Matsushita To Market Vacuum Cleaning Robot
Aug. 12, 1992
TOKYO (AP) _ Dusting off an old idea about life in the future, a Japanese electronics company says it plans to market a robot that vacuums a room automatically then puts itself away.
A price hasn't been set for the home model, but the industrial version is expected to cost between $15,700 and $23,600, Akihiro Tanii of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. said today.
After a 40-pound prototype is used once manually, the dome-shaped machine remembers the area and can vacuum it automatically.
The cordless, battery-powered cleaner has an ultrasonic sensor to detect obstacles and can then move around them. A separate sensor detects the type of floor or rug and selects an appropriate vacuum nozzle, while another measures the amount of dust and adjusts the suction power.
After it finishes cleaning, the prototype returns to a charging station in a corner of the room to recharge its batteries.
Matsushita says it plans to finish development of the cleaner next year. An exact marketing date hasn't been decided.
Matsushita markets products under the Panasonic, Quasar and Technics brand names.