Patents Examined by Thomas E. Brown
  • Patent number: 6076953
    Abstract: A digitizing probe and method is disclosed for accurately locating the edges and determining the orientation of a generally planar, metal workpiece relative to the orthogonal axes of a computer numerical control ("CNC") cutting machine. The CNC cutting machine includes a microcomputer controller for moving a transverse gantry in the longitudinal and lateral directions which define the orthogonal axes of the cutting machine. The digitizing probe and the cutter of the cutting machine are mounted on separate vertically movable support arms secured to support brackets provided on the transverse gantry. Thus, the digitizing probe and the cutter may be independently positioned at predetermined heights above the top surface of the workpiece. The digitizing probe includes a plurality of analog inductive proximity sensors arranged in a fixed, predetermined array.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2000
    Assignee: The ESAB Group, Inc.
    Inventor: Thomas F. Oakley
  • Patent number: 6012839
    Abstract: An architecture that utilizes the cross-check code associated with the error correction code in a data communications system as a data integrity code to protect data stored in a temporary storage buffer within a data channel. In a preferred embodiment, a cross-check encoder and comparison circuit is added to an interface circuit which receives data from a host processing system. Incoming host data is encoded to produce redundant information according to the same Reed-Solomon code implemented in the cross-check circuitry already provided in the data path to detect miscorrections by the error correction code. Cross-check redundancy generated by the interface cross-check encoder is appended to its associated data block in the block memory buffer. The integrity of the data blocks passing through the buffer is checked by utilizing the cross-check circuitry to regenerate the redundant cross-check bytes and then performing a comparison of the regenerated cross-check bytes with the cross-check bytes from the buffer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 1995
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2000
    Assignee: Quantum Corporation
    Inventors: Hung C. Nguyen, Andrew D. Hospodor
  • Patent number: 5975744
    Abstract: A laser interferometer measuring system generates a series of digital output quadrature pulses corresponding to movement of a retroreflector 18. The output pulses are intended for receipt by a master counter containing an incremental count corresponding to displacement of the retroreflector 18. Errors present in the output pulses due to environmental or geometrical error sources in the interferometer may be compensated for by scaling the output pulses in accordance with a correction factor K. The output pulses are stored in a first counter 30, 130; a series of secondary pulses, being either the output pulses as scaled, or independently generated by a signal generator 200, are sent both to the master counter and a second counter 80, 180. A processor 50, 150 continually monitors the value of the second counter, and compares this with an actual value of displacement, equal to the product of the correction factor and the instantaneous value of the first counter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1999
    Assignee: Renishaw plc
    Inventors: Seamus McFadden, Raymond J Chaney
  • Patent number: 5971580
    Abstract: The present invention is an electronic awareness system for evaluating, monitoring, and controlling, in real-time, an outside environment having entities and occurrences with characteristics. The electronic monitoring system includes input sensors for receiving real-time data produced by the entities, a computer workstation for storing the input data in a database, a computer program having a graphical user interface for interfacing a user with the workstation and the computer program. The graphical user interface comprises a map frame chart function, a worksheet function, a utility function, and a priority navigator function for monitoring and evaluating the input data graphically, tabularly, statistically, and comparatively with a predetermined relative priority scale, respectively, for producing output data. The electronic awareness system also includes output reactors for receiving the output data for controlling certain entities and occurrences of the outside environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1999
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: Graham Thomas Hall, Robert Allyn Dick
  • Patent number: 5966300
    Abstract: A redundant industrial controller system has a primary controller backed up by a secondary controller and recovers from a power loss by analyzing the state memories of the controllers to reach a determination of which controller would best be suited to assume primary control status without resorting to arbitrary tie-breaking procedures or race conditions. The rules and their inputs are applied by both controllers which independently make the determination as to which controller should be the primary controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 12, 1999
    Assignee: Allen-Bradley Company, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark A. Flood, William B. Cook, Mark E. Taylor, Steven P. Richter
  • Patent number: 5943231
    Abstract: computer controlled separator device is disclosed. The computer control system monitors the operation of the separator device and makes any adjustments necessary to maintain optimal operation. An operator may input values representing desired operating parameters and/or desired product characteristics of the separator device. Alternatively, these values may be programmed into the computer control system in accordance with optimal product or system standards. The computer control system monitors the operation of the separator device and makes any adjustments necessary to maintain operation in accordance with the selected or programmed values. Specifically, the computer control system may monitor incoming and outgoing product characteristics, i.e. particle weight, particle density, or particle size; and/or operating parameters, i.e. air flow, vibration speed, side tilt, end raise, feed rate, divider knife position and cutout gate position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 24, 1999
    Assignee: Oliver Manufacturing Co., Inc.
    Inventor: James A. Thomas
  • Patent number: 5940295
    Abstract: A method for the distributed execution of an interactive multimedia program in which the interaction with the user takes place via a local station and the actual execution takes place in a powerful central station. To this end, user commands to be executed are applied from the local station to the central station and the presentation commands generated by said execution are applied from the central station to the local station. The audiovisual data presented to the user is locally stored and is not transported via the connection. Consequently, the connection requires only a small bandwidth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1999
    Assignee: U.S. Philips Corporation
    Inventor: Jozef H. G. Rous
  • Patent number: 5920477
    Abstract: The need for a more-readily usable interface for programmable devices is widely recognized. The present invention relates to programmable sequencing devices, or, more particularly, the remote controls for consumer electronic devices. The present invention provides an enhanced interface for facilitating human input of a desired control sequence in a programmable device by employing specialized visual feedback. The present invention also relates to a new interface and method of interfacing with a programmable device, which is usable as an interface for a programmable video cassette recorder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 6, 1999
    Inventors: Steven M. Hoffberg, Linda I. Hoffberg-Borghesani
  • Patent number: 5903454
    Abstract: The need for a more-readily usable interface for programmable devices is widely recognized. The present invention relates to programmable sequencing devices, or, more particularly, the remote controls for consumer electronic devices. The present invention provides an enhanced interface for facilitating human input of a desired control sequence in a programmable device by employing specialized visual feedback. The present invention also relates to a new interface and method of interfacing with a programmable device, which is usable as an interface for a programmable video cassette recorder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1991
    Date of Patent: May 11, 1999
    Inventors: Linda Irene Hoffberg, Steven M. Hoffberg
  • Patent number: 5903455
    Abstract: An interface control for use in a field device management system coupled to a set of smart field devices automatically performs functions related to communication between a device, a database and a user of the management system and functions related to interfacing with a user in a manner which is transparent to the software application running on the management system. The control monitors a device, or a block or a parameter of a device, displays information pertaining to the device, block or parameter to a user, receives information pertaining to such device, block, or parameter from a user and the device, automatically updates the displayed information, and implements changes to the device block or parameter specified by the user. A timeline control specifies a time at which past, present or future configurations of devices, blocks, parameters, or other data associated with one or more devices is to be displayed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 11, 1999
    Assignee: Fisher-Rosemount Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard R. Sharpe, Jr., Robert Bruck, Richard Wagenknecht, Jon D. Westbrock, Craig R. Tielens, James W. Kieley
  • Patent number: 5896403
    Abstract: A long time optical recording and repeated reproduction of multimedia information is possible. Using a printer system or printing process system, on a recording medium such as a sheet, the so-called multimedia information in the form of dot codes (36) together with images (32) and characters (34) is recorded. The multimedia information includes audio information such as voices, image information obtainable from a camera and others, and digitally coded data obtainable from a personal computer and other. A pen-like information reproducing device (40) is manually moved to scan the dot codes (36) and to take in the dot codes. The original sound is generated by a voice output device (42) such as an earphone, the original image information is outputted on a display such as a CRT, and the digitally coded original data to a page printer or the like.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 20, 1999
    Assignee: Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Tatsuo Nagasaki, Hiroyoshi Fujimori, Takeshi Mori, Shinzo Matsui, Yoshikazu Akamine, Seiichi Wakamatsu, Kazuhiko Morita
  • Patent number: 5889670
    Abstract: A method and apparatus implementing a user interface device, such as a mouse or trackball, having electronically controllable tactile responsiveness which is flexibly programmable. A user interface device effects positioning of a cursor within a limited area, such as on a display screen, with limits imposed by controllable tactile responsiveness. Programmable force-position characteristics relate the tactile responsiveness of the interface device to the position of the cursor within the limited area or on the display screen. In a described embodiment, the interface device includes at least two sets of wheels that move as the interface device is actuated. The at least two sets of wheels are aligned on mutually orthogonal axes. A servo motor is attached to each of the at least two sets of wheels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 30, 1999
    Assignee: Immersion Corporation
    Inventors: Chester L. Schuler, Seth M. Haberman
  • Patent number: 5886894
    Abstract: A security or automation system for domestic or business premises has plural units connected into a network by a communications bus, the units including one master unit and at least one user interface unit remote from the master unit that interprets and responds to forms, containing information for display, data capture, annunciation and timeout specification, as stored in and transmitted from the master unit. The system may be expanded by one or more application units, which have their own forms that are transmitted to the user interface unit, in order to communicate with the user and using a common format specified for the system and interpreted by the user interface, in order for the application unit to display data on and capture data from the user interface so that it may enhance its own operation and that of master unit through communications provided by a communications protocol managed by the master unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 23, 1999
    Assignee: Chubb Security Canada, Inc.
    Inventor: Steven Barnett Rakoff
  • Patent number: 5883803
    Abstract: This small, non-contact optical sensor increases the capability and flexibility of computer controlled machines by detecting its relative position to a workpiece in all six degrees of freedom (DOF). At a fraction of the cost, it is over 200 times faster and up to 25 times more accurate than competing 3-DOF sensors. Applications range from flexible manufacturing to a 6-DOF mouse for computers. Until now, highly agile and accurate machines have been limited by their inability to adjust to changes in their tasks. By enabling them to sense all six degrees of position, these machines can now adapt to new and complicated tasks without human intervention or delay--simplifying production, reducing costs, and enhancing the value and capability of flexible manufacturing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 16, 1999
    Assignee: The Regents of the University of California
    Inventor: Charles S. Vann
  • Patent number: 5877953
    Abstract: A handheld apparatus for tracking, recording and retrieving time by account, task and date. The device permits entry of one or more account numbers and one or more tasks associated with each account number. When working on an activity for a selected account and task, a "timer" can be started for that account's activity and the device will keep track of total accumulated time. Recorded data can be retrieved on the internal display or transferred to a computer for processing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 2, 1999
    Assignee: Stratos Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: David B. Clendenen, Teresa D. Cornell, Kyle D. Fields, George E. McLam
  • Patent number: 5878402
    Abstract: A system and method for uniformly delivering assigned feed rations to the feedbunks associated with animal pens. The system includes a feed delivery vehicle having a feed storage compartment and a scale. The function of the scale is to weigh the amount of feed in the storage compartment at sampled time intervals, and produce a first data signal indicative of the weight of the feed at these sampled time intervals. The vehicle also has a ground speed radar unit which measures the true ground speed of the vehicle at sampled time intervals as the vehicle travels alongside of the feedbunk, and produces a second data signal indicative of the vehicular speed at these sampled time intervals. A computer aboard the vehicle processes the first and second data signals along with information regarding the length of the feedbunk and produces a control signal as the vehicle travels alongside the feedbunk.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 2, 1999
    Assignee: Lextron, Inc.
    Inventors: Sherman H. Brewster, J. Sam Cureton, James Carish, Michael A. Ackerman
  • Patent number: 5875108
    Abstract: An adaptive interface for a programmable system, for predicting a desired user function, based on user history, as well as machine internal status and context. The apparatus receives an input from the user and other data. A predicted input is presented for confirmation by the user, and the predictive mechanism is updated based on this feedback. Also provided is a pattern recognition system for a multimedia device, wherein a user input is matched to a video stream on a conceptual basis, allowing inexact programming of a multimedia device. The system analyzes a data stream for correspondence with a data pattern for processing and storage. The data stream is subjected to adaptive pattern recognition to extract features of interest to provide a highly compressed representation which may be efficiently processed to determine correspondence.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1999
    Inventors: Steven M. Hoffberg, Linda I. Hoffberg-Borghesani
  • Patent number: 5875109
    Abstract: An adaptive airflow control system for positioning damper systems or controlling air units utilized in an environment control system is provided. The system is based on a fixed-gain, proportional-only feedback design to provide stable operation given the nonlinear behavior of flow through a valve or damper. A time-dependent deadzone of nonlinearity is used to reject measurement noise. The deadzone of nonlinearity is adjusted by an adaptively calculated proportionality constant which is capable of switching the control system between various operating modes for adjusting the performance of the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1999
    Assignee: Johnson Service Company
    Inventor: Clifford C. Federspiel
  • Patent number: RE36510
    Abstract: A method of on-site refueling, i.e., delivering petroleum and similar products from a tank truck into customer vehicles or other tanks at a customer's site, that ensures the accurate delivery of products in accordance with the instructions on a series of delivery lists. The method of delivery includes the use of a probe having digital memory and capable of comparing input signals from passive electronic tags with stored data and the use of a truck on-board computer able to read the truck's accumulating gallonage meters, and able to set relay contacts to directly control the refueling of vehicles identified as critical vehicles. Each use of the probe in reading a tag is recorded in the probe.Iadd., .Iaddend.stored in its memory, and later downloaded into the on-board computer used to calculate the gallons and identify the product delivered into each customer tank.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 18, 2000
    Inventor: Robert R. Burns
  • Patent number: RE36602
    Abstract: A computer-based engineering design system to design a part, a tool to make the part, and the process to make the part. The design system has a processor and a memory. The memory stores feature templates, each feature template being a representation of a primitive object having a form and a function. Each feature template is indexed by the function of the primitive object and includes a representation of a primitive geometric entity having the form of the primitive object. Each feature template can include information relating to a tool to make the primitive object and a process to make the primitive object. The design system also includes an input device for receiving a request to design the part. This request includes one or more predetermined functions that the part performs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2000
    Assignee: The Trustees of the Stevens Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Donald H. Sebastian, Steven Pratt, Sivakumar Muthuswamy, David Kniep, Souran Manoochehri, Scott Kolodzieski