Patents Assigned to FlexSys, Inc.
  • Patent number: 11174002
    Abstract: An edge-morphing arrangement for an airfoil includes a compliant upper surface and a compliant lower surface that are joined together. An actuator is coupled to a driven surface and actuated to move the driven surface and change the shape thereof, with the non-driven surface changing its shape in response to actuation of the driven surface. The upper and lower surfaces can be part of a sub-flap mounted to a traditional flap of the fixed wing of an airplane. The upper and lower surfaces can be mounted to existing structure in the flap, or the flap components can be mounted to the sub-flap. The upper and lower surfaces can alternatively replace the traditional flap in the fixed wing of an aircraft. The upper and lower surfaces are continuous and can be deflected upward, downward, or twisted in a span-wise direction relative to the flap or wing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2021
    Assignee: FlexSys, Inc.
    Inventors: Sridhar Kota, Gregory F. Ervin, Jia-Hsuan Lo, Kerr-Jia Lu, Dragan Maric, Mark R. Trost, Ruey-Khan K. Tsang
  • Patent number: 10767675
    Abstract: A mechanism is hereby disclosed that, when activated in the linear direction of its axis, will expand and contract radially. The novel nature of the device is that of compliant methods and materials used in its design. Compliant members, referred to as dyads, translate the motion and imply resistance in a single structure. Thus eliminating the need for separate members, hinges, pins, springs and the associated assembly. When these compliant dyads are combined in the novel configurations hereby disclosed, a device is created that expands (or contracts) in multiple directions from its primary axis of actuation. Furthermore, one or more actuation dyad sets could be arranged at various angles relative to the global vertical axis. The radial expansion/contraction can be 2D or 3D by adding more primary activation dyad sets. Such a device can be applied to many applications and industries. One such application is for gripping the inside of a tube or object for moving manually or in automation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2020
    Assignee: FLEXSYS, INC.
    Inventors: Sridhar Kota, Robert Schartow
  • Publication number: 20170314588
    Abstract: A mechanism is hereby disclosed that, when activated in the linear direction of its axis, will expand and contract radially. The novel nature of the device is that of compliant methods and materials used in its design. Compliant members, referred to as dyads, translate the motion and imply resistance in a single structure. Thus eliminating the need for separate members, hinges, pins, springs and the associated assembly. When these compliant dyads are combined in the novel configurations hereby disclosed, a device is created that expands (or contracts) in multiple directions from its primary axis of actuation. Furthermore, one or more actuation dyad sets could be arranged at various angles relative to the global vertical axis. The radial expansion/contraction can be 2D or 3D by adding more primary activation dyad sets. Such a device can be applied to many applications and industries. One such application is for gripping the inside of a tube or object for moving manually or in automation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 2, 2017
    Publication date: November 2, 2017
    Applicant: FLEXSYS, INC.
    Inventors: SRIDHAR KOTA, ROBERT SCHARTOW
  • Publication number: 20170274976
    Abstract: An edge morphing arrangement for an airfoil having upper and lower control surfaces is provided with an elongated edge portion that overlies the edge of the airfoil, the edge portion having a surface element having first and second edges that communicate with, and form extensions of, respective ones of the upper and lower control surfaces of the elongated airfoil. The surface elements are formed of deformable compliant material that extends cross-sectionally from the first surface element edge to an apex of the edge portion, and to the second surface element edge. There is additionally provided a driving link having first and second driving link ends, the first driving link end being coupled to the interior of one of the first and second rib portions. The second end is arranged to receive a morphing force, and the rib element is deformed in response to the morphing force.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 13, 2017
    Publication date: September 28, 2017
    Applicant: FLEXSYS, INC.
    Inventors: Joel A. Hetrick, Sridhar Kota, Gregory F. Ervin
  • Patent number: 9676471
    Abstract: An edge morphing arrangement for an airfoil having upper and lower control surfaces is provided with an elongated edge portion that overlies the edge of the airfoil, the edge portion having a surface element having first and second edges that communicate with, and form extensions of, respective ones of the upper and lower control surfaces of the elongated airfoil. The surface elements are formed of deformable compliant material that extends cross-sectionally from the first surface element edge to an apex of the edge portion, and to the second surface element edge. There is additionally provided a driving link having first and second driving link ends, the first driving link end being coupled to the interior of one of the first and second rib portions. The second end is arranged to receive a morphing force, and the rib element is deformed in response to the morphing force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2017
    Assignee: FLEXSYS, INC.
    Inventors: Joel A. Hetrick, Sridhar Kota, Gregory F. Ervin
  • Patent number: 9322506
    Abstract: A force distribution arrangement is configured as an array of compliant building blocks, each having a plurality of leg elements having respective leg thickness distribution and leg lengths. The plurality of leg elements are, in some embodiments, of uniform thickness and uniform leg length. The legs are joined to one another at corresponding compliant nodes, and are integrally formed. The array is constrained at a first end thereof, and optionally at a second end thereof. A membrane is arranged to overlie the array, and a control point is affixed to the array and optionally to the membrane that overlies the array. The membrane is formed of a compliant material or fabric. A further array is arranged in some applications at a predetermined orientation with respect to the first array. The arrays have respective actuation force response characteristics to achieve contour upon the application of actuation forces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2016
    Assignee: FlexSys, Inc.
    Inventors: Gregory F. Ervin, Dragan Maric, James D. Ervin
  • Publication number: 20150210376
    Abstract: An edge morphing arrangement for an airfoil having upper and lower control surfaces is provided with an elongated edge portion that overlies the edge of the airfoil, the edge portion having a surface element having first and second edges that communicate with, and form extensions of, respective ones of the upper and lower control surfaces of the elongated airfoil. The surface elements are formed of deformable compliant material that extends cross-sectionally from the first surface element edge to an apex of the edge portion, and to the second surface element edge. There is additionally provided a driving link having first and second driving link ends, the first driving link end being coupled to the interior of one of the first and second rib portions. The second end is arranged to receive a morphing force, and the rib element is deformed in response to the morphing force.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 26, 2014
    Publication date: July 30, 2015
    Applicant: FlexSys, Inc.
    Inventors: Joel A. Hetrick, Sridhar Kota, Gregory F. Ervin
  • Publication number: 20140306576
    Abstract: A displacement amplifier receives an actuation displacement signal from a piezoelectric actuator. The displacement signal is amplified by one or more stages of compliant elements, and a corresponding force is applied to a load. Wide frequency response is achieved in response to the resilience characteristics of the compliant elements that are formed from any of several materials, illustratively aluminum, steel, titanium, plastics, composites, etc., and are produced by any of several manufacturing techniques, illustratively extrusion, die casting, forging, etc. The compliant elements can be configured as plural compliant mechanical displacement amplifier stages. In bilateral arrangements displacement signals from distal ends of the motive source are applied to symmetrical, or mirror image, arrangements of compliant elements. The motive source, which may be a piezoelectric actuator, delivers its displacement signal at one end thereof to one or more compliant elements.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 19, 2013
    Publication date: October 16, 2014
    Applicant: FlexSys, Inc.
    Inventors: James D. Ervin, Dragan Maric, Gregory F. Ervin, Sridhar Kota, Joel A. Hetrick
  • Publication number: 20140289988
    Abstract: A wiper has a wiper arm having first and second ends. A leaf spring urges the wiper arm and a compliant force distribution arrangement toward the surface, and a mounting arrangement couples the first end of the wiper arm and the leaf spring element to a source of motion. The wiper arm has a first end coupling the first end of the wiper arm member to a source of motion, and a compliant force distributor is coupled to the second end, having plural resilient beam members integrally formed with each other and adapted to engage a wiper blade. A wiper mount has a mounting element having a mounting portion coupled to a source of motion and a drive portion for engaging the wiper arm. The leaf spring element also has a mounting portion coupled to the source of motion, and has a drive portion for engaging the wiper arm.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 13, 2012
    Publication date: October 2, 2014
    Applicant: FlexSys, Inc.
    Inventors: Gregory F. Ervin, Sridhar Kota
  • Patent number: 8814101
    Abstract: An edge morphing arrangement for an airfoil having upper and lower control surfaces is provided with an elongated edge portion that overlies the edge of the airfoil, the edge portion having a surface element having first and second edges that communicate with, and form extensions of, respective ones of the upper and lower control surfaces of the elongated airfoil. The surface elements are formed of deformable compliant material that extends cross-sectionally from the first surface element edge to an apex of the edge portion, and to the second surface element edge. There is additionally provided a driving link having first and second driving link ends, the first driving link end being coupled to the interior of one of the first and second rib portions. The second end is arranged to receive a morphing force, and the rib element is deformed in response to the morphing force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2014
    Assignee: FlexSys, Inc.
    Inventors: Joel A. Hetrick, Gregory F. Ervin, Sridhar Kota
  • Publication number: 20130264427
    Abstract: An edge morphing arrangement for an airfoil having upper and lower control surfaces is provided with an elongated edge portion that overlies the edge of the airfoil, the edge portion having a surface element having first and second edges that communicate with, and form extensions of, respective ones of the upper and lower control surfaces of the elongated airfoil. The surface elements are formed of deformable compliant material that extends cross-sectionally from the first surface element edge to an apex of the edge portion, and to the second surface element edge. There is additionally provided a driving link having first and second driving link ends, the first driving link end being coupled to the interior of one of the first and second rib portions. The second end is arranged to receive a morphing force, and the rib element is deformed in response to the morphing force.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: October 10, 2013
    Applicant: FlexSys, Inc.
    Inventors: Joel A. Hetrick, Gregory F. Ervin, Sridhar Kota
  • Patent number: 8418966
    Abstract: An edge mo?hing arrangement for an airfoil having upper and lower control surfaces is provided with a rib element arranged to overlie the edge of the airfoil. The rib element has first and second rib portions arranged to communicate with respectively associated ones of the upper and lower control surfaces of the airfoil. A first compliant linkage element has first and second ends and is disposed between the first and second rib portions of the rib element, the first and second ends are each coupled to the interior of a respectively associated one of the first and second rib portions. There is additionally provided a driving link having first and second driving link ends, the first driving link end being coupled to the interior of a selectable one of the first and second rib portions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2013
    Assignee: FlexSys, Inc.
    Inventors: Joel A. Hetrick, Sridhar Kota, Gregory F. Ervin
  • Patent number: 7779728
    Abstract: An arrangement for orienting a device angularly is provided with a back element on which the device to be oriented is installed. A ball and a spherical gear are arranged concentrically. A base portion has a socket that engages with the ball. Also, a motor having a rotatory shaft is installed on the base portion, and a worm drive element is coupled to the rotatory shaft and arranged to engage the spherical gear when the ball and socket are engaged, whereby the spherical gear is urged along the longitudinal axis of the tapered worm drive element and the tapered worm drive element slides along the gear teeth of the spherical gear. The motor enhances the rigidity of the base portion. The worm drive element and the spherical gear disengage in response to the application of a force through the first spherical gear.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2010
    Assignee: FlexSys, Inc.
    Inventors: Joel A. Hetrick, Gregory F. Ervin
  • Patent number: 7384016
    Abstract: Variation in the contours of first and second compliant surfaces is produced by a compliant frame having a first resiliently variable frame element (120) having a corresponding first outer surface (122) and a first inner surface (124), and a second resiliently variable frame element (130) having a corresponding second outer surface (132) and a second inner surface (134). The first and second outer surfaces (122, 132) communicate with respective ones of the first and second compliant surfaces. A linkage element (141-144) having a predetermined resilience characteristic is coupled at a first end thereof to the first inner surface (124) and at a second end thereof to the second inner surface (134). A frame coupler (151) couples the first resiliently variable frame element (120) to a support element (150).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2008
    Assignee: FlexSys, Inc.
    Inventors: Sridhar Kota, Joel A. Hetrick
  • Patent number: 7360272
    Abstract: A windshield wiper arrangement has a windshield wiper blade coupled thereto. A resilient windshield wiper blade support has a primary beam (405) coupled in a coupling region of the primary beam (405). A first compliant beam portion (406) is formed of three compliant sections arranged as an end-point triangle. A second compliant beam structure (404) is arranged as a triangle. A third compliant beam (402) structure is formed as a triangle with a portion of the primary beam forming a leg of the triangle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2008
    Assignee: FlexSys, Inc.
    Inventors: Sridhar Kota, Joel A. Herrick