Mint: Intelligent Floor Cleaning Robot

[CES 2010] Today, Evolution Robotics announced Mint, a new type of floor cleaner robot. Unlike the popular Roomba from iRobot, Mint has a square form factor and is over 3 inches smaller, sitting at under 10 inches wide, making it possible to clean into tight spaces, between chair legs for example. Another major difference with the Roomba is the Evolution’s own cleaning navigation system, NorthStar technology: using an IR projector and integrating information from three different on-board positioning systems, it allows Mint to map the room, plan areas for cleaning and detect any spots not covered on the first pass. In comparison, the Roomba acts like a “blind” device, bumping into obstacles and navigating randomly in the room for hours.

This intelligent cleaning robot dusts and wet mops hard surface floors using regular cleaning cloths; its small size, square body and cleaning pad mounted up front lets it clean along edges of walls and into corners. With its new range of floors sensors, it can detect floor transitions and avoid to drive onto rugs and carpets and the friction of the cleaning pad is adjustable for cleaning on slippery floor.

I (Eliane) met once an old lady from Russia who claimed that the best technological invention of the 20th century was the washing machine, finally preventing women in her country to go in the river by minus 30 Celsius to wash the clothes. This kind of robot could be the best invention of the 21th century, allowing people to play FarmVille or read books instead of cleaning the floor. If you are interested in smart cleaning robots, check out the recently launched Neato XV-11.

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