Evolution Robotics introduces Mint

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Evolution Robotics Mint

Evolution Robotics has today announced Mint, a revolutionary floor cleaning robot that will clean hard surface floors like no robot did before. Unlike previously available Scooba robots (that distributed and than collected liquid) Mint uses wet or dry cloths to mop the floor. This wouldn't be so revolutionary though. The great part is that Mint uses Evolution Robotics' award winning NorthStar Technology to track its position in the room. This allows the robot to map the room, plan the optimal route and clean the room in a systematic manner. When spots are left out for any reason, the Mint is able to return and clean the missed area. As in the case of other systematically cleaning robots, we can expect the Mint to operate only as long as absolute necessary. When using dry cloth, the robot goes and collects dust, hair and other debris in a lane after lane basis. Wet cleaning differs a bit, since the robot moves back and forth in a mopping motion.

Not only the cleaning and floor covering methods are unique, but the shape is also unusual among robots. While other floor cleaning robots tend to be disk shaped, the Mint is square. The mopping head on the front extends on both sides so the robot can easily clean areas along the wall and in corners. The compact form factor allows the Mint to reach tight spaces, and clean the floor even between chair legs.

Mint is equipped with a line of sensors that not only help to avoid rugs or carpets, but by maintaining optional traction with the wheels it makes moving around on the wet floor much easier.

Mint will be available from second half of the year for less than $250.

Evolution Robotics Mint
Evolution Robotics Mint
Press release: 

January 7th, 2010

Evolution Robotics Introduces Mint™: The Evolution of Floor Cleaning

Mint automatic hard surface floor cleaner cleans like you do, without you

Las Vegas, NV (CES) – Evolution Robotics, Inc., a leading robotics technology company, today announced Mint™, an automatic floor cleaning appliance designed exclusively for hard surface floor cleaning. Mint automatically dusts and wet mops hard surface floors using popular cleaning cloths, such as Swiffer® brand Dry and Wet Cloths and other similar products.

Mint’s innovations are grounded in the simple goal of making an appliance-grade product that reliably cleans consumers’ floors and makes their lives easier.

“Similar to how the once manual chores of washing dishes or doing laundry evolved with the invention of the dishwasher and washing machine, floor cleaning has officially been replaced by an automated appliance that achieves the same result, if not better, than previous manual methods,” said Dr. Paolo Pirjanian, CEO of Evolution Robotics. “To do the job well, Evolution had to rewrite the book on how floor cleaning is done. Mint packs aerospace-grade technologies that were specifically tailored to deliver consumers with an appliance that cleans like they do, while still providing a hassle-free experience.”

Supplementing Mint’s technical prowess and practicality, Evolution partnered with world-renowned industrial designer Yves Behar and his team at fuseproject to focus on usability and create a clear departure from the existing masculine and techno looking products in the market.

“We loved the challenge of working on such a transformative product for the home and aimed to create a beautiful appliance that fits within a home’s décor,” said Yves Behar of fuseproject. “The defined geometric shapes of Mint, clear color breaks, low-profile and very few visible buttons hint at great technology under the hood while giving a sense of simplicity and ease of use. We are very proud of the result.”

Mint is smart enough to navigate and clean a room systematically without human assistance. Some of the advanced technologies and design considerations powering Mint’s cleaning capability include:

Dusts and Mops
Mint offers dry and wet cleaning. With dry cloths, Mint systematically picks up the dust, dirt and hair that constantly accumulate on your floors. With wet cloths, Mint uses a special mopping motion to methodically clean each area of the floor, dissolving and wiping up the deeper dirt and grime, leaving floors shiny, fresh and clean.

Tracks Where It Cleans
To clean floors thoroughly, Mint’s navigation system meticulously tracks where it cleans to ensure it doesn’t miss a spot. Guided by Evolution’s own NorthStar® technology, Mint integrates information from three different on-board positioning systems to carefully map the room, plan areas for cleaning, and pick up spots not covered on the first pass. This first-of-a kind navigation system represents unprecedented cleaning coverage for an automatic floor cleaner and truly clean hard surface floors for the consumer.

Square Shape
To clean into hard to reach places, Mint’s unconventional square body breaks the mold of traditional round robots. Circular robots require the cleaning mechanism be nested inside a larger protective shell. Mint features a front-mounted cleaning pad, allowing the cloth to clean along edges of walls and all the way into corners. Sitting at under 10 inches wide, Mint also has a very small footprint, letting it clean into tight spaces, between chair legs and around obstacles.

Adapts To Environments
To deal with different home environments, Evolution integrated a range of sensors into Mint’s design. Examples include first-of-their-kind floor sensors to detect floor transitions, enabling Mint to avoid driving onto area rugs and carpets. For cleaning on slippery floors, Mint automatically adapts to the floor and adjusts friction of the cleaning pad to maintain optimal traction with the wheels (similar to dynamic stability control on a car).

With the launch of Mint, Evolution is not only taking floor care to the next level but ushers in a new generation of robotic products for everyday life.

Pricing and Availability
Mint is scheduled to be available through direct channels in Q3 2010 and retail outlets in Q4 2010 at a price under $250. To sign up to be notified of Mint’s availability, and for additional information on where to buy Mint, please visit: http://www.mintcleaner.com

About Evolution Robotics
Evolution Robotics, Inc. is based in Pasadena, CA, and partners with brand leaders to make their products smarter by providing solutions for vision, autonomous navigation and intelligence. From toys to cell phones and vacuum cleaners to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the company’s technologies have been brought to market through partners which include Sony, Bandai, Sharper Image and AU Phones from KDDI in Japan, representing more than 20 million installations. Evolution Robotics is an operating company of Idealab, a creator and operator of technology businesses. www.evolution.com

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