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  (Source: SlashGear)
A new competitor enters the market for self propelled floor cleaning robots

Late last year, DailyTech reported on the Hello Kitty iRobot Roomba 500 that was on sale in Japan.  Japan is one of the few countries you would find a product like this as the merchandising tends to be extreme. Now there is a new floor cleaning product called the Fukitorimushi that may or may not top a spinning frisbee with a Hello Kitty logo plastered on it.

When translated, Fukitorimushi means “Wipe Up Bug” in Japanese and that is exactly what this robot does. The Fukitorimushi crawls along like an inch worm or a slug dragging a newly developed absorbent cloth fiber against the floor. The robot was developed by Panasonic and the cloth nanofiber technology was developed by Teijin Ltd.

In the front of the robot the Fukitorimushi emits a white light used to detect dirty areas. Once a dirty area is found the robot will emit a red light while it devotes extra time to cleaning the area. After the cleaning session is over the Fukitorimushi will return to its charging dock in a manner similar to the IRobot Roomba.  

The cloth technology named Nanofront is a polyester fiber that has a diameter of 700 nanometers, or 1/7500 the thickness of a hair. According to Teijin, this fabric has a surface area and pore structure many times more than conventional fabrics allowing it to have superior wiping and absorbing capabilities. The new fabric was demonstrated at the recent Tokyo Fiber Senseware exposition in Milan.

A video of the Fukitorimushi in action can be seen on Slashgear.





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