Limit-of-travel Control Means Patents (Class 318/468)
  • Patent number: 7071647
    Abstract: A navigation apparatus has a movable face that is allowed to move bidirectionally between a retracted state and an extended state. A range of movement of the movable face is divided at a predetermined position, so that the movement of the movable face has an initial extending stage or initial retracting stage, and a stage subsequent to the initial extending stage or initial retracting stage. A controlling system for driving and controlling the movable face moves the movable face at a lower speed in the subsequent stage than in the initial extending stage or initial retracting stage. Furthermore, a hazard detecting time for the subsequent stage is chosen to be shorter than a hazard detecting time for the initial extending stage or initial retracting stage. Accordingly, the movable face is moved quickly and smoothly in the initial stage while improving safety in the subsequent stage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2006
    Assignee: Alpine Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Seiji Shike, Shoji Suzuki, Naotoshi Endoh
  • Patent number: 7071644
    Abstract: An automotive power pivot door is powered by an electric motor through an electromagnetic clutch. A control device of the door has a control unit configured to carry out a routine which comprises de-energizing an electric motor and disengaging the clutch when the door is lifted up to a full-open position; detecting a moved distance by which the door moves down from the full-open position within a first predetermined time (t1) from the time on which the clutch is disengaged; engaging the clutch when the detected moved distance is equal to or greater than a first predetermined distance (L1); disengaging the clutch again when a second predetermined time (t2) passes from the time on which the clutch is engaged; repeating the process for engaging and disengaging the clutch while following the routine; and judging that the holder fails to operate when the frequency of the engaged condition of the clutch indicates a predetermined frequency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2006
    Assignee: Ohi Seisakusho Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Osamu Kawanobe
  • Patent number: 7067996
    Abstract: In an automotive power window system, a controller detects positions of a window glass that moves through driving operation of a motor during the closing operation of a window. The controller reduces a rotation speed of the motor when the window glass reaches a speed altering position. It calculates the amount of reduction in the rotation speed produced by the rotation speed reducing operation. Then, it corrects a rotation speed obtained during the closing operation by compensating for the amount of reduction. It determines whether an obstruction for the closing operation is present based on the corrected rotation speed. If the obstruction is detected, it controls the motor for releasing the obstruction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2006
    Assignee: Asmo Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Motoya Yamamoto
  • Patent number: 7061197
    Abstract: A system for moving a barrier between limit positions, includes an operator motor assembly mounted proximate to the barrier, wherein at least a portion of the motor assembly is movable between an operating position and a locking position with the motor assembly blocking movement of the barrier. A bias assembly biases the motor assembly in the operating position and allows the motor assembly to move toward the locking position when either a predetermined force overcomes a biasing force or when the barrier is moved to a closed limit position or when forced entry is imposed on the barrier. The biasing force may be adjusted by moving posts on the motor assembly that are engaged by the bias assembly. A disengagement feature may also be provided that allows pivotable movement of the motor assembly even when in a locking position. And the pivoting motor assembly may be used as a secondary entrapment input to an operator controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2006
    Assignee: Wayne-Dalton Corp.
    Inventors: Willis J. Mullet, Albert W. Mitchell, David B. Davies, Paul J. VanDrunen, James S. Murray, Derek S. Paquette, Michael Cognevich
  • Patent number: 7057519
    Abstract: A movable barrier operator having a microprocessor (10) or other programmable platform will automatically work in a safe and appropriate manner both with and without safe-operation sensors (13). Once a safe-operation sensor is detected, the operator will thereafter function in a fashion that requires the continued presence of such sensor. In one embodiment, the operator state can be purposely reset to the initial operating state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2006
    Assignee: The Chamberlain Group, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert Study, Eric Robb, William Gioia, David Stafford
  • Patent number: 7042183
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for controlling the speed of an A.C. induction motor are disclosed and shown in operation for controlling the movement of a barrier. Included are voltage configuration circuits which selectively gate portions of the half-cycles of AC mains voltage to the induction motor. When the motor is started increasing amounts of mains AC voltage is applied to the motor and decreasing portions of the mains AC are applied to the motor during a stopping routine. The motor can also be energized with less than full mains AC to permit differences in barrier movement speed dependent on operating parameters.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2006
    Assignee: The Chamberlain Group, Inc.
    Inventors: James J. Fitzgibbon, Robert Keller, Edward Laird
  • Patent number: 7038414
    Abstract: An anti-pitch assembly is used in combination with a closure device of a motor vehicle. The closure device includes a closure panel, i.e., a windowpane or door, and a motor for moving the closure panel between an open position and a closed position. In the closed position, the closure panel covers an aperture, i.e., a window or door opening, of the motor vehicle. The anti-pinch assembly includes a position sensor that is disposed adjacent the motor or the closure device. The position sensor generates a position signal indicative of the position of the closure panel. A capacitive sensor measures the capacitance of a field extending through the aperture. The capacitive sensor generates a signal therefrom. A controller is electrically connected to the position and capacitive sensors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2006
    Assignee: Atoma International Corp.
    Inventors: Andrew R. Daniels, Thomas P. Frommer, Mirko Pribisic
  • Patent number: 7038409
    Abstract: An operating system which utilizes a multi-functional wall station for a motorized barrier includes an operator for controlling movement of a barrier between various positions. The operator may receive signals from a wireless or wired wall station transmitter, a wireless keyless entry device and/or a portable remote transmitter device. The multi-function wall station also provides for an operational selection wherein the door may be closed in a normal manner; by an auto-close/delay-open feature, wherein the door closes after a predetermined period of time; or a RF block mode, wherein the station prevents transmission of any remote radio frequency signals to the operating system. The delay-open feature is initiated by actuating a delay switch when the barrier is in a closed position. After a predetermined period of time the operator moves the barrier to an open position. The predetermined period of time is user adjustable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2006
    Assignee: Wayne-Dalton Corp.
    Inventor: Willis J. Mullet
  • Patent number: 7034488
    Abstract: A barrier movement operator is having a position sensor in a telescoping barrier control arm is described. A controller, remote from the arm, senses the barrier position to identify limits of barrier travel and to control rate of travel of the barrier between limits. The operator includes both optical and edge sensor obstruction detectors and is responsive to wireless communication for receiving user initiated command signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2006
    Assignee: The Chamberlain Group, Inc.
    Inventors: Eric Robb, Richard Hill, William Gioia, Edward Kukulski
  • Patent number: 7034487
    Abstract: A barrier operator includes a drive motor and a controller for causing the motor to move the barrier between open and closed positions and for monitoring parameters related to forces acting on the barrier during movement thereof. If no external entrapment device is connected to the controller, the controller automatically sets maximum control limit values which will effect stopping or reversing of the motor if an obstruction is encountered by the barrier. If an external entrapment device is connected to the controller, the controller requires a user to set the control limit values at least for movement of the barrier from an open position to a closed position. Audio or visual signal indicators associated with the controller alert the user to the requirement to set the control limits before the operator will effect movement of the barrier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2006
    Assignee: Overhead Door Corporation
    Inventors: Larry D. Murphy, Ulrich Theile
  • Patent number: 7023162
    Abstract: A barrier movement operator is having a position sensor in a telescoping barrier control arm is described. A controller, remote from the arm, senses the barrier position to identify limits of barrier travel and to control rate of travel of the barrier between limits. The operator includes both optical and edge sensor obstruction detectors and is responsive to wireless communication for receiving user initiated command signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2006
    Assignee: The Chamberlain Group, Inc.
    Inventors: Eric Robb, Richard Hill, William Gioia, Edward Kukulski
  • Patent number: 7019477
    Abstract: A method for controlling a wiper motor of a wiper device for a motor vehicle windshield. A control unit implements the inventive method and a wiper device for a motor vehicle windshield. The control unit controls an electric motor which powers a wiper blade on a windshield sweeping between two end-of-travel zones. In each end-of-travel zone, there is a software end-of-travel stop which is moved by a predetermined value after each passage on the software stop, the latter always remaining in its test zone, thereby providing self-adaptation of the sweeping limits in time. The invention also enables the detection of the presence of obstacles on the wiper blade path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2006
    Assignee: Valeo Systemes d'Essuyage
    Inventors: Eric Hospital, James Jackson
  • Patent number: 7019478
    Abstract: A movable barrier operator having a motor controller (10) and motor (11) that control selective movement of a movable barrier (12) also has an obstacle detector (14) that utilizes an automatically determined excess force threshold value to permit reliable detection of an obstacle under a wide variety of operational circumstances, including changing physical circumstances, aging components, temperature variations, and motor runtime. In a preferred embodiment, a characteristic force value for the system is frequently updated as a function of actual measured force requirements (and further compensated, pursuant to various embodiments, with respect to other conditions such as temperature and motor runtime). This characteristic force value is then utilized to determine the excess force threshold value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2006
    Assignee: The Chamberlain Group, Inc.
    Inventors: Eric M. Gregori, Matthew C. Stephan, James J. Fitzgibbon, Carlos Jurado, Robert R. Keller, Jr., Colin Willmott
  • Patent number: 7015669
    Abstract: A drive apparatus for an opening/closing body for a vehicle includes a drive unit including a rotational drive apparatus, a reduction gear mechanism linked with a rotational shaft of the rotational drive apparatus, and an output member linked with the rotational shaft through the reduction gear mechanism and linked with the opening/closing body through a connection member, a first pulse signal generator provided at the drive unit and generating a first pulse signal on the basis of a rotation of the rotational shaft, a second pulse signal generator provided at the drive unit and generating a second pulse signal on the basis of a rotation of either one of the reduction gear mechanism and the output member, and a control means for calculating an opening/closing position of the opening/closing body on the basis of the first pulse signal emitted by the first pulse signal generator utilizing the second pulse signal emitted by the second pulse signal generator as a base point and controlling the rotational drive app
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2006
    Assignee: Aisin Seiki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Youji Nagashima, Kenji Maeta, Naoto Kamioku, Kouji Suzuki
  • Patent number: 7002309
    Abstract: A power window driving apparatus includes a reference current generator generating a reference current. The reference current generator includes a first current generator generating a first current, a first comparison signal, and a second comparison signal, a reference voltage generator generating a reference voltage signal, and a second current generator generating a second current. The power window driving apparatus includes a comparator which includes the first comparison signal with the reference voltage signal, a driving controller which stops or reverses the driving motor when a drastic increase is occur in the motor current based on a result of a comparison by the comparator, and a current increaser which increases an amount of the second current when the motor current is drastically decreased from a steady state, so that an increase in the first current is suppressed when the motor current is shifted from the drastically decrease to an increase.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2004
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2006
    Assignee: Yazaki Corporation
    Inventor: Shunzou Ohshima
  • Patent number: 6993423
    Abstract: A method for adjusting a plurality of vehicle cockpit devices via a two-part process that utilizes device position constraints to determine candidate arrangements and then, ultimately, recommended arrangements of the vehicle cockpit devices to determine a desired setting of the various devices. The position constraints are determined using positioning data obtained from an occupant. An exploratory search routine is used to determine the candidate arrangements with the cockpit devices being moved to each candidate arrangement so that the occupant can be queried concerning the desirability of each such arrangement. The occupant's responses are then stored for later retrieval. Thereafter, a plurality of recommended arrangements of the cockpit devices are determined using a meta-heuristic pattern search along with a neural network search accelerator that permits screening of each recommended arrangement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2006
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Robert R. Inman, Robin Stevenson, Clark E McCall
  • Patent number: 6972538
    Abstract: The control device includes a switch (12) controlling the power supply to the motor and an actuator which actuates this switch by rotatably reacting against the moving object being restrained so as to cause said switch to be opened and to cut off the power supply to the motor. This actuator consists of a bistable mechanical device (11) capable of taking up a first state in which the switch (12) is closed and a second state in which the switch is open. The actuating device also comprises exclusively manual means, such as a cable (17) for putting the actuating device into its first state, this device being brought into its second state by reacting against the moving object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2005
    Assignee: Somfy
    Inventors: Norbert Guy Dupielet, Didier Maurice Menetrier
  • Patent number: 6972575
    Abstract: A capacitive sensor (30) for use with a automotive vehicle (200) having a power sliding door (202) has a flexible housing (44). The housing (44) has a first set of electrodes (12) and a second set of electrodes (14) interdigitally spaced from each other and a ground electrode (15) made from a flexible metallic braid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2005
    Assignee: Delphi Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: David K. Lambert, Larry M. Oberdier, Ronald H. Haag, Jeremy M. Husic, Neil R. Aukland
  • Patent number: 6954043
    Abstract: A power window driving apparatus includes a reference current generator which generates a reference current corresponding to a motor current. The power window driving apparatus further includes a comparator which compares the reference voltage with a comparison signal; a stopping or reversing circuit which stops or reverses the driving motor based on a comparison result by the comparator; a first timer and a second timer which measure two predetermined times from the start of activation of the driving motor; a voltage difference holder which hold a difference between the comparison signal and the reference voltage so as to be equal to or greater than a first predetermined value while the first timer is in operation; and a voltage difference reducer which reduces monotonously the difference until the difference becomes a second predetermined value while the second timer is in operation after the first timer is completed the measuring of time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2005
    Assignee: Yazaki Corporation
    Inventor: Shunzou Ohshima
  • Patent number: 6952087
    Abstract: In the method of controlling a process for moving a part (20) by an electric motor (12) against an end stop, pinching events are detected by monitoring a motor operating variable, such as a motor rpm, and if pinching is detected the motor (12) is stopped and/or reversed. The electric power triggering the motor (12) at the start of and during a startup phase while system slack is taken up is controlled so that it is constant and lower than the power triggering the motor in an ensuing operating phase (54) in which the part (20) moves. Preferably power during the startup phase is reduced to power values that are just barely enough to move the motor while system slack is taken up. In a preferred embodiment the applied motor voltage is reduced and controlled by a power end stage that includes a bipolar transistor or a field effect transistor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2005
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventor: Hubert Lamm
  • Patent number: 6946811
    Abstract: An entrapment detecting device for an opening/closing member includes a controller which memorizes a driving condition of a driving unit corresponding to load applied to the opening/closing member as a reference load data when a predetermined condition is satisfied during the movement of the opening/closing member for closing. The controller further calculates a driving data representing the driving condition during the movement of the opening/closing member for closing after memorizing the reference load data, and an abnormality detecting data generated by eliminating the load during the predetermined condition being satisfied from the driving data based upon the driving data and the reference load data, and the controller judges an entrapment based upon the abnormality detecting data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2005
    Assignee: Aisin Seiki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Takashi Kikuta, Kentaroh Hirose
  • Patent number: 6940240
    Abstract: A movable barrier operator can use (11) a first technique to prevent an excess application of force during controlled movement of a movable barrier (43) and at least a second technique (12) to similarly prevent an excess application of force during such movement. Both techniques can then be utilized to determine (13) when an application of excess force may nevertheless occur and not be reasonably avoided. In one embodiment, two techniques (21 and 22) can be used to detect force as applied during movement of the movable barrier and such information can be used to determine (23) whether applied force is being reliably indicated. In another embodiment, travel limit information (51), travel information (52) and travel history information (53) are utilized to assess whether normal operation of the movable barrier operator should be over-ridden (54) due to a possibly expression of undue force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2005
    Assignee: The Chamberlain Group, Inc.
    Inventors: Barbara P. Kelkhoff, James J. Fitzgibbon, Colin B. Wilmott
  • Patent number: 6936987
    Abstract: The invention concerns a method for controlling an electric motor driving a body in translation between an initial position and a final position determined by a stop, by powering the motor with reduced voltage in the final position approach phase. The motor has a torque/speed characteristic such that the torque at null speed decreases with the supply voltage. As the approach phase starts, the method consists in determining a reduced voltage by decreasing the rotational speed of the motor from a nominal value to a predetermined reduced value and in cutting the motor power supply if the motor rotational speed drops below a predetermined threshold value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2005
    Assignee: Somfy
    Inventor: Eric Cheron
  • Patent number: 6924615
    Abstract: A motor for turning the rod of an object such as a window covering is attached to an elongated ferromagnetic bar. Magnets are closely spaced from the bar, and as the bar rotates to cut the magnetic field lines, pickup coils generate signals that can be used to determine the direction and speed of rotation and also the position of the motor (and, hence, the position of the object being moved). The magnets brake the motor from turning under the weight of the object when the motor is deenergized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2005
    Assignee: Somfy SAS
    Inventors: Pierre-Emmanuel Cavarec, Winston Glenn Walker
  • Patent number: 6909253
    Abstract: A controller PWM control an opening and closing motor (16) of an opening and closing means, increases a duty ratio of the PWM control according to a given increasing rate just after starting the opening and closing motor (16), reducing the duty ratio to a given value by detecting a start of the open close body, and keeping the given value of the duty ratio for a given period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2005
    Assignee: Ohi Seisakusho Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Hibiki Ogura
  • Patent number: 6906487
    Abstract: An antipinch circuit prevents the motor driven closure of an automotive window if a soft obstacle is compressed between the window and the top of the door frame, and the window is opened in response to the sensing of the obstacle. The circuit measures the motor torque (by measuring motor current) and the motor shaft speed (by measuring motor back EMF). The torque and motor speed are compared to “signatures” of these values in the case of the window closing normally against the top of the door frame, or against an obstacle, and either stopping or reversing the motor rotation accordingly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2005
    Assignee: International Rectifier Corporation
    Inventor: Xavier de Frutos
  • Patent number: 6897630
    Abstract: An operator system and related methods (10) for sensing forces on a movable barrier (12) includes a motor (52), a trolley (30), and a trolley arm (34) having a first end slidably supported by the trolley (38) and a second end coupled to the movable barrier. The motor moves the trolley arm which in turn moves the movable barrier. A force detection mechanism (68) is coupled to the motor to determine a first component force value applied by the motor. A controller (54) receives the first component force value and determines a detected force value by scaling the first component force value with a second component force value derived from an angular position of the trolley arm's first end with respect to the trolley. The angular position of the trolley arm may be fixed or variable. An angle potentiometer (72) is coupled to the trolley arm to generate an angle signal for use as the second component force value when the trolley arm's angular position is allowed to vary.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2005
    Assignee: Wayne-Dalton Corp.
    Inventors: James S. Murray, Thomas B. Bennett, III
  • Patent number: 6888335
    Abstract: A method and system for controlling vehicle door position in improved reliability of a vehicle door electromechanical positioning components. The vehicle door control system includes an abnormality detector for detecting abnormal operation of the vehicle door by a deviation of expected door position and/or velocity. If abnormal operation is detected, operation of the electrical motor driving the door is ceased for a predetermined time period. Operation is then resumed if the abnormal condition has been removed. The control system may include a counter for counting a number of attempts to resume operation and further attempts to resume may be ceased if the counter exceeds a predetermined count value. The motor or door positioning system may include a locking device that locks the vehicle door at various positions and the control system use indications of a locked position indicator to determine whether or not to resume operation of the electric motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2005
    Assignee: Fuji Electric Systems Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoshinobu Sato, Hiroshi Takahashi
  • Patent number: 6879119
    Abstract: A positioning controller includes a gear mechanism having a rotating gear for positioning a movable member, a brushless motor to drive the rotating gear, and a motor control circuit to rotate a rotor of the brushless motor by sequentially supplying a driving pulse to a plurality of fixed coils of the brushless motor. The motor control circuit includes a present stage number detector to detect a present stage number of the movable member in accordance with an output signal from a magneto-sensitive device of the brushless motor, and a driving pulse generator to generate a driving pulse to rotate the rotor until a target stage number converted from a specified position of the movable member is equal to the present stage number. The controller in an apparatus including a motor driving unit allows positioning of the movable member without using a component for the detection of the position of the movable member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2005
    Assignee: Keihin Corporation
    Inventors: Hidefumi Abe, Takaharu Sugawara, Morihiro Yamada
  • Patent number: 6870340
    Abstract: A power closure system (40) for a vehicle panel (22, 24) includes position initialization techniques that ensure accurate position initialization. According to this invention, any slack in a coupling (62) between the vehicle panel and a motor (42) for moving the vehicle panel is removed prior to obtaining an initialization position reading when the panel (22, 24) is in a closed position. The inventive arrangement also includes determining a desired torque at which to operate the motor (42) during a position initialization procedure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2005
    Assignee: Siemens VDO Automotive Corporation
    Inventors: Tomohiro Fukumura, Brian J. Marlett, Sanjaya Kumar Dash
  • Patent number: 6870339
    Abstract: The invention relates to a simple, economical and reliable method for providing anti-jamming protection. According to said method, the excess force—the difference between the driving force and the friction force—is compared with a trigger threshold. To this end, the curve of the friction force of the current actuation process, which is dependent on the actuation path of the electrical drive unit, is compared to the curve of the friction force of at least one previous actuation process and the trigger threshold value is modified according to how the friction force curves correspond. The invention also relates to a method for providing anti-jamming protection for an electrical drive unit for window lifting drives.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2005
    Assignee: Conti Temic microelectronic GmbH
    Inventors: Erwin Kessler, Wolfgang Schulter
  • Patent number: 6870334
    Abstract: A movable barrier operator having a motor controller (10) and motor (11) that control selective movement of a movable barrier (12) also has an obstacle detector (14) that utilizes an automatically determined excess force threshold value to permit reliable detection of an obstacle under a wide variety of operational circumstances, including changing physical circumstances, aging components, temperature variations, and motor runtime. In a preferred embodiment, a characteristic force value for the system is frequently updated as a function of actual measured force requirements (and further compensated, pursuant to various embodiments, with respect to other conditions such as temperature and motor runtime). This characteristic force value is then utilized to determine the excess force threshold value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2005
    Assignee: The Chamberlain Group, Inc.
    Inventors: Carlos Jurado, Eric M. Gregori, Matthew C. Stephan
  • Patent number: 6867565
    Abstract: The process contains the following steps: entering a teaching mode, defining and recording zero, one or two limit of travel positions, exiting the teaching mode, determining the number and the type of the limits of travel produced by end stops, if there exists at least one limit of travel produced by virtue of an end stop, detecting and recording the position of the end stops.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2005
    Assignee: Somfy
    Inventors: Valérie Maistre, Jean-Pierre Cathala
  • Patent number: 6850028
    Abstract: A first current supplier supplies a first current to a first phase coil of a motor. A second current supplier supplies a second current to a second phase coil of the motor. A current selector selects a value of the first current and a value of the second current, so as to make constant at least one of a magnitude of a synthetic vector obtained by the selected value of the first current and the selected value of the second current at every microstep driving step of the motor, and an angular interval between synthetic vectors corresponding to adjacent microstep driving steps of the motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2005
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Yasuhiko Yoshihisa, Koichiro Yokoyama, Tsunenobu Endo
  • Patent number: 6850020
    Abstract: Apparatus and method for automatically determining which of at least two forces to apply to a paint container in a mixing apparatus that is capable of clamping various sized paint containers. A clamp motor drives a clamping apparatus toward a paint container and a current rise signals engagement of the clamp with the container, whereupon a selection is made from a predetermined set of forces to apply to the container based on the time of energization and voltage applied to the clamp motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2005
    Assignee: Red Devil Equipment Company
    Inventors: Thomas J. Midas, Daniel Schulz
  • Patent number: 6841960
    Abstract: In response to an operation of reversing a vehicle, a tilt motor is rotated by a specific amount in a normal direction to tilt a mirror angle to a position that permits a mirror to provide the driver with a view of the area near a rear wheel of the vehicle, while in response to an operation of releasing the reverse gear, the tilt motor is rotated by a specific amount in a reverse direction to restore the tilt angle to a normal position thereof. During the operations, a high-frequency signal generated upon switching a brush of the motor is detected using a pickup coil to determine an amount of rotation of the motor. One and the same pickup coil may be used for detection during both of normal and reverse rotations. A voltage of a battery 3 is stabilized in a motor power stabilizing circuit 10, and supplied via a motor driving circuit 8 to a tilt motor M2. Polarity of the voltage outputted from the motor power stabilizing circuit 10 is fixed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2005
    Assignee: Murakami Corporation
    Inventors: Ayako Yamada, Mituyoshi Nagao, Hidenori Sato
  • Patent number: 6838850
    Abstract: A control unit for an electrically retractable door mirror includes a motor to drive rotationally a door mirror to a stored position or a normal position, a change-over switch, and first and second control circuits. The first and second control circuits include electronic switches respectively that are capable of switching on/off depending on the polarity of an electrical signal switched by the change-over switch. Excess current detecting devices, whose electrical resistances grow with an increase in a current, are connected to the electronic switches in series respectively. And, shutoff switches switch off the electronic switches respectively when a voltage generated in the excess current detecting devices exceeds a predetermined value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2005
    Assignee: Murakami Corporation
    Inventors: Takahiro Kurita, Mitsuyoshi Nagao
  • Patent number: 6836088
    Abstract: A motor driving circuit includes a window opening switch, a window closing switch, an auto switch, a motor which opens and closes a window by driving rotating operation, a charging circuit which charges one capacitance element by a first CR time constant upon operating the window opening switch, and a discharging circuit which sharply charges another capacitance element upon operating the auto switch and which discharges a discharging voltage charged to the other capacitance element by a second CR time constant upon stopping operation of the auto switch. Driving operation of the motor stops when a voltage of the one capacitance element in the charging circuit is higher than a first reference voltage or a voltage of the other capacitance element in the discharging circuit is lower than a second reference voltage during driving the motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 28, 2004
    Assignee: Alps Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Minoru Hiwatari
  • Patent number: 6833681
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for controlling an automatic barrier movement system, particularly for beginning movement of a barrier which has been stopped between an open and closed position of the barrier. The receipt of a barrier movement command will generally start movement of the barrier toward the open position, however, when predetermined conditions are met the barrier may be started in a direction determined by a preprogrammed algorithm. The predetermined conditions may include that the barrier has been stopped for less than 5 minutes and/or that the barrier was stopped in response to an obstruction during travel toward the open position. The preprogrammed algorithm may be to move the barrier toward the closed position or move the barrier in a direction determined from other sensed conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 21, 2004
    Assignee: The Chamberlain Group, Inc.
    Inventor: James J. Fitzgibbon
  • Patent number: 6828745
    Abstract: A method of programming a controller for a movable barrier operator includes enabling and disabling an input device within a predetermined period of time, a predetermined number of times. This sequence of short activations of an input device, such as a switch on a wall unit, puts the controller in a learn mode or a programmed state. Thereafter, the controller is responsive to learn any of the various routines that can be programmed for the movable barrier operator, such as transmitter code, limits of travel, force settings, and so on.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 7, 2004
    Assignee: The Chamberlain Group, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher M. Valente, James J. Fitzgibbon, Ramon Tam, Mark Siegler, Martin Rathgeber
  • Patent number: 6825623
    Abstract: An opening and closing control device of opening and closing member for a vehicle includes a motor for actuating the opening and closing member, and a control unit for driving the motor so as to become a predetermined target speed and for driving the motor in reverse direction as a detection of entrapped obstacles when the actual speed of the motor reaches to an entrapment judgment speed which is set lower than the target speed. The control unit sets a threshold speed which is higher than the target speed and outputs an output duty to the motor for achieving the target speed by feedback control. The control unit switches the output duty after the actual speed of the motor becomes higher than the threshold speed to an output by feedforward control based on the target speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 30, 2004
    Assignees: Aisin Seiki Kabushiki Kaisha, Toyota Shatai Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Satoru Onozawa, Yasuaki Hiraki, Seika Matsui, Mizuho Morimitsu
  • Patent number: 6825628
    Abstract: A ramp deployment control system includes a controller, a kneeling motor operatively coupled to the controller and a ramp motor operatively coupled to the controller. The controller energizes the kneeling motor to kneel or stand a vehicle and energizes the ramp motor to deploy or stow a ramp. The controller is operatively coupled to a communication pathway, and a door control system is operatively coupled to the controller. The door control system is operable to monitor and control operation of a door. A standard control module is operatively coupled to the communication pathway and is operable to send door operation commands on the communication pathway. The controller selectively delays execution of the door operation commands by the door control system while operating the ramp motor to deploy or stow the ramp.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 30, 2004
    Assignee: The Braun Corporation
    Inventors: Keith D. Heigl, Ronald W. Goodrich, Donald S. Sturm
  • Patent number: 6819071
    Abstract: An automatic garage door closing system to be used in combination with a garage door opener. The automatic garage door closing system includes a control box, a power source and a door sensor switch. The control box includes a timer. The timer has a first predetermined time period which is set by a user and activates the garage door opener to close a garage door. The timer has a second predetermined time period which is fixed and which shuts down and resets the automatic garage door closing system. The power source is connected to the control box to activate and power the control box, including the timer of the control box. The door sensor switch senses opening of the garage door and activates the power source to activate the control box.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2004
    Inventors: Kenneth B. Graham, Lawrence Chapple
  • Patent number: 6809488
    Abstract: A method for determining the position of an element drivable by a motor within a travel segment between first and second positions. The method includes energizing a motor to drive the element along the travel segment. Current ripples contained in an armature current signal of the motor are counted as the motor drives the element. The position of the element along the travel segment is determined as a function of the counted current ripples. The motor is de-energized once the position of the element is within a certain distance of the first position if the element is to be driven into the first position. The motor is then re-energized to drive the element into the first position. The counted current ripples is set to a reset value after the element has been driven into the first position such that the reset value corresponds to the first position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2004
    Assignee: Leopold Kostal GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventor: Stefan Otte
  • Patent number: 6806665
    Abstract: A movable barrier operator includes an automatic force incrementing system for adjusting the maximal opening and closing force to be placed upon the movable barrier during a learn operation. The movable barrier operator also includes a control unit with an ambient temperature detector which controls the motor to move at a specified force and is used to inhibit motor operation depending on the motor temperature derived from the temperatur detected by the temperature detector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2004
    Assignee: The Chamberlain Group, Inc.
    Inventors: James J. Fitzgibbon, John V. Moravec, Bradley Farris
  • Patent number: 6806672
    Abstract: A movable barrier operator having improved safety and energy efficiency features automatically detects line voltage frequency and uses that information to set a worklight shut-off time. The operator automatically detects the type of door (single panel or segmented) and uses that information to set a maximum speed of door travel. The operator moves the door with a linearly variable speed from start of travel to stop for smooth and quiet performance. The operator provides for full door closure by driving the door into the floor when the DOWN limit is reached and no auto-reverse condition has been detected. The operator provides for user selection of a minimum stop speed for easy starting and stopping of sticky or binding doors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2004
    Assignee: The Chamberlain Group, Inc.
    Inventors: James J. Fitzgibbon, Paul E. Wanis, Colin B. Willmott
  • Patent number: 6798158
    Abstract: A awning control circuit and assembly including an ambient thermistor and a heated thermistor for sensing wind speed. A microprocessor determines the present wind speed by referencing values of the thermistors to a stored lookup table. When the wind speed meets or exceeds a threshold value, the microprocessor causes one or more awnings to retract.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 28, 2004
    Assignee: Dometic Corporation
    Inventor: David K. Evans
  • Patent number: 6794840
    Abstract: An edge detector 15 of an ASIC 3 detects a pass timing signal indicating a timing in which slits of a slit plate pass light emitting and receiving elements of a photo interrupter, and the rotation direction of a transfer roller based on phase-A and phase-B signals from an encoder 56. A position counter 16 counts the pass timing signal in accordance with the rotation direction of the transfer roller. When a count comparator 17 detects the agreement of the count value of the position counter 16 with the set value of a stop position setting register 12, a stop position processor 22 counts a delay time, and outputs a stop command signal of an LF motor to a PWM generator 8 in the timing of agreement with the set value of a time setting register 11.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2004
    Assignee: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Kazushige Muroi, Masatoshi Kokubo
  • Patent number: 6788016
    Abstract: A powered panel control apparatus and method is used with an electric motor having a rotatable armature. The control detects and generates time periods between the rotation of the armature over a predetermined constant amount of angular rotation. An average time period is computed over a predetermined number of time periods and compared with a threshold time period to determine if an obstacle is present in the path of movement of the panel. Transient counts are accumulated for increasing average time periods over a number of time period samples to detect an obstacle. Endzone ramp compensation adjusts a threshold for the initial entry of the panel into a seal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2004
    Assignee: Valeo Electrical Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Joseph P. Whinnery
  • Patent number: 6784631
    Abstract: A system for driving an electric actuator unit with a polarity-dependent actuation direction contains a driving unit with a voltage input, at least one polarity control input and two voltage outputs whose polarity depends on the polarity control signal at the polarity control input, and a control input. The actuator unit is operated in at least one of the drive directions only if a corresponding polarity control signal is present and the control input is additionally supplied with a predefined control signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2004
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Norbert Kollmann