Wheel And Stepper Type Patents (Class 180/8.3)
  • 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
  • Patent number: 7753145
    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.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2010
    Assignee: Applied Minds, Inc.
    Inventors: W. Daniel Hillis, Bran Ferren, Luke Khanlian, Mark Setrakian
  • Patent number: 7673718
    Abstract: A leg-wheeled traveling mechanism is provided with a seat portion, two follow-up legs, each having an end portion that is freely rotatably connected to the seat portion, with a distance between the end portion and a tip portion having a foot-rest portion being retractable, two or more support legs, each having an end portion that is freely rotatably connected to the seat portion, with a distance between the end portion and a tip portion having a wheel portion being retractable, a foot-position measuring unit that measures relative positional changes of the foot-rest portions and foot portions of a rider, and a control device that controls operations of the follow-up legs and the support legs, based upon the relative positional changes measured by the foot-position measuring unit so as to allow the foot-rest portions to move virtually in the same directions as those of the foot portions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 9, 2010
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventors: Katsuhiko Asai, Atsushi Ono
  • Patent number: 7658245
    Abstract: There is provided a high-speed and stable robot apparatus realizing stable walking by surely grounding legs having wheels even on an irregular ground surface. The mobile robot includes a body having a control device and an inclination angle detecting device which detects an inclination angle and an angular velocity, and the plurality of legs each having a thigh part and a lower limb part. The thigh part is rotatable around an X-axis, which is a front direction with respect to the body, and around a Y-axis which is a side surface direction with respect to the body. The robot comprises wheels rotatable around the Y-axis and movable supporting parts rotatable around the Y-axis and capable of being grounded on a road surface, which are provided on lower portions of the lower limb parts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 9, 2010
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Ryosuke Nakamura, Azusa Amino
  • Patent number: 7654348
    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: August 21, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 2, 2010
    Assignee: iRobot Corporation
    Inventors: Timothy R. Ohm, Michael Bassett
  • Patent number: 7588105
    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: October 3, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2009
    Assignee: Applied Minds, Inc.
    Inventors: W. Daniel Hillis, Bran Ferren, Luke Khanlian, Mark Setrakian
  • Patent number: 7581605
    Abstract: A quad tracked vehicle may include a forward starboard track arm, an aft starboard track arm, a forward port track arm, and an aft port track arm. Forward track arms may be mounted for rotation about a vehicle body around axis of forward track arm by a forward coaxial transmission and motor, while aft tracks arms may be mounted for rotation about vehicle body around axis of aft extended coaxial transmission by an aft motor. Tracks may be mounted for rotation around track arms and rotate about minor axes. Forward tracks may rotate about forward major axis and aft tracks about aft major axis. Starboard tracks may be rotated by starboard motor, and port tracks by port motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2009
    Assignee: MGA Entertainment, Inc.
    Inventors: Yuval Caspi, Stephen Kong
  • Patent number: 7561941
    Abstract: An ambulatory robot including a lower body part having two or more legs and an upper body part installed on an upper end of the lower body part and capable of performing positional displacement by moving the lower body part, includes slope-detection means for sensing a slope of a floor, rotating means installed on a bottom surface of each of the two or more legs, and control means for controlling a motion of the ambulatory robot using the lower and upper body parts, wherein the control means controls a speed of revolution of the rotating means based on the slope of the floor, and controls the motion of the ambulatory robot so that the positional displacement of the ambulatory robot is performed by any of running, walking and sliding, depending on the controlled speed of revolution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2009
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Woong Kwon, Suk-han Lee
  • Publication number: 20090114460
    Abstract: A robot having a leg mechanism having high rigidity, so as to enable moving on wheels, on the leveled ground, and also moving on the bipedalism, on the unleveled ground, and also enabling to execute exchanging between the wheel running and the bipedalism in a short time, comprising: a body; and left and right leg portions in lower portion of the body, wherein each leg portion has a wheel, which can be drive, at a tip thereof, and a supporting portion, which is movable in roll and pitch directions, the each leg portion has three (3) degrees of freedom, roll, pitch and pitch from the body side, and the supporting portion has at least two (2) of contact points to be in contact with a ground, and makes up a stable region by a contact point of the wheel and the contact point of the supporting body, and thereby oscillating the left and right leg portions, alternately, so as to make bipedalism, and further operating the supporting body, so as to run on the wheels.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 5, 2008
    Publication date: May 7, 2009
    Inventors: Azusa AMINO, Junichi TAMAMOTO, Ryosuke NAKAMURA
  • Patent number: 7475745
    Abstract: An embodiment of a high-mobility vehicle comprises a vehicle body, a track assembly attached to the vehicle body, arms pivotally attached to the vehicle body, and trackless drive wheels mounted on distal ends of the arms. Another embodiment of a high-mobility vehicle comprises a vehicle chassis, right and left drive motors attached to the vehicle chassis, right and left power transmission mechanisms having high torque and low torque sets of gears, track assemblies coupled to the high torque sets of gears, and trackless drive wheels coupled to the low torque sets of gears.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2009
    Inventor: Bradley G. DeRoos
  • Patent number: 7464775
    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: August 12, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2008
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: David A. Clemens, John C. Dunne, Michael S. Beck, Wendell H. Chun, Jon T. Stinchcomb
  • Patent number: 7434815
    Abstract: A stair climbing wheelchair carrier operable by an unassisted wheelchair user is provided. The carrier includes a crawler drive unit and a carrying unit. The carrying unit includes a carrier main frame whose position is adjustable up and down relative to the crawler drive unit, an anchor unit for securely holding the back of the wheelchair set in a wheelchair mounting position on the carrier main frame, and a holding and moving unit for holding the wheelchair on the ground in the front part of the crawler drive unit and for moving the wheelchair to the wheelchair mounting position that is in the rear part of the crawler drive unit as the wheelchair user tilts the wheelchair backward by shifting the body weight. This stair climbing wheelchair carrier allows even a wheelchair with a relatively short front to back length to be mounted in the rear part of the carrier for stable transport up and down stairs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 14, 2008
    Assignee: Sunwa Ltd.
    Inventor: Tsutomu Kikusato
  • Patent number: 7424923
    Abstract: A mobile robot having wheels which maintain contact forces against a surface even when the mobile robot meets an obstacle on the surface and a body of the mobile robot is forced up against the obstacle. The mobile robot easily surmounts the obstacle on the surface, without requiring any sensors, any specific controller, any specific traveling unit to surmount over the obstacle, or any specific drive unit to drive the specific traveling unit. The mobile robot includes the body, the wheels connected with the body which move arcuately relative to the body, and a wheel guide unit coupled at a first end to the body and at a second end to a hub of each of the wheels. The wheel guide unit is contracted when the body is spaced apart from the surface on which the robot moves. However, the wheel guide unit expands to allow the wheel to be in contact with the surface when the body comes into contact with the surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2008
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Soo-Sang Yang, Yeon-Taek Oh
  • Patent number: 7398843
    Abstract: A robot including a robot body, a plurality of wheels on the robot body for propelling the robot body, and an axle for each wheel. Each wheel is configured to alternately attach to an axle at or proximate the center of the wheel for high efficiency mobility on flat terrain and also configured to attach to an axle at a position offset from the center of the wheel for better mobility on rougher terrain.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2008
    Assignee: Boston Dynamics, Inc.
    Inventors: Martin Buehler, Aaron Saunders, Felix Grimminger
  • Publication number: 20080135312
    Abstract: There is provided a high-speed and stable robot apparatus realizing stable walking by surely grounding legs having wheels even on an irregular ground surface. The mobile robot includes a body having a control device and an inclination angle detecting device which detects an inclination angle and an angular velocity, and the plurality of legs each having a thigh part and a lower limb part. The thigh part is rotatable around an X-axis, which is a front direction with respect to the body, and around a Y-axis which is a side surface direction with respect to the body. The robot comprises wheels rotatable around the Y-axis and movable supporting parts rotatable around the Y-axis and capable of being grounded on a road surface, which are provided on lower portions of the lower limb parts.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 20, 2007
    Publication date: June 12, 2008
    Inventors: Ryosuke Nakamura, Azusa Amino
  • Patent number: 7384046
    Abstract: Powered wheeled vehicle (1), capable of travelling both on level ground and over uneven surfaces, comprising at least one driving tread (BR11) as well as two pairs of front wheels (R61) and rear wheels (R21), of which at least one is a driving pair, wherein each wheel of the driving wheel pair is mounted on a swing arm, each arm of the swing arms (B21) of the rear wheels (R21) is secured to an actuator (V2) for placing said wheels in at least two positions, namely: a first lower position in which the ground-engaging surface of the wheels is below the ground-engaging surface of the tread so that said wheeled vehicle is moved by the wheels alone, and a second position in which the ground-engaging surface of the wheels remains in contact with the ground so that the vehicle is moved by a combination of the tread and said driving wheels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2008
    Assignee: HMCZ Developpement
    Inventor: Hervé Marie Georges Le Masne De Chermont
  • Patent number: 7347511
    Abstract: A rotary walking device having multiple sequential ground engaging elongated struts interconnected between pairs of annular drive disks. Each pair of drive disks having multiple pivot attachment points for the respective opposing apertured ends of each strut. Each strut having angularly offset parallel engagement ends which engage with spaced co-parallel drive disks affording a unique rotational linear travel path that allows each of the struts to sequentially engage the ground and propel the assembly forward in a progressive walking like motion when used in combination with corresponding second strut drive assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2008
    Inventor: Frank Ronald Naypaver
  • Patent number: 7311162
    Abstract: A traction unit capable of traversing and turning on surfaces that include compound curves like the surface of a sphere or are inverted like a ceiling. The traction unit includes a plurality of trucks operable to propel the unit across a surface and a plurality of adherence members operable to releasably secure the unit to the surface. In operation, the adherence members cyclically attach to and release from the surface as the trucks propel the unit across the surface. Within each cycle, after the unit has traveled a predetermined distance relative to an attached member, the member releases the surface and reattaches to the surface at a different point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2007
    Assignee: Skywalker Robotics, Inc.
    Inventors: William W. Jeswine, Frank Dailey, Eric Olsen, Cameron Raymond Cox
  • Patent number: 7182163
    Abstract: The invention contemplates a selectably operable hydraulic means for laterally shifting one end of a non-moving vehicle in order to provide a desired alignment. The present invention is particularly applicable to vehicle-mounted equipment which has an invariant lateral mounting position on the vehicle and which must be laterally aligned with a stationary workpiece axis. An example of such a need occurs with mobile workover rigs used in well maintenance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2007
    Inventor: Tommie Carroll Gipson
  • Patent number: 7143850
    Abstract: An assist device is provided with a spring device that generates an auxiliary driving force, by an elastic energy, acting on a joint of a leg. The spring device includes a gas spring having a cylinder and a piston. Bending/stretching motion between link members and at the joint is transmitted to the spring device through a motion transmission device that includes a link arm. The spring device is provided so that the auxiliary driving force increases as a knee bending angle ? increases until the knee bending angle ? reaches a predetermined angle, and so that, once the knee bending angle ? exceeds the predetermined angle, the auxiliary driving force becomes smaller than or equal to the driving force obtaining at the predetermined angle, effectively reducing a burden on an actuator of the legged mobile robot joint.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2006
    Assignee: Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Toru Takenaka, Hiroshi Gomi, Kazushi Hamaya, Yoshinari Takemura
  • Patent number: 7017687
    Abstract: A reconfigurable leg and wheel device includes an array of components joined in series configurable as i) an articulated leg with the components movable with respect to one another in a walking motion, and reconfigurable as ii) a wheel with the components forming a circular outer surface and being rotatable about an axis in a rotational motion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2006
    Assignee: Sarcos Investments LC
    Inventors: Stephen Jacobsen, Fraser M. Smith, Marc Olivier, Christopher S. Maggio
  • Patent number: 6935447
    Abstract: A stair-climbing hand truck comprising two casters held in a chassis and a supporting foot constituted by a two-arm lever having a lower support end and an upper end, a supporting foot guide connected to and guiding the upper end of the two-arm lever, a connecting rod having one end linked to the two-arm lever between the lower support end and the upper end, and an end opposite to the one end guided in a connecting rod guide extending transversely to the supporting foot guide, and a crank mechanism connected to the connecting rod.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2005
    Inventor: Jochum Bierma
  • Patent number: 6907945
    Abstract: Disclosed is a wheel chair capable of going over an obstacle or ascending or descending a stair. The wheel chair comprises a wheel frame; an actuator coupled to the wheel frame; a power generating unit coupled to the actuator; a first transmission having a sun gear fixed to the power generating unit, a plurality of planet gears meshed with the sun gear, a ring gear meshed with the respective planet gears, and carriers coupled to the respective planet gears; a second transmission having a driving shaft meshed with the ring gear, a key frame rotatably installed on the driving shaft, and a casing fixed to the key frame; a plurality of front wheels each coupled to the driving shaft; a follower drivingly coupled to the driving shaft and having a follower shaft; and a rear wheel fixed to the follower shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2005
    Inventor: Ki-Soo Kim
  • Patent number: 6845830
    Abstract: A bogie is provided with a wheel mechanism that can move each wheel in a vertical direction, and a control unit to perform impedance control of moving force to be applied to a wheel supporting unit in which a motor provided in the wheel mechanism is supporting the wheel. When the third wheel is to climb up a step, the control unit controls output of each wheel mechanism to cause the third wheel to make contact with a wall face of the step, and facilitate the wheel to move upward so that it can climb up the step, and the other wheels can be immediately made to contact with the ground even when the climbing wheel irregularly moves in a vertical direction, so that the bogie remains in a stable posture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2005
    Assignee: Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Naoto Tojo, Kazushige Kakutani
  • Patent number: 6819780
    Abstract: A combine having a camera system is disclosed in which pictures of the ground in front of the vehicle are processed to extract the slope and intercept of a characteristic line indicative of the boundary between the cut and uncut portions of the field. A fuzzy logic algorithm compares the slope and intercept using four input membership functions and a single output membership function. If the slope and intercept extracted from the image are deemed acceptable, they are used to navigate the vehicle through the field. If they are not acceptable, the combine continues to use slope and intercept values previously deemed acceptable to guide the vehicle. This process of image data extraction and quality analysis continues repetitively as the combine traverses the field harvesting crops.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2004
    Assignee: CNH America LLC
    Inventors: Eric Benson, Qin Zhang, John F. Reid
  • Publication number: 20040195021
    Abstract: A traction unit capable of traversing and turning on surfaces that include compound curves like the surface of a sphere or are inverted like a ceiling. The traction unit includes a plurality of trucks operable to propel the unit across a surface and a plurality of adherence members operable to releasably secure the unit to the surface. In operation, the adherence members cyclically attach to and release from the surface as the trucks propel the unit across the surface. Within each cycle, after the unit has traveled a predetermined distance relative to an attached member, the member releases the surface and reattaches to the surface at a different point.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 13, 2004
    Publication date: October 7, 2004
    Applicant: Skywalker Robotics, Inc.
    Inventors: William W. Jeswine, Frank Dailey, Eric Olsen, Cameron Raymond Cox
  • Patent number: 6793026
    Abstract: A wall-climbing robot or mobility platform able to ascend and descend various horizontal and vertical surfaces having a chassis, a rotor rotatable with respect to the chassis, one or more prominences on the rotor, and means for adhering to a surface attached to the prominences. The robot is able to make a transition from horizontal travel to vertical travel. In certain embodiments, the means for adhering to a wall is a pressure sensitive adhesive. In addition, multiple rotor configurations and radio-control are used for remote operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2004
    Assignee: i Robot Corporation
    Inventor: Thomas L. De Fazio
  • Patent number: 6752400
    Abstract: A moving unit provides a wheel that supports a body portion in a condition that the body portion can be moved, a supporting member that is mounted at a position that does not interfere with rotation of the wheel and an arm that is mounted at a position shifted from an axis of the supporting member and that can move a distal end of the arm toward a direction away from the axis of the supporting member by being driven with the supporting member as a foothold and is so arranged that the body portion can be lifted up together with the wheel by grounding the distal end of the arm when the moving unit is transported, the crank and the arm are incorporated around an axle of the wheel in a compact state, which makes it possible to operate the moving unit stably.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2004
    Assignee: Shimadzu Mectem, Inc.
    Inventors: Eiji Nakatsukasa, Hidenori Hanami, Hiroharu Kitamura, Kanji Mikami, Katsutoshi Kamoto
  • Patent number: 6742617
    Abstract: A traction unit capable of traversing and turning on surfaces that include compound curves like the surface of a sphere or are inverted like a ceiling. The traction unit includes a plurality of trucks operable to propel the unit across a surface and a plurality of adherence members operable to releasably secure the unit to the surface. In operation, the adherence members cyclically attach to and release from the surface as the trucks propel the unit across the surface. Within each cycle, after the unit has traveled a predetermined distance relative to an attached member, the member releases the surface and reattaches to the surface at a different point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2004
    Assignee: Skywalker Robotics, Inc.
    Inventors: William W. Jeswine, Frank Dailey, Eric Olsen
  • Patent number: 6550787
    Abstract: A conveying apparatus capable of ascending or descending stairways and carrying goods consists of a frame, a transmission mechanism and a driving mechanism located on a lower section of the frame. The transmission mechanism includes a planetary gear set and is with two degrees of freedom. When moving on the floor, the driving mechanism may drive a driving wheel in the transmission mechanism to deliver output of the conveying apparatus based on floor conditions, thereby to ascend or descend the stairways, or moving on the plain floor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2003
    Assignee: Aerospace Industrial Development Corp.
    Inventors: Chia-Chun Chu, Puu-An Juang, Hong-Sen Yan
  • Patent number: 6484829
    Abstract: A self-propelled battery-powered wheelchair replaces an ordinary wheelchair and provides improved access to homes. The wheelchair includes stair climbing, slope climbing, and reclining while requiring only minimal driver skill and strength. Operation on level ground is similar to the operation of a conventional wheelchair. Support for normal operation is provided by a rear caster and wheels on the front corners. Its compact width and length enable negotiating narrow doorways and turning in small spaces. To ensure stability on stairs, moveable skids are mounted to the four corners of the wheelchair. Parallelogram linkages move the front skids down and forward during climbing. Another parallelogram linkage moves the caster and rear skids up and at an angle during climbing. The wheelchair is steerable on stairs as needed to align with the stair path and accommodate slightly spiraling stairs. The wheelchair accommodates stair steps of different riser heights and tread lengths.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2002
    Inventor: Kenneth Ray Cox
  • Publication number: 20020104692
    Abstract: Since the moving unit comprises a wheel that supports a body portion in a condition that the body portion can be moved, a supporting member that is mounted at a position that does not interfere rotation of the wheel in a condition that can be rotatably driven and an arm that is mounted at a position shifted from an axis of the supporting member and that can move a distal end of the arm toward a direction away from the axis of the supporting member by being driven with the supporting member as a foothold and is so arranged that the body portion can be lifted up together with the wheel by grounding the distal end of the arm when the moving unit is transported, the crank and the arm are incorporated around an axle of the wheel in a compact state, which makes it possible to operate the moving unit stably.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 7, 2002
    Publication date: August 8, 2002
    Inventors: Eiji Nakatsukasa, Hidenori Hanami, Hiroharu Kitamura, Kanji Mikami, Katsutoshi Kamoto
  • Patent number: 6397960
    Abstract: A transporting device has wheels, a stair climbing unit having climbing legs, an electric motor provided for driving of the stair climbing unit, a drive shaft which is driven by the electric motor and is formed as a crank shaft located symmetrically to a central longitudinal axis of the device, the drive shaft having halves each rotatably supporting a first crank for the climbing leg and a second crank for the wheel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2002
    Assignee: Alber Antriebstechnik GmbH
    Inventor: Ulrich Alber
  • Patent number: 6341784
    Abstract: A motor-driven stair climbing device (10) to carry equipment and goods, more particularly wheel chairs (9) with disabled persons. The wheel chair (9) can be detachably fixed to the stair climber (10) and essentially comprises a stable frame (101) with an energy source (8.1, 8.2), a drive shaft (18), a drive control, feelers (7,131,132), sensors (7) and a lifting mechanism to climb the steps. The stair climbing device is characterized in that a support device (30, 33) is provided, which is supported on the following step of the stairs (1.2, 1.3) and in that the entire center of gravity (5) of the stair climber (10), the wheeler chair (9) and the disabled person is located between the support points of the running wheel (12) or the support device (30, 330) on the steps of the stairs (1.1, 1.2, 1.3).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2002
    Assignee: Otto Bock Orthopaedische Industrie Besitz-und Verwaltungs-Kommanditgesellschaft
    Inventor: Bernt Carstens
  • Patent number: 6328120
    Abstract: In a stair-climbing vehicle for negotiating steps, ledges and stairs comprising a vehicle body having wheel support arms mounted thereon at opposite sides and in spaced relationship so as to be pivotable about a wheel support arm shaft and wheels rotatably mounted on the free ends of the wheel support arms, climbing arms are supported on the vehicle pivotable about the pivot axes of the support arms. The climbing arms are linearly extendable for moving the wheels from one step to the next, one wheel, one wheel support arm and one climbing arm forming together a stair climbing module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2001
    Assignee: Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH
    Inventors: Charis Häussler, Manfred Selig, Rudolf Ullrich
  • Patent number: 6311795
    Abstract: A work vehicle steering system for a work vehicle having a frame, a plurality of wheels, and a coupling assembly coupled to at least one of the wheels is provided. The coupling assembly includes first, second, and third rotatable assemblies. The first rotatable assembly is coupled to the frame and is configured to rotate on a first axis. The second rotatable assembly is coupled to the first rotatable assembly and is configured to rotate on a second axis. The third rotatable assembly is coupled between the second rotatable assembly and the wheel and is configured to rotate on a third axis. The coupling assembly provides the wheel with three degrees of movement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2001
    Assignee: Case Corporation
    Inventors: Andrey V. Skotnikov, William L. Schubert
  • Patent number: 6311794
    Abstract: A system and method for operating a device in ascending or descending stairs. The device has a plurality of wheels rotatable about axes that are fixed with respect to a cluster arm, where the cluster arm itself is rotated about an axis so that wheels rest on successive stairs. The wheels and cluster arms are controlled according to separate control laws by a controller. Whether the device ascends or descends the stairs is governed by the pitch of the device relative to specified front and rear angles. Shifting the center of gravity of the combination of device and payload governs the direction of motion of the device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2001
    Assignee: Deka Products Limited Partneship
    Inventors: John B. Morrell, John M. Kerwin, Dean L. Kamen, Robert R. Ambrogi, Robert J. Duggan, Richard K. Heinzmann, Brian R. Key
  • Patent number: 6267196
    Abstract: A vehicle, for driving over a ground surface, has a body with a left side, a right side, a front and a back. The vehicle includes left and right drive mechanisms. Each mechanism includes first and second traction elements for engaging the ground surface and transmitting a driving force between the vehicle and ground surface. Each mechanism includes first and second arms coupled to the first and second traction elements for relative rotation about first and second axis respectively. Each mechanism includes a rotor having a third axis, the rotor coupled to the body for rotation about the third axis and coupled to the first and second arms for relative rotation about the third axis. The mechanism includes first and second drive motors for driving the first and second traction elements and first and second transmissions, driven by the first and second motors and engaging the rotor. Driving the first and second traction elements simultaneously rotates the rotor relative to the first and second arms, respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2001
    Assignee: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Brian H. Wilcox, Annette K. Nasif