Robo-vacuum climbs stairs to clean floors

Migo Robotics' Ascender is the world's first stair-climbing robotic vacuum cleaner and floor mop.

After creating a map of the home on its first use, or having one manually programmed into it, it subsequently follows that map as it makes its rounds, hitting up the different rooms in the most efficient order possible. As it does so, it tracks its whereabouts and avoids obstacles via an HD camera, LiDAR module, and six Time-of-Flight sensors. All of these tools provide data to an integrated 5-teraFLOP AI computing engine.

The Ascender is also able to detect the difference between carpets and hard floors, automatically vacuuming the former and mopping the latter. It delivers 9,700 pascals of suction when vacuuming, and 17 Newtons of pressure when mopping. Sucked-up dirt along with both clean and dirty mopping water are stored in onboard compartments. When the Ascender automatically returns to its base station, the dirt and used water are emptied, and the clean water reservoir is topped up.

The Ascender automatically detects when it's at the top or bottom of a set of stairs, then goes about ascending or descending them as necessary. It climbs stairs by raising its main body relative to its two outrigger wheel units on either side, sliding the body forward so it sits flat on the tread of the next step up, then swinging first one then the other wheel unit up to join the body.

The robot vacuums or mops the tread of each step, utilising its four omnidirectional wheels to move laterally without having to turn around. Its main cleaning brush pivots 90 degrees during these lateral movements, so it stays facing in the direction of travel. The robot will return to its charger-equipped base station if the battery gets low in the middle of its rounds, then pick up where it left off when the battery has been recharged.

An accompanying iOS/Android app allows users to set cleaning schedules, declare certain rooms off-limits, or even remotely operate the robot via onscreen joystick controls.

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