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Optical guidance method and system

[Category : - ELECTRONICS- MECHANICAL ENGINEERING]
[Viewed 3929 times]

The invention proposes to guide a mobile body optically to improve the accuracy of guidance. It spans areas of robotics, user interface, communication, computer vision, and smart home technologies.

The key idea is to show goal positions instead of commanding them numerically. The intuitive interface simplifies directing the robot while visual feedback improves the accuracy of guidance and allows for implicit localization. An article "Optical guidance method for robots capable of vision and communication" in Robotics and Autonomous Systems Link (PDF) describes this more in detail. An experiment of directing a robot by a laser pointer is shown on video: Link (YouTube movie).

A leaflet outlining the patent, its advantages, market statistics, competitors and forecast is available at: Link (PDF).

The patent may be of interest to Samsung Electronics Link (POWERbot™ with PointCleaning™), Mitsubishi Electric Link (Dynamic Sign), SoftBank Robotics, Amazon Robotics, Teradyne, SharkNinja, Shopify, Neato Robotics, Ecovacs and Google.


Financial information

Samsung Electronics may have been using a technology of optical guidance in POWERbot™ robotic vacuum cleaners equipped with PointCleaning™ since 2014: Link (movie). Claims 1-5, 15-17, 33-34 of U.S. Patent 6,629,028 may be present in this product.

According to Samsung.com Link , POWERbot™ cleaners are sold online in the USA ($999 in May 2015). They have also been sold on Amazon.com since 2014.

There are more than 127 million households in the USA. The robotic vacuum cleaners represent 24% of the global vacuum cleaners market of $10 billion with such competitors as: iRobot, Neato Robotics, Ecovacs, Samsung Electronics, Dyson, Moneual, Miele, LG Electronics. U.S. residential robotic vacuum market exceeds $0.8 billion with CAGR of 25% in 2018 according to the iRobot Investor Presentation of August 2019: Link (PDF).

The patent applications by Samsung Electronics on robot guidance by laser pointer (Appl. No. 10/820,037, Pub. No. 2005/0027399 in the USA and Appl. No. 04250986.9, Pub. No. EP1515210 in Europe) did not result in patents.

Samsung Electronics registered a trademark PointCleaning with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on March 5, 2015: serial No. 86555014. U.S. Patent 9,675,229 on guidance of a robot cleaner was granted to Samsung Electronics on June 13, 2017. Yet their patent application in Europe (Appl. No. 15174995.9, Pub. No. EP2963515) has been under examination (Search Report issued on Dec. 18, 2015) Link .

Mitsubishi Electric conducts a trial of Dynamic Sign with the objective of its international standardization. The technology allows for projection of animated images such as directions and alerts onto the floors of public facilities and other buildings, see a news release of August 2019 Link .

The patent valuation model estimates its value by an eight-figure number.







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