Roboking (Also known as Hom-Bot) is an automated robotic vacuum cleaner produced by LG. The first version of the Roboking was launched during 2001. It is also sold as Hom-Bot. As of 2011, it is the quietest vacuum cleaner robot on the market, producing 48 decibels (dB).
The Roboking navigates by performing SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping) to build a map of its environment using ceiling images, while tracking its incremental movement with a downward-facing camera (like an optical mouse). A combination of ultrasound and infrared helps minimize collisions in dynamic environments and optimizes performance by planning the most efficient route. LG claims that these sensors are more effective than the more conventional options of bumpers or light sensors. During homing, the robot goes directly to the remembered location of the charging station rather than looking for it with the help of sensors. Remembered path also helps it to clean multiple rooms.
Like most of other cleaning robots, Roboking is capable of independent docking with its charging station and of scheduled cleaning that starts after the specified number of hours. It cannot be programmed to clean periodically without user interaction and must be serviced after cleanup to empty the dust bin. Remote control provides commands for cleanup, homing, steering and timer setup.
It is reported that the lack of bumper sensors causes the Roboking to push up against obstacles without realizing it, possibly moving them. "This pushing against objects is the single biggest issue with this product.". However 2011 year model has ultrasonic sensors to slow down and turns back if it cannot pass the obstacle. The device is also both advertised and described in reviews as comparatively silent.
The 2011 year model contains 22 sensors attached on 32 bit microprocessor. The device runs Linux kernel 2.6 and internally uses Bash, BusyBox, U-boot, glibc and OpenSSL. Source code, where required by the licenses, is available from the address, included in the manual. 1900 mAh Lithium-ion polymer battery is sufficient for 75 minutes of cleaning. The cleaning mechanism is relatively well enclosed and the dust bin is fully closed when removed, resulting cleaner and less maintenance.
The device offers several cleaning modes. During the spot cleaning the robot circles around small, highly contaminated area. During Zig Zag cleaning, it attempts to cover all space in long "wall to wall" sections, resulting in faster but possibly less accurate cleaning. During Cell by Cell (or spatial extension) cleaning it divides the bigger area into cells and cleans each cell separately, only moving to the next cell after the current one is complete. It can also be directly steered with remote control.
Real time image streaming
The 2011 year model VR6180VMNC has the third camera and can stream live images through Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi can also be used to control the cleaner from PC or smartphone. This robot also understands voice commands.
As of 2011, 14 models have been released. These models are grouped in three generations. Further models have since been released.
Generation 4 [2017-]
- Berglund, Per. "LG Roboking Review". LG Roboking Review. Per Berglund. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
- User manual of VR5902LVM
- Roboking Review Archived 2006-05-14 at the Wayback Machine
- LG Roboking Triple Eye vacuum bot gets Wi-Fi, remote camera