Title:
Bumper apparatus of self-advancing cleaner
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A self-advancing cleaner is provided with a bumper, a damper made of a resin arranged at a space at which a rotating brush and a projected corner portion on an upper side of the rotating brush are opposed, and a resin hinge portion for connecting an end portion of the bumper and the damper and displacing the damper in an inner and outer direction. A sensor element for detecting a hazard is provided at the bumper. The bumper may be attached to a cabinet by loosely fitting an opening portion of a supporting member to a round shaft. A switch is provided on the side of the cabinet in correspondence with operating portion of the bumper. The operating portions selectively switch electricity conducting of the switch when the bumper is pivoted to left and right sides of the neutral position.



Inventors:
Sudo, Kazuya (Osaka, JP)
Uehigashi, Naoya (Osaka, JP)
Application Number:
11/345601
Publication Date:
08/31/2006
Filing Date:
02/01/2006
Assignee:
Funai Electric Co., Ltd. (Daito-shi, JP)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E01H1/08; E01H1/05
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SNIDER, THERESA T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OSHA BERGMAN WATANABE & BURTON LLP (HOUSTON, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A bumper apparatus of a self-advancing cleaner, comprising: a cabinet having left and right projected corner portions on a front side thereof and a round shaft; a left and right rotating brushes being rotated while being brought into contact with a floor face on lower sides of the left and right projected corner portions, each having a rotating shaft projected downward from each projected corner portion; a bumper comprising a resin molded member between the left and right rotating brushes, an end portion normally urged to a front side of the bumper and a supporting member projected from a center portion in a transverse direction of the bumper, the supporting member having an opening portion; a damper made of a resin and arranged at a space at which the left and right rotating brushes and the left and right projected corner portions are opposed to each other; and a resin hinge portion continuously connecting the end portion of the bumper and the damper; and the resin hinge portion having an elasticity for displacing the damper in an inner and outer direction, wherein an inner face of the damper has such a curved shape that the rotating shaft is surrounded from outside, wherein an outer face of the damper has a shape along an outer face of each projected corner portion, wherein the outer face of the damper is disposed on an outer side of an outer face of each projected corner portion, wherein the bumper is attached to the cabinet horizontally pivotably and movably in a front and rear direction by fitting the opening portion of the supporting member to the round shaft horizontally movably and movably in the front and rear direction, and wherein a sensor element detecting a hazard present on a front side in a running direction of the self advancing cleaner is provided only at the bumper in the bumper and the damper.

2. A bumper apparatus of a self-advancing cleaner, comprising: a cabinet having left and right projected cornerportions on a front side thereof and a round shaft; a left and right rotating brushes being rotated while being brought into contact with a floor face on lower sides of the left and right projected corner portions; a bumper comprising a resin molded member disposed between the left and right rotating brushes and an end portion; a damper made of a resin and arranged at a space at which the left and right rotating brushes and the left and right projected corner portions are opposed to each other; a resin hinge portion having an elasticity for displacing the damper in an inner and outer direction, wherein the damper is integrally molded with the end portion of the bumper in a cantilever shape by way of the resin hinge portion.

3. A bumper apparatus according t claim 2, wherein an inner face of the damper has such a curved shape that a rotating shaft of the rotating brush projected downward from the projected corner portion is surrounded from outside, wherein an outer face of the damper has a shape along an outer face of the projected corner portions, and wherein the outer face of the damper is disposed on an outer side of the outer face of the projected corner portions.

4. The bumper apparatus according to claim 2, wherein a center portion in a transverse direction of the bumper is attached to the cabinet horizontally pivotably and movably in a front and rear direction.

5. The bumper apparatus according to claim 2, wherein at a portion of attaching the center portion in the transverse direction of the bumper and the cabinet, an opening portion of a supporting member projected from the bumper to an inner side thereof is fitted to a round shaft provided on the cabinet horizontally movably and movably in the front and rear direction.

6. The bumper apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the bumper is normally urged to a front side.

7. The bumper apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising: a switching member detecting a rear movement of the bumper; an engaging face being provided to the opening portion of the supporting member; a first and second operating portions provided at the bumper at symmetric positions on left and right sides interposing the engaging face; and a first and second switches constituting switching member along with the first and the second operating portions, and the first and second switches being provided at left and right portions of the cabinet respectively in correspondence with the first and the second operating portions; wherein the bumper is movably attached to a front portion of the cabinet movably in a front and rear direction and normally urged to the front side thereof, wherein a supporting member projected is projected to a rear side, wherein the round shaft configures a portion of attaching the bumper to the cabinet by being loosely fitted to the opening portion of the supporting member, wherein the round shaft enables to pivot the bumper to both sides of a neutral position in a horizontal direction, wherein the engaging face restricts a position of projecting the bumper normally urged to the front side by being engaged with the round shaft, wherein the engaging face has such a symmetric shape that a center portion of the engaging face in a left and right direction is disposed at rearmost position, wherein the first and the second switches comprise opening/closing change over switches both of which are set to an electricity conducting mode by the first and second operating portions when the bumper is disposed at the neutral position in the horizontal direction, and wherein the first and the second operating portions selectively switch the electricity conducing states of the first and the second switches when the bumper is pivoted to left and right sides of the neutral position in the horizontal direction.

8. A bumper apparatus of a self-advancing cleaner comprising: a bumper attached to a front portion of a cabinet movably in a front and rear direction and normally urged to a front side; a switching unit detecting a rear movement of the bumper; a switching member detecting a rear movement of the bumper; a supporting member projected from a center portion in a transverse direction of the bumper to a rear side, the supporting member comprising an opening portion; a round shaft provided at the cabinet, the round shaft configuring a portion of attaching the bumper to the cabinet by being loosely fitted to the opening portion of the supporting member, and the round shaft enabling to pivot the bumper to both sides of a neutral position in a horizontal direction; an engaging face being provided to the opening portion of the supporting member, the engaging face restricting a position of projecting the bumper normally urged to the front side by being engaged with the round shaft, and the engaging face has such a symmetric shape that a center portion of the engaging face in a left and right direction is disposed at rearmost position,; a first and second operating portions provided at the bumper at symmetric positions on left and right sides interposing the engaging face; and a first and second switches configuring the switching member along with the first and the second operating portions, and the first and second switches being provided at left and right portions of the cabinet respectively in correspondence with the first and the second operating portions; wherein the first and the second switches comprise opening/closing change over switches both of which are set to an electricity conducting mode by the first and second operating portions when the bumper is disposed at the neutral position in the horizontal direction, and wherein the first and the second operating portions selectively switch the electricity conducing states of the first and the second switches when the bumper is pivoted to left and right sides of the neutral position in the horizontal direction.

9. A bumper apparatus of a self-advancing cleaner comprsing: a bumper attached to a front portion of a cabinet movably in a front and rear direction and normally urged to a front side; a switching member detecting a rearward movement of the bumper; wherein the switching member includes a first and second operating portions at left and right portions provided at the bumper, wherein a first and second switches at left and right portions provided on a side of the cabinet respectively in correspondence with the first and second operating portions, wherein the bumper is attached to the cabinet pivotably to left and right sides of a neutral position in a horizontal direction, and wherein the first and second operating portions selectively switch electricity conducting states of the first and the second switches when the bumper is pivoted to left and right sides of the neutral position in the horizontal direction.

10. The bumper apparatus of a self-advancing cleaner according to claim 9, wherein a center portion in a transverse direction of the bumper is attached to the cabinet movably in the front and rear direction and pivotably in the horizontal direction.

11. The bumper apparatus of a self-advancing cleaner according to claim 10, wherein at a portion of attaching the center portion in the transverse direction of the bumper and the cabinet, a round shaft provided to a side of the cabinet is loosely fitted to an opening portion of a supporting member projected from the bumper to an inner side thereof horizontally movably and movably in the front and rear direction.

12. The bumper apparatus of a self-advancing cleaner according to claim 11, wherein the opening portion of the supporting member is provided with an engaging face for restricting a position of projecting the bumper normally urged to the front side by being engaged with the round shaft, and wherein the engaging face having such a symmetric shape that a center portion of the engaging face in a left and right direction is disposed at rearmost position.

13. The bumper apparatus of a self-advancing cleaner according to claim 12, wherein the first and second operating portions are provided at symmetric positions on both sides thereof.

14. The bumper apparatus according to claim 8, wherien the cabinet has left and right projected corner portions on a front side thereof wherein a left and right rotating brushes are rotated while being brought into contact with a floor face on lower sides of the left and right projected corner portions, wherein each of the brushes has a rotating shaft projected downward from each projected corner portion, wherein the bumper comprises a resin molded member between the left and right rotating brushes, wherein an end portion of the bumper is normally urged to a front side of the bumper, wherein a damper is made of a resin and arranged at a space at which the left and right rotating brushes and the left and right projected corner portions are opposed to each other, wherein a resin hinge portion continuously connects the end portion of the bumper and the damper, wherein the resin hinge portion has an elasticity for displacing the damper in an inner and outer direction, wherein an inner face of the damper has such a curved shape that the rotating shaft is surrounded from outside, wherein an outer face of the damper has a shape along an outer face of each projected corner portion, wherein the outer face of the damper is disposed on an outer side of an outer face of each projected corner portion, wherein the bumper is attached to the cabinet horizontally pivotably and movably in a front and rear direction by fitting the opening portion of the supporting member to the round shaft horizontally movably and movably in the front and rear direction, and wherein a sensor element detecting a hazard present on a front side in a running direction of the self advancing cleaner is provided only at the bumper in the bumper and the damper.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is based on and claims the benefit of priorities from the prior Japanese Patent Applications No. 2005-031605, filed on Feb. 8, 2005 and No. 2005-026142, filed on Feb. 2, 2005; the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by references.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a bumper apparatus of a self-advancing type cleaner, particularly relates to the bumper apparatus having a bumper at a front portion thereof and providing a countermeasure for alleviating impact when two left and right side portions thereof interposing the bumper is bumped to a hazard of a wall face at inside of a room or the like, and further particularly relates to a bumper apparatus capable of detecting that a bumper provided at a front portion of a cabinet is bumped to a hazard on a front side in a self-advancing direction.

2. Description of the Related Art

FIG. 11 is an outline total perspective view of a self-advancing type cleaner mounted with a bumper 10 of a related art, FIG. 12 is a plane view showing a portion of the cleaner attached with the bumper 10 and FIG. 13 is an outline perspective view of the bumper 10 of the related art.

The cleaner A is provided with various mechanisms necessary for cleaning a floor face while advancing by itself, for example, mechanism parts of, for example, a dust sucking port and a chamber of containing a dust containing bag communicated therewith, a suction fan and a motor for driving the suction fan, an exhaust port, and a running drive motor, further, as shown by FIG. 11 or FIG. 12, projected corner portions 11, 11 are provided on left and right sides of a front side of a cabinet 1 thereof, rotating brushes 2, 2 are mounted on lower sides of the projected corner portions 11, 11 and the rotating brushes 2, 2 are connected to rotating shafts 21, 21 projected downward from the projected corner portions 11, 11. Further, the bumper 10 arranged between the left and right rotating brushes 2; 2 is provided with sensor elements 12 . . . for detecting a hazard, and the bumper 10 is attached to the cabinet 1. Further, running wheels 3 or the like are attached to a plurality of portions of a bottom plate portion of the cabinet 1. The cleaner runs by itself on the floor face by rolling the running wheels 3, dust sucked in the running is caught in the dust containing bag to thereby clean the floor face or clean cornerportions at inside of a room by the rotating brushes 2. Further, a self-advancing direction or a self-advancing speed or the like is controlled by operating control unit, not illustrated. Here, as shown by FIG. 13, the bumper 10 comprises an integral resin molded member prolonged in a transverse direction, and is provided with a function of preventing a front portion of the cabinet 1 from being strongly impacted to a hazard in advancing the cleaner A by itself.

Meanwhile, there are known in related arts that a bumper apparatus is attached to an automatic guided vehicle to absorb impact (refer to, for example, JP-A-5-201296), that an impact absorbing bumper is attached to a vehicle body of an automobile (refer to, for example, JP-A-11-48883) and the like. In the related arts, according to the bumper apparatus described in Patent Reference 1, a bumper main body is attached to a vehicle body by way of a cam or a spring, and impact applied to the bumper main body is absorbed by deforming the spring. Further, also in the bumper apparatus described in Patent Reference 2, the bumper is attached to a vehicle body frame by way of a shock absorber, and impact applied to the bumper is absorbed by a function of the shock absorber. Further, in either of the bumper main body described in Patent Reference 1 and the bumper described in Patent Reference 2, a portion arranged at a front portion of the vehicle body and a portion for covering left and right corner portions on a front side of the vehicle body are formed substantially by the same width, and continuously installed in a curved shape integrally, and the bumper main body or the bumper per se are not provided with a countermeasure for achieving dumping operation.

In another related art, there is known a bumper apparatus per se having a function of detecting that a bumper is bumper is bumped to a hazard on a front side in a self-advancing direction (refer to, for example, Patent Reference 1). The bumper apparatus is provided to a mobile X-ray apparatus and an essential portion thereof will be explained in reference to FIG. 14. FIG. 14 is a view illustrated in FIG. 1 of JP-A-2002-52016, numeral 400 designates an attaching base, numeral 600 designates a bumper attached to the attaching base 400 movably in a front and rear direction at two left and right portions thereof by way of a bolt 401 and a slide plate 402, numeral 403 designates a spring for springingly urging the bumper 600 to a front side at the two left and right portions, numeral 410 designates microswitches attached to the two left and right portions of the attaching base, and numeral 610 designates switch contact plates provided at left and right portions of the bumper 600 in correspondence with the respective microswitches 410.

According to the bumper apparatus of FIG. 14, when the bumper 200 is bumped to a hazard and is moved back against urging of the spring 403, the microswitch 410 is brought into contact with the switch contact plate 610 to switch an electricity conducting state thereof, thereby, it is detected that the bumper 600 is bumped to the hazard.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the self-advancing cleaner A explained in FIG. 11 or FIG. 12, the bumper 10 is only arranged over only between the left and right rotating brushes 2, 2 and therefore, impact when the left and right projected corner portions 11, 11 of the cabinet 1 are bumped to the wall face at inside of the room or the like cannot be alleviated by the bumper 10.

Hence, although in order to improve the point, it is conceivable to extend the bumper 10 to left and right sides and dispose the extended portions of the bumper 10 on lower sides of the left and right projected corner portions of the cabinet 1, when constituted in this way, there is brought about a concern that impact when the extended portion of the bumper is impacted to a hazard of the wall face at inside of the room or the like is directly transmitted to a portion of attaching the bumper 10 of the cabinet and attaching structure portions of the both members are damaged.

Further, although as shown by FIG. 11, the bumper 10 is provided with the sensor elements 12 for detecting a hazard and in running by itself, a hazard on a front side is made to be able to be detected by operation of the sensor elements 12, since the bumper 10 is only arranged over only between the left and right rotating brushes 2, 2, it is difficult to firmly detect a hazard on a skewed front side in a running direction only by the sensor elements 12 provided to the bumper 10.

Although with regard to the point, it is possible to make also the hazard on the skewed front side in the running direction detectable by increasing a number of sensor elements provided to the bumper 10, when constituted in this way, the number of the sensor elements is increased to increase cost, further, in consideration that the corner portion can be cleaned after moving the rotating brushes 2 to the corner portion at inside of the room, it is not pertinent that the wall face at inside of the chamber is detected by the sensor element to prevent the left and right projected corner portions 11, 11 from impacting the wall face at inside of the room. In other words, in order to clean the corner portion at inside of the room by the rotating brush 2, it is necessary that the cleaner A becomes proximate to the wall face at inside of the chamber to a degreed of bringing the left and right projected corner portions 11, 11 into contact with the wall face at inside of the chamber.

On the other hand, the bumper apparatus described in JP-A-5-201296 is adopted in an automatic guided vehicle used in an automatic warehouse or the like, the bumper apparatus described in JP-A-11-48883 is adopted in an automobile and therefore, the bumper apparatus are requested to be large-sized and provided with a high strength in comparison with the bumper apparatus of the self-advancing cleaner A used in cleaning inside of the room or the like explained in reference to FIG. 11 and the like. Therefore, it is actually difficult to provide a countermeasure for alleviating impact when the left and right projected corner portions 11, 11 of the cabinet 1 are bumped to the wall face at inside of the room or the like by applying the structure of the bumper apparatus described in JP-A-5-201296 or JP-A-11-48883 to the bumper apparatus of the self-advancing cleaner A as it is, and when the structure is assumedly adopted as it is, there is constituted a structure of supporting the bumper 10 of the bumper apparatus of the cleaner A by a spring or a shock absorber and therefore, not only the spring of the shock absorber is extraneously needed to considerably increase cost but also a space for installing the spring or the shock absorber is extraneously needed to increase the weight, the cleaner A is large-sized and heavy-weighted and it is difficult to achieve light-weighted and small-sized formation requested for the cleaner A for cleaning inside of the room.

According to the bumper apparatus of the another related art explained in reference to FIG. 14, even when any position of the bumper 600 is bumped to the hazard, the bumper is moved back in a rearward direction relative to the attaching base 100, and the microswitch is switched by way of such a moving back operation of the bumper 600 and therefore, a case in which the bumper 600 is bumped to the hazard disposed on a front side in a running direction of the mobile X-ray apparatus cannot be identified from a case in which the bumper 600 is bumped to the hazard disposed on a skewed front side in the running direction.

On the other hand, when there is assumedly adopted the bumper apparatus of a self-advancing cleaner constituting an object of the invention running by itself in a narrow place of inside of a room as shown by FIG. 14 and a self-advancing direction or the like is intended to control by a switch signal of the microswitch when the bumper is bumped to the hazard, it cannot be determined whether the hazard is disposed on the front side or on the skewed front side in the self-advancing direction and therefore, a precise control cannot be carried out.

The present invention has been made in view of the above circumstances. It is an object of the invention to provide a bumper apparatus of a self-advancing cleaner capable of alleviating impact when left and right projected corner portions of a cabinet are impacted to a hazard of a wall face at inside of a room or the like without increasing a number of sensor elements provided to a bumper and without adding a large-scaled part of a spring, a shock absorber or the like and without a concern that the impact is directly transmitted to a portion of attaching the bumper and the cabinet to damage attaching structure portions of the both members.

It is an another object of the invention to provide a bumper apparatus of a self-advancing cleaner including a bumper attached to a front portion of a cabinet movably in a front and rear direction and normally urged springingly to a front side, and switching member for detecting a rearward movement of the bumpers the bumper apparatus being able to be made to be precisely useful for a control in a self-advancing direction or other operation control by enabling to precisely determine whether a hazard is disposed on a front side or a skewed front side in a self-running direction when the bumper is bumped to the hazard.

Further, it is still another object of the invention to provide a bumper apparatus of a self-advancing cleaner capable of restraining a necessary number of switches constituting switching member as less as possible when the switching member is adopted as unit for determining whether a hazard is disposed on a front side or a skewed front side in a self-advancing direction.

Further, it is still yet another object of the invention to provide a bumper apparatus of a self-advancing cleaner capable of simply constituting a structure of a portion of attaching a bumper to a cabinet without using an extra part when switching member is adopted as unit for determining whether a hazard is disposed on a front side or a skewed front side in a self-advancing direction.

According to an aspect of the invention, a bumper apparatus of a self-advancing cleaner is mounted with rotating brushes rotated while being brought into contact with a floor face on lower sides of left and right projected corner portions on a front side of a cabinet and mounted with a bumper comprising a resin molded member between the left and right rotating brushes. Further, a damper made of a resin arranged at a space at which the rotating brush and the projected corner portion on an upper side of the rotating brush are opposed to each other is integrally molded with an end portion of the bumper in a cantilever shape by way of a resin hinge portion having an elasticity for displacing the damper in an inner and outer direction.

According to the above-aspect, when the damper is bumped to a hazard, the elastic hinge portion is elastically deformed to absorb an impact at this occasion and therefore, not only the impact is not directly transmitted to the bumper but also an impact when the projected corner portion of the cabinet is bumped to a hazard can also be alleviated. Further, although the damper is only integrally molded with the bumper by way of the resin hinge portion, the hazard on the front side in the running direction can be detected by the bumper and a hazard on a skewed front side in the running direction can be detected by the damper and therefore, a width of detecting presence or absence of the hazard on the front side and on the skewed front side in the running direction can be enlarged without increasing a number of sensor elements provided at the bumper and without adding a large-sized part of a spring, a shock absorber or the like. In addition thereto, the dampers are arranged at the spaces at which the left and right corner portions of the cabinet and the rotating brushes on the lower sides of the corner portions are opposed to each other and continuously provided to the bumper by way of the resin hinge portions and therefore, the damper can easily be added to the self-advancing cleaner which is not provided with a damper explained in reference to FIG. 6 and the like without changing a shape of the cabinet to also achieve an advantage that the self-advancing cleaner can be provided inexpensively by that amount.

According to the above-aspect, it is preferable to adopt a constitution that an inner face of the damper is shaped in a curved shape surrounding a rotating shaft of the rotating brush projected downward from the projected corner portion from an outer side and an outer face thereof is shaped in a shape along an outer face of the projected corner portion and disposed on an outer side of the outer face of the projected corner portion. According thereto, not only there is not brought about a situation that displacement of the damper is hindered by the rotating shaft of the rotating brush to smoothly and firmly achieve impact alleviating operation by the damper but also a shape of the outer face of the damper is excellently matched to a shape of the outer face of the projected corner portion and a strange feeling in view of design by adding the damper can be eliminated.

According to the above-aspect, it is possible to adopt a constitution that a center portion in a transverse direction of the bumper is attached to the cabinet horizontally pivotably and movably in a front and rear direction, in this case, it is preferable to adopt a constitution that at a portion of attaching the center portion in the transverse direction of the bumper and the cabinet, an opening portion of a supporting member projected from the bumper to an inner side thereof is fitted to a round shaft provided on a side of the cabinet horizontally movably and movably in the front and rear direction. According thereto, the bumper is made to be horizontally pivotable and movable in the front and rear direction by constituting a fulcrum by the portion of attaching the center portion in the transverse direction of the bumper and the cabinet and therefore, when the bumper is bumped to the hazard, the bumper is horizontally moved or moved in the front and rear direction and the impact at this occasion is alleviated. Further, when the damper is bumped to the hazard, the resin hinge portion connecting the damper and the bumper is deformed to absorb to alleviate impact at this occasion and therefore, the impact is not directly transmitted to the bumper and the attaching portion. Therefore, although the attaching portion is constructed by a simple constitution of only fitting the opening portion of the supporting member projected from the bumper to the inner side to the round shaft on the side of the cabinet, there is not brought about a situation that the attaching portion is impacted and destructed.

According to the above-aspect, it is preferable that the bumper is normally urged to a front side. According thereto, the impact when the bumper or the damper is bumped to the hazard can be absorbed also by an urge force exerted to the bumper.

According to another aspect of the invention, the bumper apparatus of the self-advancing cleaner is further embodied by adopting a constitution of a self-advancing cleaner mounted with rotating brushes rotated while being brought into contact with a floor face on lower sides of left and right projected corner portions on a front side of a cabinet and mounted with a bumper comprising a resin molded member between the left and right rotating brushes, the self-advancing cleaner comprising a damper made of a resin arranged at a space at which a rotating brush and a projected corner portion on an upper side of the rotating brush are opposed to each other, and a resin hinge portion for making an end portion of the bumper normally springingly urged to a front side and the damper continuous and having an elasticity for displacing the damper in an inner and outer direction, wherein an inner face of the damper is shaped in a curved shape surrounding a rotating shaft of the rotating brush projected downward from the projected corner portion from an outer side and an outer face thereof is shaped in a shape along an outer face of the projected corner portion to be disposed on an outer side of the outer face of the projected corner portion, the bumper is attached to the cabinet horizontally pivotably and movably in a front and rear direction by fitting an opening portion of a supporting member projected from a center portion in a transverse direction of the bumper to a round shaft provided on a side of the cabinet horizontally movably and movably in the front and rear direction, and a sensor element for detecting a hazard present on a front side in a running direction is provided only at the bumper in the bumper and the damper.

According to still another aspect, the bumper apparatus of a self-advancing cleaner includes a bumper attached to a front portion of a cabinet movably in a front and rear direction and normally urged springingly to a front side and switching member for detecting a rearward movement of a bumper. Further, the switching member includes a first and a second operating portion at two left and right portions provided at the bumper and a first and a second switch at two left and right portions provided on a side of the cabinet respectively in correspondence with the operating portions, and the bumper is attached to the cabinet movably in the front and rear direction as well as pivotably to two left and right sides of a neutral position in a horizontal direction and when the bumper is pivoted to left and right sides of the neutral position in the horizontal direction, the first and the second operating portions selectively switch electricity conducting states of the first and the second switches.

According to the above-aspects, when the bumper is bumped to a hazard disposed on a front side in a self-advancing direction, the bumper is moved back to a rear side, and when the bumper is bumped to a hazard disposed on a skewed front side in the self-advancing direction, the bumper is pivoted to the right side or the left side of the neutral position in the horizontal direction. Further, whereas when the bumper is moved back to the rear side, the switching member including the first and the second switches detects the rearward movement of the bumper and therefore, it can be determined that the bumper is bumped to the hazard on the front side in the self-advancing direction, when the bumper is pivoted to the left side or the right side of the neutral position in the horizontal direction, the electricity conducting states of the first and the second switches are selectively switched and therefore, thereby, it can be determined that the bumper is bumped to the hazard on the skewed front side in the self-advancing direction.

According to the above-aspects, it is preferable that a center portion in a transverse direction of the bumper is attached to the cabinet movably in the front and rear direction and pivotably in the horizontal direction. According thereto, even when a hazard is disposed on a skewed right front side in the self-advancing direction or even when a hazard is disposed on a skewed left front side thereof, by bumping the bumper to the hazards, the bumper is pivoted to the right or the left side without difficulty.

According to the above-aspects, it is preferable that at a portion of attaching the center portion in the transverse direction of the bumper and the cabinet, a round shaft provided to a side of the cabinet is loosely fitted to an opening portion of a supporting member projected from the bumper to an inner side thereof horizontally movably and movably in the front and rear direction. According thereto, the portion of attaching the bumper to the cabinet is constituted by the supporting member on the side of the bumper and the round shaft on the side of the cabinet and therefore, the attaching portion can simply be constituted without using an extra part.

According to the above-aspects, it is preferable that the opening portion of the supporting member is provided with an engaging face for restricting a position of projecting the bumper normally urged springingly to the front side by being engaged with the round shaft and a center portion in a left and right direction of the engaging face is formed in a shape of a valley in a left and right symmetric shape disposed at a rearmost position. According thereto, a valley bottom portion of the engaging face in the shape of the valley is pressed to the round shaft on the side of the cabinet by a force of normally urging springingly the bumper to the front side. Therefore, a position and an attitude of the bumper relative to the cabinet when the bumper is not bumped to the hazard are stabilized.

According to the above-aspects, it is preferable that the first and the second operating portions are provided at symmetric positions on both sides of the engaging face by interposing the engaging face. According thereto, when the bumper is bumped to the hazard to be pivoted to the left side or the right side, a detecting sensitivity by the first and the second switches is easy to be stabilized.

According to the above-aspects, a bumper apparatus of a self-advancing cleaner can adopt a constitution of a bumper apparatus of a self-advancing cleaner including a bumper attached to a front portion of a cabinet movably in a front and rear direction and normally urged springingly to a front side and switching member for detecting a rear movement of the bumper, the bumper apparatus comprising a supporting member projected from a center portion in a transverse direction of the bumper to a rear side and an opening portion provided to the supporting member, a round shaft provided at the cabinet and constituting a portion of attaching the bumper to the cabinet by being loosely fitted to the opening portion of the supporting member and enabling to move the bumper in the front and rear direction as well as enabling to pivot the bumper to both sides of a neutral position in a horizontal direction, an engaging face which is provided to the opening portion for restricting a position of projecting the bumper normally urged springingly to the front side by being engaged with the round shaft and a center portion in a left and right direction of which is formed in a shape of a valley in a left and right symmetric shape disposed at a rearmost position, a first and a second operating portion provided at the bumper at symmetric positions on two left and right sides interposing the engaging face, and a first and a second switch constituting switching member along with the first and the second operating portions and provided at two left and right portions of the cabinet respectively in correspondence with the first and the second operating portions, wherein the first and the second switches comprise opening/closing change over switches both of which are set to an electricity conducting mode by the first and the second operating portions when the bumper is disposed at the neutral position in the horizontal direction, and the first and the second operating portions selectively switch the electricity conducing states of the first and the second switches when the bumper is pivoted to left and right sides of the neutral position in the horizontal direction. Operation or the like will be explained in details in reference to the embodiment, mentioned below.

According to the above-aspects, in the self-advancing cleaner provided with the bumper on the front side of the cabinet, by only adding a simple constitution that the damper is made to be continuous to the end portion of the bumper by way of the resin hinge portion, there is achieved an excellent effect that impact when the left and right projected corner portions of the cabinet are bumped to the hazard of the wall face at inside of the room or the like can be alleviated and there is not a concern of directly transmitting the impact to a portion of attaching the bumper and the cabinet to damage the attaching structure portions of the both members without increasing a number of the sensor elements provided at the bumper and without adding a large-scaled part of a spring, a shock absorber or the like. Further, there is also achieved an effect of capable of adding the damper without changing a shape of the cabinet of the self-advancing cleaner provided with the bumper on the front side of the cabinet. Therefore, the bumper apparatus requests light-weighted formation and small-sized formation. The bumper apparatus can inexpensively be provided but also the bumper and the damper and therefore, the portion of attaching the bumper and the cabinet are difficult to be destructed and therefore, there is achieved an advantage that the cleaner is easy to carry and excellent in a way of use thereof for a user.

According to the above-aspects, the apparatus can not only identify whether the hazard is disposed on the front side or the skewed front side in the self-advancing direction but also can precisely identify whether the hazard of the skewed front side is disposed on the right front side or the left front side and therefore, the self-advancing direction or other operation of the cleaner running by itself at inside of the room can pertinently be detected by constituting a reference by a detecting signal when the bumper is bumped to the hazard. Therefore, the self-advancing cleaner having an excellent way of use for a user can be provided.

Further, according to the above-aspects, the apparatus using the first and second switches as the switching member for detecting that the bumper is bumped to the hazard and constituting the portion of attaching the bumper and the cabinet by loosely fitting the round shaft on the side of the cabinet to the opening portion of the supporting member projected from the bumper, there is achieved an excellent effect that only the switches of a number the same as a number of those in the case of the bumper apparatus explained in reference to FIG. 6 are provided, further, it can be determined whether the hazard is disposed on the front side, on the skewed right front side, or the skewed left front side in the self-advancing direction while minimizing a number of parts by dispensing with use of an extra part at the attaching portion.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other objects and advantages of this invention will become more fully apparent from the following detailed description taken with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an outlook of a self-advancing cleaner having a bumper apparatus according to an embodiment;

FIG. 2 is a front view of the cleaner according to the embodiment;

FIG. 3 is an outline plane view showing a structure of a portion of attaching a bumper according to the embodiment;

FIG. 4 is an outline perspective view of the bumper integrally molded with a damper according to the embodiment;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view for explaining an up and down movement restricting guide of the bumper according to the embodiment;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an outlook of a self-advancing cleaner having a bumper apparatus according to another embodiment;

FIG. 7 is a plane view of the bumper apparatus in an initial state in which the bumper is not bumped to a hazard according to the another embodiment;

FIG. 8 is a plane view of the bumper apparatus in a state in which the bumper apparatus is bumped to a hazard to be moved back according to the another embodiment;

FIG. 9 is a plane view of the bumper apparatus in a state in which the bumper apparatus is bumped to a hazard to be pivoted according to the another embodiment;

FIG. 10 is a plane view enlarging a portion of attaching the bumper to a cabinet according to the another embodiment;

FIG. 11 is an outline total perspective view of a self-advancing cleaner mounted with a bumper of the related art;

FIG. 12 is a plane view showing a portion of attaching the bumper of a cleaner of FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is an outline perspective view of the bumper of the related art;

FIG. 14 is a view illustrated in FIG. 1 of the another related art; and

FIG. 15 is a plan view of the bumper apparatus according to still another embodiment.

DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an outlook of a self-advancing cleaner A having a bumper apparatus according to an embodiment, FIG. 2 is a front view of the cleaner, FIG. 3 is an outline plane view showing a structure of a portion of attaching the bumper 10, FIG. 4 is an outline perspective view of the bumper 10 integrally molded with a damper 4, and FIG. 5 is a sectional view for explaining an up and down movement restricting guide 100 of the bumper 10.

The self-advancing cleaner A shown in FIG. 1 or FIG. 2 is provided with various mechanisms necessary for cleaning a floor face while advancing by itself, further, the projected corner portions 11, 11 are provided on the left and right sides of the cabinet 1, the rotating brushes 2, 2 are mounted to the lower sides of the projected corner portions 11, 11, the rotating brushes 2, 2 are connected to the rotating shafts 11, 11 projected downward from the projected corner portions 11, 11, further, the sensor elements 12 . . . for detecting a hazard are provided to the bumper 10 arranged between the left and right rotating brushes 2, 2, similar to the self-advancing type cleaner A explained in reference to FIG. 6. Further, as shown by FIG. 3, the running wheels 3 or the like are attached a plurality of portions of the bottom plate portion of the cabinet 1, the cleaner runs by itself on the floor face by rolling the running wheels 3, dust sucked in running by itself is caught in the dust containing bag, the floor face is cleaned or the corner portion at inside of the room is cleaned by the rotating brush 2, and the self-advancing direction or the self-advancing speed or the like is controlled by operating the control unit, not illustrated, similar to the self-advancing type cleaner A explained in reference to FIG. 6 and the like.

The embodiment differs from the related art explained in reference to FIG. 6 and the like in that left and right end portions of the bumper 10 are continuously added with the dampers 4 which are not provided with the sensor elements and the damper 4 is arranged at a space at which the projected corner portion 11 and the rotating brush 2 on the lower side are opposed to each other as shown by FIG. 1 or FIG. 2. The point will be explained as follows.

As shown by FIG. 3 or FIG. 4, the bumper 10 comprises the integral resin molded member formed to be prolonged in the transverse direction and the respective left and right end portions are integrally molded with the dampers 4 continuously in a cantilever shape by way of resin hinge portion 5. Further, the bumper 10 is formed in a curved shape along a curved shape of a front face of the cabinet 1, in addition thereto, a shape of an outer face 41 of the damper 4 is formed in a curved shape along a shape of an outer face of the projected corner portion 11 (refer to FIG. 1) of the cabinet 1 and the outer face 41 is disposed on an outer side of the outer face of the projected corner portion 11 as is seen in FIG. 2. In addition thereto, according to the damper 4, as shown by FIG. 3, an inner face 42 thereof is shaped in a curved shape to surround the rotating shaft 21 of the rotating brush 2 from an outer side. Therefore, by a space formed between the damper 4 and the rotating shaft 21, the damper 4 can smoothly be displaced by constituting a fulcrum by the resin hinge portion 5 in an inner and outer direction as shown by an arrow mark M without interfering with the rotating shaft 21. As shown clearly in FIG. 4, the resin hinge portion 5 is formed to be thin-walled to thereby achieve an elasticity particular to resin. Therefore, even when the damper 4 is displaced to an inner side as indicated by an imaginary line in FIG. 3 by receiving an external force as in impacting to a hazard, when the external force is removed, the damper 4 returns to an initial position indicated by a bold line in FIG. 3 by an elastic recovery property of the resin hinge portion 5. Further, according to the embodiment, the damper 4 is extended on a lower side of the projected corner portion 11 of the cabinet 1 from a front side over to a side of the projected corner portion 11.

Further, according to the embodiment, as is seen in FIG. 2, a height of installing the damper 4 is slightly lower than a height of installing the bumper 10. This is because a position of a height of a space at which the projected corner portion 11 and the rotating brush 2 on the lower side are opposed to each other is slightly lower than the height of installing the bumper 10 and therefore, the height of installing the damper 4 is matched to the position of the height of the space at which the projected corner portion 11 and the brush 2 are opposed to each other. Thereby, the damper 4 can be added without changing a shape of the cabinet 1 of the self-advancing type cleaner A explained in reference to FIG. 6 and the like. Further, in order to determine the height of installing the damper 4 to be slightly lower than the height of installing the bumper 10 and arrange the damper 4 at the space at which the projected corner portion 11 and the rotating brush 2 on the lower side are opposed to each other, as is known by FIG. 4, the damper 4 may be installed continuously to a lower end of the resin hinge portion 5 formed by a width substantially the same as that of the bumper 10 and installed continuously in a horizontal direction from the bumper 10.

Next, a structure of a portion of attaching the bumper 10 and the cabinet 1 will be explained in reference to FIG. 3, FIG. 4 or FIG. 5.

A center portion in a transverse direction of the bumper 10 is projected with a supporting member 6 in a shape of a plate piece toward an inner side thereof, and an opening 7 provided to the supporting member 6 is loosely fitted to a round shaft 8 projected from a center portion in a transverse direction of a bottom plate portion of the cabinet 1. Further, an edge of the opening 7 is provided with a cam face 71 in a ridge shape, when the bumper 10 is pressed forward and the cam face 71 is brought into contact with the round shaft 8, a position in the transverse direction (left and right direction) of the bumper 10 is determined at one portion. Further, a width in a front and rear direction of the opening 7 is made to be wider than a diameter of the round shaft 8, and the bumper 10 is made to be movable in the front and rear direction by an amount of a dimension of capable of displacing the round shaft 8 relatively in the front and rear direction at inside of the opening 7. Therefore, the bumper 10 is attached to the cabinet 1 to be able to pivot horizontally as indicated by an arrow mark H in FIG. 3 by way of the round shaft 8 and the supporting member 6 and to be able to move in the front and rear direction as indicated by an arrow mark V in the drawing.

Further, the bumper 10 is provided with projected pieces 9, 9 on both sides interposing the supporting member 6 and the projected pieces 9, 9 are exerted with springing urge forces of torsional coil springs 91 attached to the bottom plate portion of the cabinet 1. Therefore, the bumper 10 is normally urged in the forward direction by the springing urge forces of the torsional coil springs 91, further, the bumper 10 is hampered from jumping out in the front direction by bringing the cam face 71 into contact with the round shaft 8.

Further, as shown by FIG. 3, two left and right portions of the bottom plate portion of the cabinet 1 are provided with the up and down movement restricting guides 100 for restricting an up and down displacement width and the height position of the bumper 10. As shown by FIG. 5, the up and down movement restricting guide 100 is provided with a groove portion 110 fitted to a horizontal plate piece portion 101 provided to the bumper 10 to be able to displace in the front and rear direction and the bumper 10 is provided with a play in an up and down direction a by a width matching a groove width of the groove portion 110.

Next, operation of the self-advancing cleaner A constituted as described above will be explained.

In a case in which when the cleaner A runs by itself on the floor face at inside of the room, a hazard on a front side is detected by the sensor element 12 provided at the bumper 10, the self-advancing direction is changed based on a detecting signal thereof to avoid the cleaner A from being bumped to the hazard to be unable to run by itself.

On the other hand, when the cleaner A approaches, for example, a wall face at inside of the room from the skewed direction and the wall face at inside of the room is not detected by the sensor element 12, although the damper 4 on a side of being proximate to the wall face at inside of the room is bumped to the wall face at inside of the room, when the bumping is brought about, the damper 4 is displaced to the inner side against the elasticity by constituting the fulcrum by the resin hinge portion 5. Therefore, shock of impact is absorbed and alleviated by deforming the resin hinge portion 5 and even when the projected corner portion 11 of the cabinet 1 is bumped to the wall face at inside of the room thereafter, it is avoided that the projected corner portion 11 is cracked or the wall face at inside of the room is damaged by the impact. In addition thereto, the shock in bumping the damper 4 to the wall face at inside of the room is not directly transmitted to the bumper 10 and is not directly transmitted to a portion of attaching the bumper 10 and the cabinet 1, that is, an attaching portion F constituted by a portion of fitting the round shaft and the opening 7 of the supporting member 6 and therefore, there is not a concern of bringing about a situation that the bumper 10 and the attaching portion F is destructed by the impact.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an outlook of a self-advancing cleaner A having a bumper apparatus according to another embodiment. The self-advancing cleaner of the drawing is provided with various mechanisms necessary for cleaning a floor face while running by itself, further, rotating brushes 302, 302 are mounted on left and right sides of a front side of a cabinet 301, a bumper 310 is arranged between the rotating brushes 302, 302 and the bumper 310 is provided with sensor elements 312 . . . for detecting a hazard. Further, running wheels or the like are attached to a plurality of portions of a bottom plate portion of the cabinet 301, the cleaner runs by itself on the floor face by rolling the running wheels, dust sucked in running the cleaner by itself is caught in a dust containing bag to clean the floor face and clean corner portions at inside of a room by the rotating brush 302. Further, a self-advancing direction, a self-advancing speed or the like is controlled by operating controlling unit, not illustrated.

FIG. 7 is a plane view of the bumper apparatus in an initial state in which the bumper 310 is not bumped to a hazard, FIG. 8 is a plane view of the bumper apparatus in a state in which the bumper 310 is bumped to a hazard M and is moved back, FIG. 9 is a plane view of the bumper apparatus in a state in which the bumper 310 is bumped to the hazard M to be pivoted, and FIG. 10 is a plane view enlarging a portion M of attaching the bumper 310 to the cabinet 301.

The bumper 310 comprises an integral resin molded member formed to be prolonged in a transverse direction and is formed in a curved shape along a curved shape of a front face of the cabinet 301. As enlarging to show in FIG. 10, at the portion A for attaching the bumper 310 to the cabinet 301, a center portion in a transverse direction of the bumper 310 is projected with a supporting member 320 in a shape of a plate piece to direct to a rear side thereof, and an opening portion 30 provided to a rear end portion of the supporting member 20 is loosely fitted to a round shaft 340 comprising a boss projected from a center portion in a transverse direction of a bottom plate portion of the cabinet 301. That is, a lateral width and a longitudinal width of the opening portion 330 is formed to be slightly larger than a diameter of an outer periphery of the round shaft 340 fitted to the opening portion 30. Therefore, the bumper 310 can be moved in a front and rear direction as indicated by an arrow mark V of FIG. 7 within a range of restricting a position thereof by the round shaft 340 and is pivotable also in a horizontal direction as indicated by an arrow mark H of FIG. 7. Further, an opening edge of the opening portion 330 is provided with an engaging face 331 formed in a valley shape in a left and right symmetric shape at which a center portion in the left and right direction is disposed at a rearmost position. Therefore, when the bumper 310 is pressed to a front side and the engaging face 331 is engaged with the round shaft 308, a position of projecting the bumper 10 to the front side is restricted by the engagement, further, a position in the lateral direction (left and right direction) of the bumper 310 is determined at one portion by guiding operation of the engaging face 331.

The bumper 310 is provided with projected pieces 350, 360 projected in a rear direction at symmetric positions on both sides interposing the supporting member 320, whereas the projected pieces 350, 360 are provided with a first and a second operating portion 351, 361 at symmetric positions on two left and right sides interposing the engaging face 331, switching member S are provided on a side of the cabinet 301 in correspondence with the respective first and second operating portions 351, 361. In the illustrated example, the switching member S comprises a first and a second switch S1, S2 provided at two left and right portions of the cabinet 301.

Further, the bumper 310 is normally urged springingly to a front side of the bumper 310 by a left and right pair of torsional coil springs 370, 380 arranged at left and right symmetric portions of the bottom plate portion of the cabinet 301. Further, in an initial state shown in FIG. 7, that is, in a state in which the bumper 310 is not pressed to the rear side, a valley bottom portion of the engaging face 331 is engaged with the round shaft 301 by an urge force by the left and right pair of coil springs 370, 380, the position of projecting the bumper 310 is restricted by the engagement to prevent the bumper 310 from jumping to the front side. In addition thereto, an urge force of the left and right pair of torsional coil springs 370, 380 is uniformly exerted to the left and right symmetric portions of the bumper 310, thereby, the bumper 310 is maintained in a stable attitude without being inclined to a front and rear direction. Further, the position of the bumper 310 which is not inclined to the front and rear direction in this way is referred to as a neutral position in a horizontal direction.

Here, when opening/closing change over switches are adopted for the first and second S1, S2 and as shown by FIG. 7, the bumper 310 is maintained in the initial state and is maintained at the horizontal neutral position, the first operating portion 351 presses the first switch S1 to maintain an electricity conducting mode and the second operating portion 361 presses the second switch S2 to maintain the electricity conducting mode. The initial state of the bumper 310 is maintained when the cleaner runs by itself without being bumped to a hazard.

Further, when the bumper 310 is pressed to a rear side as indicated by an arrow mark R of FIG. 8 while maintaining the horizontal neutral position against the urge force of the left and right torsional coil springs 370, 380 from the initial state of FIG. 7, as shown by the drawing, the first operating portion 351 is left from the first switch S1, also the second operating portion 361 is left from the second switch S2 and both of the first and the second switches S1, S2 are switched to an electricity shut off mode. The bumper 310 is moved back in this way when the center portion of the bumper 310 is bumped to the hazard M in self-advancing the cleaner. Therefore, at this occasion, it is determined that the bumper 310 is bumped to the hazard M on the front side in the self-advancing direction by switching both of the first and the second switches S1, S2 to the electricity shut off mode, based on a result of the determination, the self-advancing direction of the cleaner can be changed, the self-advancing of the cleaner can be stopped, or other operation control can be carried out.

Further, from the initial state of FIG. 7, when the bumper 310 is pivoted to a left side in the horizontal direction relative to the self-advancing direction from the neutral position in the horizontal direction, as shown by FIG. 9, while maintaining the first switch S1 in the electricity conducting mode by pressing the first switch S1 by the first operating portion 351, the second operating portion 361 is left from the second switch S2 and the second switch S2 can be switched to the electricity shut off mode. The bumper 310 is pivoted to the left side in the horizontal direction relative to the self-advancing direction from the neutral position in the horizontal direction in this way when the center portion through the left side portion of the bumper 310 is bumped to the hazard M as shown by FIG. 9. Therefore, at this occasion, it is determined that the bumper 310 is bumped to the hazard M on the left front side in the self-advancing direction by switching only the second switch S2 to the electricity shut off mode, based on a result of the determination, the self-advancing direction of the cleaner can be changed, the self-advancing can be stopped, or other operation control can be carried out.

Further, conversely, from the initial state of FIG. 7, when the bumper 310 is pivoted to a right side in the horizontal direction relative to the self-advancing direction of the neutral position in the horizontal direction, while maintaining the second switch S2 in the electricity conducing mode by pressing the second switch S2 by the second operating portion 361, the first operating portion 361 is left from the first switch S1 and the first switch S1 is switched to the electricity shut off mode. The bumper 310 is pivoted to the right side in the horizontal direction relative to the self advancing direction from the neutral position in the horizontal direction in this way, when the center portion through the right side portion of the bumper 310 is bumped to the hazard M although not illustrated. Therefore, at this occasion, it is determined that the bumper 310 is bumped to the hazard on the right front side in the self-advancing direction by switching only the first switch S1 to the electricity shut off mode, based on a result of the determination, the self-advancing direction of the cleaner can be changed, the self-advancing can be stopped, or other operation control can be carried out.

According to the embodiment, as shown by FIG. 10, at the portion A′ of attaching the bumper 310 to the cabinet 1, the opening portion 330 provided to the supporting member 320 integral with the bumper 310 is only loosely fitted to the round shaft 31 integral with the cabinet 301 and therefore, an extra part is not used for the attaching portion A′, which is useful for promoting mass production performance. Despite the constitution, the bumper 310 is movable in the front and rear direction and pivotable to both sides of the neutral position in the horizontal direction. Further, it is detected whether the bumper 310 is moved back, or in which direction of left and right directions the bumper 310 is moved from the neutral position in the horizontal direction by the first and the second switches S1, S2 and therefore, there is achieved an advantage that the position of the hazard bumped to the bumper 310 can be determined in three directions of the front side in the self-advancing direction, a skewed right front side in the self-advancing direction, and a skewed left front side in the self-advancing direction by the very simple constitution. Therefore, operation of the cleaner after the bumper 310 is bumped to the hazard is made to be easy to be controlled pertinently without using a number of parts or switches. Further, according to the embodiment, although the modes of the two first and second switches S1, S2 in the initial state are determined to the electricity conducting modes, the modes of the switches S1, S2 in the initial state can also be determined to the electricity shut off modes.

According to still another embodiment, as shown in FIG. 15 as well as FIG. 4 of the embodiment, left and right end portions of the bumper 310 may be continuously added with a damper 500 which are not provide with a sensor element. The damper 500 may be arranged at a space at which the projected corner portion 311 and the rotating brush 302 on a lower side are opposed to each other as shown FIG. 2. Further, as shown in FIG. 15 as well as FIG. 3, two left and right portions of the bottom plate portion of the cabinet 301 are provided with up and down movement restricting guides 501, 501 for restricting an up and down displacement width and the height position of the bumper 310.