Optical Or Photoelectric Line Followers Patents (Class 318/577)
  • Patent number: 10818533
    Abstract: The present invention provides a wafer centering device for a measurement apparatus, the device comprising: a body unit; a guide unit which is installed in the body unit, has a support part for supporting a wafer, and has a through-hole and; and a displacement unit which is formed to be moved in the through-hole and has a pusher for moving the wafer on the support part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2020
    Assignee: COMET CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Gyu-Seong Lee, Hye-Suk Jung, Young-Jong Kwon
  • Patent number: 10239167
    Abstract: The present disclosure involves occasions where precise two-dimensional motion takes place, and is applicable to XY motion stages for precise displacement compensation. The present disclosure particularly involves a stiffness-frequency adjustable XY micromotion stage based on stress stiffening, which includes X-direction and Y-direction motion sub-stages and corresponding drivers and a micromotion working table. The micromotion stage uses membrane sets that have tension levels thereof adjusted by bolts as a flexible hinge, so as to achieve independent adjustment of the vibration frequency of the XY micromotion stage. The present disclosure implements the foregoing configuration based on prestressed membrane, so the frequency is adjustable. The inherent frequency of the micromotion stage can be adjusted before or during operation according to various working conditions and driving frequency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Assignee: GUANGDONG UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
    Inventors: Zhijun Yang, Youdun Bai, Xin Chen, Jian Gao, Haidong Yang, Meng Wang, Hui Tang
  • Patent number: 9903714
    Abstract: A normal-line detection device is provided with: four or more non-contacting distance sensors for measuring the distance to a processing surface of a work piece, the non-contacting distance sensors being arranged on the periphery of a drill body, in an arrangement plane orthogonal to an axis line of the drill body, and a distance measurement axis of each non-contacting distance sensor and the axis line intersecting; and a PC for calculating an approximation surface of a processing surface on the basis of measurement values from the non-contacting distance sensors and the angle of the non-contacting distance sensors with respect to the axis line, and determining the normal-line of the approximation surface as the normal-line of the processing surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2018
    Assignee: MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES. LTD.
    Inventor: Tomohiro Nihei
  • Patent number: 9275431
    Abstract: A method for calibrating a laser measuring apparatus having a laser illumination unit and an image capturing unit includes the following steps. A calibration board having at least one slit gap and a plurality of markers is provided. The relative position between the calibration board and the laser illumination unit is adjusted to allow a slit laser beam emitted by the laser illumination unit to pass through the at least one slit. The calibration board is captured by the image capturing unit to generate a calibration board image. The calibration board image is processed so as to obtain a camera coordinate of each of the markers. A plurality of calibration parameters are calculated according to the camera coordinate and an actual coordinate of each of the markers so as to obtain actual coordinates of an object captured in an object image generated by the laser measuring apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2016
    Assignee: National Taiwan University of Science and Technology
    Inventor: Tzung-Han Lin
  • Patent number: 8598833
    Abstract: An electronically commutated motor (ECM) includes windings, a power switch, an infrared transceiver and an electromagnetic shield. The power switch is configured to provide pulse width modulated (PWM) power signals to the windings and to generate a substantial level of electromagnetic noises at PWM frequencies during its switching operation. The infrared transceiver is configured to communicate with an external device using infrared signals and convert electrical signals from and to infrared signals that carry data. The electromagnetic shield is configured to substantially shield the infrared transceiver from the electromagnetic noises of PWM frequencies from the power switch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2013
    Assignee: Sntech Inc.
    Inventor: Young Chun Jeung
  • Patent number: 8575877
    Abstract: A solar-powered automated system for the operation of drapery, roller blinds, and similar window coverings. The solar panel (102), or photovoltaic source provides the sole power to drive common types of window drapery and blinds in a compact system having a solar panel (photovoltaic source), actuator (104) and head rail (120). The solar panel (102) is to be mounted onto the frame of a window or elsewhere to collect sufficient light. A connecting cable links the solar panel (102) to the actuator (104) to draw electrical power from the solar panel. The actuator is attached to the head-rail (120) to provide the required driving force. The actuator (104) includes the control circuit boards, a single rechargeable battery (110), an electric motor (106) and output mechanism. An RF remote control receiver (116) is built inside the actuator (104). A low voltage control port (114) allows the actuator (104) to be accessible by a control interface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2013
    Assignee: BTX Holdings, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Alex Liu
  • Patent number: 8461790
    Abstract: The encoder includes a disk in a disk shape that is arranged rotatably about a rotation axis and that includes one track in a ring shape on which a rotating grating is formed and one or more origin detection areas serving as partial areas on which a rotating grating is formed, and a mask that is fixed and arranged in a manner facing the disk and on which one or more fixed gratings are formed so as to constitute a diffraction interference optical system together with the rotating gratings. A plurality of slits and included in at least one rotating grating are formed along a curved line obtained by curving a plurality of radial lines about the rotation axis in the circumferential direction at predetermined curvature such that pitches and of the slits and can be set to a predetermined value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2013
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Yaskawa Denki
    Inventors: Yosuke Yamaguchi, Yasushi Yoshida, Shirou Yoshidomi
  • Patent number: 8411995
    Abstract: Systems and methods for processing images in a structured light system which may be used to determine the correspondences in a camera-projector system. Those correspondences can later be used to construct a 3D model, to calibrate a projector or for other purposes. The optical and geometric characteristics of the system are initially determined. The capability of establishing correspondences is affected by the limitations of the system and the properties of the surfaces. Once images of the patterns projected on the surface are acquired, they are iteratively segmented and deconvolved using the known characteristics of the system. The result is a set of correspondences with a reduction of artifacts introduced by the limitations of the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2013
    Assignee: National Research Council of Canada
    Inventors: Marc-Antoine Drouin, Guy Godin
  • Patent number: 8396597
    Abstract: The different illustrative embodiments provide an apparatus that includes a computer system, a number of structured light generators, and a number of mobile robotic devices. The computer system is configured to generate a path plan. The number of structured light generators is configured to project the path plan. The number of mobile robotic devices is configured to detect and follow the path plan.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2013
    Assignee: Deere & Company
    Inventor: Noel Wayne Anderson
  • Patent number: 8082064
    Abstract: A robotic arm and control system includes a robotic arm which moves in response to one or more command signals. One or more “active” fiducials are located on the arm, each of which emits its own light. A 3D camera having an associated field-of-view is positioned such that at least one fiducial and a target object to be manipulated are in the FOV. To determine their spatial positions, the arm fiducials are activated and the target object is preferably illuminated with a scanning laser; the camera produces output signals which vary with the spatial locations of the fiducials and target object. A controller receives the output signals and uses the spatial position information as feedback to continuously guide the arm towards the target object. Multiple active fiducials may be employed, each having respective characteristics with which they can be differentiated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 20, 2011
    Assignee: Elite Engineering Corporation
    Inventor: Robert L. Kay
  • Patent number: 8024071
    Abstract: Based upon a force in a vertical direction exerted between an object and a hand and an angle made by the hand relative to a horizontal face, a transporting force estimation unit estimates a transporting force applied in the vertical direction by a person, and based upon the estimated force, a force controlling operation is carried out so as to set a force in the vertical direction of the robot arm of a robot system to a predetermined force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2011
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventors: Mayumi Komatsu, Yasunao Okazaki
  • Patent number: 7852031
    Abstract: A machine tool capable of automatically correcting an orientation of a workpiece or machining attachment based on detection results from position detectors that the machine tool inherently has. The machine tool comprises: position detectors; position deviation determining means; contact detection means that detects a contact between a probe and a surface of the workpiece or the machining attachment based on a position deviation; movable axis stopping means; coordinate value detection means; inclination determining means; and correction means. The inclination determining means moves linear axes to perform detection of contacts between the probe and the surface of the workpiece or the machining attachment at least two different points, and determines an inclination of the workpiece or the machining attachment using the obtained coordinate values. The correction means corrects a mounting error of the workpiece or the machining attachment, or corrects the machining program based on the determined inclination.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 14, 2010
    Assignee: Fanuc Ltd
    Inventors: Yonpyo Hon, Kenzo Ebihara, Tomohiko Kawai
  • Patent number: 7509177
    Abstract: The invention relates to the control of an orienting/positioning system comprising comprising at least a sensor and an actuator for controlling an orienting and/or positioning action adapted to change an input space of the sensor. A first step evaluates pre-action output information of the sensor in order to detect a pre-action position of a manipulating device in the input space of the sensor. A second step decides on a targeted post-action position of the manipulating device in the input space of the sensor. A third step defines a command for the actuator by mapping any deviation of the pre-action position and the targeted post-action position in the input space of the sensor to actuator control coordinates using a predefined mapping function. A fourth step orients/positions the manipulating device according to the defined command in order to carry out the orienting/positioning action. A fifth step detects a real post-action position of the manipulating device in the input space of the sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2009
    Assignee: Honda Research Institute Europe GmbH
    Inventors: Frank Joublin, Tobias Rodemann
  • Patent number: 7402972
    Abstract: An actuating drive (60), that can be fed by a battery (6), for an actuator (5) comprises a drive unit (61) for operating the actuator (5), and a control unit (62), capable of communicating with an external station (70) in a wireless fashion, for controlling the drive unit (61). The control unit (62) can be fed via a voltage regulator (64) connected to the battery (6), while the drive unit (61) is directly connected to the output voltage (UB) of the battery (6). The energy consumption of the actuating drive (60) can be optimized in order to achieve a long service life for the battery.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2008
    Assignee: Siemens Schweiz AG
    Inventors: Dominic Lendi, Ernst Schmuki, Beat Suter
  • Patent number: 7245994
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for clearing a playing surface are provided. The apparatus preferably includes a chassis or frame, a sensor connected to the chassis to sense a location of a line on a playing surface that needs to be cleaned, and a drive connected to the chassis to drive the chassis in a selected direction of travel. The apparatus also preferably includes a controller connected to the chassis, in communication with the drive, and responsive to the sensor to control the drive to thereby direct the chassis to move along the line that needs to be cleaned in the selected direction of travel and a cleaning device connected to the chassis to clean the line while the chassis is being driven along the line. Associated software is provided as well.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2007
    Inventor: David Wright Young
  • Patent number: 6847868
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for clearing a playing surface are provided. The apparatus preferably includes a chassis or frame, a sensor connected to the chassis to sense a location of a line on a playing surface that needs to be cleaned, and a drive connected to the chassis to drive the chassis in a selected direction of travel. The apparatus also preferably includes a controller connected to the chassis, in communication with the drive, and responsive to the sensor to control the drive to thereby direct the chassis to move along the line that needs to be cleaned in the selected direction of travel and a cleaning device connected to the chassis to clean the line with the chassis is being driven along the line. Associated software is provided as well.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2005
    Inventor: David W. Young
  • Patent number: 6816754
    Abstract: A method and system for controlling drive of a robot having two or more drive axes and driven in accordance with an action program transmitted from a system controller to a robot controller by a wireless transmission way, checks whether a detected current position of the robot coincides with a predetermined start position of the robot in terms of the drive axes, and allows the robot to be driven in accordance with the designated action program when the detected current position coincides with the predetermined start position. Failure in the position control of the robot due to transmission error is prevented by the position checking.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2004
    Assignee: Giken Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kazuo Mukai, Saburo Ashihara, Noboru Maruyama
  • Patent number: 6816755
    Abstract: A method of three-dimensional handling of an object by a robot uses a tool and one camera mounted on the robot and at least six target features which are normal features of the object are selected on the object. The features are used to train the robot in the frame of reference of the object so that when the same object is subsequently located, the robot's path of operation can be quickly transformed into the frame of reference of the object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2004
    Assignee: Braintech Canada, Inc.
    Inventors: Babak Habibi, Simona Pescaru
  • Patent number: 6430472
    Abstract: Motorized slides are inserted between the end of a robot arm and a robot tool/sensor arrangement to provide additional positioning ability. A control unit of the slides cooperates with the control unit of the sensor to maintain the tool correctly positioned over a feature while the robot arm moves following a programmed path. The control unit of the sensor has look-ahead and additional buffers from which corrected information is determined to compensate for robot teaching inaccuracies, calibration and robot arm response errors. A sensor with two distinct probing zones is used to get information about the position of the tool tip and of the feature to assist in calibrating the sensor/tool relation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2002
    Assignee: Servo-Robot Inc.
    Inventors: Jean-Paul Boillot, Denis Villemure
  • Patent number: 6430473
    Abstract: A power assist apparatus includes an autonomously mobile base on which a manipulator for holding a load is mounted. The movement of the mobile base is controlled such that when the manipulator tip is within a prescribed operating region relative to the mobile base, the mobile base is maintained stationary, but when the manipulator tip moves outside the operating region, the mobile base is moved to decrease the distance between the mobile base and the manipulator tip. The power assist apparatus assists with the carrying of loads by amplifying an operational force applied to the manipulator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2002
    Assignee: Agency of Industrial Science & Technology, Ministry of International Trade & Industry
    Inventors: Hyoung-Ki Lee, Hirohiko Arai, Kazuo Tanie
  • Patent number: 6356807
    Abstract: A method of determining contact positions of a robot relative to a workpiece in a workspace of the robot. The method utilizes the contact positions to determine a location of the workpiece in the robot workspace. The method also monitors an integral operating parameter within the robot, such as motor torque, to determine the contact positions of the robot relative to the workpiece and to locate the workpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2002
    Assignee: FANUC Robotics North America, Inc.
    Inventors: H. Dean McGee, Eric C. Lee
  • Patent number: 5869945
    Abstract: A scanner which includes a motor for driving a load and circuitry for providing a position error signal responsive to the difference between a predicted position of the load and the actual position of the load, preferably a mirror scanning a scene. The motor is driven in response to the position error signal. The position error signal is provided plural times during a single scanning of the scene. The circuitry for providing a position error signal includes a closed loop filter system for filtering the error signal to provide a filtered error signal, an adaptive filter system for operating on the filtered error signal to provide an adaptively filtered error signal and summing circuitry for summing signals indicative of the predicted position, the filtered error signal and the adaptively filtered error signal. The closed loop filter system includes, in series, at least one first order lead lag filter and a double integral plus proportional filter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 9, 1999
    Assignee: Raytheon TI Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Humphrey Wing-Hong Ha, Mark A. Gohlke, Mark G. Webb, Keith R. Kuemmerle, Michael R. Thering, Steven Jenkins, Gary R. Herrington
  • Patent number: 5796610
    Abstract: In order to provide a method of detecting seam characteristic points which makes it possible to accurately and quickly detect seam characteristic points, which are used as work target positions, by using coordinate data of a series of distance points detected by a sensor, when sealing is performed by a robot (1) equipped with a sensor (2), seam characteristic points P of an object are detected, a distance to an arbitrary cross section of an object is detected by the sensor (2), the data obtained through the measurement are converted into coordinate data of a series of distance points arranged in a predetermined order, a statistic value regarding the distance between paired adjacent distance points among the series of distant points is calculated so as to obtain a threshold level for judging discontinuity, based on the statistic value, the distance between paired adjacent distance points is compared with the discontinuity threshold level so as to detect a pair of adjacent distance points which are separated fr
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 18, 1998
    Assignees: Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Kenichi Arakawa, Takao Kakizaki, Shinji Omyo
  • Patent number: 5576605
    Abstract: A micro robot which is less than about one cubic centimeter in size and adapted for wireless control and which includes at least two photo sensors (12,14) having detection areas partly overlapping each other, at least a pair of drive units (28, 30) adapted to be driven independently of each other and having driving points apart in a direction perpendicular to a direction for travel, a controller (58) including a CPU and responsive to outputs of the photo sensors to control the drive units, a power supply unit (16) including a rechargeable battery and a voltage regulator circuit (56) for regulating and outputting the battery voltage for supplying a power supply voltage to the photo sensors, the drive units and the controller, and a reset circuit (40) responsive to the reception for a command in a non-contact manner from the outside to send a reset signal to the controller and a holding case for the micro robot which permits charging of the micro robot during its accommodation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 1994
    Date of Patent: November 19, 1996
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventor: Osamu Miyazawa
  • Patent number: 5465037
    Abstract: A system and method for seam tracking in real time without path preprogramming uses at least two degrees of freedom and at least one degree of freedom created by a redundant axis. A robot can be used to weld or apply adhesive or sealant to a workpiece that is mounted on a positioner that it is movable relative to a base of the robot as a movable end of the robot tracks a seam on the workpiece. A sensor expresses a seam trajectory in workpiece coordinates and queues the coordinates in a computer processor so that the coordinates can be extracted from the processor to cause the movable end of the robot to track the seam. The workpiece can remain stationary and the robot base can be moved or the base can remain stationary and the workpiece can be moved or both the workpiece and the robot base can be moved. Any reasonable number of redundant axes can be utilized so long as there is one control parameter independently defined for each degree of freedom greater than six.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 1994
    Date of Patent: November 7, 1995
    Inventors: Jan P. Huissoon, David L. Strauss
  • Patent number: 5463292
    Abstract: In an imaging apparatus with rotary table having a plurality of control items, operation completion of control items, such as horizontal angle, vertical angle, zoom and focus, of the imaging apparatus and the rotary table is detected by respective completion detectors and so on. On the basis of the logical product of all operation completion signals, an AND circuit 3 permits control toward the next desired value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 31, 1995
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Jyoji Wada
  • Patent number: 5436543
    Abstract: There is disclosed a device for the duplication of irregular shapes that must be reproduced on a surface but cannot be traced directly on the surface. The device includes a stylus, a length of chain or the like attached to the stylus, and a duplicator attached to the other end of the chain. The duplicator contains a programmable memory, such as a RAM chip, and servo-type motor to vary the length of the chain as the program is run.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 25, 1995
    Inventor: William D. Rogers
  • Patent number: 5426356
    Abstract: A non-contact profile control method capable of being effectively applied to a model whose contour has an irregularity such as a step-like contour. A non-contact distance sensor generates a dark alarm signal when its measuring beam spot is formed out of its detection area on a model. In response to this dark alarm signal, the profile control is discontinued, and a tracer head, on which the distance sensor is mounted, is rotated until the dark alarm signal is turned off so that the distance sensor can recover its detecting function. Furthermore, an additional rotation is given to the distance sensor by a predetermined amount to stabilize the detecting function of the distance sensor. A work table is shifted with respect to the tracer head so that a clearance between the tracer head and a steep slope of the stepped portion can be adjusted to become closer to a predetermined value, and the profile control is resumed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 20, 1995
    Assignee: Fanuc Ltd.
    Inventors: Hitoshi Matsuura, Eiji Matsumoto
  • Patent number: 5396160
    Abstract: A robot carrying a milling cutter or other multi-axis machine cuts a physical model and is directly driven in real time from a CAD generated mathematical model. The path planning is carried out in parametric space but with velocity constraints in the machine coordinate space. The method will generate proper points in parametric space and then map to machine space to minimize interpolations needed by machine controller to improve tracking accuracy while achieving the desired cutting velocity. Point data is computed by the microcomputer and transferred to the machine controller continuously while the machine is cutting. Long pre-cutting computation times are eliminated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 1991
    Date of Patent: March 7, 1995
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Yilong Chen
  • Patent number: 5373150
    Abstract: A FIG. 1 is taken by a camera having optical/electrical elements arrayed in matrix, signals of pixels of the picture taken by the camera 2 are converted into binary data in a binary circuit 11, and the binary data is temporarily stored in a binary data storage device 12. The reference point 0 is determined on the edge of the figure, and radius L of the circuit scanning line 21 is determined based on the shape of the figure, and reference point 0 and the radius L of the circle scanning line 21 are inputted through an input unit 13. Coordinate data of pixels on the circuit scanning line 21 is operated based on the inputted numeric values in an arithmetic circuit 15. Binary data on pixels corresponding to coordinate data are read in the detector 16. When the pixel corresponding to the edge of the FIG. 1 is detected, a vector directed from the reference point 0 to the pixel is decided, and first and second drives 7, 8 are driven according to the vector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 13, 1994
    Assignee: Koike Sanso Kogyo Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yasuo Koike, Tokuji Tanaka
  • Patent number: 5357096
    Abstract: A FIG. 1 is taken by a camera having optical/electrical elements arrayed in matrix, signals of pixels of the picture taken by the camera 2 are converted into binary data in a binary circuit 11, and the binary data is temporarily stored in a binary data storage device 12. The reference point 0 is determined on the edge of the figure, and plural coaxial circle scanning lines A, B about the reference point 0 which differs from each other in radius are set. In arithmetic circuit 15, coordinate data of pixels on the circle scanning lines A, B is operated. In the detector 16, binary data of the pixels on the circle scanning lines A, B is detected. In the decision circuit 17, the vectors from the reference point 0 to the detected pixels on the circle scanning lines A, N, and the vector angle between the obtained vectors is operated. A speed signal according to the vector angle is generated for driving the first and second drive 7, 8.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 18, 1994
    Assignee: Koike Sanso Kogyo Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yasuo Koike, Tokuji Tanaka
  • Patent number: 5343402
    Abstract: The purpose of the invention is to carry out the most appropriate attitude control of non-contact distance detectors (5a, b) onto the tracer model (6) surface and provide a digitizing control unit with high accuracy. A non-contact distance detecting device (105) samples coordinates of a plurality of points from the model surface, and the coordinates are stored in a memory (101). A point selecting device (102) selects 3 points on the tracer model surface composing a triangle most similar to a regular triangle after selecting 3 arbitrary points of the stored coordinates. A vector determining device (103) determines the normal vector with reference to the coordinates of the 3 selected points. The attitude of the non-contact distance detecting device (105) is controlled by the attitude control device (104) using the normal vector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 30, 1994
    Assignee: Fanuc Ltd.
    Inventors: Hitoshi Matsuura, Eiji Matsumoto
  • Patent number: 5331232
    Abstract: A system and method for verifying the positional integrity of a robotic arm are disclosed. The robotic arm includes a servo mechanism which causes movement of the arm. The servo mechanism has a position encoder which indicates the relative position of the robotic arm with respect to a fixed reference point. A flag is attached to the robotic arm. A sensor for detecting the flag is attached to a point which is fixed with respect to the motion of the robotic arm. The sensor is located at a point such that the flag will pass by the sensor during the normal course of travel of the robotic arm. Each time the flag passes by the sensor, the sensor generates a signal. A controller which is coupled to the position encoder and to the sensor compares the position of the robotic device indicated by the position encoder at the time the sensor detects the presence of the flag with a predetermined value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 1992
    Date of Patent: July 19, 1994
    Assignee: Storage Technology Corporation
    Inventors: Michael Moy, Robert W. Schmidt, Robert A. Brummet
  • Patent number: 5327351
    Abstract: When a non-contact tracing of a configuration of a three-dimensional model is carried out, the measurement axis of a tracer head is controlled to always be facing in an optimum direction with respect to a model surface by controlling the attitude of the tracer head, to thereby create tracing data of the configuration of the model. The tracer head is provided with two non-contact distance sensing units, and a normal vector of the model surface is determined based on a measurement value obtained by sampling tracing data supplied from the tracer head. At this time, the direction of a normal vector is determined from the outer product of surface vectors in a range in which the angle between an axial vector starting from a measurement point of the measurement axis of the tracer head and the normal vector at the measurement point does not exceed 90.degree.. The tracer head is controlled to be rotated in the direction toward a projection obtained by projecting the normal vector on a predetermined plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 1992
    Date of Patent: July 5, 1994
    Assignee: Fanuc Ltd.
    Inventors: Hitoshi Matsuura, Eiji Matsumoto
  • Patent number: 5321353
    Abstract: A system and method for precisely positioning a robotic tool relative to a worksite, wherein the worksite includes a positioning target located at a fixed position relative thereto is disclosed. A camera coupled to the robotic tool detects the target and generates a position signal representing a current position of the robotic tool relative to the worksite. A system controller receives the position signal and computes a parallax-corrected position based on the distance to the worksite. In addition, the system controller produces a correction signal representing the difference between the parallax-corrected position and the current position. A mechanical arm precisely positions the robotic tool and the worksite relative to each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 1992
    Date of Patent: June 14, 1994
    Assignee: Storage Technolgy Corporation
    Inventor: Duncan Furness
  • Patent number: 5283509
    Abstract: A tracing control system machines a workpiece to a desired contour corresponding to the surface of a model which is being traced. The tracing control system comprises a tracing control circuit, a digitizing circuit, and numerical circuits. The tracing control circuit controls a plurality of tracing axes to trace the surface of the model. The digitizing circuit is connected to the tracing control circuit through a bus, for reading the positions of the tracing axes as positional data from time to time and processing the positional data to prevent a cutter head from biting into the workpiece, thereby to generate NC data linearly approximate the surface of the model. The numerical control circuits are connected to the digitizing circuit through the bus, for positionally controlling as many machining axes as the number of the tracing axes on the NC data to machine the workpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 1992
    Date of Patent: February 1, 1994
    Assignee: Fanuc Ltd.
    Inventors: Hitoshi Matsuura, Hitoshi Aramaki
  • Patent number: 5274563
    Abstract: A noncontact tracing control system for tracing machining a workpiece through a tracing of the contour of a model without contact. Coordinate values of a plurality of points on the model surface are acquired from measured values obtained by a plurality of times of sampling from two noncontact distance detectors (5a, 5b) provided at a tracer head of a tracing machine (3). A noncontact tracing control system (1) selects three points forming a triangle closest to an equilateral triangle, from among these points. A normal vector is acquired using the coordinate values of the vertices of these three points and outputs a command (SC) for rotating the tracer head (4) in the direction of a projection of this normal vector onto the X-Y plane. This command (SC) passes a D/A converter (17c), is amplified at an amplifier (18c), drives a motor (32c) and rotates the tracer head (4).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 1992
    Date of Patent: December 28, 1993
    Assignee: Fanuc Ltd.
    Inventors: Hitoshi Matsuura, Eiji Matsumoto
  • Patent number: 5247233
    Abstract: A digitizing control device for generating tracing data related to a shape of a model while a tracer head carries out a non-contact tracing of the model shape. The rotation of the tracer head (4) is controlled in accordance with the inclination of a model surface (6), and distance detectors (5a, 5b) measure the distances therefrom to the model surface (6). When the inclination of the model surface (6) is smaller than a reference angle, the control of the rotation of the tracer head (4) is prohibited, to thereby achieve a stable distance measurement, and accordingly, accurate tracing data can be generated by a non-contact tracing of the model surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 1992
    Date of Patent: September 21, 1993
    Assignee: Fanuc Ltd
    Inventors: Hitoshi Matsuura, Eiji Matsumoto
  • Patent number: 5245264
    Abstract: A real time straightness deviation measuring and compensation device for a machine tool that automatically and continuously compensates for bed way deviation from a truly straight line relative to a workpiece. A wire, parallel to the workpiece or axis of workpiece rotation and perpendicular to the direction of machine tool compensation is utilized as a straightness reference, with the wire being stretched in the direction of machine tool carriage travel and supported on either end by weights for gravity induced straightness. A position indication device, such as a laser micrometer, is attached to the machine tool carriage and positioned around the reference wire in order to read the position of the wire relative to the machine tool carriage during real time operation. An electronically controlled servo motor attached to a machine tool supported on the carriage automatically adjusts the machine tool to compensate for carriage deviation caused by bed way deviation relative to the straight reference wire.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 1992
    Date of Patent: September 14, 1993
    Assignee: J. M. Voith, GmbH
    Inventors: Dale E. Helgren, Thomas J. Doyle
  • Patent number: 5194791
    Abstract: A compliant device attaching to the end of a robot arm and used in conjunction with a stereo vision system. The compliant device compensating for misalignment error in six degrees of freedom, that is x, y, z, pitch, yaw, and clocking (roll) between the end of the robot arm and a lock-on bushing when the compliant device is being inserted in a lock-on bushing. The compliant device having attached a stereo vision target providing positional feedback on the misalignment error between the lock-on bushing and the final position of the end of the robot arm to the stereo vision system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 1990
    Date of Patent: March 16, 1993
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventor: Laurence J. Cull
  • Patent number: 5140239
    Abstract: A non-contact tracer control device for carrying out a profile machining on a workpiece while tracing the profile of a model in a non-contact fashion. Two non-contact distance detectors (5a, 5b) are slantingly mounted to a tracer head 4) controlled through a rotary axis, and measurement values obtained by the two non-contact distance detectors (5a, 5b) are sampled at predetermined sampling intervals. Based on the measurement values obtained at previous and current sampling times, coordinates of the four vertexes of a very small rectangle on the surface of a model (6) are obtained, and a normal vector is obtained by using the coordinates of three required vertexes out of the four vertexes. The tracer head (4) is rotated in the direction of a projected vector obtained by projecting the normal vector onto an X-Y plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 1991
    Date of Patent: August 18, 1992
    Assignee: Fanuc Ltd.
    Inventor: Hitoshi Matsuura
  • Patent number: 5136223
    Abstract: A robot operating method capable of easily performing manual correction of a previously taught teaching point during an automatic robot operation, and of accurately and effectively performing a desired robot operation without the need of employing a visual sensor. After switching is made from an automatic operation mode to a manual operation mode in response to reading of a predetermined command code from a program (S1, S2), a robot tool positioned at a first teaching position is moved to a first working position on a workpiece by a control apparatus which responds to an operation of a remote operation board by an operator, so as to compensate for a dislocation of the teaching point attributable to a positional dislocation of the workpiece (S3), and then a correction data indicative of the results of a manual adjustment is calculated in response to supply of an external signal generated by an operator's operation and is stored in a memory (S4, S5).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 1990
    Date of Patent: August 4, 1992
    Assignee: Fanuc Ltd.
    Inventors: Tatsuo Karakama, Kouichi Okanda
  • Patent number: 5126648
    Abstract: A positioning system for accurately positioning components and the like in which a two-dimensional linear motor moves upon an air bearing across a large platen having a predetermined grid pattern yielding reasonably good resolution. A second two-dimensional positioning assembly of extremely fine resolution is secured to the linear motor arranged to traverse the large platen. Location sensors are provided in closed loop feedback system for detecting the X and Y positions. Coarse resolution is obtained by operating the first two-dimensional linear motor and fine resolution is obtained by operating the second two-dimensional positioning assembly, preferably after disabling the air bearing. The fine positioning system may also include a driver motor for rotating a manipulator arranged upon the second positioning system to correct for any angular misalignment of the component being placed by the manipulator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 1990
    Date of Patent: June 30, 1992
    Assignee: Megamation Incorporated
    Inventor: Fred Jacobs
  • Patent number: 5111126
    Abstract: A device for the generation of basic electrical signals which are supplied to a computerized processing complex for the operation of industrial robots. The system includes a stereo mirror arrangement for the projection of views from opposite sides of a visible indicia formed on a workpiece. The views are projected onto independent halves of the retina of a single camera. The camera retina is of the CCD (charge-coupled-device) type and is therefore capable of providing signals in response to the image projected thereupon. These signals are then processed for control of industrial robots or similar devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 1990
    Date of Patent: May 5, 1992
    Assignee: Applied Research, Inc.
    Inventors: Bradley W. Powell, Mike H. Rodgers
  • Patent number: 5083073
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for calibrating a vision-guided robot of the type having a slit light unit for illuminating a workpiece with a target image, a camera for detecting the target image, a tool for working upon the workpiece and a controller for positioning the tool in response to image signals from the camera so that the camera signals correspond to stored image signals. The method includes the steps of displacing the robot from a home position to a calibration position wherein the camera is oriented toward a target, determining a camera correction value between a desired camera position and the actual camera position by comparing a perceived target image with a stored target image and incorporating the camera correction value for robot positioning during a subsequent operational movement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 1990
    Date of Patent: January 21, 1992
    Assignee: Mazada Motor Manufacturing U.S.A. Corp.
    Inventor: Hideyuki Kato
  • Patent number: 5079491
    Abstract: A robot control system including a robot, a robot controller for controlling operation of the robot, and a teaching box for teaching the robot through the robot controller. The teaching box includes an input unit separate from the robot controller for entering a command signal to teach the robot its operation to be effected and a control unit for controlling the input unit and processing and for applying the command signal to the robot controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 1989
    Date of Patent: January 7, 1992
    Assignee: Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Hidetaka Nose, Kazuhiro Kawabata, Yoshihiko Suzuki, Toshiaki Nagasawa
  • Patent number: 5079490
    Abstract: A spindle drive system of a machine tool, wherein a control mode changeover section of a control unit selects one of both a speed control mode for controlling a rotational speed of a spindle through negative feedback of the rotational speed of the spindle and a position control mode for controlling a rotational position of the spindle through negative feedback of the rotational position of the spindle, and a gain changeover section changes speed loop and position loop gains to a greater value during cutting operation than during non-cutting rapid feed operation when the position control mode has been selected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 1990
    Date of Patent: January 7, 1992
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Hirofumi Kita, Takahiro Hayashida
  • Patent number: 4988200
    Abstract: Apparatus for automatic tracking and contour measurement comprising electro-optical sensing apparatus mounted on a CNC machining head for providing an output indication of contours of an object in the precise frame of reference of the CNC machining head.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 1988
    Date of Patent: January 29, 1991
    Assignee: Israel Aircraft Industries, Ltd.
    Inventor: Yael L. Cohen-Sabban
  • Patent number: 4977361
    Abstract: In an X-Y addressable workpiece positioner the workpiece to be positioned, such as a semiconductive wafer to be aligned with a mask image, is coupled to move with a work stage moveable in X and Y direction and having a two-dimensional array of positioning indicia affixed thereto for movement therewith. An enlarged image of a portion of the positioning array is projected onto a relatively stationary sensor stage to derive an output determinative of the X and Y coordinates of the positioning array relative to the position of the sensor. The sensed X and Y coordinates of the positioning array are compared with the X and Y coordinates of a reference positioning address to derive an error output. The work stage is moved in response to the error output for causing the workpiece to be positioned to the reference address.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 1987
    Date of Patent: December 11, 1990
    Assignee: Eaton Corporation
    Inventors: Edward H. Phillips, Karl-Heinz Johannsmeier
  • Patent number: 4965499
    Abstract: A control processor in a robotic system treats optically sensed locations along the path ahead of the tool, which are classified in relation to elapsed distances and identified in 3-D coordinates and 3-axes tool orientation, to apply in real time and under feedforward a control signal representing the error between anticipated tool position and anticipated sensed location on the path. In the process, the anticipated sensed location is obtained by reference to a model made ahead of time with the stored sensed locations grouped as a function of elapsed distances and having a common algebraic feature, such as the slope or the change of slope. A taught path for the robot has been recovered by the control processor also based on elapsed distances and control is related to actual tool position provided by the robot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1988
    Date of Patent: October 23, 1990
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corp
    Inventors: Jeffrey D. Taft, James F. Ellison