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Title:
ROTARY SURFACE CLEANING TOOL INCLUDING TOOLS SUITABLE FOR CLEANING CARPETS, AND ASSOCIATED SYSTEMS AND METHODS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2014/066891
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Rotary surface cleaning machines with recovery tanks and associated systems and methods are disclosed. A representative rotary surface cleaning machine in accordance with the present disclosure includes a base assembly, a support frame coupled to the base assembly, a recovery tank carried by the support frame, a vacuum blower, and a discharge pump. The vacuum blower draws a mixture of air and fluid from the base assembly to the recovery tank when the base assembly is in operation. Then the discharge pump discharges a liquid portion of the mixture from the recovery tank.

Inventors:
BRUDERS WILLIAM (US)
BARTHOLMEY BRETT (US)
RICHARDSON BILL ELMER (US)
WOLFE KEVIN A (US)
STUDEBAKER KEITH (US)
STUDEBAKER ROY (US)
Application Number:
US2013/067073
Publication Date:
May 01, 2014
Filing Date:
October 28, 2013
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
SAPPHIRE SCIENT (US)
International Classes:
A47L11/29; A47L9/00; A47L11/292; A47L11/30
Foreign References:
US20120233804A12012-09-20
US4731956A1988-03-22
US5706549A1998-01-13
US4182001A1980-01-08
US6243914B12001-06-12
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HSU, Yang-hsien, Homer (P.O. Box 1247Seattle, WA, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

I/We claim:

1. A rotary surface cleaning machine, comprising:

a base assembly having an exhaust port and carrying a rotary surface cleaning tool that includes a plurality of spray nozzles;

a support frame coupled to the base assembly;

a handle assembly operably coupled to the support frame;

a recovery tank carried by the support frame and in fluid communication with the exhaust port;

a drive motor carried by the support frame and coupled to the rotary surface cleaning tool;

a vacuum blower carried by the support frame and coupled in fluid communication to the exhaust port to draw a mixture of air and fluid from the exhaust port into the recovery tank; and

a discharge pump carried by the support frame and coupled to the recovery tank to discharge a liquid portion of the mixture from the recovery tank.

2. The rotary surface cleaning machine of claim 1 wherein the drive motor is positioned within the recovery tank.

3. The rotary surface cleaning machine of claim 1 wherein the recovery tank includes a first compartment and a second compartment, and wherein the first compartment is coupled to the rotary surface cleaning tool to deliver a cleaning fluid to the rotary surface cleaning tool, and wherein the second compartment is in fluid communication with the exhaust port and is not in fluid communication with the first compartment at the recovery tank.

4. The rotary surface cleaning machine of claim 3 wherein the first compartment and the second compartment are separated by a flexible baffle.

5. The rotary surface cleaning machine of claim 3 wherein the first compartment and the second compartment are separated by a bladder.

6. The rotary surface cleaning machine of claim 1 , further comprising a wheel assembly coupled to the support frame to support the support frame.

7. The rotary surface cleaning machine of claim 1 wherein the recovery tank includes a tank lid.

8. The rotary surface cleaning machine of claim 1 wherein the handle assembly is formed in a shape corresponding to a shape of the recovery tank.

9. The rotary surface cleaning machine of claim 1 , further comprising a housing carried by the support frame and positioned to accommodate the vacuum blower and the discharge pump.

10. A recovery system for use with a rotary surface cleaning tool having an exhaust port, the recovery system comprising:

a support frame;

a recovery tank carried by the support frame and positioned to couple in fluid communication with the exhaust port;

a housing positioned adjacent to the recovery tank;

a vacuum blower positioned in the housing and coupled to the recovery tank to draw a mixture of air and fluid from the exhaust port into the recovery tank; a discharge pump positioned in the housing and coupled to the recovery tank to discharge a liquid portion of the mixture of air and fluid from the recovery tank; and

a control unit coupled to the recovery tank and positioned to monitor a status of the recovery tank.

11. The recovery system of claim 10, further comprising a drive motor positioned within the recovery tank to rotate the rotary surface cleaning tool.

12. The recovery system of claim 10 wherein the recovery tank includes a first compartment and a second compartment, and wherein the first compartment is coupled to the rotary surface cleaning tool to deliver a cleaning fluid to the rotary surface cleaning tool, and wherein the second compartment is in fluid communication with the exhaust port and is not in fluid communication with the first compartment at the recovery tank.

13. The recovery system of claim 10 further comprising a notification unit coupled to the control unit to generate a signal in response to an operation event.

14. The recovery system of claim 10 wherein the recovery tank includes a first compartment and a second compartment, and wherein the first compartment is separated from the second compartment by a flexible baffle operably positioned within the recovery tank.

15. A method for cleaning surfaces, comprising:

elevating the temperature of a cleaning fluid;

delivering the cleaning fluid to a rotary surface cleaning tool coupled to a support frame;

rotating the rotary surface cleaning tool to generate a mixture of air and cleaning fluid;

drawing at least a portion of the mixture through an exhaust port of the rotary surface cleaning tool to a recovery tank via a vacuum blower, while the recovery tank is carried by the support frame;

storing a liquid portion of the mixture in the recovery tank; and

discharging the liquid portion of the mixture in the recovery tank via a discharge pump.

16. The method of claim 15, further comprising storing the liquid portion of the mixture when the rotary surface cleaning tool is in operation.

17. The method of claim 15 wherein discharging the liquid portion includes discharging the liquid portion to a drain, a sewer, or a waste receptacle.

18. The method of claim 15 wherein elevating the temperature of the cleaning fluid includes transferring heat from the vacuum blower or the discharge pump to the cleaning fluid.

19. The method of claim 15, further comprising storing clean water in a first compartment of the recovery tank and storing the liquid portion of the mixture in a second compartment of the recovery tank.

20. The method of claim 15 wherein the recovery tank includes a first compartment and a second compartment, and wherein the first compartment is separated from the second compartment by a flexible baffle, the method further comprising increasing the size of the first compartment of the recovery tank by adjusting the flexible baffle.

Description:
ROTARY SURFACE CLEANING TOOL INCLUDING TOOLS SUITABLE FOR CLEANING CARPETS, AND ASSOCIATED

SYSTEMS AND METHODS

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] The present application claims priority to U.S. Patent Application No. 13/843,618, filed March 15, 2013, which claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/719,342, filed October 26, 2012, each of which are incorporated herein by reference. To the extent the foregoing application and/or any other materials incorporated herein by reference conflict with the present disclosure, the present disclosure controls.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present technology relates generally to a rotary tool for cleaning surfaces, including rugs and carpets, and in particular to such apparatuses and methods with brushes for coaction with cleaning liquid delivering devices and suction extraction devices.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Many apparatuses and methods are known for cleaning carpeting and other flooring, wall and upholstery surfaces. The cleaning apparatuses and methods most commonly used today apply a cleaning fluid as a spray under pressure to the surfaces whereupon the cleaning fluid dissolves dirt and stains, and the cleaning apparatus scrubs the fibers of the surfaces while simultaneously applying suction to extract the cleaning fluid and the dissolved soil. Many different apparatuses and methods for spraying cleaning fluid under pressure and then removing it with suction are illustrated in the prior art. Some of these cleaning apparatuses and methods use rotating devices and the entire machine is transported over a carpeting area to be cleaned while a cleaning head is rotated about a vertical axis.

[0004] Another category of carpeting and upholstery cleaning apparatuses and methods includes machines having a plurality of arms, each arm having one or more spray nozzles or a suction means coupled to a vacuum source. These rotary cleaning tools provide a more intense scrubbing action since, in general, more scrubbing surfaces contact the carpeting area to be cleaned. These apparatuses and methods are illustrated in U.S. Pat. No. 4,441 ,229.

[0005] A third category of carpeting and upholstery cleaning apparatuses and methods that attempt to deflect or otherwise control the cleaning fluid is illustrated by U.S. Pat. No. 6,243,914, which is incorporated herein by reference. U.S. Pat. No. 6,243,914 discloses a cleaning head for carpets, walls or upholstery, having a rigid open-bottomed main body that defines a surface subjected to a cleaning process. Mounted within or adjacent to the main body and coplanar with the bottom thereof is a fluid-applying device which includes a slot at an acute angle to the plane of the bottom of the body located adjacent to the plane of the bottom of the body. The slot is configured such that the fluid is applied in a thin sheet that flows out of the slot and into the upper portion of the surface to be cleaned and is subsequently extracted by suction into the vacuum source for recovery. The cleaning head can have a plurality of arms which are rotated about a hub.

[0006] FIG. 1 illustrates a typical prior art professional fluid cleaning system as illustrated in U.S. Pat. No. 6,243,914. It is to be understood that this cleaning system is typically mounted in a van or truck for mobile servicing of carpets and flooring in homes and businesses. The typical truck-mounted fluid cleaning system 1 includes a main liquid waste receptacle 3 into which a soiled cleaning fluid is routed. A cleaning head or nozzle 5 is mounted on a rigid vacuum wand 7 which includes a handle 8 for controlling the cleaning head 5. A supply of pressurized hot liquid solution of cleaning fluid is supplied to the cleaning head 5 via a cleaning solution delivery tube 9 arranged in fluid communication with a cleaning solution inlet orifice 1 1 of the cleaning head 5 for delivering therethrough a flow of pressurized liquid cleaning solution to fluid cleaning solution spray jets 13 of the cleaning head 5. The cleaning head 5 typically includes a rectangular, downwardly open truncated pyramidal envelope 15 which contains the cleaning fluid spray that is applied to the carpet or other flooring, as well as forming a vacuum plenum for the vacuum retrieving the soiled liquid for transport to waste receptacle 3. An intake port 16 of the vacuum wand 7 is coupled in fluid communication with the vacuum plenum of the cleaning head 5. [0007] Mounted above the main waste receptacle 3 is a cabinet 17 housing a vacuum source and a supply of the pressurized hot liquid cleaning fluid. The soiled cleaning fluid is routed from the cleaning head 5 into the waste receptacle 3 via the rigid vacuum wand 7 and a flexible vacuum return hose 19 coupled in fluid communication with an exhaust port 20 thereof, whereby spent cleaning solution and dissolved soil are withdrawn under a vacuum force supplied by the fluid cleaning system, as is well known in the art. A vacuum control valve or switch 21 is provided for controlling the vacuum source.

[0008] FIG. 2 illustrates details of operation of the typical truck-mounted fluid cleaning system 1 illustrated in FIG. 1 . Here, the main waste receptacle 3, as well as the vacuum source and the cleaning fluid supply cabinet 17, are shown in partial cutaway views for exposing details thereof. The cleaning fluid is drawn through the cleaning solution delivery tube 9 from a supply 23 of liquid cleaning solution in the cabinet 17. The vacuum for vacuum return hose 19 is provided by a vacuum suction source 25, such as a high pressure blower, driven by a power supply 27. The blower vacuum source 25 communicates with the main waste receptacle 3 through an air intake 29 coupled into an upper portion 31 thereof and, when operating, develops a powerful vacuum in an air chamber 33 enclosed in the receptacle 3.

[0009] The vacuum return hose 19 is coupled in fluid communication with the waste receptacle 3 through a drain 35, for example, at the upper portion 31 , remote from the air intake 29. The vacuum return hose 19 feeds the soiled cleaning fluid into the waste receptacle 3 as a flow 37 of the soiled cleaning fluid with dissolved dust, dirt and stains, as well as undissolved particulate material picked up by the vacuum return but of a size or nature as to be undissolvable in the liquid cleaning fluid. The flow 37 of the soiled cleaning fluid enters into the waste receptacle 3 through the drain 35 and forms a pool 39 of the soiled cleaning fluid filled with dissolved and undissolved debris. A float switch 41 or other means avoids overfilling the waste receptacle 3 and inundating the blower 25 through its air intake 29. A screen or simple filter may be applied to remove gross contaminants from the flow 37 of the soiled cleaning fluid before it reaches the pool 39, but this is a matter of operator's choice since any impediment to the flow 37 reduces crucial vacuum pressure at the cleaning head 5 for retrieving the soiled cleaning fluid from the cleaned carpet or other surface. [0010] The soiled liquid cleaning fluid effectively filters air drawn into the waste receptacle 3 by dissolving the majority of dust, dirt and stains, and drowning and sinking any undissolved debris whereby it is sunk into the pool 39 of the soiled cleaning fluid and captured therein. Thus, the soiled cleaning fluid in the vacuum return hose 19 effectively filters the air before it is discharged into the enclosed air chamber 33, and no airborne particles of dust and dirt are available to escape into the enclosed air chamber 33 floating above the liquid pool 39.

[0011] In a rotary surface cleaning tool, the cleaning head 5 utilizes a cleaning liquid delivering means and suction extraction means in combination with a rotary cleaning plate that is coupled for a high speed rotary motion.

[0012] One example of a rotary surface cleaning tool is illustrated by U.S. Pat. No. 4, 182,001 . FIG. 3 illustrates the rotary surface cleaning and rinsing machine of Krause, indicated generally at 50, which includes a substantially circular housing 51 and a frame 53 with its lower axial face open at 55, with this face 55 being disposed substantially parallel to the surface which is to be cleaned, such as a rug 57. Mounted on top of the housing 51 and the frame 53 is an enclosure 59 from which a handle assembly 61 extends. The handle assembly 61 is held by an operator during the manipulation of the machine 50. The handle assembly 61 has operating levers 63 and 65. The operating handle 65 regulates flow of cleaning or rinsing fluid to the housing 51 of a rotary surface cleaning tool through a feed line 67. For example, the feed line 67 is coupled to the cleaning solution delivery tube 9 from the supply 23 of liquid cleaning solution in the cabinet 17 in a truck-mounted unit, or another supply of liquid cleaning solution. The operating handle 63 can be used to regulate the starting and stopping of drive motors.

[0013] An exhaust pipe or tube 69 is mounted on the handle assembly 61 and is connected to the top of the rotary surface cleaning tool at an outlet connection 71. Suction is created by a motor and fan assembly 73. In other embodiments, the exhaust pipe or tube 69 is coupled for suction extraction to the vacuum return hose 19 and vacuum source 25 in a truck-mounted unit. The soiled cleaning fluid extracted by suction extraction from the carpet or rug 57 is drawn off through the outlet connection 71 and through the exhaust pipe 69. The frame 53 may also be supported by a swivel wheel 75. A large rotor 77 is rotationally mounted within the housing 51 and rotationaily coupled within the enclosure 59. The rotor 77 is drivingly connected by a drive belt or chain 79 to an output shaft 81 of an electric motor 83 mounted on the frame 53. Motor 83 serves to turn large rotor 77. A plurality of circular brushes 85 are located on the rotor 77.

[0014] FIG. 4 shows that the brushes 85 are rotated as shown by arrows 87 in the opposite direction from the turning motion 89 of the rotor 77 by a rotating drive means for contrarotating the brushes 85 with respect to the rotor 77. Moreover, the brushes 85 are rotated at significantly higher revolutions per minute (RPM) than the rotor 77 for producing a very vigorous brush scrubbing action. For example, the brushes 85 rotate more than seven times with respect to the rug 57 for each full rotation of the rotor 77. As a result, the brush elements or bristles in the peripheral region travelling very rapidly in a backward direction 87 relative to the rotor 77 tend to lift up and to flip over the matted pile of the rug 57 thereby exposing and scrubbing its underside. Then, in interior regions 91 where the brush elements or bristles are travelling in the same direction as the rotor 77, they flip the matted pile back into its original position for scrubbing it on the other side. Thus, the pile of the rug 57 becomes thoroughly scrubbed on its underside as well as on its upper side. A cyclic scrubbing action is produced flipping the matted pile back and forth many times during one pass of the machine 50.

[0015] Also positioned on the rotor 77 are suction extraction nozzles 93 spaced between the brushes 85 and communicating with the discharge hose 69. The suction extraction nozzles 93 are fixed to the rotor 77 and each is provided with a relatively narrow vacuum extraction slot 95. Each vacuum extraction slot 95 is positioned coplanar with the ends of the brush elements or bristles of the brushes 85 distal from the rotor 77.

[0016] Also mounted on the rotor 77 are a plurality of spray nozzle means 97 for dispensing cleaning or rinsing liquid. Each of the spray nozzle means 97 can be mounted for angular adjustment so as to direct sprays of cleaning or rinsing liquid through individual nozzles 99 onto the rug 57 at different angles. The cleaning or rinsing fluid is conveyed to the nozzle means 97 through the line 67 which leads to a supply of cleaning or rinsing fluid, such as either the feed line 67 or the solution delivery tube 9. [0017] During operation of the cleaning device, the rotor 77 rotates in the direction indicated by arrow 89. As the cleaning liquid is sprayed onto the rug 57 through the nozzles 99, rotating the brushes 85 agitates the pile of the rug 57 in conjunction with the cleaning liquid to loosen dirt in or on the surface. The spent cleaning liquid and loosened dirt are extracted up by the next succeeding suction extraction nozzle 93. Accordingly, the liquid-dwell-time is solely controlled by the machine 50, and not by the rate at which the operator advances the machine 50 over the floor.

[0018] However, known rotary surface cleaning tools are limited in their ability to effectively provide the desired cleaning of target floor surfaces and extraction of soiled cleaning fluid.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019] The foregoing aspects and many of the attendant advantages of this technology will become more readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description, when taken in

conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

[0020] FIG. 1 illustrates a typical prior art professional fluid cleaning system of a type that is typically mounted in a van or truck for mobile servicing of carpets and flooring in homes and businesses;

[0021] FIG. 2 illustrates details of operation of the typical truck-mounted fluid cleaning system illustrated in FIG. 1 ;

[0022] FIG. 3 illustrates one rotary surface cleaning and rinsing machine of the prior art;

[0023] FIG. 4 is another view of the rotary surface cleaning and rinsing machine of the prior art as illustrated in FIG. 3;

[0024] FIG. 5A illustrates a rotary surface cleaning machine in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology for delivery of liquid cleaning fluid to a target surface to be cleaned, such as either carpeting or hard floor surfaces including but not limited to wood, tile, linoleum, and natural stone flooring; [0025] FIG. 5B illustrates a rotary surface cleaning machine in accordance with another embodiment of the present technology having a self-contained fluid collection receptacle;

[0026] FIG. 5C illustrates a flexible baffle in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology;

[0027] FIG. 5D illustrates a bladder in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology;

[0028] FIG. 6 is a side view of the rotary surface cleaning machine illustrated in FIG. 5A, with a plurality of suction extraction shoes more clearly illustrated as being located on a rotary surface cleaning tool and projected from an open lower axial face of a circular housing;

[0029] FIG. 7 is a bottom view of the rotary surface cleaning machine illustrated in FIG. 5A and FIG. 6, with the plurality of suction extraction shoes more clearly illustrated as being located on the rotary surface cleaning tool in the open lower axial face of the circular housing;

[0030] FIG. 8 illustrates the rotary surface cleaning tool of the rotary surface cleaning machine illustrated in FIGS. 5A through FIG. 7, with the rotary surface cleaning tool mounted on the support frame with an on-board power plant;

[0031] FIG. 9 is a partial cross-section view of the rotary surface cleaning machine illustrated in FIG. 5A through FIG. 8, with the rotary surface cleaning tool mounted on the support frame through a rotary coupling;

[0032] FIG. 10 illustrates the rotary surface cleaning tool of the rotary surface cleaning machine illustrated in FIG. 5A through FIG. 9, with the rotary surface cleaning tool drivingly connected, for example but without limitation, by a drive gear to the rotary drive output of the on-board power plant;

[0033] FIG. 1 1 illustrates an upper coupling surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool of the rotary surface cleaning machine illustrated in FIG. 5A through FIG. 9, as further illustrated in FIG. 10; [0034] FIG. 12 illustrates a bottom operational surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool of the rotary surface cleaning machine illustrated in FIG. 5A through FIG. 9, as further illustrated in FIG. 10 and FIG. 1 1 ;

[0035] FIG. 13 is a detail view of one embodiment of the suction extraction shoe of the rotary surface cleaning machine illustrated in FIG. 5A through FIG. 9;

[0036] FIG. 14 is a detailed cross-section view of one embodiment of the suction extraction shoe illustrated in FIG. 13, with the suction extraction shoe shown as having a leading surface and a trailing surface as a function of the rotational direction of the rotary surface cleaning tool;

[0037] FIG. 15 illustrates the bottom operational surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool of the rotary surface cleaning machine illustrated in FIG. 5A through FIG. 9, having the suction extraction shoe with an optional raised leading surface portion and a relatively lower trailing surface portion as illustrated in FIG. 13 and FIG. 14;

[0038] FIG. 16 illustrates the bottom operational surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool of the rotary surface cleaning machine illustrated in FIG. 5A through FIG. 9, having a spiral pattern of cleaning solution delivery spray nozzle arrays of individual delivery holes, with each spray nozzle array consisting of one to about four individual delivery holes, and with the individual spray nozzle arrays positioned in a spiral pattern across the bottom operational surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool;

[0039] FIG. 17 is a detailed view of another embodiment of the suction extraction shoe of the rotary surface cleaning machine illustrated in FIG. 5A through FIG. 9, with the leading surface not including the optional raised portion but is rather substantially coplanar with the trailing surface, but the leading surface rather includes one or more bristle brushes in one or more rows arranged along an outermost portion thereof;

[0040] FIG. 18 is a detailed cross-section view of the embodiment of the suction extraction shoe illustrated in FIG. 17;

[0041] FIG. 19 illustrates the operational surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool of the rotary surface cleaning machine illustrated in FIG. 5A through FIG. 9, with the suction extraction shoes configured with substantially coplanar leading and trailing surfaces, and the shoe leading surfaces have one or more of the bristle brushes in one or more rows arranged along the outermost portions thereof; [0042] FIG. 20 illustrates a rotary surface cleaning tool of the rotary surface cleaning machine illustrated in FIG. 5A through FIG. 9, with each suction extraction shoe supported in the bottom operational surface by a biasing device structured for individually biasing or "floating" each suction extraction shoe outwardly relative to the bottom operational surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool;

[0043] FIG. 21 is a cross-section view of the rotary surface cleaning tool of the rotary surface cleaning machine illustrated in FIG. 5A through FIG. 9, with the biasing device for individually biasing or "floating" each suction extraction shoe outwardly relative to the bottom operational surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool being structured, by example and without limitation, as a resilient cushion, such as a closed foam rubber cushion of about one-quarter inch thickness or thereabout, that is positioned between a flange portion of each shoe and the rotary surface cleaning tool;

[0044] FIG. 22 is a detail view of another embodiment of the suction extraction shoe of the rotary surface cleaning machine illustrated in FIG. 5A through FIG. 9, with each suction extraction shoe structured for accomplishing the "washboard" scrubbing effect of the moveable target surface, i.e. carpet surface, independently of the next consecutive suction extraction shoe;

[0045] FIG. 23 is a detailed cross-section view of the embodiment of the suction extraction shoe illustrated in FIG. 22, with the suction extraction shoe shown as having the optional relatively lower or recessed portion formed on the leading surface and the relatively raised portion is formed on the trailing surface as a function of the reversed clockwise rotational direction of the rotary surface cleaning tool; and

[0046] FIG. 24 illustrates the bottom operational surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool of the rotary surface cleaning machine illustrated in FIG. 5A through FIG. 9, having the suction extraction shoe formed with the optional relatively lower or recessed surface portion on its leading surface, and the optional relatively raised surface portion formed on the trailing surface as illustrated in FIG. 22 and FIG. 23.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0047] The present technology is directed generally to a rotary surface cleaning machine for cleaning floors, including both carpeted floors and uncarpeted hard floor surfaces, such as wood, tile, linoleum and natural stone flooring. The rotary surface cleaning machine has a rotary surface cleaning tool mounted on a frame and coupled for a high speed rotary motion relative to the frame. The rotary surface cleaning tool has a substantially circular operational surface that performs the cleaning operation. The rotary surface cleaning tool is driven by an on-board power plant to rotate at a high rate. The rotary surface cleaning tool is coupled to a supply of pressurized hot liquid solution of cleaning fluid and a powerful vacuum suction source. In particular embodiments, the cleaning machine also includes a self-contained receptacle for carrying post-cleaning wastewater.

[0048] According to one aspect of the present technology a plurality of individual arrays of cleaning solution delivery spray nozzles are substantially uniformly angularly distributed across the operational surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool, the arrays of spray nozzles being coupled in fluid communication with a pressurized flow of cleaning fluid through a plurality of individual liquid cleaning fluid distribution channels of a cleaning fluid distribution manifold portion of the rotary surface cleaning tool. Each of the plurality of individual arrays of cleaning solution delivery spray nozzles includes a plurality of individual delivery spray nozzles that are radially oriented across the substantially circular operational surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool, and each individual array of the spray nozzles extends across a portion of the operational surface that is substantially less than an annular portion thereof extended between an inner radial limit and an outer radial limit. Individual ones of the arrays of spray nozzles are positioned in a substantially spiral pattern across the annular portion of the operational surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool between the inner radial limit of the annular portion and receding therefrom over the annular portion toward the outer radial limit thereof.

[0049] This spiral pattern of individual array of spray nozzles can greatly reduce the number of individual delivery spray nozzles that must be supplied on the operational surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool. However, the high speed of rotation can ensure that a sufficient quantity of cleaning solution is delivered since each individual array of spray nozzles is presented to the target floor area at least one, two or several times each second. The spray nozzles are typically expensive to drill or otherwise form because they are only about 1/10,000th of an inch in diameter. Therefore, a large cost savings is gained, while the delivery of the cleaning solution does not suffer. Forming the array of spray nozzles in the spiral pattern so that the individual array of spray nozzles covers only a fractional portion of the operational surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool can also ensure that the cleaning solution is delivered with substantially uniform pressure across the entire radius of the rotary surface cleaning tool, without resorting to special design features normally required in the prior art to provide uniform pressure across each spray nozzle array that extends across at least a large portion of the radius of the rotary surface cleaning tool, or else the entire radius.

[0050] According to another aspect of the present technology a plurality of suction extraction shoes are also substantially uniformly angularly distributed across the operational surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool alternately between the arrays of cleaning solution delivery spray nozzles and are projected from the operational surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool by a biasing device that is structured for individually biasing each suction extraction shoe outwardly relative to a bottom operational surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool. For example, a resilient cushion, such as a closed foam rubber cushion of about one-quarter inch thickness or thereabout, is positioned between a flange portion of each shoe and the rotary surface cleaning tool.

[0051] Each of the suction extraction shoes is further formed with a fluid extraction passage presented in a position adjacent to the operational surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool. The fluid extraction passage of each suction extraction shoe communicates through one of a plurality of plenum branch passages within the rotary surface cleaning tool with a vacuum plenum that is in fluid communication with the vacuum suction source.

[0052] According to another aspect of the present technology the rotary surface cleaning tool has a target surface scrubbing device that can cause a washboard-type scrubbing effect of a moveable target surface to be cleaned, i.e., a carpet. The target surface scrubbing means causes oscillations of the moveable target surface alternately toward and away from the operational surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool by alternate application of vacuum suction pulling the carpet toward the operational surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool and application of compression by the next consecutive shoe pushing the carpet away from the operational surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool. [0053] According to another aspect of the present technology the target surface scrubbing device is one or both of (a) a relatively raised surface portion of each suction extraction shoe that projects further from the operational surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool than a relatively lower surface portion thereof, and (b) one or more rows of bristle brushes arranged along a surface portion of each suction extraction shoe and projected further from the operational surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool than a surface of the corresponding suction extraction shoe. The relatively raised surface portion of each suction extraction shoe, or the one or more rows of bristle brushes, whichever is present, forms the leading surface portion of the suction extraction shoe as a function of a direction of the rotary motion of the operational surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool, while the relatively lower surface or a brushless portion forms the trailing surface portion of the suction extraction shoe.

[0054] When present, the rows of bristle brushes provide a more aggressive cleaning action in cleaning when provided in combination with fluid cleaning of carpet or other target flooring surface. Furthermore, when present the optional raised bristle brushes effectively raise bottom operational surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool slightly away from a target floor surface so that the rotary surface cleaning machine can be alternated between carpeting and hard floor surfaces such as wood, tile, linoleum, and natural stone flooring, without possibility of scarring or other damage to either the operational surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool or the hard floor surfaces.

[0055] Other aspects of the present technology are detailed herein. In the Figures, like numerals indicate like elements.

[0056] FIG. 5A illustrates a rotary surface cleaning machine 100 of a type for delivery of liquid cleaning fluid to a target surface to be cleaned, such as either carpeting or hard floor surfaces such as wood, tile, linoleum, and natural stone flooring. The rotary surface cleaning machine 100 is coupled to draw liquid cleaning fluid through the cleaning solution delivery tube 9 from the supply 23 of liquid cleaning solution in the cabinet 17.

[0057] The rotary surface cleaning machine 100 is optionally a stand-alone unit coupled to a supply of pressurized hot liquid solution of cleaning fluid and having an on-board motor or other power plant coupled for driving a fan assembly for generating a suction as, for example, a rotary tool for cleaning surfaces disclosed by U.S. Pat. No. 4,182,001 , which is incorporated herein by reference. Alternatively, the rotary surface cleaning machine 100 is a part of a truck-mounted fluid cleaning system such as illustrated in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 and disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,243,914, which is incorporated herein by reference. When part of a truck-mounted fluid cleaning system, the rotary surface cleaning machine 100 is coupled to the vacuum return hose 19 and the truck-mounted vacuum source 25 by means of an exhaust pipe or hose 102 coupled to an exhaust port 104. Fluid extraction suction is generated by the vacuum force supplied by the vacuum source 25. The soiled cleaning fluid extracted from the carpet or rug 57 is drawn off through the exhaust port 104 and carried through the flexible vacuum return hose 19 to the main waste receptacle 3.

[0058] As illustrated here by example and without limitation, the rotary surface cleaning machine 100 includes a support frame member 106, which may be supported by a wheel assembly 108. The support frame 106 carries a substantially circular housing 1 10 having its lower axial face open at 112 with this face 1 12 being disposed substantially parallel to the surface which is to be cleaned, such as the rug 57 (Figure 3). A pivotally mounted handle assembly 114 is used by the operator during operation for manipulating the machine 100. The handle assembly 1 14 supports one or more operating control mechanisms mounted thereon for the convenience of the operator. For example, one flow control mechanism 1 16 regulates a flow of cleaning fluid through the cleaning solution delivery tube 9. A conventional quick connection can be used for supplying the liquid cleaning solution. Another vacuum control mechanism 1 18 can be used to regulate the suction extraction of spent cleaning liquid and loosened dirt. A rotary control mechanism 120 can be used to regulate the starting and stopping of the rotary surface cleaning tool through control of an on-board power plant 122, such as an electric motor or other power plant, mounted on the support frame 106.

[0059] A rotary surface cleaning tool 124 is configured as a large rotor that is journaled with the support frame 106 for a high speed rotary motion within the circular housing 1 10. The on-board power plant 122 is coupled for driving the high speed rotary motion of the rotary surface cleaning tool 24.

[0060] A plurality of suction extraction shoes 126 are located on the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 and project from the open lower axial face 1 12 of the circular housing 110. Each suction extraction shoe 126 is coupled in fluid communication with the vacuum source 25 through the exhaust port 104 and the exhaust pipe or hose 102 for the suction extraction of spent cleaning liquid and loosened dirt.

[0061] FIG. 5B illustrates an embodiment of a rotary surface cleaning machine 500 in accordance with the present technology. As shown in FIG. 5B, the rotary surface cleaning machine 500 can include a base assembly 510, handle assembly 514, an on-board recovery tank 501 , a drive motor 503 (e.g., having functions similar to those of the power plant 122), a vacuum blower 504, a discharge pump 505, and a pump/blower housing 506. As shown in FIG. 5B, the recovery tank 501 can be mounted on or otherwise carried by a support frame 507. The recovery tank 501 can further include a tank lid 502 to prevent accidental fluid spills. In some embodiments, the drive motor 503 can be surrounded by or placed within the recovery tank 501. For example, the drive motor 503 can be positioned in a hollow space defined by the recovery tank 501 (as shown in Figure 5B). The arrangement can effectively reduce the heat generated by the drive motor 503 and thus can enhance the overall performance of the rotary surface cleaning machine 500. The recovery tank 501 is in fluid communication with an exhaust port 508. The soiled cleaning fluid or waste water extracted from the carpet or rug 57 (Figure 3) can be drawn off through the exhaust port 508 (e.g., having functions similar to those of the exhaust port 104 shown in Figure 5A) to the recovery tank 501 for temporary storage. When appropriate (e.g., when the base assembly 510 is not in operation), the soiled cleaning fluid stored in the recovery tank 501 can be directed to a drain, a sewer, or another waste receptacle through flexible hoses, pipes, channels, or devices with similar structures. In certain

embodiments, the shape of the handle assembly 514 can be selected to accommodate the recovery tank 501. For example, the handle assembly 514 can be curved, bent or twisted in a manner corresponding to the shape of the recovery tank 501. The pump/blower housing 506 can accommodate the vacuum blower 503 and the discharge pump 505. In some embodiments, the pump/blower housing 506 can protect the vacuum blower 503 and the discharge pump 505 from accidental impacts. In certain embodiments, the pump/blower housing 506 can be integrally formed with the recovery tank 501. [0062] In some embodiments, the rotary surface cleaning machine 500 can have a controller or timer that can monitor the operation thereof. The controller can be coupled to a notification unit that generates signals to a user or an operator of the rotary surface cleaning machine 500 in response to an operational event (e.g., an operation lasting a pre-determined time period, or a full recovery tank, discussed in detail below). For example, when a user continuously operates the rotary surface cleaning machine 500 for a predetermined time period (e.g., 10 minutes, see explanation below), the controller can instruct the notification unit to notify the user that the recovery tank 501 may be full of collected cleaning fluid. For example, the notification unit can send signals to the user. Examples of signals include playing a sound, turning on an indication light, or displaying an image on a display. In some embodiments, the pre-determined time period can be decided based on the total volume of the recovery tank 501 and a recovery rate (e.g. , an amount of fluid that can be collected within a time unit, such as gallon per minute) of the cleaning fluid. For example, if the recovery tank 501 can contain 10 gallons of cleaning fluid and the recovery rate is around 1 gallon per minute, then the predetermined time period can be determined as 10 minutes. In other embodiments, the controller can be positioned inside the recovery tank 501 and can monitor a status of the recovery tank 501. For example, when the controller detects that the collected cleaning fluid in the recovery tank 501 exceeds a certain level (e.g. the maximum capacity or 2/3 of the maximum capacity), the controller can stop the operation (e.g., turning off the drive motor 503 and the vacuum blower 504) and instruct the notification unit to notify the user of the rotary surface cleaning machine 500.

[0063] FIG. 5C illustrates a flexible baffle in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology and FIG. 5D illustrates a bladder in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. As shown in Figure 5C, the recovery tank 501 can include a flexible baffle or divider 516 to divide the recovery tank 501 into first and second compartments 520, 522 that are not in fluid communication with each other. The flexible baffle 516 can be made from a flexible and/or stretchable plastic or any other suitable materials. In some embodiments, the position of the flexible baffle can be adjusted or shifted to produce various compartments sizes (e.g., the first compartment 520 can have a 20% volume of the recovery tank 501 , while the second compartment 522 can have a 80% volume of the recovery tank 501 , or vice versa). As shown in Figure 5D, the recovery tank 501 can include a bladder 518 positioned therein such that the recovery tank 501 is divided into two compartments 520, 522. The first compartment 520 of the recovery tank 501 can be used for storing clean water (e.g., can an additional supply for the cleaning fluid) or a certain type of cleaning fluid (e.g. , with different cleaning chemicals and/or different concentration of the cleaning fluid supplied by the supply 23). In some embodiments, the first compartment 520 of the recovery tank 501 can store the same cleaning fluid as delivered by the supply 23 (Figure 5A). In some embodiments, the stored clean water can be used to mix with the liquid cleaning solution delivered by the delivery tube 9 before the mixture enters into the rotary surface cleaning tool 124. In other embodiments, the stored clean water can be supplied directly to the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 by any suitable device (e.g., a flexible tube). The second compartment 522 of the recovery tank 501 is in fluid communication with the exhaust port 508 and can store the soiled cleaning fluid (e.g. can function as a recovery tank as discussed above).

[0064] In various embodiments, the rotary surface cleaning machine 500 can include a heat exchanger (not shown) positioned adjacent to the vacuum blower 504, the discharge pump 505, and/or the drive motor 503. The heat exchanger can utilize the heat generated by the vacuum blower 504, the discharge pump 505, and/or the drive motor 503 to increase or maintain the temperature of the liquid cleaning solution delivered by the delivery tube 9 at a predetermined temperature. For example, in some embodiments, elevating the liquid cleaning solution to be within a pre-selected temperature range can improve the efficiency with which the solution cleans the carpet or other target surface. In some embodiments, at least a portion of the heat exchanger can be positioned within the pump/blower housing 506. The heat exchanger can be integrally formed with the housing 506. In some embodiments, the heat exchanger can be positioned adjacent to the drive motor 503 and surrounded by the recovery tank 501.

[0065] One advantage of the recovery tank 501 is that it can allow users to operate the rotary surface cleaning machine 500 without connecting the exhaust port 508 to a drain, a sewer, or another waste receptacle. Specifically, by temporarily containing the soiled cleaning fluid or waste water, the recovery tank 501 allows users to operate the rotary surface cleaning machine 500 in remote sites where there is no suitable arrangement for containing waste water, or where there is no economically- feasible arrangement for connecting the exhaust port 508 of the rotary surface cleaning machine 100 to a drain, a sewer, or another waste receptacle. In addition, the recovery tank 501 also allows users to operate the rotary surface cleaning machine 500 in an environmentally-sensitive area where discharging soiled or waste water may be prohibited.

[0066] As shown in FIG. 5B, the vacuum blower 504 and the discharge pump 505 can be positioned in the pump/blower housing 506. The pump/blower housing 506 can be mounted on the support frame 507 (e.g., having functions similar to those of the support frame 106) and positioned adjacent to the recovery tank 501 . In other embodiments, the vacuum blower 504 and the discharge pump 505 can be mounted on the support frame 507 directly. The vacuum blower 504 can draw air with soiled or waste water from the exhaust port 508 to the recovery tank 501. The discharge pump 505 can draw soiled or waste water from the recovery tank 501 to a drain, a sewer, or another waste receptacle.

[0067] FIG. 6 is a side view of the rotary surface cleaning machine 100 illustrated in FIG. 5A, with the plurality of suction extraction shoes 126 more clearly illustrated as being located on the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 and projected from the open lower axial face 1 12 of the circular housing 1 10.

[0068] FIG. 7 is a bottom view of the rotary surface cleaning machine 100 illustrated in FIG. 5A and FIG. 6, with the plurality of suction extraction shoes 126 more clearly illustrated as being located on the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 in the open lower axial face 1 12 of the circular housing 1 10.

[0069] As disclosed herein, a rotary drive output 128 of the on-board power plant 122 can be coupled for driving the high speed rotary motion of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124. For example, the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 can be rotationally mounted within the housing 1 10 and drivingly connected, for example but without limitation by any of: a drive belt, a drive chain, or a drive gear, to the rotary drive output 128 of the on-board power plant 122 mounted on the frame 106. Here, by example and without limitation, the rotary drive output 128 of the on-board power plant 122 is a drive gear coupled to drive a circumferential tooth gear 130 disposed about the circumference of rotary surface cleaning tool 124. Accordingly, drive devices, other than the rotary gear drive disclosed herein by example and without limitation are also included within the present disclosure and may be substituted without deviating from the scope of the present technology. The power plant 122 thus serves to turn the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 at high speed rates, under the control of the rotary control mechanism 120.

[0070] The rotary surface cleaning tool 124 includes a plurality of arrays 132 of cleaning solution delivery spray nozzles each coupled in fluid connection to the pressurized flow of cleaning fluid delivered through the cleaning solution delivery tube 9. The spray nozzle arrays 132 deliver pressurized, hot (e.g., at a certain predetermined temperature) liquid solution of cleaning fluid to a target carpeting or hard floor surface. The spray nozzle arrays 132 are distributed on the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 in groups positioned between the plurality of suction extraction shoes 126. Accordingly, when the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 turns at 150 RPM during operation, each spray nozzle array 132 delivers the pressurized hot liquid solution of cleaning fluid to the target floor surface at least one, two or more times each second. Consecutively with the arrays 132 of spray nozzles, each of the plurality of suction extraction shoes 126 also covers the same area of the target floor as the spray nozzle arrays 132 at least one, two or more times each second. Furthermore, each of the plurality of suction extraction shoes 126 includes a relatively narrow suction or vacuum extraction passage 136 oriented substantially radially of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124.

[0071] FIG. 8 illustrates the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 of the rotary surface cleaning machine 100 illustrated in FIGS. 5A, 5B, 6 and 7, and the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 is mounted on the support frame 106 with the on-board power plant 122. Here, by example and without limitation, the rotary drive output 128 of the onboard power plant 122 is a drive gear coupled to drive the circumferential tooth gear 130 disposed about the circumference of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124. However, as disclosed herein, drive devices other than the rotary gear drive are also included within the present disclosure and may be substituted without deviating from the present technology.

[0072] FIG. 9 is a partial cross-section view of the rotary surface cleaning machine 100 illustrated in FIG. 5A through FIG. 8, and the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 is mounted on the support frame 106 through a rotary coupling. For example, the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 is mounted through a cylindrical sleeve extension 138 of a rotor hub member 140 that is journaled in a bushing 142.

[0073] Each of the plurality of spray nozzle arrays 132 is coupled in fluid communication with the pressurized hot liquid solution of cleaning fluid through a cleaning fluid distribution manifold 144 that is in fluid communication with the cleaning solution delivery tube 9. The cleaning fluid distribution manifold 144 includes a central sprue hole 146 for receiving the pressurized cleaning fluid and an expansion chamber 148 for reducing the pressure of the cleaning fluid to below a delivery pressure provided by the supply of pressurized cleaning solution, such as but not limited to the supply 23 of pressurized cleaning solution in the cabinet 17 of a truck-mounted system, or another supply of pressurized cleaning solution. The expansion chamber 148 is connected for distributing the liquid cleaning fluid outward along a plurality of radial liquid cleaning fluid distribution channels 150 for delivery by the plurality of spray nozzle arrays 132 uniformly distributed across a bottom cleaning surface 72 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124. Individual radial cleaning fluid distribution channels 150 are uniformly angularly distributed within rotary surface cleaning tool 124, and each of cleaning fluid distribution channels 150 communicates with one of the plurality of spray nozzle arrays 132 for delivery thereto of the pressurized hot liquid solution of cleaning fluid. The radial liquid cleaning fluid distribution channels 150 are optionally extended to an outer circumference 124a of the large rotor of the surface cleaning tool 124 for ease of manufacturing, and later sealed with plugs 151.

[0074] Between adjacent arrays 132 of the spray nozzles are the distributed radially-oriented suction or vacuum extraction passage 136 each coupled to a vacuum source for retrieving a quantity of the soiled cleaning fluid. The radially-oriented plurality of suction extraction shoes 126 are uniformly distributed angularly about the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 for uniformly angularly distributing the suction or vacuum extraction passages 136 about the rotary surface cleaning tool 124. The exhaust port 104 communicates with a vacuum plenum 152 within the rotor hub member 140, which in turn communicates through respective suction extraction shoes 126 with each suction or vacuum extraction passage 136. For example, the radially- oriented suction or vacuum extraction passages 136 communicate through individual vacuum plenum branch passages 154 that each communicate in turn with a central cylindrical passage 156 within the rotor hub member 140. The central passage 156 communicates at its upper end through the exhaust port 104 with the exhaust pipe or hose 102.

[0075] As indicated by a rotational arrow 158, the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 is rotated at a high speed during application of cleaning solution to the target surface. The rotary surface cleaning tool 124 successfully delivers a generally uniform distribution of liquid cleaning solution to a target surface, such as the rug 57, between the quantity of arrays 132 of spray nozzles and the large number of passes, i.e. at least one, two or more passes per second, of each spray nozzle array 132 occasioned by the high rotational speed rotary surface cleaning tool 124 regardless of any lack of uniformity in the instantaneous fluid delivery of any individual spray nozzle array 132. Additionally, the instantaneous fluid delivery of each individual spray nozzles array 132 tends to be generally uniform at least because the length of the spray nozzle array 132 is minimal as compared with the size of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124.

[0076] FIG. 10 illustrates the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 of the rotary surface cleaning machine 100 illustrated in FIG. 5A through FIG. 9, and the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 is drivingly connected, for example but without limitation, by a drive gear to the rotary drive output 128 of the on-board power plant 122. Here, by example and without limitation, the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 is a large rotor that is fixedly attached to a rotary drive member 160 through a fixed coupling 162, such as a plurality of threaded fasteners (shown) or other conventional fixed coupling means. The rotary drive member 160 includes the circumferential tooth gear 130 disposed about the circumference thereof for operating as the drive gear coupled to the rotary drive output 128 of the on-board power plant 122.

[0077] The rotary drive member 160 is mounted to the cylindrical sleeve extension 138 of the rotor hub member 140 that is in turn journaled in the bushing 142 (see, e.g., FIG.9). The large rotor of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 is fitted with the central sprue hole 146 and includes the expansion chamber 148 and the plurality of individual closed liquid cleaning fluid distribution channels 150, as well as the plurality of spray nozzle arrays 132 that are uniformly distributed across the bottom cleaning surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124. The large rotor of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 also includes individual vacuum plenum branch passages 154 that each communicate in turn with the central cylindrical passage 156 of the rotor hub member 140, as well as the plurality suction or vacuum extraction passages 136 of respective suction extraction shoes 126 located on the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 and projected from the open lower axial face 1 12 of the circular housing 1 10.

[0078] FIG. 1 1 illustrates an upper coupling surface 164 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 of the rotary surface cleaning machine 100 illustrated in FIG. 5A through FIG. 9, as further illustrated in FIG. 10. The large rotor of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 is again illustrated as including the expansion chamber 148 and the plurality of individual closed liquid cleaning fluid distribution channels 150 that communicate with the plurality of spray nozzle arrays 132 distributed across the bottom cleaning surface of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124. Here, the rotary drive member 160 is removed to more clearly show individual vacuum plenum branch passages 154 that each communicates in turn with the central cylindrical passage 156 of the rotor hub member 140. Each individual vacuum plenum branch passage 154 terminates in a fluid extraction passage 166 of about identical radial lengths 168 positioned adjacent to the circumference of the large rotor of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124. In assembly, each shoe 126 is coupled to the lower face of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 with respective suction or vacuum extraction passages 136 in communication with a respective fluid extraction passage 166 of one of the individual vacuum plenum branch passages 154. As illustrated here by example and without limitation, the individual vacuum plenum branch passages 154 optionally include a curved portion 170 inwardly of the respective fluid extraction passage 166. The optional curved portion 170 of the vacuum plenum branch passages 154, when present, operates to urge generation of a Coriolis effect in a suction or vacuum fluid extraction airstream received into the central cylindrical passage 156 of the rotor hub member 140.

[0079] FIG. 12 illustrates a bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 of the rotary surface cleaning machine 100 illustrated in FIG. 5A through FIG. 9, as further illustrated in FIG. 10 and FIG. 1 1 . The large rotor of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 is again illustrated as including the expansion chamber 148 and the plurality of individual closed liquid cleaning fluid distribution channels 150 that communicate with the plurality of spray nozzle arrays 132 distributed across the bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124. The spray nozzle arrays 132 are illustrated here by example and without limitation as radially oriented arrays of a plurality of individual delivery spray nozzles 174 of about 1/10,000th of an inch in diameter formed through the bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124, for example by drilling, into communication with the individual closed liquid cleaning fluid distribution channels 150 for delivery therethrough of the pressurized hot liquid solution of cleaning fluid. As illustrated here by example and without limitation, each spray nozzle array 132 consists of the plurality of individual delivery spray nozzles 174 substantially uniformly distributed over a substantially identical annular portion 176 of the bottom operational surface 172 extended between an inner radial limit 178 and an outer radial limit 180 thereof, and the annular portion 176 covered by the delivery spray nozzles 174 has about the same radial extents as the radial length 168 of the fluid extraction passages 166 of the suction extraction shoes 126, and the inner radial limit 178 is about identical with an inner terminus 166a of the fluid extraction passages 166 and the outer radial limit 180 is about identical with an outer terminus 166b of the fluid extraction passages 166. Therefore, the delivery spray nozzles 174 are distributed over the annular portion 176 that is substantially radially coextensive with the fluid extraction passages 166.

[0080] Each individual fluid extraction passage 166 is positioned adjacent to the circumference of the large rotor of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 and oriented substantially radially thereof approximately halfway between the adjacent cleaning solution delivery spray nozzle arrays 132. As illustrated here by example and without limitation, each individual fluid extraction passage 166 is positioned in a shoe recess 182 formed into the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 below the bottom operational surface 172 thereof. Each shoe recess 182 is appropriately sized and shaped to receive thereinto one suction extraction shoe 126 with its surrounding flange portion 184 being substantially flush with the bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124.

[0081] Optionally, a plurality of lightening holes or recesses 186 are provided to reduce the weight of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124.

[0082] FIG. 13 is a detail view of one embodiment of the suction extraction shoe 126 of the rotary surface cleaning machine 100 illustrated in FIG. 5A through FIG. 9. As disclosed herein above, the suction extraction shoe 126 is structured to sit in the recess 182 flush or below the bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124. Accordingly, the flange portion 184 surrounding each suction extraction shoe 126 is structured for being fixed to the bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 within the shoe recess 182. Optionally, the suction extraction shoe 126 may include a sealing member 187 structured to fit into preformed slots in the bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 and form a substantially airtight seal therewith to concentrate the force of the fluid extraction suction generated by the vacuum force supplied by the vacuum source 25 into the individual fluid extraction passages 136 of the shoes 126.

[0083] Here, the suction extraction shoe 126 is shown as having a leading surface 188 and a trailing surface 190 as a function of the rotational direction (arrow 158) of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124. As shown here, the leading surface 188 is shown by example and without limitation as having an optional relatively raised portion 192 thereof that stands out further from the bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 than a relatively lower or recessed portion 194 of the trailing surface 190. When the optional raised portion 192 of the suction extraction shoe 126 is present, the optional raised portion 192 of the suction extraction shoe 126 causes a "washboard" scrubbing effect of a moveable target surface, i.e. carpet surface, and up- down oscillations of the moveable carpet are caused by alternate application of vacuum suction and shoe compression of the carpet 57. In other words, the target carpet is initially sucked up toward the recessed trailing portion 194 of the shoe 126 and the operational surface 172 by one suction extraction passage 136, and then squeezed back down by the optional raised portion 192 of the leading surface 188 of a next consecutive suction extraction shoe 126, as illustrated in FIG. 15, before being immediately sucked up again by the suction extraction passage 136 of the same next consecutive suction extraction shoe 126. This alternate vacuum suction and shoe compression of the carpet 57 is repeated by each next consecutive suction extraction shoe 126 as a function of the combination of recessed trailing portion 194 and raised leading surface portion 192. Since rotary surface cleaning tool 124 turns at a high speed rotary motion these up-down oscillations of the moveable carpet are repeated at least one, two or several times each second, which results in significantly aggressive agitation of the target carpet 57 in combination with the fluid cleaning. [0084] Alternatively, the rotational direction (arrow 158) of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 is reversed, whereby the optional raised portion 192 is positioned on the trailing surface 190 as a function of the reversed rotational direction (arrow 158a shown in FIG. 15). Accordingly, the "washboard" scrubbing effect of the moveable target surface, i.e. carpet surface, is accomplished by the recessed leading surface 188 and the optional raised portion 192 of each suction extraction shoe 126 in turn. Furthermore, as illustrated here each suction extraction shoe 126 optionally further includes an extension portion 126a that overhangs an outer end portion 184a of its surrounding flange portion 184. The extension portion 126a permits the extraction passages 136 to extend radially outwardly of the cleaning tool operational surface 172 beyond the radial extent of the fluid extraction passages 166 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124. Accordingly, when the optional extension portion 126a is present, the suction extraction passages 136 extend nearly to the outer circumference 124a of the large rotor of the surface cleaning tool 124, as illustrated in FIG. 15.

[0085] FIG. 14 is a detailed cross-section view of one embodiment of the suction extraction shoe 126 illustrated in FIG. 13, and the suction extraction shoe 126 is shown as having the leading surface 188 and the trailing surface 190 as a function of the rotational direction (arrow 158) of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124. As shown here, the leading surface 188 is shown by example and without limitation as having the optional raised portion 192 thereof that stands out further from the bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 than the relatively lower or recessed portion 194 of the trailing surface 190.

[0086] FIG. 15 illustrates the bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 of the rotary surface cleaning machine 100 illustrated in FIG. 5A through FIG. 9, having the suction extraction shoe 126 with the optional raised surface portion 192 formed on the leading surface 188 and the relatively lower or recessed surface portion 194 formed on the trailing surface 190 as illustrated in FIG. 13 and FIG. 14. Here, the suction extraction shoe 126 is illustrated having the optional raised surface portion 192 leading and the relatively lower or recessed surface portion 194 trailing as a function of the optional counterclockwise rotational direction (arrow 158) of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124. It will be understood that suction extraction shoes 126 and the rotational direction 158 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 is optional and can be reversed such that the functional leading surface 188 and functional trailing surface 190 portions thereof are maintained. Accordingly, reversal of rotational direction 158 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 disclosed herein by example and without limitation is also contemplated and may be substituted without deviating from the scope and intent of the present technology. The suction extraction shoes 126 are attached to the bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 by an attachment means 196, such as but not limited to one or more threaded fasteners.

[0087] FIG. 16 illustrates the bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 of the rotary surface cleaning machine 100 illustrated in FIG. 5A through FIG. 9, having a spiral pattern of the cleaning solution delivery spray nozzle arrays 132 of individual delivery spray nozzles 174, and each spray nozzle array 132a, 132b, 132c, 132d and 132e consists of one to about four individual delivery spray nozzles 174, and individual spray nozzle arrays 132a, 132b, 132c, 132d, 132e are positioned in a spiral pattern 198 across the bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 that is substantially radially coextensive with the radial lengths 137 of the fluid extraction passages 136 of the shoes 126 between the extremes of the annular portion 176 between the inner radial limit 178 and the outer radial limit 180. The spiral pattern 198 of the spray nozzle array 132a, 132b, 132c, 132d, and 132e optionally proceeds in a uniform stepwise manner around the bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124, with the nozzle array 132a being nearest to a center point 200 of the operational surface 172 and substantially radially coextensive with the inner radial limit 178. Each of the consecutive nozzle array 132a, 132b, 132c, 132d, and 132e steps further outwardly therefrom toward the outer radial limit 180 of the operational surface 172. Alternatively, the stepwise manner of the spiral pattern 198 of the spray nozzle arrays 132a, 132b, 132c, 132d, and 132e alternatively proceeds in a non-uniform manner (shown) and one or more of the spray nozzle arrays 132a, 132b, 132c, 132d, and 132e are optionally out of step with an adjacent one of the spray nozzle arrays 132a, 132b, 132c, 132d, and 132e. Thus, the spiral pattern 198 of spray nozzle arrays 132a, 132b, 132c, 132d, and 132e is optionally either uniformly stepwise between the inner radial limit 178 and the outer radial limit 180 of the radial lengths 168 of the fluid extraction passages 136 of the shoes 126, or else the spiral pattern 198 proceeds in a non-uniform manner. The psiral pattern 198 of the spray nozzle arrays 132a, 132b, 132c, 132d, and 132e proceeds in either a clockwise manner between the inner radial limit 178 and the outer radial limit 180 of the radial lengths 137 of the fluid extraction passages 136 of the shoes 126, or else the spiral pattern 198 proceeds in a counterclockwise manner without departing from the spirit and scope of the present technology.

[0088] The spiral pattern 198 of the spray nozzle arrays 132a, 132b, 132c, 132d, and 132e is effective for delivery of cleaning solution at least because, as disclosed herein, the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 turns at a high rate during operation, whereby each spray nozzle array 132a, 132b, 132c, 132d, 132e delivers the pressurized hot liquid solution of cleaning fluid to the target floor surface at least one, two or more times each second. Furthermore, dividing the spray nozzle arrays 132 into several spray nozzle arrays 132a, 132b, 132c, 132d, and 132e reduces the number of the individual delivery spray nozzles 174 that have to be drilled or otherwise formed through the bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 by a factor of the number of the spray nozzle arrays 132 otherwise provided in the rotary surface cleaning tool 124. Here, as illustrated in FIG. 12, there are five radial rows of the spray nozzle arrays 132 across the operational surface 172. By dividing the spray nozzle arrays 132 into several spray nozzle arrays 132a, 132b, 132c, 132d, and 132e, the total number of the individual delivery spray nozzles 174 that have to be provided in the bottom operational surface 172 is reduced by a factor of five, so that only one-fifth or twenty percent of the number of the delivery spray nozzles 174 that have to be provided in the bottom operational surface 172. The delivery spray nozzles 174 are very expensive to drill or otherwise form because they are only about 1/10,000th of an inch in diameter. Therefore, a large amount of cost savings is gained, while the delivery of cleaning solution does not suffer. A further advantage of dividing the spray nozzle arrays 132 into several spray nozzle arrays 132a, 132b, 132c, 132d, and 132e is that the cleaning solution is delivered with substantially uniform pressure across the entire radius of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 between the inner radial limit 178 and the outer radial limit 180, without resorting to special design features normally required in the prior art to provide uniform pressure across each spray nozzle arrays 132 that extends all of the entire annular portion 176 between the inner radial limit 178 and the outer radial limit 180 and substantially radially coextensively with the fluid extraction passages 136 of the suction extraction shoes 126. Therefore, the optional spiral pattern 198 of the spray nozzle arrays 132a, 132b, 132c, 132d, and 132e, when present, provides both the economic advantage not known in the prior art of forming fewer expensive delivery spray nozzles 174 for multiple spray nozzle arrays 132 provided across the entire length of the annular portion 176 coextensively with the fluid extraction passages 136 of the shoes 126, and the technological advantage not known in the prior art of providing substantially uniform cleaning solution delivery pressure across the bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 for the entire length of the annular portion 176 without developing special fluid delivery features normally required in the prior art.

[0089] Optionally, one or more bristle brushes 202 may be provided across the bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 adjacent to the cleaning solution delivery spray nozzle arrays 132, or the optional spiral pattern 198 of the spray nozzle arrays 132a, 132b, 132c, 132d, and 132e, when present. The bristle brushes 202 may be provided substantially radially coextensively with the fluid extraction passages 136 of the suction extraction shoes 126 and either the adjacent cleaning solution delivery spray nozzle arrays 132, or the optional spiral pattern 198 of the spray nozzle arrays 132a, 132b, 132c, 132d, and 132e, when present. Optionally, either multiple radial rows bristle brushes 202 may be provided, or single radial rows of bristle brushes 202 may be provided. The bristle brushes 202 both (1 ) separate fibers of the rug 57 for dry removal of dust, dirt and other particles, and (2) provide a more aggressive cleaning action in cleaning when provided in combination with fluid cleaning of a carpet or other target flooring surface.

[0090] FIG. 17 is a detail view of another embodiment of the suction extraction shoe 126 of the rotary surface cleaning machine 100 illustrated in FIG. 5A through FIG. 9, and FIG. 18 is a detailed cross-section view of the embodiment of the suction extraction shoe 126 illustrated in FIG. 17. Here, the leading surface 188 does not include the optional raised portion 192. Therefore, the leading surface 188 of the suction extraction shoe 126 is substantially coplanar with the trailing surface 190. However, the leading surface 188 rather includes one or more bristle brushes 204 in one or more rows arranged along an outermost portion 206 thereof. Accordingly, the bristle brushes 204 are substituted for the optional raised portion 192 of the leading surface 188 and stands out further from the bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 than the relatively lower or recessed portion 194 of the trailing surface 190. The raised bristle brushes 204 of the leading surface 188 operate similarly to the optional raised portion 192 disclosed herein. When the optional raised bristle brushes 204 of the suction extraction shoe 126 are present on the leading surface 188, optional raised bristle brushes 204 cause a "washboard" scrubbing effect of the moveable target surface, i.e. carpet surface, and up-down oscillations of the moveable carpet is caused by alternately application of vacuum suction and shoe compression of the carpet. In other words, the target carpet is sucked up into the narrow suction or vacuum extraction passage 136, and then squeezed back down by the optional raised bristle brushes 204 of the leading surface 188 of next consecutive suction extraction shoe 126, as illustrated in FIG. 15.

[0091] Similarly to the optional bristle brushes 202 on the bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124, the optional raised bristle brushes 204 on the leading surfaces 188 of the suction extraction shoes 126 provide a more aggressive cleaning action in cleaning when provided in combination with fluid cleaning of a carpet or other target flooring surface.

[0092] Furthermore, when present, the optional raised bristle brushes 204 effectively raise the bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 slightly away from the target floor surface. Accordingly, the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 can be alternated between carpeting and hard floor surfaces such as wood, tile, linoleum, and natural stone flooring, without possibility of scarring or other damage to either the operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 or the hard floor surfaces.

[0093] FIG. 19 illustrates the operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124, and the suction extraction shoes 126 are configured with the substantially coplanar leading and trailing surfaces 188, 190 and the leading surfaces 188 are configured with one or more bristle brushes 204 in one or more rows arranged along the outermost portions 206 thereof.

[0094] FIG. 20 illustrates the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 as disclosed herein, and each suction extraction shoe 126 is supported in the bottom operational surface 172 by a biasing means 208 structured for individually biasing each suction extraction shoe 126 outwardly relative to the bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124.

[0095] Additionally, it is generally well known that if a suction slot directly contacts the rug 57 or another floor, the suction tool virtually locks onto the rug 57 or floor and becomes immovable. Therefore, the suction tool must be spaced away from the rug 57 or floor to permit some airflow which prevents such vacuum lock-up. Airflow is also necessary for drying the carpet 57 or floor. However, the airflow must be very near the rug 57 or floor to be effective for drying. Also, excessive airflow decreases the vacuum force supplied by the fluid cleaning system. Thus, there is a trade-off between distancing the suction slot from the rug 57 or floor to prevent vacuum lock-up and ensuring mobility on one hand, and on the other hand positioning the suction slot as near to the rug 57 or floor as possible for maintaining the vacuum force supplied by the fluid cleaning system for maximizing airflow to promote drying.

[0096] As disclosed herein, the suction extraction passages 136 are oriented substantially perpendicular to the counterclockwise or clockwise rotary motion (arrows 158, 158a) of the cleaning tool 124, i.e., oriented substantially radially with respect to the cleaning tool operational surface 172. Here, the suction extraction shoe 126 includes a plurality of shallow vacuum or suction relief grooves 216 formed across its leading surface 188 and oriented substantially perpendicular to the suction extraction passages 136, whereby the suction relief grooves 216 lie substantially along the rotary motion (arrows 158, 158a) of the cleaning tool 124. The shallow suction relief grooves 216 operate to increase airflow to the suction extraction passages 136, while permitting the cleaning tool operational surface 172 to be positioned directly against the rug 57 or floor, whereby moisture extraction is maximized. Another advantage of the orienting suction relief grooves 216 along the rotary motion (arrows 158, 158a) of the cleaning tool 124 is that a carpet pile enters into the suction relief grooves 216 when the cleaning tool operational surface 172 moves across the rug 57. This permits airflow to be pulled through the rug 57 between fiber bundles that make up the carpet pile so that the rotary motion of the cleaning tool 124 is not wasted.

[0097] The quantity and actual dimensions of the suction relief grooves 216 on the suction extraction shoes 126 is subject to several factors, including but not limited to, the size and number of the suction extraction shoes 126 on the operational surface 172 of the rotary cleaning tool 124, width and length dimensions of the suction extraction passages 136, the vacuum force generated by the suction source, and the rotational velocity of the cleaning tool operational surface 172. When the relatively raised portion 192 is present in contrast to the relatively lower or recessed portion 194, the resulting height differences between the leading surface 188 and the trailing surface 190 also affect the quantity and actual dimensions of the suction relief grooves 216 on the suction extraction shoes 126. The suction relief grooves 216 are also optionally positioned on either one or both of the leading surface 188 and trailing surface 190 of the suction extraction shoes 126. When positioned on both the leading surface 188 and trailing surface 190 of the suction extraction shoes 126, the suction relief grooves 216 are also optionally staggered between the leading and trailing surfaces 188, 190 as shown. Distribution of the suction relief grooves 216 is a function of its size, quantity, and relative positioning, and it can be determined for any rotary surface cleaning machine 100 without undue experimentation.

[0098] FIG. 21 is a cross-section view of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 as disclosed herein, and both the leading surface 188 and the trailing surface 190 of the suction extraction shoes 126 are illustrated as including the suction relief grooves 216.

[0099] Here, the biasing device 208 is structured by example and without limitation as a resilient cushion, such as a closed foam rubber cushion of about one-quarter inch thickness or thereabout, that is positioned between the flange portion 184 of each shoe 126 and the rotary surface cleaning tool 24. For example, each shoe recess 182 is recessed deeper into the bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 than a thickness of the shoe flange portion 184, whereby each shoe recess 182 is appropriately sized to receive the resilient biasing cushion 208 between an interface surface 210 of the flange portion 184 of the suction extraction shoe 126 and a floor portion 212 of the shoe recess 182, while a clamping plate 214 is positioned over the shoe flange 184 and arranged substantially flush with the bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124. Accordingly, the resilient biasing device 208 permits each suction extraction shoe 126 to "float" individually relative to the rotary surface cleaning tool 124. Individually "floating" each suction extraction shoe 126 both effectively balances rotary surface cleaning tool 124 and causes each individual suction extraction shoe 126 to be pushed deeper into portions of the carpet 57 that may be positioned over small recesses in a non-flat substrate floor surface. The pushing causes each individual suction extraction shoe 126 deeper into portions of a non-flat smooth floor surface such as natural rock, distressed wood, and other non- flat or pitted floor surfaces. Therefore, individually "floating" each suction extraction shoe 126 in the bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 cleans carpet and non-carpeted smooth floors alike more effectively than cleaning tools having fixed suction extraction shoes, as known in the prior art.

[00100] When present as a closed foam cushion, the biasing device 208 optionally also operates as a sealing device between the suction extraction shoe 126 and the rotary surface cleaning tool 124. Accordingly, the biasing device 208 is structured to form a substantially airtight seal with the shoe recess 182 in the bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 to concentrate the force of the fluid extraction suction generated by the vacuum force supplied by the vacuum source 25 into the individual fluid extraction passages 136 of shoes 126. Optionally, the closed foam cushion biasing device 208 is substituted for the sealing member 187 for sealing the suction extraction shoe 126 relative to the rotary surface cleaning tool 124. However, although disclosed herein by example and without limitation as a closed foam rubber cushion, the biasing device 208 is optionally provided as any resilient biasing structure, including one spring or a series of springs, without deviating from the scope and intent of the present technology. Accordingly, biasing device alternative to the closed foam rubber cushion biasing device 208 disclosed herein by example and without limitation are also contemplated and may be substituted without deviating from the scope and intent of the present technology.

[00101] FIG. 22 is a detail view of another embodiment of the suction extraction shoe 126 of the rotary surface cleaning machine 100 illustrated in FIG. 5A through FIG. 9, and each suction extraction shoe 126 is structured for accomplishing the "washboard" scrubbing effect of the moveable target surface, i.e. a carpet surface, independently of the next consecutive suction extraction shoe 126. Here, the suction extraction shoe 126 is again shown as having the leading surface 188 and the trailing surface 190 both as a function of the reversed rotational direction (arrow 158a) of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124, shown as clockwise in FIG. 24. As shown here, the leading surface 188 is shown by example and without limitation as having the optional relatively lower or recessed portion 194, while the trailing surface 190 is shown as having the optional raised portion 192 thereof that stands out further from the bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 than the relatively lower or recessed leading surface portion 194.

[00102] When the optional recessed portion 194 and the raised portion 192 of the suction extraction shoe 126 are present on the leading surface 188 and trailing surface 190, respectively, the relative difference in height of the recessed leading portion 194 and the raised trailing portion 192 combines in each suction extraction shoe 126 to independently operate the "washboard" scrubbing effect of a moveable target surface, i.e. a carpet surface, and up-down oscillations of the moveable carpet are caused by alternate application of vacuum suction and shoe compression of the carpet 57. In other words, the target carpet 57 is initially sucked up toward the recessed leading portion 194 of the suction extraction shoe 126 by the action of the suction or vacuum extraction passage 136, and then squeezed back down by the optional raised trailing portion 192 of the trailing surface 190 of the same suction extraction shoe 126, as illustrated in FIG. 24. Each consecutive suction extraction shoe 126 operates independently of the other suction extraction shoes 126 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 to operate the suction or vacuum extraction passage 136 to initially suck up the target carpet 57 toward the recessed leading portion 194, before the raised trailing portion 192 of the same suction extraction shoe 126 consecutively compresses the target carpet 57 back down toward the underlying floor surface. This alternate vacuum suction and shoe compression of the carpet 57 is repeated independently by each consecutive suction extraction shoe 126. Since the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 turns at a high speed rotary motion these up-down oscillations of the moveable carpet are repeated at least one or several times each second, which results in significantly aggressive agitation of the target carpet 57 in combination with the fluid cleaning.

[00103] Additionally, the suction extraction shoe 126 is illustrated having a plurality of shallow vacuum or suction relief grooves 216 formed across the relatively raised portion 192 thereof and oriented substantially perpendicular to the suction extraction passages 136. The suction relief grooves 216 are formed across either the leading surface 188 or the trailing surface 190 as a function of the counterclockwise or clockwise rotary motion (arrows 158, 158a) of the cleaning tool 124. As disclosed herein, the suction extraction passages 136 are oriented substantially radially with respect to the cleaning tool operational surface 172 and substantially perpendicular to the counterclockwise or clockwise rotary motion (arrows 158, 158a) of the cleaning tool 124, whereby the suction relief grooves 216 lie substantially along the rotary motion (arrows 158, 158a) of the cleaning tool 124. The suction relief grooves 216 formed across the relatively raised portion 192 of the suction extraction shoe 126 and oriented substantially radially with respect to the cleaning tool operational surface 172 and along the rotary motion (arrows 158, 158a) of the cleaning tool 124 provide the advantages disclosed herein. The suction relief grooves 216 permit the suction extraction passages 136 of the suction extraction shoes 126 to be positioned as near to the rug 57 or floor as possible for maintaining the vacuum force supplied by the fluid cleaning system for maximizing airflow to promote drying, while preventing vacuum lock-up and ensuring mobility.

[00104] Again, as disclosed herein, the quantity and actual dimensions of the suction relief grooves 216 on the suction extraction shoes 126 are subject to such factors as the size and number of the suction extraction shoes 126 on the operational surface 172 of the rotary cleaning tool 124, the width and length dimensions of the suction extraction passages 136, the vacuum force generated by the suction source, and the rotational velocity of the cleaning tool operational surface 172. When the relatively raised portion 192 is present in contrast to the relatively lower or recessed portion 194 as shown, the resulting height difference between the leading surface 188 and the trailing surface 190 also affects the quantity and actual dimensions of the suction relief grooves 216 on the suction extraction shoes 126. The suction relief grooves 216 are also optionally positioned on the relatively raised portion 192 of either the leading surface 188 or the trailing surface 190 of the suction extraction shoes 126. The distribution of the suction relief grooves 216 is a function of its size, quantity, and relative positioning, and can be determined for any rotary surface cleaning machine 100 without undue experimentation.

[00105] FIG. 23 is a detailed cross-section view of the embodiment of the suction extraction shoe 126 illustrated in FIG. 22, and the suction extraction shoe 126 is shown as having the leading surface 188 and trailing surface 190 as a function of the reversed clockwise rotational direction (arrow 158a) of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124. As shown here, the leading surface 188 is shown by example and without limitation as having the optional relatively lower or recessed portion 194, while the trailing surface 190 is formed with the relatively raised portion 192 thereof that stands out further from the bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 than the relatively lower or recessed portion 194 of the leading surface 188.

[00106] FIG. 24 illustrates the bottom operational surface 172 of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 of the rotary surface cleaning machine 100 illustrated in FIG. 5A through FIG. 9, having the suction extraction shoe 126 with the relatively lower or recessed surface portion 194 formed on the leading surface 188, and the optional raised surface portion 192 formed on the trailing surface 190 as illustrated in FIG. 22 and FIG. 23. Here, the rotational direction of the rotary surface cleaning tool 124 is reversed, whereby the rotary cleaning tool 124 operates in a clockwise direction (arrow 158a) in contrast to the counterclockwise direction 158 illustrated in FIG. 15. As illustrated here, the optional relatively recessed portion 194 is positioned on the leading surface 188 of the suction extraction shoe 124, while the relatively raised portion 192 is positioned on the trailing surface 190 as a function of the reversed clockwise rotational direction (arrow 158a). Accordingly, the "washboard" scrubbing effect of the moveable target carpet 57 is accomplished by each suction extraction shoe 126 as a function of the combination therein of the recessed portion 194 of the leading surface 188 and the raised portion 192 of the trailing surface 190 in turn engaging the movable target carpet 57.

[00107] The present technology also includes methods for cleaning surfaces. Methods in accordance with embodiments of the present technology can include elevating the temperature of a cleaning fluid (e.g., to a temperature suitable for cleaning chemicals to sufficiently dissolve in the liquid cleaning fluid). The method can include delivering the cleaning fluid to a rotary surface cleaning tool (e.g., the rotary surface cleaning machine 100 or 500) coupled to a support frame (e.g., the support frame 106 or 507). The method can further include rotating the rotary surface cleaning tool to generate a mixture of air and cleaning fluid. In some embodiments, the mixture can be generated by injecting the cleaning fluid by the spray nozzles array 132. The method can further include drawing at least a portion of the mixture through an exhaust port of the rotary surface cleaning tool to a recovery tank (e.g, the recovery tank 501 ) via a vacuum blower (e.g., the vacuum blower 504). In some embodiments, the recovery tank can be carried by the support frame. The method can further include storing a liquid portion of the mixture in the recovery tank and discharging the liquid portion of the mixture in the recovery tank via a discharge pump (e.g. the discharge pump 505).

[00108] In various embodiments, methods in accordance with the present technology can include storing the liquid portion of the mixture when the rotary surface cleaning tool is in operation (e.g., when a user operates the cleaning tool to clean a surface). In some embodiments, methods in accordance with the present technology can include discharging the liquid portion of the mixture to a drain, a sewer, or a waste receptacle (e.g., after finishing the operation of the cleaning tool). In some embodiments, methods in accordance with the present technology can include transferring heat from the vacuum blower, the discharge pump, and/or the drive motor (e.g., the drive motor 503) to the cleaning fluid.

[00109] The methods disclosed herein include and encompass, in addition to methods of making and using the disclosed devices and systems, methods of instructing others to make and use the disclosed devices and systems. Such instructions can be contained on any suitable computer readable medium. Accordingly, any and all methods of use or manufacture disclosed herein also fully disclose and enable corresponding methods of instructing such methods of use or manufacture.

[00110] From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that specific embodiments of the present technology have been described herein for purposes of illustration, but that various modifications may be made without deviating from the technology. For example, the rotary surface cleaning machine can have different dimensions as specifically disclosed in the drawings. While embodiments of the systems were described above in the context of using cleaning fluids at high temperatures, the systems can also operate effectively by using cleaning fluids at other temperatures. Certain aspects of the technology described in the context of particular embodiments may be combined or eliminated in other embodiments. For example, different embodiments can include various combinations of the housing described above, the tank lid described above, other types of handles, and/or the support frames described above. Further, while advantages associated with certain embodiments of the disclosed technology have been described in the context of those embodiments, other embodiments may also exhibit such advantages, and not all embodiments need necessarily exhibit such advantages to fall within the scope of the presently disclosed technology. Accordingly, the present disclosure and associated technology can encompass other embodiments not expressly described or shown herein.