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Japanese Firm Markets Vacuum Cleaning Robot

Japanese Firm Markets Vacuum Cleaning Robot

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

next year.

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

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