Patents Examined by Michael Zanelli
  • Patent number: 7200474
    Abstract: Protection apparatus includes: a seat back pivotable between reclined and upright positions; a pivoting-angle adjustment section for adjusting the pivoting angle of the seat back through a motor; a prediction section for predicting an object likely to collide against the vehicle from behind; a control section for controlling the adjustment section, in accordance with a prediction signal generated by the prediction section, to cause the seat back to be pivoted to a practically vertical upright position. The control section is arranged to control the adjustment section in accordance with not only the prediction signal but also an operation signal from a manual seat operating section. When the prediction signal has been received, the control section controls the adjustment section to cause the seat back to be pivoted to the practically vertical upright position at higher speed than when the operation signal has been received.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2007
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yasuki Motozawa, Koki Sato, Ryozo Yoshizawa
  • Patent number: 6317687
    Abstract: A vehicle navigation apparatus in accordance with the present invention includes a CDROM (2) for storing all the data required for navigation processing such as maps and voice data, and a buffer (4-1) for accessing CDROM (2) to prepare beforehand a phrase necessary for the navigation guidance. A control device (1) selects appropriate phrases corresponding to the present vehicle position and reads out the selected phrases from the buffer, (4-1) successively, in response to a request signal supplied from a request sensor (7) which is output in response to the driver's request. The thus processed navigation information data is transformed into voice signals through a decoder (4-2) and output from a speaker (5) as a voice response. The control device (1) checks whether or not a phrase prepared in the buffer (4-1) is a frequently used phrase and replaces this phrase with a new phrase if this phrase is not frequently used.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2001
    Assignee: Aisin Aw Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kyoumi Morimoto, Naokazu Ozaki, Kiyohide Kato, Naoko Sugiura
  • Patent number: 6272404
    Abstract: A flight path display apparatus provided in a cockpit of an aircraft has a head-up display unit. An image combining panel of the head-up display unit displays a flight path image projected from projecting system which is superimposed on the outside view. Computing system for calculating the image to be projected to the image combining panel calculates a display position of the target flight path based on data from storage system in which predetermined flight paths are stored and from aircraft flight data measuring system for measuring the position and attitude of the aircraft. When the display position of the target flight path is outside a display area of the image combining panel, a target mark indicative of a direction toward the flight path from the center of the display area blinks on the image combining panel. With the above construction, a flight path display apparatus which allows a pilot to keep sight on a target flight path is realized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2001
    Assignee: Advanced Technology Institute of Commuter-Helicopter, Ltd.
    Inventors: Takaki Amano, Eiichi Yamakawa
  • Patent number: 6128554
    Abstract: A device for actuating a controlled member of an aircraft includes an intentional control member for actuation by the pilot, a computer for piloting on the basis of the action of the pilot on the intentional control member, a controlled member actuator for actuating the controlled member under control of the computer and a slaving device for slaving the position of the intentional control member to the position of the controlled member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2000
    Assignee: Societe Anonyme Dite: Eurocopter France
    Inventor: Sylvain Pascal Frederic Damotte
  • Patent number: 6035253
    Abstract: In a navigation apparatus for a vehicle, after the present position of a vehicle is obtained, a position on a map which corresponds to the present position of the vehicle is obtained. Subsequently, the heading direction of the vehicle is detected. When the vehicle is traveling on the left-hand lane, coordinate conversion is performed such that a present position mark is shifted leftward from the center of the road by 1/4 of the road width. This makes it possible to display a route while preventing the route from overlapping with the centerline of the road. In another navigation apparatus for a vehicle, a structure-profiled map on which a structure-representing shape and a road are drawn is displayed so as to provide road guidance, wherein a route is displayed on the structure-profiled map along a road which is displayed for guidance. The display of the route is performed such that the route is shifted from the center line of a road toward a lane on which the vehicle is traveling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2000
    Assignee: Aisin Aw Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Seiji Hayashi, Mitsuhiro Nimura, Yasunobu Ito
  • Patent number: 6026338
    Abstract: A system to control a chassis vibration damping device with a variable damping characteristic in a vehicle with the use of a single acceleration sensor and a subsequent processing of the signal by means of filters and of an additional signal of a primary detector, whereby the processing corresponds to a breakdown of the acceleration signal into its individual components which relate to the longitudinal, transverse and vertical axes of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2000
    Assignee: Fichtel & Sachs AG
    Inventors: Udo Borschert, Thomas Kutsche
  • Patent number: 5995897
    Abstract: A method is provided for accurately controlling a vehicle having a mini tire mounted as the spare tire. A short-term correction coefficient and a long-term correction coefficient are computed periodically for the left and right wheels, and a probable lateral acceleration G is computed from the difference between the ratio of the short-term correction coefficient to the long-term correction coefficient for the left and right wheels. A revised probable lateral acceleration G' is computed using the value of the long-term correction coefficient fixed at the point at which the absolute value of the probable lateral acceleration G has exceeded a prescribed value and the most recent short-term correction coefficient, from which a decision is made as to the state of a turn. The most recent long-term correction coefficient is used to make a correction for a mounted mini tire.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 30, 1999
    Assignee: Nisshinbo Industries Inc.
    Inventors: Hiroshi Oshiro, Keiji Toyoda, Noriyuki Takemasa
  • Patent number: 5974348
    Abstract: A precise automated work system and method is provided. One or more self-navigating robots can perform automated work operations with precision given six degrees of freedom in a undulating, sloping or irregular terrain, such as, a commercial truck garden. A self-propelled robot moves through the garden and performs gardening tasks following a specified course by dead-reckoning and periodically determining its position and orientation by a navigation fix. At least seven navigation beacons are positioned around a perimeter of a garden work area. Each beacon emits electromagnetic radiation across the garden for detection by the self-propelled robot. A panoramic image collector gathers and focuses electromagnetic radiation from each navigation beacon on an electronic camera to form at least seven beam spots.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1999
    Inventor: James K. Rocks
  • Patent number: 5961564
    Abstract: A wheel slip control system employs a method of varying the detection and correction parameters it uses based on whether the wheel/axle combinations on a truck of a rail vehicle operate in the coupled or decoupled modes of operation. The control system executes programming code featuring detection and correction logic. The steps of the method include deriving both detection parameters optimized for each mode called coupled and decoupled detection parameters and correction parameters optimized for each mode called coupled and decoupled correction parameters. Another step involves monitoring the amount of dynamic braking applied to the wheel/axle combinations. Yet another step involves determining whether the amount of dynamic braking lies for a preset time period within a preset zone of operation for the dynamic braking of the wheel/axle combinations on the truck.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 5, 1999
    Assignee: Westinghouse Air Brake Company
    Inventors: James A. Wood, David E. Schweikert
  • Patent number: 5957989
    Abstract: A calculating portion 7a calculates a distance from the tip end of a front device to an interference prevention area, and a detection line 7m detects a moving speed of a boom 1. If the tip end of the front device comes close to the interference prevention area when the boom 1 is moving upward, control is made such that, while continuing to move the boom 1 upward, a control gain calculating portion 7h and a multiplier 7i cooperatively calculate a target speed of an arm in the arm dumping direction (interference avoiding direction) corresponding to the boom-up speed, and an input limit value calculating portion 7c, an adder 7j and a minimum value selecting portion 7f cooperatively control the arm to move in the interference avoiding direction relative to a vehicle body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 28, 1999
    Assignee: Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. Ltd.
    Inventors: Eiji Egawa, Hiroshi Watanabe, Hiroyuki Adachi, Junichi Hosono, Toshiaki Nishida, Mitsuo Kihara, Masakazu Haga
  • Patent number: 5951614
    Abstract: Apparatus for controlling a vehicle hybrid drive system having a transmission disposed between a vehicle drive wheel and an assembly of an engine and a motor/generator, the apparatus including a torque reduction control device for reducing an input torque of the transmission during a shifting action of the transmission, wherein the torque reduction control device includes a first torque reducing device for reducing the input torque by controlling the engine, a second torque reducing device for reducing the input torque by controlling the motor/generator, and a torque reduction mode selecting device for enabling the first torque reducing device and/or the second torque reducing device to operate to reduce the input torque, according to a predetermined selecting condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 14, 1999
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Atsushi Tabata, Yutaka Taga, Ryuji Ibaraki, Hiroshi Hata, Tsuyoshi Mikami
  • Patent number: 5948042
    Abstract: A method of updating digital road maps which are used in traffic direction and guiding vehicles to their destinations. In the method actual route data is determined, stored and transmitted to a traffic computer by at least one test vehicle provided for the purpose. The traffic computer evaluates the information items contained in the route data and assigns them as attributes to the corresponding road sections of a digital road map. At least the actual geographical position of the test vehicle is automatically continually determined as route data and the attributes of the corresponding road sections of the road map are updated by reference to the route data. The attributes include at least the permissibility of driving over the road sections in at least one direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Assignee: Mannesmann Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Josef Heimann, Christian Hort, Thomas Weber
  • Patent number: 5944763
    Abstract: In an apparatus and method for a vehicular system, a control gain of a control signal to be outputted to the vehicular system is varied when a change in a weight of load applied to a vehicle body between an originally designed weight of load applied to a vehicle body and a present weight of load applied to the vehicle body occurs. The change in the weight of load applied to the vehicle body is determined according to a load mounted state determination signal R.sub.M which is derived on the basis of a front road wheel side vertical status variable and a rear road wheel side vertical status variable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 31, 1999
    Assignee: Unisia Jecs Corporation
    Inventor: Katsuya Iwasaki
  • Patent number: 5941921
    Abstract: Automated bucking loading is achieved through the use of sensor feedback provided by pressure and extension sensors on hydraulic cylinder(s) to control the trajectory of the bucket to be loaded by a computer algorithm. Additional sensors may be used to provide further control of the loading cycle and of the vehicle operation. The structure and steps can be integrated with existing machinery or used on new loaders equipped with suitable control interfaces capable of taking computerized control of the vehicle's actions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 24, 1999
    Assignee: Noranda Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew Dasys, Louis Geoffroy, Andre Drouin
  • Patent number: 5938704
    Abstract: An autonomous running control system capable of guiding a lawn-mowing work vehicle to a target point unmanned with high accuracy. Normally, the vehicle runs autonomously according to the D-GPS/dead reckoning navigation method. When the vehicle runs in an area where obstacles and ups-and-downs exists, the running control is switched to a magnetic guidance and the vehicle moves along the magnetic rail underground. When the vehicle comes into a normal operation again, the running control is shifted to the G-GPS/dead reckoning navigation method again. Further, when the vehicle comes near a target points, the running control is switched to the dead reckoning navigation method capable of guiding the vehicle accurately to the target point. When the vehicle arrives at the work area, it conducts a lawn mowing work according to the trace running control, finding the boundary between mowed and unmowed areas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1999
    Assignee: Fuji Jukogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Tsuyoshi Torii
  • Patent number: 5938703
    Abstract: An electronic embedded command module to control devices located in spacecraft includes a serial command decoder to decode serial digital input commands and control a switch matrix, a command buffer to provide a compatible serial digital input command to the serial command decoder, a standby circuit to control power to the serial command decoder, and a switch matrix to provide output commands. A method for controlling devices located in a spacecraft in response to a serial digital command signal. The method includes receiving the serial digital command signal, changing from an inactive state to an active state, processing the command signal while maintaining the active state, generating an output signal, and returning to the inactive state. This electronic command module controls its own power status and consumes negligible current when in the inactive state. This electronic command module reduces wire harness and command module weight and lowers system design, wire harness and command module cost.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1999
    Assignee: Hughes Electronics Corporation
    Inventor: Michael B. Zwang
  • Patent number: 5935192
    Abstract: The present invention provides a site database structure for storing data for access by an application program being executed on a control system on a work machine. The work machine operates at a work site. The data representing a parameter of the work site. A data structure is stored in the memory. The data structure includes information resident in a database used by the application program. A plurality of data objects are associated with the data structure. Each data object represents a defined section of the work site and is represented by a set of predefined coordinates. At least one layer object is associated with each data object. Each layer object has a predefined number of cell objects. Each cell object has an associated value of the parameter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 10, 1999
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel E. Henderson, Karl W. Kleimenhagen, Craig L. Koehrsen, Satish M. Shetty
  • Patent number: 5935196
    Abstract: The present invention is directed toward a navigation system and method for a high orbit spacecraft, which passively utilizes UHF signals carrying intersatellite ranging data transmitted by a constellation of satellites that travel in lower orbits around a celestial sphere. The navigation system enables the high orbit spacecraft to self locate its position relative to an earth centered coordinate frame and comprises a receiver for receiving the UHF signals carrying the intersatellite ranging data and a Kalman or optimum filter coupled to the receiver for processing the ranging data received by the receiver and generating and updating spacecraft position data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 10, 1999
    Assignee: ITT Manufacturing Enterprises
    Inventors: Peter M. Brodie, Laurence J. Doyle
  • Patent number: 5928299
    Abstract: An azimuth change quantity .theta. of a road during traveling of a vehicle for a time .delta.t is calculated based on road data provided by a navigation system and a vehicle speed provided by a vehicle speed sensor (at step S3 in FIG. 2). On the other hand, an azimuth change quantity .THETA. of the vehicle is calculated by integrating a yaw rate .gamma. obtained from a yaw rate sensor over the time .delta.t (at step S5). A deviation D between the azimuth change quantity .theta. of the road and the azimuth change quantity .THETA. of the vehicle is calculated (at step S6). When the deviation D becomes equal to or larger than a reference value .beta., it is determined that there is a possibility that the vehicle will depart from the road (at step S9), and a predetermined steering torque is applied to a steering device, so that the deviation is converged into zero (at steps S10 and S11).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 27, 1999
    Assignee: Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Hiroshi Sekine, Nobuyoshi Asanuma
  • Patent number: 5928292
    Abstract: A vehicle for transport, fork lift or delivery route operations, for example, includes on-board peripherals which are coupled through a Local Area Network (LAN) into a data system. A LAN data bus provides selective access to the peripherals or data devices such as, for example, a large area display, a keyboard, a printer and a data terminal. The data system controls or provides data on tasks executed by or in connection with the operation of the vehicle. To increase the versatility of the vehicle, the data terminal, multiple data terminals, or any of the other data devices may be removably coupled to the LAN to be operable externally of the vehicle. A mobile mount adapter provides a secure electrical connection of a respective data terminal to the LAN to removably incorporate the data terminal into the data system, and provide a common supply of both data and power to the data device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 27, 1999
    Assignee: Norand Corporation
    Inventors: Phillip Miller, Steven E. Koenck, Jerry L. Walter, Joseph J. Kubler, Keith K. Cargin, Jr., George E. Hanson, Patrick H. Davis, Steven R. Kunert, Darald R. Schultz