Patents by Inventor Gunter D. Niemeyer

Gunter D. Niemeyer 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: 11104004
    Abstract: Systems and corresponding control methods providing a ballistic robot that flies on a trajectory after being released (e.g., in non-powered flight as a ballistic body) from a launch mechanism. The ballistic robot is adapted to control its position and/or inflight movements by processing data from onboard and offboard sensors and by issuing well-timed control signals to one or more onboard actuators to achieve an inflight controlled motion. The actuators may move an appendage such as an arm or leg of the robot or may alter the configuration of one or more body links (e.g., to change from an untucked configuration to a tucked configuration), while other embodiments may trigger a drive mechanism of an inertia moving assembly to change/move the moment of inertia of the flying body. In-flight controlled movements are performed to achieve a desired or target pose and orientation of the robot during flight and upon landing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2021
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: Anthony Paul Dohi, Steven Niels Christensen, Mark Sox Setrakian, David Loyal Christensen, Grant Masaru Imahara, Morgan T. Pope, Scott Frazier Watson, Günter D. Niemeyer
  • Patent number: 11072075
    Abstract: A system for sensing and controlling eye contact for a robot. The system includes a robotic figure with a movable eye. The system includes a light source positioned in the robotic figure to output light through a light outlet of the eye. A light sensor is included that senses light striking surfaces in a physical space in which the robotic figure is positioned including the output light from the light source. The system includes an image processor processing output of the light sensor to identify a location of a target formed by the output light striking surfaces in the physical space and to identify a location of a face of a human. Further, the system includes a robot controller generating eye movement control signals based on the location of the target and the location of the face to position the eye to provide eye contact with the human observer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2019
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2021
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: David Loyal Christensen, Alexis P. Wieland, Lanny S. Smoot, Alfredo M. Ayala, Quinn Y. Smithwick, Kyna P. McIntosh, James R. Kennedy, Matthew K. Pan, Günter D. Niemeyer, Daniel De Jesus Campos Zamora, Sungjoon Choi
  • Patent number: 11045077
    Abstract: Robotic, telerobotic, and/or telesurgical devices, systems, and methods take advantage of robotic structures and data to calculate changes in the focus of an image capture device in response to movement of the image capture device, a robotic end effector, or the like. As the size of an image of an object shown in the display device varies with changes in a separation distance between that object and the image capture device used to capture the image, a scale factor between a movement command input may be changed in response to moving an input device or a corresponding master/slave robotic movement command of the system. This may enhance the perceived correlation between the input commands and the robotic movements as they appear in the image presented to the system operator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2021
    Assignee: Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: John D. Stern, Robert G. Younge, David S. Gere, Gunter D. Niemeyer
  • Publication number: 20210137620
    Abstract: A robotic catheter system includes a controller with a master input device. An instrument driver is in communication with the controller and has a guide instrument interface including a plurality of guide instrument drive elements responsive to control signals generated, at least in part, by the master input device. An elongate guide instrument has a base, distal end, and a working lumen, wherein the guide instrument base is operatively coupled to the guide instrument interface. The guide instrument includes a plurality of guide instrument control elements operatively coupled to respective guide drive elements and secured to the distal end of the guide instrument. The guide instrument control elements are axially moveable relative to the guide instrument such that movement of the guide instrument distal end may be controlled by the master input device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 20, 2020
    Publication date: May 13, 2021
    Inventors: Daniel T. Wallace, Frederic H. Moll, Robert G. Younge, Kenneth M. Martin, Gregory J. Stahler, David F. Moore, Daniel T. Adams, Michael R. Zinn, Gunter D. Niemeyer
  • Publication number: 20210122055
    Abstract: A system for sensing and controlling eye contact for a robot. The system includes a robotic figure with a movable eye. The system includes a light source positioned in the robotic figure to output light through a light outlet of the eye. A light sensor is included that senses light striking surfaces in a physical space in which the robotic figure is positioned including the output light from the light source. The system includes an image processor processing output of the light sensor to identify a location of a target formed by the output light striking surfaces in the physical space and to identify a location of a face of a human. Further, the system includes a robot controller generating eye movement control signals based on the location of the target and the location of the face to position the eye to provide eye contact with the human observer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 24, 2019
    Publication date: April 29, 2021
    Inventors: DAVID LOYAL CHRISTENSEN, ALEXIS P. WIELAND, LANNY S. SMOOT, ALFREDO M. AYALA, QUINN Y. SMITHWICK, KYNA P. MCINTOSH, JAMES R. KENNEDY, MATTHEW K. PAN, GÜNTER D. NIEMEYER, DANIEL DE JESUS CAMPOS ZAMORA, SUNGJOON CHOI
  • Publication number: 20210114203
    Abstract: A robot system with a robot configured for locomotion about a space using ground reaction force (GRF) to provide a first level of balancing. The robot system includes force generators located on or in the robot's body or offboard in the space that act to generate balancing forces to provide a second level of balancing for the robot using non-conventional physics. For example, clamping of a robot's feet to a support surface may be provided whenever the feet are in contact with the support surface using electromagnets in the feet and a layer of ferrous material on the support surface or using mechanical coupling techniques to temporarily anchor the foot to the support surface. In other examples, a balance controller may process output of balance sensors and respond by generating control signals to operate force generators onboard the robot such as electric fans or inertial reaction wheels.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 17, 2019
    Publication date: April 22, 2021
    Inventors: DAVID LOYAL CHRISTENSEN, GÜNTER D. NIEMEYER, MORGAN T. POPE, MATTHEW A. ESTRADA, RICHARD-ALEXANDRE PELOQUIN
  • Publication number: 20210077210
    Abstract: A teleoperated system includes a master grip and a ratcheting system coupled to the master grip. The ratcheting system is configured to align the master grip with a slave instrument commanded by the master grip by determining grip rotation values describing an orientation of the master grip, determining instrument rotation values describing an orientation of the instrument, determining an orientation error between an orientation of the master grip and the orientation of the instrument based on the grip rotation values and the instrument rotation values, and reducing the orientation error by low pass filtering the grip rotation values or the instrument rotation values.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 30, 2020
    Publication date: March 18, 2021
    Inventors: Brandon D. ITKOWITZ, Simon P. DIMAIO, William C. NOWLIN, Gunter D. NIEMEYER, David S. MINTZ
  • Publication number: 20210001485
    Abstract: Systems and corresponding control methods providing a ballistic robot that flies on a trajectory after being released (e.g., in non-powered flight as a ballistic body) from a launch mechanism. The ballistic robot is adapted to control its position and/or inflight movements by processing data from onboard and offboard sensors and by issuing well-timed control signals to one or more onboard actuators to achieve an inflight controlled motion. The actuators may move an appendage such as an arm or leg of the robot or may alter the configuration of one or more body links (e.g., to change from an untucked configuration to a tucked configuration), while other embodiments may trigger a drive mechanism of an inertia moving assembly to change/move the moment of inertia of the flying body. Inflight controlled movements are performed to achieve a desired or target pose and orientation of the robot during flight and upon landing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 23, 2020
    Publication date: January 7, 2021
    Inventors: ANTHONY PAUL DOHI, STEVEN NIELS CHRISTENSEN, MARK SOX SETRAKIAN, DAVID LOYAL CHRISTENSEN, GRANT MASARU IMAHARA, MORGAN T. POPE, SCOTT FRAZIER WATSON, GÜNTER D. NIEMEYER
  • Patent number: 10881473
    Abstract: A teleoperated system includes a master grip and a ratcheting system coupled to the master grip. The ratcheting system is configured to align the master grip with a slave instrument commanded by the master grip by determining a grip orientation by which the master grip is gripped by an operator, determining a commanded velocity for the slave instrument based on a manipulation of the master grip by the operator, determining an error, and altering the commanded velocity for the slave instrument based on at least the grip orientation and the error. The error includes a parameter selected from a group consisting of a position error between a position of the master grip and a position of the slave instrument and an orientation error between an orientation of the master grip and an orientation of the slave instrument.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2020
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2021
    Assignee: INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERATIONS, INC.
    Inventors: Brandon D. Itkowitz, Simon P. Dimaio, William C. Nowlin, Gunter D. Niemeyer, David S. Mintz
  • Patent number: 10874468
    Abstract: A robotic catheter system includes a controller with a master input device. An instrument driver is in communication with the controller and has a guide instrument interface including a plurality of guide instrument drive elements responsive to control signals generated, at least in part, by the master input device. An elongate guide instrument has a base, distal end, and a working lumen, wherein the guide instrument base is operatively coupled to the guide instrument interface. The guide instrument includes a plurality of guide instrument control elements operatively coupled to respective guide drive elements and secured to the distal end of the guide instrument. The guide instrument control elements are axially moveable relative to the guide instrument such that movement of the guide instrument distal end may be controlled by the master input device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2020
    Assignee: Auris Health, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel T. Wallace, Frederic H. Moll, Robert G. Younge, Kenneth M. Martin, Gregory J. Stahler, David F. Moore, Daniel T. Adams, Michael R. Zinn, Gunter D. Niemeyer
  • Patent number: 10807244
    Abstract: Systems and corresponding control methods providing a ballistic robot that flies on a trajectory after being released (e.g., in non-powered flight as a ballistic body) from a launch mechanism. The ballistic robot is adapted to control its position and/or inflight movements by processing data from onboard and offboard sensors and by issuing well-timed control signals to one or more onboard actuators to achieve an inflight controlled motion. The actuators may move an appendage such as an arm or leg of the robot or may alter the configuration of one or more body links (e.g., to change from an untucked configuration to a tucked configuration), while other embodiments may trigger a drive mechanism of an inertia moving assembly to change/move the moment of inertia of the flying body. Inflight controlled movements are performed to achieve a desired or target pose and orientation of the robot during flight and upon landing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2020
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: Anthony Paul Dohi, Steven Niels Christensen, Mark Sox Setrakian, David Loyal Christensen, Grant Masaru Imahara, Morgan T. Pope, Scott Frazier Watson, Günter D. Niemeyer
  • Publication number: 20200253675
    Abstract: A teleoperated system includes a master grip and a ratcheting system coupled to the master grip. The ratcheting system is configured to align the master grip with a slave instrument commanded by the master grip by determining a grip orientation by which the master grip is gripped by an operator, determining a commanded velocity for the slave instrument based on a manipulation of the master grip by the operator, determining an error, and altering the commanded velocity for the slave instrument based on at least the grip orientation and the error. The error includes a parameter selected from a group consisting of a position error between a position of the master grip and a position of the slave instrument and an orientation error between an orientation of the master grip and an orientation of the slave instrument.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 29, 2020
    Publication date: August 13, 2020
    Inventors: Brandon D. ITKOWITZ, Simon P. DIMAIO, William C. NOWLIN, Gunter D. Niemeyer, David S. MINTZ
  • Patent number: 10732197
    Abstract: A system configured for stabilizing or balancing objects in an upright state. The system includes a motion system with an upper support surface for receiving an object that is positionable in a vertical state. The system includes a sensor assembly with at least one sensor generating sensor data by tracking at least one of three dimensional (3D) position and angular movement for the object. The system includes a controller with a stabilizing module to process the sensor data to determine when the object is tipping from the vertical state, and, in response to the tipping away of the object from the vertical state, the stabilizing module generates control signals to modify operations of the motion system to move at least a portion of the upper support surface in contact with a lower contact surface of the object through stabilizing movements, whereby the object remains balanced in the vertical state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2020
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: Lanny S. Smoot, David Loyal Christensen, Gunter D. Niemeyer
  • Patent number: 10675109
    Abstract: A teleoperated system includes a master grip and a ratcheting system coupled to the master grip. The ratcheting system is configured to be coupled to a slave instrument. The ratcheting system is further configured to align the master grip with the slave instrument by determining a commanded angular velocity for the slave instrument based on a command from the master grip, determining a current alignment error between an alignment of the master grip and an alignment of the slave instrument, and altering the commanded angular velocity for the slave instrument based on the current alignment error. In some embodiments, the ratcheting system is further configured to introduce a control system error to alter the commanded angular velocity. In some embodiments, the current alignment error is a rotation angle error between the alignment of the master grip and the alignment of the slave instrument.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2020
    Assignee: Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Brandon D. Itkowitz, Simon P. DiMaio, William C. Nowlin, Gunter D. Niemeyer, David S. Mintz
  • Patent number: 10675766
    Abstract: A system for providing a user of a virtual reality (VR) system with physical interactions with an object in the real world or in the surrounding physical space while they are concurrently interacting in the virtual world with a corresponding virtual object. The real world object is dynamic with the system including a physical interaction system that includes a robot with a manipulator for moving, positioning, and/or orienting the real world object to move it into contact with the user. For example, the physical object is moved into contact with a tracked body part of the user at a time that is synchronized with a time of an interaction event occurring in the virtual world being created by the VR system. Further, a system is described for providing a dynamic physical interaction to a human participant, e.g., a fast and compelling handover in an augmented reality (AR) system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2020
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: Günter D. Niemeyer, Lanny S. Smoot, Vinay Chawda, Matthew Keith Xi-Jie Pan, Moritz Bächer, Lars Espen Knoop
  • Patent number: 10606282
    Abstract: A robot configured to provide accurate control over the rate of spin or rotation of the robot. To control the rate of spin, the robot includes an inertia shifting (or moving) assembly positioned within the robot's body so that the robot can land on a surface with a target orientation and “stick the landing” of a gymnastic maneuver. The inertia shifting assembly includes sensors that allow the distance from the landing surface (or height) to be determined and that allow other parameters useful in controlling the robot to be calculated such as present orientation. In one embodiment, the sensors include an inertial measurement unit (IMU) and a laser range finder, and a controller processes their outputs to estimate orientation and angular velocity. The controller selects the right point of the flight to operate a drive mechanism in the inertia shifting assembly to achieve a targeted orientation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2020
    Assignee: DISNEY ENTERPRISES, INC.
    Inventors: Gunter D. Niemeyer, Morgan T. Pope
  • Publication number: 20200088758
    Abstract: A system configured for stabilizing or balancing objects in an upright state. The system includes a motion system with an upper support surface for receiving an object that is positionable in a vertical state. The system includes a sensor assembly with at least one sensor generating sensor data by tracking at least one of three dimensional (3D) position and angular movement for the object. The system includes a controller with a stabilizing module to process the sensor data to determine when the object is tipping from the vertical state, and, in response to the tipping away of the object from the vertical state, the stabilizing module generates control signals to modify operations of the motion system to move at least a portion of the upper support surface in contact with a lower contact surface of the object through stabilizing movements, whereby the object remains balanced in the vertical state.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 19, 2018
    Publication date: March 19, 2020
    Inventors: LANNY S. SMOOT, DAVID LOYAL CHRISTENSEN, GUNTER D. NIEMEYER
  • Patent number: 10547773
    Abstract: An embodiment provides a monopod jib for cameras, including: a pole; a multi-axis gimbal disposed at one end of the pole; and a user interface comprising: a first user interface element having a first plurality of camera controls; and a second user interface element having a second plurality of camera controls. Other embodiments are shown and described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2020
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: Gunter D. Niemeyer, Sean Kallas, Avner Swerdlow, Meredith Bailey Antonia Scheff-King
  • Publication number: 20190329414
    Abstract: Systems and corresponding control methods providing a ballistic robot that flies on a trajectory after being released (e.g., in non-powered flight as a ballistic body) from a launch mechanism. The ballistic robot is adapted to control its position and/or inflight movements by processing data from onboard and offboard sensors and by issuing well-timed control signals to one or more onboard actuators to achieve an inflight controlled motion. The actuators may move an appendage such as an arm or leg of the robot or may alter the configuration of one or more body links (e.g., to change from an untucked configuration to a tucked configuration), while other embodiments may trigger a drive mechanism of an inertia moving assembly to change/move the moment of inertia of the flying body. Inflight controlled movements are performed to achieve a desired or target pose and orientation of the robot during flight and upon landing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 27, 2018
    Publication date: October 31, 2019
    Inventors: ANTHONY PAUL DOHI, STEVEN NIELS CHRISTENSEN, MARK SOX SETRAKIAN, DAVID LOYAL CHRISTENSEN, GRANT MASARU IMAHARA, MORGAN T. POPE, SCOTT FRAZIER WATSON, GÜNTER D. NIEMEYER
  • Patent number: 10416754
    Abstract: A modular floor with active tiles that utilize numerous friction or contact disks each with a raised segment or portion on their edges that together provide a planar contact surface for the active tile. Each disk is oriented at a fixed tilt angle to define which part of the disk's outer surfaces act as the raised portion, and each disk is oriented to position where the raised surface is located so as to define the direction that a supported object is moved over the modular floor. The drive system typically includes, for each disk assembly, a disk orienting mechanism along with a disk rotation mechanism to rotate the disk at a rotation rate about its central axis. The controller of the motion system operates the disk orienting mechanism to orient the disk so that a particular location on the disk behaves as the raised portion where an object is contacted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2019
    Assignee: DISNEY ENTERPRISES, INC.
    Inventors: Lanny S. Smoot, Günter D. Niemeyer, David Loyal Christensen, Robert Bristow