Why your Roombas random patterns make total sense

first_img CNET Smart Home CNET Smart Home 24 Electrolux iRobot Neato Robots Inside our test room are objects and challenges designed to mimic what a robot will encounter as it cleans a room. That includes constructs designed to mimic large furniture like sofas or dressers, smaller objects like lamps or table and chair legs, and even surface irregularities like carpets, transitions between flooring and electrical cords. A camera mounted above captures a bird’s-eye view of all the action. From there we can figure out the path each vacuum takes during its cleaning cycle. This system also allows us to calculate how much of the floor a machine actually covers, and the time it takes to do it.   15 Photos Aug 31 • Best smart light bulbs for 2019 (plus switches, light strips, accessories and more) reading • Your Roomba takes a weird path to clean the floors in your home. Here’s why it matters See All Preview • Electrolux’s robot vac scans objects to map its path See it Aug 30 • iRobot Roomba S9 Plus vs. Neato Botvac D7 Connected Pure i9 Vacuum Cleaners Aug 30 • Battling bot vacs: iRobot Roomba S9+ vs Neato Botvac D7 Connected Electrolux Pure i9 The way a robot vacuum travels around the room as it cleans really matters. Gianmarco Chumbe/CNET Any robot vacuum cleaner will remove at least some dirt from your floors. How much ground it covers, though, and its behavior moving through rooms will vary a great deal from model to model. The most important factor behind this is a robot’s navigation system. Its navigation technology, together with software, determines a vacuum’s actions. That plays a massive role in how well a given robot cleans a space, or even hunt for garden weeds. As you might expect, some robot vacuums perform the task better than others. Read more: How to prep your house so your robot vacuum won’t get stuck.Fortunately, our brand-new robot vacuum testing room at our warehouse lab in Louisville, Kentucky, can help us show the differences between robot vacuums, including how well they perceive, interact and otherwise move around in a physical space.  robot-vac-group-shot-1To break in our new test room, we ran nine current robot vacuum models across its floor. Tyler Lizenby/CNET Robot navigation on a budget There are three main types of systems robot vacuum cleaners typically use to navigate a space. The first is a simple collection of collision, wheel, brush and cliff sensors. They tell robots when they hit or are about to hit objects. With that information, they can slow down or change course altogether. Additionally these sensors help vacuums avoid falls down flights of stairs. You tend to find these systems in budget robot vacuums. The upside is they cost a lot less than more complex machines. The $349 SharkNinja Ion S87 and $199 Eufy Robovac 11S are examples of products with this style of navigation. eufy-black-navBasic robot vacuums equipped with collision and proximity sensors, like the Eufy RoboVac 11S Max here, bounce around obstacles to find their way, but miss a lot of open floor space. Gianmarco Chumbe/CNET The downside is that they operate in a random fashion, bumping into things and veering willy-nilly around the room. The very first iRobot Roombas did the same. Sadly that results in incomplete floor coverage. Spots in tight places (corners, table and chair legs) get lots of repeat attention. Open areas, however, are likely vacuumed once (or perhaps not at all) since the robot travels in a straight line until it detects something in its path. deebot500-covThis image is designed to show the actual area the robot covered for cleaning. As you can tell, the Ecovacs Deebot 500 was very inconsistent.  Gianmarco Chumbe/CNET These machines take a long time to run too, roughly three times as long as the most advanced robot vacuums need to attack the same area. Sure, long clean times won’t matter much if you tend to vacuum when nobody’s home, and have all day to do it. When company is due to arrive in 45 minutes, or other time-limited situations, that’s a problem. Visual or optical navigation Other robot vacuums combine the basic array of collision sensors with a main visual sensor that’s augmented by a lens. These vacuums use a navigation algorithm called VSLAM (or visual simultaneous location and mapping). The optical system can identify landmarks on the ceiling, as well as judge the distance between walls. irobot-roomba-i7-navThe iRobot Roomba i7+ shows a more logical, thorough navigation path thanks to its optical technology. Gianmarco Chumbe/CNET VSLAM also calculates the vacuum’s relative position in a room in real time, letting the bot create a map as it cleans. Robot vacuums that operate this way navigate a room with greater efficiency, systematically cleaning the floor in a logical pattern. They won’t waste time vacuuming areas of a room the robot knows it has already travelled over. As a result, they can cover the same area in a shorter time, and with better coverage than a robot based only on physical sensors. iRobot’s current line of Roombas, such as the $1,099 i7+ and $1,299 S9+, have this kind of navigation system. The same is true of higher-end Ecovac models like the $499 Deebot 711. i7-covThat optical navigation translates to much more thorough coverage across our test room floor. Gianmarco Chumbe/CNET Visually driven robot vacuums have a few drawbacks. Since their optical sensors need at least some amount of ambient light present, they have trouble finding their way in completely dark rooms. Compared with basic models, you’ll pay extra for these more intelligent robots too.   Laser navigation Another way robot vacuums can sense their environment is with lidar (light detection and ranging). It’s the same sort of technology you’ll find in many self-driving car prototypes such as those from Waymo and Uber. All Neato Botvacs use this method, including the $829 Botvac D7 Connected, the company’s current flagship model. Here’s a view of the Neato Botvac D6 Connected using its laser LIDAR SLAM system in our test room. Gianmarco Chumbe/CNET Top-tier Ecovac Deebots like the $549 Ozmo 930 have built-in lidar too. In this sophisticated system, a turret-based laser mounted on the top of the robot vacuum illuminates objects to help the robot figure out their location and distance. Vacuums equipped with lidar can also detect the size and shape of things in their path. neato-botvac-d6-connected-navGuided by lidar, the navigation pattern of Neato’s Botvac D6 was very systematic, optimizing its pathing to get the job done completely, and in a short amount of time. Gianmarco Chumbe/CNET They actively scan their surroundings too. That’s why these machines tend to cover floors with extreme efficiency For instance, both the Neato Botvac D7 and Botvac D6 cleaned our test room floor in just under 21 minutes. The $349 SharkNinja Ion S87, with its basic navigation, spent 1 hour and 9 minutes cleaning the floor of our test room. Likewise, two budget Ecovacs machines, the $279 Deebot 500 and $249 Deebot 600, both had cleaning times of over 1 hour (60 and 64 minutes respectively). The longest though was the $199 Eufy RoboVac 11S Max (100 minutes, 34 seconds), also the cheapest model in this group.   neato-botvac-d6-connected-covEven with a pathing plan that looks sparse, the Neato Botvac D6 managed to cover essentially the entire test room floor. Gianmarco Chumbe/CNET Shorter runtime isn’t the only benefit to lidar. Paired with the SLAM (or simultaneous location and mapping) algorithm, these robots also create detailed maps on the fly. You can perform useful interactions with those maps too. For instance, you can drop virtual boundaries within them, or make restricted zones at will for the robot to avoid. These vacuums also navigate in the dark if necessary. All that is great. Just remember you’ll pay a premium for these machines. They typically occupy the ultra-high-end rung of the market.   Hybrid systems A new approach a few robot vacuums take is to combine multiple navigate technology into one system. That includes brush, cliff, wheel and optical sensors, as well as laser emitters. There aren’t that many products that do this at the moment. One you can buy today is the $499 Electrolux Pure i9. This unique robot vacuum is equipped with a pair of front-firing lasers. Sitting in the middle of them, on the vacuum’s front face, is also a big optical sensor behind a lens. electrolux-pure-i9-navThe Electrolux Pure i9, using a hybrid navigation and sensor system, definitely missed areas of our test room floor. Gianmarco Chumbe/CNET Even with all that tech, the Pure i9’s movement through our test room appeared confused. It didn’t roll along confidently like the Neato and Roomba machines. Instead it muddled through it in fits and starts, constantly pivoting in different directions. The Electrolux Pure i9 uses a hybrid optical and laser navigation system. Even so, it often looked confused rolling across our test room floor.  Brian Bennett/CNET With so many tools, as well as enhanced software and processing power, robots with hybrid navigation have the potential to offer unheard of levels of automation and intelligence. I think the upcoming Ecovacs Deebot 960 looks especially promising. Ecovacs says the vacuum will be able to actually identify objects like shoes, clothing and piles of toys. electrolux-pure-i9-covRobot vacuums with hybrid sensor systems have promise. The Electrolux Pure i9 is one, but it didn’t cover our test room floor as well as other machines. Gianmarco Chumbe/CNET And the company says the robot’s AI-based recognition will learn new objects over time. Perhaps that list will include pet messes and other wet, goopy or sticky debris. That would be a welcome update, potentially saving your flooring and your carpet from becoming even messier than before the robot vacuum started cleaning. A note on our new robot vacuum testing room We’ve conducted straight-line, cleaning performance-based tests for robot vacuums in the past, but that really only tells part of the picture about how well a robot vacuum will clean your home. How well it can navigate a space, how much area it actually covers and how long it takes are all important factors, too. To help us capture that information, we built an industry-standard testing room, as specified by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the international standards body that, among other things, governs robot vacuum testing methods for manufacturers. center_img Look for more robot vacuum testing from us in the near future. For now, we can at least say conclusively that not all robot vacuums are the same, and the way a bot navigates around a room will impact not only its cleaning performance, but also how long it takes to get the job done. $499 Aug 31 • Alexa can tell you if someone breaks into your house Share your voice See It 3:43 Mentioned Above Electrolux Pure i9 Lasers, sensors and robots, oh my: Some robot vacuums… CNET may get a commission from retail offers. $614 Some robot vacuums have a better sense of direction than others Tags Now playing: Watch this: Comments •last_img read more

Coaching Centre ACC for punishing 97 teachers

first_img-The Anti-Corruption Commission has recommended that the cabinet division take punitive action against 97 teachers of eight educational institutions in Dhaka city allegedly for their involvement in private coaching centres.  The graft watchdog sent a letter to the cabinet division in this regard on Sunday, ACC deputy director (public relations) Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya told Prothom Alo on Monday.Of the 97 teachers, 36 are from Ideal School and College, 24 from Motijheel Model High School and College, seven from Dhaka Viqarunnisa Noon School and College, five from RAJUK Uttara Model College, 12 from Motijheel Government Boys High School, four from Motijheel Government Girls High School, Khilgaon Government High School, one from Khilgaon Government High School, and eight from Dhanmondi Government Boys’ High School.The ACC, in the letter, said the cabinet division can take punitive action against the teachers of government educational institutions considering their activities as breach of government service rules.Earlier, the ACC recommended transferring 522 teachers of the city’s government schools, who have long been working at the institutions, outside the capital as they are allegedly involved in teaching in private institutions disobeying government instructions.last_img read more

New Zealand parliament passes tougher gun laws

first_imgNew Zealand parliament. AFP File Photo.New Zealand lawmakers have almost unanimously passed sweeping gun reforms, paving the way for a ban on military-style semi-automatic weapons to enter into force as soon as Friday.Lawmakers passed the legislation on final reading, less than a month after a gunman entered two mosques in Christchurch killing 50 people.During the debate Wednesday prime minister Jacinda Ardern told parliamentarians she “vividly” recalled the moment after the massacre when she, without consulting widely, decided the government had to act.Ardern, her voice filled with emotion, said it was during a briefing with the police commissioner when she was told about the “nature of the attack”, the weapons used and how they were notified but had been obtained legally.”I could not fathom how weapons that could cause such destruction, and large-scale death could have been obtained legally in this country. I could not fathom that,” she told lawmakers.She could not, she said, face the public or “the victims that had been left behind from this terror attack and tell them hand-on-heart that our system and our laws allow these guns to be available and that was okay. Because it was not.”The new rules amend permissive 1983 gun laws that had the subject of multiple reform attempts.The sole holdout against the legislation was the ACT Party, which has a single seat in the 120 seat parliament.The new rules are aimed at removing semi-automatic firearms from circulation through a buy-back scheme, prohibition and harsh prison sentences.A hand-in amnesty will be in place until 30 September 2019, but perpetrators will face between two and ten years in jail for breaking the laws.The new laws also prohibit “semi-automatic firearms, magazines, and parts that can be used to assemble prohibited firearms.”The law will now need royal approval, in practice a rubber stamp, which is expected to take place on Thursday, paving the way for the rules to enter into force the next day.The bill was first introduced on 1 April. Its passage in barely ten days has surprised even the most ardent gun control advocates.last_img read more

Conflict Of Interest For USTR Nominee Holding Up Trumps Plan To Reopen

first_img Listen Nicoguaro President Trump has pushed back the start date for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) several times over the past few months, in large part because the Senate has yet to vote on the confirmation of his nominee for U.S. trade representative, attorney Robert Lighthizer. By law, only the U.S. trade representative can notify Congress of the president’s intent to renegotiate a trade agreement.“One of the requirements in terms of what the USTR must satisfy is that he has not worked for any foreign interest involved in a negotiation with the United States government,” says Stephen Lande, president of Manchester Trade, a trade policy advisory firm based in Washington, D.C. “And Bob Lighthizer was involved actually in a fairly minor negotiation with Brazil. So one needs a waiver for that in order for the Senate to be in a position to consider his nomination and, of course, approve his nomination.”Lande says Trump seems to be counting on such a waiver being attached to a must-pass measure to fund the federal government.The Houston area has a big stake in what happens next. “There’s $18 billion traded between Houston alone and Mexico, which is more than many countries trade between each other,” says Kenneth Smith Ramos, who heads the trade and NAFTA office at the Mexican Embassy to the U.S.Once the president notifies Congress of his intent to reopen NAFTA, that will trigger a 90-day countdown. Three-way talks with Mexico and Canada could begin by mid-summer. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /01:20center_img X Sharelast_img read more

SuperEarth planet with very short orbital period discovered

first_img Citation: ‘Super-Earth’ planet with very short orbital period discovered (2017, November 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-11-super-earth-planet-short-orbital-period.html K2 light curve of C12_3474. Stellar activity is seen as the quasi-periodic, long period modulation. Transits are visible as shallow dips. The 5.3-day-long data gap, during which the telescope entered in safe mode, is clearly visible at ∼2/3 of the time series. Credit: Barragán et al., 2017. Explore further © 2017 Phys.org Three ‘super-Earth’ exoplanets orbiting nearby star discovered (Phys.org)—NASA’s prolonged Kepler exoplanet-hunting mission, known as K2, has revealed the presence of another “super-Earth” alien world. The newly found planet, designated EPIC 246393474 b (or C12_3474 b), is more than five times more massive than the Earth and orbits its parent star in less than seven hours. The discovery is reported November 6 in a paper published on the arXiv pre-print repository. Kepler is so far the most prolific planet-hunting telescope. The spacecraft has discovered more than 2,300 exoplanets to date. After the failure of its two reaction wheels in 2013, the mission was repurposed as K2 to perform high-precision photometry of selected fields in the ecliptic. Since then, the revived Kepler spacecraft has detected nearly 160 extrasolar worlds. Researchers have used K2 to detect so-called “super-Earths” – planets with masses higher than Earth’s but lower than that of the solar system’s gas giants. In September, astronomers have confirmed the discovery of three super-Earths orbiting a nearby star, which were first spotted by this spacecraft. Now, an international group of researchers led by Oscar Barragán of the University of Turin in Italyusing K2 has detected one more such planet.”In this paper we present the discovery of EPIC 246393474 b (hereafter C12_3474 b), an ultra-short-period planet transiting a K7 V star,” the astronomers wrote in the paper.The Kepler spacecraft observed a K-type main sequence star known as EPIC 246393474 from December 2016 to March 2017 during its Campaign 12. The star is about 740 million years old with a radius and mass approximately 33 percent smaller than that of the sun.As a result of these observations, the researchers identified a transit signal in the light curve of this star. The planetary nature of this signal was later confirmed by follow-up observational campaign using ground-based telescopes, including the WIYN 3.5-Meter Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona.According to the study, EPIC 246393474 b has a radius of 1.54 Earth radii and is 5.3 times more massive than our planet, indicating a density of approximately 8.0 g/cm3 and suggesting a rocky-iron composition. The exoplanet has an equilibrium temperature of 2,039 K.”The planetary density is consistent with a composition made of a mixture of iron and rocks. We estimated that the iron content of C12_3474 b cannot exceed about 70 percent of the total planetary mass,” the paper reads.What is most interesting about EPIC 246393474 b is that it has an ultra-short orbital period. Barragán’s team found that it orbits its host every 6.7 hours at a distance of about 0.007 AU. This makes it the shortest-period planet known to date with a precisely determined mass.The researchers noted that the close distance of EPIC 246393474 b to its parent star suggests that it has lost its entire atmosphere due to stellar irradiation. However, they added that further mass measurements of transiting ultra-short-period planets should be performed in order to confirm this theory. More information: EPIC 246393474 b: A 5-M⊕ super-Earth transiting a K7 V star every 6.7 hours, arXiv:1711.02097 [astro-ph.EP] arxiv.org/abs/1711.02097AbstractWe report on the discovery of EPIC 246393474 b, an ultra-short-period super-Earth on a 6.7-hour orbit transiting an active K7 V star based on data from K2 campaign 12. We confirmed the planet’s existence and measured its mass with a series of follow-up observations: seeing-limited MuSCAT imaging, NESSI high-resolution speckle observations, and FIES and HARPS high-precision radial-velocity monitoring. EPIC 246393474 b has a mass of 5.31±0.46 M⊕ and radius of 1.54+0.10−0.09 R⊕, yielding a mean density of 8.00+1.83−1.45 gcm−3 and suggesting a rocky-iron composition. Models indicate that iron cannot exceed ∼70 % of the total mass. With an orbital period of only 6.7 hours, EPIC 246393474 b is the shortest-period planet known to date with a precisely determined mass. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more