Patents by Inventor Joji Kitahara

Joji Kitahara 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: 8189431
    Abstract: A piezoelectric drive device includes a piezoelectric actuator and a rotation transfer device. The piezoelectric actuator includes a vibrator and a rotor that is rotated in one specific direction by the vibrator. The rotation transfer device transmits rotational energy from the rotor to a driven rotating body, and includes an elastic device that stores rotational energy and a rotation limiting device having a drive wheel and a driven wheel. The rotation transfer device allows the driven wheel to rotate a specific angle, and restricts driving the drive wheel. The elastic device and the rotation limiting device are disposed so that rotational energy transmitted from the rotor is transmitted through one to the other of the elastic device and the rotation limiting device. The rotor, the elastic device, and the rotation limiting device render a serial path for transmitting rotational energy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2012
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Joji Kitahara, Kohei Ohara
  • Patent number: 7876070
    Abstract: An electronic timepiece with a generator function according to a first aspect of the invention has a generator, a storage unit that stores electrical energy produced by the generator, a timekeeping controller that is driven by the electrical energy stored in the storage unit, a time display that is controlled by the timekeeping controller and displays time, a voltage detector that detects the voltage of the storage unit, and a discharge unit that discharges the charge stored in the storage unit when the voltage of the storage unit detected by the voltage detector reaches a preset first setting.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2011
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventor: Joji Kitahara
  • Patent number: 7859949
    Abstract: A timepiece includes a dial having a tens date display window for displaying the tens digit of the date, and a ones date display window for displaying the ones digit of the date; and a calendar mechanism having a tens indicator wheel to which a plurality of tens digit markers are disposed and a ones indicator wheel to which a plurality of ones digit markers are disposed, and which displays one of the plural tens digit markers disposed to the tens indicator wheel from the tens date display window, and displays one of the plural ones digit markers disposed to the ones indicator wheel from the ones date display window. The ones indicator wheel has a ones indicator plate on which the ones digit markers are disposed, and a ones indicator pinion affixed to the ones indicator plate. The tens indicator wheel has a tens indicator plate on which the tens digit markers are disposed, and a tens indicator pinion affixed to the tens indicator plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 28, 2010
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Joji Kitahara, Shoichi Nagao
  • Publication number: 20100177603
    Abstract: A piezoelectric drive device includes a piezoelectric actuator and a rotation transfer device. The piezoelectric actuator includes a vibrator and a rotor that is rotated in one specific direction by the vibrator. The rotation transfer device transmits rotational energy from the rotor to a driven rotating body, and includes an elastic device that stores rotational energy and a rotation limiting device having a drive wheel and a driven wheel. The rotation transfer device allows the driven wheel to rotate a specific angle, and restricts driving the drive wheel. The elastic device and the rotation limiting device are disposed so that rotational energy transmitted from the rotor is transmitted through one to the other of the elastic device and the rotation limiting device. The rotor, the elastic device, and the rotation limiting device render a serial path for transmitting rotational energy.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 13, 2010
    Publication date: July 15, 2010
    Applicant: SEIKO EPSON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Joji KITAHARA, Kohei OHARA
  • Patent number: 7663978
    Abstract: In an electronic device 1 comprising a battery 200 and a piezoelectric actuator A, a power source voltage before drive control is started is maintained by a sample holding circuit 102, a reference voltage is set by a reference voltage generating circuit 103 on the basis of the power source voltage, and a control circuit 106 stops driving when the power source voltage falls below a drive stop voltage as compared by a second comparison circuit 105, and begins driving the piezoelectric actuator A again when the power source voltage exceeds the reference voltage as compared by a first comparison circuit 104. Therefore, the device can be more easily reduced in size by using a small power source, and the driving time can be markedly reduced using an intermittent driving procedure that corresponds to the conditions of the battery voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2010
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Takashi Kawaguchi, Joji Kitahara, Makoto Okeya
  • Publication number: 20100002545
    Abstract: A timepiece includes a dial having a tens date display window for displaying the tens digit of the date, and a ones date display window for displaying the ones digit of the date; and a calendar mechanism having a tens indicator wheel to which a plurality of tens digit markers are disposed and a ones indicator wheel to which a plurality of ones digit markers are disposed, and which displays one of the plural tens digit markers disposed to the tens indicator wheel from the tens date display window, and displays one of the plural ones digit markers disposed to the ones indicator wheel from the ones date display window. The ones indicator wheel has a ones indicator plate on which the ones digit markers are disposed, and a ones indicator pinion affixed to the ones indicator plate. The tens indicator wheel has a tens indicator plate on which the tens digit markers are disposed, and a tens indicator pinion affixed to the tens indicator plate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 30, 2009
    Publication date: January 7, 2010
    Applicant: SEIKO EPSON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Joji Kitahara, Shoichi Nagao
  • Patent number: 7616527
    Abstract: An electronic timepiece with a calendar display function that drives a piezo-electric actuator to drive a rotation of a piezo-electric rotor, and stops the drive of the piezo-electric actuator when the amount of the piezo-electric rotor advances is detected by a spring switch. Photoreflectors are used for day detection accomplished using gears having a small speed reduction ratio relative to the piezo-electric rotor, and spring switches are used in month detection and year detection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2009
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Shuichi Tamura, Takashi Kawaguchi, Joji Kitahara
  • Patent number: 7583564
    Abstract: To provide a piezoelectric actuator whereby impact resistance can be greatly improved without complicating the design or causing a reduction in drive efficiency. When a piezoelectric actuator 31 is incorporated into a main plate 14, an arm part 513 of a vibrator 50 is disposed across from a protrusion 144 via spaces SP1, SP2 having specific dimensions. With the presence of these spaces SP1, SP2, a free end FR moves freely within the spaces SP1, SP2 during driving, but a vibrating part 511 is captured at the free end FR by the protrusion 144 when external impact is applied, and the vibrating part 511 can therefore be prevented from moving beyond the dimensions of the spaces. Resistance against impact from falling can thereby be easily and greatly improved without reducing the drive efficiency, and the usual difficulty of reconciling both drive efficiency and impact resistance can be resolved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2009
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Joji Kitahara, Akihiro Sawada
  • Publication number: 20080246437
    Abstract: An electronic timepiece with a generator function according to a first aspect of the invention has a generator, a storage unit that stores electrical energy produced by the generator, a timekeeping controller that is driven by the electrical energy stored in the storage unit, a time display that is controlled by the timekeeping controller and displays time, a voltage detector that detects the voltage of the storage unit, and a discharge unit that discharges the charge stored in the storage unit when the voltage of the storage unit detected by the voltage detector reaches a preset first setting.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 2, 2008
    Publication date: October 9, 2008
    Applicant: SEIKO EPSON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Joji Kitahara
  • Publication number: 20070008829
    Abstract: To provide a piezoelectric actuator whereby impact resistance can be greatly improved without complicating the design or causing a reduction in drive efficiency. When a piezoelectric actuator 31 is incorporated into a main plate 14, an arm part 513 of a vibrator 50 is disposed across from a protrusion 144 via spaces SP1, SP2 having specific dimensions. With the presence of these spaces SP1, SP2, a free end FR moves freely within the spaces SP1, SP2 during driving, but a vibrating part 511 is captured at the free end FR by the protrusion 144 when external impact is applied, and the vibrating part 511 can therefore be prevented from moving beyond the dimensions of the spaces. Resistance against impact from falling can thereby be easily and greatly improved without reducing the drive efficiency, and the usual difficulty of reconciling both drive efficiency and impact resistance can be resolved.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 23, 2006
    Publication date: January 11, 2007
    Applicant: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Joji Kitahara, Akihiro Sawada
  • Patent number: 7158449
    Abstract: An electronic timepiece includes a radio wave receiving antenna (8) for receiving radio waves, electromagnetic motors (61, 65) for driving a time display part, a battery (5), and a body case for receiving the antenna (8), electromagnetic motors (61, 65), and the battery (5). The antenna (8), electromagnetic motors (61, 65), and the battery (5) do not overlap as viewed in the viewing direction of a time display part, that is, they do not overlap two-dimensionally. By such a structure, the electronic timepiece can be thin and flat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2007
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Shigeyuki Fujimori, Joji Kitahara
  • Publication number: 20060245304
    Abstract: A timing device having a generator unit, a storage unit, and a drive unit is provided. The generator unit has a generating coil and converts kinetic energy into electric energy by utilizing electromagnetic induction. The storage unit stores the electric energy. The drive unit has a piezoelectric actuator, a mechanical structure, and a time display unit. The piezoelectric actuator is supplied with the electric energy from the storage unit and is caused to oscillate according to signals from the communication unit. The mechanical structure is provided with a time display unit and is driven by the piezoelectric actuator.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 28, 2006
    Publication date: November 2, 2006
    Applicant: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Akihiko Maruyama, Joji Kitahara, Akihiro Sawada
  • Patent number: 7109638
    Abstract: A piezoelectric actuator A has an oscillator 10 that has a flat base layer 32 and piezoelectric elements 30, 31 layered on the base layer 32 and oscillates as a result of a drive signal applied to the piezoelectric elements 30, 31, and a rotor 100 driven by vibrations from the oscillator 10. The piezoelectric actuator A includes a fastening part 11 for securing the oscillator 10, and lead substrates 14A, 14B that are secured to the fastening part 11 for applying a drive signal to the piezoelectric elements from a drive circuit 500 for driving the piezoelectric elements 30, 31. The lead substrates 14A, 14B have connecting parts 17A–17C extending to the power supply electrodes 33A, 33C and a detection electrode 34.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2006
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Joji Kitahara, Shigeaki Seki
  • Patent number: 7027360
    Abstract: An electronic timepiece with date display function reduces power consumption in conjunction with the user adjusting the date, and makes it easier for the user to set the date. A displayed date detection unit H has a day detector H1 for detecting the displayed day, a month detector H2 for detecting the displayed month, and a year detector H3 for detecting the displayed year. A control unit A controls a calendar mechanism drive unit F according to the date detected by detectors H1 to H3.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2006
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Joji Kitahara, Jun Matsuzaki
  • Publication number: 20050231184
    Abstract: In an electronic device 1 comprising a battery 200 and a piezoelectric actuator A, a power source voltage before drive control is started is maintained by a sample holding circuit 102, a reference voltage is set by a reference voltage generating circuit 103 on the basis of the power source voltage, and a control circuit 106 stops driving when the power source voltage falls below a drive stop voltage as compared by a second comparison circuit 105, and begins driving the piezoelectric actuator A again when the power source voltage exceeds the reference voltage as compared by a first comparison circuit 104. Therefore, the device can be more easily reduced in size by using a small power source, and the driving time can be markedly reduced using an intermittent driving procedure that corresponds to the conditions of the battery voltage.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 28, 2005
    Publication date: October 20, 2005
    Applicant: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Takashi Kawaguchi, Joji Kitahara, Makoto Okeya
  • Publication number: 20050185513
    Abstract: An electronic timepiece with a calendar display function that drives a piezo-electric actuator to drive a rotation of a piezo-electric rotor, and stops the drive of the piezo-electric actuator when the amount of the piezo-electric rotor advances is detected by a spring switch. Photoreflectors are used for day detection accomplished using gears having a small speed reduction ratio relative to the piezo-electric rotor, and spring switches are used in month detection and year detection.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 22, 2005
    Publication date: August 25, 2005
    Applicant: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Shuichi Tamura, Joji Kitahara, Takashi Kawaguchi
  • Publication number: 20050184621
    Abstract: A piezoelectric actuator A has an oscillator 10 that has a flat base layer 32 and piezoelectric elements 30, 31 layered on the base layer 32 and oscillates as a result of a drive signal applied to the piezoelectric elements 30, 31, and a rotor 100 driven by vibrations from the oscillator 10. The piezoelectric actuator A includes a fastening part 11 for securing the oscillator 10, and lead substrates 14A, 14B that are secured to the fastening part 11 for applying a drive signal to the piezoelectric elements from a drive circuit 500 for driving the piezoelectric elements 30, 31. The lead substrates 14A, 14B have connecting parts 17A-17C extending to the power supply electrodes 33A, 33C and a detection electrode 34.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 17, 2005
    Publication date: August 25, 2005
    Inventors: Joji Kitahara, Shigeaki Seki
  • Publication number: 20040233793
    Abstract: In order to provide an electronic timepiece having high transfer efficiency and a compact and thin structure, there are provided a plate-like piezoelectric actuator 341, a driven body 343 driven with a vibration of the piezoelectric actuator 341, and a time-indicating mechanism 5 operating with a drive of the driven body 343 via a transfer mechanism 4.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 28, 2003
    Publication date: November 25, 2004
    Inventors: Akihiro Sawada, Akihiko Maruyama, Joji Kitahara
  • Publication number: 20040233794
    Abstract: A timing device having a generator unit, a storage unit, and a drive unit is provided. The generator unit has a generating coil and converts kinetic energy into electric energy by utilizing electromagnetic induction. The storage unit stores the electric energy. The drive unit has a piezoelectric actuator, a mechanical structure, and a time display unit. The piezoelectric actuator is supplied with the electric energy from the storage unit and is caused to oscillate according to signals from the communication unit. The mechanical structure is provided with a time display unit and is driven by the piezoelectric actuator.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 19, 2004
    Publication date: November 25, 2004
    Applicant: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Akihiko Maruyama, Joji Kitahara, Akihiro Sawada
  • Publication number: 20040105347
    Abstract: An electronic timepiece includes a radio wave receiving antenna (8) for receiving radio waves, electromagnetic motors (61, 65) for driving a time display part, a battery (5), and a body case for receiving the antenna (8), electromagnetic motors (61, 65), and the battery (5). The projection images projecting the antenna (8), electromagnetic motors (61, 65), and the battery (5) do not overlap as viewed in the viewing direction of a time display part are different each other, that is, they do not overlap two-dimensionally. By such a structure, the electronic timepiece can be thin and flat.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 26, 2003
    Publication date: June 3, 2004
    Inventors: Shigeyuki Fujimori, Joji Kitahara