How does a robot vacuum map your home?
mops are driving around to assist us. But how does it work that you just press "start" and they find their way through your home? And: can household robots store maps - and are they capable of multi-level mapping?
In most cases, the mapping technologies of later models of household robots are based on laser supported navigation technologies. There are also gyroscope navigated robots, but in this article we describe how the laser supported models operate.
The robot hoovers and robot vacuum mops in this article are equipped with a laser which scans the surroundings to detect objects and measure distances. Here, the terminology “lidar” (= light imaging, detection and ranging) is used often. This means a 3-dimensional laser scanning - a method related to the radar (lidar uses laser beams instead of radio waves). In the explanations of this technology, “LDS” (= laser distance sensor) is a common abbreviation, too.
The robots can display what has been scanned directly on maps. The term "SLAM" (= simultaneous localization and mapping) means this almost simultaneous conversion of the surroundings.
The created maps are available to the user via an app. If your household robot can store multiple maps, you can define on your smartphone which maps these are. The robot hoover, or the robot vacuum cleaner with mop make a first division of the scanned room. Via the app this division can be adapted to the user's preferences. Also, all cleaning settings can be defined via the robot vacuum app: For example, where are no-go areas, which place should be cleaned more intensively, or where should be vacuumed and which area should be mopped?
Basically, the last room which has been scanned (can cover an entire floor) is in the robot's memory. The settings made in this map remain valid until a new scan of the surroundings is started via app. Depending on the brand and model, different numbers of maps can be stored and recalled. Even maps across several floors. This option is described below as an example.
If it is a robot hoover with multi-level mapping, the first step is to find out how many maps can be saved. This depends on the device. For example, the iRobot Roomba i7+ can store up to 10 maps, the Roborock S7 up to 4. The generation of a new map is started via the app. The robot navigates through the rooms, scans them, and stores the map when reaching the charging station. This new map can be used to define cleaning preferences. Most manufacturers provide a description of this procedure in the user's manual for the app.
Here too, it depends on the brand and the model. Often, the robots of the latest generation can store multi-level maps. For example, the iRobot Roomba i7+ and the Roborock S7. With both, you can store maps of several floors. The key point is that they do not need a charging station on every floor. After the first pass - and the first mapping - you can take the robot to a different floor without its charging station. It maps this story and finds its starting point on the new level. When the virtual map is created and saved, the household robot recognizes the floor the next time you take it there to clean the level.