Patents by Inventor Umesh N. Gandhi

Umesh N. Gandhi 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: 11932736
    Abstract: A non-woven carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) composite object is formed by the variable frequency microwave (VFM) irradiation of a mixed fiber sheet of thermoplastic fibers, carbon fibers and wavy carbon nanotubes (CNTs). The mixed fiber sheets are prepared from a slurry of the thermoplastic fibers, carbon fibers, and wavy CNTs such that the wavy CNTs contact the carbon fibers and thermoplastic fibers. Upon irradiation with VFM radiation, the wavy CNTs generate heat and transfer the heat to the thermoplastic fibers, causing melting of the thermoplastic to form the matrix of the CFRTP composite object. The mixed fiber sheets can be combined alone or with other sheets to form laminar composites that are molded into objects and heated by VFM irradiation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2021
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2024
    Assignees: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc., Vanderbilt University
    Inventors: Yuyang Song, Umesh N. Gandhi, Piran R. Kidambi
  • Publication number: 20240084788
    Abstract: A soft actuator includes an origami structure with an inflatable hollow body formed from at least one of Dyneema fabric or Kevlar fabric, and a plurality of TCPAs formed from at least one of polyethylene terephthalate, spandex, and nylon. The soft actuator also includes a plurality of heating wires disposed on the plurality of TCPAs and a controller configured to selectively heat the plurality of heating wires such that the plurality of TCPAs are selectively actuated by being heated by the plurality of heating wires.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 9, 2022
    Publication date: March 14, 2024
    Applicants: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc., Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yuyang Song, Shinnosuke Shimokawa, Danil V. Prokhorov, Umesh N. Gandhi
  • Patent number: 11927236
    Abstract: A rotating machine system include a rotating machine. The rotating machine system can include a housing. The housing can include an inner surface. The housing can surround at least a portion of the rotating machine. The inner surface of the housing can be spaced from the rotating machine such that a space is defined therebetween. The rotating machine system can include a plurality of vibration isolators. The vibration isolators can be positioned in the space and can be operatively connected to the rotating machine and to the inner surface of the housing. The vibration isolators can be compression-type vibration isolators.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2021
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2024
    Assignee: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
    Inventors: Umesh N. Gandhi, Paul A. Gilmore, Ryohei Tsuruta, Brian J. Pinkelman
  • Patent number: 11897379
    Abstract: A vehicle seat can be configured to provide support to a vehicle occupant in conditions when lateral acceleration is experienced. Shape memory material members can be operatively positioned with respect to a seat portion of the vehicle seat. The shape memory material members can be selectively activated by an activation input. When activated, the shape memory material members can engage a seat pan so as to cause the seat pan to tilt in a respective lateral direction. As a result, a seat cushion supported by the seat pan can also tilt in the respective lateral direction. The seat cushion can be tilted in a lateral direction that is opposite to the direction of the lateral acceleration. Thus, the effects of lateral acceleration felt by a seat occupant can be reduced. The shape memory material members can be selectively activated based on vehicle speed, steering angle, and/or lateral acceleration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2021
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2024
    Assignee: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
    Inventors: Ryohei Tsuruta, Brian J. Pinkelman, Umesh N. Gandhi, Paul A. Gilmore
  • Publication number: 20240043080
    Abstract: A bicycle saddle system can include a saddle body. The system can include a vibration isolator including a stack of a plurality of conical springs. An intermediate structure can be operatively positioned between the saddle body and the vibration isolator. In some instances, the vibration isolator can be located within a portion of the bicycle frame. In some instances, the vibration isolator can be configured to exhibit a non-linear stiffness profile including a region of quasi-zero stiffness. The system can be used to provide improved vibration isolation performance when using a bicycle saddle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 21, 2023
    Publication date: February 8, 2024
    Inventors: Paul A. Gilmore, Umesh N. Gandhi, Ryohei Tsuruta, Michael Paul Rowe, Christian Arthur Trager, Brian J. Pinkelman
  • Patent number: 11884240
    Abstract: A system for using an electrostatic force to cause an object to adhere to a surface of a vehicle can include an electrode and a device. The electrode can be configured to be disposed within a structure of the vehicle. The structure can define the surface. A shape of the electrode can define a shape of a region of the surface. The device can be configured to connect the electrode to a voltage source so that, at a time at which the electrode is connected to the voltage source, an electric charge is produced on the electrode to produce the electrostatic force capable of causing the object to adhere to the surface. For example, the surface can include a dashboard, a dashboard vent frame, a sunglasses holder cover, or the like. For example, the object can include a mobile device, a cup, a pair of sunglasses, or the like.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2021
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2024
    Assignee: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
    Inventors: Ryohei Tsuruta, Shailesh N. Joshi, Umesh N. Gandhi
  • Patent number: 11850980
    Abstract: A vehicle seat assembly includes a seat frame, a seat pan, and a plurality of vibration isolators interposed between the seat frame and the seat pan for limiting transmission of vibrations from the seat frame to the seat pan.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2021
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2023
    Assignee: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul A Gilmore, Umesh N. Gandhi, Ryohei Tsuruta, Brian J. Pinkelman
  • Patent number: 11827299
    Abstract: A vibration isolator cartridge can be configured to exhibit a non-linear stiffness profile. The non-linear stiffness profile including a region of quasi-zero stiffness. The vibration isolator cartridge can include a housing. The vibration isolator cartridge can include a plunger. The plunger can be configured to be depressed toward a distal end portion of the housing. The vibration isolator cartridge can include a plurality of spring members operatively positioned within the housing between the plunger and the distal end portion of the housing. The plurality of spring elements can be arranged in a stack. The vibration isolator cartridge can be used to provide improved vibration isolation performance in various applications, such as a bicycle saddle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2023
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2023
    Assignee: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, inc.
    Inventors: Paul A. Gilmore, Christian Arthur Trager, Umesh N. Gandhi, Ryohei Tsuruta, Michael Paul Rowe
  • Patent number: 11752901
    Abstract: A vehicle seat can be configured to provide support to a vehicle occupant in conditions when lateral acceleration is experienced. Shape memory material members can be operatively positioned with respect to a seat portion of the vehicle seat. The shape memory material members can be selectively activated by an activation input. When activated, the shape memory material members can engage a seat pan so as to cause the seat pan to tilt in a respective lateral direction. As a result, a seat cushion supported by the seat pan can also tilt in the respective lateral direction. The seat cushion can be tilted in a lateral direction that is opposite to the direction of the lateral acceleration. Thus, the effects of lateral acceleration felt by a seat occupant can be reduced. The shape memory material members can be selectively activated based on vehicle speed, steering angle, and/or lateral acceleration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2023
    Assignees: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc., Miga Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Umesh N. Gandhi, Brian J. Pinkelman, Ryohei Tsuruta, Mark A. Gummin
  • Patent number: 11732735
    Abstract: A soft actuator includes an inflation chamber. The inflation chamber has a first end and a second end opposite the first end. The inflation chamber is inflatable during an inflation stage, in which the second end rotates toward the first end about a folding axis, and is operable to be loaded during an inflated stage, in which the inflation chamber is inflated. The soft actuator also includes a variable-stiffness hinge located between the first end and the second end along the folding axis. The variable-stiffness hinge has a decreased stiffness in the inflation stage and an increased stiffness in the inflated stage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2021
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2023
    Assignee: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
    Inventors: Yuyang Song, Ryohei Tsuruta, Umesh N. Gandhi
  • Patent number: 11731721
    Abstract: A saddle for a bicycle can be configured to provide improved vibration isolation performance. The saddle can include a saddle body. The saddle can include a plurality of isolators. The plurality of isolators can be operatively connected to the saddle body. Each of the plurality of isolators can include a stack of a plurality of conical springs. The stack of the plurality of conical springs does not include a central shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2022
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2023
    Assignee: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul A. Gilmore, Umesh N. Gandhi, Ryohei Tsuruta, Brian J. Pinkelman
  • Patent number: 11702015
    Abstract: A cargo organizer is constructed from one or more bi-stable strips with at least one shape memory alloy (SMA) actuator per bi-stable strip. The cargo organizer can reside in the bi-stable strips elongated (flat) stable state and require little or no volume of the cargo compartment that it resides. Upon actuating a SMA actuator, the rapid conversion to the curved stable state can occur with the formation of a barrier to partition the cargo compartment into at least to portions. The transformation into the flat stable state removes the partition where the transformation can be via a second SMA actuator or manually. The cargo organizer can be incorporated into the cargo compartment in a manner that it translates from one site and orientation to one or more other sites or orientations by activation an actuator that can be an additional SMA actuator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2021
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2023
    Assignee: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
    Inventors: Brian J. Pinkelman, Umesh N. Gandhi, Ryohei Tsuruta, Paul A. Gilmore
  • Publication number: 20230219646
    Abstract: A vibration isolator cartridge can be configured to exhibit a non-linear stiffness profile. The non-linear stiffness profile including a region of quasi-zero stiffness. The vibration isolator cartridge can include a housing. The vibration isolator cartridge can include a plunger. The plunger can be configured to be depressed toward a distal end portion of the housing. The vibration isolator cartridge can include a plurality of spring members operatively positioned within the housing between the plunger and the distal end portion of the housing. The plurality of spring elements can be arranged in a stack. The vibration isolator cartridge can be used to provide improved vibration isolation performance in various applications, such as a bicycle saddle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 30, 2023
    Publication date: July 13, 2023
    Inventors: Paul A. Gilmore, Christian Arthur Trager, Umesh N. Gandhi, Ryohei Tsuruta, Michael Paul Rowe
  • Publication number: 20230191953
    Abstract: An actuator includes a first hinge assembly and a second hinge assembly. The actuator has a first dimension and a second dimension, the first dimension extending through the hinge assemblies. An outer skin is connected to the hinge assemblies. The outer skin defines a first actuator side, a second actuator side residing opposite the first actuator side, and a cavity. Shape-memory material (SMM) members are connected to the opposed hinge assemblies. At least one spring member is positioned within the cavity and structured to exert forces on the opposed first and second actuator sides tending to urge the sides away from each other along the second dimension. When an input is provided to the SMM members, the SMM members change their configurations and cause the actuator to morph into an activated configuration in which the first dimension decreases and the second dimension changes inversely to the first dimension.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 17, 2021
    Publication date: June 22, 2023
    Applicants: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc., Miga Technologies, LLC.
    Inventors: Shardul Singh Panwar, Umesh N. Gandhi, Brian J. Pinkelman, Ryohei Tsuruta, Mark A. Gummin, Eric D. Smith, Mark E. Smith
  • Patent number: 11649870
    Abstract: A vibration isolator includes a first conical disc spring member having a first end and a second end. A first-end spacer in contact with the first spring member first end, and a second-end spacer in contact with the first spring member second end. A second conical disc spring member has a first end and a second end. The second spring member first end is in contact with the first-end spacer. Another second-end spacer is in contact with the second spring member second end. A flexible housing of the isolator defines an interior. The housing is in contact with and extends between the second-end spacer and the other second-end spacer so that the first-end spacer and the first and second spring members are received in the housing interior. The housing includes a plurality of spaced-apart through holes formed therealong between the second-end spacer and the other second-end spacer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2021
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2023
    Assignee: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America
    Inventors: Paul A. Gilmore, Umesh N. Gandhi, Ryohei Tsuruta, Brian J. Pinkelman
  • Patent number: 11649808
    Abstract: A multi-stable actuator includes a first superelastic-shape memory alloy (SE-SMA) wire extending between a first fixed support and a movable element and a second SE-SMA wire extending between a second fixed support and the movable element. The first SE-SMA wire is in tension against the second SE-SMA wire and the second SE-SMA wire is in tension against the first SE-SMA wire. The multi-stable actuator also includes at least one heating device configured to heat the first SE-SMA wire independent of the second SE-SMA wire and to heat the second SE-SMA wire independent of the first SE-SMA wire such that the movable element moves between and to at least three fixed positions without use of a brake or clutch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2021
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2023
    Assignees: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc., MIGA Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Ryohei Tsuruta, Umesh N. Gandhi, Shardul Singh Panwar, Paul A. Gilmore, Brian J. Pinkelman, Mark A. Gummin, Brian J. Stasey
  • Patent number: 11643202
    Abstract: Systems, methods, and other embodiments described herein relate to a drone having selectively actuated arms. In one embodiment, a drone includes arms connected to a body. Individual ones of the arms have a first end and a second end with the first end forming a connection with the body. The drone further includes rotor units individually including a propeller attached to a motor and mounted to the second end of the individual ones of the arms. Additionally, actuator units are integrated with the arms. Individual ones of the actuator units include electromagnetic cells that when activated induce an electromagnetic motive force that flexes the arms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2023
    Assignee: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
    Inventors: Yuyang Song, Taehwa Lee, Hideo Iizuka, Umesh N. Gandhi
  • Publication number: 20230136197
    Abstract: Vibration isolation for vehicle seat components can be provided and/or can be adjustable. A vehicle seat can include a seat portion. The seat portion can include a seat cushion and/or a seat pan. In some arrangements, one or more shape memory material members can be provided. The seat cushion can be supported by the one or more shape memory material members. The one or more shape memory material members can be configured to have selectively variable stiffness. In some arrangements, one or more super elastic wires can be provided. The one or more super elastic wires can be operatively connected to one or more structures such that the seat pan is suspended on the one or more super elastic wires.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 29, 2021
    Publication date: May 4, 2023
    Applicants: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc., Miga Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Paul A. Gilmore, Umesh N. Gandhi, Ryohei Tsuruta, Brian J. Pinkelman, Mark A. Gummin, Brian J. Stasey
  • Publication number: 20230120436
    Abstract: A vehicle seat can be configured to provide support to a vehicle occupant in conditions when lateral acceleration is experienced. Shape memory material members can be operatively positioned with respect to a seat portion of the vehicle seat. The shape memory material members can be selectively activated by an activation input. When activated, the shape memory material members can engage a seat pan so as to cause the seat pan to tilt in a respective lateral direction. As a result, a seat cushion supported by the seat pan can also tilt in the respective lateral direction. The seat cushion can be tilted in a lateral direction that is opposite to the direction of the lateral acceleration. Thus, the effects of lateral acceleration felt by a seat occupant can be reduced. The shape memory material members can be selectively activated based on vehicle speed, steering angle, and/or lateral acceleration.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 20, 2021
    Publication date: April 20, 2023
    Inventors: Ryohei Tsuruta, Brian J. Pinkelman, Umesh N. Gandhi, Paul A. Gilmore
  • Publication number: 20230124526
    Abstract: A multi-stable actuator includes a first superelastic-shape memory alloy (SE-SMA) wire extending between a first fixed support and a movable element and a second SE-SMA wire extending between a second fixed support and the movable element. The first SE-SMA wire is in tension against the second SE-SMA wire and the second SE-SMA wire is in tension against the first SE-SMA wire. The multi-stable actuator also includes at least one heating device configured to heat the first SE-SMA wire independent of the second SE-SMA wire and to heat the second SE-SMA wire independent of the first SE-SMA wire such that the movable element moves between and to at least three fixed positions without use of a brake or clutch.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 20, 2021
    Publication date: April 20, 2023
    Applicants: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc., Miga Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Ryohei Tsuruta, Umesh N. Gandhi, Shardul Singh Panwar, Paul A. Gilmore, Brian J. Pinkelman, Mark A. Gummin, Brian J. Stasey