Dirt-Detecting Vacuum - Panasonic’s 12-A Bagless, Upright Vacuum
June 2005
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Panasonic’s new entry into the floorcare segment demands attention with its intuitive dirt-sensing cleaning system. The 12-A bagless, upright vacuum features an optical sensor that scans the floor and ramps up the motor and beater bar to pick-up the extra dirt. The Power-On-Demand feature, Panasonic says, is an automatic setting that senses the amount of dirt the unit picks up while in operation. As dirt levels increase, the motor increases suction accordingly. When less dirt is sensed, the motor then ramps down to a lower power level for more efficient cleaning.

“The maximum power that we can draw is 12 A, so at the highest setting, it’s operating towards the highest end of the tolerance that we can use,” Eric Hitzelberger, principal engineer for Panasonic, says. “The vacuum will step down from there for more efficient cleaning.”

In conjunction with the increase in power, the unit also features an indicator light that communicates the rate at which the vacuum is cleaning. This, according to Panasonic, allows users to learn their cleaning needs.

“As a sensor, the motor ramps up when it’s needed, but it is also a good indicator of high-traffic areas so that consumers can learn as they are cleaning. Ultimately, there will be a time savings there for the customer,” Mr. Hitzelberger tells APPLIANCE.
Additionally, the vacuum features two motor protection systems to prevent failure. The first utilizes a bypass valve that opens whenever a clog is indicated in the system. This prevents the motor from overheating. The second system utilizes a thermal overload bypass that activates if an obstruction or liquid are detected.

The unit can also operate in a manual mode and has a fully removable and telescopic handle capable of reaching 17 ft. Other features include automatic carpet height adjustment and a drop-down dirt cup. The unit is scheduled for release in July.

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