Patents Examined by John A. Pekar
  • Patent number: 4878397
    Abstract: Novel handlebars for a bicycle are disclosed. The handlebars include a crosspiece connected to a bicycle steering post with sideways portions extending therefrom. The handlebars of the invention have hand grip portions that are located relatively close together to encourage the rider to adopt a riding position in which the frontal area of the rider's silhouette is minimized, and in which the rider's elbows are located ahead of the rider's lungs. Turned handlebar portions extend from the sideways portions and extend generally forwardly and inwardly to define a pair of forward handle portions spaced apart a distance less than the width of the crosspiece. A front loop portion interconnects the forward handle portions so that all of the portions define a continuous loop forward of the steering post.A handlebar adapter is provided for a bicycle having an original handlebar.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 1988
    Date of Patent: November 7, 1989
    Inventor: Dan C. Lennon
  • Patent number: 4875699
    Abstract: A human powered vehicle comprises a chassis supported on a pair of front wheels and a rear wheel; a front seat for supporting a front occupant in a supine position at the front end of the chassis facing the front wheels; a rear seat for supporting a rear occupant in a supine position behind the front seat and also facing the front wheels; and a drive for propelling the vehicle, the drive including foot pedals operated by the front occupant, foot pedals operated by the rear occupant, and hand levers operated by the rear occupant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 1987
    Date of Patent: October 24, 1989
    Inventor: Shmuel Levavi
  • Patent number: 4875542
    Abstract: A variable assist power steering system employing a fluid distributor circuit of the open center type is disclosed. The fluid distributor circuit includes two parallel fluid flow paths connected to both chambers of a power cylinder respectively to produce a pressure differential between the both cylinder chambers in response to steering torque. For modulating the valve characteristics, two additional variable flow restrictors are arranged in series with two main variable flow restrictors and two bypass paths are arranged to bypass the main variable flow restrictors, respectively. The bypass paths are provided with variable flow orifice valves, respectively, which valves are controlled in response to a turning direction of a steering wheel and also to some external signal, such as vehicle speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 1988
    Date of Patent: October 24, 1989
    Assignee: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Koh Uchida, Takashi Kurihara, Makoto Miyoshi
  • Patent number: 4875541
    Abstract: A system having a motor operatively connected to a steering system for reducing the steering effort. The system is provided with a torsion torque sensor provided for detecting torsion torque generating in the steering system in steering operation. In response to the output signal of the torsion torque sensor, an assist signal is produced. The system has a dead zone for the output signal of the torsion torque sensor. Only when the output signal exceeds the dead zone, the assist signal is produced to operate the motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 1988
    Date of Patent: October 24, 1989
    Assignee: Fuji Jukogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Saiichiro Oshita, Toyohiko Mouri, Tsutomu Takahashi, Shinji Itou
  • Patent number: 4875540
    Abstract: A system having a motor operatively connected to a steering system for reducing the steering effort. The system is provided with a torsion torque sensor provided for detecting torsion torque generating in the steering system in steering operation. In response to the output signal of the torsion torque sensor, an assist signal is produced. A return torque signal dependent on the lateral acceleration exerted on a motor vehicle is generated. The return torque signal is added to the assist signal, thereby operating the motor to return a steering wheel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 1988
    Date of Patent: October 24, 1989
    Assignee: Fuji Jukogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Saiichiro Oshita, Toyohiko Mouri, Tsutomu Takahaski
  • Patent number: 4875539
    Abstract: An electric power steering control system includes an electric motor for producing an assisting torque for the vehicle steering system through a reduction gear, a steering torque sensor fitted on the steering shaft, a controller for controlling the input to the motor in accordance with the torque sensor output, a battery for supplying power to the controller, and a voltage step-up circuit connected to the battery for driving the motor at a voltage higher than the battery voltage. The controller drives the motor at a high voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 1988
    Date of Patent: October 24, 1989
    Assignees: Hitachi, Ltd., Hitachi Automotive Engineering Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Toshimi Abukawa, Kazuo Tahara, Katsuji Murumoto, Toshiyuki Koterazawa, Mitsuyuki Hombu, Tadashi Takahashi, Shuichi Takamatsu, Hisatugu Ishikura, Hiroshisa Yamamura, Toru Tatsuzaki, Tsutomu Ohmae, Toshiaki Okuyama, Seizi Yamashita, Shigeki Saito, Masato Sakai
  • Patent number: 4874054
    Abstract: A vehicle four wheel steering system including a front wheel steering mechanism for steering the front wheels in response to an operation of a manually operated steering member, a rear wheel steering mechanism for steering rear wheels in response to a steering movement of the front wheel. A control unit is provided for changing the steering ratio of the rear wheel steering angle to the front wheel steering angle in accordance with the vehicle speed. The steering ratio is further modified so that the rear wheel steering angle is added with a modification angle in the direction opposite to the direction of steering of the front wheel, the modification angle being increased in response to an increase in the side force on the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 1987
    Date of Patent: October 17, 1989
    Assignee: Mazda Motor Corporation
    Inventor: Kenichi Watanabe
  • Patent number: 4874056
    Abstract: A control system for controlling a driving torque distribution between front and rear axles of a four wheel drive vehicle includes a transfer clutch capable of continuously varying a torque transmitted to the front axle, front and rear wheel speed sensors for determining a front and rear wheel speed difference, a sensor for directly or indirectly sensing a lateral acceleration of the vehicle and a control unit. The control unit controls the transfer clutch in a characteristic such that the torque transmitted to the front axle is increased continuously and monotonically with an increase of the wheel speed difference at a steep rate when the lateral acceleration is low, and at a gradual rate when the lateral acceleration is high.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 1987
    Date of Patent: October 17, 1989
    Assignee: Nissan Motor Company, Limited
    Inventor: Genpei Naito
  • Patent number: 4874058
    Abstract: A viscous shear coupling includes a housing and a hub, the hub with and housing having interleaved plates and the housing containing viscous liquid. A screw pump is provided to pump the viscous liquid into and out of the portion of the housing containing the plates thus to vary the torque transmission of the coupling. The viscous coupling may be used in a motor vehicle driveline to provide a viscous transmission.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 1988
    Date of Patent: October 17, 1989
    Assignee: Viscodrive GmbH
    Inventor: Georg Kwoka
  • Patent number: 4872525
    Abstract: In the operation of a drive system for a motor vehicle comprising means for permanently driving a first pair of wheels and automatically operable means for selectively driving a second pair of wheels in dependence on the slip of the first pair of wheels, a frequent change between a four-wheel drive mode and a two-wheel drive mode for measuring purposes and for speed compariosn should not be required and this should be achieved with structurally simple means. To that end two sensors are respectively associated with the two permanently driven wheels and are operable to generate speed signals representing the speeds of said two wheels and to deliver said signals to a computer, which derives an actual speed difference signal from said speed signals and in which respective characteristic speed differences, which are specific to the vehicle, are stored for the two-wheel drive mode and for the four-wheel drive mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 1988
    Date of Patent: October 10, 1989
    Assignee: Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG
    Inventor: Hans D. Sommer
  • Patent number: 4872524
    Abstract: A platform movable in a horizontal plane by a plurality of underlying, initially vertical finger assemblies which reciprocate, half of which are driven down while the other half are retracted, and which then are cycled in the reverse fashion. The fingers are coupled to spherical surfaces reacting against reaction plates that can be controllably angled, with the result that the reciprocating fingers not only support the platform, but also move it horizontally by developing horizontal forces as a result of tilting the reaction plates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 1988
    Date of Patent: October 10, 1989
    Inventor: Chadwell O'Connor
  • Patent number: 4871184
    Abstract: A guide assembly of the type removably mounted in cooperative relation to a hitch ball secured to a vehicle or like structure in a conventional manner wherein the guide assembly, once in an operative position relative to the hitch ball, will serve to direct the distal free end of a coupling tongue into engagement with the hitch ball so as to facilitate coupling therebetween with a minimum effort exerted by the operator of the vehicle on which the hitch ball is mounted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 1988
    Date of Patent: October 3, 1989
    Inventor: Roy C. Johnson
  • Patent number: 4869336
    Abstract: A snowmobile including a body a pair of rear wheels with tires a motor for driving the rear wheel, an axis connected to a handle originally for a front wheel, and skid member mounted on the axis. The skid member comprises a skid, extending in the longitudinal direction of the body, bent upward in its front part, support members protuberantly provided on the upper surface of the skid, and rotatably connected to the axis and at least one fin, protuberantly provided on the under surface of the skid, extending front to rear from a position beneath the above mentioned support member, located at the substantial center in its longitudinal direction of the skid, and the length of the fin is set in a range of 40 to 60% of the length of the skid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 1988
    Date of Patent: September 26, 1989
    Assignee: Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd.
    Inventors: Eiji Nakasaki, Katsunori Tajima, Yasuo Igarashi, Hiroto Sakakibara
  • Patent number: 4869335
    Abstract: A system for steering rear wheels of a motor vehicle has a detector for detecting cornering force exerted on front wheels and a speed detector for detecting steering speed of a steering wheel of the vehicle. A desired rear-wheel steering angle is calculated based on the cornering force and vehicle speed, a desired rear-wheel steering speed is obtained from the steering speed and the vehicle speed. In response to the desired rear-wheel steering angle and to the desired rear-wheel steering speed, rear wheels are steered.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 1988
    Date of Patent: September 26, 1989
    Assignee: Fuji Jukogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Akira Takahashi
  • Patent number: 4867469
    Abstract: A bumper hitch for quick and firm connection to the bumper of a variety of vehicles is particularly adapted for connection to the front bumper to allow manuevering or parking of a boat trailer, for example with direct observation by the driver. The hitch includes a vertical member formed of slightly spaced yet connected angles. One leg of the top of each angle is bent horizontally to form a hook to engage the top of the bumper with the other leg of the angle being cut away above the bend. A bottom anchor includes an upturned angle to engage the bottom of the bumper, such angle being secured to a threaded stud extending through the slot so that the bottom anchor may be drawn tight. The interior of the hitch includes a height adjustable wooden pad to protect the bumper finishing. The exterior includes a welded horizontal projection supporting a ball trailer hitch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 1987
    Date of Patent: September 19, 1989
    Inventor: Paul Freeman
  • Patent number: 4865150
    Abstract: In a power assisted rack and pinion vehicle steering mechanism, a rack and a pinion engage within a housing. The pinion is mounted on a pinion shaft which is journalled in bearings in a cage. A lever is fixed to the cage and projects from the cage through the housing. The lever has a part-spherical seating portion which engages a part-spherical seat in the housing. Spring means biases the rack into engagement wiht the pinion, and through the cage biases the part-spherical seating portion of the lever into engagement with the seat on the housing. Steering torque imparted on the pinion moves the rack axially and causes a reaction on the pinion which rotates the cage about the center of the part-spherical seating portion. This rocks the lever to actuate power assistance means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 1988
    Date of Patent: September 12, 1989
    Assignee: TRW Cam Gears Limited
    Inventor: Frederick J. Adams
  • Patent number: 4865140
    Abstract: A robotic crawling device that can traverse vertical and overhead surfaces while carrying other equipment. The device preferably includes a platform (10) that remains a substantially fixed distance from the surface. The platform (10) rides on a crawling mechanism which includes an outer housing (56) and an inner housing (46) positioned within the outer housing (56). A turning mechanism can be mounted with the inner housing (46) to allow the device to be advanced in any direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 1988
    Date of Patent: September 12, 1989
    Inventor: Spencer D. Cottam
  • Patent number: 4863185
    Abstract: Presented is a trailer hitch apparatus or assembly that marries a spherical ball to a monolithic plug that may be detachably locked in a complementary socket fixed to a tractor vehicle. In another aspect of the invention, the spherical ball attached to the monolithic plug is permanently pivotally mounted on the tongue of a trailer-type vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 1988
    Date of Patent: September 5, 1989
    Inventor: Dino L. Coppe
  • Patent number: 4861321
    Abstract: An assembly comprising a pulley sub assembly and a shift sub assembly. The pulley sub assembly includes a plurality of pulleys, each pulley includes a plurality of sections, and at least one section of each pulley is axially moveable. The shift sub assembly has a disengaged position to maintain the pulleys in normal positions, and an engaged position. With one embodiment, when the shift sub-assembly is in the engaged position, it slides a section of a first pulley from the plane thereof, into the plane of a second pulley, and then back into the plane of the first pulley. With an alternate embodiment, when the first sub-assembly is in the engaged position, it slides all of the sections of a pulley, one at a time, into the plane of another pulley.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 1988
    Date of Patent: August 29, 1989
    Assignee: Research Corporation Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: John T. Siegwart, Jr.
  • Patent number: 4861062
    Abstract: For covering hitch balls on the hitch systems of cars a loose covering hood is usually placed over the hitch ball which may easily be lost if it is loose, or create a noise if it is suspended in a chain, when the ball is being used. To avoid these problems, two semi-spherical shells are pivotally fastened to the hitch rod right below the hitch ball, such that they are pivotal from a covering position closed about the hitch ball to opposite projecting positions, in which the hitch ball is uncovered. On already existing hitch systems the shells are easily mountable by a simple clamp fitting, which is even well suited to be fixed on a conical hitch ball rod.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 1987
    Date of Patent: August 29, 1989
    Inventor: Poul Stidsen