Midea Group has been granted a patent for a laundry washing machine and method that automates the selection of operational settings for a wash cycle based on color composition data collected from a load of articles. The machine uses a color detection sensor and a weight sensor to capture data and set operational settings accordingly. GlobalData’s report on Midea Group gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Midea Group, smart climate control systems was a key innovation area identified from patents. Midea Group's grant share as of September 2023 was 69%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Patent granted for a laundry washing machine with automated color-based settings

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Midea Group Co Ltd

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11773524B2) describes a laundry washing machine with advanced features for optimizing the washing process based on color composition data and weight sensing. The machine includes a wash tub, a color detection sensor, a weight sensor, and a controller.

The color detection sensor captures color composition data of the load of articles as they are added to the wash tub. The weight sensor senses the weight of the load of articles. The controller is coupled to both sensors and initiates multiple color composition data captures in response to detected weight changes. Each capture is initiated when the weight sensor detects a stable weight in the wash tub for a predetermined duration.

The controller uses the captured color composition data to set operational settings for the wash cycle. It can also detect the removal of an article from the wash tub and delete the corresponding color composition data capture. Additionally, the controller can initiate the color composition data captures based on the detection of image stability in the wash tub.

The patent also describes features related to door detection. The controller can initiate the color composition data captures when an open door is detected and determine that all articles have been added when a closed door is detected. It can also initiate additional captures if the weight sensed by the weight sensor exceeds a predetermined constant after the door is closed.

Furthermore, the controller can start a sleep timer when the door is open and put the machine in a sleep state after the timer expires. It can awaken the machine and initiate a color composition data capture if a weight change is detected while in the sleep state.

Overall, this patent highlights the use of color composition data and weight sensing to optimize the washing process in a laundry washing machine. The controller's ability to analyze color data and adjust operational settings based on user behavior and load characteristics can potentially improve the efficiency and effectiveness of laundry washing.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.