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Robotic hard surface flooring cleaner arrives

PASADENA, CALIF.—Cleaning those timeless hardwood floors can now be done in a timeless fashion—with a robot. Evolution Robotics, an electronics company that works with Sony and Sharper Image, has introduced Mint, an automatic hard surface floor cleaner that uses cleaning cloths from Swiffer and other similar brands.

“Similar to how the once manual chores of washing dishes or doing laundry evolved with the invention of the dish- washer and washing machine, floor cleaning has been replaced by an automated appliance that achieves the same result as previous manual methods, said Paolo Pirjanian, Evolution Robotics’ CEO. “Mint packs aerospace-grade technologies that were specifically tailored to deliver an appliance to consumers that cleans like they do while providing a hassle-free experience.”

Mint tracks where it cleans by compiling three different, on-board positioning systems that map a room. From that point, it creates a navigation map, picking up missed spots and spills but avoiding furniture, children and pets.

It also has the ability for wet and dry cleaning, depending upon the cloth used. With wet cloths, the robot uses a mopping motion to dissolve dirt, whereas with dry cloths, it captures the dust, dirt and hair that settle on the floor. Pirjanian added sensors keep it from car- pets and rugs, and adjusts friction dynamics on hard surfaces, similar to dynamic stability control in a car.

From a design perspective, Mint is also unique, Pirjanian said. With a square shape, it can reach along wall edges and into corners. Mint’s front-mounted cleaning pad is under 10-inches in width and can reach between chair legs and other tough-to- reach spots.

At a price around $250, Mint will be available through direct channels in the third quarter of this year and at retail outlets in the fourth quarter.

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