Patents by Inventor Thomas A. Fuhlbrigge

Thomas A. Fuhlbrigge 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: 11550339
    Abstract: A tether control system for an inspection vehicle operable in a housing having a liquid medium is disclosed in the present application. The tether system includes a tether connected between the inspection vehicle and an electronic controller. A controllable buoyancy system associated with the tether is operable for moving the tether in a desired location. The controllable buoyancy system includes one or more floating bodies having a propulsion system and one or more buoyant elements having variable buoyancy capabilities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2019
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2023
    Assignee: HITACHI ENERGY SWITZERLAND AG
    Inventors: Gregory A. Cole, William J. Eakins, Daniel T. Lasko, Harshang Shah, Thomas A. Fuhlbrigge, Luiz V. Cheim, Poorvi Patel, Biao Zhang, Saumya Sharma, Andrew Salm, Sangeun Choi
  • Patent number: 11526163
    Abstract: A submersible remotely operable vehicle used for inspection of liquid cooled electrical transformers can include a number of separate cameras and sensors for mapping and navigating the internal structure of the transformer with liquid coolant remaining in the transformer. The remotely operable vehicle can be wirelessly controlled to perform various inspection functions while the number of cameras provide video streams for processing to produce a three dimensional field of view based on an observation position of the remotely operable vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2019
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2022
    Assignee: HITACHI ENERGY SWITZERLAND AG
    Inventors: Gregory A. Cole, William J. Eakins, Daniel T. Lasko, Harshang Shah, Thomas A. Fuhlbrigge, Carlos W. Morato, Luiz Cheim, Poorvi Patel, Biao Zhang, Saumya Sharma, Gregory F. Rossano
  • Patent number: 11491650
    Abstract: Robotic visualization systems and methods include running and analyzing perception algorithms and models for robotic visualization systems on multiple computing platforms to obtain a successful complete an object processing request.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2022
    Assignee: ABB Schweiz AG
    Inventors: Remus Boca, Zhou Teng, Thomas Fuhlbrigge, Magnus Wahlstrom, Johnny Holmberg
  • Patent number: 11468628
    Abstract: A submersible vehicle which includes a plurality of cameras can be used to collect visual images of an object of interest submerged in a liquid environment, such as in a tank (e.g. transformer tank). In one form the submersible vehicle is remotely operated such as an ROV or an autonomous vehicle. Image information from the submersible along with inertial measurements in some embodiments is used with a vision based modelling system to form a model of an internal object of interest in the tank. The vision based modelling system can include a number of processes to form the model such as but not limited to tracking, sparse and dense reconstruction, model generation, and rectification.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2022
    Assignee: Hitachi Energy Switzerland AG
    Inventors: Gregory Cole, William Eakins, Daniel Lasko, Harshang Shah, Thomas Fuhlbrigge, Carlos W. Morato, Biao Zhang, Luiz Cheim, Poorvi Patel, Harald Josef Staab, Saumya Sharma
  • Patent number: 11465653
    Abstract: An unmanned rail vehicle for surveillance, inspection, and/or maintenance of an industrial site is provided. The rail vehicle includes at least two carry rollers adapted for engaging on an upper rail side of a rail, wherein the center of gravity of the rail vehicle is vertically below the upper rail side; and at least one support roller connected to the chassis and adapted for rolling against a lateral rail side of the rail to laterally displace the center of gravity of the rail vehicle with respect to the upper rail side.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2022
    Assignee: ABB Schweiz AG
    Inventors: Harald Staab, William Eakins, Daniel Lasko, Thomas Fuhlbrigge, Edward Zhang, Harshang Shah, Stefan Rakuff, Gregory Cole, Gregory Rossano, Andrew Salm, Sang Choi, Remus Boca
  • Patent number: 11441958
    Abstract: Systems, methods, techniques and apparatuses of package identification are disclosed. One exemplary embodiment is a method for package identification comprising performing a set of initial inspection operations on a package; determining a portion of a plurality of possible packages based on the set of initial inspection operations and a data structure including initial inspection characteristics for the plurality of possible packages; performing a set of package movement inspection operations by moving the package using a robot; determining a set of movement characteristics based on the package movement inspection operations; and identifying which one of the portion of the plurality of possible packages corresponds to the package using the set of movement characteristics.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2022
    Assignee: ABB Schweiz AG
    Inventors: Gregory A. Cole, Thomas A. Fuhlbrigge
  • Patent number: 11440183
    Abstract: For training an object picking robot with real and simulated grasp performance data, grasp locations on an object are assigned based on object physical properties. A simulation experiment for robot grasping is performed using a first set of assigned locations. Based on simulation data from the simulation, a simulated object grasp quality of the robot is evaluated for each of the assigned locations. A first set of candidate grasp locations on the object is determined based on data representative of simulated grasp quality from the evaluation. Based on sensor data from an actual experiment for the robot grasping using each of the candidate grasp locations, an actual object grasp quality is evaluated for each of the candidate locations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2022
    Assignee: ABB Schweiz AG
    Inventors: Jinmiao Huang, Carlos Martinez, Sangeun Choi, Thomas A. Fuhlbrigge
  • Patent number: 11414164
    Abstract: An inspection vehicle operable for performing one or more maintenance and repair operations in a housing filled at least partially with a liquid medium is disclosed in the present application. The inspection vehicle includes a propulsion device operable in the liquid medium and includes at least one sensor operable for sensing and transmitting data associated therewith. A control system including an electronic controller is in electronic communication with the inspection vehicle to transmit and receive communication signals to/from the inspection vehicle. One or more maintenance tools operable with the inspection vehicle are configured to perform maintenance and/or repair operations within the liquid filled housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2022
    Assignee: Hitachi Energy Switzerland AG
    Inventors: Gregory A. Cole, William J. Eakins, Daniel T. Lasko, Harshang Shah, Thomas A. Fuhlbrigge, Luiz V. Cheim, Poorvi Patel, Biao Zhang, Saumya Sharma, Andrew Salm
  • Publication number: 20220214686
    Abstract: A system for servicing a data center using an autonomous vehicle (AV) is provided. The system comprises the AV and the AV is configured to: receive a task to perform within the data center, wherein the data center comprises a plurality of servers associated with a plurality of enterprise organizations; navigate from an initial location within the data center to a new location within the data center along a path extending through a portion of the data center, the path being determined automatically; and while navigating the path and in response to encountering a movable barrier disposed along the path, performing a procedure to bypass the movable barrier such that the AV can continue navigating along the path.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 5, 2021
    Publication date: July 7, 2022
    Applicant: ABB Schweiz AG
    Inventors: Gregory A. Cole, Harshang Shah, William J. Eakins, Saumya Sharma, Thomas A. Fuhlbrigge
  • Patent number: 11360120
    Abstract: A method and system for acquiring, manipulating and displaying inspection data obtained by sensors associated with submersible inspection vehicle within a housing having a liquid medium is disclosed in the present application. A control system including an electronic controller is operably coupled with the inspection vehicle and is configured to display data transmitted from the sensor and overlay input data from an operator on the display to facilitate real time analysis during the inspection event.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2022
    Assignee: HITACHI ENERGY SWITZERLAND AG
    Inventors: Gregory A. Cole, William J. Eakins, Daniel T. Lasko, Harshang Shah, Thomas A. Fuhlbrigge, Luiz V. Cheim, Poorvi Patel, Biao Zhang, Saumya Sharma, Sanguen Choi
  • Patent number: 11293152
    Abstract: Systems, methods, and software are provided for automated item restocking using gantry robots and establishing safety barriers for retail work operation spaces in retail store environments. Robot controllers in communication with the gantry robots and barrier robots direct the autonomous movements thereof for transferring items between customer-accessible point of sale locations and customer-inaccessible storage, and for alternately restricting and enabling access to work operation spaces, respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2022
    Assignee: ABB Schweiz AG
    Inventors: Gregory F. Rossano, Sangeun Choi, Thomas A. Fuhlbrigge
  • Patent number: 11087895
    Abstract: A launching tube for use with a liquid filled tank can be sized to accommodate a submersible vehicle for dispensing into the liquid tank. The tank can be an electrical transformer or any other liquid containing tank such as but not limited to a chemical tank. The launching tube can include a valve for insertion into a launching chamber, and a tank side valve for launching of the submersible into the tank. In one form the launching tube includes an antenna for communication with the submersible and/or a base station. The launching tube can also include a sensor such as a camera, as well as an agitator. The agitator can be used to facilitate bubble removal from the inside of the launching tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2021
    Assignee: ABB Power Grids Switzerland AG
    Inventors: Gregory A. Cole, William J. Eakins, Daniel T. Lasko, Harshang Shah, Thomas A. Fuhlbrigge, Biao Zhang, Luiz Cheim, Poorvi Patel, Gregory F. Rossano, Andrew Salm, Sanguen Choi
  • Patent number: 11027921
    Abstract: A product manipulation tool for interacting with products and containers at, for example, a retail facility can include a securing mechanism to secure an exposed portion of the container with respect to a horizontal surface such as a shelf. The product manipulation tool can also include a stabilizing device to stabilize the container with respect to the horizontal surface prior to securing the container. The product manipulation tool can also include a support structure for insertion underneath the container to support the load. The stabilizing mechanism may lift or tilt the container prior to insertion of the support structure. In an example, the product manipulation tool may be disposed on a mobile unit configured for locomotion about the retail facility.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2021
    Assignee: ABB Schweiz AG
    Inventors: Gregory A. Cole, Harald Staab, Thomas A. Fuhlbrigge, Carlos Martinez, Sangeun Choi, Gregory F. Rossano, Jianjun Wang
  • Publication number: 20210167609
    Abstract: A protective arrangement for an electric vehicle charging system includes a floor unit forming a recess and a linkage disposed in the recess. The linkage is extendable from the recess from a stowed position to an extended position. A cleaning device is disposed to discourage accumulation of debris into the recess and on the linkage when the linkage is in the stowed position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 12, 2021
    Publication date: June 3, 2021
    Applicant: ABB Schweiz AG
    Inventors: Sangeun Choi, William J. Eakins, Gregory A. Cole, Martin Krucinski, Thomas A. Fuhlbrigge
  • Patent number: 11014465
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for automatic charging of electric vehicles in which a plug head of a charging unit is automatically received in a receiving compartment of a vehicle charger actuation device. A push wall of the vehicle charger actuation device is displaced into contact the plug head in a manner that facilitates rotation of the plug head into angular alignment with the plug head receptacle. The charging unit can align a position of the plug head with the plug head receptacle such that continued displacement of the push wall displaces the plug head to a position at which the plug head is electrically coupled to the plug head receptacle. After a charging event, the push wall moves away from the plug head receptacle and engages a pull rod that is coupled to a pin skirt such that the pin skirt is displaced in a direction that ejects the plug head from the plug head receptacle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2021
    Assignee: ABB Schweiz AG
    Inventors: Gregory A. Cole, Thomas A. Fuhlbrigge, Martin Krucinski, Alex Riley, William J. Eakins, Sang Choi
  • Publication number: 20210086640
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for automatic charging of electric vehicles in which a plug head of a charging unit is automatically received in a receiving compartment of a vehicle charger actuation device. A push wall of the vehicle charger actuation device is displaced into contact the plug head in a manner that facilitates rotation of the plug head into angular alignment with the plug head receptacle. The charging unit can align a position of the plug head with the plug head receptacle such that continued displacement of the push wall displaces the plug head to a position at which the plug head is electrically coupled to the plug head receptacle. After a charging event, the push wall moves away from the plug head receptacle and engages a pull rod that is coupled to a pin skirt such that the pin skirt is displaced in a direction that ejects the plug head from the plug head receptacle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 24, 2019
    Publication date: March 25, 2021
    Inventors: Gregory A. Cole, Thomas A. Fuhlbrigge, Martin Krucinski, Alex Riley, William J. Eakins, Sang Choi
  • Publication number: 20210086639
    Abstract: A charging station for automatically conductively charging an electric vehicle having an underbody receptacle cavity is provided. When charging, the charging station and the electric vehicle may spaced apart by a linear distance. Other alignment discrepancies may also exist between the electric vehicle and the charging station. To traverse the linear distance and align and insert the plug into the receptacle, the charging station may be capable of moving in multiple translational degrees of freedom.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 23, 2019
    Publication date: March 25, 2021
    Applicant: ABB Schweiz AG
    Inventors: Stefan Rakuff, Martin Krucinski, Gregory A. Cole, Thomas A. Fuhlbrigge
  • Publication number: 20210086641
    Abstract: Devices, methods and software for automated electrical connector positioning for electric vehicle (EV) charging are provided. Using, for example, the disclosed automatic charging device, a method for charging an EV includes determining receipt of an EV-side electrical connector to a charging zone of an EV charging environment. The method includes actuating a charger-side electrical connector from an initial position outside of the charging zone to a final position inside of the charging zone. The final position corresponds to the charger-side electrical connector matingly engaged with the EV-side electrical connector.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 23, 2019
    Publication date: March 25, 2021
    Applicant: ABB Schweiz AG
    Inventors: Thomas A. Fuhlbrigge, Gregory A. Cole, William J. Eakins, Stefan Rakuff, Harshang Shah, Sangeun Choi, Martin Krucinski
  • Patent number: 10951044
    Abstract: A protective arrangement for an electric vehicle charging system includes a floor unit forming a recess and a linkage disposed in the recess. The linkage is extendable from the recess from a stowed position to an extended position. A cleaning device is disposed to discourage accumulation of debris into the recess and on the linkage when the linkage is in the stowed position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2021
    Assignee: ABB Schweiz AG
    Inventors: Sangeun Choi, William J. Eakins, Gregory A. Cole, Martin Krucinski, Thomas A. Fuhlbrigge
  • Publication number: 20210053455
    Abstract: Systems and method for underside charging of electric vehicles (EVs) are provided. With the EV positioned in a charging environment having a ground surface, a floor unit device actuates an electrical connector toward a charge receptacle of an EV vehicle unit, and the vehicle unit actuates the charge receptacle toward the electrical connector. The actuation facilitates coupling between the connector and the charge receptacle. A flow of electrical current is initiated through the coupled connector and charge receptacle to charge the EV power storage device. Upon completion of the EV charging process, the electrical connector and the charge receptacle are actuated away from one another to facilitate decoupling therebetween.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 21, 2019
    Publication date: February 25, 2021
    Applicant: ABB Schweiz AG
    Inventors: Thomas A. Fuhlbrigge, Gregory A. Cole, William J. Eakins, Sangeun Choi, Martin Krucinski