Patents by Inventor Christophe Ramstein

Christophe Ramstein has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 10088936
    Abstract: Electromechanical polymer (EMP) actuators are used to create haptic effects on a user interface deface, such as a keyboard. The keys of the keyboard may be embossed in a top layer to provide better key definition and to house the EMP actuator. Specifically, an EMP actuator is housed inside an embossed graphic layer that covers a key of the keyboard. Such a keyboard has a significant user interface value. For example, the embossed key provides the tactile effect of the presence of a key with edges, while allowing for the localized control of haptic vibrations. For such applications, an EMP transducer provides high strains, vibrations or both under control of an electric field. Furthermore, the EMP transducer can generate strong vibrations. When the frequency of the vibrations falls within the acoustic range, the EMP transducer can generate audible sound, thereby functioning as an audio speaker.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2018
    Assignee: Novasentis, Inc.
    Inventors: Brian C. Zellers, Li Jiang, Christophe Ramstein, Stephen Davis, M. Fabrice Domingues Dos Santos
  • Patent number: 9972768
    Abstract: An electromechanical polymer (EMP) transducer may include (a) one or more EMP layers each having a first operating characteristic; and (b) one or more EMP layers each having a second operating characteristic different from the first operating characteristic. The EMP transducer may include at least two EMP layers that are activated independently, and one or more EMP layers being configured to be a sensing layer. The sensing layer may sensitive to one or both of the operating characteristics (e.g., temperature, strain, pressure and their respective rates of change). Other operating characteristic may include resin type, modulus, film thicknesses, degrees of deformations, operating temperature ranges, a stretching ratio of the EMP layers, metallization patterns of electrodes, arrangements of active and inactive EMP layers, arrangements of irradiated EMP layers, arrangements of EMP layers acting as sensors, and arrangements of inactive layers of various degrees of stiffness.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2018
    Assignee: Novasentis, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark Levatich, Christophe Ramstein, Matthew Douglas Rogge, Richard Ducharme
  • Publication number: 20180099121
    Abstract: A catheter includes an electromechanical polymer (EMP) actuator disposed in a steerable tip at the distal end of the catheter. When activated, the EMP actuator deflects the steerable tip through an angle between 0 and 270 degrees, thus permitting the operator to steer the steerable tip through the vasculature. The steerable tip also has at least a first relatively stiff region and a second relatively flexible region, and the EMP actuator is provided next to the first relatively stiff region so that the steerable tip may toward the flexible region when activated. In one implementation, an external interface allows a user to select by name one of many sets of control signals, with each set of control signals being signals calibrated for configuring the catheter to mimic a known catheter.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 5, 2017
    Publication date: April 12, 2018
    Inventors: Richard Ducharme, Mark Levatich, Christophe Ramstein
  • Patent number: 9833596
    Abstract: A catheter includes an electromechanical polymer (EMP) actuator disposed in a steerable tip at the distal end of the catheter. When activated, the EMP actuator deflects the steerable tip through an angle between 0 and 270 degrees, thus permitting the operator to steer the steerable tip through the vasculature. The steerable tip also has at least a first relatively stiff region and a second relatively flexible region, and the EMP actuator is provided next to the first relatively stiff region so that the steerable tip may toward the flexible region when activated. In one implementation, an external interface allows a user to select by name one of many sets of control signals, with each set of control signals being signals calibrated for configuring the catheter to mimic a known catheter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2017
    Assignee: Novasentis, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard Ducharme, Mark Levatich, Christophe Ramstein
  • Patent number: 9823833
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for an electronic interactive device having a haptic enabled flexible touch sensitive surface are disclosed. In one embodiment, the electronic interactive device includes a flexible touch sensitive surface, a flexible screen (or display), and an actuator. The flexible touch sensitive surface is deposited over the flexible screen and is capable of receiving an input, such as, for example, from a user. The flexible screen displays an image via a displaying window. The actuator is coupled to the flexible screen and provides haptic feedback in response to the input.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2017
    Assignee: Immersion Corporation
    Inventors: Danny A. Grant, Juan Manuel Cruz Hernandez, Christophe Ramstein
  • Publication number: 20170308169
    Abstract: Systems and methods for providing haptic effects are disclosed. For example, one disclosed system includes a computer-readable medium having program code, the program code including program code defining a haptic widget. The haptic widget includes program code defining a haptic effect; program code defining an interface for the haptic widget; program code for receiving, via the interface, a configuration of at least one parameter of the haptic widget; program code for receiving, via the interface, a play command for the haptic effect; and program code for outputting, via the interface, a signal configured to cause the haptic effect, the signal based on the at least one parameter and in response to the play command.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 22, 2017
    Publication date: October 26, 2017
    Applicant: Immersion Corporation
    Inventors: David M. Birnbaum, Danny Grant, Christophe Ramstein, Christopher J. Ullrich
  • Publication number: 20170277262
    Abstract: An electronic device having a user interface device that has a flexible surface, a haptic output device operatively coupled to the flexible surface and configured to cause a deformation of the flexible surface, and a controller in signal communication with the haptic output device. The controller is configured to trigger the haptic output device to cause the deformation of the flexible surface based on a simulated physical behavior of a virtual element represented on the user interface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 2, 2017
    Publication date: September 28, 2017
    Inventors: David M. BIRNBAUM, Li JIANG, Juan Manuel CRUZ-HERNANDEZ, Ali MODARRES, Christophe RAMSTEIN, Danny A. GRANT
  • Patent number: 9703378
    Abstract: An electronic device having a user interface device that has a flexible surface, a haptic output device operatively coupled to the flexible surface and configured to cause a deformation of the flexible surface, and a controller in signal communication with the haptic output device. The controller is configured to trigger the haptic output device to cause the deformation of the flexible surface based on a simulated physical behavior of a virtual element represented on the user interface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2017
    Assignee: Immersion Corporation
    Inventors: David M. Birnbaum, Li Jiang, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez, Ali Modarres, Christophe Ramstein, Danny A. Grant
  • Patent number: 9705068
    Abstract: An inertial actuator includes an electro-active polymer EAP actuator, a substrate, and one or more mass elements. The EAP actuator includes at least one EAP layer located between a pair of driving electrodes. The EAP actuator may include a multilayer stack of alternating EAP layers and electrode layers. The EAP actuator is attached to the substrate (e.g., a flexible polymer substrate), which may be held under tension by attachment points at the periphery of the substrate, at the ends of a beam-type substrate, or the edges of a membrane-type actuator. The EMP actuator induces vibrations in the substrate. One or more mass elements (e.g., metal films) may also be supported by the substrate to enhance the resonator response.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2017
    Assignee: Novasentis, Inc.
    Inventors: Brian C. Zellers, Thomas Tremper, Raymond Orchard, Jr., Christophe Ramstein
  • Patent number: 9678569
    Abstract: Systems and methods for providing haptic effects are disclosed. For example, one disclosed system includes a computer-readable medium having program code, the program code including program code defining a haptic widget. The haptic widget includes program code defining a haptic effect; program code defining an interface for the haptic widget; program code for receiving, via the interface, a configuration of at least one parameter of the haptic widget; program code for receiving, via the interface, a play command for the haptic effect; and program code for outputting, via the interface, a signal configured to cause the haptic effect, the signal based on the at least one parameter and in response to the play command.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2017
    Assignee: Immersion Corporation
    Inventors: David M. Birnbaum, Danny Grant, Christophe Ramstein, Christopher J. Ullrich
  • Patent number: 9671865
    Abstract: A haptic tape includes a composite piezoelectric layer connected between a first electrode layer and a second electrode layer. The composite piezoelectric layer has a plurality of piezoelectric rods arranged in a polymer matrix. The haptic tape is configured to be used as a sealant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2017
    Assignee: Immersion Corporation
    Inventors: Ali Modarres, Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez, Danny A. Grant, Christophe Ramstein
  • Patent number: 9652946
    Abstract: A wearable haptic device includes (a) substrate having provided thereon a fastener (e.g., adhesive) for attachment to a user; (b) one or more EMP transducers attached to the substrate, such that a mechanical response in each EMP transducer may provide a haptic response of sufficient magnitude to be felt by the user; and (c) control circuit controlling the vibration frequency, the time of operation and the duration for each activation of the EMP transducer. The wearable haptic device may include a wireless communication circuit (e.g., Bluetooth transceiver) for receiving message from an external device (e.g., smartphone). The control circuit interprets message received and according to the interpreted message provides an electrical stimulus to cause the mechanical response of the EMP transducer. The EMP transducer may also serve as a sensor, such that a mechanical stimulus on the EMP transducer provides an electrical response that is detected by the control circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2017
    Assignee: Novasentis, Inc.
    Inventors: Christophe Ramstein, Ausra Liaukeviciute, Richard Ducharme
  • Publication number: 20170024013
    Abstract: A handheld apparatus includes a top surface that includes a touch screen defining a plurality of keys, and a bottom surface on an opposite side of the first surface. The apparatus further includes a processor and an actuator coupled to the processor and located on the bottom surface. The processor is adapted to detect an object moving across the keys and in response generate an actuation signal to the actuator to generate a haptic feedback on the back surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 5, 2016
    Publication date: January 26, 2017
    Inventors: Juan Manuel CRUZ-HERNANDEZ, Andrew GOSLINE, Danny GRANT, Christophe RAMSTEIN
  • Patent number: 9507468
    Abstract: An electromechanical polymer (EMP) sensor includes (a) a first set of EMP layers provided between a first electrode and a second electrode forming a capacitor, the first set of EMP layers having one or more EMP layers capable of being activated by application of a voltage across the first and second electrodes; and (b) a sensing circuit coupled to the first electrode and the second electrode for detecting a change in capacitance or a change in voltage across the first and second electrodes. The EMP sensor may further include means for disconnecting the second electrode from a ground reference after the pre-determined voltage is applied, such that the sensing circuit senses a change in capacitance. The sensing circuit may be capable of detecting a noise portion of a voltage across the first and second electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2016
    Assignee: Novasentis, Inc.
    Inventors: Li Jiang, Lawrence Wang, Matthew Douglas Rogge, Brian Zellers, Christophe Ramstein
  • Patent number: 9489046
    Abstract: A handheld apparatus includes a top surface that includes a touch screen defining a plurality of keys, and a bottom surface on an opposite side of the first surface. The apparatus further includes a processor and an actuator coupled to the processor and located on the bottom surface. The processor is adapted to detect an object moving across the keys and in response generate an actuation signal to the actuator to generate a haptic feedback on the back surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2016
    Assignee: IMMERSION CORPORATION
    Inventors: Juan Manuel Cruz-Hernandez, Andrew Gosline, Danny Grant, Christophe Ramstein
  • Patent number: 9357312
    Abstract: A localized multimodal haptic system includes one or more electromechanical polymer (EMP) transducers, each including an EMP layer, such as an electrostrictive polymer active layer. In some applications the EMP transducer may perform an actuator function or a sensor function, or both. The EMP polymer layer has a first surface and a second surface on which one or more electrodes are provided. The EMP layer of the EMP actuator may be 5 microns thick or less. The EMP transducers may provide local haptic response to a local a stimulus. In one application, a touch sensor may be associated with each EMP transducer, such that the haptic event at the touch sensor may be responded to by activating only the associated EMP transducer. Furthermore, the EMP transducer may act as its own touch sensor. A variety of haptic responses may be made available. The EMP transducers may be used in various other applications, such as providing complex surface morphology and audio speakers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2016
    Assignee: Novasentis, Inc.
    Inventors: Christophe Ramstein, M. Fabrice Domingues Dos Santos
  • Patent number: 9269885
    Abstract: A housing for an electronic device allows a haptic feedback response that is localized to a specific area on a back panel of the housing of the electronic device. For example, a user holding the mobile electronic device may directly receive haptic feedback in his/her fingers that are supporting the back side of the mobile electronic device. Those specific areas on the back panel may be locations where the panel material is thinned, or locations where the panel material has been removed and replaced by a suitably selected membrane material having favorable mechanical properties. The membrane material may be introduced as an embossment of a membrane layer. In addition, a force-sensing resistor type material may be used as a replacement material, so as to sense the pressure of a user's finger pressing on the embossed structure at the specific locations to which EMP actuators are bonded.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2016
    Assignee: Novasentis, Inc.
    Inventors: Li Jiang, Brian Zellers, Christophe Ramstein
  • Publication number: 20160049576
    Abstract: An electromechanical polymer (EMP) transducer may include (a) one or more EMP layers each having a first operating characteristic; and (b) one or more EMP layers each having a second operating characteristic different from the first operating characteristic. The EMP transducer may include at least two EMP layers that are activated independently, and one or more EMP layers being configured to be a sensing layer. The sensing layer may sensitive to one or both of the operating characteristics (e.g., temperature, strain, pressure and their respective rates of change). Other operating characteristic may include resin type, modulus, film thicknesses, degrees of deformations, operating temperature ranges, a stretching ratio of the EMP layers, metallization patterns of electrodes, arrangements of active and inactive EMP layers, arrangements of irradiated EMP layers, arrangements of EMP layers acting as sensors, and arrangements of inactive layers of various degrees of stiffness.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 15, 2014
    Publication date: February 18, 2016
    Inventors: Mark Levatich, Christophe Ramstein, Matthew Douglas Rogge, Richard Ducharme
  • Patent number: 9183710
    Abstract: A localized multimodal haptic system includes one or more electromechanical polymer (EMP) transducers, each including an EMP layer, such as an electrostrictive polymer active layer. In some applications the EMP transducer may perform an actuator function or a sensor function, or both. The EMP polymer layer has a first surface and a second surface on which one or more electrodes are provided. The EMP layer of the EMP actuator may be 5 microns thick or less. The EMP transducers may provide local haptic response to a local a stimulus. In one application, a touch sensor may be associated with each EMP transducer, such that the haptic event at the touch sensor may be responded to by activating only the associated EMP transducer. Furthermore, the EMP transducer may act as its own touch sensor. A variety of haptic responses may be made available. The EMP transducers may be used in various other applications, such as providing complex surface morphology and audio speakers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2015
    Assignee: Novasentis, Inc.
    Inventors: Brian C. Zellers, Shihai Zhang, Christophe Ramstein, Li Jiang, Raj P. Pathak, M. Fabrice Domingues Dos Santos
  • Publication number: 20150317885
    Abstract: A wearable haptic device includes (a) substrate having provided thereon a fastener (e.g., adhesive) for attachment to a user; (b) one or more EMP transducers attached to the substrate, such that a mechanical response in each EMP transducer may provide a haptic response of sufficient magnitude to be felt by the user; and (c) control circuit controlling the vibration frequency, the time of operation and the duration for each activation of the EMP transducer. The wearable haptic device may include a wireless communication circuit (e.g., Bluetooth transceiver) for receiving message from an external device (e.g., smartphone). The control circuit interprets message received and according to the interpreted message provides an electrical stimulus to cause the mechanical response of the EMP transducer. The EMP transducer may also serve as a sensor, such that a mechanical stimulus on the EMP transducer provides an electrical response that is detected by the control circuit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 2, 2014
    Publication date: November 5, 2015
    Applicant: NOVASENTIS, INC.
    Inventors: Christophe Ramstein, Ausra Liaukeviciute, Richard Ducharme