the drive and cleaning systems. The cleaning system includes a pad holder (190) having a bottom surface (194b) for receiving a cleaning pad (400), and a fluid applicator (162) configured to apply fluid (172) to the floor surface (10). The controller controls the drive system and the fluid applicator while executing a cleaning routing. The cleaning routine includes applying fluid to a floor surface area substantially equal to a footprint area (AF) of the robot and returning the robot to the floor surface area in a movement pattern that moves a center (Pc) and lateral edges (P_(R) and P_(L)) of the cleaning pad separately through the floor surface area to moisten the cleaning pad with the applied fluid.


Patent
iRobot | Date: 2016-12-19

The present teachings relate generally to a small remote vehicle having rotatable flippers and a weight of less than about 10 pounds and that can climb a conventional-sized stairs. The present teachings also relate to a small remote vehicle can be thrown or dropped fifteen feet onto a hard/inelastic surface without incurring structural damage that may impede its mission. The present teachings further relate to a small remote vehicle having a weight of less than about 10 pounds and a power source supporting missions of at least 6 hours.


A method of scheduling a robotic device enables the device to run autonomously based on previously loaded scheduling information. The method consists of a communication device, such as a hand-held remote device, that can directly control the robotic device, or load scheduling information into the robotic device such that it will carry out a defined task at the desired time without the need for further external control. The communication device can also be configured to load a scheduling application program into an existing robotic device, such that the robotic device can receive and implement scheduling information from a user.

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