Patents by Inventor William T. Townsend

William T. Townsend 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).

  • Publication number: 20190282425
    Abstract: A robotic device for operation in association with an appendage of a user, wherein the appendage of the user has an endpoint, the robotic device comprising: a base; and a robotic arm attached to the base and having an endpoint, the robotic arm having at least two active degrees of freedom relative to the base and being configured so that when the base is appropriately positioned relative to a user, the reference frame of the robotic device is oriented generally similarly to the reference frame of the user and motions of the endpoint of the appendage of the user are mimicked by motions of the endpoint of the robotic arm.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 20, 2018
    Publication date: September 19, 2019
    Inventors: William T. Townsend, David Wilkinson, Alexander Jenko, Julian Leland, Arvind Ananthanarayanan, James Patton
  • Patent number: 10130546
    Abstract: A robotic device for operation in association with an appendage of a user, wherein the appendage of the user has an endpoint, the robotic device including: a base; and a robotic arm attached to the base and having an endpoint, the robotic arm having at least two active degrees of freedom relative to the base and being configured so that when the base is appropriately positioned relative to a user, the reference frame of the robotic device is oriented generally similarly to the reference frame of the user and motions of the endpoint of the appendage of the user are mimicked by motions of the endpoint of the robotic arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2018
    Assignee: Barrett Technology, LLC
    Inventors: William T. Townsend, David Wilkinson, Alexander Jenko, Julian Leland, Arvind Ananthanarayanan, James Patton
  • Publication number: 20160367428
    Abstract: A robotic device for operation in association with an appendage of a user, wherein the appendage of the user has an endpoint, the robotic device including: a base; and a robotic arm attached to the base and having an endpoint, the robotic arm having at least two active degrees of freedom relative to the base and being configured so that when the base is appropriately positioned relative to a user, the reference frame of the robotic device is oriented generally similarly to the reference frame of the user and motions of the endpoint of the appendage of the user are mimicked by motions of the endpoint of the robotic arm.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 29, 2014
    Publication date: December 22, 2016
    Inventors: William T. Townsend, David Wilkinson, Alexander Jenko, Julian Leland, Arvind Ananthanarayanan, James Patton
  • Patent number: 9020644
    Abstract: An end effector controller that is gripped by an operator in one hand, including a pistol-grip housing configured to fit in the palm of an operator's hand when gripped and having mounted thereon a plurality of switching mechanisms with pivoting, dual-acting switch triggers each configured for independent actuation by multiple fingers of the hand when said controller is gripped, and a method for controlling a robotic end effector remotely using the operator hand-gripped controller, the method including switching between preset operating modes of the end effector using a single, control input element, easily actuated by a finger in the operator's gripping hand; and providing continuous fine adjustment between preset modes using a second, control input element also easily actuated by a finger on the operator's gripping hand.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2015
    Assignee: Barrett Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel Greeley, Daniel Fourie, Bryce Lee, Yevgeniy Kozlenko, David Wilkinson, William T. Townsend
  • Publication number: 20150050111
    Abstract: A mobile manipulation system comprising: a base; at least one mobility component mounted to said base for rendering said base mobile; a platform; at least one robotic manipulator arm mounted to said platform; and an elevator mechanism movably supporting said platform on said base.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 18, 2014
    Publication date: February 19, 2015
    Inventor: William T. Townsend
  • Patent number: 8858374
    Abstract: A mechanism for pretensioning a cable, or like tension element, of a tension-element drive selectively engages the motor drives of the cable for pretensioning. The mechanism uses a sleeve on which a portion of the cable is wound, with another portion of the cable wound in an opposed direction on a drive shaft on the motor. A clutch connects the sleeve to the motor output shaft. An initiator mechanism selectively stops rotation of the sleeve and the cable portion wound on the sleeve while allowing the motor torque to act on the other end of the cable wound on the drive shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 14, 2014
    Assignee: Barrett Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: William T. Townsend
  • Publication number: 20120041599
    Abstract: This invention enables the affordability of an elaborate, high-performance teleoperator master controller while encouraging continual operator training by supporting a teleoperator system in which one centralized master controller controls multiple field slaves sequentially.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 11, 2011
    Publication date: February 16, 2012
    Inventors: William T. Townsend, David Wilkinson, Brian Zenowich
  • Publication number: 20120041595
    Abstract: A pistol-grip controller for the control of a robotic or virtual hand has multiple dual-action switching mechanisms positioned to simulate intuitively the motion of grasping and releasing an object. An externally-projecting switch trigger of each switching mechanism is hook-shaped to facilitate the operator donning and doffing the controller. These switches move in response to gripping and releasing movements of the associated fingers so as to close or open peripherals (fingers) of the end effector hand. A rocker switch allows an operator to toggle conveniently between commonly used modes of a virtual or robot hand, or the like. The mode toggling is complemented by a control to adjust between the commonly used modes of operation. To make the manipulation of the end effector more intuitive, the controller remaps the switching mechanisms to different functionalities on the end effector based on the mode of operation. The transition between switch to end effector mappings is hysteretic.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 11, 2011
    Publication date: February 16, 2012
    Inventors: Daniel Greeley, Daniel Fourie, Bryce Lee, Yevgeniy Kozlenko, David Wilkinson, William T. Townsend
  • Patent number: 8052857
    Abstract: A robotic device has a base and at least one finger having at least two links that are connected in series on rotary joints with at least two degrees of freedom. A brushless motor and an associated controller are located at each joint to produce a rotational movement of a link. Wires for electrical power and communication serially connect the controllers in a distributed control network. A network operating controller coordinates the operation of the network, including power distribution. At least one, but more typically two to five, wires interconnect all the controllers through one or more joints. Motor sensors and external world sensors monitor operating parameters of the robotic hand. The electrical signal output of the sensors can be input anywhere on the distributed control network. V-grooves on the robotic hand locate objects precisely and assist in gripping. The hand is sealed, immersible and has electrical connections through the rotary joints for anodizing in a single dunk without masking.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2011
    Assignee: Barrett Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: William T. Townsend
  • Patent number: 7893644
    Abstract: Featured is a controller for a motor that is ultra-compact, with a power density of at least about 20 watts per cubic cm (W/cm3). The controller utilizes a common ground for power circuitry, which energizes the windings of the motor, and the signal circuitry, which controls this energization responsive to signals from one or more sensors. Also, the ground is held at a stable potential without galvanic isolation. The circuits, their components and connectors are sized and located to minimize their inductance and heat is dissipated by conduction to the controller's exterior such as by a thermally conductive and electrically insulating material (e.g., potable epoxy). The controller uses a single current sensor for plural windings and preferably a single heat sensor within the controller. The body of the controller can also function as the sole plug connector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2011
    Assignee: Barrett Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: William T. Townsend, Adam Crowell, Gill Pratt, Traveler Hauptman
  • Publication number: 20090295317
    Abstract: Featured is a controller for a motor that is ultra-compact, with a power density of at least about 20 watts per cubic cm (W/cm3). The controller utilizes a common ground for power circuitry, which energizes the windings of the motor, and the signal circuitry, which controls this energization responsive to signals from one or more sensors. Also, the ground is held at a stable potential without galvanic isolation. The circuits, their components and connectors are sized and located to minimize their inductance and heat is dissipated by conduction to the controller's exterior such as by a thermally conductive and electrically insulating material (e.g., potable epoxy). The controller uses a single current sensor for plural windings and preferably a single heat sensor within the controller. The body of the controller can also function as the sole plug connector.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 30, 2009
    Publication date: December 3, 2009
    Applicant: Barrett Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: William T. Townsend, Adam Crowell, Gill Pratt, Traveler Hauptman
  • Publication number: 20090289584
    Abstract: Featured is a controller for a motor that is ultra-compact, with a power density of at least about 20 watts per cubic cm (W/cm3). The controller utilizes a common ground for power circuitry, which energizes the windings of the motor, and the signal circuitry, which controls this energization responsive to signals from one or more sensors. Also, the ground is held at a stable potential without galvanic isolation. The circuits, their components and connectors are sized and located to minimize their inductance and heat is dissipated by conduction to the controller's exterior such as by a thermally conductive and electrically insulating material (e.g., potable epoxy). The controller uses a single current sensor for plural windings and preferably a single heat sensor within the controller. The body of the controller can also function as the sole plug connector.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 30, 2009
    Publication date: November 26, 2009
    Applicant: Barrett Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: William T. Townsend, Adam Crowell, Gill Pratt, Traveler Hauptman
  • Patent number: 7511443
    Abstract: Featured is a controller for a motor that is ultra-compact, with a power density of at least about 20 watts per cubic cm (W/cm3). The controller utilizes a common ground for power circuitry, which energizes the windings of the motor, and the signal circuitry, which controls this energization responsive to signals from one or more sensors. Also, the ground is held at a stable potential without galvanic isolation. The circuits, their components and connectors are sized and located to minimize their inductance and heat is dissipated by conduction to the controller's exterior such as by a thermally conductive and electrically insulating material (e.g., potable epoxy). The controller uses a single current sensor for plural windings and preferably a single heat sensor within the controller. The body of the controller can also function as the sole plug connector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2009
    Assignee: Barrett Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: William T. Townsend, Adam Crowell, Gill Pratt, Traveler Hauptman
  • Patent number: 7168748
    Abstract: A robotic device has a base and at least one finger having at least two links that are connected in series on rotary joints with at least two degrees of freedom. A brushless motor and an associated controller are located at each joint to produce a rotational movement of a link. Wires for electrical power and communication serially connect the controllers in a distributed control network. A network operating controller coordinates the operation of the network, including power distribution. At least one, but more typically two to five, wires interconnect all the controllers through one or more joints. Motor sensors and external world sensors monitor operating parameters of the robotic hand. The electrical signal output of the sensors can be input anywhere on the distributed control network. V-grooves on the robotic hand locate objects precisely and assist in gripping. The hand is sealed, immersible and has electrical connections through the rotary joints for anodizing in a single dunk without masking.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2007
    Assignee: Barrett Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: William T. Townsend, Traveler Hauptman, Adam Crowell, Brian Zenowich, John Lawson, Vitaliy Krutik, Burt Doo
  • Publication number: 20040103740
    Abstract: A robotic device has a base and at least one finger having at least two links that are connected in series on rotary joints with at least two degrees of freedom. A brushless motor and an associated controller are located at each joint to produce a rotational movement of a link. Wires for electrical power and communication serially connect the controllers in a distributed control network. A network operating controller coordinates the operation of the network, including power distribution. At least one, but more typically two to five, wires interconnect all the controllers through one or more joints. Motor sensors and external world sensors monitor operating parameters of the robotic hand. The electrical signal output of the sensors can be input anywhere on the distributed control network. V-grooves on the robotic hand locate objects precisely and assist in gripping. The hand is sealed, immersible and has electrical connections through the rotary joints for anodizing in a single dunk without masking.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 26, 2003
    Publication date: June 3, 2004
    Inventors: William T. Townsend, Traveler Hauptman, Adam Crowell, Brian Zenowich, John Lawson, Vitaliy Krutik, Burt Doo
  • Patent number: 5755645
    Abstract: A passive exercise apparatus includes an interface member for coupling to a user's limb. An arm member is coupled to the interface member by a wrist joint. The wrist joint has rotational motion about three axes. A first link is coupled to the arm member by a sliding joint. The sliding joint allows translational motion of the arm member relative to the first link. A second link is rotatably coupled to the first link by a first rotary joint. A third link is rotatably coupled to the second link by a second rotary joint. A first brake is coupled to the first rotary joint for resisting movement of the first rotary joint. A second brake is coupled to the second rotary joint for resisting movement of the second rotary joint. A third brake is coupled to the arm member for resisting movement of the arm member. The user is capable of interfacing with the apparatus to exercise a six degree of freedom motion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 26, 1998
    Assignee: Boston Biomotion, Inc.
    Inventors: Larry C. Miller, Nathan Ulrich, William T. Townsend, Dana Yoerger, Yoky Matsuoka, Brandon D. Larocque
  • Patent number: 5388480
    Abstract: A pretensioning mechanism for tension element drives includes a drive pinion including a pinion shaft and a pinion sleeve; a first tension element end anchor on the pinion shaft for securing one end of a tension element wound around the drive pinion in a first direction and a second tension element end anchor on the pinion sleeve for securing the end of another tension element wound around the drive pinion in a second, opposite direction; and a worm drive including a worm gear on one of the pinion sleeve and pinion shaft and a worm on the other of the pinion sleeve and pinion shaft for relatively counter-rotating said pinion shaft and pinion sleeve for simultaneously in a single action adjusting and fixing the pretension on the tension element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 1993
    Date of Patent: February 14, 1995
    Assignee: Barrett Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: William T. Townsend
  • Patent number: 5207114
    Abstract: A pretensioned cable transmits power along a first support member (link) from a rotary actuator to a rotating output joint, typically an output pulley fixed to a second link arm but rotatable in a coupling between the first and second links. A reducer, typically two sets of coupled idler pulleys of different diameter, is mounted at a point removed from the actuator, and preferably as close as possible to the output joint. An axially split spool mounted on the actuator output wraps the outgoing and returning cable sections on different halves of the spool in opposite directions to provide pretensioning of the cable in the entire cable circuit at one point. To form a differential, a pretensioned cable carried on paired pulleys having smooth outer surfaces parallel to the axis of rotation couples the pulleys. The pulleys have axes of rotation that can intersect and their cable carrying surfaces are closely spaced, preferably by less than half the width of the cable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 1991
    Date of Patent: May 4, 1993
    Assignee: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Inventors: J. Kenneth Salisbury, Jr., William T. Townsend
  • Patent number: 5193963
    Abstract: A universal input device for interfacing a human operator with a slave machine such as a robot or the like includes a plurality of serially connected mechanical links extending from a base. A handgrip is connected to the mechanical links distal from the base such that a human operator may grasp the handgrip and control the position thereof relative to the base through the mechanical links. A plurality of rotary joints is arranged to connect the mechanical links together to provide at least three translational degrees of freedom and at least three rotational degrees of freedom of motion of the handgrip relative to the base. A cable and pulley assembly for each joint is connected to a corresponding motor for transmitting forces from the slave machine to the handgrip to provide kinesthetic feedback to the operator and for producing control signals that may be transmitted from the handgrip to the slave machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 1990
    Date of Patent: March 16, 1993
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Douglas A. McAffee, Edward R. Snow, William T. Townsend
  • Patent number: D352050
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 1, 1994
    Assignee: Barrett Technology Inc.
    Inventors: Nathan Ulrich, William T. Townsend