Patents by Inventor Nicholas Murphy

Nicholas Murphy 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).

  • Publication number: 20210107523
    Abstract: The present invention pertains to the development of a ground autonomous ambulance that is designed to follow routes that is comprised of an autonomous vehicle that includes a drive by wire kit, a database storing the collection routes, a database of rules of the road and/or other legal allowable behavior, sensors for detecting the pedestrians, cars, and other road obstacles, and a control system that controls the vehicle to follow routes and which is capable of carrying and securing a stretcher or wheelchair. The autonomous ambulance also has a robotic stretcher which is used for transporting patients from their residences or other emergency locations to the ambulance.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 10, 2019
    Publication date: April 15, 2021
    Inventors: Alberto Daniel Lacaze, Karl Nicholas Murphy
  • Publication number: 20210103280
    Abstract: This invention pertains to the development of an autonomous road surface marking vehicle that is capable of detecting road, pedestrians, cars, and other road obstacles and in which these autonomous vehicles provide several types of functionalities such as painting different lines, adding markers, removing markers, warning other traffic, etc. The autonomous road surface marking vehicle is designed to follow routes and mark road surfaces and comprises an autonomous vehicle that includes a drive by wire kit, a database sorting the routes, locations, and types of markings, a mechanism for detecting the road, pedestrians, cars, and other road obstacles, and a control system that control the autonomous vehicle to follow routes and operate the road surface marking device at the proper location.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 4, 2019
    Publication date: April 8, 2021
    Inventors: Alberto Daniel Lacaze, Karl Nicholas Murphy
  • Publication number: 20210089054
    Abstract: The path of a lead autonomous vehicle moving through “deformable” terrain is shared between the lead autonomous vehicle and the following autonomous vehicles with a much lower cost. The lead autonomous vehicle records distances to 3D obstacles and whether to drive through them and the following autonomous vehicles will classify different “obstacles” that were driven through by the leader and allow the planner to drive through them. In “deformable” terrain, errors in wheel odometry will be recorded by the lead autonomous vehicle and the following autonomous vehicles are informed that similar problems will be encountered. These errors are sensed by discrepancies between odometry and inertial and visual odometry. The behavior of the following autonomous vehicles may preclude them from creating accelerations that may slip as experienced by the lead autonomous vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 8, 2019
    Publication date: March 25, 2021
    Inventors: Alberto Daniel Lacaze, Karl Nicholas Murphy
  • Publication number: 20210072749
    Abstract: The invention involves the development of an autonomous street sweeper vehicle which can detect the presence of obstacles and pedestrians and is used to perform a variety of sweeping functions such as sweeping, vacuuming, blowing, scraping, and such types of functions on roads and a variety of different surfaces. This invention pertains to an autonomous street sweeper vehicle designed to follow routes comprising an autonomous vehicle that includes a drive by wire kit, a database storing the collection routes, a mechanism for detecting the curb, pedestrians, cars, and other road obstacles, a control system that controls the truck to follow routes while maintaining the truck at serviceable distances to the curb that improve the efficiency of the sweeper. The autonomous street sweeper convoy communicates with each other via radios or other methods and a lead vehicle which could be functional or non-functional accompanies several autonomous street sweeper vehicles as part of a convey.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 6, 2019
    Publication date: March 11, 2021
    Inventors: Alberto Daniel Lacaze, Karl Nicholas Murphy
  • Publication number: 20210052930
    Abstract: This invention pertains to the development of a drone that can pour a variety of chemical agents such as oxidizers, silica gelling agents, enzymes, and neutralizers onto areas contaminated with chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction. These decontaminants are known to be effective at destroying both chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction simultaneously. The use of a drone to destroy the chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction is highly beneficial since it allows the exposed toxic areas to be remotely decontaminated without the presence of humans. Some of these methods of decontamination are non-toxic and environmentally friendly so it can also be used to pour or spray these agents on humans that are exposed to chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction to safely destroy these agents.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 22, 2019
    Publication date: February 25, 2021
    Inventors: Alberto Daniel Lacaze, Karl Nicholas Murphy, Radha Narayanan
  • Publication number: 20210041882
    Abstract: As autonomous vehicles are starting to become a reality, accurate path following is needed. Pure Pursuit and Vector Pursuit algorithms are commonly used to control the steering actuators. Unfortunately, these algorithms do not take under consideration that real world actuators have steering rates that have maximum acceleration and speed of the changes to the steering and therefore the curvature rates of the vehicle as it is following a trajectory. This is even more evident in large vehicles that require significant torque to move the steering column like trucks and heavy industrial equipment. Therefore, if these vehicles attempt to closely follow trajectories at higher speed, the vehicles will undoubtedly understeer as the steering actuators do not have enough time/power to catch up with the curvatures dictated by the path even if kinematically and dynamically, the vehicles can safely perform the turns.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 9, 2019
    Publication date: February 11, 2021
    Inventors: Alberto Daniel Lacaze, Karl Nicholas Murphy
  • Publication number: 20210041877
    Abstract: Many railroad crossings have humped geometrical profiles that pose great risk to motor vehicles such as cars, buses, and trucks crossing the railroad tracks. There is a need to be able to safely detect these humped profiles on the railroad crossings. As a result, there is a need to develop a drone-based grade crossing inspection system to improve the efficiency of grade crossing inspections for humped conditions and other safety-related conditions such as visual sight lines, location of gates, lights, signage, culverts, rail deformations, grade crossings, drainage pipes, and other conditions. The drone that is used must be able to navigate both in the ground as well as in the air since it is necessary to be able to drive to detect the humped conditions and the visual sight lines while it is necessary to be able to fly in the air to detect the lights, signs, and gates.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 8, 2019
    Publication date: February 11, 2021
    Inventors: Alberto Daniel Lacaze, Karl Nicholas Murphy
  • Publication number: 20210034847
    Abstract: Postal, package, and grocery deliveries are performed routinely everywhere around the world. Currently, the delivery truck drives slowly, and the postman or delivery man goes from one house to another. The postman already has a box that he carries with the sorted letters for a few of the contiguous houses, stops the truck, and walks to the different houses in the bunch, and then moves the truck and goes to the next bunch of houses. In this invention, the package delivery truck will automatically follow the mailman while still staying close to the curb to minimize traffic issues. Here, the autonomous package or delivery truck could actually go in front of the mailman to look for a good spot for the next cluster, or can wait for the mailman that is close to the last house of the current cluster, pick him up, and drop off at the center of the next cluster, or at the first house of the next cluster. In addition, there are robots that replace the function of the human (mailman or grocery delivery man).
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 31, 2019
    Publication date: February 4, 2021
    Inventors: Alberto Daniel Lacaze, Karl Nicholas Murphy
  • Publication number: 20210024068
    Abstract: Waste collection is performed at regular intervals around the world. The process currently is performed by a team consisting of a waste collection truck that carries the refuse that is driven around urban areas at slow speeds. This waste collection truck usually contains a large opening in the back. A team of humans controls this truck and collects the bins dumping the refuse on the back of the truck and returning the bins to the curb. Usually, the driver (human) of the truck positions the truck so as to minimize the distance that the human garbage collectors need to walk with the loaded bins, and slowly drives a route that take the truck to the collections sites. Because currently most residential neighborhoods and some commercial neighborhoods do not use bins and pick up locations that are easy to automatically lift, it is likely that the process of picking up the bins, depositing the refuse on the truck, and returning the bins to the curb will be performed by humans for some time to come.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 24, 2019
    Publication date: January 28, 2021
    Applicant: Robotic Research, LLC
    Inventors: Alberto Daniel Lacaze, Karl Nicholas Murphy
  • Patent number: 10882191
    Abstract: Robotic system includes a control system and a slave device which is controlled by the control system. The slave device has a robotic grasping device formed of a rigid base and at least one finger which is movable to facilitate grasping of objects. At least one sensor is provided which senses a force applied to the finger. A cutting tool having a cutting jaw is also attached to the base. The cutting jaw is arranged to pivot on a pivot axis responsive to a pivot motion of the finger. The forces exerted on the cutting jaw are sensed with the sensor during a first predetermined range of finger motion associated with a cutting mode of operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2019
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2021
    Assignee: L3HARRIS TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
    Inventors: Paul M. Bosscher, Matthew D. Summer, Michael E. Bowman, Nicholas Murphy-DuBay, Loran J. Wilkinson
  • Publication number: 20200406773
    Abstract: Battery powered quadrotors or drones have a limited operation time. To extend operation time, a powered tether can be used. This tether provides power to the drone allowing it to stay up indefinitely. Most tethered drones are captured to the base station. The tether can reel in and out as the drone moves, but the drone can't go higher or further than the maximum length of the tether. If the tether can be automatically disconnected, the drone could fly off for some remote mission, assuming the drone had an onboard power source such as rechargeable batteries. The present invention relates to a self-powered drone tether that comprises a rechargeable drone in flight which is referred to as the rechargeable drone, a drone that carries a powered tether which is referred to as the tether drone, a coupling mechanism between the rechargeable drone and the tether drone, and a base station with a powered tether and tether deployment system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 26, 2019
    Publication date: December 31, 2020
    Inventors: Alberto Daniel Lacaze, Karl Nicholas Murphy, William Becker, John Keyser
  • Publication number: 20200401134
    Abstract: Trucks in a mine or construction site move dirt, ore, or other matter from one location to another. The ore is usually loaded using an excavator or loader. Once at the unloading destination, the truck needs to determine where to unload the ore, dirt, or matter. Different applications require the load to be dumped in different manners. The present invention encodes this knowledge into a database of preferred behaviors and creates a set of automated maneuvers that accomplish these actions. The invention assumes that the truck has a drive-by-wire kit, and that its capable of moving under computer control.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 19, 2019
    Publication date: December 24, 2020
    Inventors: Alberto Daniel Lacaze, Karl Nicholas Murphy
  • Publication number: 20200387169
    Abstract: A system has been developed for sharing driving relative information among autonomous vehicles in the convoy comprising two or more autonomous vehicles in the convoy, sensors on each autonomous vehicle that can perceive road or traffic related features, a method for individually labelling features, a method for encoding characteristics of that feature to distinguish them from the other features so that another autonomous vehicle can re-locate and re-classify the same feature and a communication mechanism that allows the different autonomous vehicles to share features, labels, and feature characteristics. Obstacles that are detected are classified and they are tracked if the same obstacles continually appear. Some classification labels include vegetation, poles, vehicles, jersey barriers, etc. The same obstacles are collected with multiple autonomous vehicles.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 4, 2019
    Publication date: December 10, 2020
    Inventors: Alberto Daniel Lacaze, Karl Nicholas Murphy
  • Publication number: 20200387166
    Abstract: The present invention describes a system comprising an autonomous vehicle equipped with a mechanism with lifting and depositing a container, a sensing mechanism on the autonomous vehicle that allows it to sense the pose of the container, a sensing mechanism in the autonomous vehicle that allows it to measure the support surface of the ground surrounding the container to be lifted or the area where the container is deposited and a planning algorithm that creates a trajectory that moves the autonomous vehicle from the current pose to a pose where the lifting/depositing mechanism can operate on the container to be lifted/dropped. An algorithm has been developed to automatically position the PLS to align with the trailer in autonomous vehicles for the loading maneuver. A set of “mud proof” fiducials has been developed that allow accurate alignment between the PLS and the trailer. This mechanism is leveraged for this behavior.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 4, 2019
    Publication date: December 10, 2020
    Inventors: Alberto Daniel Lacaze, Karl Nicholas Murphy
  • Publication number: 20200389861
    Abstract: A broadcasting method has been developed that no longer uses the point-to-point measurements that causes the bottlenecks due to the number of measurements that need to be taken increasing non-linearly with the number of nodes. In addition, not all nodes need to emit. This results in significantly less expensive devices that can be paired with emitting nodes in the infrastructure. The energy emitted by the group is lowered and there is significantly less bandwidth that is used compared to current systems. This system is designed to synchronize remote clocks and localize a group of nodes and comprises at least 4 ranging nodes equipped with a clock, the capability to send and receive messages, the capability to time-tag messages, the capability for the nodes to compute the two sheeted hyperboloids from the emissions of other nodes, and the capability of combining multiple hyperboloids to solve the localization equations.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 10, 2019
    Publication date: December 10, 2020
    Inventors: Alberto Daniel Lacaze, Karl Nicholas Murphy
  • Publication number: 20200387168
    Abstract: A system has been developed for arranging a number of autonomous vehicles at a staging area which comprises two or more autonomous vehicles, a localization mechanism that provides the relative or absolute position of the autonomous vehicle to be arranged, a pattern for aligning the autonomous vehicles at the staging area and a planning algorithm that takes as input the current state of the autonomous vehicles and creates obstacle free trajectories that optimize the motion from the current state to a formation that matches the desired pattern. A set of operator aids have been created for automated convoy assembly in tactical assembly area. These aids can be remote and do not need to be in the same cab of the vehicle. The operator aids are used in conjunction with full automation. The operator is allowed to decide where to form the convoy and where to align.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 4, 2019
    Publication date: December 10, 2020
    Inventors: Alberto Daniel Lacaze, Karl Nicholas Murphy
  • Publication number: 20200384997
    Abstract: Different separation distances are required and needed for different applications. For example, in some areas of the road, it may be advantageous to have trucks platoon at short distances due to the drafting effect and the associated fuel savings, however, in other areas, it is beneficial to have vehicles at longer separations. For example, if we have long strings of trucks in a single convoy, they may block the rest of the traffic from exiting or turning. There is a need to allow an operator or even automatically to have the system adjust the following distances. At short distances, short range communication, and fast control loops are necessary, at longer distances, control effects are less pronounced and the sensors that are efficient at short distances become inefficient at long distances and vice-versa. The system in presented here provides a mechanism for manually or automatically modifying the following gaps.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 6, 2019
    Publication date: December 10, 2020
    Inventors: Alberto Daniel Lacaze, Karl Nicholas Murphy
  • Publication number: 20200363808
    Abstract: The present invention describes a system that is developed for autonomically backing up a tractor-trailer that consists of a tractor, a trailer, a sensor suite that measures the angle between the tractor and the trailer as well as the area suitable for backing up and a planning algorithm test generating a trajectory to back up or turn around the tractor-trailer without the use of pins or with automatic pinning. A genetic algorithm has been developed to determine the best trajectory for the convoy of autonomous vehicles to take from the starting position to the final position in the road network. In addition, other methods such as dynamic programming and other graph optimization methods can also be used to determine the best trajectory for the convoy of autonomous vehicles to take to reach the final destination point.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 13, 2019
    Publication date: November 19, 2020
    Inventors: Alberto Daniel Lacaze, Karl Nicholas Murphy
  • Publication number: 20200331464
    Abstract: Military convoys sometimes need to push vehicles or obstacles out of the way in order to proceed with their mission. Selecting if pushing is necessary, what can be pushed, and what cannot be pushed as well as the specific maneuver necessary for pushing or creating a controlled crash are important to minimize the damage to the autonomous vehicles as well as to create pathways that are traversable by other autonomous vehicles in the convoy. These tasks are accomplished by evaluating the costs involved in each trajectory that can be navigated by the autonomous convoy and deciding if pushing the obstacle is the preferred path or navigating around the obstacle is the preferred path for the autonomous vehicles. Also, in some cases, several autonomous vehicles simultaneously push the obstacle at the same time.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 22, 2019
    Publication date: October 22, 2020
    Inventors: Alberto Daniel Lacaze, Karl Nicholas Murphy
  • Publication number: 20200319639
    Abstract: The use of sensors such as a LADAR, a ranging sensor, or an acoustic sensor in the front of the autonomous vehicles having to remember that there is one or more places to turn around (U-turn, k-turn, and other turning maneuvers) when there are obstacles in the path of the convoy and that the first autonomous vehicle mapping areas where k-turns, U-turns, and other turning maneuvers are possible for the entire convoy if necessary. These sensors detect features in a road network. There is also a control mechanism in which the first autonomous vehicle turns around in an orderly manner. Some examples include first autonomous vehicle backing out all the way and second one turning around or all of them back out and one turns around. In addition, the turning areas are paired with a specific turning maneuver and turning areas are marked for future traversals by the convoy.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 8, 2019
    Publication date: October 8, 2020
    Inventors: Alberto Daniel Lacaze, Karl Nicholas Murphy