Title:
Automatic floor sweeping and mopping device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The device of the present invention can carry out floor sweeping and mopping automatically and simultaneously. The automatic floor sweeping and mopping device includes a main body, a rotational sweeping brush unit, a dust collecting unit, two rolling wheels, a mopping unit, a water spraying unit, a squeegee unit and a water storing tank. The mopping unit is made of a soft, water-absorbing material and can remove residual dirt not removed by the rotational sweeping brush unit. The water spraying unit is an innovative feature and is provided above the mopping unit to keep the mopping unit in a clean condition by removing dusts and dirt stuck to it. The squeegee unit can squeeze dirt and dirty water out of the mopping unit and keep the mopping unit in a clean, partially wet condition. Because the device leaves no dirty water behind, such feature is surely superior.



Inventors:
Lin, Ching-chi (New Taipei City, TW)
Application Number:
13/750018
Publication Date:
07/31/2014
Filing Date:
01/25/2013
Assignee:
LIN CHING-CHI
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47L11/28
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
REDDING, DAVID A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HDLS IPR SERVICES (CENTREVILLE, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An automatic floor sweeping and mopping device, comprising: a main body; a rotational sweeping brush unit, disposed on the underside of the main body to sweep dusts off the floor; a dust collecting unit; two rolling wheels, one of which is provided on either side of the dust collecting unit to facilitate the forward movement of the device; a mopping unit, disposed behind the rotational sweeping brush unit on the underside of the main body and made of a soft, water-absorbing material to remove of residual finer dusts and dirt not removed by the rotational sweeping brush unit; a water spraying unit, which is an innovative feature, is provided above the mopping unit to keep the mopping unit in a clean condition by removing dusts and dirt adhering to it; a squeegee unit, provided near the frontal surface of the mopping unit to squeeze dirt and dirty water out of the mopping unit and keep the mopping unit in a clean, partially wet condition; and a water storing tank, disposed inside the main body and partitioned into two compartments—a clean water storing region and a dirty water storing region, characterized in that the clean water storing region supplies clean water to the water spraying unit and dirty water is transported back to the dirty water storing region.

2. The automatic floor sweeping and mopping device as in claim 1, wherein a dirty water collecting channel is provided on the squeegee unit and wherein an additional dirty water transporting tube is provided to link the dirty water collecting channel with the dirty water storing region to transport dirty water to the dirty water storing region through the aid of a pump.

3. The automatic floor sweeping and mopping device as in claim 1, wherein a buffering element may be provided on either end of the squeegee unit to buffer and optimize the contact between the squeegee unit and the mopping unit.

4. The automatic floor sweeping and mopping device as in claim 3, wherein the buffering element is a spring.

5. The automatic floor sweeping and mopping device as in claim 1, wherein a separating membrane, made of a soft, flexible material, is used to separate the clean water storing region from the clean water storing region and thus the volumes of these two regions may be freely altered or changed in use, making the water storing tank structurally superior.

6. The automatic floor sweeping and mopping device as in claim 1, wherein a plurality of spraying nozzles are longitudinally provided on the mopping unit to wet and rinse out the surface of the mopping unit.

7. The automatic floor sweeping and mopping device as in claim 6, wherein the spraying nozzles can spray clean water onto the mopping unit to remove the dirt and dirty water adhering or attached to the surface of the mopping unit.

8. The automatic floor sweeping and mopping device as in claim 1, wherein a high-pressure pump is provided above the water spraying unit so as to clean up the mopping unit with its high-pressure water spray.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention generally relates to a floor cleaning device. More particularly, the invention relates to an automatic floor cleaning device that can carry out floor sweeping (vacuuming) and mopping simultaneously. Thanks to its water spraying unit and squeegee unit, its mopping unit can be rinsed out to be kept in a clean, partially wet condition so that the device may be used to clean the floor in a continuous, efficient and easy manner.

2. Description of the Prior Art

As technology advances, the use of automated floor cleaning machines for floor cleaning has become quite common. In addition, such machines or robots may operate by themselves to clean the floor and thus eliminate human labor altogether.

Such machines may be categorized into two types—sweeping type and mopping type. The machine of sweeping type can only get rid of regular dusts and can not eliminate finer dusts. Therefore, it needs a mopping type machine to get rid of finer dusts.

In the prior art, here is how an automatic mopping machine works: First, water is sprayed on the floor; then, a rolling brush unit is used to mop the floor and a squeegee disposed behind the rolling brush unit is used get rid of dirty water adhered to the unit. A disadvantage of such machine is that there is often some dirty water remaining on the floor. Another disadvantage is that dirty water often gets into the cracks in the floor. In particular, if such machine is used on a carpet, it often leaves dirty water on it and it often can not be cleaned effectively. Such carpet may still be wet after it is cleaned by such machine, posing a danger to people walking on it.

From the above, we can see that the machine of the prior art has many disadvantages and needs to be improved.

To eliminate these disadvantages, the inventor of the present invention has put a lot of effort into the subject and has successfully come up with the automatic floor sweeping and mopping device of the present invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide an automatic floor sweeping and mopping device that can carry out floor sweeping and mopping simultaneously.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an automatic floor sweeping and mopping device that enables floor cleaning to be done in a more efficient manner and in a shorter time.

A third object of the present invention is to provide an automatic floor sweeping and mopping device that leaves no water on the floor after use and thus may be used for regular floors as well as carpets.

A fourth object of the present invention is to provide an automatic floor sweeping and mopping device that is able to carry a larger amount of water, thus allowing cleaning for a larger floor area without any need to add more water.

To reach the objects, the automatic floor sweeping and mopping device of the present invention is disclosed. The device of the present invention can carry out automatic floor sweeping and mopping simultaneously. The automatic floor sweeping and mopping device of the present invention comprises a main body, a rotational sweeping brush unit, a dust collecting unit, two rolling wheels, a mopping unit, a water spraying unit, a squeegee unit and a water storing tank. The rotational sweeping brush unit is disposed on the underside of the main body to sweep dusts off the floor. The dust collecting unit is disposed in front of the rotational sweeping brush unit. A suction fan is provided inside the dust collecting unit to suck dusts into the dust collecting unit. The mopping unit is disposed behind the rotational sweeping brush unit on the underside of the main body and is made of a soft, water-absorbing material to remove of residual dirt not removed by the rotational sweeping brush unit. The water spraying unit is an innovative feature and is provided above the mopping unit to keep the mopping unit in a clean condition by removing dusts and dirt adhering to it. A plurality of spraying nozzles are longitudinally provided on the mopping unit to wet and can rinse out the surface of the mopping unit. The squeegee unit is provided near the frontal surface of the mopping unit to squeeze dirt and dirty water out of the mopping unit and keep the mopping unit in a clean, partially wet condition. The water storing tank is disposed inside the main body and is partitioned by a separating membrane into two compartments—a clean water storing region and a dirty water storing region, characterized in that the clean water storing region supplies clean water to the water spraying unit and dirty water is transported back to the dirty water storing region. The separating membrane is made of a soft, flexible material and is used to separate the clean water storing region from the dirty water storing region and thus the volumes of these two regions may be freely altered or changed in use, making the water storing tank structurally superior.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a partially cutaway view of the automatic floor sweeping and mopping device of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the automatic floor sweeping and mopping device of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a view schematically illustrating the device of the present invention in use.

FIG. 4 is a view illustrating how the mopping unit woks.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Please see FIGS. 1 and 4, which illustrate the automatic floor sweeping and mopping device of the present invention. The device of the present invention comprises a main body 1, a rotational sweeping brush unit 11, a dust collecting unit 14, two rolling wheels 12, a mopping unit 2, a water spraying unit 21, a squeegee unit 22 and a water storing tank 25. The rotational sweeping brush unit 11 is disposed on the underside of the main body 1 and the dust collecting unit 14 is disposed in front of the rotational sweeping brush unit 11. A suction fan (not shown in the drawings) is provided inside the dust collecting unit 14 to suck dusts into the dust collecting unit 14. One rolling wheel 12 is provided on either side of the dust collecting unit 14 and a turning wheel 13 is provided on the frontal portion on the underside of the main body 1. Therefore, the two rolling wheels 12 allow the forward and backward movements of the main body 1 and the turning wheel 13 allows the main body 1 to turn. In device of the present invention, the motion of the main body 1 is controlled by a computer, which we will not elaborate on in detail.

The main feature of the device of the present invention is the mopping unit 2, which is made of a soft, water-absorbing material and is disposed behind the rotational sweeping brush unit 11 on the underside of the main body 1. The mopping unit 2 facilitates the removal of residual finer dusts and dirt not removed by the rotational sweeping brush unit 11. Therefore, device of the present invention has both sweeping and mopping functions.

A water spraying unit 21, which is an innovative component, is provided above the mopping unit 2. The water spraying unit 21 comprises a plurality of spraying nozzles 211, which wet the surface of the mopping unit 2. The spraying nozzles 211 can flush dirt and dusts adhering to the mopping unit 2 forwards to remove them. A high-pressure pump 28 is provided above the water spraying unit 21 so as to clean up the mopping unit 2 with its high-pressure water spray. A squeegee unit 22 is provided in front of the mopping unit 2 to squeeze dirt and dirty water out of the mopping unit 2. The water storing tank 25 is provided inside the main body 1 and a separating membrane 26 is provided inside the tank 25 to separate clean water (stored in a clean water storing region 251) from dirty water (stored in a dirty water storing region 252). Clean water is supplied from the clean water storing region 251 and dirty water squeezed out of the squeegee unit 22 is transported back to the dirty water storing region 252. A dirty water collecting channel 23 is provided on the squeegee unit 22. An additional dirty water transporting tube 271 is provided to link the dirty water collecting channel 23 with the dirty water storing region 252. A pump 27 is provided on the dirty water transporting tube 271 to move dirty water in the dirty water collecting channel 23 to the dirty water storing region 252.

In use, when a user turns on the device, selects cleaning tasks and then sets motion paths, the turning wheel 13 allows the device to turn and the two rolling wheel 12 allow the device to move forwards. As the device moves along, the rotational sweeping brush unit 11 sweep dusts off the floor and then dusts are sucked into the dust collecting unit 14. In the mean time, the mopping unit 2 mops the floor. The water spraying unit 21 continuously wets and rinses out the mopping unit 2, which can mop up the residual fine dusts and dirt remaining on the floor. The squeegee unit 22 squeezes dirt and dirty water out of the mopping unit 2 to keep the mopping unit 2 in a clean, partially wet condition. A buffering element 221, which may be a spring or similar object, may be provided on either end of the squeegee unit 22 to buffer the impact/friction and optimize the contact between the squeegee unit 22 and the mopping unit 2, hence ensuring the smooth operation of the squeegee unit 22.

In the device of the present invention, the separating membrane 26 is made of a soft, flexible material and thus is a superior design in terms of spatial use. In use, the amount of clean water is gradually reduced and dirty water is gradually increased as the floor cleaning process proceeds. In the beginning, the water storing tank 25 is filled exclusively with clean water and as the process proceeds, space occupied by clean water in the water storing tank 25 is gradually replaced by dirty water. In other words, the size of the clean water storing region 251 gradually shrinks and the size of the dirty water storing region 252 gradually expands as the process proceeds. Therefore, such design is spatially and structurally superior and is particularly useful for the cleaning of larger floor areas.

Many changes and modifications in the above described embodiment of the invention can, of course, be carried out without departing from the scope thereof. Accordingly, to promote the progress in science and the useful arts, the invention is disclosed and is intended to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.