Patents Examined by Luke D. Ratcliffe
  • Patent number: 11002834
    Abstract: A lidar scanning device for use in a motor vehicle includes a light source for emitting light onto an object; a light detector for receiving light that was reflected by the object; and multiple optical imaging elements in the optical path between the object and the light detector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2021
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Frank Kaestner, Hans-Jochen Schwarz, Joern Ostrinsky, Klaus Stoppel, Mustafa Kamil, Siegwart Bogatscher
  • Patent number: 10996336
    Abstract: A coherent imaging system produces coherent flood illumination directed toward a remote object and local oscillator (LO) illumination derived based on a same master oscillator as the flood illumination. A Doppler sensor receives the LO illumination and a return of flood illumination reflected off the object. Doppler shift data from the Doppler sensor, corresponding to a longitudinal velocity of the object relative to the imaging system, is used to produce Doppler-shifted LO illumination received by a low bandwidth, large format focal plane array (FPA), together with the return illumination from the object. Interference between the Doppler-shifted LO illumination and the return illumination facilitates producing an image of the object with the low bandwidth FPA despite the longitudinal velocity. Pixel intensities from the FPA are integrated over a period approaching the maximum interference frequency. The Doppler sensor and FPA may concurrently process return for a high energy laser target spot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2021
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: Joseph Marron, Maurice J. Halmos, Justin S. Grayer, David N. Sitter, Jr., Gamze Erten
  • Patent number: 10997668
    Abstract: A shading system creates a shaded region on a structure, enabling 3D scanning techniques that rely on light detection to generate a 3D model. The shading system includes a vehicle or device that moves the shading system into place. A light, such as a laser dot or line, can be projected onto the shaded region of the structure and detected by a 3D scanner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2021
    Assignee: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY
    Inventors: James M. Freeman, Patrick H. Boyer, Nicholas U. Christopulos, Jonathan D. Maurer, Nathan L. Tofte, Jackie O. Jordan, II
  • Patent number: 10996052
    Abstract: An optical sensor can include a transmitter for transmitting a light and one or more optical receivers or sensors to receive light reflected from other vehicles and objects. The apparatus can include a first optical angle sensor to receive from an object first reflected light at a first angle between the object and the first angle sensor. The apparatus can further include a second optical angle sensor to receive second reflected light from the object at a second angle between the object and the second angle sensor. The first reflected light and the second reflected light can be the transmitted light reflected from the object. Circuitry can receive the first and second angles from the first and second optical angle sensors and can process the measured first and second angles to determine the position of the object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2021
    Assignee: SHENZHEN GOODIX TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Yi He, Bo Pi
  • Patent number: 10996322
    Abstract: A lidar sensor, especially for motor vehicles, having a light source, a movable deflection mirror for producing a scanning beam that sweeps across a monitored space by deflecting a light beam emitted by the light source, and having an optical receiver for detecting light reflected by an object hit by the scanning beam in the monitored space. The light source and the deflection mirror are adapted for using the deflected light beam to scan an array of micro-optical elements, each of which, in response to being impinged upon by this light beam, widens it into a divergent beam; and, configured at a distance from the array of micro-optical elements, is a light-concentrating element that transforms the divergent beam into a beam which forms the scanning beam and whose beam diameter is larger than that of the deflected beam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2021
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Axel Buettner, Hans-Jochen Schwarz, Klaus Stoppel, Reiner Schnitzer
  • Patent number: 10989794
    Abstract: Scanning optical system, comprising a rotatable mirror unit including first and second mirror surfaces each inclining relative to a rotation axis, and a light projecting system including a light source which emits light flux toward an object through the mirror unit. The light flux is reflected on the first mirror surface, then to the second mirror surface, and projected so as to scan on the object correspondingly to rotation of the mirror unit. The mirror unit includes multiples pairs of the first and second mirror surfaces, and the respective intersection angles of the multiples pairs are different from each other. In one rotation of the mirror unit, light flux emitted from the light source is reflected on the second mirror surfaces, and is projected sequentially, thereby to scan a measurement range in which the object is measured. Length in a sub scanning direction of the light flux and intersection angles of the multiples pairs correspond to length in a sub scanning direction of the measurement range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2021
    Assignee: Konica Minolta, Inc.
    Inventors: Ryouta Ishikawa, Hiroyuki Matsuda, Masashi Kageyama, Junichiro Yonetake, Hideyuki Fujii, Hiroyuki Shindo
  • Patent number: 10983218
    Abstract: Methods and systems for performing three-dimensional (3-D) LIDAR measurements with multiple illumination beams scanned over a 3-D environment are described herein. In one aspect, illumination light from each LIDAR measurement channel is emitted to the surrounding environment in a different direction by a beam scanning device. The beam scanning device also directs each amount of return measurement light onto a corresponding photodetector. In some embodiments, a beam scanning device includes a scanning mirror rotated in an oscillatory manner about an axis of rotation by an actuator in accordance with command signals generated by a master controller. In some embodiments, the light source and photodetector associated with each LIDAR measurement channel are moved in two dimensions relative to beam shaping optics employed to collimate light emitted from the light source. The relative motion causes the illumination beams to sweep over a range of the 3-D environment under measurement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2021
    Assignee: VELODYNE LIDAR USA, INC.
    Inventors: David S. Hall, Pieter J. Kerstens, Mathew Noel Rekow, Stephen S. Nestinger
  • Patent number: 10982957
    Abstract: A surveying system comprising a rover having an illuminating lamp for emitting an illumination light, a second azimuth indicator for detecting an azimuth angle of an optical axis of the illumination light, a surveying instrument comprises a surveying instrument main body and a rotary driving unit capable of rotating the surveying instrument main body in at least a left-and-right direction, wherein the surveying instrument main body comprises a first azimuth indicator for detecting an azimuth angle of a reference optical axis, and as arithmetic control module, and wherein the arithmetic control module is configured to calculate the azimuth angle of the reference optical axis which is in parallel or approximately parallel with the optical axis of the illumination light based on the azimuth angle of the optical axis of the illumination light received from the rover and the azimuth angle of the reference optical axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2021
    Assignee: TOPCON Corporation
    Inventors: Fumio Ohtomo, Kaoru Kumagai, Satoshi Yanobe
  • Patent number: 10969478
    Abstract: A system includes a base having a sensor opening. An object-detection sensor is aligned with the sensor opening. A motor and a guide are each supported by the base and are spaced from each other. A continuous band is flexible relative to and engaged with the motor and the guide. At least a portion of the continuous band is transparent and extends between the sensor and the sensor opening. If a contaminant, e.g., dirt, water, snow, etc., is on the continuous band at the sensor opening, the motor moves the continuous band to locate a clean section of the continuous band at the opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2021
    Assignee: FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
    Inventors: Dhaval P. Vaishnav, Yi-Hsin Yen, Syed K. Ali, Andre Sykula, Venkatesh Krishnan
  • Patent number: 10969474
    Abstract: LIDAR measurements can be sparse in comparison to camera measurements. Hence, dynamically steering a LIDAR to regions of a field of view with more information (e.g. the detailed boundaries of objects) is beneficial. In one embodiment, a LIDAR system performs a non-uniform laser scan of a field of view based on sensor data. Data from an on-going or previous scan can be used to define dense scan regions within the field of view. The shape of dense scan regions can be iteratively improved (e.g. narrowed) based on localization of time-of-flight boundaries. Dense scan regions can be expressed in term of a set of laser steering parameters operable to dynamically steer a LIDAR. Within embodiments complex-shaped dense scan patterns can be selected or adapted based on an object classification (e.g. person or vehicle) or LIDAR location (e.g. an urban environment).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2021
    Inventor: James Thomas O'Keeffe
  • Patent number: 10969475
    Abstract: The present disclosure describes a system and method for encoding pulses of light for LiDAR scanning. The system includes a sequence generator, a light source, a modulator, a light detector, a correlator, and a microprocessor. The sequence generator generates a sequence code that the modulator encodes into a pulse of light from the light source. The encoded pulse of light illuminates a surface of an object, in which scattered light from the encoded light pulse is detected. The correlator correlates the scattered light with the sequence code that outputs a peak value associated with a time that the pulse of light is received. The microprocessor is configured to determine a time difference between transmission and reception of the pulse of light based on whether the amplitude of the peak exceeds the threshold value. The microprocessor calculates a distance to the surface of the object based on the time difference.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2021
    Assignee: INNOVUSION IRELAND LIMITED
    Inventors: Yimin Li, Junwei Bao, Rui Zhang
  • Patent number: 10962363
    Abstract: An optical measurement system and method that utilizes a single camera in combination with a specially configured target object which significantly improves optical measuring accuracy with respect to the measurement of distance, height difference and position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2021
    Assignee: Topcon Positioning Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Leonid Valerianovich Edelman
  • Patent number: 10965099
    Abstract: A LIDAR unit includes: an LD driver, a laser diode, and a scanner corresponding to an emission unit; a photo detector, a current/voltage conversion circuit, a A/D converter and an valuable segmenter that correspond to a light receiving unit; a landmark position prediction unit and landmark map acquisition unit that acquire position information indicating the position of a landmark on a map; and a synchronization controller that generates a valuable pulse trigger signal and a segment extraction signal. Based on a predicted current vehicle position value and the position of the landmark on the map, the landmark position prediction unit determines a predicted angular range of the landmark. The synchronization controller generates the valuable pulse trigger signal and the segment extraction signal such that the scan density of the light pulse is higher in the predicted angular range than the scan density of the light pulse in the other range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2021
    Assignee: PIONEER CORPORATION
    Inventor: Kazutoshi Kitano
  • Patent number: 10962563
    Abstract: Methods and systems are provided for measuring a velocity of a droplet passing through a microfluidic channel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2021
    Assignee: Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc.
    Inventors: Aaron Weber, Tony Hung, Sepehr Kiani
  • Patent number: 10948599
    Abstract: A method of laser distance measurement includes issuing a command from a single controller to a laser pulse emitter to emit a laser pulse. The method includes issuing a command from the single controller to a laser pulse detector to open for detection of a return of the laser pulse. The method includes detecting a return of the laser pulse, determining total time of travel for the laser pulse, and calculating a distance measurement based on the time of travel of the laser pulse.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2021
    Assignee: Goodrich Corporation
    Inventors: Scott W. Ramsey, Jonathan C. Jarok
  • Patent number: 10948600
    Abstract: A system and method for combining multiple functions of a light detection and ranging (LIDAR) system includes receiving a second optical beam generated by the laser source or a second laser source, wherein the second optical beam is associated with a second local oscillator (LO); splitting the second optical beam into a third split optical beam and a fourth split optical beam; transmitting, to the optical device, the third split optical beam and the fourth split optical beam; receiving, from the optical device, a third reflected beam that is associated with the third split optical beam and a fourth reflected beam that is associated with the fourth split optical beam; and pairing the third reflected beam with the second LO signal and the fourth reflected beam with the second LO signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2021
    Assignee: AURORA INNOVATION, INC.
    Inventors: Zeb Barber, Stephen Crouch, Emil Kadlec
  • Patent number: 10948575
    Abstract: An optoelectronic sensor is provided for measuring the distance from an object in a monitored zone that has a light transmitter for transmitting light signals into the monitored zone; a light receiver having at least one avalanche photodiode operated in Geiger mode for receiving the light signals reflected or remitted by the object; an individual time of flight measurement unit for determining an individual time of flight of a light signal from the sensor to the object; and an evaluation unit that is configured to generate a common measured value for the distance from a plurality of individual times of flight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2021
    Assignee: SICK AG
    Inventors: Stefan Kienzler, Martin Köhl, Kai Waslowski, Ulrich Zwölfer, Christophe Thil
  • Patent number: 10942261
    Abstract: A range sensor and a method thereof. The range sensor includes a light source configured to project a sheet of light at an angle within a field of view (FOV); an image sensor offset from the light source; collection optics; and a controller connected to the light source, the image sensor, and the collection optics, and configured to determine a range of a distant object based on direct time-of-flight and determine a range of a near object based on triangulation. The method includes projecting, by a light source, a sheet of light at an angle within an FOV; offsetting an image sensor from the light source; collecting, by collection optics, the sheet of light reflected off objects; and determining, by a controller connected to the light source, the image sensor, and the collection optics, a range of a distant object based on direct time-of-flight and a range of a near object based on triangulation simultaneously.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 9, 2021
    Inventor: Yibing Michelle Wang
  • Patent number: 10942259
    Abstract: A technique that can maximize signal to noise ratio in systems that use beam steering, by steering both the transmit and receive signals. A beam splitter is used, which is positioned to receive both the light beam transmitted by the light source and the return light beam, and a scanning beam steerer, which is positioned to receive both transmitted light from the beam splitter and returning light from the target. Using a split portion of the beam, a reference signal can be provided to probe the ambient condition of the sensor, to sense conditions such as darkness and fog.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 9, 2021
    Assignee: TDK Corporation
    Inventor: Ebrahim Forati
  • Patent number: 10942244
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to systems and methods operable to provide point cloud information about an environment based on reconfigurable spatial light emission patterns and reconfigurable light detector arrangements that correspond to the light emission patterns. Additionally, a LIDAR device with a plurality of light emitters and photodetectors may be operated in a first mode of operation or a second mode of operation. The first mode of operation could be a normal mode of operation. The second mode of operation could be a failsafe mode of operation that is used when a fault condition is detected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 9, 2021
    Assignee: Waymo LLC
    Inventor: Pierre-Yves Droz