Body Attached Switches Patents (Class 200/DIG2)
  • Patent number: 6129686
    Abstract: A patient position monitor is disclosed. The patient position monitor includes an inclinometer and a microprocessor connected to the output of the inclinometer. The inclinometer is a body axis orientation sensor having a light impermeable capsule including a cylindrical body. The longitudinal axis of the cylindrical body is parallel to the patient's body axis. The cylindrical body includes a first end portion having a circuit board with a radial array of sequentially illuminated LEDs. A light sensor is mounted on a second end portion of the cylindrical body. A light impermeable sphere disposed in the capsule between the array of LEDs and the light sensor is sized to block light emitted from a portion of the LEDs. The detection of light from the unblocked LEDs is indicative of the position of the sphere and of the orientation of the patient's body axis relative to gravity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2000
    Inventor: Mark B. Friedman
  • Patent number: 6078549
    Abstract: A sleep pattern timing apparatus for a user to record time before onset of sleep and to separately record sleep time to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of sleeping disorders can include a timer for recording awake time and sleep time of the user and preferably a plurality of switches such as a galvanic skin response switch and a tactile plunger-type switch electrically connected to the timer so that the timer records sleep time when at least one switch is released. Using an awake timer subsystem, the apparatus can also begin recording awake time when all switches are concurrently actuated and discontinues recording of awake time when at least one switch is released. A plurality of switches can reduce the opportunity for false actuation. The apparatus can be housed in a hand held housing to fall away when released to further reduce false actuation. The apparatus may be attached to the user with a wrist band for easy retrieval during sleep interruptions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2000
    Assignee: RMP, Inc.
    Inventors: Patrick Wyatt, F. Murray Jarman, S. Regan O'Reilly, Monique F. Jarman
  • Patent number: 6030290
    Abstract: A momentary contact motion switch (12) comprising a structure (14) for attaching the momentary contact motion switch (12) to a limb (16) of a person (18). A facility (20) is for connecting the momentary contact motion switch (12) to a video game unit (22), which is coupled to a television monitor (24). When the person (18) move their limb (16) and activates the momentary contact motion switch (12) a martial arts fighter (26) in a martial arts video game (27) will move a matching limb (28), that will be displayed on the television monitor (24).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 29, 2000
    Inventor: Donald E Powell
  • Patent number: 5963151
    Abstract: A passenger notification system to warn (bus) passengers of the next scheduled stop. A sensory indication which may be a verbal announcement or a lighted display (or both) within the bus is activated by the driver as each stop, transfer point or point of interest, approaches. A switch responsive to relative motion between the driver's upper arm and torso provides activation of a pre-recorded message in audio form from a sound transcriber. The lighted display is coded and activated from recorded signals. The sequence may easily be modified to fit each bus route.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 5, 1999
    Inventor: Rayford C. Hubbard
  • Patent number: 5941836
    Abstract: A patient position monitor having an inclinometer and a microprocessor connected to the output of the inclinometer. The inclinometer is a body axis orientation sensor having a light impermeable capsule including a cylindrical body. The longitudinal axis of the cylindrical body is parallel to the patient's body axis. The cylindrical body includes a first end portion having a circuit board with a radial array of sequentially illuminated LEDs. A light sensor is mounted on a second end portion of the cylindrical body. A light impermeable sphere disposed in the capsule between the array of LEDs and the light sensor is sized to block light emitted from a portion of the LEDs. The detection of light from the unblocked LEDs is indicative of the position of the sphere and of the orientation of the patient's body axis relative to gravity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 24, 1999
    Inventor: Mark B. Friedman
  • Patent number: 5650766
    Abstract: A wearable transmitter assembly includes a housing containing a radio frequency transmitter and tamper detecting circuit that are attached to an appendage of an individual with a buckle and strap. A light emitter and a light sensor are disposed in the housing and extend to the outside of the housing through one or more apertures. The strap includes an embedded optical fiber. Attachment of the housing to the buckle positions the emitter and sensor adjacent the ends of the optical fiber in the strap to complete an optical path or circuit from the emitter around the appendage to the sensor. The housing is sealed closed, including sealant between the emitter, the sensor and the aperture, providing a water tight enclosure for said transmitter from the time of its manufacture. Attachment of the housing to the buckle completes a seal blocking contaminates, such as water, water vapor, and soap from the ends of the optical fiber, the emitter and the sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 22, 1997
    Assignee: Detection Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Thomas Anthony Burgmann
  • Patent number: 5541579
    Abstract: A personal alarm safety system warning device will sound an audible alarm when a firefighter is motionless for a predetermined time such as thirty seconds or one minute, and optionally, if the temperature rises beyond a certain level or if the temperature is increasing at a rate above a certain predetermined rate of increase. The alarm system is incorporated in the buckle of the firefighter's air breathing pack harness in such a manner that any time the firefighter buckles the belt for the harness the personal alarm safety system is moved from the Off condition to a armed Standby (On) position ready to set off the alarm when any of the predetermined conditions are met. The device may also be manually activated by the firefighter. In order to turn the device off, not only must the belt buckle be disengaged, a safety switch detent must be manipulated by the firefighter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 30, 1996
    Inventor: Christopher Kiernan
  • Patent number: 5438315
    Abstract: A security alarm system having a transmitting unit adapted to be worn as a bracelet, and a remote alarm unit. The transmitting unit is preferably in the form of a bracelet having a cavity enclosing an rf transmitter operable to transmit encoded signals to the remote unit for actuating an audible alarm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 1, 1995
    Inventor: Ronald D. Nix
  • Patent number: 5403980
    Abstract: A touch sensitive switch pad. The switch pad includes a flexible film with a two conductive ink patterns on one side and an adhesive on the other. The adhesive backing can be of the peel off type such that a user simply peels off a protective backing to reveal the adhesive. The conductive ink patterns are disposed sufficiently close to each other such that there is a high probability that when a user touches the pad, a closed circuit occurs between the two patterns. Each conductive ink pattern is connected to an electrical contact which in turn can be connected to switching circuitry which is sensitive enough to sense the high resistance closed circuit. An extra adhesive-backed flap connected to the film and disposed in close proximity to the electrical contacts can be used to help protect the electrical contacts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 1993
    Date of Patent: April 4, 1995
    Assignee: Iowa State University Research Foundation, Inc.
    Inventor: Karl M. Eckrich
  • Patent number: 5398019
    Abstract: A torso attitude sensor for attachment to a human A torso at the waist. It senses when a human torso bends past a predetermined lumbosacral angle and sounds an alarm. The sensor may be worn on the left or right side of the waist because it includes two attitude responsive switches which are inclined in directions opposite to each other. The device further includes a counter for determining the number of times the electrical circuit is connected thereby providing the person, or his or her manager, with an indication of the number of times improper bending occurs. A timer is included with which actuation of an attitude responsive switch must persist for a minimum time interval before an alarm signal or excessive bending signal is generated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1993
    Date of Patent: March 14, 1995
    Assignee: Larry W. Barnett
    Inventors: Larry W. Barnett, John E. Pfeifer
  • Patent number: 5329577
    Abstract: The telephone includes a touch sensor which may be attached on a handset. When the telephone receives a call meant therefor, the telephone alerts the user to the call by outputting a ringing tone through a speaker. In response to the call, the telephone also transmits a signaling tone to a base station which may be connected to the telephone over a radio channel and to a public switching telephone network. If the user touches the touch sensor in response to the ringing tone, the telephone stops the signaling tone and thus informs the base station that the user has responded to the call.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 1992
    Date of Patent: July 12, 1994
    Assignee: NEC Corporation
    Inventor: Hidehiko Norimatsu
  • Patent number: 5304763
    Abstract: An electrosurgical handpiece for accommodating an assortment of different-sized electrodes having hollow shanks and provided with means for supplying suction adjacent the electrode tip for simultaneous removal of liquids or gasses. The handpiece can be fitted with a removable finger switch activator which can also be attached to other objects for the surgeon's convenience. Means for controlling the suction pressure at the electrode tip is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 1992
    Date of Patent: April 19, 1994
    Inventors: Alan Ellman, Jon C. Garito
  • Patent number: 5289164
    Abstract: A protection apparatus aids a user of the apparatus in defending against an attacker and signals that the user is being attacked. The protection apparatus attaches a spray retardant and an alerting device to the user of the apparatus and includes a trigger mechanism that activates both the spray retardant and the alerting device substantially simultaneously. The trigger mechanism is capable of being activated by a single digit of a hand of the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 1992
    Date of Patent: February 22, 1994
    Assignee: BooFoo Ideas, Inc.
    Inventor: Patrick J. Novak
  • Patent number: 5242440
    Abstract: A switching apparatus is provided includes an output device, a power supply for providing power to the output device and a finger-mounted switch connected between the output device and the power supply. When the finger to which the switch is mounted is in a first position, current flows from the power supply to the output device. When the finger is moved into a second position, current flow is prevented. In one embodiment, the output device is an electrosurgical cautery mounted on the finger in the same housing as the switch. The cautery tip extends from the housing and is energized when the finger is in the first position and is positioned within the housing and is deenergized when the finger is in the second position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 1991
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1993
    Inventor: Ronald D. Shippert
  • Patent number: 5223818
    Abstract: A digital signal transmitter which is mounted upon a rigid panel by resiliently deformable strips such as double-sided adhesive or springs. The mounting is such that a button is disposed adjacent a switch contained within the transmitter structure. The entire apparatus is then worn by a person upon a belt-like structure in such a way that upon muscular expansion by the person wearing the structure, the button closes the switch causing the transmitter to emit a radio frequency signal. The radio frequency signal may then be received by a transponder or other electronic device which amplifies and converts the signal and directs it toward a central station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 1992
    Date of Patent: June 29, 1993
    Inventor: Benito L. Polo
  • Patent number: 5190148
    Abstract: A switch for controlling the operation of a motor boat comprises a cylinder and a key. The key includes a grippable knob and a detachable key actuator which engages a key-receiving member in the cylinder. The knob is turned from a first stable angular orientation (that is, an off-position) to a second stable angular orientation (that is, an on-position) to operate the motor. The knob is also coupled by means of a lanyard to the operator. If the operator falls overboard, the knob will separate from the key actuator and springs located inside the cylinder return the switch to the off-position. The switch also permits the a choke signal to be sent to the motor by pressing inwardly on the knob.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 1991
    Date of Patent: March 2, 1993
    Assignee: Delta Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Thomas D. Williams
  • Patent number: 5188143
    Abstract: A water leakage detector is disclosed herein sensitive to the presence of moisture, having an elongated sensor strip comprising a pair of conductors separated by insulation. Each conductor includes an electrode coupling with a wire lead extending via a cable to an electrical plug. A circuit housing is provided having an audible alarm operably connected to an electrical socket adapted to detachably connect with the plug. A low voltage battery and auxiliary output socket are carried on the housing and connected with the alarm and the first mentioned socket whereby the presence of moisture across the pair of sensor conductors activates the alarm. A battery test pair of electrodes is provided to manually test battery condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 1992
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1993
    Inventor: Robert G. Krebs
  • Patent number: 5184831
    Abstract: There is disclosed a glove employing an adjustable pressure sensitive means for use by contestants engaged in a karate contest. The glove assures that each contestant is associated with a given strike frequency. The gloves provide the strike frequency which will be transmitted when the contestant strikes a blow of sufficient force. Each glove is associated with a transmitter operating at a selected strike frequency and a pressure sensitive area which causes the transmitter to transmit the strike frequency. Also associated with each contestant is another pressure sensitive area which is a target area. When this area is struck by an opponent, a target frequency is transmitted. In order to determine that a valid blow was rendered, a receiver is incorporated and employed by a judge. The receiver will respond to two frequencies to determine whether a valid blow has been struck. The receiver must receive a first frequency indicative of the strike frequency and a second frequency indicative of the target frequency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 1991
    Date of Patent: February 9, 1993
    Inventor: Lee Garner
  • Patent number: 5177467
    Abstract: An alarming and entertaining glove includes a plurality of illuminators and buzzers mounted on a glove body electrically connected to an audio and optical driving circuit secured on the glove body, and at least one trigger switch formed on an inside surface portion of the glove preferably formed on an inside surface portion of any finger sheath and electrically connected to the audio and optical driving circuit, whereby upon a grasping of a wearer's hand or closing of the wearer's fingers with the hand, the trigger switch will be actuated to spread a warning sounding and to illuminate the illuminator for both audio and optical alarming purpose or for music sounding for entertaining purpose.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 1991
    Date of Patent: January 5, 1993
    Inventor: Tsao Chung-Piao
  • Patent number: 5168264
    Abstract: An electronic posture position sensor device for alerting the user whenever an incorrect posture is assumed. The posture position sensor includes an electrical circuit that includes, a power means, a switch assembly, an electronic timer capable of being set at predetermined cycles, and an alerting means. The switch assembly comprises a first conducting pendulum and two sensor terminals attached, respectively, to second and third selectively positionable conducting pendulums. The second and third pendulums have a clamping means which allow the user to manually position the second and third pendulums for different sitting positions. When an incorrect posture is assumed, the switch assembly is opened which allows current to flow from the power means through the circuit to the timer. When the predetermined timer cycle elapses, the current causes the alert means to alert the user when sitting in an incorrect sitting position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 1992
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1992
    Inventor: Hermenegildo C. Agustin
  • Patent number: 5150104
    Abstract: An attitude sensor device for sensing deviations from a reference orientation which includes a sensor cup having a capacitor and a damped dielectric fluid with a bubble disposed between the electrodes of the capacitor. When the sensor cup is tilted, the bubble is displaced within the damped dielectric fluid and a capacitance change results. A controller circuit detects this capacitance change and outputs a warning signal to an LED and/or a speaker. In an alternate embodiment, the attitude sensor device is mounted to the inner housing of a gyroscope, which is insensitive to movement in two dimensions, thereby allowing the sensing of deviations of rotational movement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 1991
    Date of Patent: September 22, 1992
    Assignee: Alexander Rhys Thomas
    Inventors: Alexander R. Thomas, Anthony S. Pruszenski, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5146206
    Abstract: A patient ambulation motion detector intended for attachment to a patient's body. The detector includes a motion sensor switch and a detachment detector switch which are mounted on a circuit board, the circuit board being in turn enclosed within an attachment casing which is attachable to a lateral surface of the patient's body. The motion sensor comprises three SPST mercury switches mounted to the circuit board and oriented so as to be responsive to declination of that portion of the patient's body to which the detector is attached and which declination is indicative of impending ambulation, but non-responsive to positions in which the posture of the patient is not indicative of impending ambulation. The detachment detector switch is a spring contact switch which is openable and closable by a plunger acting thereon and sensitive to detachment of the detector from the patient's body. The detector may be wired to a conventional switched nurse call system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 1991
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1992
    Inventor: James J. Callaway
  • Patent number: 5128655
    Abstract: The invention is a monitoring device used to monitor bending of the back and spinal column that counts and displays the number of bends of the back beyond a predetermined angle during a specified time of operation, and also provides the option to emit an audible tone each time the predetermined angle is exceeded.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 1991
    Date of Patent: July 7, 1992
    Inventor: Edward E. Shore
  • Patent number: 5097252
    Abstract: In one embodiment of the invention, a plurality of sensors are placed over the joints of a hand. Each motion sensor comprises an optical fiber disposed between a light source and a light sensor. An upper portion of the fiber is treated so that transmission loss of light being communicated through the optical fiber is increased only when the fiber bends in one direction. In another embodiment of the invention, a flexible tube is disposed in close proximity to a finger joint and bends in response to bending of the finger. A light source and light sensor are provided on opposite ends of the tube for continuously indicating the extent of bending of the tube. A wedge is disposed between the tube and the finger for setting the tube straight when the finger is hyperextended for eliminating the symmetry of the output signal which ordinarily would result from bending of the tube on opposite sides of the axis of movement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 1989
    Date of Patent: March 17, 1992
    Assignee: VPL Research Inc.
    Inventors: Young L. Harvill, Thomas G. Zimmerman, Jean-Jacques G. Grimaud
  • Patent number: 5081447
    Abstract: Apparatus for influencing a person preferentially to sleep on his side and not on his back. A gravity actuated sensor apparatus is attached to a sleeping person for detecting body position and to sound an alarm informing the person when he is resting on his back; thereby enticing the person to sleep on one side or the other and not on his back. Appropriate circuitry connects the sensor apparatus and alarm so that the alarm is actuated in response to the sensor apparatus detecting an undesirable body position. The sensor apparatus is positioned on one's head, or alternatively, is positioned on one's body. The alarm can be sensed by a sleeper to thereby induce the sleeper to move to an alternate position whenever he attempts to rest on his back for more than a few seconds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 1990
    Date of Patent: January 14, 1992
    Inventor: Wilford R. Echols
  • Patent number: 5075523
    Abstract: A signal activating device for activating a nurse call system as commonly used in hospitals and nursing homes to summon the attending personnel for assistance, wherein an elongate bar having circuitry electrically interconnected to the call system is supported on the railing structure of a bed or chair so as to extend transversely thereacross in a readily accessible location over a midportion of the body of a person in the bed or chair. A hollow tube is fitted over the bar in engaging, supported relation on a number of electric switches mounted at spaced intervals along the bar's length such that pressure applied by the person to any location along the upper portion of the tube serves to operate at least one electric switch on the bar, thereby activating the nurse call system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 1990
    Date of Patent: December 24, 1991
    Inventor: Ralph W. Ford
  • Patent number: 5045650
    Abstract: A finger switch is mounted at a player's finger so as to detect bedding and stretching actions of a player's finger. Such finger switch includes a thin plate made of a plastic material which is mounted on the back of the player's finger, a push button switch mounted adjacent the thin plate near a center portion of the player's finger, and a movable member which is moved in response to the bending and stretching actions of the player's finger. When the player bends his finger, the movable member is moved toward the push button switch so that the push button switch will be pushed and activated by the movable member. By mounting a plurality of such finger switches on the fingers of the player, a musical scale or a tone pitch of a musical tone to be generated can be controlled based on a combination of on/off states of the push buttons.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 1990
    Date of Patent: September 3, 1991
    Assignee: Yamaha Corporation
    Inventor: Hideo Suzuki
  • Patent number: 5023467
    Abstract: In the method of controlling the wiping interval, the interval of time between two consecutive wiping movements, of which at least the second wiping movement was started arbitrarily, is measured, the measured value is stored and is subsequently used as interval time unless a different interval time becomes stored due to another arbitrary starting of wiping movements, or unless the interval operation of the wiper is interrupted or unless the control circuit is deenergized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 1988
    Date of Patent: June 11, 1991
    Assignee: Doduco GmbH & Co. Dr. Eugen Durrwachter
    Inventor: Gunter Uhl
  • Patent number: 5010893
    Abstract: A motion sensor for use within an implantable medical device provides a digital output signal that can be connected directly to the digital processing and control circuits of a pacemaker or other device. This signal may be used to adjust the basic pacing rate of the pacemaker as a function of the physical motion or activity that is sensed. The motion sensor includes an enclosed housing having conductive element therein that partially fills the space of a cavity within the enclosed housing. The conductive element is free to roll, flow or otherwise move around the inside of the housing in response to external forces. The external forces that cause the conductive element to move include the physical motion of the patient as well as the force of gravity. As the conductive element moves within the enclosed housing, it makes electrical contact with at least two of three electrodes that are selectively spaced around the inside periphery of the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 1988
    Date of Patent: April 30, 1991
    Assignee: Siemens-Pacesetter, Inc.
    Inventor: Jason A. Sholder
  • Patent number: 4993308
    Abstract: An air responsive control forms the basis for a mouth-blown device having a series of pipes in side-by-side relation into which the user blows or sucks. Signals are produced to operate apparatus such as a music synthesizer for a typewriter or computer. Each pipe has at least a section of light transmitting material. Inside that section, movable actuator such as a ball moves out of a light path between a light source and a photo-sensitive responder by sucking on or blowing by an operator. When the ball blocks the light path there is now signal to the operated apparatus but when it moves out of the light path there is a signal. Both the light source and the photo-sensitive responder are outside the pipe, thus ensuring that there is no contact with saliva of any directly connected electrical part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 1989
    Date of Patent: February 19, 1991
    Inventor: Norman A. Villeneuve
  • Patent number: 4972177
    Abstract: The present invention provides an alarm when a patient, supposed to remain in a specific position, changes to one which is undesirable. For example, it could be used for patients, supposed to remain recumbent, who become upright or in a position which is preparatory to becoming upright. It can be incorporated into a cuff, vest, panty, or the like, and includes energy source, alarm, on-off switch, and one or more position-sensitive sensors with interconnecting circuitry, so that the alarm is actuated whenever the patient changes to an undesirable position. An embodiment including a plurality of sensors, appropriately interconnected, avoids false alarms by permitting positions which might actuate a single sensor. The alarm can be audible, visual, tactile or other type, and can be located on the patient or at some remote location, connected directly or by wireless.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 1986
    Date of Patent: November 20, 1990
    Inventor: Charles A. Nolan
  • Patent number: 4954815
    Abstract: A head positioning system including contact means placing the head in a controlled position which includes means for allowing controlled repeatable motion about at least one of three mutually perpendicular axes. Translational means along each axis and transducer means about each axis and on each of the translational means may also be provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 1988
    Date of Patent: September 4, 1990
    Inventor: Jeffrey C. Delmonte
  • Patent number: 4922227
    Abstract: A touch-controlled switch and alarm system for protecting electrically conductive objects. The touch switch automatically adjusts itself within a few seconds to a wide range of ungrounded conductive objects, is not triggered by AC power line transients or failures, has a back-up battery for operation during power failures, and is automatically triggered if the power plug is disconnected. A unique underdamped automatic gain control circuit allows a simple unidirectional trigger to sense both increases and decreases of capacitance to ground. The alarm includes a lock switch for arming and disarming the alarm, and status indicators to show whether or not the system has been armed or triggered. The lock switch itself is protected by the alarm system because the lock switch has an electrically conductive body which is connected to the touch switch along with the protected objects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 1989
    Date of Patent: May 1, 1990
    Inventor: Bryce L. Hesterman
  • Patent number: 4914721
    Abstract: A safety device for an apparatus to be manipulated by an operator. The apparatus is connected via a supply line for a supply means to a supply means source. A handgrip is provided to be grasped by the operator for controlling the operation of the apparatus. An operating sensor is actuated by the operator and is connected to the control device. The operating sensor may be an electric proximity switch provided so that it is possible to shut off the apparatus when the operator ceases to actuate the operating sensor. The operating sensor, or at least one indiciator element of the operating sensor, is disposed on the hand of the operator, particularly integrated into a protective glove for the hand of the operator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 1988
    Date of Patent: April 3, 1990
    Assignee: Ernst Peiniger GmbH Unternehmen fuer Bautenschutz
    Inventors: Karl C. Glaeser, Gerhard Buhr, Joachim Cardinal, Klaus Genuit, Detlef Lohmuller, Heinz Tilmans
  • Patent number: 4899133
    Abstract: An alert device is provided which initiates an alarm if a person wearing the device ceases normal movement. The device includes a movement sensor having at least one mercury switch which generates a signal when the mercury shifts in response to movement. The device also includes a microcomputer to receive the mercury switch input signals--the microcomputer being programmed to distinguish between inputs indicative of normal wearer movement and inputs which may represent a wearer in duress. Preferably, the motion sensor provides three mercury switches oriented to sense movement in three normal planes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 1988
    Date of Patent: February 6, 1990
    Assignee: Detex Corporation
    Inventor: Alan Bartlett
  • Patent number: 4897649
    Abstract: A keyboard for data entry or control purposes includes a plurality of sets of two or more keys arranged for receving the tips of the finger of a hand of an operator, the keys of each set have such a small superfical touch area and are clustered together so as to be substantially comprehended and selectively operated by a single finger tip of an operator. Additional keys having their superficial touch area spaced from but sufficiently close to the superficial touch area of a set of the sets may be provided to be conveniently operable by a finger tip of user operating the keys of the adjacent set. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the superficial touch area of each key takes the form of a roller and each set of keys is made up of two keys. In some embodiments, the relative spacing between sets of keys or between keys may be adjustable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 1986
    Date of Patent: January 30, 1990
    Inventor: Larry R. Stucki
  • Patent number: 4873405
    Abstract: A switching device for producing a signal in response to small movements between two portions of a surface including a movable member within a housing, the movable member being biased towards a first position by a resilient yet deformable member connected to the housing. A first surface attachment member is connected to the movable member and extends outside of the housing for attachment to the surface. A second surface attachment member is mounted directly to the housing and is attachable to the surface. A switch responsive to sufficient movement of the movable member away from its first position is mounted within the housing adjacent to and in the path of the movable member. The switch is electrically connected to circuitry which can utilize the switching action of the switch which occurs when the surface is moved in such a way that the first and second surface attachment members move with respect to one another, thereby moving the movable member to operate the switch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 1988
    Date of Patent: October 10, 1989
    Assignee: Iowa State University Research Foundation, Inc.
    Inventor: Gerald A. Parks
  • Patent number: 4871998
    Abstract: A posture belt which is worn on the body of the user to remind the user to maintain good posture. The posture belt has a buzzer housing and an elongated belt. One end of the belt is detachably connected to the buzzer housing and the other end of the belt is connected to structure for actuating the buzzer alarm that forms part of the buzzer alarm circuit mounted within the buzzer housing. The buzzer alarm is actuated when the belt of the invention is distended due to improper posture. An adjustable time delay feature is incorporated into the wiring circuit that permits the user to select a few moments delay before the buzzer alarm is actuated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 1988
    Date of Patent: October 3, 1989
    Inventor: Michel B. Chaillou
  • Patent number: 4814632
    Abstract: A safety device for an apparatus to be manipulated by an operator. The apparatus is connected via a supply line for a supply means to a supply means source. A handgrip is provided to be grasped by the operator for controlling the operation of the apparatus. An operating sensor is actuated by the operator and is connected to the control device. The operating sensor may be an electric proximity switch provided so that it is possible to shut off the apparatus when the operator ceases to actuate the operating sensor. The operating sensor, or at least one indicator element of the operating sensor, is disposed on the hand of the operator, particularly integrated into a protective glove for the hand of the operator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 1987
    Date of Patent: March 21, 1989
    Assignee: Ernst Peiniger GmbH Unternehmen Fur Bautenschutz
    Inventors: Karl C. Glaeser, Detlef Lohmuller, Heinz Tilmans, Klaus Genuit, Joachim Cardinal, Gerhard Buhr
  • Patent number: 4762968
    Abstract: A dual acting safety switch for a land or marine vehicle which disables the ignition circuit of the engine by removal of a cord held holding member and closes the circuit of a secondary circuit to activate an alarm device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 1987
    Date of Patent: August 9, 1988
    Assignee: David Hilton
    Inventor: David Hilton
  • Patent number: 4755642
    Abstract: A switching device for producing a signal in response to small movements between two portions of a surface including a movable member within a housing, the movable member being biased towards a first position by resilient yet deformable means connected to the housing. A first surface attachment means is connected to the movable member and extends outside of the housing for attachment to the surface. A second surface attachment means is mounted directly to the housing and is attachable to the surface. A switch means responsive to sufficient movement of the movable member away from its first position is mounted within the housing adjacent to and in the path of the movable member. The switch means is electrically connected to circuitry which can utilize the switching action of the switch means which occurs when the surface is moved in such a way that the first and second surface attachment means move with respect to one another, thereby moving the movable member to operate the switch means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 1986
    Date of Patent: July 5, 1988
    Assignee: Iowa State University Research Foundation, Inc.
    Inventor: Gerald A. Parks
  • Patent number: 4728939
    Abstract: An aid to steering of a vehicle having directional control defined by rotation of a steering wheel consists of a wedge shaped member strapped to an operator's thigh, having a pliable, frictional surface material for mating with the outside rim of the steering wheel. An alternative embodiment provides for a sleep alarm to sound when biasing between the invention and the steering wheel slackens.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 1987
    Date of Patent: March 1, 1988
    Inventor: Tony U. Otani
  • Patent number: 4728812
    Abstract: The oral machine controller is an apparatus for controlling operations of a machine by jaw and tongue movement of an operator. Upper and lower dentition grips include thermoplastic members which are conformed to tooth shape to cling thereto. A lightweight control unit in a housing includes a straight potentiometer which generates a controllably variable voltage signal to control a speed or intensity function of the machine. One dentition grip is attached to the control unit housing by a first control arm and the other to a second control arm which is attached to a moveable contact on the potentiometer for changing its position and controlling the speed or intensity function of the machine. A tongue-actuated microswitch is provided for additional control of machine functions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 1986
    Date of Patent: March 1, 1988
    Inventors: Paul S. Sheriff, Randal J. York
  • Patent number: 4722625
    Abstract: A powered painting system includes a motor driven paint pump controlled by a radio signal receiver associated with it. A radio frequency transmitter mounts to the wrist of the painter, and a small clip with a button-operated switch thereon is provided for mounting to the finger of the painter, with the button readily accessible to the thumb of the painter. Upon operation of the button by the thumb, the transmitter sends a signal to the receiver which turns the pump on. Upon subsequent operation of the button, the transmitter sends a further signal which, upon receipt by the receiver, turns off the pump.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 1985
    Date of Patent: February 2, 1988
    Assignee: Triune Automated Painting Systems
    Inventor: Lawrence B. O'Brien
  • Patent number: 4710751
    Abstract: A sensor circuit for detecting a ground fault in devices that eliminate or prevent static electricity and for producing appropriate alarm signals to indicate an undesirable ungrounded condition. In particular, the sensor circuit includes means for monitoring a ground-fault system by using a wrist strap monitoring circuit, a proximity monitoring circuit and at least one surface monitoring circuit. The wrist strap monitoring circuit and the surface monitoring circuits are used to detect the status of a grounding connection between an operator and/or a surface at a work station and a ground potential. The proximity monitoring circuit is used to determine whether an operator (or another person) is in proximity to the work station. A logic circuit means detects the status of the aforementioned monitoring circuits and selectively activates an alarm means if a fault condition exists.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 1986
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1987
    Assignee: Environmental Protection Systems
    Inventor: James B. Webster
  • Patent number: 4692748
    Abstract: A glove apparatus for deterring thumbsucking, including a glove body to which is affixed a battery-operated electrical alarm arrangement. The alarm arrangement includes a module containing a battery, an alarm device, and an electrical contact mounted in the wristband of the glove body for surface contact by the electrical contact with the user's wrist. An electrical wire lead extending through the glove body connects the module electrically with another electrical contact insulatively attached to the outward surface of the thumb portion of the glove body to be exposed outwardly without being in surface or other electrical contact with the user's thumb. When the user inserts the thumb into the mouth, a continuous electrical circuit is completed through the alarm arrangement and through the user's body to enable the battery to activate the alarm device to sound an audible alarm alerting the user to remove the thumb from the mouth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 1986
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1987
    Inventors: George F. Pinsak, Henry H. Morton, Jr.
  • Patent number: 4679254
    Abstract: A protection shield, e.g., a welders mask, has an only slightly transparent screen such as a welder's glass movable in front of and away from an opening in the shield by a reversible electric motor, driving the screen directly. The screen is guided by rods in the shield, which it engages in only a few discrete points. Motor, screen and guides are easily removable from and insertable into the shield. This gives a simple and reliable structure with low energy requirement. There are provisions for charging a battery energizing the motor either by solar cells or by an external source. A hand operated switch is provided with means to be carried on a finger of the user, which switch operates the screen. A spatter glass is taken up in the shield in guides so as to be easily removable and replaceable and so that its thickness is not critical.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 1986
    Date of Patent: July 14, 1987
    Inventor: Hendrikus P. Wiegel
  • Patent number: 4679644
    Abstract: The chin actuated controller system includes a control arm mounted at one end for pivotal movement in both the horizontal and vertical directions and a chin pad supported by the distal end of the control arm which extends to a location adjacent to the chin of a person. The chin pad which includes a chin switch is engageable by the person's chin to cause vertical and horizontal motion of the control arm and forward and reverse and movement of the chin switch. A cam mechanism in combination with a controller electrical circuit is used to convert the chin activated movements of the control arm and chin switch combination to an electrical signal which controls the powered apparatus. The controller electrical circuit also includes additional electrical circuits which provide for electrical switching between the various powered apparatus operations, logic control of the various powered apparatus operations and an audible sound indicating the initiation of the powered apparatus operation selected by the person.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 1985
    Date of Patent: July 14, 1987
    Assignee: The Johns Hopkins University
    Inventor: John H. Loveless
  • Patent number: 4677678
    Abstract: A hearing protective device consisting of a headset having opposite earmuff and/or earplug assemblies resiliently connected by a headband assembly including a normally open power switch closed when the headband assembly is put on the user's head. The switch controls the energizing of the electrical circuitry of the device. Each earmuff and/or earplug assembly has an outwardly-facing microphone and an inwardly-facing sound reproducer, connected to circuitry defining respective stereo channels, each channel including preamplifier circuitry and a respective power amplifier drivingly connected to one of the sound reproducers. The circuitry also includes a hyper AGC circuit which receives and sums signals from the amplifier chain and derives attenuation signals therefrom which are fed back to the amplifier circuitry and which reduces the gain of this circuitry when the input sound exceeds a certain level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 1984
    Date of Patent: June 30, 1987
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services
    Inventor: Charles W. McCutchen
  • Patent number: RE33285
    Abstract: A small electronic module to regulate the power delivered to a lamp or similar appliance is plugged into the household electrical outlet and the lamp to be controlled is, in turn, plugged into the module. Each time the lamp is touched the power to the bulb increases by one step, typically in the sequence OFF, DIM, INTERMEDIATE, FULL, OFF. The module device operates by sensing the capacitance change when the lamp is touched and communication between the lamp and the device occurs through the lamp cord.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 1989
    Date of Patent: July 31, 1990
    Inventor: Scott M. Kunen