One of the worlds first fully automatic vacuum
cleaner, the Trilobite by Electrolux is now available for your home. The
first prototype was presented to the public in 1997 on the BBC TV program,
Tomorrow’s World. The Trilobite, which will be on the market in a couple
of weeks, has extensive research and development behind it.
The Trilobite is a totally new product compared to the prototype that was
presented in 1997. The product is equipped with a charging station, three
cleaning programs (normal, quick, and spot vacuuming), a reusable dust box
(no dust bags are needed), flexible drive wheel suspension and an LCD
display. The Trilobite now also has improved sonar for navigation (more
microphones and enhanced frequency), which improves its sight, a new fan
system and high-performance, environmentally friendly batteries
(nickel-metal hydride). The actual vacuum cleaner system has also been
improved in several ways, resulting in reduced noise levels and other
The vacuum cleaner navigates using ultrasound just like a bat. The sonar
that emits the ultrasound vibrates at a rate of 60,000 Hz and is coated
with a thin gold plate for best performance. The Trilobite has no problem
avoiding collision with things placed on the floor for example the dog’s
water bowl. Special magnetic strips are placed in doorways, near stairs
and other openings. These act as a wall, keeping the Trilobite in the
room. The machine contains sophisticated electronics and four motors one
for each driven wheel, one for the brush and one for the fan.
The machine can find its own way back to the charger. If the cleaning
hasn’t been completed when the vacuum cleaner needs to be charged, the
Trilobite continues cleaning when charging is finished, after about two
hours. Once cleaning is completed, the machine returns to its charging
station and switches to rest mode.
Electrolux is not the only company to pioneer such
robotic gadgets as more and more electronics company's release robots on
to the market, like Sony's entertainment abio dog and
humanoid robot, a
robot lawnmower by Friendly Robotics and the
Roomba vacuum robot that is similar to the trilobite vacuum.