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How does Robot Vacuum Cleaner Navigate?

Today's vacuums can vacuum, sweep and mop your home. At the same time avoid hitting things and falling down stairs. So how does a robot vacuum cleaner navigate? Robotic vacuums use advanced vacuum navigation systems. It can map your home and store that information.

Types of Surveying and Mapping

Camera-based mapping

The robot uses an onboard camera to photograph the entire room, marking the location and the overall layout of the room. But it can't work in a dark environment.

Surveying and mapping based on LiDAR

Use this type of mapping to measure the distance between yourself and objects in your path and then create an accurate map of the environment. It passes in a straight line and cannot move randomly. For example: Roborock S7 MaxV, which utilizes LiDAR navigation to create maps accurately on the first run. It works efficiently in the dark.

roborock s7 maxv lidar navigate

Gyroscope or accelerometer mapping

It is not possible to create precise maps, use gyroscopes or accelerometer sensors to measure the distance and direction of objects around the house.

Sensors play an important role in vacuum cleaners

Robotic vacuums use map-forming routes for sweeping, using sensors to detect road conditions while moving. Robot vacuum cleaner navigate are using various types of sensors to measure the world around them. Most brands have their own proprietary navigation software, but each uses multiple sensors to aid in driving.

Cliff sensor, usually by reflecting infrared rays on the floor. The object then sends a signal back to the receiver in the vacuum cleaner. If the vacuum cleaner doesn't receive the signal coming back, he will change course. If it encounters a staircase, the cliff sensor prevents it from falling down the stairs.

Cliff sensor on vacuum cleaner

The name of the obstacle sensor also reveals its role: when cleaning a room, both furniture and things on the ground become obstacles. If the robot vacuum hits something (such as the corner of a table or a wall), the sensor is triggered.

Wall sensors that use infrared light to detect walls and then clean them along the borders. The robot uses this effectively to prevent itself from hitting the wall.

The combination of these sensors allows it to know its surroundings. What things it will hit, how to avoid obstacles, and where it might fall. This is the most basic thing, and only by knowing this can you navigate well.


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