Patents Examined by Jeffrey Hofsass
  • Patent number: 6950032
    Abstract: A water protection system apparatus for detecting and stopping a flow of water which includes a power supply, a water ionization switch, and a controlled valve assembly. The water ionization switch selectively conducts electricity when exposed to water and includes an initially dry non-conductive crystallized compound. The compound ionizes when exposed to water to form an electrolyte which conducts electricity. This switch is connected to a controlled valve assembly to stop the flow of water in response to the detection of water by the switch. Other refinements include modifications to the switch housing and condition indicators for monitoring the system and signaling water detection and shutdown operations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2005
    Assignee: Dry Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: John K. Hewitt, Ronald Andrew Cina, Ronald August Cina
  • Patent number: 6924736
    Abstract: A first vehicle includes a first device for receiving global positioning system (GPS) signals, generating at least one of a first time, position and velocity signal based on the received GPS signals, generating at least one of a second time, position and velocity signal based upon the motion of the first vehicle, comparing the first and second signals, generating a corrected first vehicle signal, and transmitting the corrected first vehicle signal. A second vehicle includes a second device for receiving GPS signals, generating at least one of a third time, position and velocity based on the received GPS signals, generating at least one of a fourth time, position and velocity based on the motion of the second vehicle, comparing the third and fourth signals, generating a corrected second vehicle signal, receiving the corrected first signal, and calculating from the corrected first and second vehicle signals the likelihood that the positions of the first and second vehicles will coincide at some time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2005
    Inventors: Dale F. Oexmann, Kevin R. Beto, Matthew W. Lueck, Christopher W. Maurer, Shane B. Stanford
  • Patent number: 6922144
    Abstract: A remote monitoring system for a mobile storage tank having a product container in which a remote telemetry unit gathers liquid level and head space pressure data and global position data. The remote telemetry unit effects a wireless transmission of a standard message structure containing the pressure and level data and the global position data. In addition, in case of a storage tank having a thermal shield fluid, pressure and level data for the shield fluid itself may also be in the standard data record as well as acceleration data from an accelerometer to indicate tank damage. If upset conditions of pressure and liquid level are reached in the thermal shield and/or product container, vapor may be vented in accordance with preset programming in order to attempt to reestablish liquid level and vapor pressure above set points.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 26, 2005
    Assignee: Praxair Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Tom Bulin, Tom Gallagher, Scott E. Gray, Gerard W. Langton
  • Patent number: 6906628
    Abstract: The invention concerns a system for detecting multiple tags in a detection zone. The system includes an electronic tag detection system having first and second field generators, each having a respective antenna for generating an electromagnetic field in a detection zone defined between the antennas. Additionally, at least one of the field generators can be responsive to a presence of at least two electronically detectable tags in the detection zone, for varying an intensity of at least one of the electromagnetic fields.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2005
    Assignee: Sensormatic Electronics Corporation
    Inventor: James T. Whitehead
  • Patent number: 6891479
    Abstract: A remotely controllable door operator apparatus is mountable to a doorframe structure and a movable door to control door movement between a closed position and an opened position. The operator apparatus includes a motor assembly, a linkage device, a slip clutch assembly, and a controller unit. The motor assembly has an output shaft, and the motor is mountable to one of the door and the door frame structure. The slip clutch assembly is coupled between the output shaft and the linkage device to transfer torque therebetween, and can slip to enable manual and remote operation of the door. The controller unit is coupled to the motor assembly to activate the operator apparatus to close the door in manual operation, and to open and to close the door in response to at least one remote signal. A method of using the remotely controllable automatic door operator and closer is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2005
    Inventor: Jon E. Eccleston
  • Patent number: 6888459
    Abstract: A system and method for constructing a security system for a building using at least one RFID reader to communicate with at least one RFID transponder to provide the radio link between each of a number of openings and a controller capable of causing an alert in the event of an intrusion. The RFID transponder is connected to an intrusion sensor. The controller preferably communicates with the RFID reader using a power line communications protocol. The RFID transponder can contain a battery. The RFID reader contains means for transferring power to an RFID transponder for the purpose of charging any battery. The security system can contain more than one controller, whereby the RFID reader can communicate with more than one controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2005
    Inventor: Louis A. Stilp
  • Patent number: 6888464
    Abstract: A child locating system for detecting if a person, such as a child, is outside of a predetermined radius from a receiving point and for determining the longitudinal position and latitudinal position of such person by utilizing global positioning satellites. The system includes an implantable transceiver that is insertable within the person for receiving a positioning signal from a plurality of global positioning satellites, and a mobile receiver for detecting a location signal from the implantable transceiver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2005
    Inventor: Cathy Maloney
  • Patent number: 6876300
    Abstract: An intelligent turn signal control system for turning on and off left and right turn signals in a vehicle includes a computer, such as an antilock braking system computer, with programmed software operably disposed on a vehicle, a driver interface switch assembly as input to the computer. Two or more wheel speed sensors transmit differential wheel movement data as input to the computer, a circuit drives turn signal indicator lamps from conditionally computed output data from the computer to turn on and off turn signals in a situation-appropriate manner. Upon turn signal indication intent data input from the driver, extensive travel and turn data is computed, including yaw rotation and steering system position to turn off or cancel the turn signal at the appropriate point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2005
    Inventor: Richard L. Ponziani
  • Patent number: 6850155
    Abstract: A tire pressure monitoring system (12) for a vehicle (10) has a mini-spare tire 14e having a spare tire transmitter (16e) generating a mini-spare transmitter identification signal, a distance sensor generating a distance signal and a controller (22) coupled to the mini-spare tire. The controller (22) starts the timer in response to receiving the spare tire identification signal. The controller (22) determines a mini-spare distance signal and generates a warning signal when the mini-spare distance signal exceeds a predetermined distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2005
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventor: Thomas Michael McQuade
  • Patent number: 6847290
    Abstract: Tension alert device is used with a load secured to a vehicle load bed, which has a securing belt having a connector portion and an attachment link. The device includes a connector sleeve, with an axial bore and a sleeve end portion, which is connected to the link. A first contacter connects to an inner end portion of the sleeve and faces into the axial bore. A second contacter slides in the bore along a restricted path of travel and has a second load bed connector. The second contacter faces the first contacter and is urged away from it when the belt has a first tension threshold value. The first contacter has an electrical signal generator for producing an electrical signal, which is activated when the second contacter is biased against it when the belt attains a second threshold tension value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2005
    Inventor: Maurice Tardif
  • Patent number: 6838979
    Abstract: This invention provides a system to detect in real time the condition of jackknifing tendency during vehicle-trailer backing up, and to provide steering direction assistance. The system utilizes rates of change of a vehicle-trailer articulation angle to determine a critical articulation angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2005
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Weiwen Deng, Yong H. Lee, Yuen-Kwok Chin
  • Patent number: 6822573
    Abstract: This invention describes a non-intrusive system used to determine if the driver of a vehicle is drowsy and at risk of falling asleep at the wheel due to drowsiness. The system consists of two different drowsiness detection systems and a control unit. This redundancy reduces the risk of a false drowsiness assessment. The first subsystem consists of an array of sensors, mounted in the vehicle headliner and seat, which detects head movements that are indicative characteristics of a drowsy driver. The second subsystem consists of heart rate monitoring sensors placed in the steering wheel. The control unit is used to analyze the sensory data and determine the driver's drowsiness state and therefore corresponding risk of falling asleep while driving. Through sensory fusion, intelligent software algorithms, and the data provided by the sensors, the system monitors driver characteristics that may indicate a drowsy driver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2004
    Assignee: Intelligent Mechatronic Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Otman Adam Basir, Jean Pierre Bhavnani, Fakhreddine Karray, Kristopher Desrochers
  • Patent number: 6737971
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for detecting an object approaching a vessel at rest on a water surface include a laser light curtain comprising at least one pulsed laser light beam extending radially from the ship toward a perimeter thereabout, the laser light curtain positioned spaced apart from and approximately parallel to an approach surface for detecting an object interrupting the light curtain; at least one pulsed laser rangefinder connected to the ship and positioned outboard therefrom to generate the laser light curtain; a power source connected to the pulsed laser rangefinder to supply power thereto; a processor connected to the pulsed laser rangefinder to process data therefrom; and at least one display connected to the processor to display information obtained from the processed data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2004
    Inventor: Theodore F. Knaak
  • Patent number: 6731215
    Abstract: A leakage response system for an appliance includes a leakage sensor which is operative to change an electrical parameter upon contact by a conductive liquid, a controller circuit electrically coupled with the strip for generating an activation signal in response to contact of the strip by a conductive liquid and a response device coupled with the controller circuit and activated by the signal. The sensor includes a mat which is constructed of top and bottom outer layers of electrically conductive fabric separated by a central nonconductive fabric layer; and a pair of fusing layers fusing the top and bottom layers to the central nonconductive layer. The sensor may also include a pair of conductive pins for installation into a surface for detecting moisture hidden within the surface. The response device may include an audible alarm and/or a valve for shutting off the water flow in the appliance water supply line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2004
    Inventors: Frederick H. Harms, Charles McKenzie
  • Patent number: 6727807
    Abstract: A system and method for alerting a driver of an automobile to a traffic condition. The system comprises at least one camera having a field of view and facing in the forward direction of the automobile. The camera captures images of the field of view in front of the automobile. A control unit receives images of the field of view from the camera and identifies objects therein of a predetermined type. The control unit analyzes the object images of at least one predetermined type to determine whether one or more of the identified objects present a condition that requires the driver's response. A display receives control signals from the control unit regarding the one or more of the objects that present a condition that requires the driver's response. The display displays an image of the object to the driver that is positioned and scaled so that it overlays the actual object as seen by the driver, the displayed image of the object enhancing a feature of the actual object to alert the driver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2004
    Assignee: Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.
    Inventors: Miroslav Trajkovic, Srinivas Gutta, Antonio Colmenarez
  • Patent number: 6720879
    Abstract: This invention relates to an animal collar for locating and tracking animals. The animal collar is provided with a digital video camera that may be remotely controlled transmit real time full motion video signals over a broadband wireless communication network to allow a pet owner to view the immediate surroundings of a lost pet. The animal collar is further provided with a global positioning (GPS) unit that communicates with GPS satellites to determine the geographic coordinates of the animal collar.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2004
    Assignee: Time-N-Space Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: Marlena Edwards
  • Patent number: 6693519
    Abstract: A vehicle monitoring systems capable of being retrofitted to a commercial transport carrier having a video camera, a fastening bracket for securing the video camera to a first point of attachment on the transport carrier, a ball mount and screw mechanism, a camera support bracket, a monitor support bracket for securing the monitor to a second point of attachment in the cab of the transport carrier, and a coaxial cable for relaying images from the video camera to the monitor, wherein the video camera is adjustably mounted to the first point of attachment and the monitor is adjustable mounted to the second point of attachment. Upon retrofit, the monitoring system provides a rear-view image of areas adjacent the commercial transport carrier (i.e., blind spots), thereby enhancing the driver's situational awareness, preventing highway accidents, and promoting highway safety.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2004
    Assignee: V-Tech-USA, LLC
    Inventor: Robert Lewis Keirstead
  • Patent number: 6535114
    Abstract: Images are captured using a single camera in motion. A recognition process section detects a possible object in a photographed image, tracks the possible object within the moving image, and generates object shape information from the trajectory information. A motion and pose determination section determines camera motion and pose using the photographed images for recognition processing. The determined data are used for object recognition along with the tracking information. The motion and pose determination section converts the optical flow parameters obtained from the photographed images into physical parameters in three-dimensional space. An Extended Kalman Filter is used for both the determination of motion and pose and for object recognition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2003
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Toshihiko Suzuki, Takeo Kanade
  • Patent number: 6518890
    Abstract: A device for indicating a multi-position state and having one or more sensors, one or more bi-stable, magnetic switches, and a control unit. The switches are provided with an electromagnet arranged in connection with each individual switch thereby enabling the switches to be switched between two or more indicating positions by sending an electric pulse through the electromagnet. The sensors are connected to the control unit, which is in turn connected to the switches. The sensors are arranged to sense which of the two or more positions is the current state of a measured object, and transmit a signal corresponding to the position of the measured object to the control unit. The control unit is arranged to transmit a signal to the electromagnet of the corresponding switch in order to update the indicated state of the switch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 11, 2003
    Assignee: Volvo Personvagner AB
    Inventors: Anders Hallén, Mohammad Moradnia
  • Patent number: 6486781
    Abstract: An equipment label comprising an identity plate bearing information markings and an electronic tag having electrical contacts. The identity plate is provided with means for attachment to an item of equipment and is adapted to mount the electronic tag such that in use the label can be attached to the item of equipment with the identity plate's markings exposed to be read and the electrical contacts accessible for communication with the tag.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2002
    Assignee: Oxley Developments Company Limited
    Inventors: Geoffrey Stephen Edwards, Michael Craig Foster