A new exploration method for mobile robots is especially suitable for home and office environments. The robot also provides a flexible cleaning system, allowing adaptation to any kind of floor surface with any kind of obstacle and avoiding unnecessary repeat cleaning of the same area.<br><br> Self-localisation means that the method does not require a precise global map, nor does it rely on external markers located in the rooms or areas to be cleaned. Instead, the robot creates its own rough map by scanning the environment, so that the map comprises every obstacle which the robot can then avoid. Iterative scanning allows adaptation to arbitrary obstacles.<br><br> At each cleaning the surrounding area is scanned and simultaneously cleaned using an extendible arm with changeable cleaning elements. This new approach allows the robot to clean any floor space fast and thoroughly, while using little power. <br><br> By using standard microcontrollers the cost of robotic vacuum cleaners is affordable for personal use, as demonstrated by a fully-functional prototype.
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