Longitudinal Rotary Shafts Patents (Class 104/166)
  • Patent number: 4597334
    Abstract: A turntable for driverless vehicles rides on a horizontally disposed circular rail and is pivotable about a vertical axis through an arc of 90.degree.. A vertical shaft is connected at its upper end to the table by way of a universal coupling. A motor is connected to the shaft to pivot the shaft. The turntable is particularly adapted for use at a T junction of a system having a closed loop.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 1981
    Date of Patent: July 1, 1986
    Assignee: SI Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Charles E. Jacoby
  • Patent number: 4593623
    Abstract: A carrier system having a carrier movable along a path as defined by a trackway and driven from a rotatable drive tube by means of one or more drive wheels which can be adjustably angularly related relative to the drive tube for determining the direction and speed of carrier travel. The carrier has a multi-function accumulation rod operable in both accumulation of carriers as well as at a stop station along the path of travel. The accumulation rod is movable to control the angular position of the drive wheel to achieve stopping of the carrier at the stop station as well as to cause accumulation of one carrier behind another. The accumulation rod is operable in either direction of travel of the carrier to affect accumulation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 1984
    Date of Patent: June 10, 1986
    Assignee: Heico Inc.
    Inventors: Stanley K. Gutekunst, Russell H. Scheel, Barry L. Ziegenfus
  • Patent number: 4583462
    Abstract: A driverless vehicle has a platform mounted on support wheels for riding on rails. First and second drive wheels adapted for frictional contact with a drive tube are provided on the vehicle. The drive wheels are supported on opposite sides of a longitudinal center line for alternative use depending upon the direction of movement of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 1983
    Date of Patent: April 22, 1986
    Assignee: SI Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert A. Hale
  • Patent number: 4582000
    Abstract: A plurality of driverless vehicles are pivotably connected together to form a train. Each vehicle has a drive wheel connected to the drive wheel on the next adjacent vehicle by a flexible member extending therebetween so that the drive wheel on the second vehicle is a slave to the drive wheel on the first vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1983
    Date of Patent: April 15, 1986
    Assignee: SI Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Per E. Lindquist
  • Patent number: 4532869
    Abstract: A pallet conveying system comprising pallet guide rails supported on a frame, a driving shaft extending along the guide rails, motors for driving the driving shaft, a turntable mechanism disposed at the end of the pallet guide rails and having changeover rails alignable with the guide rails and a changeover driving shaft connectable to the driving shaft, a driven roller pivotally attached to the underside of a pallet and pressed against the circumference of the driving shaft with the axis of rotation thereof inclined with respect to the axis of the driving shaft, levers projecting from the front and the rear ends, respectively, of the pallet for causing the axis of rotation of the driven roller to be moved parallel to the axis of the driving shaft when the levers are retracted, and pallet stopping and positioning mechanisms each disposed at a predetermined position on the guide rails and adapted to cause the axis of rotation of the driven roller to be approximately parallel to the axis of the driving shaft an
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 1982
    Date of Patent: August 6, 1985
    Assignee: Tsubakimoto Chain Company
    Inventors: Hirokazu Kondo, Shigekatsu Takino
  • Patent number: 4515084
    Abstract: The track for driverless vehicles has a low profile with a rail extending along one side edge portion of the track structure and a drive shaft extending along the opposite side edge portion of the track structure. The drive shaft performs the dual function of supporting wheels on one side of a driverless vehicle and driving the vehicle by frictional contact with said wheels. The rail and the periphery of the drive shaft at the 12 o'clock position thereon are substantially the same elevation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 1981
    Date of Patent: May 7, 1985
    Assignee: SI Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Charles E. Jacoby
  • Patent number: 4515085
    Abstract: Apparatus is disclosed for controlling the angular position of a drive wheel on a driverless vehicle. The apparatus includes a speed control device movable between two positions and having a lost-motion coupling to a shock absorber so that the device moves rapidly toward the second position for part of its movement and then moves slowly for the remainder of its movement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 1983
    Date of Patent: May 7, 1985
    Assignee: SI Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Peter H. Rohrbach
  • Patent number: 4499991
    Abstract: A conveyor system for conveying work pallets with workpieces from one machine tool to another in a machine tool line that has the capability of permitting work pallets to collect at any machine so that the machine tools throughout the system can operate at their own speed without waiting for the completion of an operation at another work station. This is accomplished by a plurality of individually controllable conveyor sections that drive the pallets with a plurality of resilient rollers arranged in a spiral fashion that engage a semi-cylindrical undersurface on the pallets in a non-positive drive fashion that prevents binding as the pallets move from one conveyor section to another. A control system is provided to selectively slow and stop each of the conveyor sections so that as the work pieces approach a machining station, they will automatically slow down and stop.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 1979
    Date of Patent: February 19, 1985
    Inventor: Dillis V. Allen
  • Patent number: 4498397
    Abstract: A transfer mechanism for transferring a pallet from a first trackway to a second trackway is disclosed. Each trackway includes an inside track and an outside track. Preferably, the outside tracks of each trackway are connected by an arcuate connecting track. A transfer device moves the pallet from the end of the first trackway to the adjacent end of the second trackway. The transfer device includes a turntable having a track portion thereon, preferably, an inside track portion. By rotating the turntable, the track portion is first presented adjacent the end of the first trackway so that the pallet is received on the track portion. The turntable is then rotated and carries the pallet to the end of the second trackway to which the pallet is then transferred. The track portion can extend continuously around the turntable and the turntable rotated constantly so that a pallet is transferred as soon as the pallet reaches the transfer mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 1982
    Date of Patent: February 12, 1985
    Assignee: Evana Tool & Engineering Inc.
    Inventors: Gilbert Fuchs, Norman Crowley, Randall Wink
  • Patent number: 4487132
    Abstract: A conveying system for moving an object along a straight path on a pallet is disclosed. The conveying system includes a track on which the pallet is mounted for movement and a cylindrical drive shaft having a longitudinal axis parallel to the line of movement of the pallet disposed below the track. A drive roller support base is pivotally mounted on the pallet. The drive roller is rotatably mounted on a shaft extending from the support base at an acute angle with respect to the axis of the drive shaft. The drive roller tangentially contacts the drive shaft. Rotation of the drive shaft causes rotation of the drive roller and, depending upon the position of the drive roller in relation to the surface of the driveshaft, the pallet is driven forward, rearward, or remains stationary. The drive roller is resiliently urged into contact with the drive shaft and is pivotally mounted on the pallet so as to be easily movable between a forward drive position, a rearward drive position, and a stationary position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 1982
    Date of Patent: December 11, 1984
    Assignee: Evana Tool and Engineering, Inc.
    Inventors: Gilbert Fuchs, Norman Crowley, Randall Wink
  • Patent number: 4462313
    Abstract: A driverless shuttle vehicle transfers driverless vehicles between first and second parallel tracks. The shuttle vehicle has a track thereon adapted to be aligned with each of the first and second tracks. A motor adjacent each end of the first and second tracks is adapted to selectively move the shuttle vehicle track horizontally toward the end of its associated track for loading and unloading of a driverless vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 1981
    Date of Patent: July 31, 1984
    Assignee: SI Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Craig F. Sleep, Stanley K. Gutekunst
  • Patent number: 4429636
    Abstract: A driverless vehicle turntable includes a table pivotably mounted for movement about a vertical axis. The table has tracks and a drive tube as well as drive wheels. An arcuate drive tube assembly is arranged for frictional contact with the drive wheels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 1981
    Date of Patent: February 7, 1984
    Assignee: SI Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Barry L. Ziegenfus
  • Patent number: 4428298
    Abstract: The speed of a driverless vehicle is controlled along the length of the module from an incoming high speed to an outgoing low speed or vice versa. The module includes first, second and third aligned drive tubes between tracks adapted to support a vehicle. A first motor is coupled to the first drive tube for driving the same at a first high speed. A second drive motor is coupled to the third drive tube for driving the same at a second low speed. Clutch means are provided for enabling only the first motor to drive said first and second tubes and then enable only the second motor to drive the second and third tubes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 1981
    Date of Patent: January 31, 1984
    Assignee: SI Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Stanley K. Gutekunst, John M. Sipos
  • Patent number: 4428300
    Abstract: A precision stop assembly is provided for causing a driverless vehicle to stop at a predetermined location with an accuracy .+-.0.005 inches in three planes. The assembly includes structure for slowing a vehicle down and then elevating the vehicle so that its support wheels lose contact with tracks while simultaneously guiding the vehicle to a precise orientation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 1981
    Date of Patent: January 31, 1984
    Assignee: SI Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Barry L. Ziegenfus, Russell Scheel
  • Patent number: 4389943
    Abstract: A driverless transfer truck includes a chassis having two bogies for riding on rails. Each bogie is provided with at least one drive wheel which is pressed against a drive shaft so that the force for propelling the truck is produced by the friction engagement between the drive wheel and the drive shaft. By attaching the drive wheels to the bogies, the truck can negotiate a curved section of the rails having a smaller radius than is otherwise possible.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 1980
    Date of Patent: June 28, 1983
    Assignee: S. I. Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Minoru Watatani
  • Patent number: 4389941
    Abstract: In a driverless vehicle conveyor system wherein a driverless vehicle rides on tracks, two straight sections of the tracks have adjacent ends spaced by a gap. A transfer vehicle is provided in the gap for supporting and transferring driverless vehicles across the gap. The transfer vehicles are mounted for oscillation about an upright axis from a receiving position adjacent one end of the gap to a discharge position adjacent the other end of the gap.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 1980
    Date of Patent: June 28, 1983
    Assignee: SI Handling Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Donald M. Berk, Charles E. Jacoby, Larry Reagan
  • Patent number: 4378741
    Abstract: A conveyor system such as one having chain propelled driverless vehicles is interfaced with a conveyor system such as one having rotating shafts propelling a driverless vehicle. The last mentioned driverless vehicle is provided with a contact arm which extends transversely of its vehicle and is selectively operated so as to cause both vehicles to move at the same speed. While both vehicles are moving at the same speed, one or more events may take place such as transferring goods from one vehicle to another on the fly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 1981
    Date of Patent: April 5, 1983
    Assignee: SI Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Katsuhiro Nagahori
  • Patent number: 4375194
    Abstract: The drive shaft assembly comprises first and second telescoping shafts supported above ground level. A motor is coupled to the first shaft for extending it in an axial direction. Another motor is connected to the second shaft for rotating the second shaft about its longitudinal axis. These shafts are connected by a coupling so that the second shaft rotates the first shaft in all positions of the first shaft. The first shaft terminates at a free end in a frictional engageable end portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 1980
    Date of Patent: March 1, 1983
    Assignee: S I Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Peter H. Rohrbach
  • Patent number: 4367683
    Abstract: A friction driven driverless vehicle includes a frame with support wheels adapted to ride on rails. A drive wheel on the frame is provided for frictional contact with a drive shaft parallel to the rails. A motor driven cam is provided on the frame for controlling the position of the drive wheel relative to the drive shaft. The cam is coupled to the drive wheel by a cam follower and linkage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 1980
    Date of Patent: January 11, 1983
    Assignee: SI Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Kinjiro Tokunaga
  • Patent number: 4363275
    Abstract: A driverless vehicle is supported by wheels adapted to ride on a floor whereby the conveyor system does not include rails for supporting the vehicle. Guide rollers are provided on one side of the vehicle for contact with a guide on a floor mounted frame. The frame includes a drive shaft for driving a drive wheel on the vehicle. The drive wheel can oscillate about a generally horizontal axis between a drive position and an accumulation position. The floor supported frame includes pivotally mounted sections so that the vehicle can traverse 90.degree. angles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 1980
    Date of Patent: December 14, 1982
    Assignee: SI Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Kazusuke Kaji
  • Patent number: 4359000
    Abstract: First and second tracks of a conveyor system intersect at right angles. A drive shaft is associated with each set of tracks. Driverless vehicles ride on the tracks and are provided with first and second sets of drive wheels. The sets of drive wheels are used alternatively and each set has an operative position and an inoperative position. A device is provided on the vehicle for moving the first set of drive wheels from a drive position to an accumulation position and thereafter moving the second set of wheels from an accumulation position to a drive position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 1981
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1982
    Assignee: SI Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Kinjiro Tokunaga
  • Patent number: 4358999
    Abstract: Straight sections of track each having a drive tube are coupled together by a curved track section. Between the tracks at the curved section, there is provided a series of drive shafts whose ends are not aligned with the ends of the drive shafts in the straight track sections. Driverless trucks are provided with at least two drive wheels for frictional contact with drive shafts in the straight track sections and a discrete drive wheel for cooperation with the drive shafts in the curved track section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 1980
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1982
    Assignee: SI Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Katsuhiro Nagahori
  • Patent number: 4357876
    Abstract: A driverless vehicle for riding on a track has a drive wheel driven by a drive tube. The drive wheel is coupled to a substrate which in turn is coupled to the deck so that a portion of the load is transmitted to the drive wheel and the remainder of the load is transmitted through a separate substrate to the support wheels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 1980
    Date of Patent: November 9, 1982
    Assignee: Si Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Bruce Nobel
  • Patent number: 4357875
    Abstract: The conveyor track of a conveyor system is provided with an access way so that persons or vehicles may traverse the tracks without interfering with movement of driverless vehicles along the conveyor. A shuttle is suspended from above and supported for reciprocatory movement across a gap in the track. The vehicles traverse the gap by way of the shuttle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 1980
    Date of Patent: November 9, 1982
    Assignee: SI Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Russell Scheel
  • Patent number: 4355581
    Abstract: A truck driving apparatus for driving a truck on rails presses a rotating board, with a rotating shaft fitted to the truck, against a driving shaft arranged along the pathway of the truck, and transmits the rotational force of the driving shaft to the rotating shaft of the truck. The rotating board is so constructed as to have a ring like friction disc with a friction face thereon fixed to the rotating shaft, to intersect the rotation axis of the rotating shaft at right angles. The rotation axis of the rotating shaft is inclined at a certain small angle relative to the plane intersecting the axis of the drive shaft, at right angles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 1980
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1982
    Assignee: Murata Kikai Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Yoshio Mitani
  • Patent number: 4355580
    Abstract: A driverless vehicle has an inverted U-shaped body with the bight being a horizontal load supporting surface. A pair of wheels is supported by each leg of the body. A friction drive wheel for contact with a drive shaft is supported by the body. An accumulation bumper is provided adjacent a front end of the body and a cam is supported adjacent the rear end of the body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 1980
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1982
    Assignee: SI Handling, Inc.
    Inventor: Russell Scheel
  • Patent number: 4353306
    Abstract: A driverless vehicle has at least one drive wheel for cooperation with a drive tube. The vehicle has two actuators coupled to the drive wheel for rotating the drive wheel to an accumulation position. Each actuator can be selectively rendered inoperative. The vehicle can be propelled by way of the drive wheel and drive tube in opposite directions along a track with either end of the vehicle being the front end.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 1980
    Date of Patent: October 12, 1982
    Assignee: Si Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Peter H. Rohrbach, Robert A. Hale
  • Patent number: 4348961
    Abstract: A control device for controlling the speed of driverless vehicles moving along a track is selectively operable for stopping vehicles by contact therewith. The device is operated by a motor. Springs are provided for biasing the device to an operative position for contact with the vehicle upon failure of supply of power to the motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 1980
    Date of Patent: September 14, 1982
    Assignee: SI Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Peter H. Rohrbach
  • Patent number: 4347792
    Abstract: A driverless vehicle has at least one drive wheel mounted on a base and oscillatable about the axis of its support between a drive position and an accumulation position. A cam is supported on the base by a horizontal parallelogram linkage with one leg of the linkage connected to the drive wheel support for moving the drive wheel support between said positions. A ground supported cam follower is provided for actuating the cam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 1980
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1982
    Assignee: SI Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Katsuhiro Nagahori
  • Patent number: 4338864
    Abstract: A monorail driverless vehicle for use on an assembly line includes a vertically disposed frame having a drive wheel on the upper end of the frame and biased downwardly for contact with a drive shaft. Aligned support wheels on the frame are adapted for contact with a track therebelow. A fixture may be mounted on either side face of the vehicle for removably supporting the workpiece to be worked on by persons or apparatus along the assembly line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 1980
    Date of Patent: July 13, 1982
    Assignee: SI Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Barry L. Ziegenfus
  • Patent number: 4203511
    Abstract: A device for moving objects along a predetermined path comprises a rotatable shaft of circular cross-section extending along this path and a suspension arrangement comprising at least two rolls arranged displaced from each other in the circumferential direction of the peripheral surface of the shaft and frictionally engaging this peripheral surface, and a frame carrying the rolls with the axes thereof including an angle with the longitudinal axis of the shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 1977
    Date of Patent: May 20, 1980
    Inventor: Joachim Uhing
  • Patent number: 4154351
    Abstract: Apparatus for moving objects which comprises at least one roller journalled for engagement with the object to be moved whereby rotation of the roller causes the object to move in a longitudinal and/or rotational direction. The axis of the roller may be canted or angularly disposed with respect to the longitudinal direction of travel for the object in order to control the speed of movement of the object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 1977
    Date of Patent: May 15, 1979
    Inventor: Woodrow W. Stoltz
  • Patent number: 4132174
    Abstract: A shuttle vehicle reciprocates between sets of tracks for driverless vehicles. The linear movement of the shuttle vehicle causes a turntable on the shuttle vehicle to rotate. The turntable is adapted to support a driverless vehicle to be transported from one set of tracks to another.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 1976
    Date of Patent: January 2, 1979
    Assignee: S I Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Barry L. Ziegenfus, Russell H. Scheel
  • Patent number: 4086854
    Abstract: A control device is provided for controlling the speed of a vehicle used in a conveyor system wherein the vehicle moves along a track. The control device has a generally straight section between a first angled section having a cam surface for deceleration and a second angled section having a cam surface for acceleration in a controlled manner. The control member is supported for movement between operative and inoperative positions. A motor is provided for moving the control member from an inoperative position to an operative position. The control member is held in its operative position by a cam follower on the vehicle. When the cam follower loses contact with the control member, the control member moves to its inoperative position by gravity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 1976
    Date of Patent: May 2, 1978
    Assignee: SI Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Russell H. Scheel
  • Patent number: 4077327
    Abstract: A vehicle turntable having a set of tracks and a drive tube are mounted for rotation about a vertical axis. A belt and pulley arrangement is provided for rotating the drive tube about its longitudinal axis in all rotative positions of the turntable while using rotation of an adjacent drive tube thereby eliminating the need for a separate independent motor on the turntable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 1976
    Date of Patent: March 7, 1978
    Assignee: SI Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Barry L. Ziegenfus, Richard Jocsak
  • Patent number: 4074632
    Abstract: The article delivery device of the present invention is in the form of a conveyor system having a main branch with one or more auxiliary branches coupled thereto for use in connection with vehicles which are driven by frictional contact between a rotating drive shaft and a drive wheel coupled to the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 1975
    Date of Patent: February 21, 1978
    Assignee: SI Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Yutaka Kurahasi, Nobuyuki Ihara
  • Patent number: 4065007
    Abstract: A vehicle adapted to be conveyed along a track has an upper platform for supporting an article thereon. The platform is adapted to be inclined selectively to one side or the other of the track allowing the article being carried to slide off the vehicle into a chute but is maintained in the horizontal position by a locking device. As the vehicle approaches an unloading chute, the locking device is automatically unlocked and the platform is pivoted to one of its two inclined positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 1976
    Date of Patent: December 27, 1977
    Inventor: Yutaka Kurahashi
  • Patent number: 4059053
    Abstract: A transfer table is movable to place tracks thereon into and out of alignment with stationary tracks. When a driverless wheeled vehicle is on the tracks of the transfer table, and the transfer table tracks are out of alignment with the stationary tracks, a device automatically stops vehicles adjacent the free ends of the stationary tracks. A discrete rotatable drive shaft is provided between the stationary tracks and between the tracks of the transfer table for causing a driverless vehicle to move therealong.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 1975
    Date of Patent: November 22, 1977
    Assignee: S I Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Vercoe C. Jones
  • Patent number: 4054215
    Abstract: A vehicle adapted to be conveyed along a track has an inclined upper platform for supporting an article thereon. A gate hinged to the lower end of the platform is maintained in an upright position by a rotatable lever thereby preventing the article from sliding off of the vehicle. As the vehicle approaches an unloading chute, the lever is rotated to an inoperative position allowing the gate to open and the article to slide off the vehicle into the chute.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 1976
    Date of Patent: October 18, 1977
    Inventor: Yutaka Kurahashi
  • Patent number: 4041873
    Abstract: A driverless turntable system is disclosed and includes two turntables coupled together for simutaneous rotation in opposite directions. A driverless vehicle enters the first turntable, is transferred to the second turntable, and then exits from the second turntable in a direction parallel to that when it entered the first turntable. Stationary tracks are provided adjacent the turntables for guiding the vehicles thereonto and therefrom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 1975
    Date of Patent: August 16, 1977
    Assignee: Si Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Vercoe C. Jones
  • Patent number: 4036148
    Abstract: A track system is arranged to be flush with the floor and a drive shaft is mounted for rotation beneath the level of the floor. A vehicle mounted on wheels is moved along the tracks by a drive wheel which extends downwardly from the bottom of the vehicle through an elongated slot in the floor and which contacts the drive shaft. The vehicle includes a bumper system which upon impact oscillates the drive wheel into a position which decellerates and stops the vehicle. A cam associated with the drive wheel selectively cooperates with a cam surface located beneath the floor level at a queuing station for oscillating the drive wheel into a position which decellerates and stops the vehicle. Means are also provided at the queuing station for positively holding the vehicle in a stopped position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 1975
    Date of Patent: July 19, 1977
    Assignee: SI Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Vercoe C. Jones, Robert A. Hale
  • Patent number: 3942720
    Abstract: A vehicle path controller has a plurality of cylindrical support rollers arranged in section(s) with each roller axis (of rotation) substantially parallel to and along the prescribed path. An entrance ramp is positioned adjacent the initial roller section and facilitates the driving of the vehicle onto same. The rollers are rotatably connected to framework and are conveniently arranged in two separate paths, one path for the left wheels and one path for the right wheels. Guide rollers are also connected to the framework but have an axis of rotation elevated with reference to the vehicle support rollers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 1975
    Date of Patent: March 9, 1976
    Inventor: Billie M. Crutchfield