Patents by Inventor Thomas Sugar

Thomas Sugar 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: 8716877
    Abstract: A method for harvesting energy from ankle motion includes coupling a generator module across an ankle joint, the generator module including a generator and an elastic member. The generator is affixed to the leg shank and at least one of the generator and the elastic member is continuously coupled to the foot across the ankle joint. Energy may be harvested in the elastic member while generating electricity with the generator from motion of the ankle joint. Alternatively, or in addition, electricity may be generated with the generator from energy harvested in the elastic member after the energy is harvested.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2014
    Inventors: Thomas Sugar, Joseph K. Hitt, Alex Boehler, Kevin Hollander, Jeffrey A. Ward
  • Patent number: 8322695
    Abstract: The present invention is a mechanical element, commonly referred to as a “Jack Spring” that is based upon the concept of adding and subtracting coils from a spring. In particular, with the method and apparatus of the present invention, by changing the number of coils in a spring, the actual or intrinsic stiffness of the spring is structurally changed. A very simple and practical method is used to adjust the number of coils. The Jack Spring actuator of the present invention is based upon adjusting the effective structure of a spring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2012
    Inventors: Thomas Sugar, Kevin Hollander
  • Publication number: 20110278857
    Abstract: A method for harvesting energy from ankle motion includes coupling a generator module across an ankle joint, the generator module including a generator and an elastic member. The generator is affixed to the leg shank and at least one of the generator and the elastic member is continuously coupled to the foot across the ankle joint. Energy may be harvested in the elastic member while generating electricity with the generator from motion of the ankle joint. Alternatively, or in addition, electricity may be generated with the generator from energy harvested in the elastic member after the energy is harvested.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 16, 2011
    Publication date: November 17, 2011
    Inventors: Thomas Sugar, Joseph K. Hitt, Alex Boehler, Kevin Hollander, Jeffrey A. Ward
  • Publication number: 20110260380
    Abstract: The present invention is a mechanical element, commonly referred to as a “Jack Spring” that is based upon the concept of adding and subtracting coils from a spring. In particular, with the method and apparatus of the present invention, by changing the number of coils in a spring, the actual or intrinsic stiffness of the spring is structurally changed. A very simple and practical method is used to adjust the number of coils. The Jack Spring actuator of the present invention is based upon adjusting the effective structure of a spring.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 3, 2011
    Publication date: October 27, 2011
    Inventors: Kevin Hollander, Thomas Sugar
  • Patent number: 7992849
    Abstract: The present invention is a mechanical element, commonly referred to as a “Jack Spring” that is based upon the concept of adding and subtracting coils from a spring. In particular, with the method and apparatus of the present invention, by changing the number of coils in a spring, the actual or intrinsic stiffness of the spring is structurally changed. A very simple and practical method is used to adjust the number of coils. The Jack Spring actuator of the present invention is based upon adjusting the effective structure of a spring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2011
    Inventors: Thomas Sugar, Kevin Hollander
  • Patent number: 7874223
    Abstract: Constant force mechanisms and adjustable constant force mechanisms are described having two movable sliders constrained along two perpendicular axes and each abutting a resilient member. The mechanisms are adapted to produce an output force that is constant for a given input force. However, when an equilibrium position of one of the two resilient members is adjusted for a given mechanism, a different output force will result. Micro-compliant mechanisms are also described in which the resilient members may be made from one or more different elastomers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2011
    Inventors: Thomas Sugar, Dhiraj R. Nahar
  • Patent number: 7527253
    Abstract: The present invention is a spring based actuator with a leaf spring having a length, width and thickness and a coil spring positioned over the leaf spring. The coil spring further comprises: a first end; a second end; and at least one force generator acting on either the first end of the coil spring and the second end of the coil spring to deflect the coil spring and the leaf spring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2009
    Assignee: Arizona Board of Regents
    Inventors: Thomas Sugar, Kevin Hollander
  • Publication number: 20070267791
    Abstract: The present invention is a mechanical element, commonly referred to as a “Jack Spring” that is based upon the concept of adding and subtracting coils from a spring. In particular, with the method and apparatus of the present invention, by changing the number of coils in a spring, the actual or intrinsic stiffness of the spring is structurally changed. A very simple and practical method is used to adjust the number of coils. The Jack Spring actuator of the present invention is based upon adjusting the effective structure of a spring.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 21, 2005
    Publication date: November 22, 2007
    Inventors: Kevin Hollander, Thomas Sugar
  • Publication number: 20070129653
    Abstract: Pneumatic muscles capable of delivering bi-directional forces are described having an actuator with a tube or bladder surrounded by a braided material mounted in parallel with a resilient spring. When the bladder is pressurized with a pneumatic source, it expands, and its length contracts. During the contraction cycle, the resilient spring is compressed and stores energy until subsequently released, which corresponds when the pressure in the bladder is released. As the spring expands, it produces an expansion force. The contraction and expansion forces are controllable using a number of configurations, including changing the equilibrium position of the resilient spring, using a different rated bladder, and using different initial pressure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 26, 2004
    Publication date: June 7, 2007
    Applicant: THOMAS SUGAR
    Inventors: Thomas Sugar, Michael Carhart
  • Publication number: 20070040312
    Abstract: The present invention is a spring based actuator with a leaf spring having a length, width and thickness and a coil spring positioned over the leaf spring. The coil spring further comprises: a first end; a second end; and at least one force generator acting on either the first end of the coil spring and the second end of the coil spring to deflect the coil spring and the leaf spring.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 9, 2006
    Publication date: February 22, 2007
    Applicant: Arizona Board of Regents
    Inventors: Thomas Sugar, Kevin Hollander
  • Publication number: 20060213305
    Abstract: Constant force mechanisms and adjustable constant force mechanisms are described having tow movable sliders constrained along two perpendicular axes and each abutting a resilient member. The mechanisms are adapted to produce an output force that is constant for a given input force. However, when an equilibrium position of one of the two resilient members is adjusted for a given mechanism, a different output force will result. Micro-compliant mechanisms are also described in which the resilient members may be made from one or more different elastomers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 26, 2004
    Publication date: September 28, 2006
    Inventors: Thomas Sugar, Dhiraj Nahar