Patents by Inventor Paul W. Alexander

Paul W. Alexander 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: 20200223340
    Abstract: A vehicle seat includes a head restraint with a head restraint support connected to a vehicle seat back and the head restraint is configurable in a stowed configuration having a size that is smaller than a deployed configuration.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 14, 2019
    Publication date: July 16, 2020
    Inventors: Jeff E. Nasca, Paul W. Alexander, Eric M. Clough
  • Patent number: 10716113
    Abstract: Techniques for spread spectrum wireless over non-contiguous channels are described. In at least some embodiments, a set of channels is selected for wireless communication, with at least some of the channels being non-contiguous (e.g., non-adjacent) from one another. A spreading sequence is selected, such as based on attributes of a selected set of channels. Communication data that is to be transmitted over the set of channels is combined with the spreading sequence to generate a spread spectrum signal. The spread spectrum signal is then divided into multiple sub-signals for transmission over the set of channels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2020
    Assignee: MICROSOFT TECHNOLOGY LICENSING, LLC
    Inventors: Amer A. Hassan, Paul William Alexander Mitchell, Paul W. Garnett
  • Patent number: 10703330
    Abstract: A restraint harness for a vehicle is disclosed. The vehicle includes a seat having a structural support that is attached to a main support structure of the vehicle. The restraint harness includes a body constructed of a restraint material. The body is shaped to secure an occupant body. The restraint material is configured to withstand loads exerted upon the restraint harness by the occupant during operation of the vehicle. The restraint harness also includes an attachment portion that is configured to attach to the structural support of the seat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2020
    Assignee: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Stephanie C. Radion, Sarah E. Smith, Samuel Derian, Wonhee M. Kim, Daniel W. Booth, Paul W. Alexander
  • Patent number: 10697588
    Abstract: A structural member includes an inflatable bladder. The structural member may include a fabric shell disposed about an exterior surface of the bladder, or a spacer element attached to an interior surface of the bladder. The fabric shell or spacer element restrains the shape of the bladder to contour the bladder into a desired shape and increase the load carrying capacity of the bladder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2020
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Paul W. Alexander, Nilesh D. Mankame
  • Patent number: 10697512
    Abstract: A shield assembly is employed for a friction brake used to decelerate a road wheel of a vehicle. The vehicle has a body with a first body end configured to face an incident ambient airflow, a second body end opposite of the first body end, and an underbody section spanning a distance between the first and second ends. The shield assembly includes a first shield component arranged proximate the brake and rotationally fixed relative to the vehicle body. The shield assembly also includes a second shield component operatively connected to the first shield component for shifting relative thereto. The shield assembly additionally includes an actuator employing a shape memory alloy element to shift the second shield component relative to the first shield component in response to a temperature of the brake to thereby direct at least a portion of the airflow to the brake and control temperature thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2020
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Richard J. Skurkis, Paul W. Alexander, Anthony L. Smith, David Begleiter, Mark T. Riefe, Steven J. Weber
  • Patent number: 10687634
    Abstract: An inflatable system includes a bladder configured to contain fluid, a first plurality of tethers disposed within a first region of the bladder, and a second plurality of tethers disposed within a second region of the bladder. The first plurality of tethers has a first tether length, a first tether spacing, a first tether angle relative to one wall of the bladder, and a first tether stiffness. The second plurality of tethers has a second tether length, a second tether spacing, a second tether angle relative to the one wall, and a second tether stiffness. At least one of: the second tether length is different than the first tether length; the second tether spacing is different than the first tether spacing; the second tether angle is different than the first tether angle; and the second tether stiffness is different than the first tether stiffness.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2020
    Assignee: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Wonhee M. Kim, Paul W. Alexander, Nancy L. Johnson, Nilesh D. Mankame, Daniel W. Booth, Paul E. Krajewski, Taeyoung Han
  • Patent number: 10688899
    Abstract: An occupant support structure and a method of customizing an occupant support structure. The occupant support structure may comprise a base and a reconfigurable cushion carried by the base. The reconfigurable cushion may include an occupant support surface and a bladder. The bladder may include an outer wall that defines an inner cavity underlying the occupant support surface and two or more overlapping material layers disposed within the cavity. The overlapping material layers may be adapted to selectively transition from a compliant state to a rigid state and vice versa by selective control of a pressure condition across the outer wall of the bladder to reconfigure or conform the occupant support surface of the cushion to a contour of a portion of an occupant supported by the cushion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2020
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Wonhee M. Kim, Amberlee S. Haselhuhn, Richard J. Skurkis, Michael J. Walker, Ian J. Sutherland, Paul W. Alexander, Nilesh D. Mankame
  • Publication number: 20200191219
    Abstract: A shield assembly is employed for a friction brake used to decelerate a road wheel of a vehicle. The vehicle has a body with a first body end configured to face an incident ambient airflow, a second body end opposite of the first body end, and an underbody section spanning a distance between the first and second ends. The shield assembly includes a first shield component arranged proximate the brake and rotationally fixed relative to the vehicle body. The shield assembly also includes a second shield component operatively connected to the first shield component for shifting relative thereto. The shield assembly additionally includes an actuator employing a shape memory alloy element to shift the second shield component relative to the first shield component in response to a temperature of the brake to thereby direct at least a portion of the airflow to the brake and control temperature thereof.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 26, 2020
    Publication date: June 18, 2020
    Applicant: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Richard J. Skurkis, Paul W. Alexander, Anthony L. Smith, David Begleiter, Mark T. Riefe, Steven J. Weber
  • Patent number: 10682934
    Abstract: A seat assembly for supporting an occupant of a vehicle includes a cushion and a suspension. The cushion has a first surface and a second surface. The first surface is configured to engage the occupant. The second surface is disposed opposite the first surface. The suspension includes a first portion and a second portion. The first portion includes a third surface. The third surface engages the second surface of the cushion. The second portion includes a fourth surface. The fourth surface defines a first depression. The first depression opens toward the cushion. The first depression is configured to receive a portion of the cushion when the occupant exerts a load on the cushion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2020
    Assignee: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Nilesh D. Mankame, Onkar Akolkar, Daniel W. Booth, Paul W. Alexander
  • Patent number: 10675959
    Abstract: Products and methods are provided for inflatable structures. In various exemplary embodiments, an inflatable structure is provided with multiple variable chambers including a first variable chamber and a second variable chamber. A first boundary envelope defines the first variable chamber and a second boundary envelope defines the second variable chamber. The first and second boundary envelopes separate the first chamber from the second chamber. The first and second variable chambers are defined by an operative scale that may differ by an order of magnitude between the first and second variable chambers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2020
    Assignee: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Nilesh D. Mankame, Paul W. Alexander
  • Patent number: 10668850
    Abstract: Systems, apparatuses and methods are provided for object restraint including a trench; a pneumatic bending actuator (PBA), the PBA and the trench configured on the surface for clamping of the object to the surface; a part of the PBA constrained in the trench and a part of the PBA left unconstrained by the trench; a primary actuation mechanism for constraining in the trench the constrained part of the PBA to remain flat at the surface for resting the object on the surface, and for leaving the unconstrained part of the PBA configured as the curved segment to exert a clamping force to the object on the surface; and a secondary constraint mechanism to retain the constrained part of the PBA in the trench to prevent a portion of the constrained part of the PBA from exerting an upward force counter to the clamping of the unconstrained part of the PBA.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2020
    Assignees: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC, THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
    Inventors: Paul W. Alexander, Diann Brei, Jonathan E. Luntz, Jesse Velleu
  • Publication number: 20200167951
    Abstract: Systems and methods for optimizing operator-state detection including tracking position of an operator-facing camera are described. Systems and methods include receiving a first image captured by an operator-facing camera, detecting a first position of the operator-facing camera with respect to the calibration object, ascertaining the first position with respect to at least one fiducial marker within a passenger compartment of a vehicle, capturing, via controller, a second image using the operator-facing camera, determining the second image is captured by the operator-facing camera from a second position with respect to the at least one fiducial marker, and analyzing, based on determining the second image is captured by the operator-facing camera from the second position, the second image to identify facial features of the operator. The receiving, detecting, ascertaining, determining, and analyzing are performed via a controller.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 27, 2018
    Publication date: May 28, 2020
    Applicant: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Debbie E. Nachtegall, Nathan P. Makarewicz, Paul W. Alexander
  • Publication number: 20200139920
    Abstract: A knitted seat trim cover for use on a vehicle seat equipped with an airbag assembly includes a first knitted panel with a first edge and a second knitted panel with a second edge. The first edge is positioned adjacent the second edge to define an airbag deployment zone. The seat trim cover also includes a pocket panel integrally knit with the first knitted panel and the second knitted panel. The pocket panel defines an airbag pocket configured to hold at least a portion of the airbag assembly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 1, 2018
    Publication date: May 7, 2020
    Applicant: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Daniel W. BOOTH, Paul W. ALEXANDER, Nancy L. JOHNSON, Heidi H. MCADOO-WILSON, Scott D. THOMAS, Anthony L. SMITH, Janet C. ROBINCHECK
  • Publication number: 20200139877
    Abstract: Cargo systems are provided for vehicles that include, in one embodiment: a variable cargo surface disposed within a body of the vehicle behind one or more occupant seats, the variable cargo surface including: a low friction surface that facilitates movement of cargo within the cargo system, the low friction surface having a first coefficient of friction; a high friction surface that inhibits movement of cargo within the cargo system, the high friction surface having a second coefficient of friction that is greater than the first coefficient of friction; and a control device that selectively activates the low friction surface and the high friction surface based on conditions for the vehicle; wherein the low friction surface contacts the cargo within the cargo system when the low friction surface is activated; and the high friction surface contacts the cargo within the cargo system when the high friction surface is activated.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 1, 2018
    Publication date: May 7, 2020
    Applicants: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC, THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
    Inventors: PAUL W. ALEXANDER, WONHEE M. KIM, DIANN BREI, JONATHAN E. LUNTZ, KORAY BENLI, Laura Alejandra Giner Munoz
  • Publication number: 20200114863
    Abstract: A restraint harness for a vehicle is disclosed. The vehicle includes a seat having a structural support that is attached to a main support structure of the vehicle. The restraint harness includes a body constructed of a restraint material. The body is shaped to secure an occupant body. The restraint material is configured to withstand loads exerted upon the restraint harness by the occupant during operation of the vehicle. The restraint harness also includes an attachment portion that is configured to attach to the structural support of the seat.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 16, 2018
    Publication date: April 16, 2020
    Inventors: Stephanie C. Radion, Sarah E. Smith, Samuel Derian, Wonhee M. Kim, Daniel W. Booth, Paul W. Alexander
  • Patent number: 10597917
    Abstract: A stretchable adjustable-stiffness assembly includes a casing and first and second friction layers. The casing can be fluidly sealed and includes an interior compartment containing a fluid. The fluid can shift between a first interior pressure and a second interior pressure less than the first interior pressure and an exterior pressure. The first and second friction layers are disposed within the interior compartment. The assembly can shift between relaxed and fixed configurations. In the relaxed configuration, the fluid has the first interior pressure, the casing is stretchable between a first dimension and a second dimension greater than the first dimension, and the assembly has a first stiffness. In the fixed configuration, the first fluid has the second interior pressure, the casing length is fixed, the first and second friction layers are engaged, and the assembly has a second stiffness greater than the first stiffness.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2020
    Assignee: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Ian J. Sutherland, Michael J. Walker, Wonhee M. Kim, Paul W. Alexander, Richard J. Skurkis, Amberlee S. Haselhuhn, Xiujie Gao
  • Publication number: 20200086773
    Abstract: A seat assembly for supporting an occupant of a vehicle includes a cushion and a suspension. The cushion has a first surface and a second surface. The first surface is configured to engage the occupant. The second surface is disposed opposite the first surface. The suspension includes a first portion and a second portion. The first portion includes a third surface. The third surface engages the second surface of the cushion. The second portion includes a fourth surface. The fourth surface defines a first depression. The first depression opens toward the cushion. The first depression is configured to receive a portion of the cushion when the occupant exerts a load on the cushion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 13, 2018
    Publication date: March 19, 2020
    Applicant: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Nilesh D. Mankame, Onkar Akolkar, Daniel W. Booth, Paul W. Alexander
  • Patent number: 10556556
    Abstract: Presented are deployable structures having multi-stable-state characteristics using skeletal architectures mounted onto textile backings, methods for making/using such structures, and vehicle components having bistable characteristics provided by polymeric exoskeletons printed onto textile substrates. A multi-stable-state deployable structure includes an elastic substrate fabricated from a (knitted) textile sheet, and an articulating (polymeric) framework mounted on the knitted textile sheet. The articulating framework and textile sheet structurally cooperate to transition from a first stable state, in which the deployable structure maintains a substantially planar shape, to a second stable state, in which the deployable structure maintains a first multidimensional topography, and from the second state to a third stable state, in which the deployable structure maintains a second multidimensional topography distinct from the first multidimensional topography.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 11, 2020
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Paul W. Alexander, Nancy L. Johnson
  • Publication number: 20200040609
    Abstract: A lockable latching device includes a body defining a cavity and a plunger disposed within a cavity defined in the body. The plunger is translatable with respect to the body between an open position and a closed position. The lockable latching device also includes an annular rotator configured for rotating the plunger about a central longitudinal axis, and an annular latch transitionable between an unlocked state and a locked state. The lockable latching device further includes first and second elements. The lockable latching device also includes a force transmission mechanism operably connected to the first element, the second element, and the annular latch, with the force transmission mechanism configured to transition the annular latch from the unlocked state to the locked state in response to a first activation signal, and to transition the annular latch from the locked state to the unlocked state in response to a second activation signal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 6, 2018
    Publication date: February 6, 2020
    Inventors: Paul W. Alexander, Dayananda Narasimhaiah, Matthew M. Stack, Wonhee M. Kim, Alejandro Garcia, James H. Brown, Yonghoon Shim, Jaehun Kim
  • Publication number: 20200017006
    Abstract: A trim component for attachment to a vehicle seat includes a first portion and a second portion. The first portion is disposed on a first side of the trim component and defines a first knit. The second portion is disposed on a second side of the trim component and defines a second knit distinct from the first knit. The first and second portions are integrally knitted. The trim component is configured to be installed on or more support members of the seat. The first side is configured to face the support member. The second portion is configured communicate with an occupant of the seat. In various aspects, the first portion includes a first yarn and the second portion includes a second yarn that is distinct from the first yarn with respect to one or more of density, thickness, and material. In various aspects, the first yarn is a heat-activated yarn.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 12, 2018
    Publication date: January 16, 2020
    Applicant: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Daniel W. Booth, Paul W. Alexander, Nancy L. Johnson, Heidi H. McAdoo-Wilson, Janet C. Robincheck