I am currently trying to create a lawn mowing robot which also uses Object Detection. Does the following patent prohibit me from doing this? http://www.freepatentsonline.com/9563204.html


The claims seem pretty broad but patents do not cover a result, rather a particular manner of achieving a result. You might study this patent, and many others in the same field and see a good way to address the problem that does not fall under anyone's claims. You can start by looking at earlier patents cited in this patent and subsequent patents that cite this patent as well as doing a more comprehensive search.

Another search element could be to look at other patent by the same inventor. Put inventor:(Mikael Willgert) into google patents to see a few titles that seem relevant like - Boundary definition system for a robotic vehicle - US9497901B2

You not only need to avoid patents specific to automated lawnmowers but patents that might be broader. The particular way you might combine radar and lidar data (to make up an example), might be patented outside the application area you are interested in. An extreme example is that there are patents are tire tread patterns.

  • Hi George, thanks for your response, I will have a look at that, thank you for clarifying that patents do not cover results, I will try and find a way on how to work to the goal without infringing on copyright and look for other possible infringements. Cheers
    – Ian Ronk
    Jun 5 '20 at 9:12
  • @IanRonk First claim has the phrase: "receiving information indicative of an encounter between a robotic vehicle and an object responsive to communication received from a sensor" so it seems it is limited to the case where the object you are trying to avoid is responsive to a signal from the robot. Not, for instance, a person.
    – Eric S
    Jun 5 '20 at 21:09
  • @EricShain, it also says that it comes from a sensor, so would that mean that for example using object recognition using a camera as input is something that wouldn't infringe the patent?
    – Ian Ronk
    Jun 6 '20 at 13:47
  • It might be arguable as to a camera being a sensor except - "9. The method of claim 1, wherein the sensor comprises a camera, a radar device, a laser scanner, or an ultrasonic sensor." Your search will require a high degree of attention to detail.
    – George White
    Jun 6 '20 at 20:41
  • @EricShain - the "responsive" phrase seems a little muddled to me in the claim. As you quoted it sounds like the object responds to the sensor. This seems backwards. sensors sense, they do not emit so how the object responds to something the sensor does is not clear. It may be that the "responsiveness" means detectable by the sensor, i.e. light reflects from the object.
    – George White
    Jun 6 '20 at 20:50

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