KR101371036B1 - Robot cleaner and self testing method of the same - Google Patents

Robot cleaner and self testing method of the same Download PDF

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Publication number
KR101371036B1
KR101371036B1 KR1020110073799A KR20110073799A KR101371036B1 KR 101371036 B1 KR101371036 B1 KR 101371036B1 KR 1020110073799 A KR1020110073799 A KR 1020110073799A KR 20110073799 A KR20110073799 A KR 20110073799A KR 101371036 B1 KR101371036 B1 KR 101371036B1
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South Korea
Prior art keywords
robot cleaner
self
mode
unit
sensor
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KR1020110073799A
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Korean (ko)
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KR20130012519A (en
Inventor
김시용
김용주
성지훈
윤형태
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엘지전자 주식회사
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Application filed by 엘지전자 주식회사 filed Critical 엘지전자 주식회사
Priority to KR1020110073799A priority Critical patent/KR101371036B1/en
Priority claimed from US13/536,317 external-priority patent/US9928459B2/en
Priority claimed from US13/536,282 external-priority patent/US8800101B2/en
Publication of KR20130012519A publication Critical patent/KR20130012519A/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of KR101371036B1 publication Critical patent/KR101371036B1/en

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Abstract

A robot cleaner and a method for self diagnosis thereof are disclosed. Embodiments of the present invention prevent the malfunction and failure of the robot cleaner in advance by performing the self-diagnosis by the first drive or the user's needs. In addition, the robot cleaner according to the embodiments of the present invention detects the state of the built-in components and sensors, and performs self-diagnosis by using the characteristics and output values of the components and sensors. By doing so, embodiments of the present invention prevent an accident or error that may occur in the future according to the operation of the robot cleaner.

Description

ROBOT CLEANER AND SELF TESTING METHOD OF THE SAME}

The present invention relates to a robot cleaner capable of self-diagnosis and a self-diagnosis method of the robot cleaner.

In general, robots have been developed for industrial use and have been part of factory automation. In recent years, medical robots, aerospace robots, and the like have been developed, and household robots that can be used in ordinary homes are being developed.

A representative example of the domestic robot is a robot cleaner, which is a kind of electronic equipment that sucks dust and foreign matter around while driving a certain area by itself. Such a robot cleaner is generally equipped with a rechargeable battery and has an obstacle sensor capable of avoiding obstacles during traveling, so that it can run and clean by itself.

As a method for controlling the robot cleaner, there are a method using a remote controller which is a user interface, a method using a button provided in the robot cleaner main body, and the like.

In recent years, application techniques using the robot cleaner have been developed. For example, development of a robot cleaner having a networking function has been implemented, and a function of enabling a cleaning command from a remote place or monitoring a house situation has been implemented. In addition, robot cleaners having a self-position recognition and mapping function using cameras and various sensors are being developed.

Embodiments of the present invention have an object of providing a robot cleaner and a self-diagnosis method of the robot cleaner that can perform a self-diagnosis by the first drive or the user's needs.

The robot cleaner according to an embodiment may include one or more detection units provided in the robot cleaner, outputting detection information about an internal or external device, an input unit receiving an execution command of the self-diagnosis mode, and a preset diagnosis algorithm. And a control unit for executing the self-diagnosis mode, diagnosing the robot cleaner using the detection information, and an output unit for outputting an execution result of the self-diagnosis mode. The robot cleaner according to an embodiment may further include a storage unit in which the diagnosis algorithm according to the self-diagnosis mode is preset. The control unit may check one or more preset execution conditions before executing the self-diagnosis mode.

The robot cleaner according to an embodiment of the present invention includes a robot cleaner having a plurality of driving modes, the storage unit storing algorithms for the plurality of driving modes, and a control to execute the plurality of driving modes using the algorithm. A unit, an input unit for receiving an execution command for an operation mode to be executed by the control unit, and an output unit for outputting a result of the operation mode executed by the control unit, wherein the plurality of operation modes include at least self-diagnosis. It characterized in that it comprises a mode.

A self-diagnostic method of a robot cleaner according to an embodiment, and a self-diagnosis method of a robot cleaner having one or more detection units for outputting detection information about an internal or external, and having a self-diagnosis mode, And receiving an execution command, executing the self diagnostic mode according to a preset diagnostic algorithm, and outputting an execution result of the self diagnostic mode. The self-diagnostic method of the robot cleaner according to an embodiment of the present disclosure further includes checking at least one preset execution condition before executing the self-diagnosis mode.

Embodiments of the present invention prevents problems that may occur due to malfunctions during cleaning or driving by performing self-diagnosis by the first driving or user's needs.

Embodiments of the present invention improve the stability of the system by detecting the state of the components and sensors constituting the robot cleaner to perform self-diagnosis, increase the driving efficiency by preventing errors or failures, safety and convenience of the user To improve.

1 is a perspective view showing the appearance of a robot cleaner according to an embodiment;
2 and 3 are block diagrams showing the configuration of the robot cleaner according to the embodiments;
4 is a front view showing the front of the robot cleaner according to an embodiment;
5 is a rear view showing a lower portion of the robot cleaner according to one embodiment;
6 is a sectional view showing the inside of the robot cleaner according to one embodiment;
7 is a side cross-sectional view of a robot cleaner according to an embodiment;
8 is an enlarged view illustrating an output unit of a robot cleaner according to an embodiment;
9 and 10 are flowcharts schematically illustrating a self-diagnosis method of the robot cleaner according to the embodiments;
11 is a diagram illustrating a pattern of a self-diagnosis mode according to an embodiment.

Referring to FIG. 2, a robot cleaner according to an embodiment includes at least one detection unit 100, a control unit 200, an input unit 300, and an output in a robot cleaner having a self-diagnosis mode. The unit 400 is configured. At least one detection unit 100 is provided in the robot cleaner and outputs detection information about the inside or the outside. The input unit 300 receives an execution command of the self-diagnosis mode, and the control unit 200 executes the self-diagnosis mode according to the execution command, and diagnoses the robot cleaner using the detection information. The output unit 400 outputs the execution result of the self-diagnosis mode. Here, the control unit 200 diagnoses the state of the at least one detection unit 100 itself according to the self-diagnostic mode.

The user or the like inputs a control command directly to the robot cleaner through the input unit 300. In addition, the user or the like may input a command to output one or more of the information stored in the storage unit described later through the input unit. The input unit 300 may be formed of one or more buttons. For example, the input unit 300 may include a confirmation button and a setting button. The confirmation button inputs a command for confirming the detection information, the obstacle information, the location information, the cleaning area or the cleaning map. The setting button inputs a command for setting the above information. The input unit may include a reset button, a delete button, a cleaning start button, a stop button, and the like for inputting a command for resetting the information. As another example, the input unit 300 may include a button for setting or deleting reservation information. In addition, the input unit 300 may further include a button for setting or changing a cleaning mode. In addition, the input unit 300 may further include a button for receiving a command to return to the charging station.

As shown in FIG. 1, the input unit 300 may be installed on an upper portion of the robot cleaner using a hard key, a soft key, a touch pad, or the like. In addition, the input unit 300 may have a form of a touch screen together with the output unit. The input unit 300 receives a command such as starting, terminating, stopping, or releasing the self-diagnosis mode. The user may input a command to enter the self-diagnosis mode by pressing one of the buttons installed in the robot cleaner, pressing the buttons in a predetermined form, or pressing a button for a predetermined time. As another example, the user may input a command to execute the self-diagnosis mode to the robot cleaner by generating a control signal using a remote controller or a terminal. In this case, the robot cleaner further includes a sensor or communication means for receiving the control signal. In addition, the input unit 300 may set or receive a diagnosis target, a diagnosis method, a diagnosis order, and the like.

The output unit 400 is provided in the upper part of the robot cleaner as shown in FIG. Of course, the installation location and installation type may vary. For example, as shown in FIG. 8, the output unit 400 displays reservation information, battery status, cleaning method such as intensive cleaning, space expansion, zigzag driving, or driving method on the screen. The output unit 400 may output state information inside the robot cleaner detected by the detection unit 100, for example, the current state of each unit constituting the robot cleaner and the current cleaning state. In addition, the output unit 400 may display external detection information, obstacle information, location information, a cleaning area, a cleaning map, and the like detected by the detection unit 100 on the screen. The output unit 400 may be any one of a light emitting diode (LED), a liquid crystal display (LCD), a plasma display panel, and an organic light emitting diode (OLED). It can be formed as an element of.

The output unit 400 may further include sound output means for outputting a result of executing the self-diagnosis mode as a sound. For example, the output unit 400 may output a warning sound to the outside according to the warning signal. The sound output means includes means for outputting a sound such as a beeper and a speaker. The output unit 400 may output a diagnosis result to the outside using audio information stored in a storage unit to be described later.

Referring back to FIG. 2, the robot cleaner according to an embodiment may further include a storage unit 500 in which a diagnosis algorithm according to the self-diagnosis mode is preset. The storage unit 500 may store the diagnosis algorithm or the entire diagnosis algorithm in advance according to a diagnosis target, a diagnosis method, or the like. The storage unit 500 may store audio information for propagating the status of the robot cleaner and the diagnosis result to the outside. That is, the storage unit 500 stores in advance the pattern of the robot cleaner, the result of performing the self-diagnosis mode, and the like in the form of message data or sound data. The output unit 400 includes a signal processor to signal-process the audio information stored in the storage unit and output the signal to the outside through sound output means.

The storage unit 500 stores a control program for controlling (driving) the robot cleaner and data accordingly. The storage unit 500 may further store image information, obstacle information, location information, a cleaning area, a cleaning map, and the like in addition to the audio information. In addition, the storage unit 500 may store a cleaning method and a traveling method. The storage unit 500 mainly uses a nonvolatile memory. Here, the non-volatile memory (NVM, NVRAM) is a storage device that keeps stored information even when power is not supplied. Non-volatile memory includes ROM, flash memory, magnetic computer storage devices (e.g., hard disk, diskette drive, magnetic tape), optical disk drive, magnetic RAM, PRAM, and the like.

As shown in FIG. 3, the detection unit 100 includes an object detection unit 110 that detects an external object. In addition, the detection unit further includes a motion detection unit 120 for detecting the motion of the robot cleaner. In addition, the detection unit further includes a state detection unit 130 for detecting a state of units configuring the robot cleaner. The detection unit may include one or more units of the object detection unit 100, the motion detection unit 120, and the state detection unit 130, or a sensor configuring the same.

The object detecting unit 110 may include at least one of an external signal sensor, a front sensor, an obstacle sensor, a cliff sensor, a lower camera sensor, and an upper camera sensor.

The robot cleaner includes an external signal detection sensor that detects an external signal. The external signal sensor may be an infrared ray sensor, an ultrasonic sensor, an RF sensor, or the like. The robot cleaner checks the position and direction of the charging station by receiving a guide signal generated by the charging station using an external signal detection sensor. The charging station transmits a guide signal indicating a direction and a distance so that the robot cleaner can return. The robot cleaner receives a signal transmitted from the charging station, determines the current position, sets a moving direction, and returns to the charging station. In addition, the robot cleaner detects a signal generated by a remote control device such as a remote controller or a terminal using an external signal sensor. The external signal detection sensor is provided at one side of the inside or outside of the robot cleaner. In the embodiments of the present invention, an infrared sensor is used as an external signal detection sensor. The infrared sensor 111 may be installed inside the robot cleaner, for example, around the lower or upper camera sensor of the output unit.

When the self-diagnosis mode is executed, the control unit 200 compares the output value of the infrared sensor with a preset reference value and diagnoses the infrared sensor using the comparison result. In the self-diagnosis mode, the control unit 200 causes the robot cleaner to move in a predetermined pattern according to a diagnostic algorithm, and if the infrared sensor does not receive a signal from an external device such as a charging station within a certain distance, the control unit 200 diagnoses an abnormality in the infrared sensor. . Here, the reference value may be a certain number of times including zero. If there is a problem with the infrared sensor, the output unit 400 "There is a problem with the infrared sensor and will not attempt to charge it", "Please turn the main power switch on the bottom of the main unit off and on again to execute the diagnostic mode", The voice message may be outputted such as "contact the service center if the problem is repeated" or the message may be displayed on the screen. If there is an abnormality in the infrared sensor, since the charging stand is not found, the control unit 200 stops the robot cleaner at the current position, and then causes the output unit to notify the user of the current state.

The front sensor is installed in front of the robot cleaner, for example, at an interval on the outer circumferential surface as shown in FIG. 4. The front sensor detects an object in the moving direction of the robot cleaner, particularly an obstacle, and transmits detection information to the control unit. That is, the front detection sensor detects protrusions on the moving path of the robot cleaner, household appliances, furniture, walls, wall edges, and the like, and transmits the information to the control unit. The front sensing sensor may be an infrared sensor, an ultrasonic sensor, an RF sensor, a geomagnetic sensor, or the like. The robot cleaner can use one type of sensor as the front sensor or two or more types of sensors as needed. In the embodiments of the present invention, the front sensor is described as an ultrasonic sensor as an example.

Ultrasonic sensors are commonly used to detect long distance obstacles. The ultrasonic sensor has a transmitter and a receiver. The control unit 200 determines the existence of the obstacle by whether the ultrasonic wave radiated through the transmitter is reflected by the obstacle or the like and is received by the receiver, and calculates the distance to the obstacle using the reception time. 4 or 6, five ultrasonic sensors 112 are installed along the front outer circumferential surface of the robot cleaner. Referring to FIG. 6, the robot cleaner alternately includes a transmitter 112a and a receiver 112b of the ultrasonic sensor. That is, the transmitting ultrasonic sensor and the receiving ultrasonic sensor are alternately installed in the front of the robot cleaner. 4 or 6, the transmitter 112a is disposed to be spaced apart from the front center of the main body to the left and the right. One or more transmitters 112a are disposed between the receivers 112b to form a reception area of a signal reflected from an obstacle or the like. This arrangement allows the receiving area to be extended while reducing the number of sensors. The outgoing angle of the ultrasonic waves maintains an angle in a range that does not affect the different signals to prevent crosstalk. The reception sensitivity of the receivers 112b may be set differently. In addition, the ultrasonic sensor may be installed upward by a predetermined angle so that the ultrasonic wave transmitted from the ultrasonic sensor is output upward. Also, the ultrasonic sensor may further include a blocking member to prevent the ultrasonic wave from being radiated downward.

The ultrasonic sensor transmits different output values to the control unit according to the presence or absence of an obstacle and the distance to the obstacle. The range of the output value may be set differently according to the detection range of the ultrasonic sensor. When the self-diagnosis mode is executed, the control unit 200 compares the output value of the ultrasonic sensor with a preset reference value and diagnoses the ultrasonic sensor using the comparison result. In the self-diagnosis mode, since there are no objects other than the charging stand around the robot cleaner, it should be sensed that there are no obstacles. The control unit 200 causes the robot cleaner to move in a predetermined pattern according to a diagnosis algorithm, and when the ultrasonic sensor outputs an output value equal to or greater than a reference value as if an obstacle exists, the control unit 200 diagnoses an abnormality of the ultrasonic sensor. For example, the control unit 200 uses an ultrasonic sensor using an output value in a state where the robot cleaner is at a predetermined distance from the charging stand, an output value after rotating the battery 180 degrees, and an output value after moving the predetermined distance straight ahead. Can diagnose abnormalities. If there is a problem with the ultrasonic sensor, the output unit 400 "There is a problem with the ultrasonic sensor and will not attempt to charge it", "Turn off and on the main power switch on the lower part of the unit and run the diagnostic mode again", The voice message may be outputted such as "contact the service center if the problem is repeated" or the message may be displayed on the screen. If there is a problem with the ultrasonic sensor, the robot cleaner does not detect a charging stand that may be in front of the robot cleaner may collide with the charging stand. Therefore, the control unit 200 stops the robot cleaner at the current position without moving the charging station, and then causes the output unit to notify the user of the current state.

As shown in FIG. 4 or FIG. 6, the obstacle detecting sensor 113 is installed on the outer circumferential surface of the robot cleaner together with the front detecting sensor. In addition, the obstacle detection sensor may not be installed along the outer circumferential surface, but may have a surface protruding to the outside of the robot cleaner body. The obstacle detecting sensor may be an infrared sensor, an ultrasonic sensor, an RF sensor, a position sensitive device (PSD) sensor, or the like, and detects an obstacle present in the front or side and transmits the obstacle information to the control unit. That is, the obstacle detecting sensor detects protrusions on the moving path of the robot cleaner, household appliances, furniture, walls, wall edges, and the like, and transmits the information to the control unit. In addition, by using the front sensor or the obstacle sensor, the robot cleaner can move while maintaining a constant distance from the wall surface. In the embodiments of the present invention, the front sensor is described using a PSD sensor as an example.

The PSD sensor uses a semiconductor surface resistance to detect the short and long distance positions of incident light with one p-n junction. The PSD sensor includes a one-dimensional PSD sensor that detects light in only one axis direction, and a two-dimensional PSD sensor that can detect a light position on a plane, and both have pin photodiode structures. The PSD sensor is a type of infrared sensor that emits infrared light to an obstacle to detect the obstacle, and measures the distance using the reflected time. That is, the PSD sensor includes a light emitting part for emitting infrared rays to an obstacle and a light receiving part for receiving infrared rays reflected from the obstacle and is generally configured in a module form. The PSD sensor can obtain stable measured values regardless of the reflectance and color difference of obstacles, and uses triangulation method.

Like the ultrasonic sensor, the PSD sensor transmits different output values to the control unit according to the presence or absence of an obstacle and the distance to the obstacle. The range of the output value may be set differently according to the detection range of the PSD sensor. When the self-diagnosis mode is executed, the control unit 200 compares the output value of the PSD sensor with a preset reference value and diagnoses the PSD sensor using the comparison result. In the self-diagnosis mode, since there are no objects other than the charging stand around the robot cleaner, it should be sensed that there are no obstacles. The control unit 200 causes the robot cleaner to move in a predetermined pattern according to a diagnosis algorithm, and when the PSD sensor outputs an output value equal to or greater than the reference value, the control unit 200 diagnoses an abnormality of the PSD sensor. For example, the control unit 200 may allow the robot cleaner to move straight a predetermined distance in the opposite direction to the charging station, and may diagnose an abnormality of the PSD sensor by comparing the output value with the reference value. If there is an error in the PSD sensor, the output unit 400 may output a voice message such as “Please wipe the left and right obstacle detection sensor windows” or display the message on the screen.

The cliff detection sensor is also referred to as a cliff sensor. The cliff detection sensor mainly uses various types of optical sensors. In this embodiment, an infrared sensor is described as an example. In this case, the cliff detection sensor may have a form of an infrared sensor module including a light emitting unit and a light receiving unit, like the obstacle detection sensor. Referring to FIG. 5, the cliff detection sensor 114 is provided in a groove of a predetermined depth existing on the lower surface of the robot cleaner. The cliff detection sensor may be installed at another position according to the type of the robot cleaner.

Referring to FIG. 5, one cliff detection sensor is installed at the front of the robot cleaner, and two sensors are installed at the rear of the robot cleaner. The form of FIG. 5 can be used, for example, as follows. For convenience, the cliff detection sensor installed at the front is referred to as the first sensor 114a and the sensor installed at the rear is referred to as the second sensor 114b and 114c. The first sensor and the second sensor are generally composed of the same type of sensor, for example, an infrared sensor, but may be composed of different types of sensors. The control unit 200 may detect the cliff using the reception time of the reflected signal received by the first sensor emits infrared rays toward the ground, and may analyze the depth. In addition, the control unit 200 may know the ground state of the cliff detected by the first sensor using the second sensor. For example, the control unit 200 determines whether the cliff exists and the depth of the cliff through the first sensor, and then passes the cliff only when the reflected signal is detected through the second sensor. As another example, the control unit 200 may determine the lifting phenomenon of the robot cleaner based on a combination of detection results of the first sensor and the second sensor.

The cliff detection sensor continuously detects the floor while the robot cleaner is moving. When the self-diagnosis mode is executed, the control unit 200 compares the output value of the cliff detection sensor with a preset reference value, and diagnoses the cliff detection sensor using the comparison result. In the self-diagnosis mode, the control unit 200 causes the robot cleaner to move in a predetermined pattern according to a diagnosis algorithm, and when the cliff detection sensor outputs an output value equal to or greater than the reference value, the control unit 200 diagnoses the abnormality of the cliff detection sensor. For example, the control unit 200 causes the robot cleaner to move a predetermined distance straight, and then diagnoses an abnormality when the output value of the cliff detection sensor is greater than or equal to the reference value. If there is a problem with the cliff detection sensor, the output unit 400 is "There is a problem with the cliff detection sensor at the bottom of the front", "There is a problem with the cliff detection sensor", "Wipe the sensor" Voice message such as "" or the message may be displayed on the screen. If there is an abnormality in the cliff detection sensor, the robot cleaner may not detect a cliff that may be in front of the robot cleaner and may cause damage to itself. Therefore, the control unit 200 stops the robot cleaner at the current position without moving the charging station, and then causes the output unit to notify the user of the current state.

As shown in FIG. 5, the lower camera sensor 115 is provided on the rear surface of the robot cleaner and photographs the lower side, that is, the bottom surface and the surface to be cleaned, during movement. The lower camera sensor is, in other words, called an optical flow sensor. The lower camera sensor converts a lower image input from an image sensor provided in the sensor to generate image data of a predetermined format. The generated image data is stored in the storage unit 500. The lower camera sensor may further include a lens and a lens controller for adjusting the lens. As the lens, a short focal length and a deep depth of focus lens may be used. The lens adjusting unit includes a predetermined motor and moving means for moving back and forth to adjust the lens. In addition, one or more light sources may be installed adjacent to the image sensor. One or more light sources irradiate light onto the area of the bottom surface that is imaged by the image sensor. That is, when the robot cleaner moves the cleaning area along the bottom surface, if the bottom surface is flat, a constant distance is maintained between the image sensor and the bottom surface. On the other hand, when the robot cleaner moves the bottom surface of the non-uniform surface, the robot cleaner moves away by a certain distance due to the irregularities and obstacles on the bottom surface. In this case, the one or more light sources may be formed to adjust the amount of light to be irradiated. The light source is formed of a light emitting device capable of adjusting the amount of light, for example, a light emitting diode (LED).

The lower camera sensor can detect the position of the robot cleaner irrespective of the slip of the robot cleaner. The control unit 200 calculates a moving distance and a moving direction by comparing and analyzing the image data photographed by the lower camera sensor with time, thereby calculating the position of the robot cleaner. By observing the underside of the robot cleaner using the lower camera sensor, the control unit can perform correction that is robust against slippage with respect to the position calculated by other means.

The lower camera sensor always photographs the bottom surface during movement, and thus outputs a predetermined value or more to the control unit. When the self-diagnosis mode is executed, the control unit 200 diagnoses the lower camera sensor by whether the output value of the lower camera sensor is equal to or greater than a preset reference value (for example, any value including 0). For example, the control unit 200 may move a predetermined distance straight in the opposite direction of the charging station according to the diagnostic algorithm, and if the lower camera sensor outputs a value below the reference value or outputs a value out of range, Diagnose If there is an error in the lower camera sensor, the output unit 400 may output a voice message such as "Wipe the lower camera sensor window on the bottom right" or display the message on the screen.

Referring to FIG. 1 or 8, the robot cleaner further includes an upper camera sensor 116 installed upward or forward to photograph the surroundings of the robot cleaner. When the robot cleaner includes a plurality of upper camera sensors, the camera sensors may be formed on the top or side surfaces of the robot cleaner at a predetermined distance or at an angle. The robot cleaner may further include a lens connected to the upper camera sensor to focus the subject, an adjusting unit adjusting the camera sensor, and a lens adjusting unit adjusting the lens. The lens uses a lens having a wide angle of view so that all the surrounding areas, for example, all areas of the ceiling can be photographed even at a predetermined position. For example, the angle of view includes a lens having a certain angle, for example 160 degrees or more. The control unit 200 may diagnose a state by receiving a signal or data from the upper camera sensor. That is, the control unit 200 may diagnose the state of the upper camera sensor by using whether the upper camera sensor is photographed or the image data captured by the upper camera sensor.

The control unit 200 may recognize the position of the robot cleaner using the image data photographed by the upper camera sensor, and create a cleaning map for the cleaning area. The control unit 200 may precisely recognize the position using the acceleration sensor, the gyro sensor, the wheel sensor, the detection information of the lower camera sensor, and the image data of the upper camera sensor. In addition, the control unit 200 may precisely generate the cleaning map by using the obstacle information detected by the front sensor or the obstacle sensor and the position recognized by the upper camera sensor.

The motion detection unit 120 may include one or more sensors of an acceleration sensor, a gyro sensor, and a wheel sensor to detect a motion of the robot cleaner.

An acceleration sensor detects a change in a moving speed due to a speed change of the robot cleaner, for example, start, stop, direction change, collision with an object, and the like. The acceleration sensor is attached to the main wheel or the adjoining positions of the auxiliary wheels, so that the slip or idling of the wheel can be detected. At this time, the speed is calculated using the acceleration detected by the acceleration sensor, and the position of the robot cleaner can be checked or corrected by comparing with the command speed. However, in embodiments of the present invention, the acceleration sensor is embedded in the control unit 200 to detect a speed change of the robot cleaner itself occurring in the cleaning mode and the driving mode. That is, the acceleration sensor detects the amount of impact according to the speed change and outputs a corresponding voltage value. Thus, the acceleration sensor can perform the function of an electronic bumper.

The acceleration sensor continuously detects the floor while the robot cleaner is moving. When the self-diagnosis mode is executed, the control unit 200 compares the output value of the acceleration sensor with a preset reference value and diagnoses the acceleration sensor using the comparison result. In the self-diagnosis mode, the control unit 200 causes the robot cleaner to move in a predetermined pattern according to a diagnostic algorithm, and when the acceleration sensor outputs an output value equal to or greater than the reference value, the control unit 200 diagnoses the acceleration sensor abnormality. If there is a problem with the acceleration sensor, the output unit 400 has a problem "acceleration sensor detected", "Please turn off and on the main power switch on the lower part of the main body and run the diagnostic mode once again." Please contact your service center. ”You can output a voice message, or display the message on the screen.

The gyro sensor detects the rotation direction and detects the rotation angle when the robot cleaner moves according to the driving mode. The gyro sensor detects the angular velocity of the robot cleaner and outputs a voltage value proportional to the angular velocity. The control unit 200 calculates the rotation direction and the rotation angle using the voltage value output from the gyro sensor.

The robot cleaner may further include a wheel sensor connected to the left and right main wheels and detecting a rotation speed of the main wheel. The wheel sensor may be a rotary encoder. The rotary encoder detects and outputs the number of revolutions of the main wheels on the left and right sides when the robot cleaner moves according to the driving mode or the cleaning mode. The control unit may calculate the rotational speed of the left and right wheels by using the rotation speed. In the self-diagnosis mode, the control unit 200 causes the robot cleaner to move at a preset command speed, and then compares the command speed with the speed calculated using the output value of the wheel sensor. The control unit uses the comparison result to diagnose the abnormality of the main wheel. In addition, the abnormality can be diagnosed by using the difference in the rotational speed and the rotational speed of the left and right wheels. The output unit 400 may output a voice message such as "Please check the foreign material on the left wheel" or "Please check the foreign material on the right wheel" when the main wheel has an error, or display the message on the screen. have.

The control unit 200 may calculate the rotation angle using the difference in the rotation speed of the left and right wheels. Moreover, the control unit compares the rotation angle computed using the output value of the wheel sensor with the output rotation angle of the gyro sensor, and diagnoses a gyro sensor using the comparison result. In the self-diagnosis mode, the control unit rotates the robot cleaner 180 degrees in the left and right directions about the charging station or the reference position according to the diagnostic algorithm. Then, the rotation angle is calculated or detected through the wheel sensor and the gyro sensor and compared with each other. For example, if the difference in the rotation angles is a certain angle, for example, 30 degrees or more, the control unit diagnoses an abnormality of the gyro sensor. If there is a problem with the gyro sensor, the output unit 400 may display a problem with the gyro sensor, and then execute the diagnostic mode once again after turning the main power switch on the lower part of the main body off. Please contact your service center. ”You can output a voice message, or display the message on the screen.

The state detection unit 130 is a sensor for detecting a state of each unit, and includes a sensor for detecting a state of a main wheel, a wheel drop switch state, a state of a suction motor, a state of an agitator, and the like. In addition, the state detection unit includes a sensor for detecting a dust box state, a battery state, a mop state, and the like. The control unit 200 confirms one or more preset execution conditions before the self-diagnosis mode is executed. The execution condition of the self-diagnosis mode is one of a dustbin mounting state, a dustbin attachment state, and a battery state or a combination of these states. In addition, the control unit 200 checks the current operation mode, checks whether or not the reservation cleaning is set, and then executes the self-diagnosis mode.

As shown in FIGS. 4 to 7, the robot cleaner includes left and right main wheels 710a and 710b on both lower sides thereof to move the robot cleaner. On either side of the main wheel, a handle may be provided to facilitate user's grip. Referring to FIG. 3, the robot cleaner further includes a driving unit 700. The driving unit 700 is connected to the left and right main wheels. The drive unit includes a predetermined wheel motor for rotating the wheels to move the robot cleaner by driving the wheel motor. The wheel motors are respectively connected to the main wheels so that the main wheels rotate, and the wheel motors operate independently of each other and can rotate in both directions. In addition, the robot cleaner has at least one auxiliary wheel on its back side to support the robot cleaner, minimize the friction between the robot cleaner and the bottom surface (the surface to be cleaned), and smoothly move the robot cleaner.

The control unit 200 diagnoses the state of the wheel motor when a command for executing the self-diagnosis mode is input. The control unit 200 is provided with current detection means to detect the drive current of the wheel motor. Then, the control unit 200 compares the detected driving current with a preset reference current, and diagnoses the state of the wheel motor according to the comparison result. The current detecting means can use a current transducer or the like, but can simply use a shunt resistor. The output unit 400 outputs a voice message such as "Please check the foreign matter on the left wheel", "Please check the foreign matter on the right wheel" when the main wheel has an error, or displays the message on the screen. Can be.

The robot cleaner further includes a wheel drop switch which operates when the robot cleaner is lifted by a user or an obstacle, that is, when the main wheel is lifted from the floor. Wheel drop switches are generally mechanical switches in contact form. When a command to execute the self-diagnosis mode is input, the control unit 200 checks the state of the wheel drop switch. Since the wheel drop switch should always be OFF during normal driving, the control unit 200 checks whether the self-diagnosis mode is OFF. If the wheel drop switch is turned on, the output unit 400 has a problem with the left (right) wheel drop switch. "Turn off and on the main power switch on the lower part of the main unit, and then try the smart diagnosis again." Please contact your service center. ”You can output a voice message, or display the message on the screen. The storage unit 500 may store the message in advance.

Referring to FIG. 3, the robot cleaner further includes a cleaning unit 800. 4 to 7, the cleaning unit 800 includes a dust container 840 in which dust collected is stored, a suction fan 880 providing power for sucking dust in the cleaning area, and the suction fan. It consists of a suction motor 850 to suck the air by rotating, to suck the dust or foreign matter around. The suction fan 880 has a plurality of wings for flowing air and a ring shape at an upstream side of the plurality of wings to connect the plurality of wings, and the air introduced in the direction of the central axis of the suction fan is perpendicular to the central axis. And a member for guiding flow in the direction.

The control unit 200 diagnoses the state of the suction motor 850 when a command for executing the self-diagnosis mode is input. The control unit 200 is provided with current detection means to detect the drive current of the suction motor 850. Then, the control unit 200 compares the detected driving current with a preset reference current, and diagnoses the state of the suction motor 850 according to the comparison result. The current detecting means can use a current transducer or the like, but can simply use a shunt resistor. If there is a problem with the suction motor, the output unit 400 has "a problem with the suction motor", "restart the main power switch on the lower part of the main body, and try the smart diagnosis again", "the problem may be repeated. Please contact your service center. ”You can output a voice message, or display the message on the screen.

The cleaning unit 800 includes a rotary brush 810 rotatably mounted to the lower part of the robot cleaner main body, and a side brush for cleaning the corners or corners of the cleaning area such as a wall while rotating around a vertical rotation axis of the main body ( 820 is further configured. The rotary brush 810 rotates about the left and right axes of the robot cleaner main body to float dust such as floor or carpet into the air. The outer circumferential surface of the rotary brush 810 is provided with a plurality of blades in the spiral direction. Brushes may be provided between the spiral blades. Since the rotary brush 810 and the side brush 820 have different axes of rotation, the robot cleaner should generally include a motor for driving the rotary brush and the side brush. As another example, as shown in Fig. 4 or 5, the robot cleaner, the side brush is disposed on both sides of the rotary brush, the transmission means 891 for transmitting the rotational force of the rotary brush to the side brush between the rotary brush and the side brush. It is also possible to drive both the rotary brush and the side brush by using a single brush motor. In the latter case, as the transmission means, a worm and a worm gear may be used, or a belt may be used.

The control unit 200 diagnoses the state of the brush motor 890 when a command for executing the self-diagnosis mode is input. The control unit 200 rotates the rotary brush 810 and detects the rotational speed of the rotary brush. Then, the control unit 200 compares the detected rotation speed with a preset reference speed, and diagnoses an abnormality of the rotary brush according to the comparison result. The reference speed can be set at 500 rpm, for example. If there is an error in the rotary brush, the output unit 400 may output a voice message such as "Please check whether foreign substances are stuck in the rotary brush" or display the message on the screen.

6 or 7, the cleaning unit 800 further includes a dust container 840 that aggregates dust and a portion in which the dust container is accommodated. As illustrated in FIG. 7, the cleaning unit 800 may further include a filter 841 having a substantially rectangular parallelepiped shape and filtering dirt or dust in the air. The filter 841 may be divided into a first filter and a second filter as necessary, and a bypass filter may be formed in the body forming the filter. The first filter and the second filter may be a mesh filter or a HEPA filter, and may be formed of one of a nonwoven fabric and a paper filter, or two or more may be used in combination.

The state of the dust container means a state of how much dust or the like is contained in the dust container and a state in which the dust container is attached or detached to the robot cleaner. In the former case, a piezoelectric sensor or the like can be inserted into the dust container and detected. In the latter case, the dust box can be detected in various forms. For example, a sensor for detecting whether the dust container is mounted includes a micro switch installed to be turned on / off at the bottom of the groove where the dust container is mounted, a magnetic sensor using a magnetic field of a magnet, a magnetic sensor using a magnetic field of a magnet body, and a light emitting unit. And a light sensor having a light receiving unit and receiving light. In the case of the magnetic sensor or the magnetic sensor, a sealing member made of synthetic rubber may be further included at a portion to which the magnet or the magnet body is bonded.

When a command to execute the self-diagnosis mode is input, the control unit 200 first checks whether the dust container is mounted in the robot cleaner as one of preconditions for execution. If the dust container is not attached to the robot cleaner, the output unit 400 may output a voice message such as "Please check the dust container" or display the message on the screen. The storage unit 500 may store the message in advance. Of course, check whether the dust box is installed in other driving modes, cleaning or driving modes first.

Referring to FIG. 3, the robot cleaner further includes a power supply unit 600. The power supply unit 600 includes a rechargeable battery 610 to supply power to the robot cleaner. The power supply unit 600 supplies driving power to each of the units, and operating power as the robot cleaner moves or performs cleaning. When the remaining power is insufficient, the power supply unit 600 is charged to receive a charging current. The battery is connected to the battery detection unit, and the battery remaining amount and the charge state are transmitted to the control unit. As shown in FIG. 8, the output unit 400 may display the battery remaining amount on the screen by the control unit. The battery may be located at the bottom of the center of the robot cleaner, or as shown in FIG. 5, may be located at either the left or the right side so that the dust container is located at the bottom of the main body. In the latter case, the robot cleaner may further include a counterweight to eliminate the weight bias of the battery.

When a command to execute the self-diagnosis mode is input, the control unit 200 first checks the remaining battery level and state as one of the preconditions for execution. If the battery is charged below the reference value, the output unit 400 outputs a voice message, such as "The battery level is low", "The battery cannot be entered due to insufficient battery", or the message is displayed on the screen. Can be displayed. The storage unit 500 may store the message in advance.

Referring to FIG. 7, the cleaning unit 800 further includes a mop plate 860 detachably mounted to a lower portion of the robot cleaner body. The mop plate may include a mop detachably mounted, and the user may separate and wash or replace only the mop. The mop may be mounted on the mop plate in various ways, but may be attached to the mop plate using an attachment cloth called Velcro. For example, the mop plate is mounted to the robot cleaner body by magnetic force. The mop plate may include a first magnet, and the cleaner body may include a metal member or a second magnet corresponding to the first magnet. When the mop plate is positioned at the bottom of the cleaner body, the mop plate is fixed to the robot cleaner body by the first magnet and the metal member or the first magnet and the second magnet. The robot cleaner further includes a sensor for detecting whether the mop plate is mounted. For example, the sensor may be a reed switch operated by magnetic force or may be a hall sensor or the like. For example, the reed switch is provided in the cleaner body, and is operated as the mop plate is coupled to the cleaner body to output a mounting signal to the control unit.

When a command to execute the self-diagnosis mode is input, the control unit uses the mounting signal to determine whether the mop plate is attached. When the mop plate is attached, the output values of the sensors are different. Therefore, the diagnostic mode should be executed after removing the mop plate. If the mop plate is attached to the robot cleaner, the output unit 400 outputs a voice message such as "The mop plate is attached and cannot enter the diagnostic mode", "Please try again after removing the mop plate," or on the screen. The message can be displayed. The storage unit 500 may store the message in advance. Of course, in other driving mode, cleaning or driving mode, check whether the mop plate is attached first.

1 to 6 together, a robot cleaner according to another embodiment includes a storage unit 500 for storing algorithms for the plurality of driving modes in a robot cleaner having a plurality of driving modes, The control unit 200 for executing the plurality of driving modes by using an algorithm, the input unit 300 for receiving an execution command for the driving mode to be executed by the control unit 200, and the control unit 200 And an output unit 400 for outputting the result of the executed operation mode. In this case, the plurality of operation modes include at least a self-diagnosis mode. The plurality of driving modes include a cleaning mode, a running mode, and the like in addition to the charging mode and the self-diagnosis mode.

The robot cleaner further includes one or more detection units 100 provided in the robot cleaner and outputting detection information about the inside or the outside. Here, the self-diagnosis mode is a mode for diagnosing the state of the at least one detection unit itself according to a diagnostic algorithm.

Here, the control unit 200 executes the self-diagnosis mode only when the driving mode currently being executed is the charging mode among the plurality of driving modes. Of course, if the current running mode is not the charging mode, the self-diagnosis mode may be executed after returning the robot cleaner to the charging station by using a remote controller or an input unit.

A self-diagnostic operation of the robot cleaner according to the embodiments will be described with reference to FIGS. 9 through 11.

When the robot cleaner receives an execution command of the self-diagnosis mode (S100), the robot cleaner checks one or more preset execution conditions before executing the self-diagnosis mode (S200). The execution command of the self-diagnosis mode is input by a user or the like pressing one of the buttons installed above, pressing the buttons in a predetermined form, or pressing a button for a predetermined time. As another example, the execution command of the self-diagnosis mode may be input by receiving a control signal from a remote controller or a terminal using a built-in sensor or communication means.

The execution condition of the self-diagnosis mode may be one of a mounting state of the dust container, an attached state of the mop plate, and a battery state or a combination of these states. The robot cleaner checks the current driving mode, checks whether or not the scheduled cleaning is set, and then executes the self-diagnosis mode (S300). The robot cleaner may have a plurality of driving modes, for example, a self-diagnosis mode, a charging mode, a cleaning mode, a driving mode, and the like, and the cleaning mode and the driving mode further include one or more manners or patterns. The robot cleaner may be pre-programmed to execute the self-diagnosis mode only when the current driving mode is a preset mode, for example, a charging mode (S110). If the robot cleaner does not meet the execution condition, the robot cleaner outputs an error message (S500). For example, if the run conditions are not met, the robot cleaner will "check the dust box", "can not enter the diagnostic mode due to low battery", "cannot enter the diagnostic mode" The voice message may be output or the message may be displayed on the screen. In addition, when the scheduled cleaning is set, the robot cleaner provides a message such as "Reservation canceled for self-diagnosis. Start self-diagnosis" through a sound or a screen.

If the running conditions are met, the robot cleaner will output a voice message such as "Start the robot cleaner self-diagnosis", "Please move away and remove objects within 1 meter of the charging station" or display the message on the screen. After displaying, the self driving mode is executed (S300).

11 is a diagram illustrating one pattern of a self-diagnosis mode. First, the robot cleaner receives an execution command of the self-diagnosis mode while executing the charging mode, and then, when the execution condition is satisfied, moves backward and escapes from the charging station. In this case, the robot cleaner diagnoses an abnormality of the external signal detection sensor based on whether the guide signal transmitted from the charging stand is received. Of course, the robot cleaner may continuously diagnose the external signal detection sensor after escaping from the charging stand. While rotating 180 degrees to the left or the right, the robot cleaner detects a rotation angle of the robot cleaner using a gyro sensor and detects an obstacle using a front sensor. By doing so, the robot cleaner can diagnose the gyro sensor and the front sensing sensor. The robot cleaner can diagnose the front sensor or the gyro sensor again while rotating to the original position. After completing the diagnosis while rotating, the robot cleaner travels a certain distance in the opposite direction of the charging station. At this time, the robot cleaner diagnoses the state of the other built-in sensors. For example, the robot cleaner may diagnose an obstacle detecting sensor by transmitting and receiving an infrared signal, and may detect a rotational speed of the left and right main wheels using a wheel sensor to diagnose a state of the main wheels such as the balance of the left and right main wheels. In addition, during the movement, the robot cleaner diagnoses a cliff detection sensor, a lower camera sensor, and the like installed on the rear surface (lower portion) of the main body, and diagnoses an acceleration sensor according to a speed change. Moreover, the robot cleaner can diagnose these by detecting the electric current, rotation speed, etc. of the various motors which comprise a drive unit or a cleaning unit.

When execution of the self-diagnosis mode is completed, the robot cleaner outputs a voice message such as "diagnosis mode is completed" or displays the message on the screen. In addition, the robot cleaner provides an execution result such as "there is no abnormality in the diagnosis result" to the user or the like as a sound or a screen using the output unit (S400). In addition, the robot cleaner may further provide a message such as "press the charge button if you want to hear the diagnosis result again, and press the stop button if you want to complete the diagnosis". Then, when the release command of the diagnostic mode is input, the robot cleaner outputs a message "release diagnosis mode".

As a result of the execution, when an error occurs in the elements constituting the robot cleaner, the robot cleaner outputs an error message using the output unit (S410). For example, the robot cleaner has a problem with the sensor, "a problem has been found", "do not attempt to charge", "remove the main power switch on the bottom of the main unit and try again", Print an error message such as "Clean the sensor window" or "Contact the service center".

As described above, the robot cleaner and its self-diagnostic method according to the embodiments of the present invention prevent self-diagnosis and malfunction of the robot cleaner by performing self-diagnosis upon initial driving or as required by a user. In addition, the robot cleaner according to the embodiments of the present invention detects the state of the built-in components and sensors, and performs self-diagnosis by using the characteristics and output values of the components and sensors. By doing so, embodiments of the present invention prevent accidents or errors that may occur in the future according to the operation of the robot cleaner, and improve the stability, operation efficiency, and user safety and convenience of the system.

100: detection unit 200: control unit
300: input unit 400: output unit
500: storage unit 600: power unit
700: drive unit 800: cleaning unit

Claims (15)

  1. In the robot cleaner having a self-diagnosis mode,
    At least one detection unit provided in the robot cleaner and outputting detection information detecting a state of an internal or external unit;
    An input unit to receive an execution command of the self-diagnosis mode;
    A control unit for executing the self-diagnosis mode according to the execution command and diagnosing abnormality of the robot cleaner and the at least one detection unit itself based on the detection information; And
    An output unit for outputting an execution result of the self-diagnostic mode;
    When the self-diagnosis mode is executed, the control unit operates the robot cleaner in a predetermined pattern based on a diagnosis algorithm for diagnosing abnormality of the robot cleaner and the detection unit.
    The detection information is output based on a result detected during the operation based on the predetermined pattern of the robot cleaner,
    The control unit, before executing the self-diagnosis mode, the robot cleaner, characterized in that for checking one or a combination of the attachment state and the battery state of the mop plate.
  2. delete
  3. The method according to claim 1,
    The diagnostic algorithm,
    Each operation pattern for diagnosing the robot cleaner and the one or more detection units and information on an execution order of each operation pattern,
    Wherein the control unit comprises:
    When the self-diagnosis mode is executed, the robot cleaner is moved based on the respective operation patterns according to the execution order,
    Each operation pattern is,
    Robot cleaner, characterized in that the operation pattern that can be executed continuously in accordance with the execution order.
  4. The apparatus according to claim 1,
    And confirming one or more preset execution conditions before executing the self-diagnosis mode.
  5. 5. The method of claim 4,
    The execution condition of the self-diagnosis mode is
    A robot cleaner characterized in that it is one of a dust box mounting state, a mop plate attachment state, and a battery state or a combination of these states.
  6. The method of claim 1, wherein the one or more detection units,
    And at least one of an object detecting unit detecting an external object, a motion detecting unit detecting a motion of the robot cleaner, and a state detecting unit detecting a state of units constituting the robot cleaner.
  7. In the robot cleaner having a plurality of driving modes,
    A storage unit for storing algorithms for the plurality of operating modes;
    A control unit for executing the plurality of operation modes based on the algorithm;
    An input unit which receives an execution command for an operation mode to be executed by the control unit;
    An output unit for outputting a result of an operation mode executed by the control unit; And
    At least one detection unit provided in the robot cleaner and outputting detection information detecting a state of an internal or external unit; ≪ / RTI >
    The plurality of driving modes include at least a self diagnostic mode,
    The self-diagnostic mode is a mode for diagnosing an abnormality of the at least one detection unit itself based on the detection information according to a diagnostic algorithm,
    When the self-diagnosis mode is executed, the control unit operates the robot cleaner in a predetermined pattern based on a diagnosis algorithm for diagnosing an abnormality of the detection unit,
    The detection information is output based on a result detected during the operation based on the predetermined pattern of the robot cleaner,
    The control unit, the robot cleaner, characterized in that for verifying one or a combination of the attached state and the battery state of the mop plate before the self attenuation mode execution.
  8. delete
  9. 8. The apparatus according to claim 7,
    And executing the self-diagnosis mode only when the current running mode is the charging mode.
  10. delete
  11. The method of claim 7, wherein the one or more detection units,
    And at least one of an object detecting unit detecting an external object, a motion detecting unit detecting a motion of the robot cleaner, and a state detecting unit detecting a state of units constituting the robot cleaner.
  12. In the self-diagnostic method of the robot cleaner including at least one detection unit for outputting detection information for detecting a state of the internal or external unit, the self-diagnosis mode,
    Receiving an execution command of the self-diagnosis mode;
    Executing the self-diagnostic mode according to a preset diagnostic algorithm; And
    Outputting a result of executing the self-diagnosis mode;
    The self-diagnostic mode is a mode for diagnosing an abnormality of the at least one detection unit itself based on the detection information according to a diagnostic algorithm,
    The execution of the self-diagnosis mode may include operating the robot cleaner in a predetermined pattern based on a diagnosis algorithm for diagnosing abnormality of the detection unit, based on the detection information output from the detection unit during operation. It is characterized by diagnosing abnormality of the detection unit,
    Confirming an execution condition of one or a combination of the attachment state of the mop plate and the battery state before the self-diagnosis mode is executed; Self-diagnostic method of the robot cleaner further comprising a.
  13. delete
  14. The method of claim 12, wherein the checking of the execution condition comprises:
    Self-diagnostic method of the robot cleaner, characterized in that the step of determining whether the current running mode is the charging mode.
  15. delete
KR1020110073799A 2011-07-25 2011-07-25 Robot cleaner and self testing method of the same KR101371036B1 (en)

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US13/536,317 US9928459B2 (en) 2011-07-25 2012-06-28 Robotic cleaner and self testing method of the same
US13/536,282 US8800101B2 (en) 2011-07-25 2012-06-28 Robot cleaner and self testing method of the same

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KR20060127452A (en) * 2005-06-07 2006-12-13 엘지전자 주식회사 Apparatus and method to inform state of robot cleaner
KR20070018641A (en) * 2005-08-10 2007-02-14 엘지전자 주식회사 Apparatus sensing the engagement of a dust tank for a robot-cleaner
KR20090043088A (en) * 2007-10-29 2009-05-06 삼성전자주식회사 Apparatus and method for the self-diagnosis of robot defect with camera device
KR20090069595A (en) * 2007-12-26 2009-07-01 삼성전자주식회사 Apparatus and method for detecting movement error in moving robot

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KR20060127452A (en) * 2005-06-07 2006-12-13 엘지전자 주식회사 Apparatus and method to inform state of robot cleaner
KR20070018641A (en) * 2005-08-10 2007-02-14 엘지전자 주식회사 Apparatus sensing the engagement of a dust tank for a robot-cleaner
KR20090043088A (en) * 2007-10-29 2009-05-06 삼성전자주식회사 Apparatus and method for the self-diagnosis of robot defect with camera device
KR20090069595A (en) * 2007-12-26 2009-07-01 삼성전자주식회사 Apparatus and method for detecting movement error in moving robot

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