Stepper Patents (Class 180/8.1)
  • Patent number: 10329788
    Abstract: A method of assembling a drilling rig may include aligning a trailer with a drilling rig support structure, the trailer carrying a mast and the drilling rig support structure including a step-down substructure. A first end of the mast may be positioned over the drilling rig support structure and arms may be extended from the mast to the drilling rig support structure so that the drilling rig support structure supports the first end of the mast. The mast may translate along a length of the drilling rig support structure. The mast may be coupled to the drilling rig support structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2019
    Assignee: SCHLUMBERGER TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION
    Inventors: Kevin Bradley Jonah, Kevin Denness
  • Patent number: 10293482
    Abstract: A robotic construction unit comprising a processor, a plurality of battery modules, and a plurality of magnetic modules. The processor is operable to control the operation of the magnetic modules. Each battery module is operable to provide power to at least one of the processor and a magnetic module of the plurality of magnetic modules. Each magnetic module is operable to alternatively establish magnetic attraction to a magnetic module of an adjacent robotic construction unit or establish magnetic repulsion to the magnetic module of the adjacent robotic construction unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2019
    Assignee: ITI Electromagnetic Products Inc.
    Inventors: Charles Arthur Buthala, Mark Hobbs
  • Patent number: 10239208
    Abstract: A method for determining a step path involves obtaining a reference step path for a robot with at least three feet. The reference step path includes a set of spatial points on a surface that define respective target touchdown locations for the at least three feet. The method also involves receiving a state of the robot. The method further involves generating a reference capture point trajectory based on the reference step path. Additionally, the method involves obtaining at least two potential step paths and a corresponding capture point trajectory. Further, the method involves selecting a particular step path of the at least two potential step paths based on a relationship between the at least two potential step paths, the potential capture point trajectory, the reference step path, and the reference capture point trajectory. The method additionally involves instructing the robot to begin stepping in accordance with the particular step path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Assignee: Boston Dynamics, Inc.
    Inventor: Benjamin Swilling
  • Patent number: 10232507
    Abstract: A waist structure includes: a support assembly located between a trunk structure and two leg structures; a waist servo mounted on the support assembly and two first-stage leg servos; and a transmission member connected between the waist servo and the first-stage leg servos. The waist servo connects the trunk structure to the support assembly, and the first-stage leg servos connect the support assembly to the leg structures. The waist servo includes an output shaft connected to the transmission member. Each first-stage leg servo has a connecting end. The transmission member includes a first connecting member and a second connecting member securely mounted on the connecting ends, the first transmission member mounted on the output shaft and connected to the first connecting member, and the second transmission member which is driven by the first transmission member connects to the second connecting member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2019
    Assignee: UBTECH ROBOTICS CORP.
    Inventors: Youjun Xiong, Meichun Liu
  • Patent number: 10221541
    Abstract: A system to stabilize a construction vehicle is disclosed having a frame and a pair of stabilizing legs with ground-engaging shoes at the ends of the legs. The stabilizing legs may pivotally connect to the frame on substantially opposing sides, so that the stabilizing legs pivot upwards to a stowed position and pivot downwards to a stabilizing position where the shoe engages the ground. The stabilizing legs may telescope between a retracted and extended position. The retracted position locates the shoe closer to the vehicle and the extended position further from the vehicle. A pair of hydraulic cylinders may be connected to the respective stabilizing legs to power the telescopic movement of the stabilizing legs between the retracted position and extended position. A controller may allow substantially lateral movement of the construction vehicle while the pair of stabilizing legs are engaged with the ground to support the construction vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2019
    Inventor: Joshua Colbert
  • Patent number: 10220518
    Abstract: Example methods and devices for touch-down detection for a robotic device are described herein. In an example embodiment, a computing system may receive a force signal due to a force experienced at a limb of a robotic device. The system may receive an output signal from a sensor of the end component of the limb. Responsive to the received signals, the system may determine whether the force signal satisfies a first threshold and determine whether the output signal satisfies a second threshold. Based on at least one of the force signal satisfying the first threshold or the output signal satisfying the second threshold, the system of the robotic device may provide a touch-down output indicating touch-down of the end component of the limb with a portion of an environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2019
    Assignee: Boston Dynamics, Inc.
    Inventors: Zachary Jackowski, Kevin Blankespoor, John Aaron Saunders, Francis M. Agresti
  • Patent number: 10207756
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present invention are directed to a load transporting apparatus that automatically aligns a support foot of the apparatus with a load-bearing frame connected to the load transporting apparatus during a recovery phase of an incremental walking movement. In particular, the load transporting apparatus includes a linking device attached to a support foot of the apparatus and a biasing device connected to the linking device that is deflected during non-linear load transporting movements, where the biasing device acts to automatically return the support foot to an aligned position relative to the load-bearing frame after a non-linear movement has been completed and the support foot is raised above a ground surface. Other embodiments of the present invention are directed to a load transporting apparatus that automatically centers a support foot of the apparatus about a roller assembly during a recovery phase of an incremental walking movement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2019
    Assignee: ENTRO INDUSTRIES, INC.
    Inventors: Shawn R. Smith, Harlan B. Smith
  • Patent number: 10183712
    Abstract: Provided is a walking control method enabling stable walking operation to be realized, a walking control program and a biped walking robot. A walking control method includes, during walking operation of a biped walking robot having a position of center of gravity being adjusted at a predetermined reference angle that enables the robot to be upright, a step of acquiring information indicative of an inclination angle of an upper body relative to the reference angle, and a step of operating, with one of a first leg and a second leg not being grounded due to the walking operation, the first leg and the second leg such that the upper body is maintained within a predetermined angle range relative to the reference angle according to the inclination angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2019
    Assignees: PANASONIC CORPORATION
    Inventor: Masahiko Yamaguchi
  • Patent number: 10157260
    Abstract: Provided are a walking state estimating device and a walking state estimating method. A reference point Q (m) is defined at the bottom end portion of one of the pair of legs of a subject P, the one leg being estimated to be in a stance leg state, i.e. the one leg that is highly likely to be the supporting leg when the subject P changes the position and attitude of his/her torso. Hence, when the reference point Q (m) is changed, the position of the current reference point Q (m) can be estimated with high accuracy on the basis of the position of a previous reference point Q (m?1) before the change and according to the attitudes of the torso and the one leg at the time point at which the current reference point is defined after the change.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2018
    Assignee: HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Yasushi Ikeuchi
  • Patent number: 10132336
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for controlling torsional rotation and/or stiffness of a member by the use of artificial style activation elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2018
    Assignee: VECNA TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
    Inventor: Daniel Theobald
  • Patent number: 10105850
    Abstract: A control system may receive a first plurality of measurements indicative of respective joint angles corresponding to a plurality of sensors connected to a robot. The robot may include a body and a plurality of jointed limbs connected to the body associated with respective properties. The control system may also receive a body orientation measurement indicative of an orientation of the body of the robot. The control system may further determine a relationship between the first plurality of measurements and the body orientation measurement based on the properties associated with the jointed limbs of the robot. Additionally, the control system may estimate an aggregate orientation of the robot based on the first plurality of measurements, the body orientation measurement, and the determined relationship. Further, the control system may provide instructions to control at least one jointed limb of the robot based on the estimated aggregate orientation of the robot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2018
    Assignee: Boston Dynamics, Inc.
    Inventors: Alex Khripin, Alfred Anthony Rizzi
  • Patent number: 10099378
    Abstract: A mobile robot 1 has a lower base body 6 and an upper base body 7, which is relatively rotatable with respect to the lower base body 6. The robot 1 is configured to be capable of performing a travel motion in which the robot 1 travels in a state wherein the front side of the upper base body 7 is oriented to face the same direction as the front side of the lower base body 6, and a travel motion in which the robot 1 travels in a state wherein the front side of the upper base body 7 is oriented to face the same direction as the rear side of the lower base body 6. The middle portion of each of leg links 3 can be bended toward either the front side or the rear side of the lower base body 6.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2018
    Assignee: HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Hiroyuki Kaneko, Tomoki Watabe
  • Patent number: 10081098
    Abstract: A robotic device includes a control system. The control system receives a first measurement indicative of a first distance between a center of mass of the machine and a first position in which a first leg of the machine last made initial contact with a surface. The control system also receives a second measurement indicative of a second distance between the center of mass of the machine and a second position in which the first leg of the machine was last raised from the surface. The control system further determines a third position in which to place a second leg of the machine based on the received first measurement and the received second measurement. Additionally, the control system provides instructions to move the second leg of the machine to the determined third position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2018
    Assignee: Boston Dynamics, Inc.
    Inventors: Gabriel Nelson, Benjamin Stephens
  • Patent number: 10049455
    Abstract: A system for providing positioning functionality in an apparatus. Apparatuses may comprise various sensor resources and may utilize these resources to sense information at a location. For example, an apparatus may sense visual, signal and/or field information at a location. The apparatus may then compare the sensed information to a mapping database in order to determine position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2018
    Assignee: Nokia Technologies Oy
    Inventors: Lauri Wirola, Jari Syrjarinne
  • Patent number: 10040151
    Abstract: A machine tool comprising: a first body; a first leg, a second leg, and a third leg coupled to the first body via first joints and configured to support at least the first body; a second body including a tool holder; a fourth leg, a fifth leg, and a sixth leg coupled to the second body via second joints and configured to support at least the second body; and a first actuator coupled to the first body and to the second body, the first actuator being configured to cause rotational motion between the first body and the second body to enable a change in walking direction of the machine tool and/or to enable a change in machining stiffness and a change in work volume of the machine tool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2018
    Assignee: ROLLS-ROYCE PLC
    Inventors: Dragos Aurelian Axinte, Xin Dong, James Kell
  • Patent number: 10022866
    Abstract: A control device of a robot for controlling the angle of a joint of the robot that is driven by a motor. The control device is equipped with: a joint angle command-calculating unit for calculating a joint angle command value; an axial force torque-calculating unit for calculating the axial force torque generated in the joint axis; an elastic deformation-compensating unit for calculating a motor command angle by adding a joint deflection, which is calculated from the axial force torque and a joint spring constant, to the joint angle command value; a stopping position-detecting unit for detecting the angle of the motor when the robot contacts an external structure; and a command angle-switching unit for outputting the motor angle detected by the stopping position-detecting unit instead of the joint angle command value when the stopping position-detecting unit outputs the angle of the motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2018
    Assignee: Kobe Steel, Ltd.
    Inventor: Takashi Wada
  • Patent number: 10000248
    Abstract: Example embodiments relate to a robotic device with at least two legs. Each leg includes a foot including a first sole and a second sole perpendicular to the first sole. Each leg additionally includes an ankle joint configured to rotate the foot from a first position in which the first sole is contacting a ground surface to a second position in which the second sole is contacting the ground surface. The robotic device includes a control system. When the foot of a given leg of the at least two legs is in the first position, the control system may determine to cause the foot of the given leg to switch from the first position to the second position, and may cause the ankle joint of the given leg to rotate the foot of the given leg from the first position to the second position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2018
    Inventors: Junichi Urata, Yoshito Ito
  • Patent number: 9969087
    Abstract: An example implementation for avoiding leg collisions may involve a biped robot reducing a three-dimensional system to a two-dimensional projection of the biped robot's feet. An example biped robot may determine a touchdown location for a swing foot. The biped robot may determine lateral positions of the touchdown location and the swing foot, each relative to a stance foot. Based on one or more of the determined lateral positions of the touchdown location and the swing foot, each relative to the stance foot, the biped robot may determine an intermediate swing point for the swing foot that is not on a line defined by the swing foot and the touchdown location. The biped robot may further cause the swing foot to move to the intermediate swing point, and then cause the swing foot to move to the touchdown location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2018
    Assignee: Boston Dynamics, Inc.
    Inventor: Kevin Blankespoor
  • Patent number: 9926025
    Abstract: An example method may include i) determining, by a robot having at least one foot, a representation of a coefficient of friction between the foot and a ground surface; ii) determining, by the robot, a representation of a gradient of the ground surface; iii) based on the determined representations of the coefficient of friction and the gradient, determining a threshold orientation for a target ground reaction force on the foot of the robot during a step; iv) determining the target ground reaction force, where the target ground reaction force comprises a magnitude and an orientation; v) determining an adjusted ground reaction force by adjusting the orientation of the target ground reaction force to be within the determined threshold orientation; and vi) causing the foot of the robot to apply a force on the ground surface equal to and opposing the adjusted ground reaction force during the step.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignee: Boston Dynamics, Inc.
    Inventors: Kevin Blankespoor, Marco da Silva, Alex Perkins
  • Patent number: 9919232
    Abstract: Mobile agents automatically manipulate components such as blocks on a working surface, to perform operations such as construction of generalized structures. The working surface and/or the components can have machine-readable codes to assist the agents in maintaining current knowledge of their respective locations. Agents identify components by type and location, and can move components according to directions; such directions can be provided by a user, or can be based on a pre-programmed directive, or can be determined dynamically based on current conditions or in response to actions of other agents. Agents may cooperate with one another. Agents can also respond to changes in the environment, alterations in works in progress, and/or other conditions, and may be configured to exhibit responses simulating emotional reactions. Different mobile agents can be associated with different character traits, which may be configured to change based on environmental conditions and/or the behavior of other mobile agents.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2018
    Assignee: Anki, Inc.
    Inventors: Hanns Tappeiner, Boris Sofman, Patrick DeNeale
  • Patent number: 9908240
    Abstract: An example implementation includes (i) receiving sensor data that indicates topographical features of an environment in which a robotic device is operating, (ii) determining, for a particular topographical feature of the environment in a direction of travel of the robotic device, a height of the particular topographical feature and a distance between the robotic device and the particular topographical feature, (iii) estimating a ground plane extending from the robotic device in the direction of travel toward the particular topographical feature, the ground plane fitting to the determined distance and height, (iv) determining a grade of the estimated ground plane, and (v) directing the robotic device to adjust pitch in proportion to the determined grade.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2018
    Assignee: Boston Dynamics, Inc.
    Inventors: Marco da Silva, Kevin Blankespoor, Gabriel Nelson
  • Patent number: 9902447
    Abstract: A system for selective anchoring a climbing vehicle or robot to a surface of a structure. The system includes a foot (1) having at least one surface contacting toe assembly (2). The toe assembly includes a magnetic adhesion system transitionable between an engageable state, wherein said adhesion system is configured to actively hold said toe to the surface on a plane of engagement thereby anchoring said foot to the structure, and a disengageable state to allow detachment of said foot from said surface. The adhesion system includes a magnetic field generator for projecting a magnetic field outwardly from the plane of engagement toward said engaged surface when the adhesion system is in the engageable state, to thereby generate a magnetic attractive force between the module and a magnetic target material within or beneath the surface of the structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2018
    Assignees: UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, SYDNEY, ROADS AND MARITIME SERVICES
    Inventors: Peter Kenneth Ward, Dikai Liu
  • Patent number: 9895804
    Abstract: A control system of a robotic device may receive sensor data indicating at least one deviation from a nominal operating parameter of the robotic device, where the robotic device includes articulable legs that include respective actuators, and where one or more strokes of the actuators cause the articulable legs to articulate. Based on the received sensor data, the control system may determine that the at least one deviation exceeds a pre-determined threshold. In response to determining that the at least one deviation exceeds the pre-determined threshold, the control system may provide instructions for centering the one or more strokes at approximately a mid-point of extension of the actuators, and reducing a stroke length of the one or more strokes of the actuators.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2018
    Inventors: Alexander Douglas Perkins, Kevin Blankespoor
  • Patent number: 9821866
    Abstract: Example embodiments relate to a robotic device with at least two legs. Each leg includes a foot including a first sole and a second sole perpendicular to the first sole. Each leg additionally includes an ankle joint configured to rotate the foot from a first position in which the first sole is contacting a ground surface to a second position in which the second sole is contacting the ground surface. The robotic device includes a control system. When the foot of a given leg of the at least two legs is in the first position, the control system may determine to cause the foot of the given leg to switch from the first position to the second position, and may cause the ankle joint of the given leg to rotate the foot of the given leg from the first position to the second position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2017
    Assignee: Schaft Inc.
    Inventors: Junichi Urata, Yoshito Ito
  • Patent number: 9802314
    Abstract: A robot designed for reducing collision impacts during human interaction. The robot includes a robot controller including a joint control module. The robot includes a link including a rigid support element and a soft body segment coupled to the rigid support element, and the body segment includes a deformable outer sidewall enclosing an interior space. The robot includes a pressure sensor sensing pressure in the interior space of the link. A joint is coupled to the rigid support element to rotate or position the link. During operations, the robot controller operates the joint based on the pressure sensed by the pressure sensor. The robot controller modifies operation of the joint from a first operating state with a servo moving or positioning the joint to a second operating state with the servo operating to allow the joint to be moved or positioned in response to outside forces applied to the link.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: Katsu Yamane, Joohyung Kim, Alexander Nicholas Alspach
  • Patent number: 9788985
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an impedance modulation device for an orthotic application. The device includes a high-stiffness loading spring, a low-stiffness return spring, a shaft having an output connector, and an engagement mechanism. When the engagement mechanism engages the shaft, the device exhibits a high stiffness at the output connector, and wherein when the engagement mechanism disengages the shaft, the device exhibits a low stiffness at the output connector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2017
    Assignee: YALE UNIVERSITY
    Inventors: Aaron Dollar, Kamran Shamaei Ghahfarokhi
  • Patent number: 9778132
    Abstract: An implementation may involve causing a foot of a robot to orient in a first position, where the foot comprises a sole configured to contact a surface, where the sole comprises a first edge and a second edge, and where in the first position: (i) the first edge contacts the surface, and (ii) a zero moment point (ZMP) is located on the first edge; receiving, from a force sensor, (i) first force data indicative of a first force and (ii) first moment data indicative of a first moment; determining a calibration of the force sensor based at least in part on the first force data, the first moment data, and a distance between the ZMP and a measurement location on the robot; and while the robot is engaged in bipedal movement, controlling the bipedal movement of the robot based at least in part on the calibration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2017
    Assignee: X Development LLC
    Inventors: Junichi Urata, Yoshito Ito, Masaki Hamafuji
  • Patent number: 9775476
    Abstract: A robot cleaner and a method for controlling the same are disclosed. The robot cleaner includes a body provided with a suction portion and a slope formed to be inclined at a lower end thereof, an auxiliary front wheel disposed at a rear side of the slope, a main wheel disposed at a rear side of the auxiliary front wheel and arranged such that a height of the main wheel is variable with respect to the body, and a driving unit to lower or raise the main wheel with respect to the body, wherein the driving unit lowers the main wheel when the auxiliary front wheel enters a stepped portion. The robot cleaner is capable of climbing up a higher stepped portion than in conventional cases.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2017
    Assignee: LG ELECTRONICS INC.
    Inventors: Jaewon Jang, Sungil Park, Hwang Kim
  • Patent number: 9662792
    Abstract: A control system may receive a first plurality of measurements indicative of respective joint angles corresponding to a plurality of sensors connected to a robot. The robot may include a body and a plurality of jointed limbs connected to the body associated with respective properties. The control system may also receive a body orientation measurement indicative of an orientation of the body of the robot. The control system may further determine a relationship between the first plurality of measurements and the body orientation measurement based on the properties associated with the jointed limbs of the robot. Additionally, the control system may estimate an aggregate orientation of the robot based on the first plurality of measurements, the body orientation measurement, and the determined relationship. Further, the control system may provide instructions to control at least one jointed limb of the robot based on the estimated aggregate orientation of the robot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2017
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventors: Alex Khripin, Alfred Anthony Rizzi
  • Patent number: 9629761
    Abstract: A transport device includes a load carrying body, at least one central walking element, a first side walking element and a second side walking element, wherein the at least one central walking element is arranged in-between the two side walking elements. The walking elements are arranged at the load carrying body in a manner to be capable of moving up and down with respect to the load carrying body. The walking elements are arranged at the load carrying body in a manner to be capable of moving back and forth in horizontal direction with respect to the load carrying body, wherein the two side walking elements can move back and forth independently from the at least one central walking element via horizontal actuators.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2017
    Assignee: MATIA ROBOTICS MEKATRONIK SISTEMLER AR-GE MUHENDISLIK YAZILIM SANAYI VE TICARET ANONIM SIRKETI
    Inventors: Necati Hacikadiroglu, Enes Canidemir
  • Patent number: 9597761
    Abstract: A machine tool adapted to perform operations, in particular machining, on the surface of a part of large dimensions. The machine tool comprises a longitudinal rail and a transverse arm orthogonal to the longitudinal rail, fixed at a first end to slide on the longitudinal rail. A second end of the transverse arm is fitted with at least one motorized unit comprising at least one sucker allowing the unit to be held in position on the part during an operation. The unit is motorized and comprises a movement system for crawling over the part parallel to the longitudinal rail. The transverse arm carrying a tool is thus positioned precisely on the part. The unit is articulated relative to the transverse arm around a pivot of axis parallel to said transverse arm, in order to adapt to the curvature of the part along the longitudinal rail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2017
    Assignee: Airbus Operations SAS
    Inventor: Fabien Albert
  • Patent number: 9597800
    Abstract: This control device (10) for compensating for the elastic deformation of an articulated robot is configured from a joint angle command value calculation unit (100), an axial force torque calculation unit (200), a first dynamic characteristic computing unit (300), a feedback control unit (500), and a motor angle command value calculation unit (600). The first dynamic characteristic computing unit (300) is configured from an interpolation unit configured from an N-ary curve interpolation, and a filter unit configured from an M-ary filter, with N+M being at least 4.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2017
    Assignee: Kobe Steel, Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoshiharu Nishida, Takashi Wada, Yoshihide Inoue, Shuichi Inada
  • Patent number: 9594377
    Abstract: An example implementation includes (i) receiving sensor data that indicates topographical features of an environment in which a robotic device is operating, (ii) processing the sensor data into a topographical map that includes a two-dimensional matrix of discrete cells, the discrete cells indicating sample heights of respective portions of the environment, (iii) determining, for a first foot of the robotic device, a first step path extending from a first lift-off location to a first touch-down location, (iv) identifying, within the topographical map, a first scan patch of cells that encompass the first step path, (v) determining a first high point among the first scan patch of cells; and (vi) during the first step, directing the robotic device to lift the first foot to a first swing height that is higher than the determined first high point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2017
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventors: Alexander Douglas Perkins, Kevin Blankespoor
  • Patent number: 9561829
    Abstract: Disclosed are robotic systems, methods, bipedal robot devices, and computer-readable mediums. For example, a robotic system may include a robotic body, a robotic hip connected to the robotic body, a robotic leg connected to the robotic hip. Further, the robotic system may include a first robotic foot that is connected to one end of the robotic leg and a second robotic foot is connected to an opposite end of the robotic leg. Yet further, the robotic leg may be fully rotatable around an axis of rotation defined by the robotic hip. In addition, the robotic hip may be linearly movable along the robotic leg to one or more positions between the one end of the robotic leg and the opposite end of the robotic leg.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2017
    Assignee: X Development LLC
    Inventors: Junichi Urata, Masaki Hamafuji
  • Patent number: 9561592
    Abstract: An example implementation includes (i) receiving sensor data that indicates topographical features of an environment in which a robotic device is operating, (ii) determining, for a particular topographical feature of the environment in a direction of travel of the robotic device, a height of the particular topographical feature and a distance between the robotic device and the particular topographical feature, (iii) estimating a ground plane extending from the robotic device in the direction of travel toward the particular topographical feature, the ground plane fitting to the determined distance and height, (iv) determining a grade of the estimated ground plane, and (v) directing the robotic device to adjust pitch in proportion to the determined grade.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2017
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventors: Marco da Silva, Kevin Blankespoor, Gabriel Nelson
  • Patent number: 9555846
    Abstract: A robot assembly including, a back member, a pelvis base with a first side and a second side; wherein the pelvis base is rotatably connected to the back member between the first and second sides of the pelvis base, and rotatable around a back x-axis, a first hip member rotatably connected to the first side of the pelvis base and rotatable about a first hip x-axis, a first intermediate extension rotatably connected to the first hip member and rotatable about a first hip z-axis, and a first leg member rotatably connected to the first intermediate extension and rotatable about a first hip y-axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2017
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventors: John Aaron Saunders, Christopher Everett Thorne
  • Patent number: 9499219
    Abstract: Example methods and devices for touch-down detection for a robotic device are described herein. In an example embodiment, a computing system may receive a force signal due to a force experienced at a limb of a robotic device. The system may receive an output signal from a sensor of the end component of the limb. Responsive to the received signals, the system may determine whether the force signal satisfies a first threshold and determine whether the output signal satisfies a second threshold. Based on at least one of the force signal satisfying the first threshold or the output signal satisfying the second threshold, the system of the robotic device may provide a touch-down output indicating touch-down of the end component of the limb with a portion of an environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2016
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventors: Zachary Jackowski, Kevin Blankespoor, John Aaron Saunders, Francis M. Agresti
  • Patent number: 9481083
    Abstract: A motion target generating apparatus calculates the time series of motion accelerations of a base body 2 and the distal end portion of each of movable links 3 and 4 of a robot 1 at a plurality of times after a current time such that the value of a predetermined evaluation function is minimized in a range in which a joint motion constraint condition of each of the movable links 3 and 4 of the robot 1 is satisfied. Based on the calculated values of the motion accelerations at an initial time, new desired motion accelerations of the base body 2 and the distal end portion of each of the movable links 3 and 4 are determined. The desired value for controlling each joint of the robot 1 is determined on the basis of the desired motion accelerations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2016
    Assignee: HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Masao Kanazawa, Tomoki Watabe, Takumi Kamioka, Minami Asatani
  • Patent number: 9475527
    Abstract: An automated motorized device may be configured to move on a structure for use in assembling of the structure. The automated motorized device may comprise an end effector configured to perform a plurality of assembling related functions; a first movement assembly, comprising a first plurality of dual function movement components; a second movement assembly, comprising a second plurality of dual function movement components; and a pivoting component connected concentrically to the end effector, and to at least one of the first movement assembly and the second movement assembly. Functions of each dual function movement component may comprise adhering and gliding; and during movement of the automated motorized device, one of the first movement assembly and the second movement assembly is secured to the structure while the other one of the first movement assembly and the second movement assembly moves over the structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2016
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: James Darryl Gamboa
  • Patent number: 9452797
    Abstract: A support module includes a first rigid body, a space formation body connected to the first rigid body and forming an enclosed space, and a plurality of hard particles located within the enclosed space. When at least a predetermined pressure is applied to the support module such that a volume of the enclosed space is decreased to a predetermined value, the plurality of hard particles and space formation body form a second rigid body. Such a support module may improve the stability of a walking robot, the grip of a gripping structure, or the stability of a load-bearing structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2016
    Assignee: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Joo Hyung Kim, Kyung Shik Roh, Kee Hong Seo
  • Patent number: 9446518
    Abstract: An example implementation for avoiding leg collisions may involve a biped robot reducing a three-dimensional system to a two-dimensional projection of the biped robot's feet. An example biped robot may determine a touchdown location for a swing foot. The biped robot may determine lateral positions of the touchdown location and the swing foot, each relative to a stance foot. Based on one or more of the determined lateral positions of the touchdown location and the swing foot, each relative to the stance foot, the biped robot may determine an intermediate swing point for the swing foot that is not on a line defined by the swing foot and the touchdown location. The biped robot may further cause the swing foot to move to the intermediate swing point, and then cause the swing foot to move to the touchdown location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 11, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2016
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventor: Kevin Blankespoor
  • Patent number: 9415506
    Abstract: Provided is a robot capable of achieving more efficient and faster calculation for generating a gait. A target ZMP trajectory of a robot 1 is defined by a linear function of a target landing position that uses a time function as a coefficient. The time function is defined by a function that permits specified function transformation related to time, and a dynamics model is defined by the specified function transformation related to time. Thus, the problem of determining a target landing position is formulated as a problem accompanied by a linear constraint in which a first specified requirement (a target ZMP trajectory linearly approximated by the linear function of a target landing position falls within a permissible existence range) is satisfied.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2016
    Assignee: HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Takumi Kamioka, Hiroyuki Kaneko
  • Patent number: 9381961
    Abstract: Disclosed are robotic systems, methods, bipedal robot devices, and computer-readable mediums. For example, a robotic system may include a robotic body having an axis; a sensor connected to the robotic body, where the sensor is configured to receive information within a scanning area; two or more robotic legs connected to the robotic body, where the two or more robotic legs are configured to operate in a starting position and a use position, where in the starting position the robotic system is substantially stationary; and one or more protrusions connected to the robotic body, where the one or more protrusions extend from the robotic body at a non-perpendicular angle from the axis of the robotic body and are located outside of the scanning area of the sensor, and where in the starting position the one or more protrusions are configured to support the robotic system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2016
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventors: Satoshi Kataoka, Yuto Nakanishi
  • Patent number: 9377131
    Abstract: A pipe puller apparatus includes a body and a main actuator mounted on the body. A strut assembly is also mounted on the body and includes a first shoe and a second shoe. The first shoe is adapted to engage a first interior wall of a pipe and the second shoe is adapted to engage a second interior wall of the pipe. The strut assembly includes a strut actuator that is adapted to increase the distance between the first shoe and the second shoe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2016
    Inventor: Jon E. Basinger
  • Patent number: 9336182
    Abstract: The invention relates to controlling a biped. In the biped control, target pose information for tracking control is provided by an animation engine, and/or is generated by modulating the reference pose information acquired from video capture data. In modulating such reference pose information, the current pose information can be fed back and used.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2016
    Assignee: SNU R&DB Foundation
    Inventors: Yoonsang Lee, Jehee Lee
  • Patent number: 9283489
    Abstract: A self-right apparatus is a device for automatically returning an overturned vehicle to an upright orientation. The device features a base plate that is mountable to a vehicle and a flip plate that is hingedly connected to the base plate via a pivot axle. The flip plate is held in place by a trigger mechanism engaged to a catch until the device is ready to be deployed to flip the overturned vehicle. The device utilizes a clutched servo mechanism that is connected to the trigger mechanism. The clutched servo mechanism is actuated in order to release the trigger mechanism from the catch and allow the flip plate to rotate about the pivot axle via force provided by a plurality of torsion springs. The flip plate is pressed against the surface on which the vehicle has become overturned, causing the vehicle to flip and return to its original upright orientation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2016
    Inventors: Enrico Pischiera, Thomas Enrico Pischiera, Vincent Dimino
  • Patent number: 9221507
    Abstract: A method of controlling walking a biped robot to generate a walking pattern maximally similar to that of a human includes generating a walking pattern, calculating a walking pattern similarity corresponding to the walking pattern, and comparing the walking pattern similarity with a predetermined reference pattern similarity, and changing the walking pattern based on a result of the comparison. When the robot walks, a knee is maximally stretched and a horizontal movement of a waist is minimized such that the walking pattern of the robot is maximally similar to that of a human, thus enhancing an affinity for a human being and increasing energy efficiency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2015
    Assignee: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Woong Kwon, Joong Kyung Park, Chang Hyun Roh, Jae Ho Park, Ho Seong Kwak
  • Patent number: 9222493
    Abstract: A walking machine that includes a chassis with an operator interface, a main controller in data communication with the operator interface, at least two leg members operatively connected to the chassis, and a power system in data communication and electrical communication with the main controller. Each leg member includes a leg control system that includes a leg microcontroller in data communication with the main controller and at least a first electro hydrostatic actuator in electrical communication with the leg microcontroller. The power system includes an electrical generator, power supply electronics in electrical communication with the electrical generator, an electrical storage medium in electrical communication with the electrical generator and in parallel with the power supply electronics, and an electrical power bus for distributing power from the power system to the leg control systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2015
    Inventor: Brian Riskas
  • Patent number: 9168962
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a drill rig relocation system. Lift frames are provided as add-ons to existing drill rigs, or as integral openings within the length of the base boxes. A lift cylinder and bearing mat assembly is connected beneath the lift frame or base boxes. Each bearing mat assembly has a slew drive for controlled directional rotation. A torque arrest system allows vertical movement of the torque reaction point as the substructure is elevated to control the orientation and magnitude of forces. In one embodiment, the drill rig is supported on linear sleeve bearings slideably mounted in the bearing mat assemblies. Translation cylinders on the bearing mats expand to move the drill rig by translating the linear sleeve bearings along the shafts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2015
    Assignee: T&T Engineering Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark W. Trevithick, Gary Firth, Robert Metz, Bob Williams, James Zapico
  • Patent number: 9096282
    Abstract: A rig includes a base structure in contact with an operating surface and configured to support the rig on the operating surface. A transportation system is operatively coupled to the base structure and is configured to position the rig over an extraction point. A raised platform is connected to the base structure by a plurality of support beams. A hoisting device is connected to the raised platform. A drawworks is supported on the base structure and is operatively connected to the hoisting device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2015
    Assignee: Entro Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Shawn R. Smith, Harlan B. Smith