Robotic vacuum cleaner
A robotic vacuum cleaner, often called a robovac, is an autonomous robotic vacuum cleaner that has intelligent programming and a limited vacuum cleaning system. Some designs use spinning brushes to reach tight corners. Others combine a number of cleaning features (mopping, UV sterilization, etc.) simultaneous to vacuuming, thus rendering the machine into more than just a robot "vacuum" cleaner.
Robotic vacuums may be part of a more general purpose domestic robot. For example, some models integrate security cameras, intercom systems and other features. There can also be general caretaker service robots that have the ability to perform other basic housework tasks such as moving items, preparing food, and other cleaning in addition to vacuuming.[unreliable source?]
The first robot cleaner to be put into production was Electrolux Trilobite by the Swedish household and professional appliances manufacturer, Electrolux. In 1997, one of Electrolux's first versions of the Trilobite vacuum was featured on the BBC's science program, Tomorrow's World.
In 2002, the American advanced technology company, iRobot launched the Roomba floor vacuuming robot. Initially, iRobot decided to produce 15,000 units and 10,000 more units depending on the success of the launch. The Roomba immediately became a huge consumer sensation. By the Christmas season, iRobot produced 50,000 units to meet the holiday demand. After this success, major specialty retailers as well as more than 4,000 outlets such as Target, Kohl's and Linens 'n Things began to carry the Roomba.
Since 2002, new variations of robotic vacuum cleaners have appeared in the market. For example, the Canadian bObsweep robotic vacuum that both mops and vacuums, or the Neato Robotics XV-11 robotic vacuum, which uses laser-vision rather than the traditional ultrasound based models.
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- "The robotic vacuum cleaner", Robot Reviews, retrieved 2011-01-23.
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