Vehicular Guidance Systems With Single Axis Control Patents (Class 318/580)
  • Patent number: 11217092
    Abstract: A transport vehicle system includes a controller that controls multiple transport vehicles. The controller performs, push out control to, when a transport vehicle travelling on a main route approaches a push out target vehicle, transmit a travel command to the push out target vehicle, and travel stop control, when there is no transport vehicle to which a transport command is assigned on the main route, sequentially transmit a travel stop command to the multiple transport vehicles travelling on the main route. In push out control, when there is a transport vehicle to which a transport command is assigned on the main route, a first travel command for a first distance is transmitted, and when there is no transport vehicle to which a transport command is assigned on the main route, a second travel command for a second distance smaller than the first distance is transmitted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2019
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2022
    Assignee: MURATA MACHINERY, LTD.
    Inventor: Kazumi Harasaki
  • Patent number: 11154991
    Abstract: An interactive autonomous robot is configured for deployment within a social environment. The disclosed robot includes a show subsystem configured to select between different in-character behaviors depending on robot status, thereby allowing the robot to appear in-character despite technical failures. The disclosed robot further includes a safety subsystem configured to intervene with in-character behavior when necessary to enforce safety protocols. The disclosed robot is also configured with a social subsystem that interprets social behaviors of humans and then initiates specific behavior sequences in response.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2019
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2021
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeremy Andrew Mika, Michael Richard Honeck, Michael Fusco
  • Patent number: 11119526
    Abstract: An operation device includes a grip to be grasped by an operator, and a supporting portion supporting the grip and allowing the grip to be turned in an arbitrary turning direction. A rotation fulcrum of the grip is positioned inside the grip. In this manner, the present invention requires less hand operation and is configured to be stably operated even when a machine body is shaken.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2021
    Assignee: KUBOTA CORPORATION
    Inventor: Hiroshi Horii
  • Patent number: 11107419
    Abstract: A display device may extract an edge of a data signal based on the data signal and phase conversion clock signals, extract a phase of the data signal based on the edge, and generate a clock phase calibration signal based on the phase of the data signal. The display device may calibrate a phase of a clock signal using the clock phase calibration signal that has a phase corresponding to the phase of the clock signal, thereby improving transmission characteristic of the signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2021
    Inventors: Ki Hyun Pyun, Jang Hoon Kwak, Min Young Park
  • Patent number: 10969491
    Abstract: Systems, methods and computer-readable media enabled methods are disclosed for detecting LIDAR window obstructions in an FMCW LIDAR system, analyzing the operational effects of the LIDAR window obstructions on the FMCW LIDAR system, and mitigating the operational effects on the FMCW LIDAR system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2020
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2021
    Assignee: AEVA, INC.
    Inventors: Jose Krause Perin, Kumar Bhargav Viswanatha, Rajendra Tushar Moorti, Mina Rezk
  • Patent number: 10901431
    Abstract: A tangible, non-transitory, machine readable medium storing instructions that when executed by an image processor effectuates operations including: causing the camera to capture one or more images of an environment of the robotic device; receiving, with the image processor, one or more multidimensional arrays including at least one parameter that describes a feature included in the one or more images, wherein values of the at least one parameter correspond with pixels of a corresponding one or more images of the feature; determining, with the image processor, an amount of asymmetry of the feature in the one or more images based on at least a portion of the values of the at least one parameter; and, transmitting, with the image processor, a signal to the processor of the controller to adjust a heading of the robotic device by an amount proportional to the amount of asymmetry of the feature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2019
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2021
    Assignee: AI Incorporated
    Inventors: Ali Ebrahimi Afrouzi, Lukas Fath, Chen Zhang, Brian Highfill
  • Patent number: 10884426
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for transporting a plurality of articles is disclosed. The apparatus includes a wheeled chassis, and a platform disposed on the wheeled chassis. The apparatus also includes a manipulator coupled to the wheeled chassis and operably configured to load a first article of the plurality of articles at a first position on the platform, or unload the first article of the plurality of articles from the first position on the platform. The apparatus further includes at least one actuator operably configured to cause successive relative rotational movements between the manipulator and the platform to provide access to successive rotationally spaced apart positions on the platform for loading or unloading each subsequent article in the plurality of articles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2021
    Assignee: ADVANCED INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS INC.
    Inventor: Farhang Bidram
  • Patent number: 10602900
    Abstract: The invention relates to a self-propelled floor treatment device (1), in particular to a cleaning robot, with a floor treatment element (2), at least two motorized wheels (3, 4) and a detection device for detecting a floor type of a surface to be treated. In order to easily achieve an optimal detection of the floor type, it is proposed that the detection device have a frictional resistance element (6), which contacts the surface during a movement in such a way that a resultant force outside of a reference axis (7) acts on the floor treatment device (1), wherein the reference axis (7) is oriented parallel to a main direction of movement (8) of the floor treatment device (1) prescribed by the orientation of the wheels (3, 4), and is aligned centrally between the wheels (3, 4) in relation to a direction perpendicular to the reference axis (7). Further proposed is a method for operating a self-propelled floor treatment device (1).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2020
    Assignee: Vorwerk & Co. Interholding GmbH
    Inventors: Hendrik Koetz, Pia Hahn
  • Patent number: 10595695
    Abstract: A piezoelectric debris sensor and associated signal processor responsive to debris strikes enable an autonomous or non-autonomous cleaning device to detect the presence of debris and in response, to select a behavioral mode, operational condition or pattern of movement, such as spot coverage or the like. Multiple sensor channels (e.g., left and right) can be used to enable the detection or generation of differential left/right debris signals and thereby enable an autonomous device to steer in the direction of debris.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2020
    Assignee: iRobot Corporation
    Inventors: Gregg W. Landry, David A. Cohen, Daniel N. Ozick
  • Patent number: 10596705
    Abstract: The invention relates to a mobile robot having running gear and at least one robot arm mounted on the running gear, a sensor system for sensing obstacles in the surroundings of the robot and a navigation unit for laying down a route along which the running gear can be moved while avoiding the obstacles, and a control unit for the robot arm which is adapted to lay down a permissible position for the robot arm by reference to the obstacles sensed and the route.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2020
    Assignee: ABB SCHWEIZ AG
    Inventors: Bernd Gombert, Michael Ries, Leopold Bock-Krausen
  • Patent number: 10515309
    Abstract: Described are systems and methods for determining if assistance is to be provided to a user. In some instances, a total weight associated with a user pattern may be monitored by sensors of a base surface and a determination made if an abnormality related to the user pattern is present. If an abnormality exists, the appropriate assistance may be determined based on the abnormality and provided to the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2019
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Alexander Michael McNamara, Natalie Thuy-Tien Nguyen, Spencer Worley
  • Patent number: 10512771
    Abstract: Apparatus is provided for delivery of an implantable neural stimulator to a sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) of a subject. The apparatus includes a tool having a proximal portion and having a distal portion coupled to the implantable neural stimulator; and a slide-bar at the proximal portion of the tool. The slide-bar includes a distal portion and a proximal portion. The proximal portion of the slide-bar is coupled to the stimulator such that distal advancement of the proximal portion of the slide-bar produces distal advancement of the stimulator. The proximal and distal portions of the slide-bar include respective magnetic coupling elements. The magnetic coupling elements are configured to couple the proximal and distal portions of the slide-bar to each other unless a distally-directed force applied to the distal portion of the slide-bar exceeds a threshold. Other embodiments are also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2019
    Assignee: BRAINSGATE LTD.
    Inventors: Avinoam Dayan, Israel Dvorsky
  • Patent number: 10466711
    Abstract: Disclosed are a moving robot and a controlling method thereof. The moving robot which selectively moves an area based on a stored map to search a charging station within a short time when there is a need for charging due to consumption of a battery. Although a position of the moving robot is optionally changed, the moving robot recognizes a position thereof so that it is easy to move between areas and an influence according to complexity of an obstacle is reduced. Since the charging station in an area may be searched through small moving by setting a specific point in the area as a search position to search the charging station, stop of an operation during searching the charging station may be solved and the charging station may be exactly searched within a short time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2019
    Assignee: LG ELECTRONICS INC.
    Inventors: Suuk Choe, Minuk Kim
  • Patent number: 10429853
    Abstract: A system for zone passage control for a zone of an autonomously operating mobile object includes at least a set of detection units to detect at least one mobile object entering and/or exiting the zone, a set of identification units arranged to identify the mobile object entering and/or exiting the zone, and a central controller being arranged in operational connection with the set of the detection units and with the set of the identification units. An admissibility level for a mobile object to enter the zone is determined and a control signal to stop at least one autonomously operating mobile object existing in the zone is provided in response to the determined admissibility level being negative for the mobile object entered the zone.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2019
    Assignee: Sandvik Mining and Construction OY
    Inventors: Jarkko Ruokojarvi, Antti Lehtinen, Janne Kallio
  • Patent number: 10409275
    Abstract: A system and method for debris particle detection with adaptive learning are provided. The method includes receiving oil debris monitoring (ODM) sensor data from an oil debris monitor sensor and fleet data from a database, detecting a feature in the ODM sensor data, generating an anomaly detection signal based on detecting an anomaly by comparing the feature in the ODM sensor data to a limit defined by system information stored in the fleet data, selecting a maintenance action request based on the anomaly detection signal, and adjusting one or more of the feature, the anomaly, the limit, and the maintenance action request by applying an adaptive learning algorithm that uses the ODM sensor data, fleet data, and feedback from field maintenance of one or more engines that evolves over time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2019
    Assignee: UNITED TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Gregory S. Hagen, Yiqing Lin, Ozgur Erdinc, Michael J. Giering, Alexander I. Khibnik
  • Patent number: 10214354
    Abstract: An automated distribution center includes an array with storage locations arranged along aisle(s) having a floor, and a mezzanine platform above the floor, the floor and mezzanine being configured for human picker access to the storage locations, an automated guided vehicle (AGV) configured for traverse of the floor and mezzanine to the storage locations, and for transporting a storage container to and from the storage locations, the floor and mezzanine each having an undeterministic traverse surface for the AGV, the AGV is configured so that the surface provides holonomic selectable paths for the AGV substantially everywhere on the surface, each path being selectable by the AGV, and an order filling station, where one or more goods are picked from container(s) to fill order(s), wherein the AGV is configured to pick the container from a storage location and transport the container on the surface between the storage array and the station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2019
    Assignee: NEXTSHIFT ROBOTICS, Inc.
    Inventor: Stephen C. Toebes
  • Patent number: 10195750
    Abstract: A robot includes: a base which is provided on a first surface; and a robot arm which is provided on the base, in which the robot arm includes an n-th arm and an (n+1)th arm, in which the n-th arm rotates around an n-th rotating axis, in which the (n+1)th arm is provided to rotate around an (n+1)th rotating axis which is an axial direction different from an axial direction of the n-th rotating axis, in the n-th arm, in which the length of the n-th arm is longer than the length of the (n+1)th arm, and, when viewed from the axial direction of the (n+1)th rotating axis, the n-th arm and the (n+1)th arm overlap each other, and in which a connection part between the base and the robot arm is positioned above the first surface in a vertical direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2019
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Kazushige Akaha, Kazuto Yoshimura
  • Patent number: 9854737
    Abstract: A method of mowing an area with an autonomous mowing robot comprises storing, in non-transient memory of the robot, a set of geospatially referenced perimeter data corresponding to positions of the mowing robot as the mowing robot is guided about a perimeter of an area to be mowed, removing from the set of perimeter data one or more data points thereby creating a redacted data set and controlling the mowing robot to autonomously mow an area bounded by a boundary corresponding to the redacted data set, including altering direction of the mowing robot at or near a position corresponding to data in the redacted data set so as to redirect the robot back into the bounded area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2018
    Assignee: iRobot Corporation
    Inventors: Brian Yamauchi, Andrew Beaulieu, Paul C. Balutis
  • Patent number: 9844828
    Abstract: A wire feeder has a motor, mounting plate, intermediate mounting plate, and base assembly. The mounting plate has a plurality of mounting hole patterns and a shaft hole. The motor a mounting hole pattern that aligns with at least one of the plurality. One of a plurality of motor types can be mounted to the mounting plate. The mounting plate is mounted to the intermediate mounting plate, which is mounted to the base assembly. The base assembly includes a drive gear, which is connected to rotate with an insulating cap that receives a gear hub. The gear hub is connected to rotate with the motor shaft via matching keys. The insulating hub, intermediate mounting plate and mounting plate are electrically insulating, so that the base assembly is electrically isolated from the motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2017
    Assignee: Illinois Tool Works Inc.
    Inventors: Nicholas A. Matiash, Thomas D. Lahti, Jon M. Patterson
  • Patent number: 9791886
    Abstract: A controller includes a first body portion, adapted to be grasped by a person's middle finger, ring finger, and pinky finger, a second body portion adapted to be grasped by a person's index finger, and a third body portion that defines a first surface adapted to receive a person's thumb. A finger switch is positioned on a front surface of the second body portion. The finger switch is positioned such that it may be actuated by the person's index finger. The second body portion is disposed between the first body portion and the third body portion. The second body portion defines an offset with respect to the first body portion. The third body portion defines a second surface above the finger switch, which may receive the person's index finger.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2017
    Assignee: BOMBARDIER INC.
    Inventor: Benoit Ouellette
  • Patent number: 9760093
    Abstract: A system for manipulation of objects. The system includes N objects, where N is greater than or equal to 2 and is an integer; and a mechanism for controlling and 2D locating of the N objects. A method for manipulating objects. The method includes the steps of receiving information from N objects, where N is greater than or equal to 2 and is an integer, at a centrally controlling and 2D locating controller; determining 2D locations by the controller of the N objects; and transmitting from the controller directions to the N objects for the N objects to move. An apparatus for tracking. The apparatus includes N objects, where N is greater than or equal to 2 and is an integer, each object having an emitter which emits light; and a mechanism for 2D sensing of the N objects over time from the light emitted by each emitter. The present invention pertains to a method for tracking.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2017
    Assignee: New York University
    Inventors: Kenneth Perlin, Daniel A. Rosenfeld, Joel S. Kollin
  • Patent number: 9704246
    Abstract: An image processing apparatus, includes a processor configured to obtain a marker image including a first pixel area including a first image indicating a shape of an outer frame and a second pixel area and a second image arranged within the outer frame, extract an intersecting point of a first line segment in parallel with a boundary between the first pixel area and the second pixel area which are adjacent to each other along a predetermined direction and a second line segment in parallel with a boundary between the first pixel area and the second pixel area which are adjacent to each other along a direction perpendicular to the predetermined direction, a first apex indicating an apex of four corners of the outer frame, and a second apex included in the second image, and identify a display position using the intersecting point, the first apex, or the second apex.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2017
    Assignee: FUJITSU LIMITED
    Inventor: Nobuyasu Yamaguchi
  • Patent number: 9405293
    Abstract: A method for controlling an autonomous vehicle includes obtaining information describing a roadway; defining a plurality of layers along the roadway between a starting position and a goal position, each layer having a first width, and each layer having a plurality of nodes that are spaced from one another transversely with respect to the roadway within the first width; and determining a first trajectory from the starting position to the goal position, by minimizing a cost value associated with traversing the layers. Determining the first trajectory includes, for each layer, determining layer-specific weighting factors for each of a plurality of cost components, based on information associated with the respective layer, and determining, for each node of the respective layer, a cost for travelling to one or more of the nodes in a subsequent layer based on the plurality of cost components and the layer-specific weighting factors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2016
    Assignee: NISSAN NORTH AMERICA, INC
    Inventor: Nicolas Meuleau
  • Patent number: 9199649
    Abstract: An arrangement and a method are described for safeguarding driver attentiveness to the task of steering while operating a vehicle having a lane keeping aid system. The arrangement and method provide for measuring a pinion angle and a torsion bar torque when the lane keeping aid system is applying an overlaying steering torque. Driver applied torque is estimated from the measurements. A hands-off metric is calculated based on a relation between the measurements and the estimate. Hands-off is determined based on a comparison of the metric with a predefined threshold. The arrangement and method further provide for evaluating hands-on between torque interventions by the lane keeping aid system. An action is determined based on the determined hands-off and the evaluated hands-on and the action determined performed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2015
    Assignee: Volvo Car Corporation
    Inventors: Nenad Lazic, Claes Olsson
  • Patent number: 9144361
    Abstract: A piezoelectric debris sensor and associated signal processor responsive to debris strikes enable an autonomous or non-autonomous cleaning device to detect the presence of debris and in response, to select a behavioral mode, operational condition or pattern of movement, such as spot coverage or the like. Multiple sensor channels (e.g., left and right) can be used to enable the detection or generation of differential left/right debris signals and thereby, enable an autonomous device to steer in the direction of debris.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 29, 2015
    Assignee: iRobot Corporation
    Inventors: Gregg W. Landry, David A. Cohen, Daniel N. Ozick
  • Patent number: 8965623
    Abstract: A system, method and computer program product for attending to an environmental condition by an electronic cleaning device. A computer receives one or more data signals from one or more sensors through a network, with each of the one or more sensors associated with a physical location. The computer determines that due to an environmental condition a signal strength of the one or more data signals received from the one or more sensors is out of a threshold value range. The computer determines an optimal route from a current location of the electronic cleaning device to the one or more physical locations of the one or more sensors associated with the one or more data signals experiencing signal strength out of the threshold value range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Sarbajit K. Rakshit
  • Patent number: 8897930
    Abstract: This application describes the software invented to control an electric motor system. The electric motor system is mounted on one or more aircraft main wheels or nose wheels to drive an aircraft independently on the ground without aircraft engines or tow vehicles. The software uses closed-loop control together with several other control laws to operate the drive motor or motors. Knowledge of the current operating state of the drive motor, together with knowledge of the commands given to taxi forward, taxi in reverse, or brake in reverse, is used to configure the motors to optimal operating parameters. The software architecture is described along with the pilot interface and many details of software implementation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2014
    Inventor: Janice Ilene Bayer
  • Patent number: 8836485
    Abstract: A remote control system includes a mobile device and a receiver connected to a control target. The mobile device includes an input unit accepting user's input operation; an operation signal transmission unit wirelessly transmitting an operation signal corresponding to the input operation during the input operation; a frequency switching determination unit determining whether to switch the transmission frequency band from a first frequency band to a second frequency band based on at least any one of a manner of the input operation and a state of wireless communication; and a transmission frequency switching unit switching the transmission frequency band when the frequency switching determination unit determines to switch the transmission frequency band. The receiver includes an operation signal reception unit receiving the operation signal; and a control unit controlling the control target on the basis of the received operation signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2014
    Assignees: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha, Denso Corporation
    Inventors: Hiroko Murakami, Hiroki Okada, Arinobu Kimura, Kazuhiro Nakashima
  • Patent number: 8836545
    Abstract: A motor vehicle includes a plurality of electronic detection devices for detecting and making available vehicle-related information items, wherein the vehicle-related information items relate to various areas or components outside or inside the motor vehicle; a display unit for displaying the vehicle-related information items; an operator control device for detecting an operator control action; and a control unit. The control unit is configured and coupled with the detection devices, the display unit and the operator control device such that in a first display operating state, first vehicle-related information items and a first graphics object, which represents the motor vehicle, are displayed. In a second display operating state, second vehicle-related information items and a second graphics object, which represents the motor vehicle, are displayed. The first graphics object, which represents the motor vehicle, is larger than the second.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2014
    Assignee: Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Lutz Eckstein, Josef Schumann, Martin Zobl, Christian Knoll
  • Patent number: 8686679
    Abstract: A method of confining a robot in a work space includes providing a portable barrier signal transmitting device including a primary emitter emitting a confinement beam primarily along an axis defining a directed barrier. A mobile robot including a detector, a drive motor and a control unit controlling the drive motor is caused to avoid the directed barrier upon detection by the detector on the robot. The detector on the robot has an omnidirectional field of view parallel to the plane of movement of the robot. The detector receives confinement light beams substantially in a plane at the height of the field of view while blocking or rejecting confinement light beams substantially above or substantially below the plane at the height of the field of view.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2014
    Assignee: iRobot Corporation
    Inventors: Joseph L. Jones, Philip R. Mass
  • Patent number: 8612066
    Abstract: In one aspect, the present disclosure is directed to a control system for a machine with traction devices. The control system may have a sensor configured to sense an ambient temperature. The control system may also have a controller in communication with the sensor. The controller may be configured to determine a load limit of a machine based on an expected speed of the machine and the ambient temperature. The controller may further be configured to enforce the load limit of the machine during loading.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2013
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventor: Steven Wayne O'Neal
  • Patent number: 8600553
    Abstract: An autonomous coverage robot includes a drive system, a bump sensor, and a proximity sensor. The drive system is configured to maneuver the robot according to a heading (turn) setting and a speed setting. The bump sensor is responsive to a collision of the robot with an obstacle in a forward direction. A method of navigating an autonomous coverage robot with respect to an object on a floor includes the robot autonomously traversing the floor in a cleaning mode at a full cleaning speed. Upon sensing a proximity of the object forward of the robot, the robot reduces the cleaning speed to a reduced cleaning speed while continuing towards the object until the robot detects a contact with the object. Upon sensing contact with the object, the robot turns with respect to the object and cleans next to the object, optionally substantially at the reduced cleaning speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2013
    Assignee: iRobot Corporation
    Inventors: Selma Svendsen, Daniel N. Ozick, Christopher M. Casey, Deepak Ramesh Kapoor, Tony L. Campbell, Chikyung Won, Christopher John Morse, Scott Thomas Burnett
  • Patent number: 8528157
    Abstract: An autonomous coverage robot includes a chassis, a drive system configured to maneuver the robot, and a cleaning assembly. The cleaning assembly includes a cleaning assembly housing and at least one driven sweeper brush. The robot includes a controller and a removable sweeper bin configured to receive debris agitated by the driven sweeper brush. The sweeper bin includes an emitter disposed on an interior surface of the bin and a receiver disposed remotely from the emitter on the interior surface of the bin and configured to receive an emitter signal. The emitter and the receiver are disposed such that a threshold level of accumulation of debris in the sweeper bin blocks the receiver from receiving emitter emissions. The robot includes a bin controller disposed in the sweeper bin and monitoring a detector signal and initiating a bin full routine upon determining a bin debris accumulation level requiring service.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2013
    Assignee: iRobot Corporation
    Inventors: Mark Schnittman, Daniel N. Ozick, Gregg W. Landry
  • Patent number: 8473101
    Abstract: A coordinated action robotic system may include a plurality of robotic vehicles, each including a platform and at least one manipulator movable relative thereto. The robotic system may also include a remote operator control station that may include a respective controller for each manipulator. The remote operator control station may also include a mapping module to map movement of each manipulator relative to its platform. Operation of the controllers for manipulator movement in a given direction produces corresponding movement of the respective manipulators in the given direction such that the robotic vehicles may be controlled as if they were one robotic vehicle. The coordinated movement may result in increased operational efficiency, increased operational dexterity, and increased ease of controlling the robotic vehicles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2013
    Assignee: Harris Corporation
    Inventor: Matthew D. Summer
  • Patent number: 8452514
    Abstract: A device executes a preceding vehicle following driving control and successively calculates a friction-braking-start threshold value, an engine-braking-start threshold value, an acceleration-control-completion threshold value by using equations L1, L2 and L3, respectively. The device uses a constant vehicle speed zone determined between the engine-braking-start threshold value and the acceleration-control-completion threshold value. When a compensated-evaluation-index value KdB_c of a vehicle distance between the own vehicle and a preceding vehicle is within the constant vehicle speed zone, the device drives the own vehicle at a constant speed. This control suppresses fuel consumption because of decreasing an acceleration and deceleration frequency of the own vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2013
    Assignee: Denso Corporation
    Inventors: Kazuyoshi Isaji, Naohiko Tsuru
  • Patent number: 8437909
    Abstract: A computer program product includes a storage medium that stores instructions for execution by a processing circuit for practicing a method for synchronous communication in a control system. Within a first time interval, a first source task is executed to broadcast a first destination task, within a second sequential time interval, the first destination task is communicated over a channel to a first destination, and within a third sequential time interval, the first destination task is consumed. Within the first time interval, a second source task may be executed to broadcast a second destination task, within the second sequential time interval, the second destination task may be communicated over the channel to a second destination, and within the third sequential time interval, the second destination task may be consumed. The first source task is allowed to be scheduled ahead of the second source task, and the second source task is allowed to be scheduled ahead of the first source task.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2013
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Thomas E. Fuhrman, Miroslawa A. Supal, Arnold W. Millsap
  • Patent number: 8392021
    Abstract: An autonomous floor cleaning robot includes a transport drive and control system arranged for autonomous movement of the robot over a floor for performing cleaning operations. The robot chassis carries a first cleaning zone comprising cleaning elements arranged to suction loose particulates up from the cleaning surface and a second cleaning zone comprising cleaning elements arraigned to apply a cleaning fluid onto the surface and to thereafter collect the cleaning fluid up from the surface after it has been used to clean the surface. The robot chassis carries a supply of cleaning fluid and a waste container for storing waste materials collected up from the cleaning surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2013
    Assignee: iRobot Corporation
    Inventors: Stefanos Konandreas, Andrew Ziegler, Christopher John Morse
  • Patent number: 8378613
    Abstract: A piezoelectric debris sensor and associated signal processor responsive to debris strikes enable an autonomous or non-autonomous cleaning device to detect the presence of debris and in response, to select a behavioral mode, operational condition or pattern of movement, such as spot coverage or the like. Multiple sensor channels (e.g., left and right) can be used to enable the detection or generation of differential left/right debris signals and thereby enable an autonomous device to steer in the direction of debris.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2013
    Assignee: iRobot Corporation
    Inventors: Gregg W. Landry, David A. Cohen, Daniel N. Ozick
  • Patent number: 8346408
    Abstract: A method, apparatus, and computer program product for identifying a number of air states for a vehicle. A deflection of a control surface associated with an actuator is identified to form an identified deflection. A current in the actuator is identified to form a measured current. The number of air states for the vehicle is estimated using the identified deflection and the measured current.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Ryan Todd Ratliff
  • Patent number: 8260483
    Abstract: The present invention provides a guidance, navigation, and control method and system for an underground mining vehicle that allow said vehicle to be taught a route by a human operator and then have it automatically drive the route with no human intervention. The method works in three steps: teaching, route profiling, and playback. In the teaching step the vehicle is manually driven by a operator along a route which can consist of an arbitrary sequence of maneuvers including tramming forwards, switching directions, tramming backwards, turning, or pausing movement. During this phase raw data from vehicle-mounted sensors including odometric sensors and rangefinders are logged to a file throughout teaching for later processing. During the (offline) route profiling step, the raw data in the log file are processed into a route profile, and a profile of desired speed as a function of distance along the path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2012
    Assignee: MacDonald, Dettwiler & Associates Inc
    Inventors: Timothy D. Barfoot, Joshua A. Marshall, Raja Mukherji, Robert Ward
  • Patent number: 8253368
    Abstract: A piezoelectric debris sensor and associated signal processor responsive to debris strikes enable an autonomous or non-autonomous cleaning device to detect the presence of debris and in response, to select a behavioral mode, operational condition or pattern of movement, such as spot coverage or the like. Multiple sensor channels (e.g., left and right) can be used to enable the detection or generation of differential left/right debris signals and thereby enable an autonomous device to steer in the direction of debris.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2012
    Assignee: iRobot Corporation
    Inventors: Gregg W. Landry, David A. Cohen, Daniel N. Ozick
  • Patent number: 8170756
    Abstract: A method for enhancing productivity for an excavating operation is disclosed. The method includes establishing a machine-to-machine communication system for a fleet of machines, including at least two machines. The method also includes removing material during the excavating operation with at least a first machine of the fleet of machines. The method additionally includes operating a second machine of the fleet of machines in a mode involving contact between at least the first machine and the second machine. The method further includes employing the machine-to-machine communication system to effect controlled contact between at least the first machine and the second machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2012
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen J. Morey, Timothy A. Vik, Quentin D. Burt
  • Patent number: 8090491
    Abstract: A guidance, navigation, and control method and system for an underground mining vehicle wherein an operator directly or indirectly guides the vehicle along a route as vehicle-mounted sensors including odometric sensors and rangefinders log motion data to a file which data is processed into a route profile including a vehicle path, a sequence of submaps along the path, and a profile of desired speed as a function of distance along the path. Thereafter the vehicle automatically repeats the route as represented by the route profile without an operator using the sensors and the maps to determine vehicle location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2012
    Assignee: MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy D. Barfoot, Joshua A. Marshall, Raja Mukherji, Robert Ward
  • Patent number: 8049600
    Abstract: The present invention is a method and system for controlling a RC device via a secure radio link. In one embodiment of the invention, spread spectrum modulation may be employed which may provide a digital radio frequency (RF) link between a controller and a RC device. A controller may be coupled with a transmitter module and a radio controlled device may be coupled with a receiver module in accordance with the present invention to provide an add-on upgrade capability. The method and system for controlling a RC device may also include error detection and correction, interpolation of lost packets, failsafe technology and force-feedback telemetric technology to further enhance the user experience with radio controlled devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2011
    Assignee: Horizon Hobby, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul Beard, John Adams, Mathew Lee, Eric Meyers
  • Patent number: 7789951
    Abstract: A method and system for purifying air while moving. The system for purifying air includes an air purification unit inhaling and purifying the air, a moving unit moving the system, and an object sensing unit sensing a wall existing at a side of the system in a direction in which the moving unit moves, wherein the moving unit moves while keeping a distance within a predetermined range from the wall sensed by the object sensing unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2010
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Young-hun Sung, Soon-joo Kwon, Jay-woo Kim
  • Patent number: 7787989
    Abstract: The invention concerns a navigation device for a mobile robot comprising means for measuring the amplitude and the phase of an electromagnetic signal emitted by a wire acting as limit for a working area of the robot. The measuring means samples the amplitude of the signal during each time interval, the result of each measurement is stored in a memory and the measurements are repeated for several time intervals, the collected results being added in said memories until the content of a memory reaches a reference threshold. The number of samples required and the content of each memory is interpreted by numerical analysis to determine the distance or distance variation relative to said limiting elements. Any phase change corresponding to a passage beyond the limiting wire is easily detected and results for example in a command returning the robot to its working area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2010
    Assignee: Husqvarna
    Inventor: André Colens
  • Patent number: 7765978
    Abstract: A differential pressure sensor apparatus for use in a fuel delivery system measures the differential pressure of the fuel between a point immediately upstream and a point immediately downstream of a fuel monitor element. The differential pressure sensor apparatus uses an electronic transducer to monitor differential pressure and may be used with interlocks to shutdown fuel delivery if the measured value of the differential pressure is above a predetermined threshold value and to notify an operator of the fuel delivery system of such an increase in the differential pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2010
    Assignee: Liquid Controls Corporation
    Inventors: James R. Ruesch, Bryan P. Haynes
  • Patent number: 7739006
    Abstract: There is provided an autonomous navigation system for use in conjunction with a ride vehicle. The autonomous navigation system includes an on-board sensor system for generating on-board sensor data of a surrounding of the ride vehicle. According to this embodiment, the autonomous navigation system further includes a receiver module for receiving off-board sensor data of the surrounding of the ride vehicle. For example, the off-board sensor data can be generated from an off-board sensor system, which includes a plurality of off-board sensors. The autonomous navigation system includes a sensor data fusion module for performing a data fusion process on the on-board sensor data and the off-board sensor data to generate fused sensor data. The autonomous navigation system further includes a navigation module for determining a course of the ride vehicle based on the fused sensor data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2010
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventor: Jeremy Gillula
  • Patent number: 7725232
    Abstract: A method and a system for monitoring the location of a mining vehicle in a mine. The mine comprises a first and a second work area. At least one identifier (29) whose exact location is known is arranged in the first work area (18a). The location of the mining vehicle (1) is determined continuously by means of a dead reckoning. The location data, based on the dead reckoning, can be updated by means of the identifier. The location data are transmitted to a mine control system for monitoring the mining vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2010
    Assignee: Sandvik Mining and Construction OY
    Inventors: Hannu Mäkelä, Riku Pulli, Timo Soikkeli
  • Publication number: 20100115716
    Abstract: A piezoelectric debris sensor and associated signal processor responsive to debris strikes enable an autonomous or non-autonomous cleaning device to detect the presence of debris and in response, to select a behavioral mode, operational condition or pattern of movement, such as spot coverage or the like. Multiple sensor channels (e.g., left and right) can be used to enable the detection or generation of differential left/right debris signals and thereby enable an autonomous device to steer in the direction of debris.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 14, 2010
    Publication date: May 13, 2010
    Applicant: IROBOT CORPORATION
    Inventors: Gregg W. Landry, David A. Cohen, Daniel Ozick