Patents Examined by James P. Trammell
  • Patent number: 8942860
    Abstract: A wireless communication system for agricultural vehicles, in which each vehicle has a global positioning system (GPS), a multi-channel transmitter/receiver module having a limited communication range, and a signal processor connected to the transmitter/receiver module. The transmitter is controlled by the signal processor to transmit on a predetermined communication channel a signal comprising a unique vehicle identifier and a signal indicating the current positional coordinates of the vehicle. The signal processor also analyzes the signals received from other vehicles within the communication range and determines from the identifier and the positional coordinates data when another vehicle is ready to perform a joint operation with the vehicle. Prior to initiation of a joint operation, the communication system is switched to a different communication channel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2015
    Assignee: CNH Industrial America LLC
    Inventor: Riccardo Morselli
  • Patent number: 8935003
    Abstract: In a minimally invasive surgical system, a hand tracking system tracks a location of a sensor element mounted on part of a human hand. A system control parameter is generated based on the location of the part of the human hand. Operation of the minimally invasive surgical system is controlled using the system control parameter. Thus, the minimally invasive surgical system includes a hand tracking system. The hand tracking system tracks a location of part of a human hand. A controller coupled to the hand tracking system converts the location to a system control parameter, and injects into the minimally invasive surgical system a command based on the system control parameter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2015
    Assignee: Intuitive Surgical Operations
    Inventors: Brandon D. Itkowitz, Simon P. DiMaio, Paul E. Lilagan, Tao Zhao
  • Patent number: 8682554
    Abstract: A control device for controlling an engagement state of a lock-up clutch is provided. A plurality of target slip ratio maps include a normal slip ratio map having a characteristic line of a target slip ratio defined in accordance with an engine load at a normal vehicle running condition and a modified slip ratio map having a characteristic line of the target slip ratio to become a facing calorific value lower than a facing calorific value corresponding to the slip ratio retrieved from the normal slip ratio map. In the case where an estimate value of the facing temperature continues to exceed first threshold temperature for more than predetermined time when to carry out slip control using the normal slip ratio map, control to switch the target slip ratio map from the normal slip ratio map to the modified slip ratio map is carried out.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Masaaki Takamatsu, Yutaka Ishikawa, Shinya Abe
  • Patent number: 8666597
    Abstract: An electric power assisted steering system for a vehicle, comprising: a steering mechanism which operatively connects a steering wheel to road wheels of the vehicle, a torque sensor arranged to, in use, produce a torque signal indicative of the torque carried by a portion of the steering mechanism, an electric motor operatively connected to the steering mechanism, a signal processing unit arranged to, in use, produce from the torque signal a torque demand signal representative of a torque to be applied to the steering mechanism by the motor, the signal processing unit comprising a first calculating unit arranged to calculate an initial torque demand signal dependent on the torque signal, and a second calculating unit arranged to, in use, calculate a torque damping signal indicative of an amount the initial torque signal is to be damped in order to generate the torque demand signal, and a motor drive stage arranged to provide, in use, a drive current to the motor responsive to the torque demand signal, in whic
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2014
    Assignees: TRW Limited, TRW Automotive
    Inventors: Angel Luis Andres Fernandez, Kevin McLaughlin
  • Patent number: 8655513
    Abstract: A method for creating a digital elevation map (“DEM”) from frames of flash LIDAR data includes generating a first distance Ri from a first detector i to a first point on a surface Si. After defining a map with a mesh ? having cells k, a first array S(k), a second array M(k), and a third array D(k) are initialized. The first array corresponds to the surface, the second array corresponds to the elevation map, and the third array D(k) receives an output for the DEM. The surface is projected onto the mesh ?, so that a second distance Rk from a second point on the mesh ? to the detector can be found. From this, a height may be calculated, which permits the generation of a digital elevation map. Also, using sequential frames of flash LIDAR data, vehicle control is possible using an offset between successive frames.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2014
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventor: Michael D. Vanek
  • Patent number: 8655532
    Abstract: A method of modifying the charging target for the state-of-charge (SOC) of a hybrid vehicle battery in response to a sudden power draw includes determining that the hybrid vehicle has entered a steep grade environment, adjusting a power management scheme of the hybrid vehicle from a standard charging mode to an aggressive charging mode, and operating the hybrid vehicle operated using the adjusted power management scheme. The charging target may include both an immediate charging target and an ultimate charging target, where the immediate charging target is less than the ultimate charging target, and where adjusting a power management scheme from a standard charging mode to an aggressive charging mode includes increasing the immediate charging target.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2014
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Birendra P. Bhattarai, Kevin A. Dietrich, David W. Wright, Kee Yong Kim
  • Patent number: 8649926
    Abstract: A construction machine comprises an electric motor/generator; an engine; an epicyclic gearing for rotating the electric motor/generator reversely when speed of a rotation output to a drive wheel is zero during running of the engine; a transmission configured to switch between a forward driving gear position and a backward driving gear position; and a controller for controlling the engine, the electric motor/generator and the transmission, based on at least an accelerator opening, and a state of charge in an electric storage device; the controller being configured to switch the forward driving gear position or the backward driving gear position to a direction opposite to a direction in which the construction machine is moving, and cause the electric motor/generator to generate reverse torque in a power running mode, when the electric storage device is in a fully charged state and the accelerator has been pressed down by a driver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 11, 2014
    Assignees: Kawasaki Jukogyo Kabushiki Kaisha, Kabushiki Kaisha KCM
    Inventors: Makoto Baino, Soichirio Bando, Hidekazu Matsuba
  • Patent number: 8630795
    Abstract: Method and arrangement for setting a speed limit for vehicle travelling on a road includes monitoring conditions of the road, determining a speed limit for travel of vehicles on the road based on the monitored conditions, and transmitting the determined speed limit to the vehicles to thereby notify operators of the vehicles of the determined speed limit. Monitoring conditions of the road may entail monitoring weather conditions around the road, monitoring visibility for operators of the vehicles on the roads, monitoring traffic on the road, monitoring accidents on the road or emergency situations of vehicles on the road and/or monitoring the speed of vehicles travelling on the road and a distance between adjacent vehicles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2014
    Assignee: American Vehicular Sciences LLC
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wendell C. Johnson, Wilbur E. DuVall
  • Patent number: 8630792
    Abstract: Vehicle operating conditions are computed and the instant variable cost of operation is displayed, enabling operators to learn to operate the vehicle in ways that maximize value, minimize fuel consumption, and reduce or avoid operations that are excessively costly or wasteful. The display quantity is termed “Dynamic Fuel Cost” or DFC, usually measured and displayed in currency (such as Dollars or Euros) per hour. Once every second or so, up to six modes of vehicle operation are detected, including steady speed, acceleration, deceleration by coasting (reduced power or parasitic drag), regenerative braking (in vehicles so equipped such as hybrids), friction braking, and zero speed idling. Then DFC is computed and displayed to the operator. Operators can choose to operate the vehicle in ways that maximize the value of their time and minimize fuel consumption and resulting emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2014
    Inventor: David B. Smith
  • Patent number: 8630748
    Abstract: A method for access or starting verification for a vehicle using a mobile identification encoder and at least two antennas located in or on the vehicle at different locations includes: the antennas emitting electromagnetic signals at alterable times, wherein the electromagnetic signals are emitted in transmission blocks having alterable specific properties and wherein a plurality of transmission blocks are strung together to form a communication message in which each transmission block adopts an alterable position in time, the identification encoder receiving the electromagnetic signals emitted by the antennas and processing them to generate a response signal, and altering at least one of the times at which the individual antennas are actuated, the specific properties of the individual transmission blocks, and the position of the individual transmission blocks in time in the communication message in accordance with a cryptographical method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2014
    Assignee: Continental Automotive GmbH
    Inventors: Stefan Hermann, Alexander Heinrich, Franz Plattner
  • Patent number: 8600619
    Abstract: An approach is provided for custom zooming of geographic representation. A custom zooming application determines an input specifying a level of zoom for rendering a geographic representation presented at a device, the geographic representation including a plurality of objects. The custom zooming application determines respective degrees of relevance of the plurality of objects based, at least in part, on the device, a user of the device, related context information, or a combination thereof. The custom zooming application determines to render one or more of the plurality of objects with at least one different level of visibility with respect to other ones of the plurality of objects based, at least in part, on the respective degrees of relevance, the level of zoom, or a combination thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2013
    Assignee: Nokia Corporation
    Inventors: Elizabeth Bales, Timothy Youngjin Sohn
  • Patent number: 8577590
    Abstract: The subject matter disclosed herein relates to location-based tracking using geofences.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2013
    Assignee: QUALCOMM Incorporated
    Inventor: Thomas Francis Doyle
  • Patent number: 8577531
    Abstract: A system and method for the automatic control of wheel brake-slip in a motor vehicle with an electric drive (2), including the following steps: detecting a brake signal (14) by means of a slip control device (9), at which point the slip control device (9) generates an electric drive signal (15) and a friction brake signal (16) for the automatic control of a predetermined slip value of a wheel (1) of the motor vehicle, transmitting the electric drive signal (15) to an electric drive control device (6) and transmitting the friction brake signal (16) to a friction brake control device (12), at which point a friction brake control device (12) activates a friction brake (10) of the wheel (1) according to the friction brake control signal (16) to generate friction brake signal (16) to generate friction brake torque and an electric drive control device (6) activates electric drive (2) according to electric drive signal (15) to generate electric drive torque.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2013
    Assignee: Continental Teves AG & Co. OHG
    Inventors: Ákos Semsey, Michael Döricht
  • Patent number: 8571748
    Abstract: A method is provided for estimating a propulsion-related operating parameter of a vehicle for a road segment, and for determining routes based on the estimate. The method may be employed, for example, in a vehicle navigation system. In one example method, at least one operating parameter of the vehicle is estimated for the road segment based on information corresponding to the road segment. The propulsion-related operating parameter is estimated for the road segment using the at least one estimated operating parameter and at least one vehicle specific parameter. The at least one vehicle specific parameter is determined by acquiring driving data to determine a plurality of vehicle operating parameters while the vehicle is in operation. At least two of the determined vehicle operating parameters are used in a predetermined relationship that includes the at least one vehicle specific parameter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2013
    Assignee: Harman Becker Automotive Systems GmbH
    Inventors: Sebastian Kluge, Alexey Pryakhin, Peter Kunath
  • Patent number: 8554367
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a robot, which has a simple structure and makes a gesture in a curved shape. The robot includes a body part, at least one cam member symmetrically arranged at both sides of the inside of the body part, an outer cover member surrounding the at least one cam member, and a linear moving device to linearly move the at least one cam member. The shape of the outer cover member is varied, under the condition that the outer cover member is adhered closely to the at least one cam member, according to the movement of the at least one cam member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2013
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hong Won Kim, Woo Sup Han, Yong Jae Kim
  • Patent number: 8527136
    Abstract: When anomalous vehicle actions occur in a vehicle multiple times, it is determined whether each action data is included in a series of action data sets that are closely related mutually or an irrelevant independent action data set. When it is included in the series of action data sets, the ECUs record the series of action data sets in respective own memories according to a predetermined recording order. In contrast, when it is included in the independent action data set, an earliest ECU that is earliest in the recording order records the action data by overwriting its own memory. In this case, the earliest ECU transmits an instruction to other ECUs to delete all past action data that are recorded in own memories of the other ECUs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2013
    Assignee: Denso Corporation
    Inventor: Ryuki Kusano
  • Patent number: 8525660
    Abstract: A light bar and/or a siren controlled by a control head via control signals on power lines connected to the control head, the light bar and/or the siren. Isolated power line communication (PLC) modules between the light bar, the siren and the control head transmit the control signals over the power lines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2013
    Assignee: CODE 3, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel S. Miller, Roger L. Miller
  • Patent number: 8515641
    Abstract: A method for assisting the driver of a vehicle in detecting suitable parking spaces for the vehicle, a measuring unit detecting potential parking spaces as the vehicle passes by and the length and/or depth or width of a detected parking space being ascertained. A detected parking space is evaluated as a function of the ascertained length and/or depth regarding the possibility of parking the vehicle in this parking space, and the drive and/or braking device of the vehicle is controlled or regulated in such a way that the vehicle is automatically braked if the evaluation of a detected parking space yields the result that the vehicle can be parked in this parking space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2013
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventor: Thilo Riegel
  • Patent number: 8515595
    Abstract: A method is disclosed for forming a shadow pattern on a planetary or lunar surface, including providing a rough terrain vehicle having a plurality of wheels capable of imparting to the planetary or lunar surface shadow shaping components to produce a shadow pattern capable of being seen from a distance; and controlling the rough terrain vehicle to produce a pre-designed pattern in the planetary or lunar surface, viewable from a distance when sunlight hits the shadow shaping components from an angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2013
    Assignee: Moon Publicity Corporation
    Inventor: David K. Jones
  • Patent number: 8483912
    Abstract: In a vehicle provided with an ARS actuator and an ARS driving apparatus as the rear-wheel steering apparatus, an ECU performs ARS electric power saving control. In the control, electric power supply to the ARS actuator is cut under the conditions that a rudder angle deviation ??r is greater than a reference deviation ??th and that a duration Tlst exceeds a reference value Tlstth in cases where a rear-wheel rudder angle ?r is greater than a reference rudder angle ?rth, wherein the rudder angle deviation ??r is a difference value between a target rear-wheel rudder angle ?rtg and the rear-wheel rudder angle ?r and the duration Tlst is a time in which the state that the rudder angle deviation ??r is greater than the reference deviation ??rth continues.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2013
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Toru Takashima