Gripping Drivers Patents (Class 105/30)
  • Patent number: 10500736
    Abstract: A joining tool (7), a joining device (2) equipped therewith and a joining method for joining stringers (9) to flexible workpieces (8) are provided. A plurality of industrial robots (3 to 6) are equipped with the joining tools (7) and handle and join the stringer (9) jointly. The joining tools (7) are heated and grip the stringer (9) via a gripper tool (25) on the upper face (30) of the structural unit, using a controlled suction gripper (26), a heated counter-holder (29), which is arranged next to the gripper tool, likewise acting upon the upper face (30) of the structural unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2019
    Assignee: KUKA SYSTEMS GMBH
    Inventors: Jörg Häntzschel, Norbert Strobl
  • Patent number: 10035074
    Abstract: An improved traction wheel structure for a motorized toy vehicle adapted to travel along tracks, rails, wires, strings or the like having vertical top edges or diameters, the wheels being provided with a V-shaped annular traction channel defined by laterally extending traction members extending from the sides of a primary annular channel. The toy vehicle is part of a set having at least two track members with vertical top edges, the track members being connected by a surface guide member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2018
    Inventor: Salvatore Mucaro
  • Patent number: 9156656
    Abstract: A stair lift for transporting a load includes a longitudinal guide having a first side running surface and a second side running surface opposing the first side running surface; and a carriage which is transportable along the guide and provided with rollers for guiding the carriage along the guide. The rollers include a first roller having a first roller peripheral friction surface which is in frictional engagement with the first side running surface for guiding the carriage along the guide and a second roller having a second roller peripheral friction surface which is in frictional engagement with the second side running surface for guiding the carriage along the guide. The first roller friction surface is provided with a first roller member, and the first side running surface is provided with a longitudinal first side running surface member which fits complementary with the first roller member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2015
    Assignee: HANDICARE STAIRLIFTS B.V.
    Inventor: Dov Rosenthal
  • Publication number: 20140182479
    Abstract: Devices for enabling navigation of a crawler vehicle along an airfoil-shaped body, such as a helicopter blade, in a low-cost fashion with high reliability, especially for swept configuration blades. Using the natural tendency of vacuum adherence devices to adhere to changing surface contours, the crawler vehicle can adhere itself to airfoil-shaped structures in a way that allows the crawler vehicle to easily translate along an airfoil-shaped body while accommodating extreme variations along the surface of the airfoil-shaped body. The crawler vehicle can be designed to eliminate any trailing edge follower wheel, which simplifies the crawler's ability to accommodate trailing edge protrusions, such as trim tabs.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 5, 2014
    Publication date: July 3, 2014
    Applicant: THE BOEING COMPANY
    Inventors: Joseph L. Hafenrichter, Karl Edward Nelson, Gary E. Georgeson
  • Patent number: 8393277
    Abstract: An automatic carriage return for an exhaust removal system having a carriage that is configured to translate along a track tube, the carriage being coupled at a first end to an exhaust extraction hose, the second end of the exhaust extraction hose being coupled to a vehicle exhaust for directing exhaust from the vehicle out the track tube. The automatic carriage return includes a drive cable spanning along the track tube, and an engagement assembly coupled to the carriage. The engagement assembly has an engaged configuration and a non-engaged configuration with respect to the drive cable. A drive motor is coupled to the engagement assembly, and drives motion of the carriage along the drive cable when the engagement assembly is in the engaged configuration. In the disengaged configuration, the engagement assembly is configured to be disengaged from the drive cable while the exhaust extraction hose is attached to the exhaust of a vehicle to allow the carriage to freely follow the path of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2013
    Inventors: John Johnston, Brian Roe
  • Patent number: 8262071
    Abstract: A positioning assembly using a pair of rollers elastically connected to a holding base for clamping two cutters received in the holding base. The cutters in the holding base can be adjusted to make different blades contact and align precisely.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2012
    Assignee: Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Chien-Feng Huang
  • Patent number: 8235178
    Abstract: The invention is an elevator comprising a movable component, a vertical track mounted along an elevator shaft, a driven frictional engagement device for frictional engagement with one side of the track with a coefficient of friction, and a connected support disposed on an opposite side of the track. The frictional engagement device is pivotally mounted on a lever which pivotally supports an effective weight of the movable component whereby the lever makes an angle ?1 with the horizontal. The tangent of the angle ?1 is less than or equal to the coefficient of friction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: Inventio AG
    Inventor: Hans Kocher
  • Patent number: 8082853
    Abstract: A pressure device for conduction of the cable in cable traction transportation systems including a pressure-roller (12) of the cable (7) supported elastically on a fixed support (2) and a counter-roller (6) supported on the fixed support (2) is described. In accordance with this invention the counter-roller (6) is supported in a revolving manner on a roller-holder (5) articulated at one end to the fixed support (2) and possesses at the other end guide means (8, 9) that engage as a running guide an arm (10) that bears in a revolving manner at one end the pressure-roller (12) on the side opposite the counter-roller (6) and is articulated at the other end to the fixed support (2) with the arm (10) being pressed by elastic means in the direction of exertion of pressure of the pressure-roller (12) on the cable (7).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2011
    Assignee: High Technology Investments B.V.
    Inventors: Ernst Heil, Herbert Willim, Lothar Busemann
  • Patent number: 7814839
    Abstract: A conveyor is powered by a rotating, generally horizontal drive tube or shaft engaged by angularly disposed trolley wheels, in which trolleys support the conveyed products or materials above the drive tube and clear of any parts of the conveyor structure that would interfere with the desired path of travel. Each of the trolleys is provided with load wheels which ride on load rails above the drive tube and associated drive wheels, thereby providing a structure upon which a platform or other support may be mounted for bearing the transported products.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2010
    Assignee: OCS Intellitrak, Inc.
    Inventors: Donald E. Owens, Charles P. Tabler
  • Patent number: 7798068
    Abstract: A friction drive trolley conveyor has a conveying traveling body provided with a friction drive load bar having traction purpose engaging means at both ends thereof and allows traction drive to be easily conducted without fail even at the time of conveying a heavy object. The traction purpose engaging means is composed of an engaged shaft arranged in the horizontal direction within a vertical notched portion formed at one end of the load bar, a hook member vertically swingably pivotally supported at an intermediate position in vertical height of the load bar at the other end of the load bar and a holding means holding the hook member in an engaged posture or a disengaged posture, and on a traveling route side, a first switching means switching the hook member from the engaged posture to the disengaged posture and a second switching means switching the hook member from the disengaged posture to the engaged posture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2010
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd
    Inventors: Shigeyoshi Nishihara, Toshiyuki Iba
  • Patent number: 7650843
    Abstract: A transportation system is provided that accommodates varying angles of slope along the path of its movement, while maintaining a level transportation platform without the need of mechanical leveling devices or systems. The platform may be connected to the rail by wheels that are held in a substantially fixed relationship to one another, the closest of which to the platform is above the rail, and the other below the rail. Accordingly, the platform is torqued downward to maintain contact between the wheels and the rail. As the slope of the terrain, and thus the slope of the rail, increases, the rail is widened to maintain the platform at level. As the slope decreases, the rail is narrowed to the same effect. The platform also may be tilted for loading or unloading by this rail-widening method, as may be desired.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2010
    Assignee: Incline Access, LLC
    Inventor: Marcus C. Minges
  • Patent number: 7624684
    Abstract: A cableway with suspended tram and remote bogie is disclosed. This includes a self-contained motor, traction and support sheaves with provision for adjusting the height of the tram below said cable for limiting vertical acceleration caused by travel along the cantenary curve of the cableway.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2009
    Inventor: Richard David Morris
  • Patent number: 7587983
    Abstract: A drive mechanism for a body where the body has a plurality of load bearing and track engaging wheels that allow the body to move back and forth along a track that comprises an actuator attached to the body that is manually or mechanically driven, a non-load beating drive wheel that is attached with respect to the body so that it engages a stationary surface adjacent the body and a drive coupling mechanism between the actuator and the drive wheel wherein actuation of the actuator causes rotation of the drive wheel which moves the body along the tracks. The invention provides a convenient mechanism of attaching a drive mechanism to a body and to enable easier movement of track mounted bodies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2009
    Assignee: Glidestore Freetrack Pty Ltd
    Inventors: Brian Maurice Parker, George Giles Campbell
  • Publication number: 20080148992
    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 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, a drive sprocket and associated chain for positively driving the driven wheel. The drive section also includes an articulated joint coupling the first and second roller portions together.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 22, 2006
    Publication date: June 26, 2008
    Applicant: TRANSOL CORPORATION
    Inventors: Timothy Joseph Bambrick, Arnold Timothy Galpin, Jason Rodney Garman, Brian Lee Fleck, Michael Richard Hanna, David A. Pisotti
  • 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
  • Publication number: 20040261650
    Abstract: The present invention relates to symmetrical arrangements in multi-unit articulated rail road cars. A multi-unit railroad car has an odd number of railcar units joined end to end by articulated connectors supported by railcar trucks. The railroad car has a transverse centerline. The arrangement of articulated connectors about the transverse centerline is symmetrical.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 30, 2003
    Publication date: December 30, 2004
    Inventors: Mohamed Al-Kaabi, Jamal Hematian
  • Patent number: 6722284
    Abstract: A steering mechanism for a track-mounted robot is provided. The steering mechanism comprises guide wheels, which are fixed to yokes that pivot around secondary drive wheels. The pivot action of the yokes allows the guide wheels to maintain full contact with the track and steer as the robot traverses straight and curved portions of the track. Linkage components attach the yokes to a cam follower which follows a cam surface in the track in order to force the proper angle of steering for the guide wheels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2004
    Assignee: Storage Technology Corporation
    Inventors: Gary Gustafson, Timothy C. Ostwald
  • 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: 6666147
    Abstract: A transportation system is provided that accommodates varying angles of slope along the path of its movement, while maintaining a level transportation platform without the need of mechanical leveling devices or systems. The platform may be connected to the rail by wheels, the closest of which to the platform is above the rail, and the other below the rail. Accordingly, the platform is torqued downward to maintain contact between the wheels and the rail. As the slope of the terrain, and thus the rail, increases, the rail is widened to maintain the platform at level. As the slope decreases, the rail is narrowed to the same effect. The platform also may be tilted for loading or unloading by this rail-widening method, as may be desired.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2003
    Assignee: Incline Access, LLC
    Inventor: Marcus C. Minges
  • Patent number: 6494141
    Abstract: A vehicle for use on a live line. The vehicle is provided with three coplanar traction wheels mounted on a frame and spaced along a first longitudinal axis parallel to the live line and above therefrom. The vehicle is also provided with two movable coplanar pressure wheels mounted on the frame and spaced along a second longitudinal axis parallel to the line and below therefrom. The vehicle has a driving motor mounted on the frame, for driving the traction wheels. The motor has a source of energy, such as batteries. The vehicle has a pressure mechanism mounted on the frame and coupled to the pressure wheels, for maintaining the line squeezed between the traction wheels and the pressure wheels. The vehicle has a control mechanism coupled to the motor for controlling the motor. Thereby, in use, the vehicle is moved along the line. The vehicle can also be provided with a de-icing tool. The de-icing tool has a collar with two parts opening and closing around the line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2002
    Assignee: Hydro-Quebec
    Inventors: Serge Montambault, Jacques Cote
  • Patent number: 6418855
    Abstract: An industrial truck (1) is driven by a friction drive (7) acting on a rail (6). For this purpose, the industrial truck (1) stands on the underlying surface by way of a front steering-roller pair (3) and a rear fixed-roller pair (5) and is kept on track by a guide roller (9) butting against the rail (6). In the region of a curved element (12), the rail (6) has an elevation, with result that there is an increase there in the propulsion force which can be transmitted by a friction wheel (8) of the friction drive (7). An introduction aid (11) allows the guide roller (9) to be aligned without difficulty in relation to the rail (6). The industrial truck (1), rather than being bound to fixed cyclic operation by its friction drive (7), can be specifically accelerated or decelerated. In the event of malfunctioning of the industrial truck (1), the latter can easily be moved manually.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2002
    Assignee: Mannesmann VDO AG
    Inventor: Dirk Fischer
  • Patent number: 6386117
    Abstract: Apparatus for the interface of an elevated vertical roadway and vehicle wheel, for achieving greater traction than possible using vehicle weight, and for minimizing vehicle wheel oscillation against the roadway, for minimizing roadway damage associated with heavy vehicle motion, said apparatus having a roadway/wheel interface geometry comprising a substantially vertical roadway with substantially vertical but concave sides, and convex wheel rims rolling on said convex roadway sides, with wheel rim width which is equal to or less than the width of the concave part of the roadway side; and said apparatus having a compression apparatus, independent of vehicle weight, for causing the wheels to be in substantial compression against the side of the roadway, in one said embodiment said compression apparatus being formed by the combination of pairs of parallel wheel axles on opposite sides of the roadway, and cables wound in substantial tension around each said pair of axles, said tensioned cables urging said axles t
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2002
    Inventor: Maynard Cowan, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6220174
    Abstract: A guidance system with a truck guided on a rail (1) has available laterally arranged guiding surfaces (2.1, 2.2) for guide rollers of the truck. A rack (4) is preferably constructed on the rail (1) such that a dividing line (6) of a gearing (5) of the rack (4) constantly runs through a median perpendicular (7) of the cross-section of the rail (1). Each truck has, for example, two wheel frames. The wheel frames are preferably so constructed that the swivel axis (22) runs through a power application point (14) of the dividing line (6). The guiding elements form a three-point guidance system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2001
    Assignee: Gudel AG
    Inventors: Rudolf Gudel, Walter Zulauf, Hans-Ulrich Kurt
  • Patent number: 6178891
    Abstract: The invention involves a suspended trolley line, particularly an electric monorail line with at least one undercarriage movable along running rails and with a running wheel that may be driven along the rail. At least two frictional wheels are spaced from each other and positioned on the running wheel. The frictional wheels are guided on the undercarriage by a connecting element and are braced against each other by a spring element, such that the frictional wheels additionally contact the supplemental rail and impinge upon the running wheel with pressure when in an operating position. The supplemental rail is located at least partially parallel to the running rail and spaced therefrom. The driven undercarriage is simple in its construction and has improved traction characteristics and therefore is particularly capable of being used in ascending and descending sections of the trolley line. The frictional wheels, the connecting element and the spring element form an assembly unit lying on the running wheel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2001
    Assignee: Mannesmann Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: R{umlaut over (u)}diger Ostholt, Sigurd Volker Weber
  • Patent number: 6155382
    Abstract: A running gear (3), for a drive mechanism of a rail-guided displacement device, such as a passenger lift, comprising a base part, a drive and at least two sets of guide wheels (9), arranged behind each other, viewed in direction of travel of the running gear, so that, during use, the running gear is guided along the rail in a desired position by the guide wheels, the base part comprising at least a bridge piece (5), a first and a second frame part (6, 7), the frame parts each being connected to the bridge piece so as to be movable about at least one pivotal axis, each frame part carrying a set of guide wheels and the frame parts being mutually coupled by coupling means which form a mechanical mirror, so that the movements of the first and the second part are always each other's mirror image in a first plane of symmetry extending at right angles to the driving direction of the running gear between the first and the second frame part, and viewed relative to the bridge piece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2000
    Assignee: Thyssen De Reus B.V.
    Inventor: Eduard Jozef Marie Duijnstee
  • Patent number: 6050198
    Abstract: A travelling mechanism for a rail-movable lifting device includes a carrier with running wheels which roll on a longitudinally extending running surface of a rail. A double lever is pivotally mounted on the carrier. A drivable friction wheel that is positionable on a longitudinally extending friction surface of the rail is rotatably mounted on the double lever. An opposing side of the double lever supports the lifting device, whereby the double lever presses the friction wheel against the friction surface of the rail by a force under the weight of the lifting device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2000
    Assignee: Mannesmann Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Udo Gersemsky, Alfred Fanger, Ralf Eising
  • Patent number: 5964159
    Abstract: A lift for inclined or vertical operation has a pair of guide rails that run parallel to one other, on which guide rollers run that are mounted on swivel plates so that they can swivel and contact the rails from opposite sides. At least one guide roller on each swivel plate is designed as a drive roller. The periphery of the drive roller is pressed against a respective engagement area of the rail by a spring force in such a way that the drive force of the drive roller is primarily transferred to the rail by friction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 12, 1999
    Inventor: Wilfried Hein
  • Patent number: 5676189
    Abstract: The present invention is a motorized drapery track assembly specially adapted for use in traversing very sharp corners without derailment. The system employs a motorized carrier that is mounted upon a track and a plurality of trolleys to which a drapery is mounted. The carrier is interconnected to at least one trolley and pulls or pushes the drapery along the track. The carrier includes at least one guide wheel and a drive wheel, which are relatively moveable with respect to each other to allow for movement at sharp corners to prevent derailment of the carrier. The track itself is specifically adapted so that it can be easily bent and installed. Special brackets are employed so that the track can be installed in areas with restricted space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 14, 1997
    Assignee: Arbor Marketing Limited
    Inventor: Richard Zeeb
  • Patent number: 5666884
    Abstract: A vehicle travels along a rail and, driven by an onboard motor. The vehicle includes an auxiliary guide wheel mounted in a floating arrangement on a component acted upon by a helical spring. A shaft on which the wheel is mounted is disposed in an elongated slot in a lever. The lever is articulated at a place on the vehicle body and its other end is acted upon by a second spring. Rotation of the lever is limited by a stop which is secured to the vehicle. When the auxiliary guide wheel makes contact with the guide rail, the two springs are compressed, so that the two wheels touch. Consequently, contact between the outer peripheral surfaces of the two wheels occurs only when the vehicle is moving underneath the guide rail. At other times during operation, there is no contact and no wear on the material forming the outer peripheral surfaces of the two wheel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 16, 1997
    Assignee: Adelardo Lopez Alba
    Inventor: Adelardo Lopez Alba
  • Patent number: 5664502
    Abstract: Wheel assembly capable of maintaining engagement with a rail having an uneven portion therein. The wheel assembly includes a frame adapted to pivot about a pivot axis defined by the frame. At least one wheel is rotatably connected to the frame for traversing the rail. The wheel maintains engagement with the rail as the wheel traverses the uneven portion of the rail because the frame pivots about the pivot axis as the wheel encounters the uneven portion of the rail. Service tooling may be suspended from the wheel assembly to service a nuclear reactor pressure vessel located below the rail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 9, 1997
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corporation
    Inventor: John J. Wilhelm
  • Patent number: 5662045
    Abstract: An automated material handling system including one or more train assemblies moving along a rail with each train assembly including a locomotive pulling a plurality of trolley cars. The locomotive includes a front truck adapted for movement along the rail; a rear truck adapted for movement along the rail in spaced trailing relation to the front truck; a body structure mounted on and extending between the front and rear trucks; a tractor positioned between the front and rear trucks, disassociated from the body structure, and including a motor and a traction drive wheel driven by the motor and adapted to drivingly engage the rail; and a link pivotally interconnecting the tractor and the rear truck. The body structure defines a central downwardly opening compartment between the front and rear trucks and the tractor is positioned in the compartment. The tractor is thus free to essentially independently perform the pulling function for the train without concern for the carrying function of the locomotive.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 2, 1997
    Assignee: Symorex, Ltd.
    Inventors: Charles E. Miller, John Strand, James J. Gould
  • Patent number: 5657699
    Abstract: A combination including a track arrangement and a vehicle to be operated on the track arrangement. The track arrangement has two sets of laterally spaced apart running faces, each set including an upper running face and a lower running face. The vehicle includes a plurality of steerable axle assemblies, each axle assembly having an axle arrangement, a pair of upper wheels journalled on the axle arrangement and engageable with respective upper running faces; and a pair of lower wheels journalled on the axle arrangement and engageable with respective lower running faces. A steering arrangement urges the axle assemblies to align with the track arrangement. A loss sensing arrangement which senses a loss of adhesion or an imminent loss of adhesion of the upper wheels with respect to the respective upper running faces. A signal arrangement generates a signal indicative of one of the loss of adhesion and the imminent loss of adhesion of the upper wheels with respect to the respective upper running faces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 19, 1997
    Inventor: Arthur Ernest Bishop
  • Patent number: 5632207
    Abstract: A conveying system is provided for moving a pallet along straight and curved paths. The conveying system includes a track on which the pallet is mounted for movement by a motor driven roller which engages a stationary shaft mounted on the track. The drive roller is urged into contact with the shaft and is capable of clockwise and counterclockwise rotation in order to effectuate forward or reverse motion of the pallet. A control device is provided for controlling the speed and stopping and starting the pallet. The control device may include object detectors and/or switches for stopping the pallet in response to objects on the track or for stopping the pallet at predetermined locations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 27, 1997
    Assignee: Evana Automation
    Inventors: Charles Roberts, Donald Swallow, Randall Wire
  • Patent number: 5595121
    Abstract: The present invention provides an amusement ride having a self-propelled electric powered ride vehicle capable of maximum acceleration of about 0.3 to as much as about 1.1 G's in either direction using a unique pinch wheel drive system, and including an on board vehicle controller and peripheral equipment for controlling the vehicle. The pinch wheel drive system, which compresses driven wheel motor packages against a tractive surface, generates compression using a system which is independent of the vehicle's weight and motion. A master controller is provided for ride systems having multiple self-propelled vehicles on the same track for communicating with and coordinating the movement of the ride vehicles. This allows precise control of multiple ride vehicles to allow faster dispatch and shorter intervehicular spacings by implementing a floating zone control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 1994
    Date of Patent: January 21, 1997
    Assignee: The Walt Disney Company
    Inventors: Steven A. Elliott, Ronald W. Froelich, John W. Sogge
  • Patent number: 5572930
    Abstract: A lift for inclined or vertical operation has a pair of guide rails that run parallel to one other, on which guide rollers run that are mounted on swivel plates so that they can swivel and contact the rails from opposite sides. At least one guide roller on each swivel plate is designed as a drive roller. The periphery of the drive roller is pressed against a respective engagement area of the rail by a spring force in such a way that the drive force of the drive roller is primarily transferred to the rail by friction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 12, 1996
    Inventor: Wilfried Hein
  • Patent number: 5507679
    Abstract: A toy vehicle system has a vehicle provided with a resiliently biased driven wheel. The wheel is driven by a motor and interposed gears for rotating said driven wheel. The driven wheel is in contact with a lateral side of the track. The motor and driven wheel are mounted on a panel which is positioned for relative movement within a slot in the vehicle pedestal. Track engaging elements, which may preferably be spools, have a pair of rotatable elements in engagement with each side of the track. A pair of resiliently biased electrical pickups is disposed in contacting relationship with the electrically energized track rails. One or more lights may be provided on the vehicle. The vehicle is preferably disposed within a closed hollow enclosure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 16, 1996
    Inventor: James G. Getsay
  • Patent number: 5489017
    Abstract: An automatic system for sorting items, such as small parcels, into groups bound for different geographical locations is described. The system includes a carriage for traveling along a track, the carriage having an adjustment feature such that it may continuously be held against the track. The carriage also provides a tilt tray in which packages are presented on a convex surface. The convex surface causes the package to be destabilized, so they may be quickly discharged from the tilt tray.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 1994
    Date of Patent: February 6, 1996
    Assignee: United Parcel Service of America, Inc.
    Inventor: Henri Bonnet
  • Patent number: 5479862
    Abstract: A rail conveyor, including an I-shaped main rail, a trolley guided at the I-shaped rail and having lateral guide rollers, a running wheel rolling on the rail, a counter-wheel and an extra rail for the counter-wheel for increasing frictional engagement of the running wheel with the main rail, the extra rail extending parallel to the main rail, the extra rail being arranged laterally adjacent to the rail, the running wheel and the counter-wheel each having an axle that lies in a plane aligned perpendicular to the longitudinal extension of the main rail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1993
    Date of Patent: January 2, 1996
    Assignee: Mannesmann Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Holger Waterkamp
  • Patent number: 5461985
    Abstract: The invention is directed to a traveling trolley, in particular a single-rail trolley having a compact height. A traveling trolley constructed in accordance with the present invention includes a supporting frame with running wheels that run on the bottom flange of a rail, a hoist arranged at the supporting frame, a lever member arranged at the axle of the driven running wheel so as to swivel or pivot, and a friction wheel supported at the free end of the lever member via an additional axle. The friction wheel and the driven running wheel are each coupled to a respective toothed wheel and these toothed wheels are driven by a driving unit. A spring element arranged between the lever member and the supporting frame urges the friction wheel into contact with the bottom flange of the rail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 31, 1995
    Assignee: Mannesmann Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Udo Gersemsky
  • Patent number: 5421268
    Abstract: A conveying system is provided for moving a pallet along straight and curved paths. The conveying system includes a track on which the pallet is mounted for movement by means of a motor driven roller pivotally mounted on the pallet which engages a stationary shaft mounted on the track. Depending on the position of the drive roller in relation to the shaft, the pallet is driven forward, rearward, or remains stationary. The drive roller is resiliently urged into contact with the shaft and is pivotally mounted on the pallet so as to be movable between a forward drive position, a rearward drive position, and a stationary position. A resilient bias urges the drive roller to the forward drive position. A cam mechanism is provided to move the drive roller to the stationary position when desired.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 6, 1995
    Assignee: Evana Automation
    Inventors: Charles Roberts, Donald Swallow, Randall Wire
  • Patent number: 5419260
    Abstract: A self-propelled overhead track-mounted moving system includes an elongated support rail attachable to an overhead support structure, a carrier trolley mounted for undergoing movement along the support rail, an actuation unit supported on the support rail and on one side of the trolley, and a drive unit mounted on an opposite side of the trolley and coupled to the actuation unit. The support rail has a pair of top guide tracks and a bottom guide track. The trolley includes a housing having a pair of opposite lateral sides and a pair of front and rear ends.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 30, 1995
    Inventor: James Hamilton
  • Patent number: 5415106
    Abstract: A portable snow skier rope towing system comprises: an endless loop of flexible tow rope; a series of pulleys supporting the endless loop of tow rope for driving about an elongated enclosed path, the elongated path having opposed extreme ends, each extreme end being defined by at least one pulley; a supporting frame; a motor operably mounted relative to the supporting frame, the motor having an output drive; and a winch apparatus operably connected with the motor output drive and relative to the supporting frame, the tow rope passing through the winch at a location within the enclosed path which is displaced from each of the extreme end pulleys, the winch apparatus comprising: a drive wheel mounted for rotation and engagement with the output drive, the drive wheel having a circumference with a tapered groove formed thereabout which receives the tow rope; a rope inlet wheel mounted for rotation adjacent the drive wheel, the inlet wheel having a circumferential groove which receives the tow rope; and a rope out
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 16, 1995
    Assignee: Marc Groskreutz
    Inventors: Marc Groskreutz, Patrick W. Foster
  • Patent number: 5408935
    Abstract: A magnet-type transportation system of a car-side primary type includes a rail of a magnetic material, fixedly laid down along a traveling track, and a power car capable of self-movement by a plurality of wheels adapted to roll over the traveling track. The power car includes a plurality of magnet belt conveyor units, each having a magnet belt extended in an endless manner around a driving wheel and a driven wheel. The power car also includes a power unit and a power transfer/transmission mechanism for driving each conveyor unit. The power car is adapted so that the magnet belts mounted thereon are magnetically attracted to the rail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 1993
    Date of Patent: April 25, 1995
    Assignees: Furukawa Denki Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha, East Japan Railway Company, Magnetic Transportation System Engineering Company, Railway Electrical Engineering Association of Japan
    Inventors: Kazumi Matsui, Takashi Takasue, Nagao Sakakura
  • Patent number: 5398617
    Abstract: A conveyor system for moving loads, comprises including an overhead rail (11, 211) along which run motor-driven carriages (10), each carriage having a motor-driven wheel (13, 113, 213, 313, 413, 513) resting on the upper part of the rail and a frame (12, 15) ending on the lower part of the rail with a device (16) for supporting a load. The wheel (13, 113, 213, 313, 413, 513) has a rolling surface (22, 122, 222, 330) which rolls over a corresponding rolling surface (25, 129, 225) on the rail and also a gripping surface (23, 123, 223, 330) which grips a corresponding gripping surface (24, 128, 224, 324, 424, 524) of the rail. One of the gripping surfaces (23, 123, 223, 330 or 24, 128, 224, 324, 424, 524) has rigid gripping teeth (23, 123, 224, 330, 430, 530), while the other of the gripping surfaces (24, 128, 224, 324, 424, 524 or 23, 123, 223, 330) is made of elastically pliable material in order to receive an imprint of the teeth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 1993
    Date of Patent: March 21, 1995
    Assignee: Fata Automation S.p.A.
    Inventor: Giorgio Deandrea
  • Patent number: 5381737
    Abstract: A rail truck for use in an elevated closed beam having a slot in the bottom surface for clearance of a car body support member. The passenger car body is hung beneath the beam and elevated above the ground with the trucks running inside the beam. The flanged wheels run on a pair of parallel rails with an electric power rail located above the center of the two running rails. The suspension permits restrained swinging of the passenger car in the lateral and longitudinal directions. A safety wheel is mounted to the frame to prevent upward movement of the frame to the extent that the wheel flanges on the running rails could climb over the top of the running rails. A pair of auxiliary climbing rails are mounted parallel to the power rail and above the running rails. Auxiliary climbing wheels on the truck are mounted on actuators which permit a controlled elevation of the auxiliary climbing wheels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 1993
    Date of Patent: January 17, 1995
    Inventor: Bryant Trenary
  • Patent number: 5351620
    Abstract: Carrier system for a mobile device positionable in various directions in space, such as a directive light source, including a trolley which can move along a guide ramp. The ramp includes two helical rails turning about a given longitudinal axis, and the trolley includes a pair of axles with parallel axes holding the ramp therebetween. Each axle is provided with a central body engaging with an associated face of the ramp by wheels capable of running the ramp and guiding the axles when the wheels move along the ramp, with which the wheels are held in contact by an elastic connecting member pulling them towards each other. The light source is fixed to the central body of one axle, and the central body is coupled in rotation with the wheels of the axle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 1992
    Date of Patent: October 4, 1994
    Inventors: Vincent Becheau, Marie-Laure Bourgeois
  • Patent number: 5331900
    Abstract: A trolley, particularly a monorail trolley having a short structural height includes travel wheels which travel on a lower flange of a rail. The trolley further includes a lifting mechanism arranged on a support frame and a driveable friction wheel which can be pressed through a spring element against the lower flange of the rail. One of the travel wheels and the friction wheel are arranged on a rocker member for a load-dependent increase of the frictional engagement between the rail and the travel wheel and the friction wheel. As seen in travel direction, the friction wheel is spaced from the travel wheel. The rocker member is arranged laterally next to the lower flange and is connected to the support frame so as to be pivotable about an axis. Arranged between the support frame and the rocker member is an adjusting member for changing the distance between the axis and the lower flange. The friction wheel and the travel wheel are connected so as to be triable together.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 26, 1994
    Assignee: Mannesmann Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Udo Gersemsky
  • Patent number: 5326197
    Abstract: A drive apparatus that is compact in size, low in cost, allows the attaining of a high degree of accuracy as well as high-speed driving, suppresses noise, and obtains both large thrust and braking force. The present invention is able to obtain the above-mentioned advantages of compact size, reduction of costs, high accuracy, high-speed driving and suppression of noise as a result of providing a torque generation device on a slider guided by a track rail, attaching a drive roller to which is torque is applied by an output shaft of the torque generation device, and that drive roller rolling along the track rail. In addition, the above-mentioned advantages of large thrust and braking force are obtained by forming indentations in at least one of either the track rail or drive roller with respect to the other track rail or drive roller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 5, 1994
    Assignee: Nippon Thompson Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Seiji Takei
  • Patent number: 5323710
    Abstract: An arrangement for driving a trackbound traction unit and being self-adjusting in both the forward and rearward directions. The arrangement includes at least two drive wheels with associated transmissions, two carrier arms whose longitudinal axes substantially parallel with the longitudinal direction of the traction unit and on one end of which the drive wheels are journalled, a holder in which the other end of the carrier arms is pivotally journalled by means of spherical bearings, a hydraulic piston-cylinder device which is connected to the first-mentioned ends of the carrier arms, and a rail which is fixedly mounted to the chassis in the center of the track. The carrier arms are substantially perpendicular to the geometric axes of the drive wheels and are intended to swing the drive wheels into pressured abutment with the center rail through the medium of the hydraulic piston-cylinder device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 1992
    Date of Patent: June 28, 1994
    Assignee: Svenska Kraftbyggarna Entreprenad AB
    Inventor: Hilding Manstrom
  • Patent number: 5103738
    Abstract: A transmission for movement along a track system comprises a frame movably supported on the track system by guides mounted to the frame. At least one endless belt assembly comprising a pair of spaced endless belts engaging associated belt wheels is mounted to the frame. A drive system for rotating the belt wheels and driving the endless belt is provided. A gripping system adapted for holding and releasing the track system is mounted between the pair of spaced endless belt. The gripping system comprises a plurality of posts extending between the spaced endless belts over the length of the endless belt assembly with gripping units slidably mounted on each of the posts. Biasing springs tend to center the gripping units on the posts. An actuating arrangement is provided for activating the gripping system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 1991
    Date of Patent: April 14, 1992
    Inventor: Jan Claussen