Spring Patents (Class 185/37)
  • Patent number: 10408315
    Abstract: A drive power transmission device capable of transmitting drive power asynchronously with rotation of an input shaft. The drive power transmission device includes a first rotation shaft, a second rotation shaft, an elastic member, and a vibration element. One end of the elastic member is fixed to the second rotation shaft at a position spaced from its central axis, while the other end of the elastic member is fixed to the vibration element. The vibration element is capable of being placed in either one of a first state of being connected to the first rotation shaft and a second state of being disconnected from the first rotation shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2019
    Assignee: KABUSHIKI KAISHA TOYOTA CHUO KENKYUSHO
    Inventors: Eiji Tsuchiya, Tomohiro Miyabe
  • Patent number: 10401796
    Abstract: The invention relates to a barrel spring (2) including: an inner end (5) and an outer end; a first portion (50) having a first height (H); a second portion (52) having a second height (h) that is smaller than the first height (H) and being located near the inner end (5); and, at the second portion, e.g. at the inner end, a first attachment element (51) suitable for being attached to the barrel shaft, wherein the second portion is to be inserted into a circumferentially extending groove provided on the barrel shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2019
    Assignee: ROLEX SA
    Inventors: Jean-Louis Bertrand, Albert Bortoli, Thomas Gyger, Vincent Von Niederhäusern
  • Patent number: 10370124
    Abstract: A satellite deployer spring mechanism includes a satellite deployer enclosure for containing an associated column of hinged spring element sets. A pair of identically-sized leaf springs each including a sheet of curved metal formed into an approximately rhomboidal shape with opposing acute angles trimmed to form opposing parallel sides. The identically-sized leaf springs are pivotally hinged at the opposing parallel sides to form a compressible and opposing pair of leaf springs as a compressible elliptical leaf spring pair. Each of the identically-sized leaf springs further includes an alignment aperture at the center of the approximately rhomboidal shape for receiving a retention screw, such that the compressible elliptical leaf spring pair may receive a retention screw, thereby forming the hinged leaf spring assembly in a compressed state prior to deployment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2019
    Inventor: Victor James Dube
  • Patent number: 9995552
    Abstract: A retractable stand comprises a base, two ribbons, and a locking mechanism. Each ribbon has a coiled portion and an uncoiled portion. The uncoiled portions have a curved cross-sectional shape positioned in opposing relation to each other. The locking mechanism is movable between an unlocked position and a locked position where the at least one ribbon is substantially inhibited from moving relative to the base in at least one direction. The locking mechanism can comprise an auto-locking member biased toward the locked position. The locking mechanism can further comprise a trigger mounted on the base and accessible by the user to move the auto-locking member to the unlocked position. Preferably, the retractable stand further includes a manual locking mechanism that can be manually selectively moved between unlocked and locked positions to selectively lock and unlock a position of at least one of the ribbons relative to the base.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2018
    Assignee: cFish, LLC
    Inventor: Mark J. Cuddeback
  • Patent number: 9975204
    Abstract: A laser marking system for coil springs includes: a support unit; a first fixing jig coupled to the support unit and contacting one surface of a coil spring; a second fixing jig located at a side facing the first fixing jig and contacting an surface opposite to the surface of the coil spring; a moving unit frame connected to the support unit and to which the second fixing jig is fixed; a moving unit servo motor connected to the moving ball screw; a marking unit frame connected to the moving unit frame and configured to move forwards and rearwards towards the coil spring to perform a marking operation on the coil spring; a marking unit ball screw connected to the marking unit frame; a marking unit servo motor connected to the marking unit ball screw; and a laser marker fixing to the marking unit frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2018
    Assignee: YOUNGHEUNG IRON & STEEL CO. LTD.
    Inventors: Jae Yeol Han, Won Gyu Song
  • Patent number: 9879767
    Abstract: Actuation systems and methods are disclosed. Such systems may comprise a motor having a drive shaft, one or more modules coupled to the drive shaft, each module comprising one or more energy storage elements and one or more actuating members connecting the one or more energy storage elements to one or more degrees of freedom, which are configured to actuate in response to a discharge of energy from the one or more energy storage element, and a plurality of clutches associated with each module to couple the energy storage element of the module to the drive shaft of the motor and to control an energy state of the energy storage element independent of energy storage elements of other modules.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2018
    Assignee: Worcester Polytechnic Institute
    Inventors: Marko B. Popovic, Christopher J. Berthelette, Matthew Dipinto, James D. Sareault, Thane R. Hunt
  • Patent number: 9816774
    Abstract: A retractable stand comprises a base and two ribbons. Each ribbon has a coiled portion and an uncoiled portion. The uncoiled portions of the ribbons have a curved cross-sectional shape and are positioned in opposing relation to each other. Preferably, the curved cross-sectional shape of each uncoiled portion defines a convex surface and a concave surface, and the convex surfaces are in facing relation to each other. In one embodiment, the retractable stand further comprises a foot brace secured to free ends of the ribbons. Preferably, the foot brace includes an arm movable relative to the ribbons. The present invention further provides a method of supporting a device above a surface using the above retractable stand. The method includes uncoiling the two ribbons, resting the brace on the surface, and supporting the device on the retractable stand. Preferably, the step of uncoiling includes moving the brace away from the base.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2017
    Assignee: cFish, LLC
    Inventor: Mark J. Cuddeback
  • Patent number: 9784476
    Abstract: The tracking device of the present disclosure includes a platform, support structure, and a cylinder. The cylinder comprises a plunger, an interior space, an aperture, and a fluid within the cylinder. Forward actuation of the plunger within the interior space the fluid to be pushed through the aperture. The platform is operably connected to the plunger, so that movement of the plunger causes the platform to rotate about a pivot point of the support structure. The tracking device can have a solar panel connected to the platform. The tracking device can also be used in any application where tracking would be of use, such as for surveillance, or time-lapse photography.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2017
    Inventor: Howard Stein
  • Patent number: 9707446
    Abstract: A system for jumping rope comprising an electronic box with a rotatable circular groove to which a hook is anchored to hold one end of a jump rope, with the other end of the jump rope hooked on to one of a plurality of hooks anchored to a telescoping pole mounted on a tripod with rotatable wheels. The electronic box is mounted on a telescoping pole attached to a stand with rotatable wheels and a central pivot section to fold the structure for easy transport and storage. A remote control having a power button, speed control and a magic eye provides power to the electronic box through a second magic eye located on the electronic box, to rotate the circular groove and start the elliptical motion of the jump rope for the use of the participant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2017
    Inventor: Michael Zewolde
  • Patent number: 9604595
    Abstract: An end fitting tensioner (10) for a seat belt system includes a rotatable belt shaft (12) to which one end (14) of a webbing (16) is fixed, a belt shaft housing (18) in which the belt shaft (12) is supported, a rope reel (36) which is arranged at an axial end of the belt shaft (12) and is connected to the belt shaft (12) in a rotationally fixed manner, as well as a pull rope (41) which is secured by one rope end (45) on the rope reel (36) and can at least partly be wound onto the rope reel (36). The rope reel (36) includes a winding surface (62) for the pull rope (41) that is conically tapered in the axial direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Assignee: TRW Automotive GmbH
    Inventors: Hans-Peter Betz, Dominik Seitzer, Karl Ruediger
  • Patent number: 9388026
    Abstract: A winch for moving a load along a track from a first position to a higher position has a drum around which a retrieve and a launch cable are wound in different directions. Rotation of the drum acts to reel in one of the cables while paying out the other. The retrieve cable extends directly between the drum and the near end of the load and the launch cable extends past the rear of the load though a sheave mounted on the track, and then back to far end of the load. A winding mechanism operates in retrieve mode to turn the drum to reel in the retrieve cable and pay out the launch cable. The winding mechanism is used in launch mode to turn the drum in the opposite direction to pay out the retrieve cable and reel in the launch cable. A brake mechanism is operable to halt runaway of the load along and down the track when the winch is being operated in launch mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2016
    Inventor: Daniel Doig
  • Publication number: 20150136528
    Abstract: A system is disclosed herein. The system having a backdrive assembly that includes a spring body retainer having a first body portion, the spring body retainer configured for rotational movement about an axis. A biasing member is provided that is configured to exert a backdriving force on the spring body retainer. A spring leg retainer is provided having a second body portion and a plurality of projections, the spring leg retainer being configured to incrementally apply a preload torque to the biasing member. A spring locking plate is operably connected to the spring leg retainer, the spring locking plate being configured to engage at least one of the plurality of projections.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 15, 2014
    Publication date: May 21, 2015
    Inventors: Carlos I. Tostado, Donald Michael Perkins
  • Publication number: 20140367202
    Abstract: A device (10) for shifting one structure with respect to another, is disclosed. The device comprises a body (12) defining a cylinder, a core (14) within the cylinder and rotatable in the cylinder with respect to the body (12). A coil spring is connected between the body (12) and the core (14) and is wound or unwound as the core (14) is rotated in the cylinder. A compressible ring (48) is carried by the core (14) and is in frictional contact with the body. The ring (48) can be compressed by a nut (66) screwed onto a shaft (50) forming part of the core (14) so that the frictional resistance offered by the ring (48) to turning of the core (14) in the cylinder is increased.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 12, 2014
    Publication date: December 18, 2014
    Inventors: Raymond Mazzullo, Adrian Mazzullo, Brian Van Zyl, Bastian Strauf, Nicholas Brear
  • Patent number: 8887788
    Abstract: A window cover system includes an extendible window cover with a pair of lift cords. A lift cord pulley shaft is coupled to a pair of spaced apart lift cord pulleys. A spring drive unit has a beveled gear system with a first gear that is spring biased to resist rotation of first gear in one direction of rotation, and a second gear meshed with the first gear. The lift cord pulley shaft extends through the second gear and is configured to rotate therewith.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2014
    Inventors: Russell L. Hinckley, Sr., Robert F. Miller
  • Publication number: 20140262062
    Abstract: Embodiments of the invention relate to a method and apparatus for reducing the space requirements of, and improving the performance of, a flat type spring formed to produce a negative gradient torque. In an embodiment, a retainer can be added over at least two coils on the free end of each spring to reduce the space requirement for the spring. Embodiments of the invention can incorporate a flat type spring with a negative gradient having reduced space requirements into a shade or blind. Such a shade or blind will then be able to fit into a smaller area or volume. Specific embodiments can use multiple springs restrained in accordance with the subject invention to achieve a desired counterbalancing of the shade or blind. Further embodiments can incorporate gearing to alter the torque output of the springs. Further specific embodiments can incorporate one or more springs restrained in accordance with the invention and gearing to alter the torque output of the one of more springs.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: HOMERUN HOLDINGS CORPORATION
    Inventor: FRED C. HIGGINS
  • Publication number: 20140262624
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a device that is comprised of a flexible material and a roll mechanism associated with the flexible material. A bistable resilient member maintains the flexible material flat due to a tension force within the body of the bistable resilient member in a first stable state, and maintains the flexible material to a rolled-up, bundled closed position after the tension force within the body of the bistable resilient member is fully released (the second stable state). Further, the bistable resilient member compels the flexible material to a self-roll-up motion (during a transition state) while a tension force within the body of the bistable resilient member is released.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 27, 2014
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: ARHO Innovations
    Inventor: Aaron Thornton
  • Patent number: 8813915
    Abstract: An energy storing device is disclosed. In the energy storing device of the present invention, energy from an energy generating unit is stored in the form of spring torsion and then is output steadily. The energy storing device of the present invention includes a plurality of cog-wheels, a plurality of torsion magnitude limiting units, a plurality of single-directional input bearings, a plurality of energy storing units and a plurality of speed enhancing cog-wheels. Each of the energy storing units includes at least two end rotational disc portions, which are connected with each other co-axially. A leaf spring unit is provided between each pair of rotational disc portions and one end of the leaf spring unit is bent in an opposite direction. In addition, the energy storing units may be connected in series or in parallel to increase the efficiencies in energy storage and energy output.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2014
    Inventor: Chuy-Nan Chio
  • Patent number: 8708024
    Abstract: A method for operating a window cover utilizes an extendible window cover having a first rail, a second rail and a pair of lift cords. The first and second rails of the window cover are movable relative to each other. According to the method, at least one of the first rail and the second rail is moved in a first direction to cause the lift cords to unwind from the lift cord pulleys, thereby rotating a lift cord pulley shaft and a set of gears. Further, at least one of the first rail and the second rail is moved in a second direction to cause the lift cords to wind on the lift cord pulleys, with the lift cord pulley shaft rotating in an opposite direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2014
    Assignees: Russell L. Hinckley, Sr., Robert F. Miller
    Inventors: Russell L. Hinckley, Sr., Robert F. Miller
  • Patent number: 8689942
    Abstract: The technology is directed to an energy storage and release system that stores energy and enables a repeatable and accurately timed release of energy. A shaft member supports a drive assembly, a locking assembly and a lever member there between. The lever member and locking assembly are attached to the shaft. The drive assembly rotates freely about the shaft and loads energy into a torsion spring in communication with the lever member. The torsion spring connects at one end to the drive assembly and at the other end to the lever member without contacting the shaft member. The locking assembly provides a triggered release mechanism for selective release of stored energy from the torsion spring that accordingly rotates the lever member. The system can automatically reload the torsion spring once a signal is received from any number of events including, when the rotating lever member contacts a stop member or limit sensor that signals the end of travel for the lever member in either rotational directions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2014
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventor: Richard A. McGrail
  • Patent number: 8622475
    Abstract: A linear recliner assembly in use with a seat having a seat back pivotally engaged relative to a seat bottom. A housing exhibits a communicating interior between a first and second ends. A drive rod is supported in linearly displaceable fashion from the first end and is secured to the seat bottom. The second end pivotally engages the seatback spaced from its pivot point. A rotatable gear located at a fixed lineal position within the housing receives the drive rod in threadably inter-engaged fashion. A trigger mechanism pivotally secured to the housing exhibits a downwardly biased detent communicating through an opening in the housing to seat between succeeding teeth of the gear. A spring supported within the housing contacts the drive rod. Upon release of the detent, a reclining force applied to the seatback results in displacement of the housing against the drive rod to bias the spring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2014
    Assignee: BAE Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen C. Bruck, Ross Schmitz, Bruce Zane, Dean Moliterno
  • Publication number: 20140000984
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a device that is comprised of a flexible material and a roll mechanism associated with the flexible material. A bistable resilient member maintains the flexible material flat due to a tension force within the body of the bistable resilient member in a first stable state, and maintains the flexible material to a rolled-up, bundled closed position after the tension force within the body of the bistable resilient member is fully released (the second stable state). Further, the bistable resilient member compels the flexible material to a self-roll-up motion (during a transition state) while a tension force within the body of the bistable resilient member is released.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 29, 2012
    Publication date: January 2, 2014
    Inventor: Aaron Thornton
  • Publication number: 20130286608
    Abstract: A chip card ejecting mechanism includes a base body, a push member, a rotating member and an elastic member resisting between the base body and the rotating member. The base body includes a guiding member defining a hole and having a number of guiding rails. Each guiding rail includes a resisting surface and a guiding surface. The push member includes a push rod extending through the hole and a number of active gears. Each active gear defines an active cooperative surface. The rotating member includes a number of the passive gears. Each passive gear includes a passive cooperative surface. When the push member is pressed toward the rotating member by a transient external force, the rotating member compresses the elastic member until the active cooperative surface arrives at the guiding surface, the elastic member releases and drives the passive cooperative gears to slide along the first sliding slot.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 17, 2013
    Publication date: October 31, 2013
    Applicants: FIH (HONG KONG) LIMITED, SHENZHEN FUTAIHONG PRECISION INDUSTRY CO., LTD.
    Inventor: HUA-XIANG LIANG
  • Patent number: 8511364
    Abstract: A spring motor and drag brake for use in coverings for architectural openings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2013
    Assignee: Hunter Douglas Inc.
    Inventors: Richard N. Anderson, Robert E. Fisher, II, Donald E. Fraser, Stephen R. Haarer
  • Publication number: 20130140970
    Abstract: The invention relates to a drive device for moving a movable furniture part, in particular a drawer, said drive device acting as a latching and unlatching spring-loaded ejection device for ejecting the furniture part from a closed position in the opening direction and as a spring-loaded refraction device for retracting the furniture part into the closed position. The same spring spring-loads the drive device both when the latter acts as an ejection device and when the drive device acts as a refraction device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 16, 2012
    Publication date: June 6, 2013
    Applicant: Julius Blum GmbH
    Inventor: Julius Blum GmbH
  • Publication number: 20130087415
    Abstract: A spring brake includes a base, on which a first reel and a second reel are pivoted. A mainspring has opposite ends connected to the first reel and the second reel. A stop device has a pressing portion to press the mainspring when the mainspring is wound on the second reel. Therefore, the pressing portion of the stop device will touch the mainspring when the mainspring is wound on the second reel and give the mainspring a resistance to offset the recovery force of the mainspring.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 25, 2012
    Publication date: April 11, 2013
    Applicant: NIEN MADE ENTERPRISE CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Chia-Ching Hsieh
  • Publication number: 20130058516
    Abstract: A cartridge for managing ear bud cables includes a housing, a hub, a spool and an ear bud cable. Rotation of the spool selectively retracts and dispenses the ear bud cables while enabling continuous audio communication between the at least one ear bud and an audio device. A motor assembly rotates the spool. The motor assembly includes a drive gear and a first storage drum, a first constant torque spring wound at least partially about the first storage drum and the drive gear for applying torque to the drive gear. The first storage drum and the drive gear are distanced from each other to enable a length of the spring to extends between the storage drum and the drive gear to apply constant torque to the drive gear. The constant torque has a variability of no more than +/?10%.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 24, 2012
    Publication date: March 7, 2013
    Applicant: HEADLOGIC LLC
    Inventors: Daniel C. Sullivan, John Cataldo, Mardis Bagley
  • Publication number: 20130004358
    Abstract: A rotary spring-return actuator operator is provided with a multi-slot shaft and a clock type spring retained by a retaining band which encircles the spring in such a manner as to insure that the potential energy within the spring is safely contained during all operations requiring disassembly of the actuator assembly, and wherein the retaining band facilitates the in-field reversal of the spring direction or the adjustment of the spring preload by securing the spring to one or more of the slots on the multi-slot shaft.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 28, 2011
    Publication date: January 3, 2013
    Inventors: Frederick Rand Underwood, JR., Frederick Rand Underwood, III, Kenneth Earl Price
  • Publication number: 20120326585
    Abstract: A cabinet with sliding drawers has a mechanism for applying motive force in a first direction. The motive force is obtained from motion of the mechanism in an opposite second direction. The mechanism includes a cam and a cam follower. The cam includes a first part, a second part and an inflection point between the first part and the second part. The cam follower engages with the cam. The cam follower is configured to store mechanical energy responsive to translation of the follower and cam relative to each other in the second direction along the first part. The cam follower is also configured to apply motive force in the first direction to urge the follower to continue translation in the second direction along the second part. The motive force is applied after the follower passes the inflection point.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 22, 2011
    Publication date: December 27, 2012
    Applicant: PRINCE CASTLE LLC.
    Inventors: Steven T. Dorsey, Ray Caballero
  • Publication number: 20120313380
    Abstract: An energy storage system used to store energy is disclosed. The system uses compression, torsion, extension and/or leaf springs to store energy. Input energy is use to compress the springs through an apparatus. The potential energy in the compressed spring is used to run a generator, which provides power to the consumer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 11, 2012
    Publication date: December 13, 2012
    Inventor: Ronald S. Ogaz
  • Patent number: 8322241
    Abstract: An actuator for a wheel guiding element of motor vehicle wheel suspensions, with a first, preferably electrically driven actuating drive which selectively changes the length of the wheel guiding element, in the actuator there being a compensation spring which counteracts the compressive forces acting on the wheel guiding element. According to the invention, the pretensioning force of the compensation spring can be changed by means of a second, preferably electrically driven actuating drive.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2012
    Assignee: Audi AG
    Inventors: Christoph Kossira, Karl-Heinz Meitinger, Wilfried Michel
  • Publication number: 20120281511
    Abstract: The invention relates to a barrel. According to the invention, the barrel further includes a device for increasing the torque of said at least one spring including additional elastic energy accumulating means provided in addition to the spiral shape of said at least one spring, said elastic means being added to said at least one spring so that the barrel torque is personalised according to the winding tension of said at least one spring.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 2, 2012
    Publication date: November 8, 2012
    Applicant: NIVAROX-FAR S.A.
    Inventor: Christian CHARBON
  • Publication number: 20120267060
    Abstract: A covering for architectural openings.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 19, 2011
    Publication date: October 25, 2012
    Applicant: Hunter Douglas Inc.
    Inventors: Richard N. Anderson, Robert E. Fisher, II, Donald E. Fraser, Stephen R. Haarer
  • Publication number: 20120234956
    Abstract: A spring drive device is for use with a sunshade assembly which includes a coupling shaft coaxial to and rotatable with a winding shaft and formed with a guided path. The spring drive device includes a spring member disposed in and connected to a shell unit. A connecting shaft is formed with a guideway which has an initial region engaged with the spring member, such that when the connecting shaft is moved along a coupling route, the guideway is kept in slidable engagement with the spring member until a relay region of the guideway reaches the spring member. The connecting shaft is engageable with the coupling shaft to align the guided path with the guideway such that when the movement of the connecting shaft is continued after the relay region reaches the spring member, the guided path is brought to take over the slidable engagement with the spring member.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 16, 2011
    Publication date: September 20, 2012
    Inventor: PAUL LIN
  • Publication number: 20120223174
    Abstract: A cartridge for managing an ear bud cable includes a housing having an input jack that is electronically connectable to an audio-source and a hub electrically connected with the input jack. A spool rotatably mounts on, and is electrically connected with, the hub. A power gear mounts in the housing and in contact with the spool for rotating the spool. The power gear defines a recessed interior. An ear bud cable wraps at least partially around the spool. A power gear spring mounts within the recessed interior of the power gear to minimize the size and, particularly, the thickness of the cartridge. In an alternate embodiment, the spool includes a recessed portion and a spool power spring mounts within the recessed portion of the hub. In yet another embodiment, the spool and the power gear both have recessed portions that hold a power spring.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 3, 2012
    Publication date: September 6, 2012
    Applicant: HEADLOGIC LLC
    Inventor: Daniel C. Sullivan
  • Patent number: 8240435
    Abstract: A drive mechanism for a device with two operating parts, which are connected so as to be pivotally displaceable relative to each other between a first position and a second position about a common axis of rotation. The drive mechanism has a driving mechanism such that a movement from the first position to the second position can be initiated initially by a slight movement and the additional movement is then effected automatically through spring force (F) until the second position has been reached. The movement out of the first position into the second position is possible in either a clockwise and counterclockwise movement. The driving mechanism comprises a driven part, one operating part and two drives that are in the form of a force storing device The force storing devices interact with the driven part in opposing directions in such a manner that only the one for storing device is in driving connection with the driven part while the other force storing device is retained in its starting position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2012
    Assignee: Dr. Fritz Faulhaber GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventor: Otfried Mast
  • Patent number: 8226167
    Abstract: A linear recliner assembly in use with a seat having a seat back pivotally engaged relative to a seat bottom. A housing exhibits a communicating interior between a first and second ends. A drive rod is supported in linearly displaceable fashion from the first end and is secured to the seat bottom. The second end pivotally engages the seatback spaced from its pivot point. A rotatable gear located at a fixed lineal position within the housing receives the drive rod in threadably inter-engaged fashion. A trigger mechanism pivotally secured to the housing exhibits a downwardly biased detent communicating through an opening in the housing to seat between succeeding teeth of the gear. A spring supported within the housing contacts the drive rod. Upon release of the detent, a reclining force applied to the seatback results in displacement of the housing against the drive rod to bias the spring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2012
    Assignee: BAE Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen Bruck, Ross Schmitz, Bruce Zane, Dean Moliterno
  • Patent number: 8120190
    Abstract: A shopping cart is equipped with an electrical/electronic component(s), such as a shopping assistant, that is electrically powered by a rechargeable power supply. A system is provided for continuously recharging the power supply as the shopping cart is propelled by the customer. In one embodiment, the wheels of the shopping cart are linked to a potential energy storage component, such as a coil spring. The spring is wound with each movement of the shopping cart, regardless of the distance that the cart travels. When the coil spring has been wound to a pre-determined torque, the spring is released to drive an input to an electrical generator. Once the potential energy in the spring has been dissipated the winding cycle begins again.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2012
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventor: Luis Eduardo Bravo
  • Publication number: 20120024634
    Abstract: A propulsion device for propelling vehicles such as skateboards and watercraft comprises an elongate rod formed of an elastic material. The elongate rod has an upper end and a lower end, the upper end being formed to be suitable for grasping by a human hand with a foot section being connected to the lower end. The foot section may have a non-skid surface for engaging a support surface so that a person can bend the elongate rod to store energy and then release the stored energy to use the propulsion device to propel a wheeled vehicle. The foot section may alternatively have a paddle extending therefrom so that a person can bend the elongate rod to store energy and then release the stored energy to use the propulsion device to propel a watercraft.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 18, 2011
    Publication date: February 2, 2012
    Inventor: James Walker
  • Publication number: 20120006625
    Abstract: An actuator configured to actuate a member. The actuator optionally including capabilities for storing and releasing kinetic energy. The actuator being suitable for use in any number of environments, including but not limited to facilitating seat folding operations.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 20, 2011
    Publication date: January 12, 2012
    Applicant: LEAR CORPORATION
    Inventors: John F. Nathan, H. Winston Maue
  • Publication number: 20110186384
    Abstract: A motor and method of operating the motor to produce a rotational output. The motor includes first and second springs that are paired with each other so that as one of the springs is storing mechanical energy the other spring is releasing mechanical energy during a cycle of the motor. A gear system couples the springs so that an output of the first spring assists in storing mechanical energy in the second spring and an output of the second spring assists in storing mechanical energy in the first spring. First and second output gears are coupled to the first and second springs, respectively. The first output gear produces a rotational output from the output of the first spring as the first spring releases its mechanical energy, and the second output gear produces a rotational output from the output of the second spring as the second spring releases its mechanical energy.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 2, 2011
    Publication date: August 4, 2011
    Inventor: John Lee Vega
  • Publication number: 20110120806
    Abstract: A mechanical energy storage system includes a containment vessel, a drive shaft operatively connected to a generator/motor and supported for rotation in the containment vessel. A support structure is attached to the drive shaft and configured for radial extension from a rest position proximate the drive shaft. A resilient member having a mass and extending circumferentially around the drive shaft is connected to free ends of the support structure and configured to store elastic energy when the support structure extends radially from its rest position. Upon rotation of the drive shaft, the resilient member stores both elastic and rotational energy commensurate with its mass and elastic properties.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 19, 2010
    Publication date: May 26, 2011
    Inventor: STEPHEN T. PALMER
  • Patent number: 7926385
    Abstract: A vehicle passive entry side door latch release system engageable with a release cable connected a door latch includes a moveable linkage assembly engageable with the cable, and a motor including an output shaft engaged with a tensioning gear for driving a ratcheting gearwheel rotatably affixed to a coil spring, with the gearwheel including external teeth engageable with a rack affixed to the linkage to move the cable to unlatch the door latch. A pivotable ratcheting pawl may be engageable with the gearwheel to allow or prevent rotation of the gearwheel. Operation of the motor may drive the gear to drive the gearwheel in a rotary direction to energize the spring, and disengagement of the pawl from the gearwheel may allow stored energy in the spring to drive the gearwheel in an opposite rotary direction to thereby drive the rack to move the cable to unlatch the door latch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 11, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2011
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Kosta Papanikolaou, James Joseph Loschiavo, Venky Krishnan, Marcus Edward Merideth, Bhupendra Patel
  • Publication number: 20100319860
    Abstract: The lift motor comprises at least one motor unit releasably connected to at least one spool unit. The spool unit comprises a spool for winding a cord and a gear operatively connected to the spool. The motor unit comprises a spring motor having a gear for engaging the gear of the spool. A window covering comprises a head rail supporting a motor as set forth above that supports a shade panel by the cord. A method of assembling a window covering comprises constructing a head rail having an internal space for receiving a motor. A motor is assembled based on the shade panel to be supported. The motor is inserted into the head rail and the cord is attached to or near the bottom or top of the shade panel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 23, 2009
    Publication date: December 23, 2010
    Applicant: NEWELL WINDOW FURNISHINGS, INC.
    Inventors: Joshua L. DeWard, Patrick Eugene Foley, James McCauley, Daniel R. Pierson, Alejandro Martin Rossato
  • Publication number: 20100243377
    Abstract: A device to change the direction or point of application of a force comprises a body having an axis, a groove formed within the body so that the groove has a helical shape along at least a portion of the axis, the groove adapted to receive a cable, wherein a helical angle of the groove varies so that a tangent of the helical angle along the groove substantially intersects a single point remote from the body.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 22, 2010
    Publication date: September 30, 2010
    Inventor: Eugene F. Duval
  • Patent number: 7793497
    Abstract: An actuator comprises an elongated shape-memory element wound around a first element and having one first end connected to the first element and one second end connected to a second element. Heating means are provided for heating the shape-memory element in order to obtain a displacement of one of the ends thereof. The elongated shape-memory element is guided so that it can slide within a closed channel made of a material having a low coefficient of friction, for example defined by a sheath.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2010
    Assignee: C.R.F. Società Consortile per Azioni
    Inventors: Stefano Alacqua, Gianluca Capretti, Marco Biasiotto, Alessandro Zanella
  • Publication number: 20100071999
    Abstract: A spring motor for driving a driving shaft, comprising a spring operating gear; a spring about a rotation axis; a gear train; and a coupling arm connecting the rotation axis to the driving shaft by the gear train to transmit energy released by the spring from the rotation axis to the driving shaft, activating the driving shaft into rotation at a first speed. This spring motor allows storing energy in a spring; transmitting the stored energy to a driving shaft by linking an axis of the spring to the driving shaft by engaging the gear train; and reloading the spring; and reloading the spring by using a motor or transmitting energy from the driving shaft to the spring.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 21, 2009
    Publication date: March 25, 2010
    Inventor: Michel LECLERC
  • Patent number: 7673893
    Abstract: A spring-based mechanism for saving labor of a bicycle rider is disclosed and in one embodiment includes an axle operatively connected to a chain wheel and a first set of bearings via a gear assembly; a housing for mounting a shaft therein wherein the first set of bearings is provided at one end of the shaft; a second set of bearings provided at the other end of the shaft; a spring in the housing and having one end attached to one end of the shaft and the other end attached to the other end of the housing; and a clutch provided externally of the other end of the housing, the clutch being operatively connected to the second set of bearings and including a lock lever. The mechanism can store elastic force by counterclockwise pedaling and release the stored energy by disengaging a clutch from the mechanism when riding uphill.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 9, 2010
    Assignee: Chienkuo Technology University
    Inventors: Fu-She Jan, Po Chou
  • Publication number: 20090242332
    Abstract: A spring motor and drag brake for use in coverings for architectural openings.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 21, 2009
    Publication date: October 1, 2009
    Inventors: Richard N. Anderson, Robert E. Fisher, II, Donald E. Fraser, Stephen R. Haarer
  • Patent number: 7578212
    Abstract: A force amplifier has a guide track, a non-locking screw threadedly engaging the track to spirally move in response to an axial input force applied to the proximal end of the non-locking screw. The force amplifier includes a compliant component coupled to the non-locking screw by one end and to a self-locking screw by the other end. The compliant component is configured to transmit a torque generated by the non-locking screw to the self-locking screw, which is actuated to move spirally along the track while generating an axial output force greater than the input force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 25, 2009
    Inventors: Gennady Kleyman, Annaniy Berenshteyn
  • Publication number: 20080099281
    Abstract: A spring motor and drag brake for use in coverings for architectural openings.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 22, 2007
    Publication date: May 1, 2008
    Applicant: Hunter Douglas Inc.
    Inventors: Richard Anderson, Donald E. Fraser, Robert E. Fisher