January 17, 2003
Research underway at the nation's foremost robotics development lab, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, might just change the face of facility management. There, Howie Choset, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering (ME) and ECE, and others are using coverage path technology that will allow a vacuum cleaner to cover a cleanable space without a "walk-through" or any form of user pre-programming. The resulting technology is likely to be extremely sophisticated. Consider that Choset is working with navigation technology to develop military mine sweepers. Failing to suck up some crumbs under a desk is one thing; missing a land mine is quite another.