Patents by Inventor Scott B. Gentry

Scott B. Gentry 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: 20040032117
    Abstract: A vehicle seat occupant position sensor has one of four mechanisms to provide input with respect to how a seat occupant is engaged with a seat back. The first mechanism has some of the individual tension wires forming the flexolator pass through magnetostrictive sensors to detect in wire tension. Another mechanism employs a potentiometer geared so that relative deflection between the seat back and the seat recliner is amplified. A further mechanism is a magnetostrictive sensor that senses the stress in a seat back structure that is loaded by the seat occupant leaning against the seat back. Lastly, a bladder filled with a fluid provides pressure measurements as an indicator of the force generated by the vehicle seat occupant leaning against the seat back.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 19, 2002
    Publication date: February 19, 2004
    Inventors: Nicholas W. Pinto, Scott B. Gentry, Hossam Almasri, Edward W. Clancy, Mohannad F. Murad
  • Patent number: 6522998
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method and device for simulating impact conditions which has a test sled 10, simulated occupant (14), and a pre-impact force-generating device. The pre-impact force-generating device can apply force directly to the simulated occupant being (14), thereby overcoming many of the cost problems associated with applying a low and long duration force directly to a test sled (10). The pre-impact force-generating device can be designed such that instead of providing a low and long duration force to a simulated occupant (14), it provides a short and high impact force to the simulated occupant (14). An impact force-generating device provides impact force directly to the sled (10) which simulates impact conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2003
    Assignee: Breed Automotive Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph F. Mazur, Brian K. Blackburn, H. John Miller, III, Scott B. Gentry, Michel P. Rossey, Edward J. Burley, Timothy W. Hill, Kurt W. Schulz
  • Patent number: 6311112
    Abstract: A vehicle occupant restraint system (10) has an actuatable occupant restraint device (16) with an aspect adjustable for adjusting actuation of the restraint device. An associated control method controls the system (10). Within the system (10), a sensor (40) senses a vehicle operating parameter functionally related to crash acceleration and provides a signal (42) indicative thereof. A threshold determination function (44) of a microcomputer (18) determines whether the signal (42) from the sensor (40) exceeds a threshold value. An occupant characteristic sensor (26) senses an occupant characteristic in response to a determination that the signal (42) from the sensor (40) exceeds the threshold value and provides a signal (28A) indicative thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2001
    Assignees: TRW Inc., TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph F. Mazur, Brian K. Blackburn, Scott B. Gentry
  • Patent number: 6304179
    Abstract: An occupant position measuring system (10) comprising: a transmitter for generating a pulse modulated transmitter signal; a receiver for receiving a reflection of the transmitter signal, the receiver being characterized as having a relatively low Q factor; a controller, responsive to the receipt of the reflected signal and for generating an indication of the distance between an occupant the transmitter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2001
    Assignee: Congress Financial Corporation
    Inventors: James C. Lotito, Mohannad F. Murad, Brian K. Blackburn, Edward Burley, Joseph F. Mazur, Scott B. Gentry, Henry D. Frech
  • Patent number: 6300728
    Abstract: The present invention is a power supply for a fluorescent light, particularly a sub-miniature fluorescent light (SFL) which provides compensation for temperature and age effects of the fluorescent light. One or more SFLs are powered by a variable output anode controller and a variable output cathode controller, wherein the illumination output of the SFLs is selectively adjustable based upon the voltage output of one or both of the anode and cathode controllers. In a first example of implementation of the invention, an illumination feedback circuit is provided to the anode/cathode controller, wherein the voltage output is adjusted to compensate for diminished illumination, caused for example by cold operating conditions or age of the sensed SFLs. In a second form of the present invention, a temperature feedback circuit is provided to the anode/cathode controller to provide the aforesaid voltage adjustment to compensate for diminished illumination.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2001
    Assignee: BGM Engineering, Inc.
    Inventors: Brian K. Blackburn, Joseph F. Mazur, Scott B. Gentry
  • Patent number: 6271762
    Abstract: An apparatus and method of determining and tracking the position of a main target (an occupant) and secondary targets, comprising the steps of: transmitting a signal T1, of determinable period toward the location of the occupant, generating and storing a first index of data indicative of the time any received signal exceeds a determinable threshold; separating the data within the first index into definable data groups indicative of individual received signals representing potential targets; determining, in relation to each transmitted signal T1, a common group time of receipt Tc for each data group; correlating the group time of receipt to the position of the main target and secondary targets occupant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2001
    Assignee: Breed Automotive Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Mohannad F. Murad, James C. Lotito, Edward Burley, Joseph F. Mazur, Brian K. Blackburn, Scott B. Gentry
  • Patent number: 6203059
    Abstract: An occupant safety protection system (8) capable of sensing the misuse of a safety belt system (10). The invention includes: a shoulder belt portion (13), a field generator means (243) for generating a detection field (202), a disturbance tag means (250) attached to the shoulder belt portion (13) and a tag detection circuit means (19) which determines seat belt misuse and sends an output indicative thereof. When the seat belt system is being properly used the disturbance tag (250) does not disturb the detection field. Conversely, when the seat belt system is being improperly used the disturbance tag disturbs the detection field. The tag detection circuit sends an output indication (245) corresponding to the state of the seat belt system use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2001
    Assignee: Breed Automotive Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph F. Mazur, Brian K. Blackburn, Scott B. Gentry, H. John Miller, III
  • Patent number: 6188940
    Abstract: A method for sensing the occurrence of a vehicle crash is provided for a vehicle having an occupant restraint system operatively connected with a crash sensor having an accelerometer, which produces an accelerometer signal, and with an occupant position sensor which produces a position signal. The crash sensor includes an adjustable filter. The method includes the steps of: a) calculating an estimated occupant displacement by integrating the accelerometer signal twice; b) comparing the estimated occupant displacement to the position signal; and c) adjusting the adjustable filter based upon the comparing step to optimize control of the occupant restraint system. In this manner, actual body position of the occupant may be more accurately predicted and measured, which allows optimization of air bag deployment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2001
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Brian Blackburn, Joseph R. Brown, Joseph F. Mazur, Scott B. Gentry
  • Patent number: 6157372
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) and a method for controlling a plurality of controllable devices (14, 16, 18 and 20). Preferably, the devices (14, 16, 18 and 20) are located within a vehicle. A touch pad (46) of the apparatus (10) has an array of manually touchable areas (48) and provides signals indicative of manual touches to the areas (48). The array of manually touchable areas (48) are arranged such that various swiping and non-swiping manual touch patterns to the array can be accomplished. The touch patterns include touch patterns which correspond to controllable aspects of the devices (14, 16, 18 and 20). The apparatus (10) includes a control module (52). A receiver function (60) of the control module (52) receives the signals provided by the touch pad (46). An interpreter function (64) of the control module (52) interprets information contained within the received signals to identify touch patterns to the touch pad (46).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2000
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Brian K. Blackburn, Scott B. Gentry, William R. Swihart
  • Patent number: 6023984
    Abstract: A test apparatus (20) for testing the dynamic performance and verifying the performance of at least one occupant sensor (82) used in a vehicular safety restraint system comprising: a movable sled slidably oriented relative to the occupant sensor; an object, the presence of which is to be sensed by the sensor, mounted and movable with the sled; a support (22, 24, 26a,b, 32, 36) for slidably supporting the sled relative to the sensor (82); a force producing device (90a,b, 92, 94) for moving the sled toward the sensor in a determinable manner; a data collection device (84) for comparing signals derived from the occupant sensor indicative of the relative position to the object with signals derived upon independent measurement of the motion of the sled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2000
    Assignee: Breed Automotive Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph F. Mazur, Brian K. Blackburn, Scott B. Gentry, Kurt W. Schulz, Matthew W. Owen, James C. Lotito, Timothy W. Hill
  • Patent number: 6018693
    Abstract: A restraint system (10) includes an actuatable occupant restraint module (18), which is controlled in a method for restraining a vehicle occupant (12). A restraint control determination function (68) controls actuation of the restraint module (18) using information from a vehicle collision sensor (30). An occupant sensor (34) senses the occupant and provides a signal indicative thereof. A position determination function (46) determines position of the occupant (12) using the signal, and an occupant velocity determination function (70) determines velocity of the occupant relative to a vehicle reference location, as a time derivative of the occupant position. An OOP determination function (52) determines if the occupant (12) is in an occupant out-of-position zone (OOP) (62). If the occupant (12) is within the OOP zone (62), actuation of the restraint module (18) is prevented. A boundary adjustment function (72) repositions a boundary (64) of the OOP zone (62) as a function of the determined occupant velocity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2000
    Assignees: TRW Inc., TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Brian K. Blackburn, Joseph F. Mazur, Scott B. Gentry
  • Patent number: 5944135
    Abstract: A seat belt buckle (12) includes a latch mechanism (20) and a field effect device (26). The latch mechanism (20) includes a latch (42) which is movable into and out of a locking position in which it engages a seat belt tongue (16) to interlock the tongue (16) with the latch mechanism (20). The field effect device (26) provides a first output if the seat belt tongue (16) is not interlocked with the latch mechanism (20) and provides a second, different output if the seat belt tongue (16) is interlocked with the latch mechanism (20).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 31, 1999
    Assignees: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc., TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Brian K. Blackburn, Scott B. Gentry, Robert Sayles, Charles E. Steffens, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5906393
    Abstract: An occupant restraint system (10), and an associated control method, for a vehicle (16). The system (10) includes an actuatable occupant restraint device (18) which has an adjustable aspect. An ultrasound sensor (34) senses an occupant condition at a sense rate and provides a signal (38) indicative of the sensed occupant condition. An ultrasound signal sampler function (46) of a controller (26) samples the signal (38) at a sample rate. A restraint control determination function (50) of the controller (26) makes determinations regarding control of the restraint device (18) at a determination rate using the signal samples. A weight sensor (56) and at least one seat belt sensor (58, 60) sense occupant conditions (e.g., occupant weight and seat belt status) and provide indicative signals (66, 68, 70) to a rates determination function (84) of the controller (26). The rates determination function (84) determines the sense, sample and determination rates in response to the sensed occupant conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 25, 1999
    Assignees: TRW Inc., TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph F. Mazur, Brian K. Blackburn, Scott B. Gentry
  • Patent number: 5904368
    Abstract: An occupant restraint system (10), and an associated control method, for a vehicle (16). The system (10) includes an actuatable occupant restraint device (18). An ultrasound sensor (34) senses an occupant condition and provides a signal (38) indicative thereof. An ultrasound signal sampler function (46) of a controller (26) samples the signal (38) at a sample rate. A restraint control determination function (50) of the controller (26) makes determinations regarding control of the restraint device (18) using the signal samples. A rate determination function (52) determines the sensor and sample rates using the signal samples.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 18, 1999
    Assignees: TRW Inc., TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Brian K. Blackburn, Joseph F. Mazur, Scott B. Gentry
  • Patent number: 5892436
    Abstract: A seat belt buckle (12) has a light-transmitting portion (26) which is visible to a vehicle occupant. The buckle (12) includes a housing (60) containing a latch mechanism (20) which releasably locks a seat belt tongue (16) in the housing (60). The housing (60) further contains a light source (70) and optical fibers (72) for conducting light from the source (70) to the light-transmitting portion (26) of the buckle (12).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 6, 1999
    Assignees: TRW Inc., TRW Vehicle Safety, System Inc.
    Inventors: Brian K. Blackburn, Scott B. Gentry, Barney J. Bauer
  • Patent number: 5890779
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) for use in a vehicle (14) comprises at least one control device (140) carried by the vehicle (14), a vehicle seat (12) and at least one electrical device (180) carried by the vehicle seat (12). A latching mechanism (60) is provided for mounting the vehicle seat (12) to the vehicle (14). A first antenna, such as a pair of coils (110, 150) transmits an electrical power signal from a power source (118) on the vehicle (14) to at least one electrical device (180) carried by the vehicle seat (12). A second antenna such as a pair of antennas (120, 160) transmits communication signals between the electrical device (180) carried by the vehicle seat (12) and the control device (140) carried by the vehicle (14).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 6, 1999
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Brian K. Blackburn, Scott B. Gentry, Joseph F. Mazur, John B. Sparhawk
  • Patent number: 5758737
    Abstract: A vehicle occupant protection apparatus (10) includes seat belt webbing (12), a field effect device (50) and a field source device (48) which, when energized, provides a field that energizes the field effect device (50). The webbing (12) is movable to a predetermined position in which it extends into the field to affect the field in a predetermined manner. The field effect device (50) has a first output when the webbing (12) is not in the predetermined position and has a second, different output when the webbing (12) is in the predetermined position. The output of the field effect device (50) thus indicates whether or not the webbing (12) is in the predetermined position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 2, 1998
    Assignees: TRW Inc., TRW Vehicle Safety Systems
    Inventors: Louis R. Brown, Scott B. Gentry
  • Patent number: 5742986
    Abstract: A seat belt buckle (12) includes a latch mechanism (20) and a Hall effect assembly (26). The latch mechanism (20) releasably interlocks with a seat belt tongue (16). The Hall effect assembly (26) has a first output if the seat belt tongue (16) is not interlocked with the latch mechanism (20) and has a second, different output if the seat belt tongue (16) is interlocked with the latch mechanism (20). The output of the Hall effect assembly (26) thus indicates whether or not the seat belt tongue (16) is interlocked with the latch mechanism (20).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 28, 1998
    Assignees: TRW Inc., TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Steven G. Corrion, Scott B. Gentry, Brian K. Blackburn
  • Patent number: 5722686
    Abstract: An apparatus for controlling an actuatable restraint system (20) in response to a sensed position of an occupant (36) in an occupant compartment of a vehicle includes a variable capacitor (60) mounted relative to a known reference location (30) within the vehicle. The variable capacitor (60) is adapted so that its capacitance value is functionally related to the occupant's position relative to the reference location (30). A controller (50) is coupled to a capacitance sensing circuit (80) for controlling the actuatable restraint (22) in response to the sensed occupant position relative to the reference location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 3, 1998
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Brian K. Blackburn, Scott B. Gentry, Joseph F. Mazur, Charles E. Steffens, Jr., John E. Bessonen, William M. Jarocha
  • Patent number: 5683103
    Abstract: An apparatus (20) for preventing actuation of an air bag restraining device (90) of a vehicle includes a sensor (24, 26) that senses the presence of a child restraining seat (40) on an occupant seat (30) of the vehicle. A controller (22) is operatively connected to the sensor (24, 26) and to the air bag restraining device (90) for controlling actuation of the air bag and preventing actuation of the air bag when the sensor (24, 26) senses the child restraining seat (40) on the occupant seat (30).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 4, 1997
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Brian K. Blackburn, Joseph F. Mazur, Gregory S. Bayley, Scott B. Gentry