Earlier today, Evolution Robotics announced their new floor cleaning robot called Mint. The company is currently demonstrating the new robotic appliance at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
Mint is not a robot vacuum but a robotic mop designed for cleaning hard surface floors. Check out the video at the end of this post to see the robot in action. First to notice is the shape of the robot which is square. Evolution Robotics claims that this shape is better suited for floor cleaning around obstacles and at corners.
Most importantly, Mint utilizes the company’s NorthStar localization system for navigation (in the past WowWee licensed the same technology and is currently using it with some of their robots.) In other words, the robot does not simply execute random motion patterns that guarantee floor coverage given enough time. Instead, the robot keeps track of the areas it has cleaned and does not waste time cleaning them further. Robot localization technology has matured enough over the last few years that it is no surprise that we see more of it being deployed on consumer devices. The Neato XV-11 robotic vacuum cleaner also utilizes an on-board laser sensor for localization and mapping.
Another of Mint’s major features which is good news for consumers is that the robot works with common cleaning wipes such as the Swiffer brand Dry and Wet Cloths. Consumers won’t have to waste time trying to order replacement wipes from specialized vendors; instead,they can buy them at their local store.
Mint’s price is also good news for cash-strapped consumers. Evolution Robotics claims that the robot will be sold for less than $250. Mint will hit the market at the second half of 2010.
[source Press Release]