How Rumba works.

The Rumba Vacuum automatically vacuums and backs right up
when it bumps into something all on its own but how does the Rumba vacuum robot know where it’s going? The Rumba uses special sensors that emit a certain kind of infrared light. The Invisible light it uses can’t be seen by the human eye but it’s how the robotic cleaner follows no preset path using its brain, a printed circuit board. That circuit contains a program that tells the Rumba robot vacuum how to react to these inferred signals.

Rumba Collision Sensors

Also the robotic cleaner uses on board collision sensors. The collision sensors are triggered by the bumper. When the robot runs into an object it backs up. The sensors sends a signal to the printed circuit board. When both centers are triggered at the same time then it tells the Rumba vacuum something is directly in front of it. If one of the two sensors is triggered that means the robot is hitting something on it’s side. If it hits one sensor after another then it knows it’s in a corner, then backs up and changes direction. There’s more, the robots infrared light sensors shine infrared light on its side so the robot knows it’s traveling the length of a wall.

Three sensors are located underneath so the robot can detect any stairs.  And a sensor on top that keeps the robot from going where it’s not supposed to go.

What’s inside Rumba

As with any Household Electronics we don’t recommend doing this at home. By opening up the case, disconnecting some wires etc. and placing the Rumba on a tall stand we can see that the side sensors are made up of a receiver and contain a diode which emits infrared beams of invisible light which bounces off walls. The emitter is in such a position so the infrared beams always hit the wall at a certain angle. When the robot is at that ideal distance from the wall 2/10 of an inch the infrared beams bounce back to the receiver. If the infrared beams do not reach the receiver at the robot then it is either too close or too far from the wall.

How does Rumba avoid stairs?

Sensors beneath Rumba bombard the ground with infrared beams and when the receiver stops receiving there’s no floor under that part of the robot and it stops 6/10 of an inch later.

With all those sensors the robot can get information from the side, below, and from up ahead.

How does Rumba know to stay in one room?

The forward sensor is different from all the others. It only has a receiver. The Emitter is in a completely separate unit that constantly emits infrared beams. These beams create a virtual wall, a border that the robot must not cross. When the robot reaches this border, thanks to the separate unit, the robot knows what’s off limits and stays inbounds.