Electrostatic Patents (Class 310/309)
  • Patent number: 11454992
    Abstract: A flexure based guidance system for precision motion control includes a base that is fixed in position, a carriage that can move relative to the base, an actuator provides the force to move the carriage relative to the base, and one or more flexures arrays that each comprise two or more leaf flexure elements. The actuator causes the carriage to move relative to the base, which causes the flexure elements in the flexure array to flex. The leaf flexure elements are thin, compliant and deform, bend, or deflect in a deterministic manner when mechanically stressed. In some embodiments, stiffeners can be added to the flexures. The guidance system can be integrated into a varifocal head mounted display (HMD) to adjust a location of one or moveable elements in an optical system of the HMD to control a location of an image plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2022
    Assignee: Meta Platforms Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Clinton Smith, Ryan Michael Ebert
  • Patent number: 11421991
    Abstract: A yaw-rate sensor with a substrate having a main extension plane. The yaw-rate sensor includes a rotation-element assembly, the rotation-element assembly being designed for detecting yaw rates prevailing in a first main extension axis of the substrate and yaw rates prevailing in a second main extension axis of the substrate perpendicular to the first main extension axis. The yaw-rate sensor has a sensor assembly, the sensor assembly being designed for detecting a yaw rate prevailing perpendicular to the main extension plane of the substrate, both the sensor assembly and the rotation-element assembly being drivable with the aid of a drive assembly, the drive assembly being designed for driving movement along the first main extension axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2022
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Andreas Lassl, Burkhard Kuhlmann, Jan-Timo Liewald, Matthias Kuehnel, Niels Bode, Nils Felix Kuhlmann, Peter Degenfeld-Schonburg, Reinhard Neul
  • Patent number: 11408403
    Abstract: Disclosed are actuators containing an active layer comprising at least one metal hydroxide, the active layer having a first volume under no stimulation and a second volume either greater than or smaller than the first volume under stimulation; and a passive layer comprising a porous polymer membrane, the passive layer having an elastic modulus at least half of an elastic modulus of the active layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2022
    Assignee: THE UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG
    Inventors: Alfonso Hing Wan Ngan, Kin Wa Kwan, Runni Wu
  • Patent number: 11320718
    Abstract: A cantilever beam waveguide for a silicon photonics device may be formed in a device layer (e.g., a silicon device layer) of a silicon photonics device (e.g., a chip) and may be configured to bend to align the cantilever beam waveguide or a portion thereof with one or more additional components of the silicon photonics device or another device, including output couplers, optical sources, and waveguides.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2022
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Mohamed Mahmoud, Alfredo Bismuto, Mark Alan Arbore
  • Patent number: 11316445
    Abstract: An electrostatic energy harvester broadly comprises an electrical energy storage component, an electrical energy transfer stage, first and second variable capacitors, and a switching control module. The electrical energy transfer stage includes diode-connected transistors and dictates electrical energy transfer between the electrical energy storage component and the variable capacitors. The switching control module timely switches between the first and second variable capacitors according to a state machine. Subsequent electrical energy investments from the electrical energy storage component are less than an initial electrical energy investment due to remnant electrical energy remaining at the previously active one of the first and second variable capacitors from previous electrical energy harvesting.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2020
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2022
    Assignee: HONEYWELL FEDERAL MANUFACTURINGS TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
    Inventor: Amy Charlene Wilson
  • Patent number: 11305982
    Abstract: Systems and methods for forming an electrostatic MEMS plate switch include forming a deformable plate on a first substrate, forming the electrical contacts on a second substrate, and coupling the two substrates using a hermetic seal. A two-fold symmetric switch may be formed by a primary, secondary, and optionally tertiary set of voids formed in the movable plate. These voids may define the spring beams which provide a stable and reliable restoring force to the switch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2022
    Assignee: Innovative Micro Technology
    Inventors: Christopher S. Gudeman, Paul Rubel
  • Patent number: 11300778
    Abstract: A MEMS device includes a body pivoting around a pivot axis, a support, and a suspension structure mechanically coupling the body to the support. The suspension structure includes a torsion element defining the pivot axis, and first and second spring elements extending with an angle relative to the pivot axis on opposing sides of the torsion element so that a distance between at least portions of the first and second spring elements is changing in the direction of the pivot axis. The extension of the first and second spring elements in the direction of the pivot axis is larger than the extension of the torsion element in the direction of the pivot axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2022
    Inventors: Stephan Gerhard Albert, Franz Michael Darrer, Marcus Edward Hennecke, Hendrikus Van Lierop
  • Patent number: 11296671
    Abstract: A microelectromechanical system with at least one partly mobile mass element which is suspended from a fixed support by one or more suspension units. Each suspension unit comprises first springs which extend from the fixed support to the partly mobile mass element, and second springs which also extend from the fixed support to the partly mobile mass element. Each second spring is substantially parallel and adjacent to one first spring. The first springs are electrically isolated from the second springs, and the microelectromechanical system comprises a voltage source configured to apply a frequency tuning voltage between the one or more first springs and the one or more second springs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2022
    Assignee: MURATA MANUFACTURING CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Matti Liukku
  • Patent number: 11264920
    Abstract: The invention provides an energy generation system comprising a generator having charged mutually rotating plate elements, and comprising an integrated drive mechanism for precisely controlling a separation distance between the plates. The drive mechanism provides a separation which varies as a function of the speed of rotation, hence assimilating separation control within the natural operation of the device. Embodiments provide plates comprising self-generating bearings, both hydrodynamic gas and fluid bearings and centrifugal regulator solid bearings, the bearings providing a supporting force between the plates of a magnitude which increases as the rotational speed of the plates increases. Methods of energy generation are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2022
    Assignee: Koninklijke Philips N.V.
    Inventors: Steven Ernest Franklin, Lutz Christian Gerhardt, Willem Potze, Hans Kroes, Mark Thomas Johnson
  • Patent number: 11258375
    Abstract: A variable stiffening device that include a first electrode structure and a second electrode structure. The first electrode structure includes an electrode extension that extends into a cavity defined between an electrode of the first electrode structure and an opposing electrode of the second electrode structure. The first and second electrode structures may be arranged in a load-bearing state by applying a voltage thereto to electrostatically attract the electrode to the opposing electrode to press the electrode extension within the cavity. Friction between the electrode extension and engaging surfaces defining the cavity prevent the electrode extension from slipping within the cavity, thereby maintaining a structural relationship among the components of the first and second electrode structures in response to an application of a load to the variable stiffening device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2020
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2022
    Assignee: TOYOTA MOTOR ENGINEERING & MANUFACTURING NORTH AMERICA, INC.
    Inventors: Michael P. Rowe, Shardul S. Panwar
  • Patent number: 11247233
    Abstract: A vibration presentation device includes: an electrostatic or piezoelectric actuator; a first elastic body laminated on the actuator; a second elastic body laminated on the actuator on the opposite side to the first elastic body; an electrostatic or piezoelectric sensor disposed around the actuator; a cover that holds the first elastic body and the second elastic body such that the first elastic body and the second elastic body are compressed more than the actuator, the cover transmitting, when a pressing force in the laminate direction is applied to the cover from the outside, the pressing force to a sensor, and vibrating by vibration generated by the actuator; and a control device that drives the actuator when the sensor detects the pressing force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2019
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2022
    Assignee: Sumitomo Riko Company Limited
    Inventors: Katsuhiko Nakano, Takanori Murase, Hiroyuki Nakajima, Masaki Nasu
  • Patent number: 11251356
    Abstract: Provided is a combined actuator and sensor device having an electroactive polymer (EAP) structure (22) and a controller for generating drive signals applied to the EAP structure. The controller is adapted to superpose a small high-frequency AC sensing signal (34) on top of a larger actuation drive signal (32), the sensing signal having a frequency which resonates with the mechanical resonance frequency or anti-resonance frequency of the EAP structure. Application of mechanical loads to the device may be identified in changes in the impedance of the EAP structure, caused by damping of the mechanical resonance. In this way the device facilitates simultaneous sensing and actuation. A corresponding method of simultaneous sensing and actuation is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2022
    Assignee: KONINKLIJKE PHILIPS N.V.
    Inventors: Daan Anton Van Den Ende, Mark Thomas Johnson
  • Patent number: 11245322
    Abstract: A slide actuator according to the present invention includes: a fixed member; a movable member movable in a predetermined direction with respect to the fixed member; a wall portion of the fixed member disposed in a moving direction of the movable member; a plurality of balls interposed between the fixed member and the movable member and configured to movably support the movable member; a retainer configured to maintain a constant distance between the respective balls; a retainer spring connected between the wall portion and the retainer; and a movable portion spring connected between the movable member and the wall portion, in which the retainer spring is disposed so as to suppress a displacement of the retainer in the moving direction, and the movable portion spring is disposed so as to suppress a displacement of the movable member in the moving direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2020
    Date of Patent: February 8, 2022
    Assignee: OLYMPUS CORPORATION
    Inventor: Ken Ogata
  • Patent number: 11230471
    Abstract: A compound sensor device includes a semiconductor substrate having an active electronic circuit formed in or on the semiconductor substrate. A sensor including a sensor substrate including a sensor circuit having an environmental sensor or actuator formed in or on the sensor substrate is micro-transfer printed onto the semiconductor substrate. One or more electrical conductors electrically connect the active electronic circuit to the sensor circuit. The semiconductor substrate includes a first material and the sensor substrate includes a second material different from the first material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2022
    Assignee: X-Celeprint Limited
    Inventor: Ronald S. Cok
  • Patent number: 11205972
    Abstract: A mechanical system is provided for maintaining a desired gap between a stator electrode array and a rotor electrode array by employing repelling magnets on the inner surface of the rotor and on movable carts that support azimuthally segmented stator arrays.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2019
    Date of Patent: December 21, 2021
    Assignee: Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC
    Inventor: Richard F. Post
  • Patent number: 11193771
    Abstract: Columnar multi-axis microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices (such as gyroscopes) balanced against undesired linear and angular vibration are described herein. In some embodiments, the columnar MEMS device may comprise at least two multiple-mass columns, each having at least three proof masses and being configured to sense rotation about a respective axis. The motion and mass of the proof masses may be controlled to achieve linear and rotational balancing of the MEMS device. The columnar MEMS device may further comprise one or more modular drive structures disposed alongside each multiple-mass column to facilitate displacement of the proof masses of a respective column. The MEMS devices described herein may be used to sense roll, yaw, and pitch angular rates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2020
    Date of Patent: December 7, 2021
    Assignee: Analog Devices, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey A. Gregory, Charles Blackmer, Tyler Adam Dunn, Eugene Oh Hwang, Jinbo Kuang, Kemiao Jia, Laura Cornelia Popa, Igor P. Prikhodko, Erdinc Tatar
  • Patent number: 11167980
    Abstract: Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) structures, methods of manufacture and design structures are disclosed. The method includes forming a Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) beam structure by venting both tungsten material and silicon material above and below the MEMS beam to form an upper cavity above the MEMS beam and a lower cavity structure below the MEMS beam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2021
    Assignee: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Michael T. Brigham, Christopher V. Jahnes, Cameron E. Luce, Jeffrey C. Maling, William J. Murphy, Anthony K. Stamper, Eric J. White
  • Patent number: 11159105
    Abstract: A microrobot is disclosed. The microrobot includes a magnet configured to provide a motive force when magnetic force of one or more electrical coils act upon the magnet, a support member coupled to the magnet, a thermo-responsive polymer member coupled to each end of the support member at a proximal end, the thermo-responsive polymer member configured to articulate when heated, wherein the thermo-responsive polymer members configured to receive light from a microrobot structured light system and convert the received light into heat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2021
    Assignee: Purdue Research Foundation
    Inventors: David J. Cappelleri, Maria Guix Noguera, Song Zhang
  • Patent number: 11152793
    Abstract: A resonant transformer connected between a ground terminal and elevated terminal draws current from the earth's electric field through a primary winding of the transformer. An impulse generator applies a high voltage impulse to the primary winding of the resonant transformer to cause current to flow from the ground terminal through the primary winding. The flow of current through the primary winding of the resonant transformer induces a current in the secondary winding, which may be converted and filtered to a usable form, e.g. 60 Hz AC or DC.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2019
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2021
    Assignee: EARTH ENERGIES, INC.
    Inventors: John Dinwiddie, Terry L. Wright, David R. Ames
  • Patent number: 11144011
    Abstract: A component of a winding device, in particular an automatic winding device, of a timepiece movement, wherein it is made of austenitic stainless steel and wherein it comprises at least one friction surface hardened by carbon or nitrogen type atoms introduced into the austenitic stainless steel over a predetermined depth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 12, 2021
    Assignee: ROLEX SA
    Inventors: Sergio de Almeida Graça, Vannina Linck
  • Patent number: 11146240
    Abstract: A micromechanical resonator includes a support beam having a fixed end, and a free end configured to vibrate. The micromechanical resonator includes a lumped mass disposed on the free end. A height of the lumped mass is greater than a width of the lumped mass.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2020
    Date of Patent: October 12, 2021
    Assignee: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Yongseop Yoon, Sungchan Kang, Cheheung Kim, Choongho Rhee
  • Patent number: 11134334
    Abstract: A sounding device, a manufacturing method thereof and a display device are provided. The sounding device includes at least two sounding units. Each of the sounding units includes: a transparent structural layer, including a recess and a supporting member located around the recess; and a piezoelectric vibrating film covering the recess, a cavity is formed by the piezoelectric vibrating film and the supporting member. The piezoelectric vibrating film includes a base film covering the recess; and at least one piezoelectric structure located on a side of the cavity away from the transparent structural layer. Each of the at least one piezoelectric structure includes: a first electrode; a piezoelectric material layer located on a side of the first electrode away from the cavity; and a second electrode located on a side of the piezoelectric material layer away from the first electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 28, 2021
    Assignee: BOE TECHNOLOGY GROUP CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Yanling Han, Xue Dong, Haisheng Wang, Yingming Liu, Lijun Zhao, Chenyang Zhang, Peixiao Li, Yuzhen Guo, Xiufeng Li
  • Patent number: 11124411
    Abstract: Shock-resistant MEMS structures are disclosed. In one implementation, a motion control flexure for a MEMS device includes: a rod including a first and second end, wherein the rod is tapered along its length such that it is widest at its center and thinnest at its ends; a first hinge directly coupled to the first end of the rod; and a second hinge directly coupled to the second of the rod. In another implementation, a conductive cantilever for a MEMS device includes: a curved center portion includes a first and second end, wherein the center portion has a point of inflection; a first root coupled to the first end of the center portion; and a second root coupled to the second end of the center portion. In yet another implementation, a shock stop for a MEMS device is described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2021
    Assignee: MEMS Drive (Nanjing) Co., Ltd
    Inventors: Gerardo Morabito, Xiaolei Liu, Guiqin Wang, Roman Gutierrez, Matthew Ng
  • Patent number: 11114951
    Abstract: An electrostatic machine includes a drive electrode and a stator electrode. The drive electrode and the stator electrode are separated by a gap and form a capacitor. The drive electrode is configured to move with respect to the stator electrode. The electrostatic machine further includes a housing configured to enclose the drive electrode and the stator electrode. The stator electrode is fixed to the housing. The electrostatic machine also includes a dielectric fluid that fills a void defined by the housing, the drive electrode, and the stator electrode. The dielectric fluid includes an ester.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2021
    Assignee: C-Motive Technologies Inc.
    Inventors: Graham T. Reitz, William D. Butrymowicz, Justin K Reed, Daniel C. Ludois
  • Patent number: 11108343
    Abstract: A flexible and soft smart driving device comprises a flexible frame, a driving mechanism and a creeping structure. The driving mechanism uses an intrinsic strain of an intelligent soft material to generate a driving force. A creeping structure is used to implement autonomous activities of the flexible and soft smart driving device. The driving mechanism and the creeping structure are attached to the flexible frame. The driving mechanism generates the driving force by contraction and relaxation of a driving membrane. The flexible and soft smart driving device is made from flexible materials and has advantages of good creeping speed, flexible control, small noise and high human body compatibility.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2021
    Assignee: ZHEJIANG UNIVERSITY
    Inventors: Tiefeng Li, Zhanan Zou, Chi Li, Guoyong Mao, Xuxu Yang, Zhipeng Zhai, Shaoxing Qu
  • Patent number: 11104570
    Abstract: Caging structures are disclosed for caging or otherwise reducing the mechanical shock pulse experienced by MEMS device beam structures during events that may cause mechanical shock to the MEMS device. The caging structures at least partially surround the beam such that they limit the motion of the beam in a direction perpendicular to the beam's longitudinal axis, thereby reducing stress on the beam during a mechanical shock event. The caging structures may be used in combination with mechanical shock-resistant beams.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2021
    Assignee: MEMS Drive (Nanjing) Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Xiaolei Liu, Matthew Ng, Robert Calvet, Gerardo Morabito
  • Patent number: 11105630
    Abstract: This disclosure describes a multiaxis gyroscope comprising a first proof mass quartet centered around a first quartet center point and a second proof mass quartet centered around a second quartet center point. In the primary oscillation mode all masses in each proof mass quartet move simultaneously either radially toward and away from the corresponding quartet center point, or in the same tangential direction in relation to the corresponding quartet center point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2021
    Assignee: MURATA MANUFACTURING CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Heikki Kuisma, Anssi Blomqvist, Ville-Pekka Rytkönen
  • Patent number: 11101746
    Abstract: Embodiments of the disclosure provide a comb drive, a comb drive system, and a method of operating the comb drive to rotate bi-directionally in a MEMS environment. An exemplary comb drive system may include a comb drive, at least one power source, and a controller. The comb drive may include a stator comb having a first electrically conductive layer spaced apart from a second electrically conductive layer. The comb drive may also include a rotor comb having a first electrically conductive layer spaced apart from a second electrically conductive layer. The controller may be configured to apply first and second voltage levels having opposite polarities to the first and second electrically conductive layers of the rotor comb, respectively. The controller may also be configured to apply an intermediate voltage level to one of the first or second electrically conductive layers of the stator comb.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2021
    Assignee: BEIJING VOYAGER TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Qin Zhou, Youmin Wang, Yue Lu, Lingkai Kong
  • Patent number: 11092801
    Abstract: A lever is used to rotate a microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) mirror. The lever can be used to provide more torque from a vertical comb drive. The MEMS mirror can be part of an array of micro mirrors used for beam steering a laser in a Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) system for an autonomous vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2021
    Assignee: Beijing Voyager Technology Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Qin Zhou, Youmin Wang
  • Patent number: 11081932
    Abstract: Robust electro-static (ES) device embodiments, with application to energy storage flywheels as an example, are described that provide reliable, high-efficiency operation in the presence of thermal and mechanical perturbations, as well as seismic events. Electro-static generators and motors, when augmented with magnetic bearings, passive three-dimensional stabilization techniques and dynamic touch-down bearings, enable robust performance in the face of these environmental concerns, as well as efficient operation during typical operational sequences, including spin-up and steady-state modalities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2021
    Assignee: Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC
    Inventor: Richard F. Post
  • Patent number: 11081976
    Abstract: A dielectric elastomer transducer includes a dielectric elastomer function element having a dielectric elastomer layer and a pair of electrode layers between which the dielectric elastomer function element is interposed, and further includes a supporting body that supports the dielectric elastomer function element. Each of the electrode layers has one or more application regions. The dielectric elastomer function element has one or more function portions on which the application regions of the electrode layers are overlapped. The function portion is spaced away from the supporting body. With such a configuration, it is possible to avoid damaging the electrode layer and acquire a sufficient amount of expansion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2021
    Assignee: AISIN AW CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Seiki Chiba, Mikio Waki
  • Patent number: 11060866
    Abstract: A microelectromechanical gyroscope comprises a first proof mass quartet centred around a first quartet center point and a second proof mass quartet centred around a second quartet center point. The gyroscope comprises a suspension arrangement configured to accommodate the primary and secondary oscillating motion of the first and second proof mass quartets. The suspension arrangement comprises a first synchronization frame and a second synchronization frame. Each synchronization frame surrounds the corresponding proof mass quartet, and each proof mass is coupled to the surrounding synchronization frame with one or more frame suspension springs. The gyroscope also comprises a lateral synchronization spring which extends from the first proof mass quartet to the second proof mass quartet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2020
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2021
    Assignee: MURATA MANUFACTURING CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Anssi Blomqvist, Ville-Pekka Rytkönen
  • Patent number: 11039262
    Abstract: Provided are a directional acoustic sensor that detects a direction of sound, a method of detecting a direction of sound, and an electronic device including the directional acoustic sensor. The directional acoustic sensor includes a sound inlet through which a sound is received, a sound outlet through which the sound received through the sound inlet is output, and a plurality of vibration bodies arranged between the sound inlet and the sound outlet, in which one or more of the plurality of vibration bodies selectively react to the sound received by the sound inlet according to a direction of the received sound.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2021
    Assignee: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Cheheung Kim, Sungchan Kang, Yongseop Yoon, Choongho Rhee, Sangha Park, Hyeokki Hong
  • Patent number: 11029512
    Abstract: Examples are disclosed that relate to scanning display systems. One example provides a display device comprising a controller, a light source, and a scanning mirror system. The scanning mirror system comprises a scanning mirror configured to scan light from the light source in at least one direction at a resonant frequency of the scanning mirror, and an electromechanical actuator system coupled with the scanning mirror and being controllable by the controller to adjust the resonant frequency of the scanning mirror.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2021
    Assignee: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: Mark Alan Champion, Utku Baran, Joshua Owen Miller, Wyatt Owen Davis, Gregory Theodore Gibson
  • Patent number: 11022679
    Abstract: In one embodiment, an apparatus includes a first stage and a second stage. The first stage may include a gated-light valve (GLV) that is operable to receive a light beam from a light source and direct the light beam along one dimension to discrete input locations of a second stage. The second stage may be operable to receive the light beam from the first stage at the discrete input locations along the one dimension and direct the light beam through two dimensions to discrete output locations of the second stage to scan a three-dimensional space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2021
    Assignee: Lyft, Inc.
    Inventors: Farzad Cyrus Foroughi Abari, Nathan Rolander, Romain Clément
  • Patent number: 10960182
    Abstract: The disclosure provides a flexible, narrow medical device (such as a micro-catheter or a guidewire) that is controllably moved and steered through lumens of a body. The medical device may include an electrically-actuatable bendable portion at a distal end, which may be provided by a polymer electrolyte layer, electrodes distributed about the polymer electrolyte layer, and electrical conduits coupled to the electrodes, such that the polymer electrolyte layer deforms asymmetrically in response to an electrical signal through one or more conduits. The disclosure further includes a controller for moving the device into and out of bodily lumens and for applying the electrical signal for steering the device. The device further includes methods of preparing the polymer electrolyte layer in tubular shape.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2021
    Assignee: BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SYSTEM
    Inventors: Daniel H. Kim, Dong Suk Shin, Viljar Palmre
  • Patent number: 10958192
    Abstract: An energy conversion system comprises a generator which generates electrical power in response to movement, wherein the generator comprises first and second elements which generate energy in an energy generation mode. In some examples, these can be brought into and out of contact with each other by a drive mechanism so that the energy conversion system has an (e.g.) intermittent charging mode in which the first and second 5 elements are brought into contact by the drive mechanism and an energy generation mode in which the first and second elements are out of contact. The relative speed, the spacing between, or the relative orientations or positions of the first and second elements are controlled during the energy generation mode to decrease the variation in output power or voltage of the generator. This system controls the physical positions or the motion of the 10 elements of the generator during the energy generation mode in order to implement a more constant power or voltage generation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2021
    Assignee: Koninklijke Philips N.V.
    Inventors: Neil Francis Joye, Mark Thomas Johnson, Hans Kroes, Lutz Christian Gerhardt, Michiel van Lierop
  • Patent number: 10948688
    Abstract: Optical circuit switches have gained increased prominence in data centers in recent years given their ability to rapidly forward optical data signals without first converting those signals back into the electrical domain. Certain optical circuit switches are implemented using one or more arrays of single-axis or dual-axis gimballed micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) (MEMS) mirrors, whose orientations can be adjusted to direct light from an input port of the switch to a desired output port of the switch. Systems and methods according to the present disclosure relate to a microelectromechanical system (MEMS) mirror assembly with crack protection features such as a plurality of nibbles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2021
    Assignee: Google LLC
    Inventor: Kevin Y. Yasumura
  • Patent number: 10951134
    Abstract: A repulsive-force electrostatic actuator includes a first actuator layer including a first substrate, a first electrode pattern, and a second electrode pattern. The actuator includes a second actuator layer spaced apart from the first actuator layer that includes a second substrate, a third electrode pattern, and a fourth electrode pattern. The actuator includes a voltage source connected to the first, second, third, and fourth electrode patterns such that the first electrode pattern is at an opposite voltage relative to the second, the third electrode pattern is at an opposite voltage relative to the fourth, and the first and second actuator layers are arranged to have a repulsive electrostatic force therebetween. The actuator further includes an actuator frame connected to the first and second actuator layers such that at least a portion of at least one of the first and second actuator layers is movable due to an applied voltage to effect motion to an object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2021
    Assignee: The Regents of the University of California
    Inventors: Ronald S. Fearing, Ethan W. Schaler
  • Patent number: 10951133
    Abstract: A repulsive-attractive-force electrostatic actuator according to some embodiments of the invention includes a first actuator layer including a first substrate, a first electrode pattern, and a second electrode pattern. The actuator further includes a second actuator layer including a second substrate, a third electrode pattern, and a fourth electrode pattern. The actuator further includes a first voltage source connected to the first and second electrode patterns such that the first electrode pattern is at a relative voltage of V1 to the second electrode pattern, and a second voltage source connected to the third and fourth electrode patterns such that the third electrode pattern is at a relative voltage of V2 to the fourth electrode pattern. The applied relative voltages V1 and V2 are selectable to provide one of a selected repulsive force or a selected attractive force between the first and second actuator layers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2021
    Assignee: The Regents of The University of California
    Inventors: Ethan Weber Schaler, Ronald S. Fearing
  • Patent number: 10951132
    Abstract: An electrostatic rotating electrical machine employs axially extending electrically conductive electrodes on a rotor interacting with a corresponding set of axially extending electrodes on a stator, where the electrodes are supported at an outer surface of a dielectric sleeve which continues beneath the electrodes to provide a robust support and to minimize electrode weight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2021
    Assignee: Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation
    Inventors: Baoyun Ge, Daniel Colin Ludois
  • Patent number: 10931208
    Abstract: There are provided a plurality of first electrode plates in each of which an adhesive is applied on one surface in a first pattern, and a plurality of second electrode plates in each of which the adhesive is applied on one surface in a second pattern which is different from the first pattern, in which the plurality of first electrode plates and the plurality of second electrode plates are alternately stacked without causing the surfaces on which the adhesive is applied to face each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2021
    Assignee: STRAWB INC.
    Inventors: Keiji Saneyoshi, Masatoshi Nakata
  • Patent number: 10930408
    Abstract: A triboluminescence isotope battery can include a housing defining a chamber, and one or more energy conversion devices. Each energy conversion device can include a holder, a cantilever beam, a triboluminescence component, a first photoelectric conversion component, a radioactive source, a first charge collecting component, a second charge collecting, a first thermoelectric conversion component, and a heat dissipation component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2019
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2021
    Assignee: SOUTH UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY OF CHINA
    Inventors: Jiaqing He, Yi Zhou, Delong Li, Qing Lou
  • Patent number: 10908361
    Abstract: An apparatus for driving and position sensing in a comb-drive actuator includes a generator, a driver circuit, sensing circuitry, and signal processing circuitry. The generator is configured to apply a sensing-voltage to a first electrode of the comb-drive actuator. The driver circuit is configured to apply a drive-voltage to a second electrode of the comb-drive actuator, having an opposite polarity relative to the first electrode. The sensing circuitry is configured to measure at the second electrode a sensed-waveform resulting from the sensing-voltage applied to the first electrode. The signal processing circuitry is configured to estimate a position of the first electrode relative to the second electrode based on the sensed-waveform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 2, 2021
    Assignee: APPLE INC.
    Inventors: Sebastian Fluegel, Andrew J. Sutton, Bryce T Bradford, Yuval Gerson
  • Patent number: 10868479
    Abstract: A harvesting and scavenging circuit includes an inverse electrowetting harvesting and scavenging circuit including a moveable mass with a moveable electrode that is moveable in three-dimensions relative to a second electrode having a first insulating layer covering a surface of the second electrode. A conductive fluid positioned between the first insulating layer and the moveable electrode. A magnetic energy harvesting and scavenging circuit includes at least one permanent magnetic segment on the movable mass and at least one energy harvesting and scavenging coil positioned proximate the moveable mass. Energy harvesting and scavenging circuitry is electrically coupled to the moveable electrode and the second electrode and is coupled to the at least one energy harvesting and scavenging coil. The energy harvesting and scavenging circuitry provides electrical energy generated through reverse electrowetting and magnetic energy stored in the at least one energy harvesting and scavenging coil.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 15, 2020
    Assignee: STMICROELECTRONICS S.r.l.
    Inventors: Sara Loi, Alberto Pagani
  • Patent number: 10855204
    Abstract: An electrostatic induction type power generation element is capable of increasing the amount of generated power while suppressing a parasitic capacitance between electrodes between which induced electromotive force is generated. An electrostatic induction type power generation element in one embodiment includes: substrates which are opposed to each other and which move relative to each other in a direction parallel to the opposing surfaces of the substrates; a charge retaining unit and conductors which are respectively formed on the opposing surfaces of the substrates; and a substance which is interposed between the substrates opposed to each other and between the charge retaining unit and the conductors, and which has an anisotropic dielectric constant in which a relative dielectric constant in the direction parallel to the opposing surfaces is higher than a relative dielectric constant in a direction orthogonal to the opposing surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2020
    Assignee: THE UNIVERSITY OF TOKYO
    Inventors: Yuji Suzuki, Takashi Kato
  • Patent number: 10843305
    Abstract: An adaptive bending structure or insert for a lapping device is disclosed. In illustrated embodiments the bending structure provides a wider control width between bending nodes for imparting bending to a workpiece for lapping or longer beam length to increase stroke input at outer ends of the bending structure. In illustrated embodiments, outer bending fingers of the bending structure have a wider width than inner bending fingers to provide the wider control width of the adaptive bending structure. The wider bending fingers of the bending structure connect to actuator fingers of an actuator module to adapt the actuator module to provide an increased control width for controlling bow and curvature of the workpiece during the lapping process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2020
    Assignee: SEAGATE TECHNOLOGY LLC
    Inventors: Hew Peng Koon, Ooi Ee Lee, Yuhong Xiong, Loh Soo Chun
  • Patent number: 10845380
    Abstract: Embodiments of the invention include a microelectronic device having a sensing device and methods of forming the sensing device. In an embodiment, the sensing device includes a mass and a plurality of beams to suspend the mass. Each beam comprises first and second conductive layers and an insulating layer positioned between the first and second conductive layers to electrically isolate the first and second conductive layers. The first conductive layer is associated with drive signals and the second conductive layer is associated with sense signals of the sensing device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2020
    Assignee: Intel Corporation
    Inventors: Feras Eid, Henning Braunisch, Georgios C. Dogiamis, Sasha N. Oster
  • Patent number: 10840826
    Abstract: Provided is an electromechanical transducer including a lightweight and impact-resistant movable member. The electromechanical transducer using electrostatic interaction between charged portions and opposing electrodes to convert between electric power and motive power includes: a movable member having first electrodes and first grooves in a first surface thereof and having second grooves in a second surface opposite to the first surface; and a fixed substrate having second electrodes and facing the first surface of the movable member. One of the first electrodes and the second electrodes are charged portions carrying electrostatic charge while the other of the first electrodes and the second electrodes are opposing electrodes facing the charged portions. The first and second electrodes are each disposed at intervals in a moving direction of the movable member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2020
    Assignee: CITIZEN WATCH CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Tomoo Ikeda
  • Patent number: 10833607
    Abstract: An electret element includes: an Si layer, an SiO2 layer formed at a surface of the Si layer; and an electret formed at the SiO2 layer near an interface of the SiO2 layer and the Si layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2020
    Assignees: The University of Tokyo, Saginomiya Seisakusho, Inc.
    Inventors: Hiroyuki Fujita, Gen Hashiguchi, Hisayuki Ashizawa, Hiroyuki Mitsuya, Kazunori Ishibashi