Smart Carpet for RoboVac Navigation

Posted 16 Jun 2005 at 13:58 UTC by The Swirling Brain Share This

Vorwerk, a German company, is working on a Smart Carpet system to help robotic vacuums navigate. The system uses radio frequency identification (RFID) tags at approximately one tag every 1.5 inches square attached to the underside of the carpet. The robotic vacuum would have a grid map of all the unique RFID tag codes and an RFID reader so it would be able to read where it is at any given moment. A robotic vacuum should then be able to intelligently navigate even remembering which areas it has missed and be able to go back and vacuum those spots.

Broken Link?, posted 16 Jun 2005 at 14:00 UTC by The Swirling Brain » (Master)

For some reason the Smart Carpet Link didn't work so H ere it is again. Hopefully it works this time! :-(

the link should work now, posted 16 Jun 2005 at 14:47 UTC by steve » (Master)

Didn't someone have a robot vacuum that found areas to clean by "listening" to dirt? I think they used an ultrasonic sensor to ping the carpet and hear the dirt vibrate.

I may read Slashdot but...., posted 17 Jun 2005 at 11:21 UTC by dogsbody_d » (Master)

Like all good netizens, I am opposed to loss of privacy, in favour of the right to have PGP, complain wildly about ID cards, and all of that. Yes, I do read The Register....

...but as a roboticist I have always thought that sticking RFID tags into everything wouldn't half make a lot of robot applications easier. Getting a beer from the fridge is much simpler if the can is already labelled in an easy to read format...

bar codes., posted 17 Jun 2005 at 11:54 UTC by c6jones720 » (Master)

thats why all food cans have barcodes on them-LOL. is there enough bandwidth to give every carpet an RFID?

Yeah, but, posted 17 Jun 2005 at 14:41 UTC by dogsbody_d » (Master)

The disadvantage of bar codes is that you then have to have a way of your robot scanning them. The biorobots in the supermarket seem to have enough problems! ;) It's all about the orientation. Plus, while you and I may like a carpet made up of barcodes, the average punter probably wouldn't.

Current RFID tags can have about 2KB of data, though there are plans for a slimmed down 96-bit version []. According to wikipedia, GUIDs are a 16 byte number, so no problem there. The point is that there are supposedly so many possible GUIDs that there is no chance that any two will ever be the same. Supposedly there are a maximum of 3.4028*10^38. Well, TBH the chance that there'd be two the same on the same bit of carpet really can't be that high!

Whether or not that's enough to provide a GUID for [i]every square foot[/i] of carpet...hmmm.

Okay, via a bit of Googling the Earth has a land area of 1.603008*10^15 square feet. Let's cover it all in carpet! That's a comfortable margin I'd say. Of course, that doesn't preclude folks building multi-storey buildings on land and sea.

Plus, any dismantling of gas giants to make Dyson Spheres and lay carpet on the inside, er... I must get back to work.

Hang on. Dyson Sphere, Dyson's Ball vacuum cleaner.? You don't think that there could be tiny people living in it do you?

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