Patents by Inventor Robert A. Smithson

Robert A. Smithson 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: 10711869
    Abstract: Traction planets and traction rings can be operationally coupled to a planetary gearset to provide a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The CVT can be used in a bicycle. In one embodiment, the CVT is mounted on the frame of the bicycle at a location forward of the rear wheel hub of the bicycle. In one embodiment, the CVT is mounted on and supported by members of the bicycle frame such that the CVT is coaxial with the crankshaft of the bicycle. The crankshaft is configured to drive elements of the planetary gearset, which are configured to operationally drive the traction rings and the traction planets. Inventive component and subassemblies for such a CVT are disclosed. A shifting mechanism includes a plurality of pivot arms arranged to pivot about the centers of the traction planets as a shift pin hub moves axially.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2020
    Assignee: Fallbrook Intellectual Property Company LLC
    Inventors: Donald C. Miller, Robert A. Smithson, Brad P. Pohl, Charles B. Lohr, Jon M. Nichols
  • Publication number: 20200164734
    Abstract: Regular series-parallel hybrid electric powertrains (powersplit eCVT) are two-motor HEV propulsion systems mated with a planetary gear, and most mild or full parallel hybrid systems are single motor systems with a gearbox or continuously variable transmission (CVT) coupled with an electric machine. Coupling a ball-type continuously variable planetary (CVP), such as a VariGlide®, with one electric machine enables the creation of a parallel HEV architecture with the CVP functioning as a continuously variable transmission, and the motor providing the functionality of electric assist, starter motor capability, launch assist and regenerative braking. Two motor variants provide series-parallel hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) architectures.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 16, 2016
    Publication date: May 28, 2020
    Applicant: DANA LIMITED
    Inventors: JEFFREY M. DAVID, RAYMOND J. HAKA, KRISHNA KUMAR, ROBERT A. SMITHSON, WILLIAM F. WALTZ, STEVEN J. WESOLOWSKI, JAMES F. ZIECH
  • Patent number: 10428915
    Abstract: Inventive embodiments are directed to components, subassemblies, systems, and/or methods for infinitely variable transmissions (IVT). In one embodiment, a control system is adapted to facilitate a change in operating mode of an IVT. In another embodiment, a control system includes a drive clutch coupled to a source of rotational power; the drive clutch is configured to selectively engage a traction ring and a carrier of the IVT. The control system includes a one-way clutch assembly configured to selectively engage the traction ring and the carrier. In some embodiments, the control system governs the actuation of the one-way clutch to selectively lock and unlock components of the IVT. In some embodiments, the control system implements an IVT mode wherein the carrier selectively couples to a source of rotational power. In other embodiments, the control system implements a CVT mode wherein the traction ring selectively couples to a source of rotational power.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2019
    Assignee: Fallbrook Intellectual Property Company LLC
    Inventors: Fernand A. Thomassy, Robert Smithson, David Brian Jackson, Charles B. Lohr, III
  • Patent number: 10428939
    Abstract: A variable speed transmission having a plurality of tilting balls and opposing input and output discs is illustrated and described that provides an infinite number of speed combinations over its transmission ratio range. The use of a planetary gear set allows minimum speeds to be in reverse and the unique geometry of the transmission allows all of the power paths to be coaxial, thereby reducing overall size and complexity of the transmission in comparison to transmissions achieving similar transmission ratio ranges.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2019
    Assignee: Fallbrook Intellectual Property Company LLC
    Inventors: Donald C. Miller, David J. Allen, Robert A. Smithson
  • Publication number: 20190195321
    Abstract: A continuously variable transmission (CVT) having a main shaft configured to support and position various components of the CVT. Shift cam discs cooperate with ball-leg assemblies to shift the transmission ration of the CVT. Load cam discs, a torsion disc, rolling elements, and a hub cap shell are configured to generate axial force, transmit torque, and manage reaction forces. In one embodiment, a splined input shaft and a torsion disc having a splined bore cooperate to input torque into the variator of the CVT. Among other things, various ball axles, axle-ball combinations, and reaction force grounding configurations are disclosed. In one embodiment, a CVT having axial force generation means at both the input and output elements is disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 30, 2018
    Publication date: June 27, 2019
    Inventors: Robert A. Smithson, Brad P. Pohl, Oronde J. Armstrong, Donald C. Miller, Daniel J. Dawe, Fernand A. Thomassy, Matthew P. Simister, Wesley R. Poth, Jon M. Nichols, Charles B. Lohr
  • Publication number: 20190040951
    Abstract: Provided herein is a control system for a multiple-mode continuously variable transmission having a ball planetary variator. The control system has a transmission control module configured to receive a plurality of electronic input signals, and to determine a mode of operation from a plurality of control ranges based at least in part on the plurality of electronic input signals. The system also has a dither control module configured to store at least one calibration map, and configured to determine an oscillating change in speed ratio applied to a commanded speed ratio signal during operation of the CVP to manage thermal and mechanical stress on the surface of the ball.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 26, 2017
    Publication date: February 7, 2019
    Applicant: DANA LIMITED
    Inventors: JEFFREY M. DAVID, GORDON M. MCINDOE, THOMAS NEIL MCLEMORE, PATRICK SEXTON, MATTHEW SIMISTER, ROBERT A. SMITHSON
  • Publication number: 20180257478
    Abstract: Regular torque split planetary gear trains for automotive hybrid powertrains are limited by the fixed ratio of the planetary gear train. A powertrain incorporating a continuously variable transmission using a torque split with variable ratios enables the powertrain to use the ideal operating lines (IOL) of the engine, electric motor and generator along with the high voltage battery charge/discharge paths, depending upon the mode of operation (charge sustain or charge deplete modes) of the hybrid powertrain. A powertrain further equipped with a hybrid supervisory controller that chooses the torque split and path of highest efficiency from engine to wheel, can operate at the best potential overall efficiency point in any mode and also provide torque variability, thereby leading to the best combination of powertrain performance and fuel efficiency. Embodiments of powertrain configurations that can improve the efficiency of hybrid vehicles are discussed herein.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 16, 2016
    Publication date: September 13, 2018
    Applicant: DANA LIMITED
    Inventors: RAYMOND J. HAKA, KRISHNA KUMAR, ROBERT A. SMITHSON, STEVEN J. WESOLOWSKI, JAMES F. ZIECH
  • Patent number: 10036453
    Abstract: A continuously variable transmission (CVT) having a main shaft configured to support and position various components of the CVT. Shift cam discs cooperate with ball-leg assemblies to shift the transmission ration of the CVT. Load cam discs, a torsion disc, rolling elements, and a hub cap shell are configured to generate axial force, transmit torque, and manage reaction forces. In one embodiment, a splined input shaft and a torsion disc having a splined bore cooperate to input torque into the variator of the CVT. Among other things, various ball axles, axle-ball combinations, and reaction force grounding configurations are disclosed. In one embodiment, a CVT having axial force generation means at both the input and output elements is disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2018
    Assignee: Fallbrook Intellectual Property Company LLC
    Inventors: Robert A. Smithson, Brad P. Pohl, Oronde J. Armstrong, Donald C. Miller, Daniel J. Dawe, Fernand A. Thomassy, Matthew P. Simister, Wesley R. Poth, Jon M. Nichols, Charles B. Lohr
  • Publication number: 20180066754
    Abstract: A variable speed transmission having a plurality of tilting balls and opposing input and output discs is illustrated and described that provides an infinite number of speed combinations over its transmission ratio range. The use of a planetary gear set allows minimum speeds to be in reverse and the unique geometry of the transmission allows all of the power paths to be coaxial, thereby reducing overall size and complexity of the transmission in comparison to transmissions achieving similar transmission ratio ranges.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 11, 2017
    Publication date: March 8, 2018
    Inventors: Donald C. Miller, David J. Allen, Robert A. Smithson
  • Publication number: 20170328470
    Abstract: Embodiments are directed to a front end accessory drive (FEAD) and power modulating devices (PMD) which can be used in a FEAD. In one embodiment, a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is coupled directly to a crankshaft of a prime mover, and the CVT is used to regulate the speed and/or torque delivered to an accessory. A compound drive device includes a motor/generator subassembly cooperating with a CVT subassembly to provide a motor functionality with torque multiplication or division, or alternatively, a generator functionality with torque multiplication or division. In some embodiments, a FEAD includes a PMD having a sun shaft configured to couple to a sun of the PMD and to an electric motor component, such as an electrical armature or an electrical field. In one embodiment, the electrical armature the electrical field are placed concentrically and coaxially and configured to rotate relative to one another in opposite directions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 4, 2017
    Publication date: November 16, 2017
    Inventors: Brad P. Pohl, Donald C. Miller, Robert A. Smithson, Jeremy Carter, Charles B. Lohr
  • Publication number: 20170314655
    Abstract: Traction planets and traction rings can be operationally coupled to a planetary gearset to provide a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The CVT can be used in a bicycle. In one embodiment, the CVT is mounted on the frame of the bicycle at a location forward of the rear wheel hub of the bicycle. In one embodiment, the CVT is mounted on and supported by members of the bicycle frame such that the CVT is coaxial with the crankshaft of the bicycle. The crankshaft is configured to drive elements of the planetary gearset, which are configured to operationally drive the traction rings and the traction planets. Inventive component and subassemblies for such a CVT are disclosed. A shifting mechanism includes a plurality of pivot arms arranged to pivot about the centers of the traction planets as a shift pin hub moves axially.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 17, 2017
    Publication date: November 2, 2017
    Inventors: Donald C. Miller, Robert A. Smithson, Brad P. Pohl, Charles B. Lohr, Jon M. Nichols
  • Patent number: 9732848
    Abstract: A variable speed transmission having a plurality of tilting balls and opposing input and output discs is illustrated and described that provides an infinite number of speed combinations over its transmission ratio range. The use of a planetary gear set allows minimum speeds to be in reverse and the unique geometry of the transmission allows all of the power paths to be coaxial, thereby reducing overall size and complexity of the transmission in comparison to transmissions achieving similar transmission ratio ranges.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2017
    Assignee: Fallbrook Intellectual Property Company LLC
    Inventors: Donald C. Miller, David J. Allen, Robert A. Smithson
  • Patent number: 9726282
    Abstract: Embodiments are directed to a front end accessory drive (FEAD) and power modulating devices (PMD) which can be used in a FEAD. In one embodiment, a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is coupled directly to a crankshaft of a prime mover, and the CVT is used to regulate the speed and/or torque delivered to an accessory. A compound drive device includes a motor/generator subassembly cooperating with a CVT subassembly to provide a motor functionality with torque multiplication or division, or alternatively, a generator functionality with torque multiplication or division. In some embodiments, a FEAD includes a PMD having a sun shaft configured to couple to a sun of the PMD and to an electric motor component, such as an electrical armature or an electrical field. In one embodiment, the electrical armature the electrical field are placed concentrically and coaxially and configured to rotate relative to one another in opposite directions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2017
    Assignee: Fallbrook Intellectual Property Company LLC
    Inventors: Brad P. Pohl, Donald C. Miller, Robert A. Smithson, Jeremy Carter, Charles B. Lohr
  • Publication number: 20170204948
    Abstract: Inventive embodiments are directed to components, subassemblies, systems, and/or methods for infinitely variable transmissions (IVT). In one embodiment, a control system is adapted to facilitate a change in operating mode of an IVT. In another embodiment, a control system includes a drive clutch coupled to a source of rotational power; the drive clutch is configured to selectively engage a traction ring and a carrier of the IVT. The control system includes a one-way clutch assembly configured to selectively engage the traction ring and the carrier. In some embodiments, the control system governs the actuation of the one-way clutch to selectively lock and unlock components of the IVT. In some embodiments, the control system implements an IVT mode wherein the carrier selectively couples to a source of rotational power. In other embodiments, the control system implements a CVT mode wherein the traction ring selectively couples to a source of rotational power.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 31, 2017
    Publication date: July 20, 2017
    Inventors: Fernand A. Thomassy, Robert Smithson, David Brian Jackson, Charles B. Lohr, III
  • Patent number: 9709138
    Abstract: Traction planets and traction rings can be operationally coupled to a planetary gearset to provide a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The CVT can be used in a bicycle. In one embodiment, the CVT is mounted on the frame of the bicycle at a location forward of the rear wheel hub of the bicycle. In one embodiment, the CVT is mounted on and supported by members of the bicycle frame such that the CVT is coaxial with the crankshaft of the bicycle. The crankshaft is configured to drive elements of the planetary gearset, which are configured to operationally drive the traction rings and the traction planets. Inventive component and subassemblies for such a CVT are disclosed. A shifting mechanism includes a plurality of pivot arms arranged to pivot about the centers of the traction planets as a shift pin hub moves axially.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2017
    Assignee: Fallbrook Intellectual Property Company LLC
    Inventors: Donald C. Miller, Robert A. Smithson, Brad P. Pohl, Charles B. Lohr, Jon M. Nichols
  • Patent number: 9611921
    Abstract: Inventive embodiments are directed to components, subassemblies, systems, and/or methods for infinitely variable transmissions (IVT). In one embodiment, a control system is adapted to facilitate a change in operating mode of an IVT. In another embodiment, a control system includes a drive clutch coupled to a source of rotational power; the drive clutch is configured to selectively engage a traction ring and a carrier of the IVT. The control system includes a one-way clutch assembly configured to selectively engage the traction ring and the carrier. In some embodiments, the control system governs the actuation of the one-way clutch to selectively lock and unlock components of the IVT. In some embodiments, the control system implements an IVT mode wherein the carrier selectively couples to a source of rotational power. In other embodiments, the control system implements a CVT mode wherein the traction ring selectively couples to a source of rotational power.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2017
    Assignee: Fallbrook Intellectual Property Company LLC
    Inventors: Fernand A. Thomassy, Robert Smithson, David Brian Jackson, Charles B. Lohr, III
  • Publication number: 20160273627
    Abstract: Traction planets and traction rings can be operationally coupled to a planetary gearset to provide a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The CVT can be used in a bicycle. In one embodiment, the CVT is mounted on the frame of the bicycle at a location forward of the rear wheel hub of the bicycle. In one embodiment, the CVT is mounted on and supported by members of the bicycle frame such that the CVT is coaxial with the crankshaft of the bicycle. The crankshaft is configured to drive elements of the planetary gearset, which are configured to operationally drive the traction rings and the traction planets. Inventive component and subassemblies for such a CVT are disclosed. A shifting mechanism includes a plurality of pivot arms arranged to pivot about the centers of the traction planets as a shift pin hub moves axially.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 16, 2016
    Publication date: September 22, 2016
    Inventors: Donald C. Miller, Robert A. Smithson, Brad P. Pohl, Charles B. Lohr, Jon M. Nichols
  • Patent number: 9341246
    Abstract: Traction planets and traction rings can be operationally coupled to a planetary gearset to provide a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The CVT can be used in a bicycle. In one embodiment, the CVT is mounted on the frame of the bicycle at a location forward of the rear wheel hub of the bicycle. In one embodiment, the CVT is mounted on and supported by members of the bicycle frame such that the CVT is coaxial with the crankshaft of the bicycle. The crankshaft is configured to drive elements of the planetary gearset, which are configured to operationally drive the traction rings and the traction planets. Inventive component and subassemblies for such a CVT are disclosed. A shifting mechanism includes a plurality of pivot arms arranged to pivot about the centers of the traction planets as a shift pin hub moves axially.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2016
    Assignee: Fallbrook Intellectual Property Company LLC
    Inventors: Donald C Miller, Robert A Smithson, Brad P Pohl, Charles B Lohr, Jon M Nichols
  • Publication number: 20150337928
    Abstract: A continuously variable transmission (CVT) having a main shaft configured to support and position various components of the CVT. Shift cam discs cooperate with ball-leg assemblies to shift the transmission ration of the CVT. Load cam discs, a torsion disc, rolling elements, and a hub cap shell are configured to generate axial force, transmit torque, and manage reaction forces. In one embodiment, a splined input shaft and a torsion disc having a splined bore cooperate to input torque into the variator of the CVT. Among other things, various ball axles, axle-ball combinations, and reaction force grounding configurations are disclosed. In one embodiment, a CVT having axial force generation means at both the input and output elements is disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 29, 2014
    Publication date: November 26, 2015
    Inventors: Robert A. Smithson, Brad P. Pohl, Oronde J. Armstrong, Donald C. Miller, Daniel J. Dawe, Fernand A. Thomassy, Matthew P. Simister, Wesley R. Poth, Jon M. Nichols, Charles B. Lohr
  • Publication number: 20150260284
    Abstract: A variable speed transmission having a plurality of tilting balls and opposing input and output discs is illustrated and described that provides an infinite number of speed combinations over its transmission ratio range. The use of a planetary gear set allows minimum speeds to be in reverse and the unique geometry of the transmission allows all of the power paths to be coaxial, thereby reducing overall size and complexity of the transmission in comparison to transmissions achieving similar transmission ratio ranges.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 29, 2015
    Publication date: September 17, 2015
    Inventors: Donald C. Miller, David J. Allen, Robert A. Smithson