Fuzzy logic, a technology which allows the appliance to make flexible decisions based on individual situations, is the mainstay behind the robot.
The robot automatically moves through a room and cleans around obstacles. (The unit does not move from room to room.) The appliance also automatically stops rotating its brush and adjusts vacuuming power when it goes from a carpeted surface to a smooth floor, or vice versa.
The vacuum cleaner is programmed, depending on the size of the room to be cleaned. It can be programmed to clean at the same time every day.
A built-in timer lets the robot clean when the house is vacant or during the night when the family’s asleep. It operates quietly.
When the timer activates or the start button is pressed, the robot verbally announces “cleaning will commence,” and then leaves its charging area to begin vacuuming at the rate of one foot per second.
When the unit comes to a high concentration of dust or dirt, the vacuum power automatically increases to clean the area. It negotiates obstacles, using its microcomputer and gyro-control sensors.
The cordless robot can clean for up to 20 minutes on a single charge, then automatically returns to its charging port.
Eureka’s appliance is similar in basics, but with one important distinction. It’s corded.
Some power is sacrificed with a battery-operated unit, contends Richard Godfrey.
“The development of battery technology is the real key to (cordless) robots of the future.”
Godfrey says Eureka’s appliance “looks like a Ford Taurus. It’s very aerodynamic – aerodynamic without, of course, the need for wind resistance.” The unit is equipped with large wheels in back and small wheels in front.
Aside from robots, recent advances in vacuum cleaners, as ticked off by Godfrey
One model with a “Rotasweep” power-brush nozzle automatically selects the power-consumption setting needed. A built-in sensor measures the vacuum and sends this signal to the motor. Depending on the object or surface to be vacuumed, the motor generates more or less suction power.
An audible warning, together with a red light, indicate a full dust bag. The possibility of dust being discharged on the blow-out side of the appliance is minimized by the use of a four-filter system, including an electrostatically loaded outlet filter that filters 99.9 percent of fine dust particles.
The motor is quiet due to a reactive muffler and insulation.
The cleaner comes with the Rotasweep power-nozzle attachment, complete with telescopic tube.
The accessory is capable of raising flattened pile on floorcoverings or clothes, thus restoring them to their original condition.
The attachment’s suction head contains a separate electric motor which drives the brushes.
In conjunction with the Rotasweep, a telescopic tube is used for vacuuming large floor and carpet areas.