Commercial Robotics

World's First Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Posted 10 Jan 2003 at 20:11 UTC by steve Share This

Why is it that every robot vacuum cleaner that's been marketed in the last ten years has been billed as "the world's first"? Well, according to a recent news story there's yet another "world's first robot vacuum cleaner". Electrolux will begin selling their Trilobite vacuum in Malaysia soon. The manufacturer described the robot as "a cross between a cruise missile, a car, and a vacuum cleaner". Strangely enough, the Trilobite looks like a Roomba that's been painted red.

Well it's got a LCD display at least, posted 12 Jan 2003 at 13:22 UTC by earlwb » (Master)

Well it isn't quite the same, they put in a little LCD indicator display. It'll take the a year or more to get UL approvals for the US. So releasing it in a country that maybe has fewer regulations would seem a reasonable way to get "Beta Testers?" (sarcasm) using it. Of course maybe they licensed it from the Roomba group. Or it's a ripoff from the factory that makes the Roomba robots.

Looks similar, but is quite different from Roomba, posted 13 Jan 2003 at 15:21 UTC by profesor » (Master)

The Trilobite seems to be very different from the Roomba. It makes sense that it looks similar - we all know the navigational advantages of a circular robot with the two- wheel drive system.

What seems to make the Trilobite different is that it uses sonar (the Roomba uses IR and bumpers), uses magnets in place of Roomba's "virtual wall", and the big thing is that the Trilobite seems to map things and know where it is. The Trilobite says that it can find its way back to it's charging station. The Roomba has no such capability - as far as I can tell, it drives somewhat randomly around the room for a fixed period of time and then claims the room is clean. The Roomba avoids small things by bumping into them and turning away, the Trilobite claims to sense and avoid them.

Because of this, I'm not surprised that it costs quite a bit more than the Roomba - the Roomba costs $199 USD, this costs 1,500 euros (approx. $1,580 USD).

Yeah, it does look like the Roomba.. , posted 15 Jan 2003 at 08:49 UTC by Jhoffa_ » (Journeyer)

    It makes sense that it looks similar - we all know the navigational advantages of a circular robot with the two- wheel drive system

Yes, that would be the best way to do it. No sharp corners to catch on things, zero turning radius. Any dustbot should have a similar shape, imho.

Frankly though, I wonder how much market share they can snap up at a grand and a half per pop. I can see people willing to risk $200.00 to see what the Roomba is like, I can't imagine many people extending this machine the same courtesy. If they do, it had better deliver.

I think the reviewers cut Roomba some slack because of it's bargain basement price, those kinds of consessions won't be as easy to make with this machine.

Selling in Sweden, posted 15 Jan 2003 at 17:37 UTC by matsw » (Master)

Hi all,

just wanted to add that they are already selling it here in Sweden (the Electrulux company is Swedish). Price has been circa 14000 Swedish crowns (roughly 1500 Us dollars), but they have said it will be reduced somewhat soon.

It has three modes, or movement patterns, including one mode for just vacuuming a small area when you have spillt something out.

Mats Wiklund

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