06. 16. 2005
Smart Carpet Directs Robot Vacuum
Modern girls' best friend, the robotic vacuum cleaner, sweeps up messes, but its random path can leave some dirt untouched.
Now German companies Vorwerk and Infineon have prototyped an electronic carpet that wirelessly navigates a robot over every square inch of a floor, and can even direct the machine to revisit sections it missed.
RFID tags are imbedded to the back of carpeting. The robot contains an RFID reader and a computerized map that details the location of each tag. As the robot moves over the carpet, the reader locates the tags, while a computer in the robot records each unique identification number and can store data in each tag, such as the date and time the vehicle passed over that section of the grid.
The robot infrared sensors detect temporary obstacles, such as people standing in the way, and alert the robot to change direction. Later, the robot can return to the grid section it hasn't yet recorded to memory and perform its task.
Via Discovery Channel.