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).


A robot configured to navigate a surface, the robot comprising a movement mechanism; a logical map representing data about the surface and associating locations with one or more properties observed during navigation; an initialization module configured to establish an initial pose comprising an initial location and an initial orientation; a region covering module configured to cause the robot to move so as to cover a region; an edge-following module configured to cause the robot to follow unfollowed edges; a control module configured to invoke region covering on a first region defined at least in part based at least part of the initial pose, to invoke region covering on least one additional region, to invoke edge-following, and to invoke region covering cause the mapping module to mark followed edges as followed, and cause a third region covering on regions discovered during edge-following.


Patent
iRobot | Date: 2017-01-12

An autonomous mobile robot includes a chassis, a drive supporting the chassis above a floor surface in a home and configured to move the chassis across the floor surface, a variable height member being coupled to the chassis and being vertically extendible, a camera supported by the variable height member, and a controller. The controller is configured to operate the drive to navigate the robot to locations within the home and to adjust a height of the variable height member upon reaching a first of the locations. The controller is also configured to, while the variable height member is at the adjusted height, operate the camera to capture digital imagery of the home at the first of the locations.


Patent
iRobot | Date: 2017-01-30

A piezoelectric debris sensor and associated signal processor responsive to debris strikes enable an autonomous or non-autonomous cleaning device to detect the presence of debris and in response, to select a behavioral mode, operational condition or pattern of movement, such as spot coverage or the like. Multiple sensor channels (e.g., left and right) can be used to enable the detection or generation of differential left/right debris signals and thereby enable an autonomous device to steer in the direction of debris.


Patent
iRobot | Date: 2017-07-19

A rotating cleaning element configured to be inserted in a cleaning head compartment of a robotic vacuum, the rotating cleaning element including: a drive end including a drive protrusion configured to engage a drive mechanism of the cleaning head compartment; a bearing end and a shroud configured to surround at least a portion of the bearing end to lessen an amount of hair and similar matter that reaches the bearing; and a central member extending between the bearing end and the drive end.


Patent
iRobot | Date: 2017-04-14

A coverage robot including a chassis, multiple drive wheel assemblies disposed on the chassis, and a cleaning assembly carried by the chassis. Each drive wheel assembly including a drive wheel assembly housing, a wheel rotatably coupled to the housing, and a wheel drive motor carried by the drive wheel assembly housing and operable to drive the wheel. The cleaning assembly including a cleaning assembly housing, a cleaning head rotatably coupled to the cleaning assembly housing, and a cleaning drive motor carried by cleaning assembly housing and operable to drive the cleaning head. The wheel assemblies and the cleaning assembly are each separately and independently removable from respective receptacles of the chassis as complete units.


Patent
iRobot | Date: 2017-04-14

An autonomous floor-cleaning robot comprising a housing infrastructure including a chassis, a power subsystem; for providing the energy to power the autonomous floor-cleaning robot, a motive subsystem operative to propel the autonomous floor-cleaning robot for cleaning operations, a command and control subsystem operative to control the autonomous floor-cleaning robot to effect cleaning operations, and a self-adjusting cleaning head subsystem that includes a deck mounted in pivotal combination with the chassis, a brush assembly mounted in combination with the deck and powered by the motive subsystem to sweep up particulates during cleaning operations, a vacuum assembly disposed in combination with the deck and powered by the motive subsystem to ingest particulates during cleaning operations, and a deck adjusting subassembly mounted in combination with the motive subsystem for the brush assembly, the deck, and the chassis that is automatically operative in response to an increase in brush torque in said brush assembly to pivot the deck with respect to said chassis. The autonomous floor-cleaning robot also includes a side brush assembly mounted in combination with the chassis and powered by the motive subsystem to entrain particulates outside the periphery of the housing infrastructure and to direct such particulates towards the self-adjusting cleaning head subsystem.


The present teachings provide an autonomous mobile robot that includes a drive configured to maneuver the robot over a ground surface within an operating environment; a camera mounted on the robot having a field of view including the floor adjacent the mobile robot in the drive direction of the mobile robot; a frame buffer that stores image frames obtained by the camera while the mobile robot is driving; and a memory device configured to store a learned data set of a plurality of descriptors corresponding to pixel patches in image frames corresponding to portions of the operating environment and determined by mobile robot sensor events.


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.


Cleaning robots may use floor-type-detection techniques as a trigger for autonomously altering various floor-cleaning characteristics. In some examples, a controller circuit of the robot is configured to determine a flooring type as a function of a signal from a motion sensor indicative of a change in pitch caused by the robot crossing a flooring discontinuity. In some examples, the controller circuit is configured to determine a flooring type based on a power draw signal corresponding to the cleaning head assembly of the robot.

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