Patents Examined by Daniel G. DePumpo
  • Patent number: 6761243
    Abstract: One aspect of the present invention regards an automotive steering wheel control system having a steering wheel, a magnetorheological damper in communication with the steering wheel and a road wheel control system operably connected to the magnetorheological damper where the magnetorheological damper controls the steering wheel in response to a torque signal from the road wheel control system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2004
    Assignee: Visteon Global Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Gregory James Stout, Yixin Yao
  • Patent number: 6758485
    Abstract: A trailer hitch assembly for a vehicle includes a generally tubular receiver configured for attachment to the vehicle, and having a central aperture formed by walls of the receiver. The receiver has a rearward end. A hitch member is slidably received within the central aperture and has an attachment portion configured for attachment to a trailer. The hitch member is movable between an extended position in which the attachment portion protrudes from the rearward end of the receiver for attachment to a trailer, and a retracted position in which the attachment portion is positioned inside the central aperture for storage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2004
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Thomas P. Voelker, Herb P. Brannon, Duane M. Fitnich
  • Patent number: 6755430
    Abstract: A wheelchair drive mechanism having a transmission providing forward, rearward and neutral motion through movement of a drive arm in an arcuate path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2004
    Inventors: Brian M. Watwood, Errol C. Armstrong, Dayn E. Beals, Duane DeJong
  • Patent number: 6755271
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for propelling snowmobiles are disclosed. A snowmobile in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention comprises a chassis defining a tunnel, a drive shaft at least partially disposed in the tunnel, and at least one drive sprocket fixed to the drive shaft. A drive track overlays a portion of the at least one drive sprocket. A bearing is disposed within an interior of the drive track for rotatably supporting the drive shaft. The drive shaft is preferably operatively coupled to an engine by a drivetrain. In an advantageous embodiment, the drivetrain comprising a reduction mechanism that is substantially disposed within the tunnel defined by the chassis. In a particularly advantageous embodiment, the reduction mechanism is disposed within a projection extending from a drive sprocket fixed to the drive shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2004
    Assignee: Polaris Industries Inc.
    Inventor: Norman O. Berg
  • Patent number: 6752232
    Abstract: The drive unit for a motor vehicle, has an input drive shaft connected to a starting element, which unit has an automatic transmission connected to the starting element and also possesses a first output drive shaft, which is connected to the rear wheel drive of a motor vehicle and has a second output drive shaft which is connected to the front wheel drive of the motor vehicle and further possesses a torsion damping mechanism. The second output shaft (1) is located in the motor side area of the drive unit and, seen in the direction of travel, is disposed in front of the starting element (3), transverse to the input drive shaft, while the torsion damping mechanism (2) is placed in front of the second output drive (1).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2004
    Assignee: ZF Friedrichshafen AG
    Inventor: Markus Hoher
  • Patent number: 6749211
    Abstract: This invention relates to a cycle, such as a bicycle, having reciprocal pedal levers for propelling at least one wheel of the cycle. The cycle has a frame that includes a rack, a left pedal lever with a rack and a right pedal lever with a rack. A pinion is carried on the frame with the pinion in simultaneous engagement with the racks on the frame and the pedal levers. A plurality of bearings are mounted around the pinion comprising at least a first bearing providing rotation between the pinion and the frame, a second bearing providing rotation between the pinion and the right pedal lever, and a third bearing providing rotation between the pinion and the left pedal lever.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2004
    Inventor: Hugo H. Yliniemi
  • Patent number: 6746025
    Abstract: A rocker device includes a base having a rocker surface for rocking on a supporting surface, and a wheel device attached to the base and partially extendible out of the bottom of the base to selectively engage with the supporting surface. The base is rockable relative to the supporting surface when the wheel device is disengaged from the supporting surface, and the base is movable relative to the supporting surface when the wheel device is engaged with the supporting surface, such that the rocker device may be moved periodically on the supporting surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2004
    Inventors: Yun Chi Chang, Kang Ho Choi
  • Patent number: 6742621
    Abstract: An electric power steering device includes a steering link that includes a plurality of connected steering shafts that connect a steering wheel to a steered wheel, a motor that provides a steering torque to assist the steering link, a torque sensor which is mounted to one of the steering shafts and which detects the steering torque of that steering shaft, a steering angle sensor which is mounted to one of the steering shafts and which detects a steering angle of that steering shaft, a calculating unit that calculates a steering assist amount based on the steering torque detected by the torque sensor, the steering angle detected by the steering angle sensor, and predetermined crossed axes angles between the connected steering shafts, and a motor controller that drives the motor so as to apply a steering assist force to the steering link based on the steering assist amount. As a result, it is possible to correct the torque by a simple method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2004
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Akihiro Yanaka
  • Patent number: 6742617
    Abstract: A traction unit capable of traversing and turning on surfaces that include compound curves like the surface of a sphere or are inverted like a ceiling. The traction unit includes a plurality of trucks operable to propel the unit across a surface and a plurality of adherence members operable to releasably secure the unit to the surface. In operation, the adherence members cyclically attach to and release from the surface as the trucks propel the unit across the surface. Within each cycle, after the unit has traveled a predetermined distance relative to an attached member, the member releases the surface and reattaches to the surface at a different point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2004
    Assignee: Skywalker Robotics, Inc.
    Inventors: William W. Jeswine, Frank Dailey, Eric Olsen
  • Patent number: 6739421
    Abstract: A frame 3 is divided at a substantial center portion thereof into a front frame part and a back frame part. The two frame parts are joined by a hinge portion 25 so that the divided frame can be folded in two. The frame 3 is provided with detection device 30 for detecting whether or not the frame 3 has been folded at the hinge portion 25. The motor 2 becomes inoperable when the detection device 30 detects the folding of the frame 3.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2004
    Assignee: Takara Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Naoki Miya
  • Patent number: 6739611
    Abstract: A sensing system employs multiple sensors utilizing mounting structure integrated into a fifth wheel hitch and which is protected from the environment, is capable of accurately measuring forces along longitudinal and vertical axes for providing information as to roll, pitch, yaw, and drawbar load and which utilizes sensors which provide output signals for display and control. In one embodiment, a fifth wheel includes mounting boxes formed on an undersurface thereof on opposite sides of the kingpin receiving slot and a force-sensing unit mounted within each of said mounting boxes. Each force-sensing unit includes a vertical sensor positioned fore and aft of the vertical hitch axis and forward and aft horizontal force sensors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2004
    Assignee: The Holland Group, Inc.
    Inventors: Jack L. Gisinger, Gerald W. Hungerink, Steven C. Dupay, Randy L. Schutt
  • Patent number: 6736230
    Abstract: A motorcycle frame assembly arranged to have a desirable amount of rigidity in both transverse and vertical directions. The frame assembly desirably includes a head pipe configured to support a front wheel and associated suspension assembly. A main tube and down tube extend in a rearward direction from the head pipe. Desirably, the main tube is elliptical in cross-section, with the longer dimension being arranged generally horizontally and the shorter dimension being arranged generally vertically. Preferably, the main tube is arcuate along its length and defines a convex outer surface portion opposing a concave outer surface portion. Preferably, the main tube is arranged such that the convex outer surface portion faces the down tube. Desirably, the main tube also extends from the head pipe such that the main tube is lower than perpendicular with respect to the head pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2004
    Assignee: Yamaha Hatsudoki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Shin Yokomizo
  • Patent number: 6733028
    Abstract: A towing mechanism (10) for a vehicle having an independent axle and wheel assembly and a linkage for adjusting the height of the towing mechanism (10) to accommodate a variety of trailers, whereby the towing mechanism (10) militates against the weight of a towed vehicle from being borne solely by a towing vehicle frame (40) and suspension.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2004
    Inventor: Robert A. Teeple
  • Patent number: 6729433
    Abstract: An automotive electrically-powered steering device is provided which is easy of assembly and electric connections. The steering device includes an electric motor, a motor torque transmission mechanism, a torque detector, and a motor controller which are arranged integrally as a unit. The controller includes a motor driver and a control substrate to which terminals of the motor driver are connected electrically. A steering shaft passes through a portion of the control substrate. The electrical terminals of the motor, the torque detector, and the motor driver extend in an axial direction of the steering shaft and connect electrically to the control substrate from the same side.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2004
    Assignee: Denso Corporation
    Inventors: Nobuhiko Uryu, Hideyuki Hayakawa, Kenji Morikawa
  • Patent number: 6729639
    Abstract: There is provided a hook mounting structure that comprises a vehicle body structural member having a bottom part and two side parts that extend upward from both side edges of the bottom part to be joined to a lower surface of a floor; a tow hook mounted on a lower surface of the bottom part of the vehicle body structural member; and a reinforce having a bottom part joined to the bottom part of the vehicle body structural member and two side parts joined respectively to the two side parts of the vehicle body structural member, at least one of the side parts and the bottom part of the reinforce being connected to each other via a continuous part extending diagonally therebetween.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2004
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Jidosha Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Tatsuzo Tomita
  • Patent number: 6729634
    Abstract: A headset for use in the frame body of a bicycle or tricycle is constructed to include a ball bearing, an annular cap covered on the ball bearing, and an annular tightening member mounted in between the cap and the ball bearing. The tightening member has a top coupling flange forced into engagement with an inside mounting groove of the cap and a bottom hooked retaining portion hooked on a bottom edge of the ball bearing, keeping the ball bearing and the cap and the tightening member secured together for easy installation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2004
    Inventor: Satoshi Tange
  • Patent number: 6726235
    Abstract: A trailer mover secured to the forwardly extending tongue of a recreational or multi-purpose trailer. The trailer mover includes a bracket pivotally attached to the trailer tongue and a gearbox rotatably attached to the bracket. The gearbox is pivotally movable between a lowered vertical working position and a raised horizontal storage position. Further, the gearbox is selectively rotatable with respect to the bracket to allow steering when in the working position. A rubber-tired groundwheel extends from the distal end of the gearbox and is powered by a hand crank, which drives a set of gears which provide a mechanical advantage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2004
    Inventor: William V. McCarty
  • Patent number: 6722460
    Abstract: An electric scooter includes a scooter frame having a rear cover inside which a fuel cell stack is mounted in an inclined manner and a center cover connected to the rear cover by a footstep section. A front cover is mounted to a front side of the scooter frame and forms an interior space with the center cover. A hydrogen canister holder is mounted in the interior space for retaining a number of hydrogen storage canisters in an inclined manner for supply of hydrogen to the fuel cell stack. The canisters are arranged in pair on opposite sides of a centerline of the scooter frame. A heat dissipation system including a coolant container, a heat exchanger, and a pump is further provided in the interior space to maintain the hydrogen storage canisters at a proper operation temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2004
    Assignee: Asia Pacific Fuel Cell Technologies, Ltd.
    Inventors: Jefferson Y S Yang, Te-Chou Yang, Yao-Sheng Hsu
  • Patent number: 6719079
    Abstract: A ground effect vehicle apparatus comprising a vehicle body of integral and contiguous construction including a medial portion having an aerodynamic upper surface, and a pair of spaced apart laterally positioned portions separated by the medial portion. Lower extremities of the laterally positioned portions extend downwardly below the medial portion to restrain air flow between them as it moves toward the rear of the body. Forward extremities of the laterally positioned portions extend forward of the medial portion to, again, restrain air flow from moving laterally. Power plants are mounted within the medial portion and support aircraft type propellers positioned forward of the medial portion of the body. The propellers are mechanized for moving over an arcuate vertical range, such that their force vectors are directable between the horizontal and approximately 45 degrees above the horizontal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2004
    Inventor: William Larry Jones
  • Patent number: 6719075
    Abstract: The invention is directed to providing a frame structure of a crawler type construction machine vehicle facilitating a degree of freedom of reforming in accordance with a variation of vehicle kind. The frame structure is capable of setting a vehicle body gravitational center position to an optimum portion by use of an upper vehicle frame at an arbitrary position that is capable of strengthening total rigidity by an integrated structure. The frame structure has left and right track frames, and front and rear cross beams for coupling the left and right track frames in a shape of a lattice. A vehicle body frame is disposed between inner sides of the left and right track frames and coupled thereto in the shape of a lattice above the front and rear cross beams and the left and right track frames. The front and rear cross beams and the vehicle body frames are integrally constituted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2004
    Assignee: Komatsu Ltd.
    Inventor: Shinobu Kamikawa