With Alternately Lifted Supporting Base And Leg Patents (Class 180/8.5)
  • Patent number: 10392778
    Abstract: A support system for an excavator is disclosed as it may include an extended center frame, a trench support, and/or a mat. The extended center frame may be bolted onto a standard excavator to widen the overall footprint of the machine and reduce ground pressure. The trench support relieves any remaining pressure toward the open trench. The extended center frame enables a larger excavator to straddle an open trench, while at the same time a smaller excavator can dig the shallower depths, thereby increasing efficiencies. By implementing the trench support and/or the mat, it might not be necessary to widen the tracks of the excavator as far, thus further reducing time-related costs. In addition, the trench support may also enhance safety of the trenching operations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2019
    Assignee: MIME, LLC
    Inventor: Ruben D. Hernandez
  • Patent number: 10358876
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for transporting heavy machinery, equipment or other heavy loads from one location to another, whereby the apparatus may be constructed as a walking machine including a plurality of lifting assemblies operative to lift the load above the supporting surface and then move the load relative to the supporting surface by transporting the load via rollers or tracks in the walking machines. In one example, the lifting assemblies are provided with separate longitudinal and lateral drive mechanisms independently operative for translating the load in either or both longitudinal and lateral directions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2019
    Assignee: Columbia Trailer Co., Inc.
    Inventors: Steven Andrew Csergei, Ira James Crisp
  • Patent number: 10246946
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for transporting heavy machinery, equipment or other heavy load from one location to another, whereby the apparatus is constructed to steer the load in order to move the load in a desired path to a set position, one embodiment directed to a walking machine including a plurality of lifting assemblies operative to lift the load above the supporting surface and then move or rotate the load relative to the supporting surface by transporting the load via rollers or tracks in the walking machines, the lifting assembly including a steering mechanism using an actuator operative for rotating, via a multi-linkage assembly, whereby the lifting assembly lower structure is rotated relative to the lifting assembly structure to set the walking machine at a desired angle so that lifting assemblies may be driven in a desired walking direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2019
    Assignee: Columbia Trailer Co., Inc.
    Inventors: Ira James Crisp, Steven Andrew Csergei
  • Patent number: 10228806
    Abstract: A flexible touch sensor comprises: a first sheet material that has a first major surface, and that has a cushioning property; a second sheet material that includes a conductive material, and that is disposed on the first major surface of the first sheet material; and a conductive wire that is disposed on the first major surface of the first sheet material, and that is sunk into the first sheet material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2019
    Assignee: Panasonic Intellectual Property Management Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoshihiro Tomita, Koji Kawakita, Koichi Hirano, Masanori Nomura, Susumu Sawada, Takashi Ichiryu
  • Patent number: 10058999
    Abstract: A wheeled jumping robot includes a body with two wheels, and a board is connected between the two wheels. A driving unit and a jumping unit are respectively connected on two sides of the board. The jumping unit has two rails, and a tubular member is located between the two rails and connected to a threaded rod. A bridge is connected between two rails. Rollers are located between a threaded portion of the threaded rod and a tapered contact face of the bridge. When the threaded rod is rotated, the rollers move toward a pre-set position, the bridge compresses resilient members on the two rails. When the tubular member moves toward the pre-set position, the rollers are separated from the threaded rod due to the tapered contact face, the resilient members bounce back. The wheeled jumping robot includes a processing unit for being communicated with a remote control unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2018
    Assignee: Lunghwa University of Science and Technology
    Inventors: Lian-Wang Lee, Yi-Hsun Lo, Yu-Fong Lyu, Rui-Peng Chen, Chun-Chih Hsu
  • Patent number: 9862437
    Abstract: A mounting structure for a rig may include a base configured to support the mounting structure on an operating surface and a plurality of transport systems operatively connected to the base and configured to lift the mounting structure off of the operating surface. An elevated rig platform may be connected to the base by a plurality of support struts, wherein at least some of the support struts comprise a mounting connection that is configured to pivot to lower the elevated rig platform toward the base and place the mounting structure in a partially collapsed state. Additionally, a connecting member may be attached to one or more of the plurality of transport systems, wherein in response to the elevated rig platform being lowered to the partially collapsed state, the connecting member may be configured to displace at least a portion of the one or more transport systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Assignee: ENTRO INDUSTRIES, INC.
    Inventors: Shawn R. Smith, Justin M. Carey
  • Patent number: 9751578
    Abstract: A load transporting apparatus includes a base structure that supports a load and a plurality of transport devices that move the base structure over a base surface. A first group of transport devices concurrently contact the base surface during a first movement step. Following the first movement step the first group of transport devices are disengaged from the base structure during a second movement step of the base structure. A second group of transport devices are disengaged from the base surface during the first movement step. Following the first movement step the second group of transport devices contact the base surface during the second movement step, and the weight of the load supported by the first group of transport devices is transferred from the first group of transport devices to the second group of transport devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2017
    Assignee: ENTRO INDUSTRIES, INC.
    Inventors: Shawn R. Smith, Harlan B. Smith
  • Patent number: 9580122
    Abstract: Described herein is a walker for moving a structure over the ground. The structure to be moved may be an oil and gas rig for instance. The walker includes a pontoon for engaging the ground, a jack with rollers disposed on the pontoon for lifting the structure and sitting on rollers, a longitudinal drive assembly for longitudinally moving the pontoon relative to the jack with or without the structure on the rollers, and lateral and rotational drive assemblies for moving the jack and the pontoon relative to the structure when the structure sits on the ground.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2017
    Inventor: Benjamin Daniel Doherty
  • Patent number: 9463833
    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.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2016
    Assignee: ENTRO INDUSTRIES, INC.
    Inventors: Shawn R. Smith, Harlan B. Smith
  • Patent number: 9415819
    Abstract: A rig movement and rotation assembly, which includes a first pair of vertical lifting jacks and a second pair of vertical lifting jacks. Each of the vertical lifting jacks has an upper end connected to a rig substructure and a lower end. A roller assembly is connected to the lower end of each of the vertical lifting jacks with each roller assembly rotatable on an axis. A steering cam arm bracket extends from each roller assembly. A first connecting link joins the steering cam arm brackets from the first pair of lifting jacks together and a second connecting link joins the steering cam arm brackets from the second pair of lifting jacks together. An actuator extends or retracts the length of each of the connecting links. A skid jack for each of the vertical lifting jacks engages with the roller assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2016
    Assignee: Woolsayer Companies, Inc.
    Inventor: Dewayne G. Vogt
  • Patent number: 9343879
    Abstract: A device for carrying high-voltage equipment in an electrically-insulated manner includes electrically non-conductive support insulators that are configured for mounting a carrier platform, which receives the high-voltage equipment, on a foundation in an electrically-insulated manner. Each support insulator extends towards the foundation from a bearing connected to the carrier platform. In order to provide such a device which is cost-effective and easy to produce, two support insulators extend at an incline from each bearing and the two support insulators form an acute angle with respect to their shared bearing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2016
    Assignee: SIEMENS AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT
    Inventors: German Kuhn, Achim Von Seck
  • Patent number: 9243466
    Abstract: A methane content of a bottom sample comprising methane hydrate crystals is determined by:—taking a core sample (5) from a bottom sediment (3) in a deepwater area;—storing the core sample (5) in a storage chamber (4);—lifting the storage chamber (4) to a predetermined waterdepth (BGHZ=Base of Gas Hydrate stability Zone) at which any methane hydrate crystals in the core sample (5) dissociate into water and methane; and—measuring an amount of methane released by the lifted core sample (5).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2016
    Assignee: Shell Oil Company
    Inventors: Ulfert Cornelis Klomp, Thomas Alexander Pasfield, Kjeld Aaby Sørensen
  • Patent number: 9073588
    Abstract: The present invention includes a load bearing mid-section weldment connected between a pair of telescoping incremental stepper assemblies to create a clearance space beneath the load bearing mid-section weldment and the telescoping incremental stepper assemblies thereby allowing the heavy machinery substructure to move and work over ground obstructions. Each telescoping incremental stepper assembly includes a bridge weldment connected between a pair of telescoping legs. Each telescoping leg includes at least one pair of nested leg sections and a linear actuator to adjust the length of the telescoping leg. Each telescoping leg further includes a fixed foot and an articulating pad assembly. The articulating pad assembly is configured to alternatively lift the foot and itself from the ground and moves the foot and itself relative to one another to move the heavy machinery substructure in incremental steps over the ground and any obstructions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2015
    Assignee: ORION DRILLING COMPANY
    Inventors: Wayne Squires, Milan Rajic, Jovan Vracar, Philip Seely, Ozzie Rios, David Gibson
  • Patent number: 8925658
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a drill rig relocation system. Lift frames are provided at opposite ends of a base box of a drill rig substructure. A lift cylinder and bearing mat assembly are rotatably connected beneath the lift frame. The bearing mat assemblies may be rotated to the desired direction for moving the drill rig. The lift cylinders are then expanded, placing the bearing mat assemblies onto the ground and lifting the base boxes and drill rig off the ground. The drill rig is supported on linear sleeve bearings slideably mounted in the bearing mat assemblies. Translation cylinders on the bearing mats expanded to move the rig by translating the linear sleeve bearings along the shafts. After the lift cylinder expands to place the bearing mat on the ground, the translation cylinders are retracted, providing the linear bearing with the full length of the shaft for the next movement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2015
    Assignee: T&T Engineering Services, Inc.
    Inventors: F. Allan Bryant, Keith J. Orgeron, Mark W. Trevithick
  • Patent number: 8910733
    Abstract: A chassis front assembly, a chassis rear assembly and a chassis intermediate assembly are disclosed. The chassis front assembly and the chassis rear assembly are connected to the chassis intermediate assembly for forming a chassis. A kit is also disclosed. A method is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2014
    Assignee: Android Industries LLC
    Inventors: Keith Masserang, Joshua James Hicks, Lawrence J. Lawson, Barry Allan Clark
  • Publication number: 20140262562
    Abstract: A walking system for moving a load over the ground includes a substructure having laterally spaced-apart, rigidly interconnected main beams for carrying the load above the ground. A jack support beam is mounted as a cantilever on top of each main beam on opposite ends thereof, and each includes a lifting jack assembly. Each lifting jack assembly includes a power-driven hydraulic cylinder having a ram with a foot plate, and each is selectively operable for extending a ram downwardly to force the foot plate against the ground to raise the substructure off the ground, and for retraction to disengage the foot plates from the ground, thereby lowering the substructure to the ground. Each jack lifting assembly further includes a shifter mechanism selectively operable for displacing the main beams and the substructure along the ground in a selected steering mode when the lifting jack assemblies have been actuated to raise the main beams and the substructure above the ground.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Inventors: Nezar Eldib, Steven A Csergei, Stephen Lutz
  • Patent number: 8807257
    Abstract: A method, apparatus, and system for adhering a vacuum to a surface is provided. A seal is positioned relative to a surface. The seal is associated with a structure and is in communication with a channel within the structure. The seal is rotated relative to the structure such that the seal at least partially conforms to the surface. Air is drawn into the channel within the structure through the seal such that the seal adheres to the surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2014
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Jeffrey Hansen, Karl Edward Nelson, Gary Georgeson, Charles M. Richards, Scott Lea, Daniel J. Wright
  • Patent number: 8793016
    Abstract: A hexapod robot device includes a main body and six legs coupled thereto. Each leg has a first connecting rod pivotally connected with the main body, a first driver electrically pivotally connected between the main body and the first connecting rod, with the first driver controllably driving the first connecting rod to move forward and backward along a longitudinal direction, a second connecting rod pivotally connected with the first connecting rod, and a second driver pivotally connected between the first connecting rod and the second connecting rod, with the second driver controllably driving the second connecting rod to move upward and downward along a vertical direction. The second connecting rod further has an end to engage with the ground.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2014
    Assignee: National Kaohsiung University of Applied Science
    Inventor: Chih-Hsiung Yang
  • Patent number: 8695190
    Abstract: A method and an apparatus for performing operations on a workpiece is provided. A first frame in a frame system may be held on the workpiece by applying a vacuum to the first frame. A second frame in the frame system may be detached from the workpiece by applying a pressure to the second frame. The second frame may be moved to a location on the workpiece. The second frame may be attached to the workpiece by applying the vacuum to the second frame. An operation may be performed on the workpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Branko Sarh, David Hassan Amirehteshami
  • Patent number: 8668034
    Abstract: A manipulator including a mobile plate for carrying an end-effector, connected to a plurality of legs, each of which has a distal end connected to the mobile plate and a proximal end connected to a supporting object by a clamping device, a plurality of distal links, a plurality of intermediate links and a plurality of proximal links, an actuator connected between each pair of longitudinally adjacent intermediate links, the distal links, connecting the intermediate links with the mobile plate by a system of distal revolute joints including a distal lockable joint, and the proximal links, connecting the intermediate links with a system of proximal joints having lockable proximal joints, where the manipulator is able to achieve manipulation, self-reconfiguration and locomotion movements without needing actuators directly acting on each joint.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 11, 2014
    Assignees: Tecnalia France, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
    Inventors: Cédric Baradat, Hai Yang, François Pierrot, Sébastien Krut, Agustin Saenz
  • 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: 8657042
    Abstract: A steerable walking machine is described which comprises a leg mechanism that provides a means for locomotion of the machine across a surface and a head rotatably mounted upon the leg mechanism. The rotational position of the head upon the leg mechanism acts to defines a direction of locomotion of the machine across the surface. The steerable walking machine can therefore walk in any direction without requiring the leg mechanism to turn and so can maneuver in more confined spaces than those devices known in the art. A first motor is employed to control the leg mechanism while a second motor controls the rotation of the head upon the leg mechanism. The functionality of the steerable walking machine is therefore achieved through the employment of only two motors thus significantly reducing the manufacturing costs involved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2014
    Assignee: China Industries Limited
    Inventor: Jaimie Hartwig Barrett Mantzel
  • Patent number: 8573334
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present invention are directed to a load transporting apparatus that is capable of being steered while transporting a load across a base surface. In particular, the load transporting apparatus includes a roller track configured to support movement of a roller assembly, and a support foot that is connected to the roller track with a pin connector. During load transport, the support foot can be maintained in a substantially similar position relative to a frame structure supporting the load even when the transport movement is not in a parallel direction to the orientation of the support foot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2013
    Assignee: Entro Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Shawn R. Smith, Harlan B. Smith
  • Patent number: 8561733
    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.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2013
    Assignee: Entro Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Shawn R. Smith, Harlan B. Smith
  • Patent number: 8544853
    Abstract: A two-legged walking transportation device includes an upper body unit for supporting the trunk of the rider, and leg units provided below the upper body unit, each of the leg units includes a link mechanism connected at one end to the upper body unit via a hip joint with at least three degrees of freedom, a foot mechanism connected to the other end of the link mechanism via an ankle joint with at least two degrees of freedom, and a fixing mechanism for fixing the rider's foot to the link mechanism via a multi-axis force sensor so as to be only rotatable with respect to directions in which the ankle joint is movable, the hip join is voluntarily controlled in accordance with operating force and/or operating torque provided by the rider's foot and sensed by the multi-axis force sensor, and control of the ankle joint while standing is automatically performed as balance maintenance control without directly involving the rider.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2013
    Assignee: Muscle Corporation
    Inventor: Katsuya Kanaoka
  • Patent number: 8534395
    Abstract: The mobile climbing robot (15) according to the invention comprises a central joint (3), by which a first leg (1) is connected to a second leg (2). In addition, the robot comprises a first foot (8) which is connected to the first leg (1) by way of a first foot joint for rotation (5) and a first foot joint for tilting (4). A second foot (9) is connected to the second leg (2) by way of a second foot joint for rotation (7) and a second foot joint for tilting (6). A mounting (11) for attaching an implement (10; 12) is disposed on the first foot (8).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2013
    Assignee: Niederberger Engineering AG
    Inventor: Anton Niederberger
  • Patent number: 8464815
    Abstract: A climbing robot for travelling over adhesive surfaces with endless traction mechanisms and, fastened to them at a distance, controllable adhesive feet that circulate with the endless traction mechanisms along guides in the travel plane, by means of which the adhesive sides of their adhesive elements always point towards the travel surface and wherein the adhesive elements that support and move the climbing robot are switched “ON” and lowered onto the adhesive surface and all of the other adhesive elements are switched “OFF” and raised from the adhesive surface. The climbing robot has square running gear, and a foot plate with a guide running around the edges for a multitude of adhesive feet driven by traction mechanisms exists in each of the four corners of the running gear.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2013
    Inventor: Anton Niederberger
  • Patent number: 8459384
    Abstract: A climbing robot for travelling over adhesive surfaces with endless traction mechanisms (14) and, fastened to them at a distance, controllable adhesive feet (21) that circulate with the endless traction mechanisms (14) along guides (17) in the travel plane, by means of which the adhesive sides of their adhesive elements (15) always point towards the travel surface and wherein the adhesive elements (15) that support and move the climbing robot are switched “ON” and lowered onto the adhesive surface and all of the other adhesive elements (15) are switched “OFF” and raised from the adhesive surface, wherein the climbing robot has square running gear (11), one foot plate (13) each with a guide (17) running around the edges for a multitude of adhesive feet (21) driven by traction mechanisms is arranged in two diagonally opposite corner areas (18) of the running gear (11), wherein the foot plates (13) are attached to a support bar (12) of the running gear (11) and the adhesive feet (21) and therefore their adhesive
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2013
    Inventor: Anton Niederberger
  • Patent number: 8386076
    Abstract: There is provided a legged robot that performs motion by changing a joint angle, which includes a trajectory generating section to calculate a center-of-gravity trajectory in designated stepping motion from the stepping motion including at least one of walking motion, running motion and stopping motion, and generate a center-of-gravity trajectory by superimposing a designated travel velocity onto a travel velocity of a center of gravity in the calculated center-of-gravity trajectory in stepping motion, and a trajectory updating section to store the generated center-of-gravity trajectory and update all the stored center-of-gravity trajectories so as to be continuous, and a trajectory reproducing section to calculate time-varying data of a target value of the joint angle based on the updated center-of-gravity trajectory, and a joint driving section to rotate a joint of the legged robot based on the calculated time-varying data of a target value of the joint angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2013
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Daisaku Honda, Keisuke Suga, Ryosuke Tajima
  • 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: 8251163
    Abstract: One embodiment of the invention includes an application of multilayer thermo-reversible dry adhesives in climbing devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2012
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Tao Xie, Xingcheng Xiao
  • Patent number: 8157031
    Abstract: A multi-legged walking device includes a crankshaft, a plurality of linkage bar mechanisms, a support member, and a driving device. The crankshaft includes a plurality of main journals and crankpin journals. The plurality of linkage bar mechanisms is spaced from and substantially parallel to each other. The linkage bar mechanisms include a plurality of frames. Each frame is rotatably connected to one of the plurality of main journals. Each linkage bar mechanism includes a connecting bar, a first rocker, a second rocker, and a leg. Two ends of the connecting bar are rotatably connected to one of the crankpin journals and the leg. Two ends of the first rocker are rotatably connected to one of the plurality of frames and the leg. Two ends of the second rocker are rotatably connected to one of the plurality of frames and the connecting bar. The support member is fixed to the frames.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2012
    Assignees: Hong Fu Jin Precision Industry (ShenZhen) Co., Ltd., Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Bao-Qin Xu
  • Patent number: 8127871
    Abstract: A frame walker robot based on two sections connected by a parallel mechanism is described. The walker can step in any direction and can pose its free section in any orientation. Prismatic, rather than revolute, joints are used, leading to a scalable design.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2012
    Inventor: Robert J Viola
  • 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: 8020649
    Abstract: A legged robot that ensures a large step length while keeping the height of the trunk low is realized. The legged robot is provided with a trunk, a pair of legs, and a pair of sliding joints. Each of the sliding joints links one end of each of the legs to the trunk so as to slide in a front and rear direction with respect to the trunk. For each step, one leg is caused to slide forward, and the other leg is caused to slide backward. It is possible to ensure a predetermined distance between the end portion of the one leg and the end portion of the other leg. The legged robot can make the step length large by an amount that is equivalent to this distance irrespective of the length of the legs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2011
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Akira Ogawa
  • Patent number: 8019472
    Abstract: The robot comprises a chassis (1) with a first set of legs (2a, 2b) with suction pads (6) on tilting supports (7) mounted in a linearly displaceable manner with regard to the chassis and a second set of legs (4) with suction pads (17) mounted in a rotary manner with regard to the chassis. Certain control means are adapted in order to control the functioning of said first and second sets of legs in a coordinated manner for displacing the chassis in any direction on the work surface (S). It includes support feet (9) and a system for leveling the chassis in relation to a curvature of the work surface. Fitted on the chassis is a work unit (44) with a head (19) for working on the work surface via an opening (12) in the chassis. It includes means for displacing said head along three axes and pivoting the head on two axes with respect to the chassis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2011
    Assignee: Airbus Operations, S.L.
    Inventors: Pedro Montero SanJuan, José Luis Ramallo Gutierrez
  • Patent number: 8014896
    Abstract: In a legged mobile robot, a pivoting motion of a foot (22) relative to a leg is controlled such that, from an intermediate time point in a period of departure of a leg from a floor to a starting time point of a period of landing of the leg on the floor, an angle (?) of inclination of the foot (22) of the leg relative to the floor surface gradually approaches zero. This eases impact to the foot of the leg at the time of landing on the floor and prevents a slip or spin of the sole, thereby enabling stable walking or running.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2011
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Toru Takenaka, Takashi Matsumoto, Takahide Yoshiike, Kazushi Akimoto, Shinya Shirokura, Minami Asatani
  • Publication number: 20110147103
    Abstract: The invention relates to a humanoid robot comprising two elements connected by a spherical joint with three degrees of freedom in rotation, the joint being moved by three actuators each acting in one of the three degrees of freedom. The invention is of particular use in the production of humanoid robots coming as close as possible to the human anatomy. According to the invention, the first and the second of the actuators act in parallel and the third of the actuators acts in series with the first and the second of the actuators.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 11, 2009
    Publication date: June 23, 2011
    Applicant: BIA
    Inventors: Samer Alfayad, Fathi Ben Ouezdou, Faycal Namoun
  • 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
  • Patent number: 7949430
    Abstract: A legged robot subjected to a force is controlled by determining an instantaneous capture point where the robot will step with a swing leg to reach a balanced home position, the balanced home position being a state in which the Center of Mass remains substantially over the Center of Pressure and the robot is able to maintain its balance indefinitely. The capture point can be determined using a Linear Inverted Pendulum Plus Flywheel (LIPPF) model of the robot. The LIPPF model includes a flywheel with a mass and a rotational inertia, and a variable length leg link. A torque profile is applied to the flywheel and a set of capture points is determined based on this torque profile An experimentally determined error value can be added to a capture point that is determined based on the model to account for differences between an actual robot and the model.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2011
    Assignees: Honda Motor Co., Ltd., Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition, Inc.
    Inventors: Jerry Pratt, Ambarish Goswami
  • 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: 7905303
    Abstract: Disclosed is a legged locomotion robot which is structurally simple and is provided with a tiptoe portion in a foot at a low cost. The legged locomotion robot includes an upper body; two locomotive legs connected to the upper body through a joint; and a locomotive foot connected to a tip end of the leg through a joint; wherein the foot is provided with a foot sole serving as a ground contacting portion of the foot, a curved portion is formed at a predefined distance from a tip end of the foot sole, crossing the foot sole laterally, and the curved portion is configured to be thinner than a tiptoe portion of the foot sole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2011
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kenji Takenaka, Takumi Shibata
  • Patent number: 7896112
    Abstract: A supplementary support structure, which supports the body of a robot (1), comprises a contact component (7) which is disposed in a part near a joint (2c) on the distal end, having a hand (3) disposed thereon, of an arm (2) of the robot (1) so as to come into contact with a surface on which the robot (1) is supported, such as a floor surface, and a member which lies between the part having the contact component (7) disposed therein and the proximal end of the arm (2). Thus, the supplementary support structure can avoid an increase in the weight of the hand resulting from the support structure, thus eliminate an extra load on a driving system for the hand or the arm, and thus achieve the simplification and size reduction of the driving system. Moreover, the support structure can increase the degree of freedom of the shape or functional design of the hand and thus improve the functioning of the robot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2011
    Assignee: Kawada Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Takakatsu Isozumi, Masakazu Ishizaki, Tadaaki Osawa, Kazuhiko Akachi, Kenji Kaneko, Fumio Kanehiro, Kiyoshi Fujiwara
  • Patent number: 7882915
    Abstract: A vehicle lateral-motion apparatus that, under the direction of a user, moves a vehicle to which it is mounted in a generally perpendicular direction to a vehicle axis that extends between the front and rear of the vehicle includes a vehicle lifting assembly for elevating the vehicle above a roadway and lowering the vehicle back to the roadway as directed by a user and lateral-motion assembly coupled to the lifting assembly for displacing the vehicle to one side or the other of the vehicle axis while the vehicle is elevated above the roadway.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 8, 2011
    Inventor: Randell J. Wishart
  • 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: 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
  • Patent number: 7819209
    Abstract: A guided transport unit and methods of guiding the transport unit for moving a superstructure in precise angular movements over a surface are disclosed. The guided transport unit comprises a skid pad, a vertical displacing member engaged with the skid pad, a base operatively associated with the vertical displacing member, and a directional actuator. The base includes a planar element for engaging the surface over which the superstructure is transported, and a carrier for moving the vertical displacing member and skid pad relative to the surface. The directional actuator controls and secures the relationship among the vertical displacing member, the base, and the skid pad for positioning the base in a predetermined direction to engage the surface, setting the carrier to move each skid pad in a predetermined direction across the planar element of the base, and repositioning the base in another direction for movement of the guided transport unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2010
    Assignee: Complete Production Services
    Inventor: William A. Bezner
  • Patent number: 7762362
    Abstract: A bio-inspired device is provided designed to scale smooth vertical surfaces using anisotropic frictional materials. The device draws its inspiration from geckos and other climbing lizards and employs similar compliance and force control strategies to climb (or hang onto) smooth vertical surfaces including glass, tile and plastic panels. Foremost among the design features embodied in the device are multiple levels of compliance, at length scales ranging from centimeters to micrometers, to allow the device to conform to surfaces and maintain large real areas of contact so that adhesive forces can support it. Structures within the feet ensure even stress distributions over each toe and facilitate engagement and disengagement of the adhesive materials. A force control strategy works in conjunction with the anisotropic adhesive materials to obtain sufficient levels of friction and adhesion for climbing with low attachment and detachment forces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2010
    Assignee: The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University
    Inventors: Mark R. Cutkosky, Sangbae Kim
  • Patent number: RE46723
    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.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2018
    Assignee: ENTRO INDUSTRIES, INC.
    Inventors: Shawn R. Smith, Harlan B. Smith