Patents Examined by Daniel G. DePumpo
  • Patent number: 6712174
    Abstract: A vehicle steering system has a steering grip, in particular a steering wheel, which is operated by the driver, an actuating unit which operates steered vehicle wheels, and a manual force regulator which is coupled via a flexible coupling element with the steering grip and simulates parameter-dependent steering forces on the steering grip. A damping device is provided for reducing the formation of vibrations between the steering grip and the manual force regulator. The damping device interacts with the steering grip either directly or indirectly to damp relative motions between the steering grip and the manual force regulator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2004
    Assignee: DaimlerChrysler AG
    Inventors: Hubert Bohner, Martin Moser
  • Patent number: 6712176
    Abstract: The invention concerns a hydraulic dual circuit steering system with first circuit having a first control unit and a first steering motor connected with the control unit via working connections, a second circuit having a second control unit and a second steering motor connected with the control unit via working connections, a changeover valve, which in a first position activates the first circuit and deactivates the second circuit and in a second position activates the second circuit and deactivates the first circuit. To improve the steering behaviour, in the first position of the changeover valve the working connections of the second circuit and in the second position of the changeover valve the working connections of the first circuit are connected with a pressure source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2004
    Assignee: Sauer-Danfoss Holding A/S
    Inventors: Siegfried Zenker, Carsten Christensen
  • Patent number: 6712167
    Abstract: An electrical twist vehicle includes a transmission system which enables a rider to selectively switch between electrically operated mode and manually operated mode for two rear wheels of the electrical twist vehicle by shifting a control member into a predefined position. In electrically operated mode, the two rear wheels of the electrical twist vehicle are driven by an electrical driving device whereas in manually operated mode, the two rear wheels of the electrical twist vehicle are set to free rotating. The transmission system includes a driving wheel connected to an electrical driving device, a driven wheel connected to a rear wheels axle, a transmission belt connecting the driving and driven wheel, and a biasing wheel wherein in electrically operated mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2004
    Inventor: Hong-Jiun Gu
  • Patent number: 6712175
    Abstract: A steering system for a motor vehicle, which allows steer-by-wire operation, a hand-torque actuator being connected in the steer-by-wire mode to a steering handle, e.g. a steering wheel, to simulate a steering resistance or a restoring torque. In order to be able to ensure adequate operating safety for the vehicle if the hand-torque actuator fails, even if the steering system is operated on a steer-by-wire basis, damping means are provided, which damp adjusting movements of the steering handle by the driver in the steer-by-wire mode if the hand-torque actuator fails.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2004
    Assignee: DaimlerChrysler AG
    Inventors: Thomas Kind, Reinhard Orthmann, Juergen Trost
  • Patent number: 6712371
    Abstract: An all-terrain bicycle is comprised of a tubular frame defined by a main frame section and a front fork and a pair of rear forks, to which is removably secured a front and a rear wheel. The wheels are formed of plastics material and define a hub, a circular outer molded solid tire, and an intermediate connecting framework. The outer molded solid tire is a one-piece tire defining, when viewed in transverse cross-section, a central projecting dome merging into opposed tapered wings which are recessed from the top of the dome. An integrally molded connecting formation is provided under the dome to secure to a rim of the connecting framework. The dome defines a circumferential central rib around the outer molded tire for the displacement of the bicycle on a hard surface with the wings spaced from the hard surface. The wings constitute a wide tire support surface, together with the central rib, for the displacement of the bicycle on soft surfaces such as sand, grass, etc.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2004
    Inventor: Antoine Trubiano
  • Patent number: 6708997
    Abstract: A wheeled apparatus is provided that converts alternate back and forth longitudinal motion supplied by the arms of a user to a pair of members into rotary motion that is used to drive the apparatus forward. The members drive special rack gears that include upper and side gear teeth. An idler gear engages the side teeth and maintains alignment between the two rack gears. The upper teeth of each rack gear drive a first gear of a pair of coaster gears. When the first gear is rotated or driven in a first direction a second gear of each coaster gear also rotates in the first direction. When the first gear is rotated in an opposite direction, the second gear is adapted to coast. Each second gear is operatively connected to a first and to a second driven gear by a first and second chain respectively. The first and second driven gears are attached to a rear wheel of the apparatus and which each are adapted to urge the apparatus forward.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2004
    Inventor: Paul Nicholas Chait
  • Patent number: 6698540
    Abstract: An apparatus for propelling a user over snow. The invention in one embodiment couples a propulsion unit behind a platform such as a snowboard. The propulsion section and snowboard are interconnected by a joint providing multiple degrees of rotational freedom. Preferably, the interconnection further includes one or more springs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 2, 2004
    Inventor: James E. Decker, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6695091
    Abstract: A vehicle steering system (10) includes a pinion (30) and a steering member (14) movable axially to turn steerable wheels. The steering member (14) has a rack portion (34) in engagement with the pinion (30) and a screw portion (38). An electric motor (130) includes a rotor (134) and a stator (132). The screw thread portion (38) extends axially through the motor (130). A ball nut (116) rotatable with the rotor (134) is associated with the screw thread portion (38) for effecting axial movement of the steering member (14) in response to rotation of the rotor. An electronic control unit (148) for the motor (130) includes a circuit board (150) and a plurality of electronic components mounted on the circuit board. The circuit board (150) has a non-planar configuration and at least partially encircles a portion of the steering member (14) at a location spaced axially from the electric motor (130).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Kurt Achenbach, Phil McCune
  • Patent number: 6695086
    Abstract: A differential limiting mechanism produces a changeable differential limiting torque. A differential limiting mechanism operating lever is disposed so as to be operated and turned by a hand gripping a handgrip attached to a handlebar. The operating lever is interlocked with the differential limiting mechanism so that the differential limiting torque varies according to an angle through which the operating lever is turned. A lever stopping mechanism stops the operating lever at an angular position for producing a predetermined maximum differential limiting torque.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2004
    Assignee: Kawasaki Jukogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Yuichi Kawamoto
  • Patent number: 6691813
    Abstract: An electric motor driven cycle having front and rear wheels, and a monocoque frame suspended between the front and rear wheels. It is emphasized that this abstract is provided to comply with the rules requiring an abstract which will allow a searcher or other reader to quickly ascertain the subject matter of the technical disclosure. It is submitted with the understanding that it will not be used to interpret or limit the scope or the meaning of the claims.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2004
    Assignee: The Electric Cycle Company
    Inventor: Ely Schless
  • Patent number: 6688629
    Abstract: The dual eccentric motorcycle footrest provides an infinitely and continuously adjustable motorcycle footrest within a defined area on the side of a motorcycle. It may be adjusted in both a vertical and horizontally direction to satisfy the needs of motorcycle operators with various statures, whether on a racetrack or on streets. Normally used in pairs, one for each side of a motorcycle, the invention relies on two eccentric adjustments to provide a reliable, lightweight, strong, durable and easily adjustable motorcycle enhancement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2004
    Inventor: Mark Essinger
  • Patent number: 6681883
    Abstract: A system for reducing steering nibble and other vibrations in a power-assisted steering system increases the amount of damping force when a power steering boost system is applying little or no steering force to the steering actuator, and reduces the amount of damping force when the power boost system is applying significant steering force to the steering actuator. A damping member is formed of a polymer material and is urged into contact with the steering actuator by a spring-biased clamping member. A shuttle valve regulates pressure from the hydraulic steering boost system to overcome the spring biasing force whenever hydraulic pressure is applied to the steering actuator. The preload of the spring biasing mechanism is varied by an electronic control unit that receives inputs from a driver-activated switch, and from vehicle condition sensors to allow automatic, adaptive adjustment of the damping to optimize driving comfort and safety.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2004
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Wei-Yi Loh, Thomas Micheal Dalka, Weiping Zhu, Jiansheng Weng
  • Patent number: 6679508
    Abstract: The subject inventive steering damper assembly includes a rotor sleeve having open first and second ends and a drive plate disposed in the open second end. A core is co-axially disposed in the rotor sleeve closing the open first end of the rotor sleeve and defining a magnetic fluid chamber with the sleeve. A Magneto-Rheological fluid is disposed in the magnetic fluid chamber. The drive plate is flexible to provide manufacturing and operational tolerance, and is securely attached to the open second end of the rotor sleeve. Flexibility is derived from at least one aperture disposed in the drive plate. The aperture may be formed in a variety of shapes including elongated, round and oval shaped apertures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2004
    Assignee: Delphi Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Ronald G. Smith, Jr., Michael L. Oliver, William C. Kruckemeyer
  • Patent number: 6679348
    Abstract: A vehicular two-wheel/four-wheel drive switching device for selectively transmitting power or disconnecting the transmission of rotary power to a power transmission system having a driving shaft connected to the drive side and a driven shaft fitted to the driving shaft via respective inner and outer rings having an annular clearance therebetween. Plural connecting/disconnecting members provided in the clearance between the inner and outer rings for connecting or disconnecting the driving shaft and the driven shaft are fitted or disconnected to/from respective opposite surfaces in response to a switching mechanism for selectively positioning the connecting/disconnecting members in a position in which the driving shaft and the driven shaft are connected and in a position in which they are disconnected. A casing encloses the switching device, and an oil seal is provided in two locations at an interval in the longitudinal direction of the driven shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2004
    Assignees: Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha, NTN Corporation
    Inventors: Akio Handa, Noriaki Takano, Bunzo Seki
  • Patent number: 6675922
    Abstract: A wheel driving system is capable of varying differential limiting torque applied to a differential included in an all-terrain vehicle according to the difference between loads respectively applied to the right and the left wheel of the vehicle, which varies depending on the traveling condition or turning condition of the vehicle. Right and left wheels are connected through a differential gear mechanism (30) having a differential case (46) and held in a reduction gear case (13), an input pinion (22) and a drive shaft to an engine. The differential case (46) and a differential gear shaft (36) connected to the wheel are interlocked by a wet multiple-disk differential limiting mechanism (31) having a friction clutch mechanism immersed in oil. The multiple-disk differential limiting mechanism (31) is operated by a multiple-disk differential limiting mechanism operating mechanism to vary differential limiting torque.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2004
    Assignee: Kawaski Jukogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yuichi Kawamoto, Haruo Kitai, Izumi Takagi, Hiroyuki Fujimoto
  • Patent number: 6675928
    Abstract: For an energy-saving type control, a value of a control low rate QP controlled by a flow control valve V is closer to a value of a flow rate required by an output side such as a power cylinder 8, a steering valve 9 or the like, to suppress a driving torque of a pump P. An excitation current I of a solenoid SOL is specified on the basis of a solenoid current instruction value IT based on a steering torque and a solenoid current instruction value IS defining a standby flow rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2004
    Assignee: Kayaba Industry Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Masashi Takai, Naoto Shima, Fumihide Kozuma, Norimasa Amano, Noboru Shimizu
  • Patent number: 6672607
    Abstract: A mini scooter includes a wheel member, a wheel support member, a steering rod, a steering rod support, a wheel cover plate, and a pedal. The wheel member includes a wheel with a transmission ring in the center, and a unidirectional rotary bearing, a pivot shaft of which serves as a wheel axle. Two ends of the wheel axle are respectively provided with cover plates. The cover plates are connected to the transmission ring. The wheel support member includes a wheel support with a top portion having a through hole and having an inverted U-shaped cross section. Securing bolts extend through through holes in the wheel support and engage with nuts. Two ends of the bearing pivot shaft are provided with axle bearings. Two sides of the wheel support respectively form circular holes for receiving the axle bearings. The wheel cover plate is disposed on and secured to the securing bolts in the through holes in the wheel support. The wheel cover plate has a top portion provided with front and rear stop blocks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2004
    Inventor: Yuan-Fen Chung
  • Patent number: 6672417
    Abstract: An arrangement in a snowmobile equipped with an apparatus for intensifying steering modifies the ski of the snowmobile to include a drum rotated by means of actuators, the drum forming at least part of the bearing surface of the ski. The rotation axis of the drum is oriented such that when the drum rotates, the circumferential surface of the drum moves transversely to the longitudinal axis of the ski. The drum is provided with one or more ridges protruding from its circumferential surface essentially parallel with the rotational axis of the drum. The drum is provided with one or more locking means arranged to lock the drum in a predetermined position when the apparatus for intensifying steering is not being used or to allow the drum to rotate when operation of the apparatus for intensifying steering is desired.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2004
    Assignee: Destar Oy
    Inventor: Antti Vuolle-Apiala
  • Patent number: 6669223
    Abstract: A vehicle trailer hitch including an aluminum tubular U-shaped strut and a cast aluminum receiver mounted thereto. Ends of the strut tube are flatted to form integral planar mounting flanges for mounting the hitch to a vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2003
    Assignee: Alcoa Inc.
    Inventors: Dinesh C. Sekaria, John W. Cobes, Robert P. Evert, Walter R. Reichelt, Jeffrey M. Shoup, Kirit N. Shah
  • Patent number: 6669220
    Abstract: A housing (2) for an electronic control unit for use aboard a bicycle and a battery container (3) for powering electrical devices fitted aboard, are provided with quick coupling means (6, 10), that, when coupled, also provide the electrical connection between the batteries and the control unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2003
    Assignee: Campagnolo S.r.l.
    Inventor: Mario Meggiolan