Patents Represented by Attorney Kathryn A. Marra
  • Patent number: 7267367
    Abstract: A reversible energy absorbing assembly including a shape memory foam disposed within an interior region, wherein the shape memory foam is adapted to expand to an expanded configuration in response to fluid communication with a fluid source. The shape memory foam is a material selected from the group consisting of shape memory alloys and shape memory polymers. Once expanded, the assembly effectively absorbs kinetic energy of an object upon impact with the assembly. The shape memory foam can be thermally activated to restore the original configuration of the energy absorbing assembly. Methods of operating the energy absorbing assembly are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2007
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: William Barvosa-Carter, Nancy L. Johnson, Alan L. Browne, Guillermo A. Herrera, Geoffrey P. Mc Knight, Cameron Massey
  • Patent number: 7247120
    Abstract: The family of transmissions has a plurality of members that can be utilized in powertrains to provide at least eight forward speed ratios and one reverse speed ratio. The transmission family members include three planetary gear sets having seven torque-transmitting mechanisms and three interconnecting members. The powertrain includes an engine that is selectively connectable to at least one of the planetary gear members and an output member that is continuously connected with another one of the planetary gear members. The seven torque-transmitting mechanisms provide interconnections between various gear members, the input shaft and the transmission housing, and are operated in combinations of two to establish at least eight forward speed ratios and at least one reverse speed ratio.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2007
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Madhusudan Raghavan, Norman K. Bucknor, Patrick B. Usoro
  • Patent number: 7246736
    Abstract: A flexible articulate tubular device has a shank, a plurality of pivot rings, and a terminus with heat sensors and a fiber optic device. The flexible articulate tubular device is initially positioned, either manually or automatically, near a target weld path with the aid of the fiber optic device. The flexible articulate tubular device is then more precisely articulated to direct the terminus along the target weld path, with the aid of the heat sensors. As such, the flexible articulate tubular device operates in a heat seeking manner to follow the weld bead. Ultimately, a gaseous flux is supplied along the flexible articulate tubular device and toward the target weld path, so as to blast the weld bead with an anti-oxidation shield gas and thereby protect the weld.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2007
    Assignees: General Motors Corporation, Suzuki Motor Corporation
    Inventors: Pei-Chung Wang, Toshinori Sakai
  • Patent number: 7245231
    Abstract: A method of collision avoidance. The method includes receiving a signal indicative of a potential collision of a vehicle. The method also includes generating a haptic collision alert in response to the signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2007
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Raymond J. Kiefer, Donald K. Grimm, Bakhtiar Brian Litkouhi, Varsha Sadekar
  • Patent number: 7246007
    Abstract: A system and method of automatically communicating traffic information from a traffic probe vehicle to a traffic information and management system when the probe vehicle is operated within an active traffic information reporting region. Geographic information about a traffic reporting region, or plurality of regions, is stored in the probe vehicle as an array of geographic cells so as to reduce the data storage requirements. The geographic cells have associated with them certain cell parameters related to the cell, such as a recording priority, a recording interval and a reporting interval. The recording priority of a cell may be associated with certain roadway types located within that cell. As a probe vehicle travels within an active traffic information reporting region, its location is established within the traffic information reporting region and a corresponding geographic cell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2007
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Martin A. Ferman
  • Patent number: 7240485
    Abstract: A power steering system for a vehicle includes a hydraulic pump connected to a power steering gear of the vehicle and a fluid coupling interconnecting a drive shaft of an engine of the vehicle with the hydraulic pump. The power steering system also includes an electronic controller operable to provide a variable control signal based on received input and an amplifier to receive the variable control signal and energize the fluid coupling in response thereto to vary torque transmitted via the fluid coupling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2007
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Chandra S. Namuduri, Balarama V. Murty, Jie Tong
  • Patent number: 7240576
    Abstract: A corrosion resistant weldable boss includes a body portion having a lower portion formed of a sintered powder, e.g., ferrous powder, which is readily welded to a vehicle structure surface. A capping member is sintered to an upper portion of the body portion and is formed of a corrosion resistant material such as sintered stainless steel powder. Also disclosed herein are processes for inhibiting corrosion of a sensor operating in a corrosive environment about a vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2007
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations, Inc.
    Inventor: Thomas A. Perry
  • Patent number: 7238131
    Abstract: A family of electrically variable transmissions providing low-content, low-cost electrically variable transmission mechanisms including first, second and third differential gear sets, a battery, two electric machines serving interchangeably as motors or generators, and three selectable torque-transfer devices (two clutches and one brake. The three selectable torque transfer devices are engaged singly, in combinations of two, or singly along with a selectively braked motor/generator to yield an EVT with a continuously variable range of speeds (including reverse) and four mechanically fixed forward speed ratios. Alternatively, the three torque transfer devices may be disengaged while both motor/generators are braked to provide a fixed speed ratio.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2007
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Madhusudan Raghavan, Norman K. Bucknor, James D. Hendrickson
  • Patent number: 7238911
    Abstract: An improved cooling system for adapting to a two-component welding electrode device having a shank and cap, includes a retractable nozzle tube, a manifold, and an adjustment element for adjustably interconnecting the tube and manifold. A threaded bushing or plunger is attached to the tube and operable to adjust the distance between the interior surface of the cap and the outlet of the tube to a preferred distance. A threaded sleeve interconnects the tube and bushing for additional adjustability. The tube defines an elastically compressible bellows section, and a spacer is removably attached to the distal end of the tube for automatic adjustment of the outlet position by the cap.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2007
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Robin Stevenson, Pei-Chung Wang
  • Patent number: 7234716
    Abstract: A step apparatus for a vehicle having a door and a rocker panel includes a step disposed at and in operable communication with the door, wherein the step has a retracted position in response to the door being closed and a deployed position in response to the door being at least partially open. The vehicle has a first ground clearance in response to the door being closed and the step retracted and a second ground clearance in response to the door being open and the step deployed. The first ground clearance, which is defined by the vehicle and is independent of the step apparatus, is equal to or greater than the second ground clearance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2007
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Robin Stevenson
  • Patent number: 7233861
    Abstract: A method for predicting vehicle operator destinations including receiving vehicle position data for a vehicle. The vehicle position data for a current trip is compared to vehicle position data for a previous trip to predict a destination for the vehicle. A path to the destination is suggested.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2007
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Darrel J. Van Buer, Richard A. Johnson, Son K. Dao, Andrea Marie Simon
  • Patent number: 7232178
    Abstract: This invention relates to a vehicle hood assembly that is operative to raise the rearward and frontward portions of a vehicle hood. The system includes an actuator selectively extendable to raise the rearward portion of a vehicle hood from a first position to a higher second position. A striker of novel design enables the frontward portion of the hood to rise as the rearward portion rises when the striker is engaged with a latch member. The latch member may be disengaged from the striker without extending the actuator, enabling the hood to reach a third position ideal for vehicle service and thus allowing a nonreversible-type actuator to be employed. A method of elevating the vehicle hood with respect to the vehicle body is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2007
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Mark O. Neal, Joseph D. Mc Cleary, Kenneth J. Baron
  • Patent number: 7231905
    Abstract: An internal combustion engine is configured with combustion chamber pressure sensing and exhaust gas recirculation apparatus. Exhaust gas recirculation control includes closed-loop controlling exhaust gas recirculation apparatus in accordance with a predetermined control target. Adjustments to the control target are made based on combustion chamber pressure information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2007
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Ibrahim Haskara, Anupam Gangopadhyay, Paul Anthony Battiston, Frederic Anton Matekunas, Patrick G. Szymkowicz
  • Patent number: 7233296
    Abstract: A method for improving the efficiency of antennas having transparent thin-film conductive surfaces, and antennas improved by the method are disclosed. For a selected frequency of antenna operation, values for surface current density in areas distributed over the surface of the thin-film are determined. Regions of the surface containing areas having concentrated current flow are identified based upon the determined values of current density. Antenna efficiency is improved by increasing conductivity in areas of the thin-film surface found to have concentrated current flow. The method enables the improvement of the efficiency of antennas having transparent thin-film conducting surfaces, without unnecessarily obstructing the optical view through the thin-film surfaces of the antennas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2007
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Hyok J. Song, Tsung Yuan Hsu, Daniel F. Sievenpiper, Timothy J. Talty, Hui-Pin Hsu
  • Patent number: 7232393
    Abstract: The electrically variable transmission family of the present invention provides low-content, low-cost electrically variable transmission mechanisms including first and second differential gear sets, a battery, two electric machines serving interchangeably as motors or generators, and two or three selectable torque-transfer devices. The selectable torque transfer devices are engaged singly to yield an EVT with a continuously variable range of speeds (including reverse) and two or three mechanically fixed forward speed ratios. The torque transfer devices and the first and second motor/generators are operable to provide five operating modes in the electrically variable transmission, including battery reverse mode, EVT reverse mode, reverse and forward launch modes, continuously variable transmission range mode, and fixed ratio mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2007
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Norman K. Bucknor, James D. Hendrickson, Madhusudan Raghavan
  • Patent number: 7232016
    Abstract: An improved damping apparatus that utilizes a fluid having a viscosity that may be varied by the application of an electromagnetic field, such as a magnetorheological fluid or an electrorheological fluid, to provide the damping response. The damping apparatus includes a linear to rotary conversion mechanism which comprises a translatable member that is adapted for linear translation in a forward and a reverse direction and a rotatable member comprising a rotatable shaft that is rotatably coupled to the translatable member; wherein translation of the translatable member in one of the forward or the reverse directions produces a forward or a reverse rotation of the rotatable member and shaft, respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2007
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Chandra Sekhar Namuduri
  • Patent number: 7231906
    Abstract: An internal combustion engine is configured with combustion chamber pressure sensing and exhaust gas recirculation apparatus. Fuel injection timing is adjusted based on combustion phasing and exhaust gas recirculation is controlled based on average fuel injection timing adjustments.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2007
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Ibrahim Haskara, Anupam Gangopadhyay, Paul Anthony Battiston, Frederic Anton Matekunas, Patrick G. Szymkowicz
  • Patent number: 7228839
    Abstract: A four-stroke internal combustion engine is operated in controlled auto-ignition mode by any of a variety of valve control strategies conducive to controlled auto-ignition conditions in conjunction with in-cylinder fuel charges that are at either stoichiometric or lean of stoichiometric air-fuel ratios. A measure of engine NOx emission is provided and when it crosses a predetermined threshold, the in-cylinder fuel charge is transitioned from the operative one of the stoichiometric or lean of stoichiometric air-fuel ratios to the inoperative one of the stoichiometric or lean of stoichiometric air-fuel ratios.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2007
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Tang-Wei Kuo, Paul M. Najt, James A. Eng, Barry L. Brown, Chen-Fang Chang, Jun-Mo Kang
  • Patent number: 7226665
    Abstract: A multilayer composite contains a gel coat layer, a laminate layer, and a barrier layer disposed between the gel coat and the laminate layer. The laminate contains from 40–80% by weight paste and from 20–60% by weight reinforcing fibers. The barrier coat also comprises a cured polyester resin, and contains reinforcing fibers shorter than those in the laminate layer. The barrier layer has sufficient flexibility to avoid cracking during demolding and handling. Preferably, the barrier layer exhibits an elongation at break of more than 1%, and more preferably about 2% or more. The resin of the barrier layer can contain up to about 25% by weight of the resin of an isophthalic acid based polyester resin. The composites can be made using an open tool molding process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2007
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Hamid G Kia, Terrence J Wathen, Mark A Buffa, Harry A Mitchell
  • Patent number: 7225969
    Abstract: A surface of an article is heated and subjected to pressure by operation of a friction stir tool. The pressure of the face of the tool on the article surface, and the speed of rotation of the tool and of its progression along the surface of the article, are controlled to progressively hot-work a specified surface area. The face of the tool may be round and have a profiled, axially extending, smaller diameter pin for higher concentration of frictional heat and load and for plasticizing a surface layer of the workpiece. Such hot work may be applied for reducing surface porosity or for producing another change in the surface microstructure, or for effecting another change in surface material properties.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2007
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Yen-Lung Chen, Thomas Arthur Perry, Yang-Tse Cheng, Anita M. Weiner