Method and System of Optical Guidance of Mobile Body
The invention proposes to guide a robot by projecting a laser light, image processing and communication to improve the accuracy of guidance. The method spans areas of robotics, computer vision, user interface, video games, communication and smart home technologies.
The key idea is to show goal positions to the robot optically instead of communicating them numerically. This intuitive interface simplifies directing the robot while visual feedback improves the positioning accuracy and allows for implicit localization. The guidance system serves also as a mediator for cooperative multiple robots. This U.S. Patent may be of interest to Samsung Electronics, iRobot, Neato Robotics, LG Electronics, Moneual, Miele, Dyson, and Google.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. may have been using this technology in POWERbot VR9000 robotic vacuum cleaners equipped with Point Cleaning™ function since 2014 because Claims 1-5, 9-11, 15-17, 33 and 34 of U.S. Patent 6,629,028 may be present in this product. According to Samsung.com, POWERbot VR9000 with Point Cleaning™ can be purchased online in the USA ($999 in May 2015). POWERbot robotic vacuum cleaners by Samsung have also been sold online on Amazon.com in the USA since 2014.
The robotic vacuum cleaners represent 18.1% of the global vacuum market with such competitors as: iRobot, LG Electronics, Neato Robotics, Dyson, Moneual, Miele and Samsung. In 2013, iRobot shipped 1.933 million units worldwide, reported 427.9 million revenue from Home Robots and 210.8 million gross margin in this segment.
There are 125.8 million households in the USA in 2016. iRobot’s share of U.S. robotic vacuum market is estimated at 75% (by Adam Fleck at Morningstar), generating up to 34.3% of $487.4 million total revenue in 2013. iRobot reports a full-year domestic Home Robots revenue growth of more than 20% in 2014.
Vacuum cleaner robots are forecast to grow rapidly from $981 million in 2013 to $2.6 billion by 2020 because of automated process and effective cleaning power (by ReportsnReports.com).
U.S. residential robotic vacuum market will grow at CAGR of 6.43% and 4.45% in terms of revenue and unit shipment, respectively, over the period 2014-2019 (by TechNavio).
US 6,629,028 issued 2003-09-30 [MORE INFO
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