TOKYO (AP)-Dusting off an old idea about life in the future, a Japanese electronics
company says it will market a vacuum cleaning robot that cleans a room automatically
and then puts itself away.
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. says it plans to finish development of the cleaner
A prototype of the robot can maneuver by itself and can be used manually. Once it's
used to clean a room manually, the dome-shaped machine remembers the area and can
vacuum it automatically.
The cordless, battery-powered cleaner has an ultrasonic sensor to detect obstacles
and can then move around them. A separate sensor detects the type of floor or rug
and selects an appropriate vacuum nozzle, while another measures the amount of dust
and adjusts the suction power.
After it finishes cleaning, the 40 pound prototype returns to a charging station
in a corner of the room to recharge its batteries.
- Michael Hayes