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I used a DirtDog for a long time. Only bumpers for obstacle avoidance, IR was for virtual wall. We loved our sweeper for use on hard floors (that's all we have in our house).
The ones I have had uses the IR to detect a 'virtual wall' that sends out an IR 'beam' across a room or door way you want to block. The beam gets wider the further it goes. ... Sorry, it is not for obstacle avoidance. Obsticales are 'bumped', then a short reverse, and a 'random' turn to the left or right.
Roomba does not map a room. It does a random walk, and if left going long enough it gets it all from different angles. But it is not totally a random walk. Not as efficient as a planned walk, but it works. Also, if it finds something, it does a spiral out search until it reaches an obstacle. At times it appears to wall following. I really liked the DirtDog. No vacuum, just a floor sweeper.
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Posted:Aug 5, 2009
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