Patents Examined by Terrance L. Siemens
  • Patent number: 4674946
    Abstract: An apparatus for changing jaw assemblies 1 on manipulators comprises a support frame having a carriage 24 movable between location blocks 30, 31 for the jaw assemblies. The carriage has an opening 29 to permit passage therethrough of a jaw assembly 1 and to receive a displaceable collar on the arm which encloses a releasable coupling between the jaw assembly and the end of the arm. The coupling is engaged or disengaged upon movement of the carriage on rods 25 relative to the location blocks and on the application of a force on the manipulator arm towards the assembly 1. The coupling may be a T-section slidable in a channel member biassed by a spring into the collar which is slidable on the arm 2.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 1985
    Date of Patent: June 23, 1987
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels plc
    Inventor: Gordon Crawford
  • Patent number: 4662815
    Abstract: A head assembly for a manipulator has an inner part, an intermediate part, and an outer part adapted to hold a tool. The inner part can rotate on the manipulator about an inner axis defined thereby whereas the intermediate part rotates on the inner part about an intermediate axis defined by the inner part and intersecting the inner axis at an acute intermediate angle open away from the inner part. The outer part rotates on the intermediate part about an outer axis defined by the intermediate part and intersection the intermediate axis at a point offset from the inner axis and at an acute outer angle open away from the intermediate part. In no position of head assembly can any of the pivot axes--inner, intermediate, or outer--be coaxial with any of the other pivot axes. The intermediate pivot and drive includes a shaft extending along the inner axis from the inner part. In addition there is another shaft extending along the intermediate axis in the intermediate part and gears rotationally couple the shafts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 1984
    Date of Patent: May 5, 1987
    Assignee: Kuka Schweissanlagen+Roboter GmbH
    Inventor: Ernst Zimmer
  • Patent number: 4661032
    Abstract: A control device provided between a master device having a given articulation configuration and a given degree of freedom and a slave manipulator having a given articulation configuration and a given degree of freedom, for causing faithful operation of the slave manipulator according to operation command signals from the master device, comprising: a first position coordinate converter for converting signals of position information concerning articulations of the master device into signals of position information concerning a hand of the master device in a common operating space coordinate system; a selector for selecting specific signals from the output signals of said first position coordinate converter; a second position coordinate converter for converting the signals supplied by said selector into signals of position information concerning the articulations of the slave manipulator; a first controller for giving drive force signals to actuators for the slave manipulator according to the differences between
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 1985
    Date of Patent: April 28, 1987
    Assignee: Agency of Industrial Science & Technology, Ministry of International Trade & Industry
    Inventor: Tatsuo Arai
  • Patent number: 4659278
    Abstract: A mechanism for handling and manipulating a load including a horizontal work beam formed of a parallelogram linkage with a pair of arms interconnected by links. The work beam is pivotally mounted on a retaining part which is adjustably vertically mounted on a rotatable pillar. A counterweight is provided on the work beam for counterweighting its weight. A roller is movable horizontally in a trackway and connected to the work beam with the trackway elevated by a piston and cylinder along the pillar.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 1986
    Date of Patent: April 21, 1987
    Assignee: Stahl Aufzuge & Co. KG
    Inventors: Joachim Doege, Hanns-Dieter Paschke, Ke D. Tran
  • Patent number: 4657471
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a load lifting unit for a lift truck, and more particularly, an improved structure of a load lifting unit for a counterbalance type lift truck. In the invention, to increase the loading capacity and longitudinal stability of the lift truck as well as to improve the forward view from the lift truck, two lift cylinders (7) are separately disposed on the sides of a pair of upright assemblies (1) of the load lifting unit, respectively, to provide a space (17) between the upright assemblies for allowing a lift member (4) to be lifted and lowered within the space and for allowing actuating means of various operations attachments engaged with the lift member to be accommodatedly arranged within the space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 1986
    Date of Patent: April 14, 1987
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toyoda Jidoshokki Seisakusho
    Inventors: Akibumi Shinoda, Yukio Yoshioka, Akio Kato
  • Patent number: 4657472
    Abstract: A head assembly for a manipulator has, as is known, an inner part, an intermediate part, and an outer part having a holder adapted to carry a tool. An inner pivot and drive unit rotates the inner part on the manipulator about an inner axis defined thereby. An intermediate pivot and drive unit rotates the intermediate part on the inner part about an intermediate axis defined by the inner part and intersecting the inner axis at an intermediate angle not equal to 90.degree. and open away from the inner part. An outer pivot and drive unit rotates the outer part on the intermediate part about an outer axis defined by the intermediate part and intersecting the intermediate axis at a point and at an outer angle not equal to 180.degree. and open away from the intermediate part. The outer drive and pivot unit includes a stepdown transmission in the intermediate part and normally also another such stepdown transmission in the inner part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 1985
    Date of Patent: April 14, 1987
    Assignee: KUKA Schweissanlagen+Roboter GmbH
    Inventor: Ernst Zimmer
  • Patent number: 4655673
    Abstract: An apparatus and method is disclosed for providing tactile feedback information to the operator of a remotely operated manipulator assembly, such as a robot arm, by mechanically coupling a vibration sensitive transducer to said assembly and audibly reproducing the transducer output for operator listening. The use of an accelerometer as a vibration sensitive transducer is disclosed as well as techniques for cancelling environmental noise.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 1983
    Date of Patent: April 7, 1987
    Assignees: Graham S. Hawkes, Sylvia A. Earle
    Inventor: Graham S. Hawkes
  • Patent number: 4652205
    Abstract: Arrangements for detecting the presence of an opaque object in an area, such as a person in a robotic work cell. Multiple light sources, light reflecting surfaces, light boxes with hole patterns or fiber optic light sources are spaced around the perimeter of the area and imaged by a camera. The change of the camera signal from its normal condition is used to interrupt power to safeguard personnel and/or machinery.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 1985
    Date of Patent: March 24, 1987
    Assignee: Robotic Vision Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph Ross, Howard Stern
  • Patent number: 4652203
    Abstract: A hand changing device for industrial robots, having a changer body (10) designed to be attached to the robot arm (92) and a changer adapter (50) carrying a robot hand. The changer body (10) and the changer adapter (50) are separate components designed to be coupled detachably. The changer adapter (50) carrying the robot hand (74) is clamped by the changer body (10) by the engagement of a plurality of clamping balls retained within the changer body (10) and a ball engaging part formed in the changer adapter (50). The changer body (10) is provided with a fluid-driven piston (20) to move the clamping balls between two positions, namely, the clamping position and the idle position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 1984
    Date of Patent: March 24, 1987
    Assignee: Fanuc Ltd.
    Inventors: Seiichiro Nakashima, Nobutoshi Torii, Masayuki Hamura
  • Patent number: 4648783
    Abstract: A robotic cell, or work area, especially useful for education. The cell has a plurality of interchangable work surfaces for mounting objects that the robot manipulates. Students, researchers, or other workers can thus set up separate experiments that need not be torn down each time a different user begins work with the cell. The cell has safety switches that encourage a user, when near the robot, to keep a hand on the robot so as not to be accidentally injured by the robot's motion. There is also a dead man switch effective to disenable the robot entirely, after a short time delay. The cell has a pneumatic control circuit that enables a user to position the robot's gripper arm at positions intermediate of fully up and fully down.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 1984
    Date of Patent: March 10, 1987
    Inventors: Patrick Tan, Peter Maitland, Gregory Kawczynski, Paul V. Camposeo
  • Patent number: 4648786
    Abstract: A press machine has a transfer device for transferring blanks to be machined from a blank supply station to a blank machining station. The transfer device includes a rail extending in the longitudinal direction of a bed of the press machine and mounted in front of a press machine body through brackets fixedly secured, respectively, to side faces of the press machine body, a main body located in front of the press machine body so as to be movable along the rail, a lift member mounted on the main body so as to be movable in the vertical direction, a transfer unit fitted to the lift member so as to be movable back and forth with respect to the press machine body, and drive units for driving the main body, lift member and transfer unit, respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 1982
    Date of Patent: March 10, 1987
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Komatsu Seisakusho
    Inventor: Terushige Sakurai
  • Patent number: 4645402
    Abstract: The present invention is apparatus for automatically unloading integrated circuit devices passing from a test site or test sites of an integrated circuit handler down one or more chutes (64). The apparatus includes a stacker assembly (26) comprising one or more hoppers (34). Further, an accumulator assembly (28) providing a plurality of accumulating apertures (62) formed between various loom elements (58, 60) is provided. A shuttle (50) receives an integrated circuit storage and transfer tube (42) from one of the hoppers (34) and transfers the tube (42) to a position relative to the accumulator assembly (28) wherein it can be lifted off the shuttle (50) and maintained in a column of tubes (42) in an accumulating aperture (62).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 1985
    Date of Patent: February 24, 1987
    Assignee: Micro Component Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: Ernest M. Gunderson
  • Patent number: 4645407
    Abstract: A gripper system for a programmable manipulator includes a gripper arm (10) and an assembly station for holding a finger element (2) releaseably for mounting on the arm. The finger element (2) is held by latches (21, 22) against a tray (20) of the station which can be displaced with respect to a rack plate (1) of the station. The arm is conditioned to move on a predetermined path with respect to the station so that cooperative parts (3, 11) of the arm and a finger element, held at the station, become inter-engaged. When the finger element and the arm are inter-engaged movement of the arm relative to the station causes the finger element to be released. The gripper comprises an arm and a finger element dedicated to a specific handling task. The arm and the finger element have cooperable parts which are inter-engageable to mount the finger element detachably on the arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 1985
    Date of Patent: February 24, 1987
    Assignee: EMI Limited
    Inventor: Anthony M. Williams
  • Patent number: 4643632
    Abstract: Overload safety device, particularly for an industrial robot having a robot arm and a robot tool and preferably arrangeable between the robot arm and the robot tool, with a robot flange, and a tool flange, the latter being movable relative to the former, wherein the robot flange and the tool flange sealingly cooperate in a sealing area subject to the action of a pressure medium and that a safety cut-out can be triggered by a pressure drop in the pressure medium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 1985
    Date of Patent: February 17, 1987
    Assignee: EKE Robotersysteme GmbH
    Inventor: Hasso Beyer
  • Patent number: 4643634
    Abstract: A handling apparatus for work pieces such as sheet metal pieces which are to be formed in a sheet metal press. The handling apparatus is designed to pick up a work piece from a first location which may comprise a stack of sheets, and to then move the work piece to a second location which may comprise the tool of the forming press. In the course of movement, the work piece will generally travel laterally, however, a vertical component of movement is imposed in at least one location, for example, when placing the work piece in position at the forming station. The drive means for moving the gripping means comprises a driver and a first shaft supporting a primary arm. A connection is provided between the first shaft and the driver so that the driver oscillates the primary arm. A pivoting follower is also associated with the driver so that movement of the driver simultaneously controls movement of the follower.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 1983
    Date of Patent: February 17, 1987
    Assignee: F. J. Littell Machine Co.
    Inventor: Franco G. Duina
  • Patent number: 4639183
    Abstract: An improved bucket connection apparatus is provided in a bucket excavator whose working implement is connected to the bucket arm with an operating hinge and whose drive consists of a pair of working cylinders attached on either side of the operating hinge axis. The operating hinge is attached to a clamp that has two clamping feet, with at least one foot being movable about a clamping hinge axis which coincides with the operating hinge axis. The movable clamping foot is connected on the outside with one of the two working cylinders, and, on the insides, it is constructed as a gripper opposing the other clamping foot, for engaging connections (such as upstanding bolts) provided on the associated working implement for the purpose of attaching the operating hinge. The connections cooperate with the clamping feet to provide a locking arrangement that is effective when the clamping feet are in their gripping position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 1985
    Date of Patent: January 27, 1987
    Assignee: Friedrich Wilh. Schwing GmbH
    Inventor: Wilfred Guthoff
  • Patent number: 4637776
    Abstract: An articulated robot including a vertical rod secured with lockbolts at the end of its arm which is fixed to a screw fastening unit by means of an upper bracket and a lower bracket. The robot further includes a studbolt parallel to the vertical rod at the lower end of the arm. Two nuts are mated with the studbolt to compress the lower bracket. Releasing the lockbolt and rotating the nuts clock-wise or counter-clockwise causes the vertical rod to easily slide to adjust the height of a screw fastening unit from workpieces of different types without having the operator hold the screwing unit by hand.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 1985
    Date of Patent: January 20, 1987
    Assignee: Nitto Seiko Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Masayuki Saito
  • Patent number: 4637773
    Abstract: An industrial robot of the articulated arm type comprises a movable robot body (11) arranged on a base (10). An upper arm (13) having root and tip portions is rotatably pivoted to the robot body (11) at the root portion thereof. A forearm (16) having rear and front ends is rotatably pivoted to the tip portion of the upper arm (13) at a portion between the rear and front ends. Preferably, a wrist assembly (20) includes two moving elements (21,22) which are rotatable about different axes in relation to the front end of the forearm (16). The moving elements (21,22) of the wrist assembly (20) are rotated about the corresponding axes by means of wrist drive units (27, 28), respectively. The wrist drive units (27, 28) include first sprockets (29, 36), respectively, each rotatably arranged in the rear end of the forearm (16). Drive motors (31, 37), each rotating the first sprockets (33, 39), are arranged on the rear end of the forearm (16 ), respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 1984
    Date of Patent: January 20, 1987
    Assignee: Fanuc Ltd.
    Inventors: Seiichiro Nakashima, Kenichi Toyoda, Nobutoshi Torii, Ryo Nihei
  • Patent number: 4637771
    Abstract: A lifting head of a swivel arm of an assembly robot having an increased stroke of a lifting shaft and a reduced overall weight. A pair of guide bars are fixedly provided on the swivel arm extending parallel thereto, and a feed screw rotatably supported on the swivel arm extends parallel to the guide bars. A holding plate is fixed to the upper side of the swivel arm. A supporting member is secured to an upper end of the holding plate, the supporting member supporting the upper end portions of the guide bars and rotatably supporting upper end portions of the feed screw. A cylindrical guide having an inner wall of noncircular section is rotatably supported by the swivel arm. A lifting shaft slidably inserted into the cylindrical guide has an upper end portion rotatably supported by the nut member and has a fluid passage formed therein, an upper end of which is coupled to a fluid pipe. A rotating pulley is provided at the lower end of the cylindrical guide.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 1985
    Date of Patent: January 20, 1987
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Sankyo Seiki Seisakusho
    Inventor: Kazuyoshi Yasukawa
  • Patent number: 4636133
    Abstract: A heavy load lifting machine for elevating heavy loads off of and transporting heavy loads along the ground is disclosed. The machine includes a load lifting linkage having a special configuration for the linkage arms and lift rams to accommodate lifting objects in the range of forty tons or more and transporting the objects over the ground with minimal sway of the object during transport.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 1985
    Date of Patent: January 13, 1987
    Assignee: Crothers Limited
    Inventor: Markus J. Hess