Patents by Inventor Ronald E. Pelrine

Ronald E. Pelrine 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: 20190089059
    Abstract: Systems are provided for the efficient generation of oscillating magnetic fields below the Low Frequency band. These systems generate such fields by mechanically rotating one or more diametrically-magnetized permanent magnets. In order to reduce friction, the magnets are rotated by applying a motive magnetic field to the magnet(s) to rotate the magnet(s) and thereby generate the oscillating magnetic field. Additionally, diamagnetic repulsion, active magnetic field control, and/or biasing permanent magnets are employed to levitate the rotating magnet(s), further reducing friction and increasing system efficiency. These systems may be employed to generate modulated low-frequency oscillating magnetic fields for communication through seawater, rocks, or other obstacles. Additionally or alternatively, these systems may be employed to generate low-frequency oscillating magnetic fields for navigation and location sensing, resource identification and extraction, or other applications.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 5, 2018
    Publication date: March 21, 2019
    Inventors: Ronald E. Pelrine, Annjoe Wong-Foy, Allen L. Hsu
  • Patent number: 10232383
    Abstract: A process for sorting materials using material-selective electroadhesive grippers is disclosed. At least one of an electroadhesive surface or a plurality of articles is manipulated such that multiple ones of the plurality of articles are at least intermittently proximate the electroadhesive surface. Voltage is applied to one or more electrodes in the electroadhesive surface to thereby cause the electroadhesive surface to selectively adhere to a subset of the plurality of articles based on the subset of the plurality of articles having different material properties than others of the plurality of articles. While the voltage is applied, the electroadhesive surface is moved with respect to the others of the plurality of articles to thereby separate the subset of the plurality of articles from the others of the plurality of articles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2019
    Assignee: SRI International
    Inventors: Harsha Prahlad, Joseph S. Eckerle, Roy D. Kornbluh, Ronald E. Pelrine
  • Patent number: 10044253
    Abstract: A system including a first circuit substrate having conductive traces in layers of the first substrate, the first substrate having a first diamagnetic layer, a second circuit substrate having conductive traces in layers of the second substrate, the second substrate having a second diamagnetic layer, at least one manipulator residing adjacent one of the first and second diamagnetic layers, the manipulator being moveable across the first and second diamagnetic layers through magnetic fields generated by selected application of current to the conductive traces, and a controller coupled to the traces arranged to produce signals which result in the current being applied to the conductive traces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2018
    Assignee: SRI International
    Inventors: Ronald E. Pelrine, Annjoe Wong-Foy
  • Publication number: 20180114621
    Abstract: A microrobot assembly system includes a substrate containing conductive traces formed into at least one holding zone and one moving zone, a diamagnetic layer on the substrate, at least two magnetic structures movable across the diamagnetic layer in response to voltages applied to the conductive traces, wherein the holding zone holds one of the magnetic structures and the moving zone allows another of the magnetic structures to attach to the magnetic structure being held. The system may include a plate spaced above the substrate and rails to guide the moving magnetic structures.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 20, 2016
    Publication date: April 26, 2018
    Inventors: RONALD E. PELRINE, ANNJOE WONG-FOY, ALLEN L. HSU, JOSE P. JOSEPH
  • Patent number: 9647523
    Abstract: A system has a first operation substrate, the operation substrate having at least one sliding surface and at least one conductive trace in a layer in the substrate, at least one flex circuit magnetically coupled to the operation substrate, the flex circuit having at least one sliding surface and at least one conductive trace in the substrate, and at least one manipulator moveable across the sliding surfaces of the operation substrate and the flex circuit by magnetic fields generated by application of current to the conductive traces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2017
    Assignee: SRI INTERNATIONAL
    Inventors: Ronald E. Pelrine, Annjoe Wong-Foy
  • Publication number: 20170072407
    Abstract: A process for sorting materials using material-selective electroadhesive grippers is disclosed. At least one of an electroadhesive surface or a plurality of articles is manipulated such that multiple ones of the plurality of articles are at least intermittently proximate the electroadhesive surface. Voltage is applied to one or more electrodes in the electroadhesive surface to thereby cause the electroadhesive surface to selectively adhere to a subset of the plurality of articles based on the subset of the plurality of articles having different material properties than others of the plurality of articles. While the voltage is applied, the electroadhesive surface is moved with respect to the others of the plurality of articles to thereby separate the subset of the plurality of articles from the others of the plurality of articles.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 4, 2016
    Publication date: March 16, 2017
    Inventors: Harsha Prahlad, Joseph S. Eckerle, Roy D. Kornbluh, Ronald E. Pelrine
  • Patent number: 9486814
    Abstract: A process for sorting materials using material-selective electroadhesive grippers is disclosed. At least one of an electroadhesive surface or a plurality of articles is manipulated such that multiple ones of the plurality of articles are at least intermittently proximate the electroadhesive surface. Voltage is applied to one or more electrodes in the electroadhesive surface to thereby cause the electroadhesive surface to selectively adhere to a subset of the plurality of articles based on the subset of the plurality of articles having different material properties than others of the plurality of articles. While the voltage is applied, the electroadhesive surface is moved with respect to the others of the plurality of articles to thereby separate the subset of the plurality of articles from the others of the plurality of articles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2016
    Assignee: SRI International
    Inventors: Harsha Prahlad, Joseph S. Eckerle, Roy D. Kornbluh, Ronald E. Pelrine
  • Patent number: 9401668
    Abstract: An electroadhesive device includes an outer surface adapted to interface with a surface of a foreign substrate, a plurality of electrodes, and a semi-conductive insulation material disposed adjacent to at least one of the electrodes. Each electrode has a respective conductive volume and is configured to apply a voltage at a respective location of the outer surface, and the difference in voltage between applied voltages includes an electrostatic adhesion voltage that produces an electrostatic force between the device and the substrate that is suitable to maintain a current position of the device relative to the substrate. The insulation material can be polyurethane or any other suitable material having a resistance of about 109 to 1012 ohms*m. The insulation material effectively operates to expand the conductive volume of the electrodes when they are actuated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 26, 2016
    Assignee: SRI International
    Inventors: Harsha Prahlad, Ronald E. Pelrine, Annjoe Wong-Foy, Roy D. Kornbluh, Brian K. McCoy
  • Patent number: 9358590
    Abstract: An electroadhesive cleaning device or system includes electrode(s) that produce electroadhesive forces from an input voltage to adhere debris against an electroadhesive surface, from which the debris is removed when the forces are controllably modified. Controlling the input voltage may designate the size of debris to be cleaned. A power source provides the input voltage, and the electroadhesive surface can be a continuous track across one or more rollers to move the device across a dirty foreign surface. Electrodes can be arranged in an interdigitated pattern having differing pitches that can be actuated selectively to clean debris of different sizes. Sensors can detect the amount of debris adhered to the electroadhesive surface, and reversed polarity pulses can help repel items away from the electroadhesive surface in a controlled manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2016
    Assignee: SRI International
    Inventors: Karen S. Koenig, Harsha Prahlad, Ronald E. Pelrine, Roy D. Kornbluh
  • Patent number: 9302299
    Abstract: An active electroadhesive cleaning device or system includes electrode(s) that produce electroadhesive forces from an input voltage to adhere dust or other foreign objects against an interactive surface, from which the foreign objects are removed when the forces are controllably altered. User inputs control the input voltage and/or designate the size of foreign objects to be cleaned. An active power source provides the input voltage, and the interactive surface can be a continuous track across one or more rollers to move the device across a dirty foreign surface. Electrodes can be arranged in an interdigitated pattern having differing pitches that can be actuated selectively to clean foreign objects of different sizes. Sensors can detect the amount of foreign particles adhered to the interactive surface, and reversed polarity pulses can help repel items away from the interactive surface in a timely and controlled manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2016
    Assignee: SRI International
    Inventors: Harsha Prahlad, Ronald E. Pelrine, Philip A. Von Guggenberg, Roy D. Kornbluh, Brian K. McCoy, Youssef Iguider
  • Publication number: 20150360264
    Abstract: An active electroadhesive cleaning device or system includes electrode(s) that produce electroadhesive forces from an input voltage to adhere dust or other foreign objects against an interactive surface, from which the foreign objects are removed when the forces are controllably altered. User inputs control the input voltage and/or designate the size of foreign objects to be cleaned. An active power source provides the input voltage, and the interactive surface can be a continuous track across one or more rollers to move the device across a dirty foreign surface. Electrodes can be arranged in an interdigitated pattern having differing pitches that can be actuated selectively to clean foreign objects of different sizes. Sensors can detect the amount of foreign particles adhered to the interactive surface, and reversed polarity pulses can help repel items away from the interactive surface in a timely and controlled manner.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 24, 2015
    Publication date: December 17, 2015
    Inventors: Harsha PRAHLAD, Ronald E. PELRINE, Philip A. VON GUGGENBERG, Roy D. KORNBLUH, Brian K. MCCOY, Youssef IGUIDER
  • Patent number: 9186709
    Abstract: An active electroadhesive cleaning device or system includes electrode(s) that produce electroadhesive forces from an input voltage to adhere dust or other foreign objects against an interactive surface, from which the foreign objects are removed when the forces are controllably altered. User inputs control the input voltage and/or designate the size of foreign objects to be cleaned. An active power source provides the input voltage, and the interactive surface can be a continuous track across one or more rollers to move the device across a dirty foreign surface. Electrodes can be arranged in an interdigitated pattern having differing pitches that can be actuated selectively to clean foreign objects of different sizes. Sensors can detect the amount of foreign particles adhered to the interactive surface, and reversed polarity pulses can help repel items away from the interactive surface in a timely and controlled manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2015
    Assignee: SRI International
    Inventors: Harsha Prahlad, Ronald E. Pelrine, Philip A. Von Guggenberg, Roy D. Kornbluh, Brian K. McCoy, Youssef Iguider
  • Patent number: 9130485
    Abstract: An electroadhesive surface can include electrodes that are configured to induce an electrostatic attraction with nearby objects upon application of voltage to the electrodes. Systems described herein may also employ a load-bearing frame that is coupled to an electroadhesive gripping surface via an array of height-adjustable pins. Adjusting the pins changes the shape of the gripping surface, and may be used to conform to objects pressed against the gripping surface. Objects pressed against the gripping surface may cause one or more of the pins to retract by sliding within respective channels so as to cause the gripping surface to conform to the object. Some examples further include pin-locking mechanisms configured to secure the position of the pins within their respective channels and thereby fix the shape of the gripping surface after conforming to the object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2015
    Assignee: SRI International
    Inventors: Harsha Prahlad, Ronald E. Pelrine, Roy D. Kombluh, Roger H. Schmidt, Patrick Allen Bournes
  • Patent number: 9130484
    Abstract: An electroadhesive gripping system includes a vacuum-augmented gripper. The gripper can include an electroadhesive surface associated with one or more electrodes and a load-bearing backing structure coupled to the electroadhesive surface. The backing couples to the backside of the electroadhesive surface so as to at least partially define a shape of the electroadhesive surface. The backing is configured to flex between a curled shape and an uncurled shape. A spreading arm is configured to apply force to the backing so as to flex the backing from the curled shape to the uncurled shape. When positioned next to a substrate, the uncurling motion of the backing can cause the electroadhesive surface to become vacuum sealed to the substrate. A power supply can be configured to apply voltage to the electroadhesive surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2015
    Assignee: SRI International
    Inventors: Harsha Prahlad, Thomas P. Low, Ronald E. Pelrine
  • Patent number: 9093926
    Abstract: An electroadhesive gripping platform includes one or more electrodes. A power supply is configured to apply voltage to the one or more electrodes in the electroadhesive platform via one or more terminals. A controller is configured to operate the electroadhesive gripping platform to selectively adhere to items loaded thereon and thereby enhance traction control over such items. The controller can control the power supply to apply a voltage to the one or more electrodes in the electroadhesive platform to thereby cause the electroadhesive platform to adhere to an item disposed on the electroadhesive platform such that the item resists moving with respect to the electroadhesive platform. The controller can also control the voltage supply to reduce the voltage applied to the one or more terminals such that the item moves with respect to the electroadhesive platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2015
    Assignee: SRI International
    Inventors: Harsha Prahlad, Ronald E. Pelrine, Brian K. McCoy, Thomas P. Low
  • Patent number: 8982531
    Abstract: An electrostatic device or system includes electrode(s) adapted to produce an electrostatic attraction force and a base surface adapted to facilitate the application of the electrostatic attraction force and also a physical attraction force separate therefrom. The electrostatic and physical attraction forces can maintain a position of the electrostatic device relative to a foreign object via electroadhesion and/or via an additional manner that is separate from the electroadhesion. The physical attraction force can be a vacuum, van der Waals, and/or adhesive force, can be applied at less than all locations across the base surface, and may involve a one-time permanent attachment. The base surface can include a deformable surface portion that moves closer to the foreign object when the electrostatic or physical attraction force is applied. The physical attraction force can be sufficient to adhere the device to the object when the electrostatic attraction force is removed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: SRI International
    Inventors: Harsha Prahlad, Brian K. McCoy, Roy D. Kornbluh, Ronald E. Pelrine, Philip A. von Guggenberg
  • Patent number: 8981621
    Abstract: Described herein are transducers and their fabrication. The transducers convert between mechanical and electrical energy. Some transducers of the present invention include a pre-strained polymer. The pre-strain improves the conversion between electrical and mechanical energy. The present invention provides methods for fabricating electromechanical devices including one or more electroactive polymers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Inventors: Ronald E. Pelrine, Roy D. Kornbluth, Qibing Pei, Seajin Oh, Jose P. Joseph
  • Patent number: 8975888
    Abstract: The present invention provides miniature power supplies and circuitry for powering high-voltage devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2015
    Assignees: SRI International, Parker-Hannifin Corporation
    Inventors: Ronald E. Pelrine, Ilya Polyakov
  • Patent number: 8941270
    Abstract: A method of building structures using diamagnetically levitated manipulators includes depositing, with a first end effector attached to a first manipulator, a first adhesive at a first location on a first surface, picking up, with a second end effector, an article, moving the article to the surface, and placing the article on the adhesive on the surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2015
    Assignee: SRI International
    Inventors: Ronald E. Pelrine, Annjoe Wong-Foy, Brian K. McCoy
  • Patent number: RE45464
    Abstract: The present invention relates to animated devices that include one or more electroactive polymer transducers. When actuated by electrical energy, an electroactive polymer produces mechanical deflection in one or more directions. This deflection may be used to produce motion of a feature included in an animated device. Electroactive polymer transducers offer customizable shapes and deflections. Combining different ways to configure and constrain a polymer, different ways to arrange active areas on a single polymer, different animated device designs, and different polymer orientations, permits a broad range of animated devices that use an electroactive polymer transducer to produce motion. These animated devices find use in a wide range of animated device applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Inventors: Roy D. Kornbluh, Ronald E. Pelrine, Qibing Pei, Joseph S. Eckerle