Occupant Steered Patents (Class 280/771)
  • Patent number: 11020858
    Abstract: Lifting robot systems and methods for operating the same are disclosed. A lifting robot system includes a sensor device and a robot device. The robot device includes a body, a lifting component movably coupled to the body, and a collection tray coupled to the lifting component. Upon receiving a command to lift an object, the sensor device automatically detects the object, the robot device places the object on the collection tray, and the robot device causes the lifting component to lift the collection tray from a first height to a second height.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2021
    Assignee: TOYOTA RESEARCHING INSTITUTE, INC.
    Inventors: Matthew Amacker, Jonathan Yao, Manuel Ahumada, Andrew Custer
  • Patent number: 10737715
    Abstract: A method of coupling a rack and pinion steering mechanism to a vehicle includes interfacing a first spherical washer with the rack and pinion steering mechanism and interfacing a second spherical washer with the vehicle. The second spherical washer is interfaced with the first spherical washer. A relative angle is formed between the rack and pinion steering mechanism and the vehicle via the first spherical washer and the second spherical washer. The first spherical washer is retained with the second spherical washer via a ring retainer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2020
    Assignee: Steering Solutions IP Holding Corporaticn
    Inventors: Edwin J. Nab, Jr., Richard L. Deitering
  • Patent number: 10696344
    Abstract: A scooter, which is driven by an electric motor, for transporting persons, includes an electric drive motor and a standing platform. A front wheel is arranged along a center axis of the standing platform. A steering rod is coupled to the front wheel. Handlebars pivot the front wheel about a rotational axis, which is formed by the steering rod. Two rear wheels are at a spacing from the front wheel and are each arranged laterally offset with respect to the center axis. A feed-through aperture, which is preferably completely closed circumferentially and is passed through by the steering rod, or in which the front wheel sits, is incorporated into the standing platform. The front wheel is flanked on both sides in each case by at least one support element which projects from an underside of the standing platform that faces an underlying surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2020
    Assignee: Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Stephan Augustin, Rainer Daude
  • Patent number: 10633020
    Abstract: A tie rod end includes a body portion having a curved portion and extending in a rod shape, an engaging portion with a tie rod provided at one end of the body portion, and a connecting portion with a knuckle arm provided at the other end of the body portion, and constitutes a part of a vehicle steering apparatus used for steering a vehicle. The body portion made of an aluminum warm-forged material is provided so that an outer curved portion is oriented toward a front of the vehicle when attached to the vehicle. Dimension in a vehicle height direction of the body portion is larger at an inner curved portion than at the outer curved portion. It is possible to obtain the tie rod end capable of securing sufficient rigidity against stress concentration inside the curved portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2020
    Assignee: HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Takashi Yasu
  • Patent number: 10479392
    Abstract: A vehicle lower portion structure includes: a suspension member including a pair of left and right under from side members that extend in a vehicle front-rear direction, a cross member that extends in a vehicle transverse direction and connects the under front side members, and a steering gear box that extends in the vehicle transverse direction and is formed integrally with the cross member; and an under front bumper reinforcement that extends in the vehicle transverse direction and is installed between front end portions of the pair left and right under front side members.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2019
    Assignee: TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Yuichiro Suzuki
  • Patent number: 9889555
    Abstract: A robot system includes a robot including a hand including a plurality of finger sections and a work device in which the robot performs work. The work device includes a first rotating body, a second rotating body configured to rotate in association with rotation of the first rotating body, a grip section provided in the first rotating body, and a setting section provided in the second rotating body, a target object of the work performed by the robot being set on the setting section. The robot grips the grip section with the finger sections to rotate the first rotating body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2018
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Yoshinobu Goto, Masaru Takahashi, Sota Yamamoto
  • Patent number: 9783224
    Abstract: A steering support rack assembly and method are disclosed. The steering support rack assembly includes a linear bearing with a sliding support shaft attached to a bracket at each end of the support shaft, where the brackets are also connected to a steering assembly and tie rods of a vehicle. A steering support rack assembly includes a pair of tie brackets with a support shaft assembly coupled between the tie brackets, such that the steering support rack assembly is configured to couple to a rack and pinion assembly and tie rod assemblies of a vehicle so that a shaft of the support shaft assembly moves in combination with the rack and pinion assembly to steer the vehicle with the tie rod assemblies and increase the strength and durability of the rack and pinion assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2017
    Inventors: Jonathan D Roberts, Brent G Reynolds
  • Patent number: 9039041
    Abstract: In an embodiment of the invention, an anti-rotation assembly for a steering column is provided. The anti-rotation assembly includes a bushing and a pin having a detent for engaging the bushing when the pin is inserted into the bushing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: Steering Solutions IP Holding Corporation
    Inventors: Donald A. Buzzard, James C. Russell
  • Patent number: 8985627
    Abstract: In a steering system that includes: an intermediate shaft on a steering wheel side; a pinion shaft on a steered wheel side; and a cross joint by which the intermediate shaft and the pinion shaft are rotatably connected to each other on a plane intersecting with each of the shafts, and that steers steered wheels by transmitting steering torque of a steering wheel from the intermediate shaft to the pinion shaft, a weakened portion is formed in a joint spider of the cross joint. The weakened portion can be identified in advance as a portion that breaks first. This makes it possible to realize a failure mode in which a vehicle is able to run by itself for a certain period of time after a failure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Assignee: JTEKT Corporation
    Inventor: Takeshi Koyama
  • Patent number: 8977437
    Abstract: A target pinion angle computation unit computes a target pinion angle on the basis of a basic assist component and a steering torque, and computes the target pinion angle so as to rapidly increase a steering reaction force when it is determined based on the target pinion angle that a rack shaft of a rack-and-pinion mechanism reaches a position near a limit of a movable range of the rack shaft. In an EPS, a correction component for the basic assist component, which is necessary to increase the steering reaction force rapidly, is computed through execution of PID control for causing an actual pinion angle to coincide with the target pinion angle. Because the correction component is added to the basic assist component, the steering reaction force is increased rapidly when the rack shaft reaches the position near the limit of the movable range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2015
    Assignee: JTEKT Corporation
    Inventors: Terutaka Tamaizumi, Hirozumi Eki, Masayuki Kita, Isao Namikawa
  • Patent number: 8955882
    Abstract: An inner column 2 is fitted in an outer column 1 in such a way as to be able to slide in the axial direction. The outer column 1 is mounted on a vehicle body 5 by a vehicle mount bracket 3. Fastening portions 65B, 65B of a right distance bracket 6B pass through through-holes 13, 14 respectively to be able to be in contact with the outer circumference 21 of the inner column and directly fasten the outer circumference of the inner column. Thus, there is provided a steering apparatus that is simple in structure without need to provide an additional mechanism for preventing rotation of an inner column and in which the magnitude of fastening force exerted on the inner column does not vary depending on the telescopic position of the steering wheel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2015
    Assignee: NSK Ltd.
    Inventor: Masajirou Watanabe
  • Patent number: 8942889
    Abstract: A vehicle control system for a vehicle having an onboard diagnostics connector and a connector interface connected to the onboard connector includes at least one external controller adapted for unfastenable connection to the connector interface; and at least one operator control connected to said at least one external controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2015
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventor: Dale Scott Crombez
  • Patent number: 8919814
    Abstract: There is provided a switch unit which is downsized and which can reduce cost by eliminating a connector and an intermediate harness embedded in a body. A wiper switch and a light switch are attached to a steering column. Each of the wiper switch and the light switch includes a base portion which positions a stator portion of the steering column between each other, a housing portion projecting from the base portion along a periphery of the stator portion. A connector is housed in the housing portion. The connector of the wiper switch and the connector of the light switch are attached to the steering column with the connectors being directly connected together.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2014
    Assignee: Yazaki Corporation
    Inventor: Hidehiro Akahori
  • Publication number: 20140379219
    Abstract: A vehicle has a trailer backup steering input apparatus, a trailer backup assist control module coupled to the a trailer backup steering input apparatus, and an electric power assist steering system coupled to the trailer backup assist control module and. The trailer backup steering input apparatus is configured for outputting a trailer path curvature signal approximating a desired curvature for a path of travel of a trailer towably coupled to the vehicle. The trailer backup assist control module is configured for determining vehicle steering information as a function of the trailer path curvature signal. The electric power assist steering system is configured for controlling steering of steered wheels of the vehicle as a function of the vehicle steering information.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 10, 2014
    Publication date: December 25, 2014
    Applicants: Ford Global Technologies, LLC, The Regents of the University of Michigan
    Inventors: Douglas Scott Rhode, David Dean Smit, Erick Michael Lavoie, Martin Fitzpatrick Frey, Thomas Edward Pilutti, Taehyun Shim, Matt Y. Rupp, Roger Arnold Trombley
  • Patent number: 8915163
    Abstract: A steering column arrangement for a vehicle comprises a first portion rotatably supported by a second portion. The steering column arrangement further comprises a first electrical motor that is adapted to be operably connected to a vehicle control system. The steering column is arranged to be moved laterally and/or axially by the first electric motor. The steering column arrangement further comprises locking means arranged to lock the steering column thereby preventing rotation of the steering column. The locking means comprise a first locking member attached to the steering column and a second locking member arranged to be attached to the vehicle chassis, where the first electric motor is arranged to move the steering column to a locked position in which the first locking member and the second locking member are arranged to engage, thereby preventing rotation of the steering column.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Assignee: Volvo Car Corporation
    Inventors: Mark Hirche, Martin Eliasson, Tomas Magnusson, Jenny Johansson
  • Patent number: 8899621
    Abstract: A steering system includes a column shaft that is supported by a column tube so that the column shaft is able to rotate. A male serration is formed in a lower end of a lower shaft of the column shaft in an axial direction. A universal joint connects the lower shaft with an intermediate shaft. A first portion of the male serration is fitted to a serration hole of a rotor of a steering angle sensor, and a second portion of the male serration is fitted to a serration hole of a first yoke of the universal joint.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2014
    Assignee: JTEKT Corporation
    Inventors: Eiji Tanaka, Yoshikazu Rikitake
  • Patent number: 8888130
    Abstract: A riding lawn care vehicle may include a frame and a steering assembly. Wheels of the riding lawn care vehicle may be attachable to the frame. The steering assembly may include a steering wheel operably coupled to rear wheels of the riding lawn care vehicle via a cable system. The cable system may include a first cable portion, a second cable portion and a pulley assembly. The first and second cable portions may each contact a steering column pulley at respective first ends of the first and second cable portions. The steering column pulley may be configured to pull a corresponding one of the first cable portion or the second cable portion based on a direction of rotation of the steering wheel. The first and second cable portions may each be in operable communication with a steering disc at respective second ends of the first and second cable portions. The steering disc may provide translation of movement of the first cable portion and the second cable portion into corresponding movement of the rear wheels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2014
    Assignee: Husqvarna AB
    Inventor: Urban Stark
  • Patent number: 8882145
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for steering a three wheeled personal transportation vehicle is described. Steering is accomplished by one or more footpads attached to a fore and aft rotatable torsion bar, which in turn is attached at the front end to a Pitman arm and conventional steering mechanism. An adjustable steering centering assembly is also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2014
    Inventor: Robert N. Worobey
  • Patent number: 8869322
    Abstract: A table assembly for a patient transfer device has an upper table with side plates that are differentially extended at the ends, and valve control for pneumatic tubing integrated with retraction of the side plates. During patient delivery only the delivery side plate is raised, to avoid catching linens in the nip formed between upper and lower belts. A slide assembly supporting the table assembly includes a fixed plate, an intermediate plate, and a full-motion plate which extend by means of rack-and-pinion drives. Each plate is symmetrical, and pinions are symmetrically located on opposite sides of the fixed or intermediate plate to allow hyperextension to either the left or right. Improved steerage for the device is provided by two centerline wheels which counter-rotate from a straight position to a turning position and further to a lateral position wherein the wheels are orthogonal to the longitudinal centerline of the device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2014
    Assignee: MediGlider Corporation
    Inventors: Richard A. Patterson, Lawrence R. Gravell
  • Publication number: 20140284898
    Abstract: A recumbent vehicle is disclosed, which generally consists of a front, seat and rear chassis. The seat chassis is operatively connected to upper and lower pivot joints, which allow for the seat chassis, and thus the rider, to move independently from the remainder of the vehicle. Said upper and lower pivot joints are each comprised of subcomponents such as spherical axial bearings along with a coil to create said independent movement, which manifests itself during turns and when hitting obstacles on the terrain. The rider can control the direction of the recumbent vehicle by means of a steering arm.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 25, 2014
    Publication date: September 25, 2014
    Applicant: Co2Zero, Inc.
    Inventor: Marcel Merette
  • Publication number: 20140246847
    Abstract: A steering column has an overall hollow and cylindrical shape at least part of which is formed using a column member. The column member includes a main body portion having one-side end section and the other-side end section and a cylindrical member having one-side end section and the other-side section. The cylindrical member is joined in the axial direction with respect to the main body portion by fitting and fastening the other-side end section of the cylindrical member inside the one-side end section of the main body portion. The inner diameter of the end surface of the other-side end section of the cylindrical member is smaller than the inner diameter of a portion of the other-side end section of the cylindrical member. The portion of the other end section of the cylindrical member constitutes a joined section between the main body and the cylindrical member.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 10, 2012
    Publication date: September 4, 2014
    Applicant: NSK Ltd.
    Inventors: Makoto Nagasawa, Kiyoshi Sadakata
  • Publication number: 20140231159
    Abstract: Hinged assemblies, and children's products including at least one hinged assembly, include a base member and a hinged member operatively and pivotally coupled to the base member to define a hinge. The hinge is configured to release if an obstruction is positioned between the hinged member and the base member while the hinged member is being closed and if a closing torque is greater than or equal to a release torque. The hinge also may be configured to not release when an opening torque is applied when the hinged member is in its open position even when the opening torque is greater than the release torque.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 27, 2014
    Publication date: August 21, 2014
    Applicant: Mattel, Inc.
    Inventors: William R. Howell, Charles D. Smith, Jon Paul Castiglione
  • Publication number: 20140224556
    Abstract: Wheeled vehicle, comprising of one front wheel, two side wheels and one rear wheel, configured on a chassis frame in a symmetrical rhombus (diamond) layout. The non-steered front wheel is turned by pedals using human power, similar or exactly in bicycle use design, or with electric motor power. The two parallel side wheels in one axis are perpendicular to the chassis frame, allowing them to swivel in unison for steering the vehicle without elaborate axle pivoting apparatus. The rear wheel is powered by an electric motor, hybrid motor or. liquid. fuel motor. The rear wheel is attached longitudinally with the center of the chassis frame so that it swivels also in unison for steering with the side wheels.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 13, 2013
    Publication date: August 14, 2014
    Inventor: Albert Mroz
  • Publication number: 20140225357
    Abstract: A vehicle includes a pair of front wheels, at least a pair of rear wheels, a frame portion supported by the pair of front wheels and the pair of rear wheels, a first seat portion and a second seat portion supported by the frame portion and arranged side by side in a width direction of the vehicle, a steering wheel in front of the first seat portion, and a roll-over protection cage supported by the frame portion and covering the first seat portion, the second seat portion and the steering wheel. The first seat portion includes a first seat back portion which has a first backrest surface. The second seat portion includes a second seat back portion which has a second backrest surface. The first seat portion and the second seat portion are adjacent to each other in a width direction of the vehicle. At a height of a lower end of the steering wheel, a center of the second backrest surface is at a more rearward position than a center of the first backrest surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 12, 2014
    Publication date: August 14, 2014
    Applicant: YAMAHA HATSUDOKI KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Masahide SHINBORI
  • Publication number: 20140217691
    Abstract: A steering wheel arrangement for a motor vehicle has a steering wheel which is coupled in terms of movement to a steerable axle of the motor vehicle via a steering axle. The steering wheel is arranged rotatably on a steering column having a housing body. The housing body has at least one upwardly open recess which is bounded at least by two opposite walls extending transversely with respect to the longitudinal centre axis of the housing body.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 27, 2012
    Publication date: August 7, 2014
    Applicant: AUDI AG
    Inventors: Peter Zeinar, Immo Redeker
  • Patent number: 8777265
    Abstract: A steering device for a motor vehicle has a steering wheel which is connected in a rotationally fixed fashion to a steering shaft which is continuously hollow and through which at least an electrical conductor is led in order to make electrical connection with steering-wheel-side equipment. The conductor, in particular flexible conductor tracks, highly flexible cables, and/or flat conductor ribbons, is guided in an axial direction through the entire steering shaft, and emerges therefrom at the two ends of the steering shaft, and is surrounded essentially by a protective device. The protective device has two protective tubes which can be changed in length in the axial direction, in particular by moving them in and out in a telescopic fashion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Alexander Skowronek, Helmar Liess
  • Publication number: 20140183849
    Abstract: A riding lawn care vehicle may include a frame, a seat base and an adjustable seat. Wheels of the riding lawn care vehicle may be attachable to the frame. The seat base may also be coupled to the frame. The adjustable seat may be coupled to the seat base of the riding lawn care vehicle to enable selectable repositioning of at least a portion of the adjustable seat at variable distances from the seat base.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 27, 2011
    Publication date: July 3, 2014
    Applicant: HUSQVARNA CONSUMER OUTDOOR PRODUCTS N.A., INC.
    Inventors: Eric Canonge, Thomas Limpo, Bruce Fredricks, Jim Biros
  • Publication number: 20140175779
    Abstract: A riding lawn care vehicle may include a frame and a steering assembly. Wheels of the riding lawn care vehicle may be attachable to the frame. The steering assembly may include a steering wheel operably coupled to rear wheels of the riding lawn care vehicle via a cable system. The cable system may include a first cable portion, a second cable portion and a pulley assembly. The first and second cable portions may each contact a steering column pulley at respective first ends of the first and second cable portions. The steering column pulley may be configured to pull a corresponding one of the first cable portion or the second cable portion based on a direction of rotation of the steering wheel. The first and second cable portions may each be in operable communication with a steering disc at respective second ends of the first and second cable portions. The steering disc may provide translation of movement of the first cable portion and the second cable portion into corresponding movement of the rear wheels.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 12, 2011
    Publication date: June 26, 2014
    Applicant: HUSQVARNA AB
    Inventor: Urban Stark
  • Publication number: 20140167375
    Abstract: A riding lawn care vehicle may include a frame, a steering assembly, and an axle mount. The axle mount may include a first sleeve and a second sleeve disposed at opposite ends of the axle mount. The first and second sleeves may receive top portions of a first axle rod and a second axle rod. The first axle rod and the second axle rod each include a top portion and a bottom portion bent with respect to the top portion. The bottom portion may be received by the rear wheels. The first and second sleeves may be disposed in a fixed position relative to the axle mount and an orientation of the first and second sleeves may be provided such that the bottom portion of each of the first and second axle rods is substantially parallel to a driving surface in response to the steering wheel being oriented in a neutral position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 12, 2011
    Publication date: June 19, 2014
    Applicant: HUSQVARNA AB
    Inventor: Urban Stark
  • Patent number: 8746740
    Abstract: A steering column device includes a tilt bracket that is fixed to a vehicle body, and a telescopic bracket that is fixed to a column jacket. A lock mechanism includes a fastening shaft that is inserted through a first side plate and a second side plate of the tilt bracket, and a third side plate and a fourth side plate of the telescopic bracket, and achieves tilt locking and telescopic locking by fastening the third and fourth side plates by using the first and second side plates. Tilt friction plates and telescopic friction plates are provided separately from each other on right and left sides of the tilt bracket, respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2014
    Assignee: JTEKT Corporation
    Inventor: Eiji Tanaka
  • Patent number: 8714593
    Abstract: A human powered vehicle with four unpowered wheels. Front and rear wheel bearing sections are joined by a top frame structure. A swing suspended from the frame structure supports a driving rider in either a prone or a sitting position. In the prone position, the rider is oriented, heard first, along the axis of travel, and positioned beneath the frame structure. The vehicle has a steering mechanism and a braking system, both situated to be operative by the rider when the rider is positioned to be in any of a standing, sitting or prone position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2014
    Inventor: Robert Bonanno
  • Publication number: 20140103629
    Abstract: A grass mowing machine operator platform includes a one-piece plastic composite molded structure with a top surface and an outer wall, and a plurality of slots in the top surface and outer wall. A pair of steering levers may be pivotably mounted to steering pivot bolts in the slots in the top surface, and a brake lever pivotably mounted in a slot in the outer wall. The slots where the steering levers and brake lever are mounted have integral bearing surfaces.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 17, 2012
    Publication date: April 17, 2014
    Applicant: Deere & Company
    Inventors: Paul Elhardt, Kyle T. Ressler, Thomas R. Genz
  • Publication number: 20140058624
    Abstract: An example can include a frame of a vehicle. An example can include at least two wheels coupled to the frame, wherein at least one of the wheels is configured to pivot around a steering axis. An example can include a cornering force sensor to measure a cornering force of the frame with respect to the surface and produce a cornering force signal. An example can include a thrust generation controller to receive the cornering force signal and to produce a desired downforce signal. An example can include and a thrust generator to receive the desired downforce signal and to pump air through at least one of the at least two wheels to produce lateral force on the wheel in association with the desired downforce signal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 21, 2013
    Publication date: February 27, 2014
    Inventor: John Austin Muth
  • Publication number: 20140049029
    Abstract: A work vehicle includes a chassis, an operator station, and a steering column. The operator station is carried by the chassis and includes a floor. The steering column is mounted to and extends upward from the floor. The steering column includes a pair of opposite sides and a pair of foot rests, with each foot rest extending laterally outward from a respective side. The position of the foot rests is preferably adjustable.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 16, 2013
    Publication date: February 20, 2014
    Applicant: CNH America LLC
    Inventors: William K. Dooley, Steven S. Savov, Eric M. Jacobsthal, David C. Sachtleben, Aaron R. Richard, Jesse W. Gonzales, Peter J. Zerillo
  • Patent number: 8632096
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus are provided for attenuating torsional vibration of a steering system. The apparatus can include a housing including a chamber. The housing can be couplable to a rim of a hand wheel of the steering system. The apparatus can include a mass disposed in the chamber of the housing. The mass can have a fixed stiffness. The apparatus can also include a damping fluid disposed in the chamber of the housing. The damping fluid can have a variable stiffness. The apparatus can include a control module that determines a torsional vibration experienced by the steering system and outputs a signal to vary the stiffness of the damping fluid in response to the torsional vibration in substantially real-time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2014
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Shawn G. Quinn, David P. Hamilton, Mark A. Stebbins
  • Patent number: 8632097
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus are provided for attenuating translational vibration in a steering system. The apparatus can include a housing having a fluid chamber, a recess and a mounting bracket that couples the housing to a hand wheel of the steering system. The fluid chamber can be in communication with the recess. The apparatus can include a mass disposed in the recess of the housing, which can have a fixed stiffness. The apparatus can include a damping fluid disposed in the housing so as to flow between the fluid chamber and the recess. The mass can be movable in the damping fluid, and the damping fluid can have a variable stiffness. The apparatus can further include a control module that determines a translational vibration experienced at the hand wheel and outputs a signal to vary the stiffness of the damping fluid in response to the translational vibration in substantially real-time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2014
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Shawn G. Quinn, David P. Hamilton, Mark A. Stebbins
  • Patent number: 8606468
    Abstract: To provide a vehicle capable of maintaining a stable state when a rider gets on the step plate or get off the step plate. A vehicle is a vehicle that performs a turning movement based on the rotation of step plates on which a rider rides in the left/right direction. The vehicle includes restriction means to enable the rotation of the step plates in the left/right direction to be restricted. The vehicle preferably further includes first control means that controls the restriction means so that the rotation of the step plates in the left/right direction is restricted when the rider gets on the step plates or gets off the step plates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2013
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Yusuke Kosaka
  • Publication number: 20130214520
    Abstract: A human powered vehicle with four unpowered wheels. Front and rear wheel bearing sections are joined by a top frame structure. A swing suspended from the frame structure supports a driving rider in either a prone or a sitting position. In the prone position, the rider is oriented, heard first, along the axis of travel, and positioned beneath the frame structure. The vehicle has a steering mechanism and a braking system, both situated to be operative by the rider when the rider is positioned to be in any of a standing, sitting or prone position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 22, 2012
    Publication date: August 22, 2013
    Inventor: Robert Bonanno
  • Patent number: 8448272
    Abstract: A table assembly for a patient transfer device has an upper table with side plates that are differentially extended at the ends, and valve control for pneumatic tubing integrated with refraction of the side plates. During patient delivery only the delivery side plate is raised, to avoid catching linens in the nip formed between upper and lower belts. A slide assembly supporting the table assembly includes a fixed plate, an intermediate plate, and a full-motion plate which extend by means of rack-and-pinion drives. Each plate is symmetrical, and pinions are symmetrically located on opposite sides of the fixed or intermediate plate to allow hyperextension to either the left or right. Improved steerage for the device is provided by two centerline wheels which counter-rotate from a straight position to a turning position and further to a lateral position wherein the wheels are orthogonal to the longitudinal centerline of the device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2013
    Assignee: MediGLIDER Corp.
    Inventors: Richard A. Patterson, Lawrence R. Gravell
  • Publication number: 20130131932
    Abstract: A vehicle includes a frame, first and second wheels that are selectively rotatable about a first horizontal axis, a third wheel, and a steering system. The steering system operatively connects the third wheel to the frame such that the third wheel is selectively rotatable about a second horizontal axis. The steering system is configured to selectively toe the third wheel and to laterally displace the third wheel with respect to the frame, thereby increasing stability during turning.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 23, 2011
    Publication date: May 23, 2013
    Applicant: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Daniel Shakespear, Frank Leopold
  • Publication number: 20130127145
    Abstract: An apparatus comprising a body, an actuator assembly and an actuator control assembly. The actuator assembly includes a lever arm in pivoting engagement with the body about a pivot axis spaced apart from an axis of a handlebar to which the body is attached. The lever arm is associated with a suspension adjust cable. The actuator control assembly includes a locking assembly and an adjustment assembly. The locking assembly is associated with each of the body and the actuator assembly. The locking assembly is capable of preventing pivoting of the actuator relative to the body in a first position corresponding to a first suspension setting. The adjustment assembly is associated with each of the body and the actuator assembly. The adjustment assembly is capable of preventing pivoting of the actuator relative to the body in a second position corresponding to a second suspension setting.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 6, 2012
    Publication date: May 23, 2013
    Applicant: SRAM, LLC
    Inventor: SRAM, LLC
  • Patent number: 8447470
    Abstract: The invention concerns a method which includes: filtering the torque signal using a low-pass filter of the first order at a variable cut-off frequency which takes on, respectively, a minimum value or a maximum value depending on whether the amplitude of the torque signal is, respectively, lower or higher than a predetermined threshold; then in producing a signal indicating, respectively, a steering wheel release or a steering wheel grip depending on whether the amplitude of the filtered torque signal is, respectively, lower or higher than a predetermined threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2013
    Assignee: JTEKT Europe
    Inventors: Julien Barthomeuf, Stephane Cassar
  • Publication number: 20130069355
    Abstract: A hydraulic brake actuator adapted to be mounted on a vehicle handlebar and hydraulically coupled to a brake mechanism. The brake actuator includes a brake base adapted to be secured to the handlebar, and a reservoir adapted to be coupled to the brake base and containing brake fluid, the reservoir having a bottom surface. The hydraulic brake actuator further includes a piston-cylinder assembly coupled to the reservoir, a brake lever movable relative to the brake base between a released position and an actuated position, and a locking pawl positioned to limit movement between the brake lever and the piston-cylinder assembly, the locking pawl being at least partially positioned directly below the bottom surface of the reservoir.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 16, 2011
    Publication date: March 21, 2013
    Applicant: HB PERFORMANCE SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Jeffrey S. Gohr, Lee A. Pfeil
  • Patent number: 8364347
    Abstract: A small-size, highly-reliable left-right independent steering device is provided without having to make significant modifications to existing vehicles or to develop dedicated vehicles. The device includes tie rods linked to left and right front wheels and axially expandable and contractible by means of small-size telescopic mechanism portions defined by ball-screw-type linear actuators. Each telescopic mechanism portion mainly includes a main body to which a tie-rod end of the corresponding tie rod is fixed, and an electric motor serving as an actuator attached substantially perpendicularly to the main body. The other end of the tie rod is coupled to a steering rod and functions as a piston rod that can advance or recede in the axial direction by means of the telescopic mechanism portion. Thus, the telescopic mechanism portions are mountable within tire wheels at positions free of, for example, suspension arms and stabilizers located near the tie rods.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2013
    Assignee: Fuji Jukogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yuichiro Tsukasaki, Masaru Kogure
  • Patent number: 8313120
    Abstract: The present invention generally relates to articles for masking internal components of a motor vehicle steering column from the view of an occupant when the steering wheel is titled, or extended. Some embodiments relate to methods for making or using masking articles, or to methods for masking the internal components of a motor vehicle steering column when the steering wheel is titled, or extended.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2012
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Ron Meyers
  • Patent number: 8292327
    Abstract: The invention relates to a device for the optional guiding of at least one self-steering wheel of a trolley. According to the invention, the wheel is of the type that is mounted on a support that pivots around a vertical axis. The device comprises: a push bar which forms a dual-articulated steering member that can be accessed by the user; means for rotating a first clutch part about the vertical axis in response to steering member movements; and means which can be used at will to couple and uncouple the first clutch part in relation to a second clutch part which is solidly connected to the aforementioned support of the wheel, in response to other steering member movements. In addition, a coin-operated locking device for preventing the movement of the trolley is built into a casing which houses a transmission element of the guiding device and which is fixed to the push bar of the trolley.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2012
    Inventors: Fernando Esteban Araya Moreno, Carles Riba Romeva
  • Patent number: 8234894
    Abstract: An electric steering lock device is provided that includes a column pipe, a steering shaft pivotably passed through the interior of the column pipe, and an electric lock unit that has an electric motor and that can switch in response to operation of the electric motor between a locked state, in which pivoting of the steering shaft is prevented, and an unlocked state in which pivoting of the steering shaft is permitted, wherein the electric lock unit is disposed within the column pipe. This arrangement can advantageously make breakage or unauthorized unlocking of the electric lock unit difficult.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Honda Lock
    Inventors: Takeshi Taniguchi, Takushi Matsuto
  • Patent number: 8214943
    Abstract: A table assembly for a patient transfer device has an upper table with side plates that are differentially extended at the ends, and valve control for pneumatic tubing integrated with retraction of the side plates. During patient delivery only the delivery side plate is raised, to avoid catching linens in the nip formed between upper and lower belts. A slide assembly supporting the table assembly includes a fixed plate, an intermediate plate, and a full-motion plate which extend by means of rack-and-pinion drives. Each plate is symmetrical, and pinions are symmetrically located on opposite sides of the fixed or intermediate plate to allow hyperextension to either the left or right. Improved steerage for the device is provided by two centerline wheels which counter-rotate from a straight position to a turning position and further to a lateral position wherein the wheels are orthogonal to the longitudinal centerline of the device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2012
    Assignee: ConMediSys, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard A. Patterson, Lawrence R. Gravell
  • Patent number: 8177043
    Abstract: A steering damper can generate a smaller damping force according to a first damping force characteristic or a larger damping force according to a second damping force characteristic by controlling a flow of hydraulic oil during a steering operation of a steering member. When the associated vehicle is running at a relatively low or medium speed and is not accelerating, and if an operational speed of the steering damper is lower than a predetermined value, damping force according to the first damping force characteristic can be generated in the steering damper. On the other hand, when the operational speed of the steering damper is equal to or higher than the predetermined value, damping force according to the second damping force characteristic can be generated in the steering damper.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2012
    Assignee: Yamaha Motor Hydraulic System Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Noboru Kamiya, Fujio Matsui
  • Patent number: RE44854
    Abstract: A three wheeled vehicle that has an improved dual front wheel integrated steering and suspension system that allows the vehicle to be maneuvered by a combination of arm and leg steering movements coupled with front end leaning that shifts the center of mass of the vehicle down and toward the inside wheel. This transfer of mass counteracts a conventional cornering vehicle's tendency to fling its mass to the outside wheel and lift the inner wheel off the ground as well as changing the angle of the line of force exerted through the tires, and enhancing the vehicles's grip on the ground. The vehicle has a reduced amount of sliding and potential of flipping when turning sharply. The steering system is compatible with traditional ACKERMAN steering geometry wherein the inner wheel turns in a smaller diameter circle than the outer wheel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2014
    Inventor: Laddie Gene Henderson