(19)
(11)EP 3 666 150 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION
published in accordance with Art. 153(4) EPC

(43)Date of publication:
17.06.2020 Bulletin 2020/25

(21)Application number: 18843690.1

(22)Date of filing:  07.08.2018
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
A47L 11/40(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/KR2018/008938
(87)International publication number:
WO 2019/031803 (14.02.2019 Gazette  2019/07)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(30)Priority: 07.08.2017 KR 20170099758

(71)Applicant: LG Electronics Inc.
Seoul 07336 (KR)

(72)Inventors:
  • JANG, Jaewon
    Seoul 08592 (KR)
  • LEE, Minwoo
    Seoul 08592 (KR)

(74)Representative: Vossius & Partner Patentanwälte Rechtsanwälte mbB 
Siebertstrasse 3
81675 München
81675 München (DE)

  


(54)ROBOT CLEANER


(57) The present invention relates to a robot cleaner. The robot cleaner of the present invention includes a main body which forms an external shape; a pair of spin mops which rotate in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction when viewed from above and mop a floor with a damp cloth, and move the main body; and a cleaning module which is disposed in front of the pair of spin mops and collects foreign substance existing on a cleaning target surface, wherein the cleaning module includes: a housing which is coupled to the main body and opened at a lower side; a dust container which forms a space for accommodating foreign substance and is disposed to be detachable in a lower side direction of the housing; and an agitator which is disposed inside the housing, and sends foreign substance existing on the cleaning target surface to the dust container by a rotation operation.




Description

1. Field of the invention



[0001] The present invention relates to a robot cleaner, and more particularly, to a robot cleaner having a cleaning module for sweeping foreign objects on a surface to be cleaned.

2. Description of the Related Art



[0002] Recently, the use of robots in the home has been gradually expanded. A typical example of such a household robot is a robot cleaner. The robot cleaner is a mobile robot that travels by itself in a certain area and can clean a cleaning space automatically by sucking foreign substance such as dust accumulated on the floor, or can perform a cleaning by mopping the floor by using a rotation mop while moving by using the rotation mop.

[0003] In addition, the robot cleaner can perform a cleaning by sweeping the floor which is a surface to be cleaned. However, in the case of sweeping type instead of a suction type, the shape of a rotation brush which can effectively perform a sweeping, the disposition of a dust container for storing the foreign substance, and the method of attaching and detaching the dust container may be important.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



[0004] The present invention has been made in view of the above problems, and provides a robot cleaner which sweeps foreign substance disposed in a traveling direction of the robot cleaner.

[0005] The present invention further provides a robot cleaner which stably fixes a dust container collecting foreign substance.

[0006] The present invention further provides a robot cleaner which drives an agitator by a driving motor to collect foreign substance.

[0007] In accordance with an aspect of the present invention, a robot cleaner includes: a main body which forms an external shape; a pair of spin mops which rotate in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction when viewed from above and mop a floor with a damp cloth, and move the main body; and a cleaning module which is disposed in front of the pair of spin mops and collects foreign substance existing on a cleaning target surface, wherein the cleaning module includes: a housing which is coupled to the main body and opened at a lower side; a dust container which forms a space for accommodating foreign substance and is disposed to be detachable in a lower side direction of the housing; and an agitator which is disposed inside the housing, and sends foreign substance existing on the cleaning target surface to the dust container by a rotation operation, so that the agitator can send the foreign substance on the cleaning target surface to the dust container, and the dust container can be easily attached to and detached from the housing.

[0008] The housing includes: a fixing member which fixes the dust container to the inside of the housing; an elastic member which applies an elastic force to the fixing member; and a push button which releases the elastic force of the elastic member applied to the fixing member. A movement direction of the push button is perpendicular to a movement direction of the fixing member, and the push button forms an inclined plane at a portion contacting the fixing member, so that the robot cleaner can be stably operated without pulling out the dust container to the lower side of the housing.

[0009] The dust container includes: a case which is opened in a part of a front surface, and inserted into the housing; and an upper cover which opens and closes an upper side of the case.

[0010] A front portion of the case has a shape corresponding to an outer circumference of the agitator and is partially opened, so that the foreign substance that moves due to the rotation of the agitator can be introduced into the dust container.

[0011] The agitator includes: a rotation bar which rotates based on a rotation shaft parallel to the cleaning target surface; and a plurality of blades which are disposed spirally in an outer circumferential surface of the rotation bar, so that the foreign substance on the cleaning target surface can be effectively removed.

[0012] The robot cleaner further includes a guider which guides the foreign substance approaching the cleaning module to the agitator, the cleaning module includes: a pair of agitators which are disposed to be spaced apart at a certain interval on a same rotation axis, wherein the guider is disposed in a front side between the pair of the agitators, so that it is possible to send the foreign substance, which can escape to a space between the pair of agitators, to the agitator.

[0013] The robot cleaner further includes a driving motor which drives the agitator. The cleaning module includes a pair of agitators which are disposed to be spaced apart at a certain interval on a same rotation axis, so that the driving motor can be disposed between the pair of agitators so as to utilize a space of the housing, and to operate the two agitators by a single driving motor.

[0014] The robot cleaner further includes a transmission gear which transmits a rotational force of the driving motor to a pair of agitators having a rotation axis perpendicular to a rotation axis of the driving motor, so that the rotational force can be transmitted in the vertical direction, and a space inside the housing can be utilized.

[0015] The housing further includes a guide unit which partitions a space which accommodates the agitator and the dust container, wherein the guide unit has a shape corresponding to an outer circumference of the agitator, so that the foreign substance can be guided to the dust container.

[0016] A portion of the guide unit protrudes to a lower side of a lower surface of the housing, so that the foreign substance that moves backward due to the rotation of the agitator can be moved into the dust container.

[0017] According to the robot cleaner of the present invention, one or more of the following effects can be obtained.

[0018] First, according to the robot cleaner of the present invention, foreign substance existing on the cleaning target surface can be swept by the agitator, the dust container for accommodating the foreign substance is disposed to be detachable in a lower direction of the housing, and a fixing structure is formed in the housing to stably remove and discharge foreign substance.

[0019] Second, according to the robot cleaner of the present invention, the blade of the agitator is disposed spirally in the outer circumference of the rotation bar, so that the foreign substance can be collected more easily.

[0020] Third, according to the robot cleaner of the present invention, foreign substance on the cleaning target surface can be effectively removed by operating the agitator by using the driving motor.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0021] 

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a robot cleaner according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective view of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side view of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a front view of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a bottom view of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along a line VI-VI' of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view taken along a line VII-VII' of FIG. 5, and a partially enlarged view;

FIG. 8 is a view illustrating a state in which an agitator and a dust container of a robot cleaner are separated from each other according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a view for explaining a motor and a transmission gear of a robot cleaner according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view taken along a line X-X' of FIG. 5;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of an agitator according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 12 is a view illustrating a state in which a dust container of a robot cleaner according to an embodiment of the present invention is separated;

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a dust container according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 14 is a bottom perspective view of FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is a front view of FIG. 13;

FIG. 16 is a cross-sectional view taken along a line XVI-XVI' of FIG. 15;

FIGS. 17A, 17B, and 17C are views for explaining operation of an agitator according to an embodiment of the present invention, and showing a change of an agitator in chronological order;

FIG. 18A is a sectional view taken along a line A-A' of FIG. 17A, FIG. 18B is a sectional view taken along a line B-B' of FIG. 17B, and FIG. 18C is a sectional view taken along a line C-C' of FIG. 17C; and

FIG. 19 is a view for explaining an internal configuration of a robot cleaner according to an embodiment of the present invention.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS



[0022] Exemplary embodiments of the present invention are described with reference to the accompanying drawings in detail. The same reference numbers are used throughout the drawings to refer to the same or like parts. Detailed descriptions of well-known functions and structures incorporated herein may be omitted to avoid obscuring the subject matter of the present invention.

[0023] The following expressions of designating directions such as "front/rear/up/down" are defined as shown in the drawings, but this is only for the purpose of clarifying the present invention, and it is obvious that each direction can be defined differently depending on a reference.

[0024] Hereinafter, a robot cleaner according to embodiments of the present invention will be described with reference to the drawings.

[0025] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a robot cleaner according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective view of FIG. 1. FIG. 3 is a side view of FIG. 1. FIG. 4 is a front view of FIG. 1. FIG. 5 is a bottom view of FIG. 1.

[0026] A robot cleaner 10 according to the present embodiment may include a main body 20 which forms an outer shape, a moving means which moves the main body, and a cleaning module 100 which is disposed in front of the main body 20 and collects foreign substance existing on a cleaning target surface. The cleaning module 100 may include a housing 102 which is coupled to the main body 20 at an upper side thereof and opened at a lower side thereof; a dust container 160 which accommodates foreign substance introduced into the housing 102 and is detached from a lower side of the housing 102; and an agitator which is disposed inside the housing 102 and sends foreign substance existing on the cleaning target surface to the dust container 160 by a rotation operation.

[0027] The moving means of the robot cleaner according to the present embodiment may be a means for moving the main body 20 for traveling, and may include a wheel, a rolling mop, or a spin mop. As a moving means of the robot cleaner according to the present embodiment, a spin mop 30 which rotates to wipe the floor while being in contact with the floor will be described. However, the present invention is not limited thereto, but may be applied to a robot cleaner that uses a wheel as a moving means.

[0028] The main body 20 of the robot cleaner 10 according to the present embodiment may further include a spin mop driving motor (not shown) for driving the spin mop 30 and a controller (not shown) for controlling the moving means. In addition, according to the function of the mobile robot, the main body 20 may further include a storage unit (not shown) for storing water, a flow path for supplying water stored in the storage unit to the spin mop, and a pump (not shown). The spin mop, which is the moving means according to the present embodiment, may receive water from the storage unit and wipe a cleaning target surface with a damp cloth. Accordingly, the robot cleaner according to the present embodiment may wipe a cleaning target surface with a damp cloth by using the spin mop when the cleaning module removes foreign substance.

[0029] The main body 20 according to the present embodiment may include an upper cover 22 which covers an upper portion thereof to protect an internal configuration and a base 24 which is coupled to the spin mop 30 or the cleaning module 100.

[0030] Referring to FIG. 4, the robot cleaner 10 according to the present embodiment may be disposed in such a manner that the spin mop 30 is inclined by a certain angle(θ) based on the floor surface. In order to facilitate the movement of the robot cleaner 10, it may be disposed in such a manner that the entire surface of the spin mop 50 is not evenly in contact with the floor surface but is tilted by a certain angle (θ) so that a certain portion of the spin mop is mainly in contact with the floor surface. In addition, even if the entire surface of the spin mop 30 is in contact with the floor surface, the spin mop may be disposed to be inclined by a certain angle(θ) so that a load is increased in a certain portion of the spin mop.

[0031] The main body 20 may be coupled to the cleaning module 100 at one side thereof. The cleaning module 100 according to the present embodiment may be disposed in front of the spin mop of the robot cleaner 10. The upper side of the cleaning module 100 according to the present embodiment may be coupled to a lower surface of one side of the main body 20. The cleaning module 100 may be disposed in the lower side of the main body 20.

[0032] FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along a line VI-VI' of FIG. 5. FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view taken along a line VII-VII' of FIG. 5, and a partially enlarged view. FIG. 8 is a view illustrating a state in which an agitator and a dust container of a robot cleaner are separated from each other according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 9 is a view for explaining a motor and a transmission gear of a robot cleaner according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view taken along a line X-X' of FIG. 5. FIG. 11 is a perspective view of an agitator according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 12 is a view illustrating a state in which a dust container of a robot cleaner according to an embodiment of the present invention is separated. FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a dust container according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 14 is a bottom perspective view of FIG. 13. FIG. 15 is a front view of FIG. 13. FIG. 16 is a cross-sectional view taken along a line XVI-XVI' of FIG. 15.

[0033] The cleaning module 100 according to the present embodiment may include a housing 102 which is coupled to the main body 20 and is opened at a lower side thereof; a dust container 160 which accommodates foreign substance introduced into the housing 102 and is detached from a lower side of the housing 102; and an agitator 150 which is disposed inside the housing 102 and sends foreign substance existing on a cleaning target surface to the dust container 160 by a rotation operation.

[0034] The housing 102 according to the present embodiment may form an outer shape of the cleaning module 100 and disposed in the lower side of the main body 20. The housing 102 may be disposed in the front lower side of the main body 20. The housing 102 may be disposed in front of the spin mop 30.

[0035] The housing 102 defines a space 104 in which the agitator is accommodated and a space 106 in which the dust container is accommodated. The lower side of the housing 102 may be opened to insert the dust container. The housing may have a front lower side where the agitator 150 is accommodated that is opened. The lower side of the housing may be opened so that a part of the agitator 150 accommodated in the housing 102 is exposed. The housing 102 may include a guide unit 108 for partitioning a space in which the agitator 150 and the dust container are accommodated.

[0036] The guide unit 108 may have a shape corresponding to the outer circumference of the agitator 150. The guide unit 108 may guide the foreign substance which moves along the outer circumference of agitator due to the rotation of the agitator 150 to move inward along an inlet 164 of the dust container 160. Referring to FIG. 6, an extension line TL of a tangent line formed at the upper end of the guide unit 108 may extend rearward than an upper front portion 166 of dust container 160 described later.

[0037] A portion of the guide unit 108 may be protruded to the lower side of the lower surface of the housing 102. The guide unit 108 may be protruded to the lower side of the housing 102 so that the foreign substance moving rearward due to the rotation of the agitator 150 may move into the dust container 160.

[0038] The guide unit 108 according to the present embodiment may be configured to be fixed to the front lower side of the dust container 160. Therefore, the guide unit 108 may be fixed to a lower front portion 168 of the dust container 160. In this case, when the dust container 160 is detached from the housing 102, the guide unit 108 may be detached from the housing 102 together with the dust container 160.

[0039] A driving motor 110 for driving the agitator 150 may be disposed in the housing 102. The cleaning module 100 according to the present embodiment may include a pair of agitators driven by a single driving motor 110, and the driving motor 110 may be disposed between the pair of agitators 150.

[0040] In the robot cleaner according to the present embodiment, the rotation axis for rotating the agitator 150 and the rotation axis for rotating the driving motor 110 may be vertically disposed.

[0041] The cleaning module 100 according to the present embodiment may include a transmission gear 112 for transferring the rotational force of the driving motor 110 to the agitator 150 having a rotation axis perpendicular to the rotation axis of the driving motor 110.

[0042] The transmission gear 112 according to the present embodiment may use a worm gear 114 which rotates while being coupled to the driving motor 110 and a worm wheel 116 which is coupled to the worm gear 114 and transmits the rotational force of the driving motor 110 to the agitator 150. However, it is just an embodiment, and a helical gear, a spiral bevel gear, or the like which can transmit the rotational force in a vertical direction can be used.

[0043] The cleaning module 100 according to the present embodiment may include a coupler 122, 124 which is disposed in both ends of the agitator 150 and rotatably coupled to the agitator 150 inside the housing 102. The coupler 122, 124 may be disposed inside the housing 102 in which the agitator 150 is accommodated. The coupler 122, 124 may be divided into a first coupler 122 coupled to one end of the agitator 150 to transmit the rotational force of the driving motor 110 and a second coupler 124 rotatably connecting the agitator 150 to the inside of the housing.

[0044] The robot cleaner 10 according to the present embodiment may not include a driving motor. In this case, the agitator 150 may rotate by making contact with a cleaning target surface, and both the first coupler 122 and the second coupler 124 may rotatably couple the agitator 150 to the inside of the housing.

[0045] The housing 102 according to the present embodiment may further include a dust container fixing means for fixing the dust container 160 to the inside thereof. The dust container fixing means may fix the dust container to the inside of the housing or allow the dust container to be taken out to the outside of the housing. The dust container fixing means according to the present embodiment may include a fixing member 134 for fixing the dust container to the inside of the housing, an elastic member 132 for applying elastic force to the fixing member, and a push button 130 for releasing the elastic force applied to the fixing member.

[0046] The fixing member 134 may protrude into a space for accommodating the dust container formed inside the housing 102 due to the elastic force of the elastic member 132, when no external force is applied. When the fixing member 134 protrudes to the space 106 accommodating the dust container formed inside the housing 102, the fixing member 134 may be caught by a latching jaw 182 of the dust container 160 and the dust container 160 may be fixed inside the housing 102.

[0047] When a force is applied to the push button 130, the fixing member 134 may move in the outward direction of the dust container 160. When the fixing of the latching jaw 182 is released by the movement of the fixing member 134, the dust container 160 may be taken out of the housing.

[0048] The push button 130 may be disposed on the bottom surface of the housing and form an inclined plane 131 at a portion contacting the fixing member. The movement direction of the push button 130 may be formed to be perpendicular to the movement direction of the fixing member 134. Therefore, when the push button is pressed by a user, the inclined plane 131 contacting the fixing member 134 may move, and the fixing member 134 may move in the outward direction of the dust container 160.

[0049] The robot cleaner 10 according to the present embodiment may include a cliff sensor 126 for detecting an obstacle on the floor supporting the main body 20. The cliff sensor 126 may be disposed in the housing 102 of the cleaning module 100. The cliff sensor 126 may be disposed in the housing 102 of the cleaning module 100 to sense an obstacle in the movement direction of the robot cleaner.

[0050] The robot cleaner 10 according to the present embodiment may further include a roller 128, 180 for separating the lower surface of the housing 102 from the cleaning target surface by a certain distance. The roller 128, 180 may allow the cleaning module 100 to move. The roller may be disposed to protrude from the lower side of the lower surface of the housing. The roller 128, 180 according to the present embodiment may be disposed in the lower surface of the housing 102 or the dust container 160 described below. The roller 128, 180 according to the present embodiment may be divided into a first roller 128 disposed in the lower surface of the housing and a second roller 180 disposed in the lower surface of the dust container 160.

[0051] The robot cleaner according to the present embodiment may include a guider 136 for guiding the foreign substance approaching the cleaning module to the agitator 150. The guider 136 may be disposed between the pair of agitators 150. The guider 136 may be disposed in front of the pair of agitators, and guide the foreign substance approaching the cleaning module to the agitator 150 disposed on both sides.

[0052] The agitator 150 may send the foreign substance existing on the floor surface to the dust container 160 by the rotation operation. The agitator 150 may be disposed in an inner space of the housing 102. The agitator 150 may be disposed, inside the housing 102, in front of the dust container 160. The agitator 150 may send the foreign substance existing on the floor surface to the dust container 160 disposed in the rear side.

[0053] A part of the agitator 150 may be disposed to protrude to the lower side of the housing 102. The length of the agitator 150 protruding downward from the housing 102 may be smaller than or equal to the length of the roller 128, 180 protruded from the lower surface to separate the lower surface of the housing 102 from the cleaning target surface by a certain distance.

[0054] The agitator 150 according to the present embodiment may include a rotation bar 152 that rotates based on a rotation axis parallel to the cleaning target surface, and a plurality of blades 154 which protrudes in the radial direction from the outer circumferential surface of the rotation bar 152, and are spirally disposed along the outer circumference of the rotation bar 152.

[0055] Both ends of the rotation bar 152 may be coupled to the housing 102 by the coupler 122, 124. The rotation bar 152 may rotate by the rotation of the driving motor 110. One end of the rotation bar 152 may be coupled to the first coupler 122 that transfers the rotational force of the driving motor 110 and the other end of the rotation bar 152 may be coupled to the second coupler 124 that assists the rotation of the rotation bar 152 in the housing 102.

[0056] The blade 154 may be disposed spirally along the circumferential surface of the rotation bar 152. The plurality of blades 154 according to the present embodiment are disposed at a certain interval along the circumferential surface of the rotation bar 152. When the agitator 150 rotates, the outer side of the blade 154 may be in contact with the guide unit 108 of the housing 102. When the agitator 150 rotates, the outer side of the blade 154 may be in contact with the floor surface being the cleaning target surface. The foreign substance existing on the cleaning target surface may move to the dust container 160 through the guide unit 108 due to the rotation of the agitator 150. The agitator 150 may send the foreign substance on the cleaning target surface to the dust container 160 through the guide unit 108.

[0057] The blade may be formed of an elastic member capable of reducing the leakage of the floor. The blade may be configured in the form of a brush or squeegee.

[0058] The cleaning module 100 according to the present embodiment may include a pair of agitators 150. The pair of agitators 150 may be disposed to be spaced apart at a certain interval on the same rotation axis. A driving motor for rotating the agitator may be disposed between the pair of agitators. Between the pair of agitators, a central guider may be disposed to guide foreign substance in front of the cleaning module to the agitator.

[0059] Referring to FIG. 5, the pair of agitators 150 may be disposed symmetrically based on a virtual centerline CL that divides the cleaning module into left and right sides. The blade 154 disposed on each of the pair of agitators 150 may be disposed symmetrically based on a virtual center line CL that divides the cleaning module into left and right sides.

[0060] The dust container 160 according to the present embodiment may accommodate the foreign substance that moves due to the rotation of the agitator 150. The dust container 160 may be disposed behind the agitator 150. The dust container 160 may be disposed inside the housing. The dust container 160 may be inserted into the open lower side of the housing.

[0061] The dust container 160 according to the present embodiment may include a case 162 which forms an outer shape and is inserted into the housing, and an upper cover 172 which opens and closes the upper side of the case 162. The dust container 160 according to the present embodiment may further include a hinge member 174 for opening and closing the upper cover 172 and a fixing member 176 for keeping the upper cover 172 closed in the dust container. The hinge member 174 according to the present embodiment may be disposed inside the dust container 160 to rotate the upper cover 172 in the outer direction of the dust container 160. The fixing member 176 according to the present embodiment may be disposed in the end of the upper cover 172 and hook the upper cover 172 to the dust container 160.

[0062] A surface of the case 162 facing the agitator 150 may have a shape corresponding to the outer circumference of the agitator 150, and may be partially opened. A front portion of the case 162 may have a shape corresponding to the outer circumference of the agitator 150, and a part thereof may be opened. An inlet 164 which introduces foreign substance by the rotation of the agitator may be formed in the front portion of the case. The front portion of the case may be divided into an upper front portion 166 disposed in the upper side of the inlet 164 and a lower front portion 168 disposed in the lower side of the inlet 164.

[0063] Referring to FIG. 6, the upper front portion 166 may be disposed in front of an extension line TL of a tangential line formed by the upper end of the guide unit 108 disposed in front of the dust container 160. Therefore, the foreign substance that moves along the guide unit 108 due to the rotation of the agitator 150 may be introduced inside the dust container which is located behind the upper front portion 166 of the dust container 160.

[0064] The lower front portion 168 of the case 162 may be disposed behind the guide unit 108 of the housing 102. The lower front portion 168 of the case may be protruded from the lower portion of the dust container 160 to prevent the foreign substance inside the dust container from being discharged to the outside of the dust container.

[0065] A side protrusion 170 protruded forward may be formed in the side of the case, and may be protruded forward from both ends of the lower front portion 168. The side protrusion 170 project forward from both sides of the lower front portion 168. The side protrusion 170 may be in contact with both ends of the guide unit 108 of the housing 102 to fix the dust container 160 to the inside of the housing. The side protrusion 170 may guide the foreign substance moved by the rotation of the agitator to move into the dust container 160.

[0066] The cleaning module according to the present embodiment may include a pair of dust containers that accommodate foreign substance behind the pair of agitators. Each of the pair of dust containers may be disposed behind each of the pair of agitators. The pair of dust containers may be coupled to a connection unit. In the dust container according to the present embodiment, a second roller 180 may be disposed to separate the dust container from the floor surface being a cleaning target surface by a certain distance.

[0067] Each of the pair of dust containers may be coupled to a connection unit 178 at one side. Each of the pair of dust containers may be formed with a latching jaw which is fixed to the inside of the housing at the other side not coupled to the connection unit. The latching jaw 182 may be engaged with the fixing member 134 protruded to the inside of the housing 102.

[0068] FIGS. 17 to 18 are a bottom view and a cross-sectional view of a cleaning module for explaining the operation of the agitator according to the embodiment of the present invention.

[0069] Hereinafter, the operation of the cleaning module according to the present embodiment will be described with reference to FIG. 17 to FIG. 18.

[0070] The blade 154a, 154b, 154c of the agitator 150 according to the present embodiment may be radially protruded from the outer circumference of the rotation bar 152 and disposed in the spiral direction. The agitator 150 according to the present embodiment may be disposed inclined rearward based on a virtual center line which divides the cleaning module into the left and right sides by the blade 154a, 154b, 154c. The guider 136 disposed in front of the pair of agitators 150 may have a 'V' shape dispreading rearward. The guider 136 may be disposed inclined rearward based on the center line CL. As the robot cleaner 10 moves, the guider 136 may guide the foreign substance disposed in front of the cleaning module 100 to the agitator disposed in the left and right rear sides of the guider 136.

[0071] Referring to FIG. 17A to FIG. 17C, due to the operation of the driving motor 110, each of the blades 154a, 154b 154c may rotate as if it moves to the center, and the disposition of such a blade may make it possible to move the foreign substance in the direction of the center line. According to the disposition of the blades as shown in FIG. 17, the agitator 150 may rotate as if it moves the foreign substance in the center line direction. Such disposition of the blade may effectively transfer the foreign substance moving to both sides of the guider 136 to the inside of the dust container 160 by the guider 136.

[0072] Referring to FIG. 18A to FIG. 18C, due to the operation of the driving motor 110, each of the blades 154a, 154b 154c of the agitator, which faces the floor surface being the cleaning target surface, may rotate to approach the dust container. Foreign substance existing on the cleaning target surface may move into the dust container along the guide unit due to the rotation of the blade 154a, 154b, 154c.

[0073] FIG. 19 is a view for explaining an internal configuration of a robot cleaner according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0074] The moving means 30 of the present invention may be a pair of spin mops capable of mopping with a damp cloth. That is, the robot cleaner 10 according to the present embodiment may further include a water tank 32 which is disposed inside the main body 20 and stores water, a pump 34 which supplies the water stored in the water tank 32 to the spin mop 30, and a connecting hose 36 which connects the pump 34 and the water tank 32 or connects the pump 34 and the spin mop 30. The robot cleaner 10 according to the present embodiment may also supply the water stored in the water tank 32 to the spin mop 30 by using a water supply valve (not shown) without a separate pump.

[0075] In the robot cleaner 10 according to the present invention, the cleaning module disposed in front of the pair of spin mops 30 being moving means may remove foreign substance existing on the cleaning target surface, and then, the pair of spin mops 30 may mop the floor with a damp cloth, thereby cleaning the floor surface being the cleaning target surface completely.

[0076] Hereinabove, although the present invention has been described with reference to exemplary embodiments and the accompanying drawings, the present invention is not limited thereto, but may be variously modified and altered by those skilled in the art to which the present invention pertains without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention claimed in the following claims.


Claims

1. A robot cleaner comprising:

a main body which forms an external shape;

a pair of spin mops which rotate in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction when viewed from above and mop a floor with a damp cloth, and move the main body; and

a cleaning module which is disposed in front of the pair of spin mops and collects foreign substance existing on a cleaning target surface,

wherein the cleaning module comprises:

a housing which is coupled to the main body and opened at a lower side;

a dust container which forms a space for accommodating foreign substance and is disposed to be detachable in a lower side direction of the housing; and

an agitator which is disposed inside the housing, and sends foreign substance existing on the cleaning target surface to the dust container by a rotation operation.


 
2. The robot cleaner of claim 1, wherein the housing comprises:

a fixing member which fixes the dust container to the inside of the housing;

an elastic member which applies an elastic force to the fixing member; and

a push button which releases the elastic force of the elastic member applied to the fixing member.


 
3. The robot cleaner of claim 2, wherein a movement direction of the push button is perpendicular to a movement direction of the fixing member,
and the push button forms an inclined plane at a portion contacting the fixing member.
 
4. The robot cleaner of claim 1, wherein the dust container comprises:

a case which is opened in a part of a front surface, and inserted into the housing; and

an upper cover which opens and closes an upper side of the case.


 
5. The robot cleaner of claim 4, wherein a front portion of the case has a shape corresponding to an outer circumference of the agitator and is partially opened.
 
6. The robot cleaner of claim 1, wherein the agitator comprises:

a rotation bar which rotates based on a rotation shaft parallel to the cleaning target surface; and

a plurality of blades which are disposed spirally in an outer circumferential surface of the rotation bar.


 
7. The robot cleaner of claim 1, further comprising a guider which guides the foreign substance approaching the cleaning module to the agitator.
 
8. The robot cleaner of claim 7, wherein the cleaning module comprises:

a pair of agitators which are disposed to be spaced apart at a certain interval on a same rotation axis,

wherein the guider is disposed in a front side between the pair of the agitators.


 
9. The robot cleaner of claim 1, further comprising a driving motor which drives the agitator.
 
10. The robot cleaner of claim 9, wherein the cleaning module comprises a pair of agitators which are disposed to be spaced apart at a certain interval on a same rotation axis,
wherein the driving motor is disposed between the pair of the agitators.
 
11. The robot cleaner of claim 10, further comprising a transmission gear which transmits a rotational force of the driving motor to a pair of agitators having a rotation axis perpendicular to a rotation axis of the driving motor.
 
12. The robot cleaner of claim 1, further comprising a roller which separates a lower surface of the housing from the cleaning target surface by a certain distance.
 
13. The robot cleaner of claim 12, wherein the roller is disposed on a lower surface of the dust container.
 
14. The robot cleaner of claim 1, wherein the housing further comprises a guide unit which partitions a space which accommodates the agitator and the dust container,
wherein the guide unit has a shape corresponding to an outer circumference of the agitator.
 
15. The robot cleaner of claim 14, wherein a portion of the guide unit protrudes to a lower side of a lower surface of the housing.
 
16. The robot cleaner of claim 1, further comprising a water tank which stores water supplied to the pair of spin mops, and
a connection channel through which water flows between the water tank and the pair of spin mop.
 




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Search report