Truck In Conduit Patents (Class 104/139)
  • Patent number: 9511639
    Abstract: A vehicle drive unit and land vehicle comprising the drive unit are disclosed. Each drive unit comprises a pair of longitudinally aligned and longitudinally spaced apart ground wheels. The land vehicle comprises a pair of drive units on opposite sides thereof. The drive units comprise an electric motor for powering the pair of wheels and a gear drive assembly comprising structure for disengaging the electric motor from the ground wheels. The drive units may be remotely controllable, may be water-tight and may be floatable. The vehicle comprising the drive unit may be amphibious.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2016
    Assignee: Ontario Drive and Gear, Ltd.
    Inventor: Peter Visscher
  • Patent number: 9168930
    Abstract: A ceiling transport vehicle in which articles may be transferred precisely while allowing its travel portion to travel smoothly along a set travel path is provided. The ceiling transport vehicle has a pair of guiding bodies which guide the travel portion along a set travel path by contacting each of right and left lateral sides of a guide rail with a pair of contacting members that are supported by the travel portion such that the contacting members can be moved away from each other and moved toward each other in a lateral width direction. The ceiling transport vehicle also has a switching portion for moving each of the pair of contacting members away from each other and toward each other to switch between a holding state and a holding release state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2015
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Yoshinari Wada
  • Patent number: 8958970
    Abstract: A vehicle control system and a vehicle control device can switch control of a supporting device for support a drive of a vehicle between an ordinary travel in which the vehicle travels in a state that a power source for causing the vehicle to travel is operated and an inertia travel in which the vehicle travels in a state that an operation of the power source is stopped. Accordingly, since the vehicle control system and the vehicle control device switch the control of the supporting device between the ordinary travel and the inertia travel, the vehicle control system and the vehicle control device achieve an effect that the vehicle can be caused to appropriately travel by inertia.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2015
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Masaki Matsunaga, Nobukazu Ueki, Hiroshi Tsujii, Koji Ito
  • Publication number: 20140251176
    Abstract: The present invention teaches a new apparatus and process for maximizing the storage space in a warehouse while minimizing aisle space. The invention resides in an apparatus comprising a track assembly and a wheeled platform assembly, whereby a wheeled platform and load (pallet+boxes or crates of goods) are placed on a track assembly and roiled deeper into storage, while leaving room for another load to be placed in front. The invention also teaches various improvements on the design that maximize durability accessibility, and safety.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 6, 2013
    Publication date: September 11, 2014
    Inventor: MEIHUA YANG
  • Patent number: 8825259
    Abstract: In an example implementation, an autonomous vehicle is configured to detect closures and lane shifts in a lane of travel. The vehicle is configured to operate in an autonomous mode and determine a presence of an obstacle substantially positioned in a lane of travel of the vehicle using a sensor. The lane of travel has a first side, a second side, and a center, and the obstacle is substantially positioned on the first side. The autonomous vehicle includes a computer system. The computer system determines a lateral distance between the obstacle and the center, compares the lateral distance to a pre-determined threshold, and provides instructions to control the autonomous vehicle based on the comparison.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2014
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventor: David I. Ferguson
  • Patent number: 8474382
    Abstract: A system for guiding a mobile carriage in a frame. The frame has three parallel linear-guiding tracks including a first track extending centrally on the frame and second and third tracks arranged laterally of the first track. The carriage has at least two axes of rotation. A first axis drives at least a first wheel in the first guiding track and a second axis drives at least a second wheel and at least a third wheel, respectively, in the second and third guiding tracks. The two axes of rotation are perpendicular. The description also relates to an associated method. A primary object is to enable the end of a mobile beam, such as a beam carrying a device for wiping a galvanizing product off a steel strip, to perform a guided movement with a high degree of freedom while minimizing mechanical stresses.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2013
    Assignee: Siemens VAI Metals Technologies SAS
    Inventors: Pierre Bourgier, Jean-Jacques Hardy
  • Patent number: 8371227
    Abstract: A ride system with crossing ride paths. A first omnimover assembly is provided that includes a continuous vehicle chain movable along a first ride path and includes vehicles vertically supported above the track at a first height. A second omnimover assembly is provided with a continuous vehicle chain movable along a second ride path that differs from the first ride path and crosses over the first ride path when viewed in plan view. The second omnimover assembly includes vehicles vertically supported below the upper vehicle track at a second height, which may be the same as the first height such that passengers perceive a risk of a collision at the path intersections. The upper track is at a higher elevation than the lower track such that cross overs occur without interference. A synchronization mechanism is provided that synchronizes the movement of the upper and lower vehicle chains.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2013
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: Edward A. Nemeth, David W. Crawford
  • Patent number: 8176853
    Abstract: An amusement park ride adapted for fully rotating a passenger compartment in response to vehicle motion along a guide track. The ride includes a vehicle chassis that engages the guide track and travels along the ride path during operation of the ride. The ride further includes a cam-based positioning assembly that is supported by the vehicle chassis to move with it along the guide track. The positioning assembly operates in response to being moved along the guide track to rotate the passenger compartment. The positioning assembly rotates the passenger compartment in counterclockwise and clockwise directions to provide 360-degree rotation. The positioning assembly includes a cam shaft with three cam follower pairs offset along the shaft and extending outward from the shaft at angular offsets, and three cam rails are used to selectively position the followers to rotate the cam shaft and set the position of the passenger compartment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2012
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: Edward A. Nemeth, David W. Crawford
  • Patent number: 8074577
    Abstract: Structure of a bifurcation site and crossover site of a guideway in a guided vehicle transportation system; in which the guideway consists of left and right roadbeds, a depression between the roadbeds, and a guard rail having a U-shaped groove laid down on the depression; and a fail-safe mechanism is constituted by the guard rail and guard wheels attached to the vehicle; is proposed. The vehicle is equipped with automatic steering mechanisms for steering front and rear wheels and guard wheels supported laterally rotatably by front and rear supporting arms which are supported laterally rotatably underside the vehicle. The guard wheels are received in the groove of the guard rail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2011
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
    Inventors: Shunji Morichika, Katsuaki Morita, Masahiro Yamaguchi, Kosuke Katahira, Yasuhiro Nagamichi
  • Patent number: 7950331
    Abstract: A narrow slot roller and guide system for high density mobile storage systems having a plurality of storage units. The roller and guide system includes a longitudinally extending axial guide defining a first slot in a floor and a drive rail parallel thereto defining a second slot in the floor. The axial guide includes a roller arrangement adapted to engage a downwardly extending guide member coupled to the carriage of the storage units. The engagement of the roller arrangement and guide member serves as a guide for the storage units as the storage units are moved axially along the axial guide and drive rail. Further, the present invention limits the width of the first and second slots to a very narrow width, e.g. less than one half inch, thereby easily permitting disabled individuals to freely travel across a floor in which the roller and guide system is mounted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2011
    Assignee: Spacesaver Corporation
    Inventors: Matthew A. Tourdot, Steven L. Janson
  • Publication number: 20110067595
    Abstract: A system for guiding a mobile carriage in a frame. The frame has three parallel linear-guiding tracks including a first track extending centrally on the frame and second and third tracks arranged laterally of the first track. The carriage has at least two axes of rotation. A first axis drives at least a first wheel in the first guiding track and a second axis drives at least a second wheel and at least a third wheel, respectively, in the second and third guiding tracks. The two axes of rotation are perpendicular. The description also relates to an associated method. A primary object is to enable the end of a mobile beam, such as a beam carrying a device for wiping a galvanizing product off a steel strip, to perform a guided movement with a high degree of freedom while minimizing mechanical stresses.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 15, 2008
    Publication date: March 24, 2011
    Applicant: SIEMENS VAI METALS TECHNOLOGIES SAS
    Inventors: Pierre Bourgier, Jean-Jacques HARDY
  • Patent number: 7721656
    Abstract: A monorail vehicle includes a cabin for housing a driver, passengers and/or load and also includes one or more driving assemblies, the driving assemblies being suitable for running within a guiding duct on the ground, the cabin being connected to at least one driving assembly by an elongated elevation structure. The elongated elevation structure is actuated in order to vary the elevation of the cabin with respect to the ground during regular travel of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2010
    Inventor: Luiz Augusto de Siqueira Indio da Costa
  • Publication number: 20090288575
    Abstract: The present invention provides the structure of a bogie for a vehicle in a track type transportation system in which the vehicle runs along a predetermined track, which can be simplified, and lightweight and which can be run at a high speed with the maintainability therefor being enhanced, comprising a guide rail 14 laid on the track 12, guide wheels 51 capable of traveling being made into contact with the guide rail 14, a guide arm 48 attached thereto with the guide wheels 51, and a guide wheel support bracket 52 for supporting the guide arm 48 arranged underneath an axle 22 of the vehicle so that the guide arm 48 is pivotable around a pivotal vertical support shat 56, left and right of the vehicle, and the guide arm 48, the guide wheels 51 and the guide wheel support bracket 52 constitute a unit structure which is attached to the axle 22 or a bogie frame 26 of the vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 16, 2006
    Publication date: November 26, 2009
    Inventors: Shunji Morichika, Katsuaki Morita, Hiroyuki Kono, Hiroyuki Mochidome, Hiroshi Yamashita, Masahiro Yamaguchi, Kosuke Katahira
  • Patent number: 7610860
    Abstract: Guide track made up of two wide wing I-shape profiles oriented in parallel and separated by a distance of 500 mm. Central rolling guide box, a set of four vertical axis wheels located at the ends of two steel bars intersecting and forming a cross-shaped device. The assembly is located between two steel plates measuring 700×400×25 mm, forming a box from which the guide wheels protrude laterally to rest tangentially on the web of the guide track profiles. Pivoting anchor cylinder with a dual function: anchoring of the box below the vehicle and transmission of box rotation for orientation of the support wheels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2009
    Assignee: Movitrade Peninsular, S.L.U.
    Inventor: Roberto Blanco Montejo
  • Publication number: 20090120321
    Abstract: A narrow slot roller and guide system for high density mobile storage systems having a plurality of storage units. The roller and guide system includes a longitudinally extending axial guide defining a first slot in a floor and a drive rail parallel thereto defining a second slot in the floor. The axial guide includes a roller arrangement adapted to engage a downwardly extending guide member coupled to the carriage of the storage units. The engagement of the roller arrangement and guide member serves as a guide for the storage units as the storage units are moved axially along the axial guide and drive rail. Further, the present invention limits the width of the first and second slots to a very narrow width, e.g. less than one half inch, thereby easily permitting disabled individuals to freely travel across a floor in which the roller and guide system is mounted.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 9, 2007
    Publication date: May 14, 2009
    Inventors: Matthew A. Tourdot, Steven L. Janson
  • Patent number: 7243604
    Abstract: A hidden-rail dual-attraction balancing compensation type permanent magnetic levitation train and railway system are provided. The hidden rails are provided inside two underground tubes, and each tube is communicated with the ground via a rail through silt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2007
    Inventor: Lingqun Li
  • Patent number: 7182025
    Abstract: The specification discloses a robot for inspection adapted to travel virtually unlimited distances through small-diameter enclosed spaces such as conduits or ducts, preferably using a fluid-driven screw-drive propulsion system. The robot preferably includes a plurality of wheels inclined at an angle greater than zero degrees and less than ninety degrees to the longitudinal axis of the pipe, a plurality of wheels aligned parallel to the longitudinal axis of the pipe, and a power system for causing relative rotation of the sections bearing the pitched and non-pitched wheels. The robot may include internal fluid flow passages, notched wheels, multiple retractable wheels, and is configured so as to have an operating diameter less than six and preferably less than two inches.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2007
    Assignees: William Marsh Rice University, University of Houston Clear Lake
    Inventors: Fathi Hassan Ghorbel, James Bruster Dabney
  • Patent number: 7099746
    Abstract: A mobile device for traversing a ferromagnetic surface. The device includes a frame and at least one surface contacting device attached to the frame. The device also includes a Halbach magnet array attached to the frame, wherein the Halbach magnet array provides a magnetic force to maintain the surface contacting device substantially into contact with the ferromagnetic surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2006
    Assignee: Carnegie Mellon University
    Inventors: William P. Ross, James F. Hoburg, Christopher Fromme, John Bares, Mark DeLouis
  • Patent number: 6910425
    Abstract: An enclosed track system comprising an enclosed track having at least one curve and a trolley for negotiating the curve. The trolley includes an externally located drive section and a rolling section having first and second roller portions located within the track. The first roller portion includes rollers for rolling on flange portions of the track. The second roller portion includes a yoke-mounted driven wheel and a pair of support rollers. The driven wheel rolls on an inner surface of the top of the track. The pair of support rollers roll on flange portions of the track and are mounting on respective rods for pivoting action about vertical axes. The drive section includes a motor powered driving wheel which extends partially into the track to engage the driven wheel. The drive section also includes an articulated joint coupling the first and second roller portions together.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2005
    Assignee: Transol Corporation
    Inventors: Arnold T. Galpin, Jeffrey M. Lesoine
  • Patent number: 6792335
    Abstract: A mobile device for traversing a ferromagnetic surface. The device includes a frame and at least one surface contacting device attached to the frame. The device also includes a Halbach magnet array attached to the frame, wherein the Halbach magnet array provides a magnetic force to maintain the surface contacting device substantially into contact with the ferromagnetic surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2004
    Assignee: Carnegie Mellon University
    Inventors: William P. Ross, James F. Hoburg, Christopher Fromme, John Bares, Mark DeLouis
  • Patent number: 6718885
    Abstract: An enclosed track system comprising an enclosed track having at least one curved portion and a trolley including a rolling section having first and second roller portions located within the track and spaced from each other and an externally located drive section. The second roller portion comprises a drive wheel arranged to roll on an inner surface of the track. The drive section has an articulated joint coupling the first and second roller portions to each other. The drive section includes a motor to cause the drive wheel to rotate, whereupon the trolley rolls along the track, with the articulated joint enabling the first and second roller portions to pivot longitudinally with respect to each other so that the trolley can negotiate curves in the track.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2004
    Assignee: Transol Corporation
    Inventors: Philip E. Risser, Jeffrey M. Lesoine
  • Patent number: 6615740
    Abstract: An electrically powered vehicle transportation system utilizes a guideway with parallel enclosed rails. Each enclosed rail has an electrical bus bar for supplying power to vehicles on the guideway. The guideway will accommodate dual-mode vehicles that are capable of usage on conventional streets as well as on the guideway. The guideway also accommodates conventional vehicles and ferries that operate only on the guideway. The dual-mode vehicle has a body with axles that are extensible. The axles move from a retracted position, with the wheels recessed within the wheel wells, to an extended position. In the extended position, the wheels locate within the enclosed rails. Conventional vehicles and freight are carried on ferries that move along the guideways.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2003
    Inventor: J. Kirston Henderson
  • Publication number: 20030094115
    Abstract: A personal rapid transit (PRT) system having a linear induction motor installed on the bottom of a vehicle is provided. Since a linear induction motor is installed on the bottom of a vehicle, the structure of the personal rapid transit (PRT) system is simplified and the stable driving thereof is possible. Further, since an auxiliary ramification wheel is provided, an accident by the vehicle seceding from a track occurring during ramification can be prevented in advance. That is, since only a single linear induction motor is installed horizontally on the bottom of the vehicle and thus the vehicle is driven, the structure of the personal rapid transit (PRT) system is more simplified and becomes lighter, and a production cost can be reduced, in comparison with an existing system using a pair of linear induction motors. In addition, even if a ramification device is failed during ramification, a track secession can be suppressed with an auxiliary ramification wheel provided, to thereby guide a stable running.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 18, 2002
    Publication date: May 22, 2003
    Inventors: Nam Ho Kim, Seong Wan Kim, Kwang Hee Nam
  • Patent number: 6435100
    Abstract: An electrically powered vehicle transportation system utilizes a guideway with parallel enclosed rails. Each enclosed rail has an electrical bus bar for supplying power to vehicles on the guideway. The guideway will accommodate dual-mode vehicles that are capable of usage on conventional streets as well as on the guideway. The guideway also accommodates conventional vehicles and ferries that operate only on the guideway. The dual-mode vehicle has a body with axles that are extensible. The axles move from a retracted position, with the wheels recessed within the wheel wells, to an extended position. In the extended position, the wheels locate within the enclosed rails. Conventional vehicles and freight are carried on ferries that move along the guideways.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2002
    Inventor: J. Kirston Henderson
  • Patent number: 6427603
    Abstract: A moveable track cover is provided for use with a mechanism configured to move along a track. One example of such a mechanism is a pipe racking system used on off-shore oil and gas platforms. One end of the moveable track cover is connected to the pipe racking system mechanism which moves along the track. The other end of the track cover is spooled onto a drum. Rotation of the drum is controlled by a motor which exerts enough force to maintain the track cover in constant tension. When the pipe racking system mechanism moves towards the drum, the motor rotates the drum to roll the track cover onto the drum. When the pipe racking system mechanism moves away from the drum, it pulls the track cover off of the drum. By attaching a track cover to each side of the pipe racking system mechanism, the track along which the pipe racking system mechanism travels is kept covered at all times. The track cover may be constructed of a sheet of stainless steel strengthened by rib assemblies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2002
    Assignee: Noble Drilling Corporation
    Inventor: Therald Martin
  • Patent number: 6397758
    Abstract: A moveable track cover is provided for use with a mechanism configured to move along a track. One example of such a mechanism is a pipe racking system used on off-shore oil and gas platforms. One end of the moveable track cover is connected to the pipe racking system mechanism which moves along the track. The other end of the track cover is spooled onto a drum. Rotation of the drum is controlled by a motor which exerts enough force to maintain the track cover in constant tension. When the pipe racking system mechanism moves towards the drum, the motor rotates the drum to roll the track cover onto the drum. When the pipe racking system mechanism moves away from the drum, it pulls the track cover off of the drum. By attaching a track cover to each side of the pipe racking system mechanism, the track along which the pipe racking system mechanism travels is kept covered at all times. The track cover may be constructed of a sheet of stainless steel strengthened by rib assemblies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2002
    Assignee: Noble Drilling Corporation
    Inventor: Therald Martin
  • Patent number: 6393993
    Abstract: A monorail switching system for guided vehicles includes a main guideway mounted below the transportation monorail that engages a vertically shiftable keel assembly carried by the vehicle. For entrance/exit junctions, a secondary guideway defines the junction path is selectively engaged by lowering the shiftable keel from control by the main guideway. The plural guideways permit vehicles to travel in concert notwithstanding selective revision at the junctions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2002
    Inventor: Eugene A. Reese
  • Patent number: 6374746
    Abstract: A ground-based capsule pipeline with greatly improved speed, energy efficiency, and cost for transportation of freight and/or people. Passive magnetic levitation is used to suspend inert, rugged capsules within an air-evacuated pipeline, where they are propelled by a linear motor. Permanent magnet pole arrays incorporated in the capsules interact with inductively-enhanced conductive loops on the interior of the pipeline to produce a low “take-off” speed, high lift, and a high lift-drag ratio.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2002
    Inventor: Orlo James Fiske
  • Patent number: 6360670
    Abstract: A transportation system for moving a transportation module comprises a thrust tube and a pod assembly disposed inside the thrust tube to be thrusted along the thrust tube. An inner magnetic coupler is disposed inside the thrust tube and connected with the pod assembly to be moved by the pod assembly. An outer magnetic coupler is disposed outside the thrust tube and configured to connect with a transportation module. The outer magnetic coupler is spaced from the inner magnetic coupler by the thrust tube and is magnetically coupled with the inner magnetic coupler to be moved by the inner magnetic coupler. An inner spacing member is disposed inside the thrust tube and spaces the inner magnetic coupler from the inner surface of the thrust tube by a preset distance. An outer spacing member is disposed outside the thrust tube and spaces the outer magnetic coupler from the outer surface of the thrust tube by a preset distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2002
    Assignee: Flight Rail Corporation
    Inventor: Max P. Schlienger
  • Publication number: 20020029718
    Abstract: A moveable track cover is provided for use with a mechanism configured to move along a track. One example of such a mechanism is a pipe racking system used on off-shore oil and gas platforms. One end of the moveable track cover is connected to the pipe racking system mechanism which moves along the track. The other end of the track cover is spooled onto a drum. Rotation of the drum is controlled by a motor which exerts enough force to maintain the track cover in constant tension. When the pipe racking system mechanism moves towards the drum, the motor rotates the drum to roll the track cover onto the drum. When the pipe racking system mechanism moves away from the drum, it pulls the track cover off of the drum. By attaching a track cover to each side of the pipe racking system mechanism, the track along which the pipe racking system mechanism travels is kept covered at all times. The track cover may be constructed of a sheet of stainless steel strengthened by rib assemblies.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 22, 2001
    Publication date: March 14, 2002
    Inventor: Therald Martin
  • Publication number: 20020023569
    Abstract: A moveable track cover is provided for use with a mechanism configured to move along a track. One example of such a mechanism is a pipe racking system used on off-shore oil and gas platforms. One end of the moveable track cover is connected to the pipe racking system mechanism which moves along the track. The other end of the track cover is spooled onto a drum. Rotation of the drum is controlled by a motor which exerts enough force to maintain the track cover in constant tension. When the pipe racking system mechanism moves towards the drum, the motor rotates the drum to roll the track cover onto the drum. When the pipe racking system mechanism moves away from the drum, it pulls the track cover off of the drum. By attaching a track cover to each side of the pipe racking system mechanism, the track along which the pipe racking system mechanism travels is kept covered at all times. The track cover may be constructed of a sheet of stainless steel strengthened by rib assemblies.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 22, 2001
    Publication date: February 28, 2002
    Inventor: Therald Martin
  • Patent number: 6341565
    Abstract: A moveable track cover is provided for use with a mechanism configured to move along a track. One example of such a mechanism is a pipe racking system used on off-shore oil and gas platforms. One end of the moveable track cover is connected to the pipe racking system mechanism which moves along the track. The other end of the track cover is spooled onto a drum. Rotation of the drum is controlled by a motor which exerts enough force to maintain the track cover in constant tension. When the pipe racking system mechanism moves towards the drum, the motor rotates the drum to roll the track cover onto the drum. When the pipe racking system mechanism moves away from the drum, it pulls the track cover off of the drum. By attaching a track cover to each side of the pipe racking system mechanism, the track along which the pipe racking system mechanism travels is kept covered at all times. The track cover may be constructed of a sheet of stainless steel strengthened by rib assemblies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2002
    Assignee: Noble Drilling Corporation
    Inventor: Therald Martin
  • Publication number: 20010037746
    Abstract: A system is provided that includes guideways having tracks for supporting a type of vehicle which moves within the guideways and tracks for a type of vehicle which moves on top of the guideways. Guide tracks are provided within the guideways for guiding vehicles of either type and controlling movement through Y junctions. The type of vehicle that moves on top of the guideway includes auxiliary wheels which cooperate with auxiliary tracks in Y junctions to insure reliable support. Each type of vehicle includes automatic load tilting mechanisms and also a special four wheel drive arrangement.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 29, 2001
    Publication date: November 8, 2001
    Inventor: Van Metre Lund
  • Publication number: 20010017094
    Abstract: A truck transport apparatus comprises a trolley running rail 11, a front trolley 32 and a rear trolley 33 arranged along the rail 11 in a truck running direction, a truck body 35 connected to the front trolley 32 and the rear trolley 33 at a lengthwise intermediate portion of each trolley so as to permit each trolley to pivotally move horizontally, a driven rod 38 having a front end connected to a rear end of the front trolley 32 so as to make the front trolley 32 free to pivotally move horizontally and a rear end connected to a front end of the rear trolley 33 so as to make the rear trolley 33 free to pivotally move horizontally, and a pair of transport rollers 84, 87 for holding the driven rod 38 therebetween from opposite sides thereof to give the rod a propelling force. The driven rod 38 is extended when the truck is about to move into a curved path of movement from a straight path of movement, while the rod 38 is contracted when the truck is about to move into the straight path from the curved path.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 4, 2001
    Publication date: August 30, 2001
    Applicant: NAKANISHI METAL WORKS CO., LTD.,
    Inventors: Shinji Ishikawa, Heihachi Kobayashi
  • Patent number: 6279485
    Abstract: A pod assembly is disposed inside and thrusted along a slotted tube having a longitudinal slot. The pod assembly comprises a first pod, a second pod coupled with the first pod, and a strut disposed between and coupled with the first pod and the second pod. The strut extends through the longitudinal slot of the slotted tube to the support a transportation module outside the slotted tube. In one embodiment, the first pod is a thrust pod and the second pod is a passive pod. The thrust pod includes a thrust pod tire to make contact with the interior of the slotted tube and at least one bladder which is inflatable and deflatable to modulate gas flow through the thrust pod to adjust speed of movement of the thrust pod in the slotted tube. The passive pod includes a passive pod tire to make contact with the interior of the slotted tube and includes no thrust control feature. In another embodiment, the first and second pods include pod tires for making contact with the interior of the slotted tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2001
    Assignee: Flight Rail Corporation
    Inventor: Max P. Schlienger
  • Patent number: 6263799
    Abstract: A transportation system, generically known as Personal Rapid Transit, employs conventional electric or hybrid automobiles (18) underwhich are mounted electro-mechanical adaptors (24) which permits them to operate autonomously on an elevated guideway (16) which is part of the PRT system. An electronic guidance sensor system (45), and other functional components built into the adaptors, permits the vehicles to track unique rf signals emitted from a guidance wire (36) centrally embedded in the guideway, and to exit and enter the guideway to and from off-line stations (10), and to select various platforms and storage areas within these stations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2001
    Inventor: Herman I. Pardes
  • Patent number: 6240852
    Abstract: A highway-vehicle system for high speed travel which comprises a below-ground structure defining a cavity and a narrow slot extending upwardly therefrom to the roadway surface. Each vehicle in the system is equipped with a projecting member which, in its folded configuration, can be lowered into the slot. The projecting member includes a pair of stabilization wheels and a pair of hydraulically or pneumatically-actuated brake shoes. Once the projecting member has been lowered into the cavity, the wheels automatically unfold, so that they assume horizontal positions and press against opposing sidewalls of the cavity. With the wheels so deployed, the vehicle can be safely driven during high speed cornering and under windy conditions. The wheels can also be used to automatically steer each vehicle. In addition, the wheels are used to conduct electricity in the cavity sidewalls as part of the power takeoff for an electric vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2001
    Inventor: William R. Camp
  • Patent number: 6220173
    Abstract: The invention concerns a trolley for rail tracks (3) that are branched by means of switch points. To avoid a switch point jam, while simultaneously saving power and maintenance effort, the trolley is equipped with moveable hooks and the switch points are designed as passive switches without any moveable parts, where the hooks can engage the guide rails (12) of the passive switch points in accordance with the desired travel direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2001
    Assignee: Alcatel
    Inventor: Richard Sauerwein
  • Patent number: 6178892
    Abstract: A transportation system uses a carrier conduit in the form of a long tube or channel in order to drive a vehicle by air pressure. A carrier having end plates obstructs the travel of air through the carrier conduit. Pressure differentials formed within the carrier conduit serve to propel the carrier through the carrier conduit. By rollably supporting the carrier within the carrier conduit, friction is reduced between the carrier conduit and the carrier. The carrier may be magnetically coupled to a vehicle having vanes and a set of track- or rail-engaging wheel assemblies on vanes. The vanes may pivot upon the vehicle and serve to allow the vehicle to rollably or slidably couple to the carrier conduit track. The motion of the carrier serves to propel the vehicle along the carrier conduit track as the vehicle is magnetically coupled to the carrier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2001
    Inventor: Lou O. Harding
  • Patent number: 6170403
    Abstract: A boat for spillwater raft rides or similar rides having running gear includes running wheels and lateral guide wheels to accept a force exerted by a portion of the track. A safety device is provided that consists of safety wheels or runners. The latter are located above lateral guide wheels and designed to engage safety rails placed along the line to accept lifting forces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2001
    Assignee: Heinrich Mack GmbH & Co.
    Inventor: Georg Behringer
  • Patent number: 6095054
    Abstract: A transport system has a track provided along a transport route forming a main route and at least one branch route connected to the main route at a branch point. A first power supply line is provided along the main route; a second power supply line is provided along the branch route and a transport vehicle moves along the track. There is a drive unit for driving the transport vehicle along the track with the drive unit being attached to the transport vehicle, a route selector for selecting a branch route at the branch point and a power receiver for receiving electric power from the first and second power supply lines to supply electric power to the drive unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2000
    Assignee: Shinko Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hitoshi Kawano, Masanao Murata, Tanaka Tsuyoshi, Atsushi Okuno
  • Patent number: 6082268
    Abstract: A system is provided that uses small carrier vehicles that operate along electrified guideways and use standardized connections to automatically carry passenger cabins, freight loads and automobile platforms to desired destinations. Front and rear bogies of the vehicles pivot about front and rear vertical turn axes and carry direction control wheels that cooperate with guide ribs along tracks for selective control of movement to either of two exits from a Y junction. Electric power which can be three phase AC power can be supplied through upper and lower track structures. The upper track structures can define the guide ribs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2000
    Assignee: Autran Corp.
    Inventor: VanMetre Lund
  • Patent number: 6058849
    Abstract: A traveling mechanism for a lifting device, especially for a lifting device having a laterally cantilevering boom, is movable on rails with at least two running wheels. A connection element for attaching a load to said traveling mechanism is supported in the rail by the running wheels which are arranged on both sides of the connection element. The connection element has, at the region projecting down out of the rail, at least one running roller which is freely rotatable about a horizontal axis and rolls on a horizontal outer running surface of the rail. To effectively divert horizontal forces and uniformly distribute the vertical forces to the running wheels, running wheel axles are rigidly connected with a running wheel carrier, and the running wheel carrier and connection element are swivelably connected by a universal type joint. In addition, at least one support roller is rotatably mounted at the connection element in the interior of the rail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2000
    Assignee: Mannesmann Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Rudiger Ostholt, Klaus Becker, Klaus-Dieter Gabriel
  • Patent number: 6044768
    Abstract: A support for aiding a person, robot or material-moving member in a gravity free environment. The support comprises a platform having slots therein with releasable securing means disposed on either side thereof which cooperate with a wheeled member disposed in the slot having a shoe connected thereto with cooperating means engaging the releasable securing means to permit the person, robot or the like wearing the shoes to traverse the support in a safe, regulated manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2000
    Inventor: Tibor Czinki
  • Patent number: 5992575
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a Personal Rapid Transit system for transporting passengers along a pre-set guideway, and more particularly relates to a future Personal Rapid Transit vehicle braking system. A conventional braking system can not provide the large braking force required for very short headway operation under the effect of weather and environmental conditions due to variations in the available coefficients of friction at the running surfaces. In particular, the Personal Rapid Transit which is a public transportation system can not adopt the conventional braking system since the vehicles are powered by linear motors and are independent of traction. The PRT brake system comprises brake reaction rails (120) mounted on each inside of the guideway and brakes (300) acting on these brake reaction rails (120) as calipers. The brakes are automatically actuated when electric power supply is cut off, and thus can serve as parking brakes and emergency brakes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 30, 1999
    Inventor: In Ki Kim
  • Patent number: 5979334
    Abstract: A system is provided that uses small carrier vehicles that operate along electrified guide ways and use standardized connections to automatically carry passenger cabins, freight loads and automobile platforms to desired destinations. The connections are made to upper ends of posts that extend from front and rear portions of each carrier vehicle and up through a narrow centrally located slot in the guide way. The guide way provides a protected environment for error-free data transmissions made through closely spaced inductive couplings between monitoring and control circuits along the guide way and control circuits of the carrier vehicles. Control circuitry is provided to obtain highly reliable control of vehicle speed and of starting, stopping and merge operations. Automobiles are securely held on platforms which are so handled as to permit rapid loading and unloading operations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 9, 1999
    Assignee: Autran Corp.
    Inventor: Van Metre Lund
  • Patent number: 5960717
    Abstract: An electrical power supply and guidance assembly for a wheeled vehicle, consisting of a raisable and pivotable guide member supporting at least one pair of guide wheels which together define a V shape and engage the central web of the rail, the rail being a guiding profile section used as a track. Covering portions forming a linear closure protect the space containing the conductors. Opening mechanisms enable the contact portion(s) to pass through and along the closure to collect the supply current and automatically close the closure. The assembly is particularly suitable for electrically powered urban wheeled transport.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 5, 1999
    Assignee: Lohr Industrie
    Inventor: Jean-Luc Andre
  • Patent number: 5953995
    Abstract: A transport system for passive vehicles which move by way of wheels on treadways of a track includes guide surfaces for guiding the vehicles along the track. Each vehicle includes at least one drive roller propelling the vehicle through contact with rotary tubes. An axis of the drive roller is steerable with respect to the axis of the tubes. The vehicle also includes guide rollers adapted to cooperate with guide surfaces of the track. The track includes a trench containing the rotary tubes and a cover disposed atop the trench and having a lengthwise slit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 21, 1999
    Assignees: Marc Treviso, Jean-Claude Mourer
    Inventor: Yves C. D. Saillant
  • Patent number: 5931288
    Abstract: A cover for a channel, such as the channel which runs along the top of a section of conveyor track, is disclosed for excluding foreign matter from the interior of the track while allowing a pedestal extending from the interior of the track to traverse the channel. The cover is formed from two cover halves extending inwardly over the channel from supports running alongside of the channel, and the cover halves include resilient outer portions and hard yet flexible inner portions. The inner portions contact the passing pedestal and flex out of the way as the pedestal passes between them. The outer portions provide an inward biasing force against the inner portions for holding them against the passing pedestal and returning them to a closed position after a pedestal has passed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 3, 1999
    Assignee: Jervis B. Webb Company
    Inventor: Mark J. Avery
  • Patent number: 5778796
    Abstract: An electromagnetic switching system for use in a Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system having a personal rapid transit vehicle with an attached chassis operating over a network of interconnected guideways. The electromagnetic switching system comprises an electromagnetic switching unit mounted on each side of the chassis for directing the transit vehicle into a predetermined path at a switch section of the guideway. The electromagnetic switching unit has an electromagnet for exerting magnetic force on a continuous reaction rail which is attached to an internal sidewall of the guideway.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 14, 1998
    Inventor: In Ki Kim