Patents Examined by Toan Pham
  • Patent number: 7423534
    Abstract: An electronic method for monitoring the location of a container and one or more products capable of being contained in the container in an operating environment. The method can include the steps of (a) placing an extreme condition identification (ID) tag encoded with a container ID on a location on a container capable of containing one or more products; (b) associating the one or more products with the container ID; and (c) tracking the location of the containers based on the extreme condition ID tag.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2008
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Smriti Gandhi Dhanjal, Rafael Melendez, Nicholas Griffin
  • Patent number: 7423543
    Abstract: A multi-function relay module for use with a series of hazardous condition detectors that are interconnected by an interconnect line. The relay module is positioned between the interconnected hazardous condition detectors and one or more auxiliary devices such that the relay module can selectively activate each of the auxiliary devices. The relay module receives the interconnect signal and determines whether the interconnect signal is indicating a first sensed condition or a second sensed condition. A selection signal having multiple states is received by the control unit. The control unit is programmed to respond to the type of sensed condition indicated by the interconnect signal based upon the state of the selection signal. Thus, the relay module can selectively respond to either the first sensed condition, the second sensed condition or either of the first or second sensed conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2008
    Assignee: Maple Chase Company
    Inventors: Kirby W. Cartwright, Scott Young
  • Patent number: 7417533
    Abstract: A motor vehicle includes a conventional tail light arrangement, and also includes an indicator light that can be actuated by a vehicle operator. The indicator light is configured to provide a signal to a driver of another vehicle that the other driver is “tailgating” or otherwise following the lead vehicle too closely. The indicator light arrangement may include a timer that turns the indicator light off a preselected time, such that the light is not turned on again unless the vehicle operator again actuates the switch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2008
    Inventor: Kenneth R. Owen
  • Patent number: 7417554
    Abstract: A system displays information from and controls electrical switching apparatus, such as circuit breakers. The system includes a plurality of circuit breakers having separable contacts and a plurality of conditions, such as bus temperature and contact wear. A plurality of sensors are structured to sense the conditions of the circuit breakers and to communicate the sensed conditions over corresponding wireless signals. A display and control unit is operatively associated with the circuit breakers and is structured to receive the corresponding wireless signals and display information corresponding to the sensed conditions or to control the circuit breakers based upon one or more of the sensed conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2008
    Assignee: Gaton Corporation
    Inventors: James J. Benke, Joseph C. Engel, James L. Lagree, Charles J. Luebke, Mark G. Solveson
  • Patent number: 7405660
    Abstract: RFID systems, devices, software and methods are adapted for receiving from an RFID tag at least waves that communicate at least a first version of its code. An output tag code is output that is the same as the first version, if a fidelity criterion is met regarding the first version. If not met, the output tag code is instead a final version that is reconstructed from the first version, and also from any additionally optionally subsequently received versions. In some embodiments, an error recovery block includes a subcomponent fidelity criterion checking block that can determine whether the fidelity criterion is met, and a code reconstruction block that can derive the final version.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2008
    Assignee: Impinj, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher J. Diorio, Seth W. Bridges, Aanand Esterberg, William T. Colleran
  • Patent number: 7378968
    Abstract: Provides asset position detecting apparatus and methods for determining the correspondence relation between an asset attached to an RFID tag and the position in which the asset is located in a predetermined space range. An example apparatus includes: a movable RFID reader movable in the space range, for detecting whether the asset exists in its read range, and reading the RFID tag attached to the asset within its read range, to obtain the specific identification of the detected asset; and position determining means for determining the position where the reader is located, wherein, when said RFID reader detects that said asset exists in its read range during its movement, the obtained identification of the asset and the current position of the RFID reader are associatively stored in a database, so as to obtain the information regarding the position of said asset.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2008
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Hao B J Wang, Rong Yao Fu, Song Song, Xing Xin Gao, Zhe Xiang, Jian Huang
  • Patent number: 7135968
    Abstract: A digital alerting security system and a method to signal audio and/or visual alarms and to communicate alerts through telecommunication link and/or electronic messaging that a person has forgotten or separated a predetermined distance from a valuable item/object/animal is disclosed. The system and the method also act as a smart tag to secure that travelers are accompanying their checked luggage/objects on board and to quickly identify luggage that does not belong to identified travelers on board or to facilitate their luggage retrieving afterwards by signaling and communicating alerts. The system comprises a single or multi-dimensional ultrasonic transmitter and alerting means, which is attached or integrated to the item/luggage/object/animal, with modulating and digital coding means; and a portable receiver/alerting means with demodulation and digital decoding means. Each of these means can be energized with the of aid a single pole one way switch and a power supply mean.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2006
    Assignee: Wireless Tec
    Inventor: Diaa Hosny
  • Patent number: 6967583
    Abstract: Disclosed are systems and methods for indicating events at various locations in a power distribution system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2005
    Inventor: Kirk S. Thomas
  • Patent number: 6958695
    Abstract: A tag has an intelligent function such that when radiation of a burst signal synchronized with a power source frequency from a transmission antenna (20) is detected, it transmits a response burst signal after completion of reception. Then, when a predetermined number of burst signals have been detected, the tag outputs an alarm. Also, an alarm device main body outputs an alarm when a predetermined number of response burst signals have been received. To provide article monitoring apparatus and article monitoring system which determine whether or not an unpaid article is taken out with reliability. According to the present invention, it is possible to provide article monitoring apparatus and article monitoring system which determine whether or not an unpaid article is taken out with reliability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 29, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2005
    Assignees: Sensormatic Electronics Corporation, Takachiho Koheki Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Kunihiko Imafuku
  • Patent number: 6903654
    Abstract: The invention is directed to improved automatic dispenser apparatus for dispensing sheet material and the like without contact between a user and the dispenser. Proximity detection apparatus is provided to detect the presence of a user in a detection zone generated outside the dispenser. Control apparatus controls actuation of the dispenser in response to the detected user. Preferred forms of the proximity detector include a sensor and a signal detection circuit operatively connected to the sensor. The sensor includes conductors configured to have a capacitance and positioned such that the capacitance is changed by the presence of a user within the detection zone. The signal detection circuit detects the change in capacitance and is provided with an oscillator having a frequency which is affected by the sensor capacitance and a differential frequency discriminator which detects changes in the oscillator frequency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2005
    Assignee: Alwin Manufacturing Company, Inc.
    Inventors: Lawrence R. Hansen, Thomas Michael Leiterman, Larry Allen Schotz, William G. Haen, Alan P. Paal, Abtin Spantman, Patrick Gerald McCutcheon
  • Patent number: 6870482
    Abstract: A method of predicting earthquakes includes the step of positioning a first transducer array adjacent to a seismically active region and at least about 3 meters below the surface of the crust of the Earth. The first transducer array includes a first plurality of seismometers, at least one first clock, and at least one first digitizer. The at least one first clock is in communication with at least one of the first plurality of seismometers, and the at least one first digitizer also is in communication with at least one of the first plurality of seismometers. The method also includes the steps of detecting a plurality of wave movements resulting from dilation of the crust of the Earth prior to an earthquake, and converting at least one of the wave movements into a first voltage. The method further includes the step of discriminating between wave movements resulting from dilation of the crust of the Earth and movements resulting from at least one other event.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2005
    Assignee: Science Horizons, Inc.
    Inventor: J. Theodore Cherry
  • Patent number: 6856247
    Abstract: Systems and methods are provided for gathering temperature and other food condition information at a plurality of remote sensor units and transmitting it to a central collection location. Data may be buffered at each sensor unit until communications have been established between the unit and the central computer. A plurality of interface units may be provided for receiving data from the sensor units and relaying it to the central computer. At the central computer, the data may be compared to a preset limit, and if the limit is violated, an alarm may be generated at the corresponding remote sensor unit. If a deactivation request is received at a sensor unit, then a signal is transmitted to the central computer to warn of the deactivation, and the sensor unit is deactivated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2005
    Assignee: A la Cart, Inc.
    Inventor: Thomas E. Wallace
  • Patent number: 6822551
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for the purpose of ensuring positioning between a fixed automatic fueling service terminal and a vehicle, such that the vehicle is identified within a close range and authorized to dock at an identified service terminal to exchange services. This is accomplished by wirelessly determining the proximity of a couplable vehicle, with respect to a docking location at the service terminal. When a vehicle is within a specified distance of an automatic fueling service terminal, known as the zone of proximity detection, the vehicle identification code and service terminal identification code are both continuously determined and passed to a multi-port station controller, for authentication of service transactions and secure service processes, including automatically fueling the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2004
    Assignee: General Hydrogen Corporation
    Inventors: Edward Wing Ping Li, Henrik Thorning Christensen, Bruce Stephen Jenner, William Edward Mufford, Curtis Michael Robin
  • Patent number: 6816074
    Abstract: An automated, flexible and programmable system to update delivery and inventory status for an aggregate of remote mailboxes, bins, shelves, sorter bins, and/or a plurality of bins to distant customers and vendors through email, pager, personal digital assistant (PDA), cellular phone mail, voice mail at call centers and/or web site mailboxes. It can function as a delivery notice to mailbox recipients or as inventory stock management to store owners and vendors at remote locations. Various sensors mounted on flexible circuit boards located on the mailboxes, bins, or shelves together with distributed microcontrollers report status through a common bus to a master controller and then to a computer system. The computer in turn dispatches reports and information to various owners and vendors via a remote network operation center accessed through a dedicated line, a wireless service or an Internet Service Provider.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2004
    Inventor: Chon Meng Wong
  • Patent number: 6801139
    Abstract: The invention provides a method for delivering a time-efficient mobile vehicle route that encompasses multiple limited-duration events. A plurality of limited-duration events is selected from an events database. The events database is incorporated into a communication services database associated with a call center. Events are selected through the call center or through a Web site. A driving route is generated. The route is delivered to the subscriber within a vehicle by a synthesized voice interface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2004
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Laurence J. Tretyak, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6762686
    Abstract: The wireless home security detector monitors fire, smoke, and home security to protect the home. The wireless home security detector dials the proper authorities in the event of an emergency. An alarm will come on in seconds after the smoke or fire is detected. When the fire alarm is activated, it will emit a special code that will activate the passive infrared motion detector that will check for any body heat inside the home. If body heat is detected, the infrared motion detector will activate an alarm responsive to detecting the location of a person; and include a human voice response. This alarm will keep sounding if body heat is detected and it will also monitor the body heat location as the person moves from one room to the other. The motion detector will stay on in the occupied room as an indication that a person has been located inside the room, to aid authorities in an emergency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2004
    Inventor: Joseph A. Tabe
  • Patent number: 6756905
    Abstract: A smoke detection chamber for use in a photoelectric smoke detector. The smoke detection chamber comprises a side wall with a double row of generally rectangular vanes arranged to provide a labyrinth extending generally around the entire side wall for ingress and egress of smoke particles, a top and a bottom. A mounting arrangement for a photoemitting diode is provided in the side wall of the smoke detection chamber so that a light beam from a photoemitting diode is transmitted across the smoke detection chamber. The mounting arrangement extends from and is spaced from the bottom to provide minimal interference for entry of smoke particles. The bottom of the smoke detection chamber has an opening therein with a shielding arrangement thereabout open to the chamber for a photodiode detector, the opening and shielding arrangement being located between the centerline of the smoke detection chamber and the mounting arrangement in the side wall of the chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2004
    Assignee: Digital Security Controls Ltd.
    Inventors: William Rattman, Zhexin Mi
  • Patent number: 6750774
    Abstract: In view of a possibility that a conventional structure which mounts a pressure-sensitive riding detection sensor on a seat bottom plate and mounts a seat cushion on the riding detection sensor lowers the sensitivity of the riding detection sensor, the present invention arranges the riding detection sensor such that the riding detection sensor can have favorable sensitivity. A lower seat cushion is arranged on a seat bottom plate of a seat, and a seat switch is supported on the lower seat cushion. A seat cushion body which is made thin by the thickness of the lower seat cushion is mounted on the seat switch, and a seat skin covers an upper surface of the seat cushion body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2004
    Assignee: Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Kengo Yano, Tadashi Onozuka, Yuji Ono
  • Patent number: 6737966
    Abstract: A Keypad Annunciator Graphical User Interface, (KAGUI), for use by an operator of a process control system for presenting and responding to alarm state data generated by the process control system, is disclosed. The KAGUI provides an interactive display of a keypad annunciator on a monitor display screen. A panel manager display and a dynamic icon enhance operator awareness, in a multi-window display environment, of alarms. The KAGUI synchronizes alarm data presented by the KAGUI with process control system alarm data and informs the operator of the status of interprocess communication.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2004
    Assignee: The Foxboro Company
    Inventor: Dale E. Calder
  • Patent number: 6731218
    Abstract: A hand tool which provides an alarm signal to a user as the tool approaches a live electrical wire is disclosed. The hand tool comprises a conductive tool head and a non-conductive handle. A non-contact voltage sensing circuit is provided in the handle of the tool. As the tool head approaches a live electrical wire, the non-contact voltage sensing circuit detects the voltage across the air gap between the tool head and the electrical wire, triggering an alarm circuit. The alarm circuit provides a visual or audio signal to the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2004
    Assignee: Actuant Corporation
    Inventors: Thomas M. Luebke, David L. Wiesemann, George R. Steber