Patents Examined by Jeffrey Hofsass
  • Patent number: 6157320
    Abstract: Adding a quantity of metallic shot or particles of other materials having a high dielectric constant to the thermoplastic paint in the mixing pot of ordinary roadway marker fixation equipment, which extrudes the paint and applies same to the roadway surface, enhances the MMW radiometric visibility of the marker without adverse effect to the affixation equipment. Vehicles containing MMW radiometers directed down toward the roadway surface moves along the roadway surface is able to automatically sense microwave/millimeter wave energy from a marker in the vehicles path. In one system, the sensed energy is used in conjunction with other apparatus to assist to guide the vehicle within a traffic lane. In another system, the sensed energy is decoded and displayed as pertinent information for the vehicle's driver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2000
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: M. Larry Yujiri, Bruce I. Hauss, Bill H. Quon, James E. Eninger
  • Patent number: 6127930
    Abstract: An automatically inflatable mattress adapted to rest on a bottom of a swimming pool in its deflated position and inflates using compressed air pumped through air inflation lines that are coiled around spring loaded hose reels. A microprocessor actuates a compressed air pump as a person interrupts a signal pattern produced by microwave sensors disposed around the perimeter of the swimming pool. The mattress uniformly rises up to the surface of the swimming pool to catch a distressed individual whose motion is detected after falling into the water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2000
    Inventor: Robert D. Steffanus
  • Patent number: 6107922
    Abstract: A self-contained head set based sleep or fatigue alarm for a driver of a vehicle contains a set of arms extending from the alarm housing around the driver's head to the area under the driver's lower jaw. Involuntary relaxation of the driver's lower jaw causes rotation of the arms which in turn urges the movable contact against the stationary contact and therefore leads to the completion of the electrical circuit. After a predetermined delay, a buzzer or vibrator is activated to awaken the driver. In another embodiment, two relaxation motions, jaw lowering and head tilting, are used at the same time to trigger the alarm. In a third embodiment, either one of these two relaxation motions is used to trigger the alarm independently thus increasing the sensitivity of the alarm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2000
    Inventor: Andrey Bryuzgin
  • Patent number: 6104298
    Abstract: A roof moisture detection assembly includes an imaging system for obtaining thermal and visible images of a roof surface, an imaging system support ructure for mounting the imaging system in a position elevated relative to the roof surface, a reference target mounted on the roof surface, and an image-processing system adapted to compare current thermal and visible images of the roof surface with previous thermal and visible images of the roof surface and detect shapes and areas of anomalous features, and to compare the current thermal and visible images with each other and detect shapes and areas of anomalous features.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2000
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Army
    Inventor: Stephen Nathaniel Flanders
  • Patent number: 6104283
    Abstract: The apparatus according to the present invention is provided with two or more output systems to which transducers are connected, a source output on/off control unit that turns on/off the output from a source based upon the output from a random signal generating unit and a frequency varying unit that causes changes in the frequency of an electrical signal provided to the transducers over time at a specific rate. Every time the source output is turned off, the output of the electrical signal is stopped and the output systems are switched over, whereas when the source output is on, the electrical signal provided to the transducers on the output system to which the signal is to be provided. Since the output systems are switched over to be selected for use, it becomes possible to connect a greater number of transducers while using the same source capacity as in the prior art and noise generated from the transducers, when switching over the output systems, is eliminated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2000
    Assignee: Cats, Inc.
    Inventor: Hirotaka Otomo
  • Patent number: 6091344
    Abstract: A communication processing device in a booth computer of a toll collecting system includes a communication firmware portion for transmitting data to and receiving data from a predetermined number of lane controllers which control equipments installed respectively in toll collection lanes and detecting and correcting errors in communication, a lane controller interface for analyzing the data transmitted from the communication firmware portion, distributing the data to various processing devices in the booth computer, and transmitting predetermined commands and data from the processing devices in the booth computer to the lane controllers through the communication firmware portion, a lower interface operating state managing portion for receiving commands on a communication operation from a user, controlling a communication state, and providing the result to the user, and a booth controller interface for transmitting to a booth controller initializing data representing the state of each lane, booth control data
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2000
    Assignee: SamSung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Won-seo Park, Ho-cheol Kim, Duk-kyun Ryu, Seog-min Choi
  • Patent number: 6087942
    Abstract: A tactile alert stimulation and massaging system for equipment such as a vehicle includes a pad; a heater element, and motorized vibrators in respective regions of the pad; a plurality of vibratory transducers for location relative to plural zones of the seat, each transducer being responsive to a transducer power signal; a microprocessor controller having program and variable memory and an input and output interface; an array of input elements connected to the input interface for signaling the microprocessor in response to operator input, the signaling including an intensity control value, a plurality of mode signals, and a plurality of region signals relating transducers to be enabled; a driver circuit responsive to the output interface for producing, separately for each of the transducers, the power signal; and the microprocessor controller being operative in response to the input elements for activating the transducers for operation thereof in a plurality of modes including a massaging mode selectively pr
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2000
    Assignee: JB Research, Inc.
    Inventors: Charles G. Sleichter, III, Stanley Cutler, Gayle B. Gerth, Alton B. Otis, Jr., Taylor Chau
  • Patent number: 6087941
    Abstract: A warning system for warning a user that they have fallen or are about to fall asleep is disclosed. The system includes a contact lens having a detectable feature such as a holographic marking or other markings or indicia, metallic substances, color, or some microcircuit device, which will be worn by the user. The system also includes a detector or sensing device that can detect the presence of the contact lens when the eyelids of the person wearing the contact lens are open. The type of detector will vary depending upon the type of detectable feature incorporated into the contact lens. When the eyelids of the user become heavy or close, so as to cover a substantial portion of the detectable feature of the contact lens for a predetermined period and/or at a predetermined frequency, then the detector will generate a signal to thereby awaken the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2000
    Inventor: Mark Ferraz
  • Patent number: 6075445
    Abstract: A high-temperature warning indicator is provided for attachment to a firefighter's helmet. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the indicator is in the form of a dual-color LED mounted in the tip of a highly insulated, lightweight housing. A microprocessor located within the housing and coupled to a temperature sensor activates the light, changes it from solid to flashing modes, and changes the color of the light as various temperature/time thresholds are reached. A clamp or similar mounting device is provided for securing the device to the brim of the firefighter's helmet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2000
    Inventors: John E. McLoughlin, Neocles G. Athanasiades, Kiam Meng Toh, Joseph Raymond Paris
  • Patent number: 6054924
    Abstract: An improved EAS tag is disclosed. The tag is characterised in that the or one of the magnetic materials on the tag is divided into distinct zones such that the zones and their relative positions can represent information or a code which is readable magnetically by passing the tag through a magnetic field which comprises a relatively small region of zero magnetic field (a magnetic null) contiguous with regions where the magnetic field is sufficient to saturate said magnetic material, the tag being moved through the magnetic field and its magnetic response being detected as it traverses the magnetic null.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2000
    Assignee: Flying Null Limited
    Inventors: Andrew Nicholas Dames, Michael David Crossfield
  • Patent number: 6034608
    Abstract: A tornado alarm that monitors humidity, static charge in the air and the barometric pressure. Nothing happens until the level of static electricity increases to a set amount over a stored base level and the humidity reaches 100 percent. At this point the first stage alarm is activated. The device sends out an initial blast followed by a report every 60 seconds during this mode of operation. At this point, the user is awakened by the alert. The user then can turn on news reports to verify danger. Once awake, if danger exists, the user can prepare for a tornado and be ready. When the barometric pressure reaches 28 millibars, the third condition is reached. Under most circumstances, a tornado is then immanent. This sets the device into the second stage alert mode. In this mode, a continuous alarm sounds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2000
    Inventors: Henry Frank, Michael Frank Johnnie
  • Patent number: 6034610
    Abstract: The invention is directed to a method for monitoring the operation of a gas probe, such as a .lambda.-probe for an internal combustion engine. The .lambda.-probe has a probe ceramic (Nernst cell) and a probe heater. The internal resistance (x) of the probe ceramic is measured and a desired value (y) is determined in dependence upon the temperature of the gas to be detected and the heating power of the probe heater. The internal resistance (x) is then compared to the desired value (y) and, when the measured value of the internal resistance (x) exceeds the desired value (y), then a fault signal is generated and/or the fault signal is outputted and/or the fault signal is stored.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2000
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Eberhard Schnaibel, Erich Junginger, Lothar Raff
  • Patent number: 6028516
    Abstract: A trigger circuit including a light source supplying a first beam of light having a first frequency, a frequency altering device positionable to receive the first beam of light. The frequency altering device receiving the first beam of light and transmitting a second beam of light having a second frequency. A frequency sensitive component operable in response to the second beam of light having the second frequency, the frequency sensitive component being positioned to receive the second beam of light and provide a trigger signal. A trigger coupled to receive the trigger signal and, upon receipt of the trigger signal, triggering the system. A light filter can be included to transmit the light of the second frequency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2000
    Inventor: James D. Murphey
  • Patent number: 6018292
    Abstract: A emergency trunk release apparatus of disclosed, comprised of comprising a lock bypass panel, located inside a trunk compartment. The lock bypass panel consists of an activation switch that is wired in parallel with a vehicle's electric trunk release such that its actuation will cause the trunk to open. The activation switch is a depression-type activation switch with an enlarged pad surface that allows it to be found easily in a dark trunk environment. The activation switch may be illuminated by any conventional means, so as to facilitate viewing in the darkness of the trunk. The present invention also includes a manual deactivation switch that takes the present invention temporarily out of service during times where cargo may accidentally activate the activation switch. It is envisioned that the present invention may be installed as a retrofit kit on existing automobiles or as original equipment on new vehicles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2000
    Inventor: Joseph W. Penny, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6005494
    Abstract: A system for determining an energy-optimum route for a vehicle to take between an origin and a destination includes a computer onboard the vehicle. A global positioning system (GPS) transceiver is also onboard the vehicle for receiving vehicle position data from the satellite. The computer access a database containing both topographical map information and vehicle energy consumption data, and based thereon the computer determines and displays an energy-optimum route. The computer can also display information regarding nearby refueling stations. Also, the vehicle energy consumption data can be modified as appropriate based on the operation of the vehicle, to account for the particular vehicle's actual fuel consumption characteristics.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 21, 1999
    Assignee: Chrysler Corporation
    Inventor: Scott W. Schramm
  • Patent number: 5986576
    Abstract: A remote control portable traffic signaling device (10) and system (94) for controlling a flow of traffic. The remote control portable traffic signaling system (94) includes the portable signaling device (10) and a plurality of warning flashers (76). The portable signaling device (10) includes a remote control unit (42) and a signal head (11) having an LED display device (50) and a microprocessor (46). The remote control unit (42) transmits a control signal to be received by the microprocessor (46) for use in controlling a message communicated by the LED display device (50). A base unit (30) including a storage compartment for housing the power source (36) is connected to the signal head (11) for supplying power to the microprocessor (46) and LED display device (50) via a connection wire (38) extending through a pole (24) positioned therebetween.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1999
    Inventor: Sheldyn Kyle Armstrong
  • Patent number: 5969626
    Abstract: A device and method for monitoring the integrity of a ground connection between an electrostatic apparatus and earth ground. The device and method provide for continuous monitoring of the connection. The device includes an audible and visual alarm if there is a fault in the grounding connection. It also provides an audible and visual alarm if a DC power supply falls below a specified value. A switch is provided for testing the circuit manually to ensure its proper operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1999
    Assignee: Altera Corporation
    Inventor: Joe Maciel
  • Patent number: 5959551
    Abstract: For use in warning motorist, especially those who are hearing impaired, of an approaching emergency vehicle, a new and useful invention comprises a transmitter which is installed into an emergency vehicle and activated upon an emergency run. A low frequency signal is sent out over the emergency vehicles original equipment antenna system and is picked up by motorist having a receiver unit mounted to their dash panel. The signal is processed into visual and audio warnings whenever a transmitting emergency vehicle is within close proximity to the receiving vehicle. The receiver is on full time when the motor vehicle is in operation thereby allowing suitable response time for motorist to take appropriate action in yielding to the emergency vehicle. The transmitter does however have an on/off switch as well as a visual and audio means for monitoring the transmitted signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 28, 1999
    Inventor: Alfredo Cardillo
  • Patent number: 5955941
    Abstract: A method and a device for adjusting the velocity of a motor vehicle to a programmable target velocity, with a current velocity of the controlled vehicle being measured. A distance sensor measures at least one distance to a vehicle or another obstacle in front of the controlled vehicle. The controlled vehicle is accelerated or decelerated as a function of at least the measured distance and the measured instantaneous velocity. A positive acceleration of the controlled vehicle ceases or is reduced, or the instantaneous velocity of the controlled vehicle is reduced, if a blinding sensor is used to determine that the driver of the controlled vehicle is being blinded by the light of oncoming traffic.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 21, 1999
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Achim Pruksch, Alain Gaillard
  • Patent number: 5952940
    Abstract: When a vehicle-mounted device receives a FCM signal from a road-side communication device, the vehicle-mounted device receives or transmits a data signal in accordance with a link direction and a time slot specified by the FCM signal. When the vehicle-mounted device does not receive a signal to be received within an expected time, or when it transmits an ACK signal which is a last signal of communication, retry processing starts. In this retry processing, the vehicle-mounted device determines the contents of communication processing to be next carried out from both the contents of the signal transmitted from the road-side communication device and the contents of the last time communication processing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 14, 1999
    Assignee: Denso Corporation
    Inventor: Manabu Matsumoto