Patents by Inventor W. Thor Zollinger

W. Thor Zollinger 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: 5819863
    Abstract: A vehicle for carrying an object of interest across a supporting surface including a frame having opposite first and second ends; a first pair of wheels fixedly mounted on the first end of the frame; a second pair of wheels pivotally mounted on the second end of the frame; and a pair of motors borne by the frame, each motor disposed in driving relation relative to one of the pairs of wheels, the motors propelling the vehicle across the supporting surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1998
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Idaho Technologies Company
    Inventors: W. Thor Zollinger, Todd A. Ferrante
  • Patent number: 5794718
    Abstract: An impact boring head may comprise a main body having an internal cavity with a front end and a rear end. A striker having a head end and a tail end is slidably mounted in the internal cavity of the main body so that the striker can be reciprocated between a forward position and an aft position in response to hydraulic pressure. A compressible gas contained in the internal cavity between the head end of the striker and the front end of the internal cavity returns the striker to the aft position upon removal of the hydraulic pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 18, 1998
    Assignee: Lockheed Idaho Technologies Company
    Inventors: W. Thor Zollinger, Edward W. Reutzel
  • Patent number: 5758731
    Abstract: A tether puller for advancing a tether through a channel may include a bellows assembly having a leading end fixedly attached to the tether at a first position and a trailing end fixedly attached to the tether at a second position so that the leading and trailing ends of the bellows assembly are located a substantially fixed distance apart. The bellows assembly includes a plurality of independently inflatable elements each of which may be separately inflated to an extended position and deflated to a retracted position. Each of the independently inflatable elements expands radially and axially upon inflation. An inflation system connected to the independently inflatable elements inflates and deflates selected ones of the independently inflatable elements to cause the bellows assembly to apply a tractive force to the tether and advance it in the channel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 2, 1998
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Idaho Technologies Company
    Inventor: W. Thor Zollinger
  • Patent number: 5433236
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for controllably moving devices for cleaning or inspection through piping systems, including piping systems with numerous piping bends therein, by using hydrostatic pressure of a working fluid introduced into the piping system. The apparatus comprises a reservoir or other source for supplying the working fluid to the piping system, a launch tube for admitting the device into the launcher and a reversible, positive displacement pump for controlling the direction and flow rate of the working fluid. The device introduced into the piping system moves with the flow of the working fluid through the piping system. The launcher attaches to the valved ends of a piping system so that fluids in the piping system can recirculate in a closed loop.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 18, 1995
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: W. Thor Zollinger, D. Keith Appel, Gregory W. Lewis
  • Patent number: 5285689
    Abstract: An instrument carriage for inspection of piping comprises front and rear leg assemblies for engaging the interior of the piping and supporting and centering the carriage therein, and an instrumentation arm carried by a shaft system running from the front to rear leg assemblies. The shaft system has a screw shaft for moving the arm axially and a spline gear for moving the arm azimuthally. The arm has a pair of air cylinders that raise and lower a plate in the radial direction. On the plate are probes including an eddy current probe and an ultrasonic testing probe. The ultrasonic testing probe is capable of spinning about its axis. The instrument carriage uses servo motors and pressurized air cylinders for precise actuation of instrument components and precise, repeatable actuation of position control mechanisms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 1991
    Date of Patent: February 15, 1994
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: Mark Hapstack, Ted R. Talarek, W. Thor Zollinger, Frank M. Heckendorn, II, Larry R. Park
  • Patent number: 5148573
    Abstract: An apparatus for connecting a cleaning tool to a robotic manipulator so that the tool can be used in contaminated areas on horizontal, vertical and sloped surfaces. The apparatus comprises a frame and a handle, with casters on the frame to facilitate movement. The handle is pivotally and releasibly attached to the frame at a preselected position of a plurality of attachment positions. The apparatus is specifically configured for the KELLY VACUUM SYSTEM but can be modified for use with any standard mobile robot and cleaning tool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 1991
    Date of Patent: September 22, 1992
    Inventors: Mark A. Killian, W. Thor Zollinger