Wheel And Stepper Type Patents (Class 180/8.3)
  • Patent number: 10570671
    Abstract: A relocatable Managed Pressure Drilling system adapted to be operatively connected to an oil rig and comprising: a base; a tank secured to the base and adapted to contain gases used in Managed Pressure Drilling operations; optionally, a manifold secured to the base and operatively connected to the tank and adapted for use in Managed Pressure Drilling operations when connected to an oil rig; wherein said base is adapted to move from a first location to a second location on an oilfield without the use of a crane or picker.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2020
    Assignee: BEYOND ENERGY SERVICES & TECHNOLOGY CENTER
    Inventors: Jason Lock, Ron Green
  • Patent number: 10471593
    Abstract: A joint of a robot comprises a servo motor, a speed reducer driven by the servo motor, and an output-side encoder for measuring a rotation angle of the output-side rotation shaft of the speed reducer, and the position/orientation of the robot is controlled by the joint. The present invention, which aims to be able to detect certainly and at a high speed the state of the speed reducer, is characterized by driving the joint via the speed reducer by rotating the servo motor, obtaining a resonance amplitude of the joint from the rotation angle obtained from the output-side encoder, and thus diagnosing the lifetime of the speed reducer according to the obtained resonance amplitude of the joint.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2019
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Yutaka Tsuchiya
  • Patent number: 10266219
    Abstract: A lifting jack assembly for use on a walking machine to raise it off the ground and preselect a steering direction before the walking machine is lowered onto the ground for travel therealong includes a hydraulic power-driven lift cylinder for actuating an extendable/retractable rod, wherein the lift cylinder is rotatable about its vertical axis. A roller assembly is provided with rollers mounted to the rod. A foot plate mounted below the roller assembly engages the rollers, and a power-driven shifter mechanism mounted on the foot plate and connected to the roller assembly shifts the roller assembly along the foot plate. A linkage assembly interconnects the lift cylinder to the foot plate. A steering mechanism rotates the lift cylinder about its vertical axis to impart rotation to the foot plate and the roller assembly to orient and fix the direction of travel of the walking machine in a preselected direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2019
    Assignee: COLUMBIA TRAILER CO., INC.
    Inventor: Ken Van Raden
  • Patent number: 10226863
    Abstract: The present invention is to provide an industrial robot, which is placed in vacuum for use, capable of efficiently cooling down hand- or arm-driving motors which are arranged inside the arm in air. The industrial robot is provided with a motor for rotating a second arm unit with respect to a first arm unit, a motor for rotating a hand with respect to the second arm unit, a reduction gear for reducing the rotation of the motor and transmitting it to the second arm unit, and a reduction gear for reducing the rotation of the motor and transmitting it to the hand; the hand and the arm are placed in vacuum. The reduction gears and are coaxially arranged so that the center of rotation of the second arm unit with respect to the first arm unit coincides with the axial centers of the reduction gears. The interior space of the hollow first arm unit is kept at atmospheric pressure in which the motors and the reduction gears are arranged.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2019
    Assignee: NIDEC SANKYO CORPORATION
    Inventors: Takayuki Yazawa, Yoshihisa Masuzawa, Tomoki Tanabe, Hirokazu Watanabe
  • Patent number: 10071609
    Abstract: The invention relates to a vehicle which includes at least four wheels and a base. Said wheels are attached in pairs at the base via connections and form a bogie consisting of a pair of wheels. Said bogies are rotatably hinged onto the base such that the pivot point of the path of the wheels is not physically present and said pivot point is located under the rotational axis of the wheels when the bogie is horizontal. The rotation of a bogie is transmitted by a transmission means to the other bogie such that the slant of each bogie in relation to the base forms an angle of identical but opposite value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2018
    Assignee: ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FEDERALE DE LAUSANNE (EPFL)
    Inventor: Thomas Estier
  • Patent number: 9902073
    Abstract: A joint driving unit driving a joint of a robot arm includes a motor, a speed reducer transmitting rotation of the motor in a variable speed, an input side encoder detecting a rotation angle of a rotation shaft of the motor, and an output side encoder detecting a rotation angle of an output shaft of the speed reducer. When positioning the end effector at a working start position at which predetermined work is started, operation of the robot is set to an output based control mode in which an angle of a joint is feedback controlled based on an angle detection value from the output side encoder. When the robot performs the predetermined work, the operation of the robot is changed to an input based control mode in which the angle of the joint is feedback controlled based on an angle detection value from the input side encoder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2018
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Tsutomu Osaka
  • Patent number: 9731571
    Abstract: A vehicle drive unit and land vehicle comprising the drive unit are disclosed. Each drive unit comprises a pair of longitudinally aligned and longitudinally spaced apart ground wheels. The land vehicle comprises a pair of drive units on opposite sides thereof. The drive units comprise an electric motor for powering the pair of wheels and a gear drive assembly comprising structure for disengaging the electric motor from the ground wheels. The drive units may be remotely controllable, may be water-tight and may be floatable. The vehicle comprising the drive unit may be amphibious.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2017
    Assignee: Ontario Drive and Gear Limited
    Inventor: Peter Visscher
  • Patent number: 9505133
    Abstract: A joint driving unit driving a joint of a robot arm includes a motor, a speed reducer transmitting rotation of the motor in a variable speed, an input side encoder detecting a rotation angle of a rotation shaft of the motor, and an output side encoder detecting a rotation angle of an output shaft of the speed reducer. When positioning the end effector at a working start position at which predetermined work is started, operation of the robot is set to an output based control mode in which an angle of a joint is feedback controlled based on an angle detection value from the output side encoder. When the robot performs the predetermined work, the operation of the robot is changed to an input based control mode in which the angle of the joint is feedback controlled based on an angle detection value from the input side encoder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2016
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Tsutomu Osaka
  • Patent number: 9409459
    Abstract: Representative implementations of devices and techniques provide leveling for a vehicle, such as an overland vehicle. A leveling signal is received by a leveling arrangement coupled to the vehicle at a wheel position. The leveling arrangement rotates a rocker plate with respect to the body of the vehicle, changing a location of a wheel coupled to the rocker plate with respect to the body of the vehicle. In an aspect, the leveling signal is based on a first vehicle sensor signal representing a lateral tilt of the vehicle and/or a second vehicle sensor signal representing a pitch angle of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2016
    Assignee: Papé Machinery, Inc.
    Inventors: Dennis R. Solbrack, Christopher E. Wood, Cody Murdock, Jeffrey Solbrack
  • Patent number: 9283681
    Abstract: Vehicles, systems, and methods for inspecting and analyzing the condition of a remote location such as a roof are presented. A vehicle adapted for traversing an irregular terrain may be supported by wheels, or tracks, having partially collapsible treads to help the vehicle maintain a lower center of mass. The bottom surface of the chassis may have a higher ground clearance at an intermediate location, relative to the front and rear ends, to help the vehicle maintain a lower center of mass when crossing ridges such as roof peaks. A vehicle for roof inspections may include a shingle lifter. A system for collecting and storing inspection data may include an onboard imaging system with multiple cameras and a control system with a wireless router, together with a remote tablet computer having a wireless transceiver, a user interface, and a display. Vehicles and systems may gather and analyze data, and generate revenue by providing data, analysis, and reports for a fee to interested parties.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2016
    Assignee: Tobor Technology, LLC
    Inventors: Michael D. Slawinski, Dennis L. Guthrie
  • Patent number: 9162355
    Abstract: This mobile unit suppresses lateral vibration produced when the mobile unit passes over a step. A stabilizer according to the present invention predicts contact timing at which the mobile unit makes contact with a step, which may be a bump or pit, using sensor information or map information, shifts the center of gravity of the mobile unit laterally by controlling actuators, and shifts the center of gravity laterally for the next step after detecting that the mobile unit has passed over the previous step.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2015
    Assignee: HITACHI, LTD.
    Inventors: Ryosuke Nakamura, Azusa Amino
  • Publication number: 20150129328
    Abstract: A step climbing attachment suitable for attachment to a wheeled chair is described. The step climbing attachment includes a chassis for mounting one or more ground engaging units, a first and a second ground engaging unit mounted to the chassis, at least one of the first and second ground engaging units adapted to move relative to the other of the first or second ground engaging units and the chassis, the relative movement being between a ground engaging position and a step-engaging support position so that in use at least one of the first and/or second ground engaging units engages a step.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 19, 2014
    Publication date: May 14, 2015
    Inventor: Michael BEHRENS
  • Patent number: 8887842
    Abstract: Provided is an arm-wheel type vehicle including: a main body; an arm that is rotatably installed to the main body; a wheel connected to the arm; a first buffer device that is installed on the main body; and a second buffer device that is installed on the arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2014
    Assignee: Samsung Techwin Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Jong-Yoon Peck
  • Publication number: 20140326521
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a transport device 1, comprising a load carrying body 10, at least one central walking element 80, 90, 100, a first side walking element 20 and a second side walking element 50, wherein the at least one central walking element 80, 90, 100 is arranged in-between the two side walking elements 20, 50 and the walking elements 20, 50, 80, 90, 100 are arranged at the load carrying body 10 in a manner to be capable of moving up and down with respect to the load carrying body 10, wherein the side walking elements 20, 50 can move up and down independently from the central walking element(s) 80, 90, 100 by means of vertical actuators 26, 56 and the walking elements 20, 50, 80, 90, 100 are arranged at the load carrying body 10 in a manner to be capable of moving back and forth in horizontal direction with respect to the load carrying body 10, wherein the walking elements 20, 50 can move back and forth independently from the central walking element(s) 80, 90, 100 by means of horizontal ac
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 20, 2012
    Publication date: November 6, 2014
    Inventors: Necati Hacikadiroglu, Enes Canidemir
  • Patent number: 8776917
    Abstract: The stair-climbing apparatus has a series of articulating wheel sets extending below the platform. All of the wheel sets are vertically adjustable to negotiate stairways and similar changes of elevation. The lead wheel set is fixed longitudinally relative to the platform, while following wheel sets are longitudinally adjustable to adjust for the pitch or slope of different stairways. The apparatus uses sensors (e.g., mechanical, infrared, ultrasonic, etc.) to detect the presence of the stair risers and their height, control of the assembly being accomplished by a control circuit on board the machine. The wheel sets are raised and lowered independently of one another by pantograph mechanisms extending between the platform and the wheel sets. The horizontally adjustable wheel sets are positioned by a longitudinally disposed rack on the platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals
    Inventors: Abdelhafid Bouhraoua, Nesar Merah, Jaseem Al-Muaybid, Abduljabar Al Sayoud, Ayman Al-Darweesh, Jawad J. Al-Dawoud
  • Patent number: 8764028
    Abstract: A stair climbing wheel and vehicles are described. The stair climbing wheel has a rolling wheel and a plurality of deployable protrusions that allow the wheel to climb stairs. The deployable protrusions can be deployed from or retracted into the rolling wheel. In the retracted position, the stair climbing wheel functions as a traditional circular wheel. These stair climbing wheels can be incorporated on a wide variety of vehicles, such as hand trucks, wheelchairs, and personal transports to allow these vehicles to climb stairs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2014
    Inventors: Kevin Mann, Will Klatt, Nick Barnes
  • Publication number: 20140116792
    Abstract: In a material handling and stair climbing vehicle, when the vehicle is shifted from a state where the wheels with two axles are grounded on a travelling surface to a standing state achieved by the wheels with one axle, a main body portion is turned around support shafts with respect to supporting portions in the two-axle wheel grounded state. Then, an inertial force around the support shafts is generated by reducing the speed of turning of the main body portion with respect to the supporting portions. Then, the vehicle is shifted to the standing state achieved by the wheels with one axle by turning the supporting portions around the axles of the wheels with one axle, which are grounded on the travelling surface, by the inertial force.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 18, 2013
    Publication date: May 1, 2014
    Applicant: JTEKT Corporation
    Inventors: Takeshi UEDA, Genki Murata
  • Patent number: 8694161
    Abstract: A collaborative robotized system comprises: a mobile platform furnished with running device, with an electric motor propulsion assembly, and with a longitudinal mechanical linkage assembly comprising an articulation; an electrical power source; manual control device of the system; remote control device of the system; a computer assembly of at least one computer; hardware-incorporating device suitable for integrating sensors and effectors, and software-incorporating device suitable for integrating software elements; and management device for managing integrated sensorimotor behaviors, suitable for arbitrating implementations of several sensorimotor behaviors in parallel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2014
    Assignee: Thales
    Inventors: Thierry Deveze, Joël Morillon, Laurent Vasseur
  • Patent number: 8672065
    Abstract: A vehicle includes a chassis and a plurality of wheel assemblies articulated with the chassis, each of the plurality of wheel assemblies comprising a rotatable wheel spaced away from the chassis. A vehicle includes a chassis and an articulated suspension system mounted to the chassis. A method includes comprising articulating at least one of a plurality of wheel assemblies with a chassis, each of the wheel assemblies including a rotatable wheel spaced apart from the chassis. A vehicle includes a chassis and articulatable means for rolling the chassis along a path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2014
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Michael S. Beck, Jon T. Stinchcomb, Wendell H. Chun, Donald W. Nimblett, James E. Tomlin, Kevin L. Conrad
  • Patent number: 8662215
    Abstract: Configurations are provided for vehicular robots or other vehicles to provide shifting of their centers of gravity for enhanced obstacle navigation. Various head and neck morphologies are provided to allow positioning for various poses such as a stowed pose, observation poses, and inspection poses. Neck extension and actuator module designs are provided to implement various head and neck morphologies. Robot control network circuitry is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2014
    Assignee: iRobot Corporation
    Inventors: Timothy R. Ohm, Michael Bassett
  • Patent number: 8596388
    Abstract: The stair-climbing apparatus has a series of articulating wheel sets extending below the platform. All of the wheel sets are vertically adjustable to negotiate stairways and similar changes of elevation. The lead wheel set is fixed longitudinally relative to the platform, while following wheel sets are longitudinally adjustable to adjust for the pitch or slope of different stairways. The apparatus uses sensors (e.g., mechanical, infrared, ultrasonic, etc.) to detect the presence of the stair risers and their height, control of the assembly being accomplished by a control circuit on board the machine. The wheel sets are raised and lowered independently of one another by pantograph mechanisms extending between the platform and the wheel sets. The horizontally adjustable wheel sets are positioned by a longitudinally disposed rack on the platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2013
    Assignee: King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals
    Inventors: Abdelhafid Bouhraoua, Nesar Merah, Jaseem Al-Muaybid, Abduljabar Al Sayoud, Ayman Al-Darweesh, Jawad J. Al-Dawoud
  • Patent number: 8550192
    Abstract: A ground vehicle and a method for articulating a payload module for mobility assist are disclosed. The ground vehicle comprises a chassis; and a payload module capable of articulating relative to the chassis to assist the mobility of the ground vehicle. The method comprises articulating a payload module relative to a chassis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2013
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: David A. Clemens, John C. Dunne, Michael S. Beck, Wendell H. Chun, Jon T. Stinchcomb
  • Patent number: 8544572
    Abstract: A car having a rotatable wheel, the car being able to run by rotating the wheel, the car having a leg used by the car for walking, and an attitude stabilization section for stabilizing an attitude of the car.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2013
    Assignee: Chiba Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Takayuki Furuta, Masaharu Shimizu, Hideaki Yamato, Yu Okumura, Tetsuo Tawara, Masaki Shimomura, Ken Endo
  • Patent number: 8418787
    Abstract: The stair-climbing apparatus has a series of articulating wheel sets extending below the platform. All of the wheel sets are vertically adjustable to negotiate stairways and similar changes of elevation. The lead wheel set is fixed longitudinally relative to the platform, while following wheel sets are longitudinally adjustable to adjust for the pitch or slope of different stairways. The apparatus uses sensors (e.g., mechanical, infrared, ultrasonic, etc.) to detect the presence of the stair risers and their height, control of the assembly being accomplished by a control circuit on board the machine. The wheel sets are raised and lowered independently of one another by pantograph mechanisms extending between the platform and the wheel sets. The horizontally adjustable wheel sets are positioned by a longitudinally disposed rack on the platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2013
    Assignee: King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals
    Inventors: Abdelhafid Bouhraoua, Nehar Merah, Jaseem Al-Muaybid, Abduljabar Al Sayoud, Ayman Al-Darweesh, Jawad J. Al-Dawoud
  • Patent number: 8370990
    Abstract: The present invention is an improved structure for robotic cleaner primarily comprising of a chassis with plurality of spherical casters fixed to the periphery of bottom deck, a dust collector mounted on the chassis, a lifting actuation mechanism mounted on the chassis that includes a lifting power supply at least to drive two parallel and extendable first swing arms and two parallel and extending second swing arms through a relevant linking device, a first gear train and a second gear train that can pivotally rotate in reverse direction, a drive wheel mounted at the moveable end of the two parallel and extending first swing arms each, a driven wheel mounted at the moveable end of the two parallel and extending second swing arms each, plural advancing power supplies mounted at the middle section of the first swing arms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2013
    Assignee: National Kaohsiung First University of Science
    Inventors: Jyh-Cheng Yu, Shu-Jung Chang
  • Patent number: 8365847
    Abstract: A surface vehicle capable of overcoming obstacles is disclosed in which the vehicle accelerates vertically while having a horizontal velocity. The vehicle has a frame and at least three wheels attached to the frame to which a horizontal propulsion system is coupled. Further, a vertical propulsion system is coupled to the frame and the wheels. The vertical propulsion system is capable of providing a force to such wheels normal to the surface so that the vehicle separates from the surface. The vehicle has an electronic control unit coupled to the vertical propulsion system to automatically control its operation. Further, sensors are used to evaluate the characteristics of the surface that pertain to supporting a vertical acceleration/deceleration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2013
    Assignee: Mobile Intelligence Corporation
    Inventors: Wayne Miller Brehob, Douglas Christopher MacKenzie
  • Patent number: 8322470
    Abstract: Configurations are provided for vehicular robots or other vehicles to provide shifting of their centers of gravity for enhanced obstacle navigation. Various head and neck morphologies are provided to allow positioning for various poses such as a stowed pose, observation poses, and inspection poses. Neck extension and actuator module designs are provided to implement various head and neck morphologies. Robot control network circuitry is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2012
    Assignee: iRobot Corporation
    Inventors: Timothy R. Ohm, Michael Bassett
  • Patent number: 8307923
    Abstract: A mobile platform including a body, hybrid leg-wheels and driving mechanisms is provided. The hybrid leg-wheels are disposed around the body for carrying the body moving on a working surface. The driving mechanisms are disposed between the corresponding hybrid leg-wheels and the body. Each driving mechanism includes a driving axle connecting the corresponding hybrid leg-wheels and the body. Each driving mechanism provides the corresponding hybrid leg-wheel a rotational degree of freedom and a translational degree of freedom, wherein the rotational degree of freedom and the translational degree of freedom are driven independently. The rotational degree of freedom allows the hybrid leg-wheels rotating along an axis of the driving axle, and the translational degree of freedom allows the hybrid leg-wheels translating relative to the driving axle, wherein the rotational direction is substantially perpendicular to the translational direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2012
    Assignee: National Taiwan University
    Inventors: Pei-Chun Lin, Shuan-Yu Shen
  • Patent number: 8186469
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a mobile robot having jump function. An exemplary mobile robot according to an embodiment of the present invention includes a robot body, a pair of wheels, a driving motor, a leaf spring, and a leaf spring control unit. The pair of wheels are rotatably connected to the robot body. The driving motor drives the pair of wheels so as to move the robot body. The leaf spring has a fixed end fixedly connected to the robot body and a free end disposed to face the fixed end in a state of being apart from the robot body. The leaf spring control unit applies force for bending the leaf spring such that the free end of the leaf spring is pulled toward the robot body and then removes the force applied to the leaf spring such that the leaf spring returns to an original state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2012
    Assignee: Convex Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Choong-hyuk Yim, Dong-hwan Kim
  • Patent number: 8162351
    Abstract: Provided is a small mobile robot which moves back and forth and left and right while keeping its posture by two main wheels. The small mobile robot includes built-in auxiliary wheels to overcome topographical elevation differences. The auxiliary wheels of the small mobile robot are attached to a servomotor. The servomotor is driven by remote control, and the auxiliary wheel can be moved to the position required for operation. When the robot is in a normal state, the auxiliary wheels are retracted in the robot. When the robot meets a stepped topography, the auxiliary wheels are lowered out to contact a ground to support the main wheels going over the stepped topography. The small mobile robot includes a sensor for sensing obstacles and a control module to make a detour around obstacles while moving to a target point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2012
    Assignee: Hoya Robot Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: So-Young Lee, Jeong-Ho Kang, Min-Kyu Kim
  • Patent number: 8150574
    Abstract: Preliminary guidance data is determined for the vehicle during an evaluation time window. A vision module collects vision data from a vision module during the evaluation time window. Vision guidance data is determined from the collected vision data. A vision quality estimator estimates vision quality data for at least one of the vision data and the vision guidance data during the evaluation time window. The vision quality data is based on a regression path and density grid points. An adjuster adjusts the preliminary guidance data to a revised guidance data based on the vision guidance data such that the revised guidance data is registered with or generally coextensive with the vision guidance data, if the vision quality data exceeds a minimum threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2012
    Assignee: Deere & Company
    Inventors: Shufeng Han, Terence Daniel Pickett, John Franklin Reid
  • Patent number: 8100415
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a wheel suspension for mounting on a frame (3) of a vehicle, which, in its direction of propulsion, is arranged to be able to scale an obstacle (7), the wheel suspension (1) comprises a link element (9) arranged rotatably about a rotation point (R), to which rotation point (R), via the frame (3), can be applied a force (Gx) for propulsion, the link element (9) comprises a first and a second wheel axle (11, 13), the second wheel axle (13) serves as a moment axis (X) about which the link element (9) tends to rotate when a force (F) is applied to the first wheel axle (11) in the direction opposite to the direction of travel. The link element (9) acts as a lever arm by virtue of the rotation point (R) being situated at a distance from an imaginary straight line (L) intersecting the first and the second wheel axle (11, 13) and in a plane transversely to the extent of the moment axis (X).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2012
    Assignee: Trionic Sverige AB
    Inventors: Stefan Kindberg, Johan Kuikka
  • Patent number: 8083013
    Abstract: Examples and implementations of various robotic mechanisms, devices, components, systems and techniques are provided, including multimodal robotic devices and systems. For example, a multimodal robot can be configured to autonomously reconfigure between two or more primary modes of operation. Such robots may be used in a wide range of applications, including reconnaissance, exploration, search and rescue, military, sports, personal assistance, education, and entertainment and toys. Described examples of multimodal robots can be wheeled robots that use two or more drive wheels to perform various motions and operations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2011
    Assignee: The Regents of the University of California
    Inventors: Thomas R. Bewley, Christopher Schmidt-Wetekam, Joseph Moore, Jerimiah DiMatteo, Mark Ramirez, David Zhang, Sean Summers
  • Patent number: 8079432
    Abstract: Configurations are provided for vehicular robots or other vehicles to provide shifting of their centers of gravity for enhanced obstacle navigation. Various head and neck morphologies are provided to allow positioning for various poses such as a stowed pose, observation poses, and inspection poses. Neck extension and actuator module designs are provided to implement various head and neck morphologies. Robot control network circuitry is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 20, 2011
    Assignee: iRobot Corporation
    Inventors: Timothy R. Ohm, Michael Bassett
  • Patent number: 8051930
    Abstract: A vehicle for positioning a transportable and relocatable equipment having at least four walking assemblies attached to a frame, each walking assembly having a walking pad, a roller tread, a lift assembly connected to a central collar, a rotatable motion gear assembly disposed around the lift assembly, a motor for actuating the rotatable motion gear assembly, a pivoting collar disposed around the rod operated by a controlling means with a processor, a push pull traveling system for receiving fluid and extending a specified distance causing movement of the vehicle in a first direction, and enabling the walking assemblies to raise, reorient, lower, and travel in a second direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2011
    Assignee: Loadmaster Engineering, Inc.
    Inventors: R. Michael Barnes, Robert R. Cuddie, Richard E. Robey
  • Patent number: 7984775
    Abstract: A legged robot that can ensure a large step length while keeping the height of a body trunk at a low position without increasing a moment that is generated due to the gravitational force acting on the trunk and acting on roll joints of legs when standing on one leg is realized. In the legged robot, a pair of legs is connected so as to be able to rotate around a pitch axis (Y-axis) at lateral surfaces of a trunk. Thereby, it is possible to make the height H1 high while keeping the height of the trunk low. It is possible to ensure a large step length while keeping the height of the trunk at a low position. Legs have a structure in which roll joints are positioned below a bottom surface. Thereby, the length L1 in the pitch axis direction between the rotation axis C1 of these joints and the center of mass G of the trunk is limited. The moment acting on the roll joints of the grounding leg when standing on one leg is not increased.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 26, 2011
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Keisuke Suga, Masaaki Yamaoka
  • Patent number: 7958955
    Abstract: An automotive device for the inspection of internal spaces having ferromagnetic surfaces includes at least two magnetic wheels (3) or caterpillars, or at least two magnetic legs for the advancement of the device along the surfaces to be inspected. According to the invention, the device includes actively powered rotating arms (1) attached to a wheel (3), caterpillar, or leg of the device. Each rotating arm (1) has a length longer than the shortest distance between the point of attachment of the rotating arm to the device and the surface. When the device is in a position, where there is magnetic contact to the surface in two or more points and the device is no longer able to advance due to the strength of the magnetic forces, the rotating arms are brought into non-magnetic contact with the surface in order to create an air gap between the surface and the magnetic wheel and thus reduce the magnetic forces. The device is thereby enabled to overcome the magnetic forces and advance the device along the surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2011
    Assignee: Alstom Technology Ltd
    Inventors: Roland Moser, Wolfgang Fischer, Fabien Tache, Roland Yves Siegwart, Francesco Mondada
  • Publication number: 20110132671
    Abstract: Provided is a small mobile robot which moves back and forth and left and right while keeping its posture by two main wheels. The small mobile robot includes built-in auxiliary wheels to overcome topographical elevation differences. The auxiliary wheels of the small mobile robot are attached to a servomotor. The servomotor is driven by remote control, and the auxiliary wheel can be moved to the position required for operation. When the robot is in a normal state, the auxiliary wheels are retracted in the robot. When the robot meets a stepped topography, the auxiliary wheels are lowered out to contact a ground to support the main wheels going over the stepped topography. The small mobile robot includes a sensor for sensing obstacles and a control module to make a detour around obstacles while moving to a target point.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 29, 2009
    Publication date: June 9, 2011
    Inventors: So-Young Lee, Jeong-Ho Kang, Min-Kyu Kim
  • Patent number: 7946364
    Abstract: A legged robot is provided whose trunk link is not prone to wobble in the front-back direction during walking. The legged robot is equipped with a trunk link and a pair of legs. Each leg has a pitch joint capable of rotating the connected links in a plane that intersects with a line extending in a lateral direction of the robot. Rotation centers of the pitch joints are located above a center of gravity of the trunk link. The legged robot walks mainly by swinging the legs backward and forward around such rotation centers. Hence, the trunk link wobbles mainly in the front-back direction around the rotation centers as the robot walks. Because the center of gravity of the trunk link is located below the rotation centers, the gravitational force acting on the trunk link acts in a direction to suppress swinging of the trunk link during walking. Due to this, the trunk link of the legged robot is not prone to wobble in the front-back direction during walking.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2011
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Keisuke Suga, Akira Ogawa
  • Publication number: 20110100733
    Abstract: A mobile platform including a body, hybrid leg-wheels and driving mechanisms is provided. The hybrid leg-wheels are disposed around the body for carrying the body moving on a working surface. The driving mechanisms are disposed between the corresponding hybrid leg-wheels and the body. Each driving mechanism includes a driving axle connecting the corresponding hybrid leg-wheels and the body. Each driving mechanism provides the corresponding hybrid leg-wheel a rotational degree of freedom and a translational degree of freedom, wherein the rotational degree of freedom and the translational degree of freedom are driven independently. The rotational degree of freedom allows the hybrid leg-wheels rotating along an axis of the driving axle, and the translational degree of freedom allows the hybrid leg-wheels translating relative to the driving axle, wherein the rotational direction is substantially perpendicular to the translational direction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 9, 2010
    Publication date: May 5, 2011
    Applicant: NATIONAL TAIWAN UNIVERSITY
    Inventors: Pei-Chun Lin, Shuan-Yu Shen
  • Publication number: 20110106313
    Abstract: Provided is a bridge inspection robot which is capable of climbing over an obstacle, the bridge inspection robot including: a climbing-over portion (110) which is extended to correspond to a gap distance between a flange (1 Ia) of a first girder (11) and a flange (12a) of a first girder (12) which are provided at the upper side of a pier (L) of a bridge (10) in which a robot main body (101) climbs up/down or avoids and climbs over an obstacle, when the robot main body (101) moves on the flange, for example, along a bridge inspection path; an obstacle detection portion (120) which detects the obstacle which exists on the flanges; a photographing altitude control portion (150) which detects an altitude change of an image photographing portion (130) according to height of the obstacle when the robot main body (101) climbs up/down or avoids and climbs over the obstacle, and adjusts a photographing height of the image photographing portion (130) so as to correspond to the altitude change, to thus have a z-axis coo
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 20, 2009
    Publication date: May 5, 2011
    Inventors: Byeong-Ju Lee, Jae-In Shin, Chang-Ho Park, Young-Ho Park, Moon-Seok Nam
  • Patent number: 7934575
    Abstract: A method for the locomotion of devices on opposite sides of a surface, one or more of which are mobile robots. Devices on opposing sides of the surface are coupled by an attractive force, which helps generate enough friction between said devices and the surface to allow devices to move across the surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2011
    Inventors: Markus Waibel, Peter Duerr
  • Patent number: 7934725
    Abstract: A surface vehicle capable of overcoming obstacles is disclosed in which the vehicle accelerates vertically while having a horizontal velocity. The vehicle has a frame and at least three wheels attached to the frame to which a horizontal propulsion system is coupled. Further, a vertical propulsion system is coupled to the frame and the wheels. The vertical propulsion system is capable of providing a force to such wheels normal to the surface so that the vehicle separates from the surface. The vehicle has an electronic control unit coupled to the vertical propulsion system to automatically control its operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2011
    Assignee: Mobile Intelligence Corporation
    Inventors: Wayne Miller Brehob, Douglas Christopher MacKenzie
  • Publication number: 20110054681
    Abstract: A robot, having left and right leg portions on a lower portion of a body, each of the legs has a wheel attached at a tip of the leg portion, to be drivable, a suspension having a spring and a dumper attached in parallel, between the wheel and the body, and an actuator attached between the suspension and the body. The suspension and the actuator are connected in series, and an inclination detecting means mounted on the body detects an inclination angle and an angular velocity of the robot with respect to a direction of gravity. A control instruction value outputting means controls the actuator upon basis of information thereof, so that the robot travels along a target angle and a target angular velocity thereof. The, spring is connected with an actuator expanding and constructing up and down, in series.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 9, 2010
    Publication date: March 3, 2011
    Applicant: HITACHI, LTD.
    Inventors: Azusa AMINO, Saku EGAWA, Ryosuke NAKAMURA
  • Patent number: 7878276
    Abstract: An ambulatory vehicle having legs and configured for transporting a load is disclosed. The ambulatory vehicle includes a load that is able to shift the center of gravity of the ambulatory vehicle along a transverse axis and a longitudinal axis of a beam assembly. Additionally, leg assemblies of the ambulatory vehicle are configured to exchange places along the length of the beam assembly. Further, the vehicle is able to perform a number of gaits including a slow stable gait and faster dynamic gaits comprising striding, trotting, and bounding. The ambulatory vehicle is able to navigate rough terrain and steep slopes and navigate submerged.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2011
    Inventor: H. Phillip Limbacher, Jr.
  • Patent number: 7866430
    Abstract: A vehicle with two parallel wheels according to the invention has split steps (2L, 2R), a vehicle body, a pair of wheels (4L, 4R) coaxially parallelly arranged, a pair of wheel drive units for independently driving the wheels (4L, 4R), and a pair of step run-on assisting mechanisms (8L, 8R) arranged corresponding to the wheels (4L, 4R) and changing the degree of dependency of step run-on operation. The step run-on assisting mechanisms (8L, 8R) each have an assisting turning member (15) having a circular arc support surface with a curvature radius greater than the radius of the wheel (4L, 4R) and having its turning center in front, in the travel direction, of the rotation center of the wheel, a link member (16) rotatably supporting the assisting turning member (15), and a damper (25, 26) for changing, according to the speed at which the assisting turning member (15) collides with a step, force retaining one end of the link member (16).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2011
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Takekazu Kakinuma, Ikuo Yamano, Yoshihiro Kawarasaki
  • Patent number: 7836983
    Abstract: A virtual wheel provides a leg pair as a conveyance mechanism for a land vehicle. The virtual wheel propels the vehicle across a surface using a repetitive motion of the legs that contact the ground as would a wheel, due to their geometry. Vehicle embodiments include at least two-, three-, four- and six-wheeled vehicles, both transverse and in-line. Additionally, the invention provides a bipedal walking robot. One embodiment provides a robotic mule—a payload-carrying vehicle. The invention combines the flexible mobility of bipedal vehicles with the stability and functionality of very large-wheeled vehicles. Additionally, a bimodal conveyance mechanism readily converts between walking and rolling modes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2010
    Assignee: Applied Minds, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark Setrakian, W. Daniel Hillis
  • Patent number: 7837201
    Abstract: The present invention provides an assistant apparatus for surmounting a barrier, which comprises a carrier body, an assistant mechanism, and a sensing/driving apparatus. The assistant mechanism, disposed at a side of the carrier body, having an assistant block disposed at the end thereof, functions to place the assistant block on the ground between the carrier body and the barrier so that the carrier body is capable of surmounting the barrier through the assistance of the assistant block. The sensing/driving apparatus, coupled to the assistant mechanism, functions to drive the assistant mechanism to generate the adjusting movement according to whether the barrier is detected or not. By means of the design of the present invention, the assistant block is adopted to reduce the height surmounted by the carrier each time so that the carrier is capable of surmounting the barrier section by section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2010
    Assignee: National Chiao Tung University
    Inventors: Pi-Ying Cheng, Kian-Poh Wong
  • Publication number: 20100263948
    Abstract: A robotic vehicle (10,100,150A,150B150C,160,1000,1000A, includes a chassis (20,106,152,162) having front and rear ends (20A,152A,20B,152B) and supported on right and left driven tracks (34,44,108,165). Right and left elongated flippers (50,60,102,154,164) are disposed on corresponding sides of the chassis and operable to pivot. A linkage (70,156,166) connects a payload deck assembly (D1,D2,D3,80,158,168,806), configured to support a removable functional payload, to the chassis. The linkage has a first end (70A) rotatably connected to the chassis at a first pivot (71), and a second end (70B) rotatably connected to the deck at a second pivot (73). Both of the first and second pivots include independently controllable pivot drivers (72,74) operable to rotatably position their corresponding pivots (71,73) to control both fore-aft position and pitch orientation of the payload deck (D1,D2,D3,80,158,168,806) with respect to the chassis (20,106,152,162).
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 2, 2007
    Publication date: October 21, 2010
    Inventors: Adam P. Couture, Richard Page, John P. O'Brien, Mikhail Filippov, Andrew Shein
  • Patent number: 7765032
    Abstract: A magnetic on-off robotic attachment device (MOORAD) (100, 300, 400, 624, 624?, 660, 676, 804) is used to make a number of systems, such as a mobile apparatus (608, 644, 668, 700, 700?), a belt mechanism (800) and a sensor device (504, 508, 656). The MOORAD allows the respective system to be removably magnetically attached to a ferromagnetic structure/object (228, 420, 604, 604?, 720A-B, 720A?-B?, 848). Each MOORAD generally includes a dipole magnet (104, 304A-B, 404) movable relative to first and second ferromagnetic portions (112, 116, 316A-D, 408, 412) that are separated by corresponding magnetically insulating portions (120, 320A-C, 416) so as to change that MOORAD between off and on states.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2010
    Assignee: The University of Vermont and State Agricultural College
    Inventors: Dryver R. Huston, Brian Esser, James O. Plumpton