Patents Examined by P. McCoy Smith
  • Patent number: 4828339
    Abstract: An endless crawler chain capable of driving machinery across a surface. The endless crawler chain includes a plurality of first links interconnected with a plurality of second links to form the endless chain. Each of the second links has a pair of openings to accommodate adjacent first links. The openings allow the first links to move a predetermined amount in the longitudinal direction thereby allowing the chain to collapse while not under tension. The second links also include a pair of holes for rigidly attaching two halves of a crawler pad to each side of the second link. The entire crawler chain is so designed to be capable of being driven in an orbit to thereby propel the machinery across the surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1986
    Date of Patent: May 9, 1989
    Assignee: Joy Technologies Inc.
    Inventors: Terry M. Thomas, Joseph S. David
  • Patent number: 4822237
    Abstract: Extended-reach lift apparatus for remote accessing of low-clearance areas is provided. The apparatus includes a vehicle whose frame supports a vertically pivotable telescoping boom which is elevatable by means of hydraulic rams. An extended tilt head is provided on the free end of the boom which includes parallel upper and lower link members of equal length. A work implement support having a discrete work implement tilting cylinder is attached to the remote ends of the upper and lower links of the tilt head. A hydraulic cylinder extending between the boom and the lower link of the tilt head provides separate tiltability of the tilt head while the design of the tilt head mechanically assures the maintenance of the attitude of the work implement without requiring additional hydraulic compensation during such tilting.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 1985
    Date of Patent: April 18, 1989
    Assignee: The Gradall Company
    Inventors: Joseph A. Meyer, John H. Frank
  • Patent number: 4822238
    Abstract: A robotic arm positionable within a nuclear vessel by access through a small diameter opening and having a mounting tube supported within the vessel and mounting a plurality of arm sections for movement lengthwise of the mounting tube as well as for movement out of a window provided in the wall of the mounting tube. An end effector, such as a grinding head or welding element, at an operating end of the robotic arm, can be located and operated within the nuclear vessel through movement derived from six different axes of motion provided by mounting and drive connections between arm sections of the robotic arm. The movements are achieved by operation of remotely-controllable servo motors, all of which are mounted at a control end of the robotic arm to be outside the nuclear vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 1987
    Date of Patent: April 18, 1989
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corp.
    Inventor: Horst Kwech
  • Patent number: 4819782
    Abstract: A platform conveyor system (21) for changing the direction of cargo containers (27) at the entryway (17) of the lower lobe compartment (11) of an aircraft fuselage (13) includes a plurality of lateral conveyors (25a, 25b and 25c). During loading the lateral conveyors (25a, 25b and 25c) move cargo containers (27) through the entryway (17) to a position above a pair of longitudinal conveyors (33 and 35). After a cargo container (27) is positioned above the longitudinal conveyors (33 and 35), the lateral conveyors (25a, 25b and 25c) are deenergized, and the longitudinal conveyors (33 and 35) are raised and energized. The longitudinal conveyors (33 and 35) move the cargo container (27) onto another conveyor mechanism that moves the cargo container (27) to its final destination in the lower lobe compartment (11) of the aircraft fuselage ( 13). After the cargo container (27) leaves the platform the longitudinal conveyors (33 and 35) are lowered.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1985
    Date of Patent: April 11, 1989
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: James A. Fenner
  • Patent number: 4818175
    Abstract: An expandable and contractable arm is constituted by a plurality of expandable and contractable units and connecting devices including universal joints for serially interconnecting the units into the arm. Each unit includes at least three expandable and contractable operating members in the form of link mechanisms or double thread type expandable and contractable rods, and actuating devices for equally or unequally expanding and contracting the operating members so as to increase or decrease distances between the connecting members while maintaining them in parallel or inclined with respect to each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 1986
    Date of Patent: April 4, 1989
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventor: Motohiko Kimura
  • Patent number: 4807737
    Abstract: A manually actuated self-collecting parking meter includes a single lockable coin insertion device for receiving a range of available coin diameters. A coin checking device is arranged to receive one coin at a time from the insertion device and is placed in operation by turning a rotary locking handle. A parking time period display mechanism is arranged to be set based on the coin inserted into the checking device when the handle is rotated. The rotary locking handle can be rotated in either direction up to a stop for loading a force accumulator which automatically drives an operating mechanism for effecting the operation of the coin checking device and the setting of the display mechanism. For proper phase control of the operating mechanism, a closing segment and an operating segment are provided which uncouple the operating mechanism when the rotary handle is completely rotated so that the automatic operation is carried out.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 1987
    Date of Patent: February 28, 1989
    Assignee: Kienzle Apparate GmbH
    Inventors: Lothar Herrmann, Bernhard Kaiser, Ortwin Wokock
  • Patent number: 4798512
    Abstract: An articulated four-wheel drive loader has a forward vertically swingable boom that is controlled by a pair of hydraulic cylinders acting between the main frame of the loader and a pair of parallel, transversely spaced boom arms that are interconnected by a transverse tube. A pair of tabs are respectively welded to the tube a short distance from the opposite ends of the tube, and the piston ends of the cylinders are respectively connected to the boom arms by a transverse pin extending through aligned bores in the tabs, eye members attached to the ends of the hydraulic cylinder piston rods, and the boom arms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 1987
    Date of Patent: January 17, 1989
    Assignee: Deere & Company
    Inventor: Dwayne J. Intveld
  • Patent number: 4795296
    Abstract: A hand-held controller for a robot end effector having force and position control is disclosed. A single tactile area of the operator's hand, such as one finger, responds to two distinct feedback "feels" which are created by movement of a single element in two degrees of freedom that are both pivotable and rotatable in nature. Rotation of the trigger contacting element about its longitudinal axis is responsive to and reflects the amount of grasp force exerted by the end effector. Deflection of a guard encasing that trigger around a pivot point is responsive to and reflects the amount of movement of the end effector. The operator controls the position and grasp force of an end effector by exerting pressure against the trigger guard and, in turn, can "feel" two distinct feedbacks at the control finger. The feedback is indicative of both the grasp force and position of the controlled end effector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 1986
    Date of Patent: January 3, 1989
    Assignee: California Institute of Technology
    Inventor: Bruno M. Jau
  • Patent number: 4793466
    Abstract: The invention relates to a device for detecting sheets of glass. An essentially mechanical device constituted by a detector finger which is tilted by the leading edge of a sheet of glass, then concealed by the action of a jack to allow the sheet of glass to pass. The tilting movement is registered by a pick-up located remotely from the conveyor. The invention is directed especially at the detection of sheets of glass being carried inside an enclosed space which is at a high temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 1986
    Date of Patent: December 27, 1988
    Assignee: Saint-Gobain Recherche
    Inventors: Jean-Marc Petitcollin, Francis Perin
  • Patent number: 4789292
    Abstract: A component insertion end effector for robotic equipment is disclosed. The end effector is particularly adapted for printed circuit insertion of electrical component whose relationship between component body and leads varies from the nominal dimensions. The end effector compensates for variations in body-to-lead configurations to permit components to be precisely placed without damaging the component body or its leads. The effector comprises a pneumatic gripping mechanism which is coupled to the robot arm by a compliance mechanism. The compliance mechanism is operable in two states, the first state in which the gripping mechanism is freely movable throughout a predetermined range of movement with respect to the robot arm, and a second state in which the gripping mechanism is fixedly secured in relation to the robot arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 1987
    Date of Patent: December 6, 1988
    Inventor: Gregory W. Holcomb
  • Patent number: 4789296
    Abstract: The invention relates to an industrial robot of a so-called agile type which has a lower arm (16) with double-sided journalling in a stand (12) consisting of two separated, upright parts (12a, 12b), the arm (16) being pivotable in the space between the stand parts. A pivot shaft (24) for pivoting the upper arm of the robot via a crank and a parallel link rod from one of the stand parts (12a) and through a lead-in opening (28) in the lower arm (16). From the other stand part (12b) there extends a drive shaft (30), which is substantially coaxially opposite to the pivot shaft (24) of the crank (22) and which is connected to the lower arm (16).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 1987
    Date of Patent: December 6, 1988
    Assignee: ASEA Aktiebolag
    Inventors: Mikael Bergman, Ove Kullborg, Thord Porsander
  • Patent number: 4787811
    Abstract: A quick attach means for a tractor loader is described comprising a pair of arcuate brackets pivotally secured to the forward ends of the loader boom arms. Each of the brackets has upper and lower horizontally extending pipes secured thereto which are adapted to be received by pockets at the rearward side of the loader bucket. A locking assembly is provided on the bracket for maintaining the pipes in their respective pockets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 1983
    Date of Patent: November 29, 1988
    Assignee: Westendorf Mfg. Co., Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph W. Langenfeld, Neal W. Westendorf
  • Patent number: 4784562
    Abstract: An apparatus for carrying a workpiece to and out of a press is provided with at least a pair of workpiece carrying mechanism assemblies which are driven and controlled independently, and each of the mechanism assemblies includes at least one attachment for attracting the workpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 1986
    Date of Patent: November 15, 1988
    Assignees: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha, Taiho Seiki KK
    Inventors: Tomomi Kishi, Kosuke Shiramizu, Kanshi Nonami, Masahiko Takeuchi, Takeshige Kurumizawa
  • Patent number: 4780047
    Abstract: An advanced servo manipulator has modular parts. Modular motor members drive individual input gears to control shoulder roll, shoulder pitch, elbow pitch, wrist yaw, wrist pitch, wrist roll, and tong spacing. The modules include a support member, a shoulder module for controlling shoulder roll, and a sleeve module attached to the shoulder module in fixed relation thereto. The shoulder roll sleeve module has an inner cylindrical member rotatable relative to the outer cylindrical member, and upon which a gear pod assembly is mounted. A plurality of shafts are driven by the gears, which are in turn driven by individual motor modules to transmit rotary power to control elbow pitch as well as to provide four different rotary shafts across the bendable elbow joint to supply rotary motive power to a wrist member and tong member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 1985
    Date of Patent: October 25, 1988
    Assignee: Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: William E. Holt, Daniel P. Kuban, H. Lee Martin
  • Patent number: 4778332
    Abstract: Apparatus is disclosed for automatically transferring a semiconductor wafer between a horizontal and a vertical plane, beginning and ending in precisely located positions. A wafer support arm is carried by a transfer member which also includes a motor for rotating the support arm between a "start" position and an intermediate position in a horizontal plane. Another motor is provided for rotating the transfer member to position the support arm in a vertical plane. The wafer support arm is then returned to its original position relative to the transfer member, thus establishing a "finish" position in the vertical plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 1987
    Date of Patent: October 18, 1988
    Assignee: The Perkin-Elmer Corporation
    Inventors: William Byers, Peter Kochersperger
  • Patent number: 4776749
    Abstract: A robotic positioning device has a support structure and a tool implement holding member which is positional within the three dimensional space of the support structure. The tool implement holding member is connected to the support structure utilizing five positioning members. Each of these positioning members is connected to the tool implement holding member. Three of the positioning members are connected to the holding member at a first common center of rotation and the other two positioning members are connected to the holding member at a second common center of rotation. Each of the positioning members is attached to the support structure utilizing a connecting member which allows for the positioning member to freely pivot with respect to the support structure and additionally allows the member to move with respect to the support structure axially along an axis of the member. This is accomplished by moving the members axially toward or away from the support structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 1986
    Date of Patent: October 11, 1988
    Assignee: Northrop Corporation
    Inventors: Fritz W. Wanzenberg, Richard L. Grover
  • Patent number: 4775289
    Abstract: A robot (10) includes a statically-balanced direct-drive arm (14) having three degrees of freedom, all of which are independent articulated drive joints, the driving axes of two of which intersect at the center of gravity of the arm to eliminate gravity forces on the drive system without counterweights.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 1987
    Date of Patent: October 4, 1988
    Assignee: Regents of the University of Minnesota
    Inventor: Homayoon Kazerooni
  • Patent number: 4775079
    Abstract: A manually actuated upright/inverted pump sprayer having a piston controlled container vent path, an auxiliary liquid intake port for inverted spray being spaced closer to the inner side of the container seal gasket compared to the spacing of the container vent port therefrom so as to preclude the spontaneous ingestion of air bubbles from the open vent path into the pump chamber through such intake port during inverted spray.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 1985
    Date of Patent: October 4, 1988
    Inventor: Hans Grothoff
  • Patent number: 4768919
    Abstract: Apparatus for picking up and transferring layers of round food articles and the like is disclosed including movable pickup heads mounted on a carriage, each pickup head comprising a vacuum manifold or plenum forming multiple openings on a lower surface and adapted for developing low vacuum, high flow rate conditions variant, a vacuum cup mounted in each of the openings and having a bellows-like construction for permitting expansion and contraction along its axis, a flexible base portion of the vacuum cup forming a seal surface for engagement with one of the round food articles, the vacuum cup also forming a relatively large orifice for permitting relatively unrestricted communication between the vacuum cup and the plenum upon engagement of the vacuum cup with a food article in order to very rapidly produce a vacuum within the cup for causing adherence of the food article. The vacuum cup is also particularly adapted for assuring that the food article is retained upon the vacuum cup until released.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 1987
    Date of Patent: September 6, 1988
    Assignee: Sunkist Growers, Inc.
    Inventors: Bradley N. Borgman, Jerry W. Cramer, Don E. Dossey
  • Patent number: 4767023
    Abstract: A dispenser for tablets is disclosed which protects against inadvertent dispensing, e.g., by children. The dispenser includes a housing forming a tablet storage compartment, a movable slide and an operating key for the slide mounted adjacent a wall of the housing. A detent blocks movement of the slide toward a discharge position. The detent is mounted on the housing remote from the operating key. The slide is moved by simultaneous movement of the detent and operating key.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 1986
    Date of Patent: August 30, 1988
    Assignee: Bramlage Gesellschaft mit beschrankter Haftung
    Inventors: Ludger Hackmann, Josef Wilken