Patents by Inventor Joshua John Watson

Joshua John Watson 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: 10994831
    Abstract: Temperature management systems for aerial vehicles may include heat pipes that are thermally connected to components that generate heat. The heat pipes may be routed through or adjacent to a propeller or propulsion airflow, or within or across a vehicle airflow, to dissipate heat from the components. A heat pipe may be selected from a plurality of heat pipes based on measured temperatures of components that generate heat, operational characteristics of the aerial vehicle and/or one or more propellers, and/or measured temperatures of other components that may be heated. Additional temperature management systems may include cool air ducts and cool air pipes that may be routed from a propeller or propulsion airflow, or a vehicle airflow, to components that generate heat or other components that may be cooled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2021
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Sarah Graber, Benjamin Griffin Novak, Joshua John Watson
  • Patent number: 10969786
    Abstract: A system may include sensor modules configured to generate sensor signals representative of an environment surrounding a vehicle, and a sensor configured to be coupled to the frame of the vehicle at a location spaced from a first sensor module and configured to generate sensor signals representative of movement of the first sensor module relative to a portion of the frame. The system may also include a sensor processor configured to receive the sensor signals representative of movement of the first sensor module and estimate relative motion of the first sensor module relative to the portion of the frame of the vehicle. The sensor processor may also be configured to calculate, based at least in part on the relative motion estimation, a position, orientation, and/or velocity of the vehicle, and a position of objects in the surrounding environment and/or movement of the objects in the surrounding environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2021
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul Viola, Joshua John Watson
  • Patent number: 10922984
    Abstract: Techniques for verifying a location and identification of a landing marker to aid an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to deliver a payload to a location may be provided. For example, upon receiving an indication that a UAV has arrived to a delivery location, a server computer may process one or more images of an area that are provided by the UAV and/or a user interacting with a user device. A landing marker may be identified in the image and a representation of the landing marker along with instructions to guide the UAV to deliver the payload to the landing marker may be transmitted to the UAV and implemented by the UAV.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2021
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott Patrick Boyd, Chengwu Cui, Sarah Graber, Barry James O'Brien, Joshua John Watson, Scott Michael Wilcox
  • Publication number: 20210012518
    Abstract: This disclosure describes a configuration of an aerial vehicle, such as an unmanned aerial vehicle (“UAV”), that includes a plurality of cameras that may be selectively combined to form a stereo pair for use in obtaining stereo images that provide depth information corresponding to objects represented in those images. Depending on the distance between an object and the aerial vehicle, different cameras may be selected for the stereo pair based on the baseline between those cameras and a distance between the object and the aerial vehicle. For example, cameras with a small baseline (close together) may be selected to generate stereo images and depth information for an object that is close to the aerial vehicle. In comparison, cameras with a large baseline may be selected to generate stereo images and depth information for an object that is farther away from the aerial vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 28, 2020
    Publication date: January 14, 2021
    Inventors: Scott Raymond Harris, Barry James O'Brien, Joshua John Watson
  • Publication number: 20200413026
    Abstract: Described is an aerial vehicle, such as an unmanned aerial vehicle (“UAV”), that includes a plurality of sensors, such as stereo cameras, mounted along a perimeter frame of the aerial vehicle and arranged to generate a scene that surrounds the aerial vehicle. The sensors may be mounted in or on winglets of the perimeter frame. Each of the plurality of sensors has a field of view and the plurality of optical sensors are arranged and/or oriented such that their fields of view overlap with one another throughout a continuous space that surrounds the perimeter frame. The fields of view may also include a portion of the perimeter frame or space that is adjacent to the perimeter frame.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 9, 2020
    Publication date: December 31, 2020
    Inventors: Taylor David Grenier, Louis Leroi LeGrand, III, Barry James O'Brien, Joshua John Watson, Ricky Dean Welsh
  • Patent number: 10853942
    Abstract: Camera calibration may be performed in a mobile environment. One or more cameras can be mounted on a mobile vehicle, such as an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or an automobile. Because of the mobility of the vehicle the one or more cameras may be subjected to inaccuracy in imagery caused by various factors, such as environmental factors (e.g., airflow, wind, etc.), impact by other objects (e.g., debris, vehicles, etc.), vehicle vibrations, and the like. To reduce the inaccuracy in imagery, the mobile vehicle can include a mobile camera calibration system configured to calibrate the one or more cameras while the mobile vehicle is traveling along a path. The mobile camera calibration system can cause the one or more cameras to capture an image of an imaging target while moving, and calibrate the one or more cameras based on a comparison between the image and imaging target data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2020
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott Patrick Boyd, Chengwu Cui, Barry James O'Brien, Joshua John Watson, Scott Michael Wilcox
  • Patent number: 10854096
    Abstract: Described are systems, methods, and apparatus for detecting objects within a distance of an aerial vehicle, and developing a three-dimensional model or representation of those objects. Rather than attempting to use stereo imagery to determine distances and/or depth of objects, the described implementations utilize range-gating, or time-gating, and the known position of the aerial vehicle to develop a three-dimensional representation of objects. For example, when the aerial vehicle is at a first position it may use range-gating to detect an object at a defined distance from the vehicle. The aerial vehicle may then alter its position and use range-gating to detect an object that is the defined distance from the vehicle at the new position. This may be done at several different positions and the resulting information and aerial vehicle position information combined to form a three-dimensional representation of those objects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2020
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott Raymond Harris, Benjamin Griffin Novak, Joshua John Watson
  • Patent number: 10815005
    Abstract: An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) landing marker transmits a reply signal in response to receiving radar signals emitted by a UAV. The landing marker can include a passive transponder that emits the reply signal, with the reply signal being a harmonic of the fundamental frequency of the radar signal emitted by the UAV. The landing marker can also include a transmitter to transmit the reply signal. Additionally, the landing marker can include sensors to monitor the environment about the landing marker and this environmental information can be transmitted to the UAV as part of the reply signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2020
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott Michael Wilcox, Joshua John Watson, Scott Raymond Harris
  • Patent number: 10778960
    Abstract: Described is an aerial vehicle, such as an unmanned aerial vehicle (“UAV”), that includes a plurality of sensors, such as stereo cameras, mounted along a perimeter frame of the aerial vehicle and arranged to generate a scene that surrounds the aerial vehicle. The sensors may be mounted in or on winglets of the perimeter frame. Each of the plurality of sensors has a field of view and the plurality of optical sensors are arranged and/or oriented such that their fields of view overlap with one another throughout a continuous space that surrounds the perimeter frame. The fields of view may also include a portion of the perimeter frame or space that is adjacent to the perimeter frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2020
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Taylor David Grenier, Louis Leroi LeGrand, III, Barry James O'Brien, Joshua John Watson, Ricky Dean Welsh
  • Patent number: 10733738
    Abstract: Described is an, such as an unmanned aerial vehicle (“UAV”), that includes stereo pairs of imaging element, each imaging element including a region of interest controller. The region of interest controller for an imaging element of the stereo pair receives movement information affecting the imaging element and selects a portion of pixels of a digital image formed by the imaging element. The portion of pixels are provided to an image processor that utilizes the portion of pixels to determine depth information for objects represented by the pixels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2020
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Joshua John Watson
  • Patent number: 10728516
    Abstract: A propeller provided on an aerial vehicle may include a digital camera or other imaging device embedded into a surface of one of the blades of the propeller. The digital camera may capture images while the propeller is rotating at an operational speed. Images captured by the digital camera may be processed to recognize one or more objects therein, and to determine ranges to such objects by stereo triangulation techniques. Using such ranges, a depth map or other model of the surface features in an environment in which the aerial vehicle is operating may be defined and stored or used for any purpose. A propeller may include digital cameras or other imaging devices embedded into two or more blades, and may also use such images to determine ranges to objects by stereo triangulation techniques.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2020
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott Patrick Boyd, Barry James O'Brien, Joshua John Watson, Scott Michael Wilcox
  • Patent number: 10721404
    Abstract: An aerial vehicle is configured to process an image captured by an imaging device, and to identify a portion of the image that is likely to appear in images subsequently captured by the imaging device based on the motion of the aerial vehicle. A control unit aboard the aerial vehicle generates instructions for controlling such motion and provides the instructions to the imaging device. Based on such instructions, the imaging device processes the image to identify a portion of the image that will appear within a field of view of the imaging device following the motion, and selects a shutter speed, an aperture, a level of gain, or another attribute of the imaging device based on the portion of the image, in order to optimize the quality of an image subsequently captured by the imaging device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2020
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott Battocchi, Joshua John Watson
  • Patent number: 10721375
    Abstract: Systems and methods for detecting contamination on a sensor cover. In an example, an image sensor of a vehicle may be used to capture an image of an environment of the vehicle. A sensor cover may be positioned outwardly from the image sensor and may form a covered volume around at least a sensing surface of the image sensor. A light source may be positioned in the covered volume. A management module may be coupled with the image sensor. The management module may be configured to receive test image data of the environment generated by the image sensor while the light source is on, compare the test image data to baseline image data generated while the light source is off, and detect whether contamination exists on a surface of the sensor cover based on the comparison.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2020
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott Patrick Boyd, Chengwu Cui, Sarah Graber, Joshua John Watson
  • Patent number: 10706569
    Abstract: This disclosure describes a configuration of an aerial vehicle, such as an unmanned aerial vehicle (“UAV”), that includes a plurality of cameras that may be selectively combined to form a stereo pair for use in obtaining stereo images that provide depth information corresponding to objects represented in those images. Depending on the distance between an object and the aerial vehicle, different cameras may be selected for the stereo pair based on the baseline between those cameras and a distance between the object and the aerial vehicle. For example, cameras with a small baseline (close together) may be selected to generate stereo images and depth information for an object that is close to the aerial vehicle. In comparison, cameras with a large baseline may be selected to generate stereo images and depth information for an object that is farther away from the aerial vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2020
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott Raymond Harris, Barry James O'Brien, Joshua John Watson
  • Patent number: 10642271
    Abstract: A guidance camera deployed on a vehicle may be equipped with a zoom lens configured to change a zoom level of the guidance camera. The zoom level may be changed in response to a scenario performed by a vehicle equipped with the guidance camera, vehicle controls issued by a vehicle controller, and/or based on identification of objects in imagery captured by the guidance camera. The zoom lens may be implemented as a lens array that includes different lenses, as a wheel lens array that includes different lenses, or by a light direction device that guides light from a specific lens of different lenses into the guidance camera. Stereo cameras may be configured with the zoom lenses, and may be repositioned to ensure suitable overlap in a field of view to enable calculation of a distance of objects captured in the imagery of the stereo camera.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2020
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Sarah Graber, Joshua John Watson
  • Publication number: 20200108946
    Abstract: Described is an imaging component for use by an unmanned aerial vehicle (“UAV”) for object detection. As described, the imaging component includes one or more cameras that are configured to obtain images of a scene using visible light that are converted into a depth map (e.g., stereo image) and one or more other cameras that are configured to form images, or thermograms, of the scene using infrared radiation (“IR”). The depth information and thermal information are combined to form a representation of the scene based on both depth and thermal information.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 29, 2019
    Publication date: April 9, 2020
    Inventors: Scott Raymond Harris, Barry James O'Brien, Joshua John Watson
  • Patent number: 10615507
    Abstract: An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) landing marker that absorbs incoming radar signals emitted by a UAV and/or disperses reflected radar signals. The absorption and/or dispersion of the radar signals creates a reduced radar return in comparison to the environment about the landing marker. The UAV can detect the area of reduced radar return and determine that it is a landing marker. Additionally, the UAV can determine a position of the landing marker relative to the UAV, based on the reduced radar return, to effect delivery of an item by the UAV. The landing marker can include materials, structures and/or features to absorb and/or disperse radar signals to cause the reduced radar return.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2020
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott Michael Wilcox, Joshua John Watson, Scott Raymond Harris
  • Patent number: 10594937
    Abstract: An aerial vehicle may include a first sensor, such as a digital camera, having a lens or other component that includes a second sensor mounted thereto. Information or data, such as digital images, captured using the second sensor may be used to determine or predict motion of the lens, which may include components of translational and/or rotational motion. Once the motion of the lens has been determined or predicted, such motion may be used to stabilize information or data, such as digital images, captured using the first sensor, according to optical or digital stabilization techniques. Where operations of the first sensor and the second sensor are synchronized, motion of the second sensor may be modeled based on information or data captured thereby, and imputed to the first sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2020
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott Raymond Harris, Ishay Kamon, Joshua John Watson
  • Patent number: 10543906
    Abstract: Temperature management systems for aerial vehicles may include heat pipes that are thermally connected to components that generate heat. The heat pipes may be routed through or adjacent to a propeller or propulsion airflow, or within or across a vehicle airflow, to dissipate heat from the components. A heat pipe may be selected from a plurality of heat pipes based on measured temperatures of components that generate heat, operational characteristics of the aerial vehicle and/or one or more propellers, and/or measured temperatures of other components that may be heated. Additional temperature management systems may include cool air ducts and cool air pipes that may be routed from a propeller or propulsion airflow, or a vehicle airflow, to components that generate heat or other components that may be cooled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2020
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Sarah Graber, Benjamin Griffin Novak, Joshua John Watson
  • Patent number: 10538326
    Abstract: This disclosure is directed to monitoring exposure levels for individual cameras of a stereo camera system to reduce unwanted lens flaring which may disrupt stereo vision capabilities of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The UAV may identify lens flaring by monitoring histogram data received from the cameras and then mitigate the lens flaring by performing aerial maneuvers with respect to the light source and/or moving camera componentry such as deploying a lens hood. The UAV may also identify lens flaring patterns that on a camera's sensor and determine a location of a peripheral light source based on these patterns. The UAV may then deploy a visor between the location of the peripheral light source and the cameras.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2020
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Chengwu Cui, Barry James O'Brien, Joshua John Watson