Patents by Inventor Steven D. Potter

Steven D. Potter 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: 10231859
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides a brace system including an upper portion and a lower portion. The brace system may also include a first pulley rotatably coupling the upper portion to a first intermediate link positioned between the upper portion and the lower portion. The brace system may also include a second pulley rotatably coupling the first intermediate link to a second intermediate link positioned between the upper portion and the lower portion. The brace system may also include a third pulley rotatably coupling the second intermediate link to the lower portion. Further, the brace system may include at least one tension-bearing element substantially encircling each of the first pulley, the second pulley, and the third pulley.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2019
    Assignee: Boston Dynamics, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher Everett Thorne, Steven D. Potter, Michael Patrick Murphy
  • Patent number: 10227999
    Abstract: An example valve includes a sleeve having a plurality of openings. A spool is rotatable within the sleeve and includes a respective plurality of openings corresponding to the plurality of openings of the sleeve. A rotary actuator coupled to the spool is configured for rotating the spool within the sleeve to one of at least eight rotary positions. The rotary actuator can rotate the spool to a given rotary position in a clockwise or a counter-clockwise direction to cause at least a partial alignment between a subset of the respective plurality of openings of the spool and a subset of the plurality of openings of the sleeve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2019
    Assignee: Boston Dynamics, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven D. Potter, John Aaron Saunders
  • Publication number: 20180172121
    Abstract: An example robot includes: a leg having an upper leg member and a lower leg member coupled to the upper leg member at a knee joint; a screw actuator disposed within the upper leg member, where the screw actuator has a screw shaft and a nut mounted coaxial to the screw shaft such that the screw shaft is rotatable within the nut; a motor mounted at an upper portion of the upper leg member and coupled to the screw shaft; a carrier coupled and mounted coaxial to the nut such that the nut is disposed at a proximal end of the carrier; and a linkage coupled to the carrier, where the linkage is coupled to the lower leg member at the knee joint.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 15, 2016
    Publication date: June 21, 2018
    Inventors: Steven D. Potter, Zachary John Jackowski, Adam Young
  • Patent number: 9927037
    Abstract: An example valve includes a sleeve having a plurality of openings configured along a length of the sleeve. A spool is rotatable within the sleeve and includes a respective plurality of openings along a length of the spool corresponding to the plurality of openings of the sleeve. A rotary actuator coupled to the spool is configured for rotating the spool within the sleeve. The rotary actuator can rotate the spool to a given rotary position in a clockwise or a counter-clockwise direction to cause at least a partial alignment between a subset of the respective plurality of openings of the spool and a subset of the plurality of openings of the sleeve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignee: Boston Dynamics, Inc.
    Inventors: John Aaron Saunders, Steven D. Potter
  • Patent number: 9849926
    Abstract: A robotic device may traverse a path in a direction of locomotion. Sensor data indicative of one or more physical features of the environment in the direction of locomotion may be received. The implementation may further involve determining that traversing the path involves traversing the one or more physical features of the environment. Based on the sensor data indicative of the one or more physical features of the environment in the direction of locomotion, a hydraulic pressure to supply to the one or more hydraulic actuators to traverse the one or more physical features of the environment may be predicted. Before traversing the one or more physical features of the environment, the hydraulic drive system may adjust pressure of supplied hydraulic fluid from the first pressure to the predicted hydraulic pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2017
    Assignee: Boston Dynamics, Inc.
    Inventors: John Aaron Saunders, Michael Murphy, Steven D. Potter
  • Publication number: 20170191505
    Abstract: An actuation pressure to actuate one or more hydraulic actuators may be determined based on a load on the one or more hydraulic actuators of a robotic device. Based on the determined actuation pressure, a pressure rail from among a set of pressure rails at respective pressures may be selected. One or more valves may connect the selected pressure rail to a metering valve. The hydraulic drive system may operate in a discrete mode in which the metering valve opens such that hydraulic fluid flows from the selected pressure rail through the metering valve to the one or more hydraulic actuators at approximately the supply pressure. Responsive to a control state of the robotic device, the hydraulic drive system may operate in a continuous mode in which the metering valve throttles the hydraulic fluid such that the supply pressure is reduced to the determined actuation pressure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 21, 2017
    Publication date: July 6, 2017
    Inventors: Michael Murphy, John Aaron Saunders, Steven D. Potter
  • Publication number: 20170159680
    Abstract: An example valve includes a sleeve having a plurality of openings. A spool is rotatable within the sleeve and includes a respective plurality of openings corresponding to the plurality of openings of the sleeve. A rotary actuator coupled to the spool is configured for rotating the spool within the sleeve to one of at least eight rotary positions. The rotary actuator can rotate the spool to a given rotary position in a clockwise or a counter-clockwise direction to cause at least a partial alignment between a subset of the respective plurality of openings of the spool and a subset of the plurality of openings of the sleeve.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 22, 2017
    Publication date: June 8, 2017
    Applicant: Google Inc.
    Inventors: Steven D. Potter, John Aaron Saunders
  • Patent number: 9638216
    Abstract: An actuation pressure to actuate one or more hydraulic actuators may be determined based on a load on the one or more hydraulic actuators of a robotic device. Based on the determined actuation pressure, a pressure rail from among a set of pressure rails at respective pressures may be selected. One or more valves may connect the selected pressure rail to a metering valve. The hydraulic drive system may operate in a discrete mode in which the metering valve opens such that hydraulic fluid flows from the selected pressure rail through the metering valve to the one or more hydraulic actuators at approximately the supply pressure. Responsive to a control state of the robotic device, the hydraulic drive system may operate in a continuous mode in which the metering valve throttles the hydraulic fluid such that the supply pressure is reduced to the determined actuation pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2017
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Murphy, John Aaron Saunders, Steven D. Potter
  • Patent number: 9611946
    Abstract: An example valve includes a sleeve having a plurality of openings. A spool is rotatable within the sleeve and includes a respective plurality of openings corresponding to the plurality of openings of the sleeve. A rotary actuator coupled to the spool is configured for rotating the spool within the sleeve to one of at least eight rotary positions. The rotary actuator can rotate the spool to a given rotary position in a clockwise or a counter-clockwise direction to cause at least a partial alignment between a subset of the respective plurality of openings of the spool and a subset of the plurality of openings of the sleeve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2017
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventors: Steven D. Potter, John Aaron Saunders
  • Publication number: 20160348798
    Abstract: An example valve includes a sleeve having a plurality of openings configured along a length of the sleeve. A spool is rotatable within the sleeve and includes a respective plurality of openings along a length of the spool corresponding to the plurality of openings of the sleeve. A rotary actuator coupled to the spool is configured for rotating the spool within the sleeve. The rotary actuator can rotate the spool to a given rotary position in a clockwise or a counter-clockwise direction to cause at least a partial alignment between a subset of the respective plurality of openings of the spool and a subset of the plurality of openings of the sleeve.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 9, 2016
    Publication date: December 1, 2016
    Applicant: Google Inc.
    Inventors: John Aaron Saunders, Steven D. Potter
  • Patent number: 9435446
    Abstract: An example valve includes a sleeve having a plurality of openings configured along a length of the sleeve. A spool is rotatable within the sleeve and includes a respective plurality of openings along a length of the spool corresponding to the plurality of openings of the sleeve. A rotary actuator coupled to the spool is configured for rotating the spool within the sleeve. The rotary actuator can rotate the spool to a given rotary position in a clockwise or a counter-clockwise direction to cause at least a partial alignment between a subset of the respective plurality of openings of the spool and a subset of the plurality of openings of the sleeve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2016
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventors: John Aaron Saunders, Steven D. Potter
  • Patent number: 9333107
    Abstract: A brace system includes a medial brace and a lateral brace securable via cross members. Each brace has an upper portion, a lower portion, and a hinge assembly between the upper and lower portion configured to allow translation of the lower portion relative to the upper portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2016
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventors: Steven D. Potter, Christopher Everett Thorne, Michael Patrick Murphy
  • Publication number: 20160023699
    Abstract: A robotic device may traverse a path in a direction of locomotion. Sensor data indicative of one or more physical features of the environment in the direction of locomotion may be received. The implementation may further involve determining that traversing the path involves traversing the one or more physical features of the environment. Based on the sensor data indicative of the one or more physical features of the environment in the direction of locomotion, a hydraulic pressure to supply to the one or more hydraulic actuators to traverse the one or more physical features of the environment may be predicted. Before traversing the one or more physical features of the environment, the hydraulic drive system may adjust pressure of supplied hydraulic fluid from the first pressure to the predicted hydraulic pressure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 23, 2014
    Publication date: January 28, 2016
    Inventors: John Aaron Saunders, Michael Murphy, Steven D. Potter
  • Publication number: 20150051527
    Abstract: A brace system includes a medial brace and a lateral brace securable via cross members. Each brace has an upper portion, a lower portion, and a hinge assembly between the upper and lower portion configured to allow translation of the lower portion relative to the upper portion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 15, 2013
    Publication date: February 19, 2015
    Applicant: Boston Dynamics, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven D. Potter, Christopher Everett Thorne, Michael Patrick Murphy
  • Patent number: 8004127
    Abstract: A rotary reluctance motor includes a set of inner disks each having an inner diameter root, an outer diameter free end, and a plurality of alternating high permeability teeth and low permeability material segments. A set of outer disks is interleaved with the inner disks to form a disk stack. Each outer disk has an outer diameter root, an inner diameter free end, and a plurality of alternating high permeability teeth and low permeability material segments. The inner and outer disks are configured to bear against and support each other in response to axial magnetic forces. Flux return portions are disposed axially adjacent the disks at each end of the disk stack. A coil is associated with the roots of one of the sets of disks and configured to provide axial flux through the disk stack to rotate one set of disks with respect to the other set of disks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2011
    Assignee: Foster-Miller, Inc.
    Inventor: Steven D. Potter
  • Patent number: 7980335
    Abstract: An omni-directional wheel includes a hub rotatable about a wheel axis and a first row of angled rollers about the hub each rotatably supported by the hub. There is at least a second row of angled rollers about the hub each also rotatably supported by the hub. The rollers of the second row are axially offset along the wheel axis from the first row, and rotationally offset from the first row about the wheel axis, and not coaxial with the rollers of the first row.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2011
    Assignee: Foster-Miller, Inc.
    Inventor: Steven D. Potter
  • Publication number: 20100187779
    Abstract: An omni-directional wheel includes a hub rotatable about a wheel axis and a first row of angled rollers about the hub each rotatably supported by the hub. There is at least a second row of angled rollers about the hub each also rotatably supported by the hub. The rollers of the second row are axially offset along the wheel axis from the first row, and rotationally offset from the first row about the wheel axis, and not coaxial with the rollers of the first row.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 26, 2009
    Publication date: July 29, 2010
    Inventor: Steven D. Potter
  • Publication number: 20100052439
    Abstract: A rotary reluctance motor includes a set of inner disks each having an inner diameter root, an outer diameter free end, and a plurality of alternating high permeability teeth and low permeability material segments. A set of outer disks is interleaved with the inner disks to form a disk stack. Each outer disk has an outer diameter root, an inner diameter free end, and a plurality of alternating high permeability teeth and low permeability material segments. The inner and outer disks are configured to bear against and support each other in response to axial magnetic forces. Flux return portions are disposed axially adjacent the disks at each end of the disk stack. A coil is associated with the roots of one of the sets of disks and configured to provide axial flux through the disk stack to rotate one set of disks with respect to the other set of disks.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 24, 2008
    Publication date: March 4, 2010
    Inventor: Steven D. Potter
  • Publication number: 20090049757
    Abstract: A sandwich beam including in one example first and second spaced walls, a core configured to maintain a predetermined spacing between the walls when the core is filled with pressurized gas and to resist shear when the beam is loaded in bending and a port for filling the core with gas biasing both walls in tension. The tension tends to increase in the second wall and decrease and cause a compression load in the first wall in response to a sufficiently large applied bending load. A compression element is fixed only with respect to the first wall and is configured (a) to support the compression load so that the beam is stronger at a given gas pressure and (b) to flex sufficiently to allow the beam to be rolled up when the gas is emptied from the core via the port.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 8, 2008
    Publication date: February 26, 2009
    Inventor: Steven D. Potter
  • Patent number: 7218019
    Abstract: A linear reluctance motor including a stator with a set of spaced blades each extending in the direction of the actuation axis, each blade including a plurality of alternating low permeability and high permeability teeth. A shuttle also includes a set of spaced blades each extending in the direction of the actuation axis interleaved with the blades of the stator, each blade of the shuttle also including a plurality of alternating low permeability and high permeability teeth. An active component is associated with either the stator, the shuttle, or both. The active component is divided into at least N phases, each phase including a set of blades, a flux return portion, and a coil wound to produce flux through the sets of interleaved blades in a direction substantially transverse to the actuation axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2007
    Assignee: Foster-Miller, Inc
    Inventor: Steven D. Potter