Land Vehicles Patents (Class 318/587)
  • Patent number: 10261511
    Abstract: A mobile apparatus includes a position detection device, and an autonomous mobile body. The position detection device includes input means for inputting route data, a distance sensor, map data, position identification means, and relative route calculation means for calculating a relative position and a relative angle to a position of the target point from the position data and the route data of the mobile body. The autonomous mobile body includes a controller that controls an autonomous travel of the autonomous mobile body itself by using the relative position and the relative angle received from the position detection device as control signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2019
    Assignee: Hitachi Industrial Equipment Systems Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Ryoso Masaki, Shuichi Maki, Kazuto Shirane, Takuya Naka, Kohsei Matsumoto
  • Patent number: 10241555
    Abstract: An information handling system includes a battery, a host processing complex, and a management system. The battery includes a battery power level gauge that determines a power level of the battery. The management system includes a wireless transceiver. When the host processing complex is unpowered, the management system is coupled to receive power from the battery and provides a first indication of the power level of the battery via the wireless transceiver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Assignee: Dell Products, LP
    Inventors: Sajjad Ahmed, Jinsaku Masuyama, John R. Palmer
  • Patent number: 10241514
    Abstract: Systems and methods for initializing a robot to autonomously travel a route are disclosed. In some exemplary implementations, a robot can detect an initialization object and then determine its position relative to that initialization object. The robot can then learn a route by user demonstration, where the robot associates actions along that route with positions relative to the initialization object. The robot can later detect the initialization object again and determine its position relative to that initialization object. The robot can then autonomously navigate the learned route, performing actions associated with positions relative to the initialization object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Assignee: Brain Corporation
    Inventors: Jean-Baptiste Passot, Jaldert Rombouts, Cody Griffin, John Black
  • Patent number: 10228441
    Abstract: Embodiments for accurately tracking objects in three-dimensional space by at least one processor device. Inter-device communications are sent between a plurality of stationary radio frequency elements to triangulate a three-dimensional position between the plurality of stationary radio frequency elements and a tracking element registerable to a user, the tracking element also in radio frequency communication with the plurality of stationary radio frequency elements. The tracking element moves, and is tracked by, the plurality of stationary radio frequency elements through the three-dimensional space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2019
    Assignee: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Emmanuel Barajas Gonzalez, Shaun E. Harrington, Harry McGregor, Christopher B. Moore
  • Patent number: 10216865
    Abstract: Devices, systems and methods are provided for monitoring a plurality of articles that are arranged on a support surface according to an article arrangement modeled with a first processing device. One of the methods includes receiving image data generated from the modeled article arrangement. The image data is received by a second processing device, and is indicative of an image of the arranged articles on the support surface. The received image data is used to inspect the arranged articles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2019
    Assignee: VECNA ROBOTICS, INC.
    Inventor: Daniel Theobald
  • Patent number: 10182693
    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: December 26, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2019
    Assignee: iRobot Corporation
    Inventors: Gregg W. Landry, David A. Cohen, Daniel N. Ozick
  • Patent number: 10139826
    Abstract: A path controller for guiding an autonomous vehicle along a desired path may include an input module that may receive input signals such as, a normal error signal that indicates an off-path deviation of the autonomous vehicle relative to a desired path, a heading signal, and a curvature signal associated with the autonomous vehicle. The path controller may also include a curvature rate module that calculates a curvature rate output signal to guide the autonomous vehicle along the desired path and a communication module that communicates the curvature rate output signal to a steering control system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2018
    Assignee: AUTONOMOUS SOLUTIONS INC.
    Inventor: Matthew D. Berkemeier
  • Patent number: 10134204
    Abstract: A method for collecting machine operation data of a machine is disclosed. Initially, first and second sensor data is determined by a mobile sensor of a mobile device processor located on or within a machine. A first dynamic characteristic is determined based on at least one of the first and second sensor data. Next, the mobile device connects wirelessly to an external computing platform and the first dynamic characteristic is transmitted from the mobile device to the external computing platform. Third and fourth sensor data are determined by the mobile sensor. A second dynamic characteristic is determined based on at least one of the third and fourth sensor data. The second dynamic characteristic is transmitted to the external computing platform. A first dynamic change is determined based on the first and second dynamic characteristics. A first operation performed by the machine is determined based on the first dynamic change.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2018
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventor: James G. Katter, Jr.
  • Patent number: 10120385
    Abstract: Various systems and methods for providing a vehicle control system are described herein. A system for managing a vehicle comprises: a vehicle control system of a vehicle having access to a network, including: a communication module to interface with at least one of: a mobile device, the vehicle, and environmental sensors coupled to the vehicle; and a configuration module to identify a mitigation operation to be taken when predetermined factors exist; wherein the vehicle control system is to identify a potential obstacle in a travel route of the vehicle and initiate a mitigation operation at the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2018
    Assignee: Intel Corporation
    Inventor: Patrick L. Connor
  • Patent number: 10091930
    Abstract: A robot lawnmower includes a robot body, a drive system, a localizing system, a teach monitor, and a controller in communication with one another. The drive system is configured to maneuver the robot lawnmower over a lawn. The teach monitor determines whether the robot lawnmower is in a teachable state. The controller includes a data processing device and non-transitory memory in communication with the data processing device. The data processing device executes a teach routine when the controller is in a teach mode for tracing a confinement perimeter around the lawn as a human operator pilots the robot lawn mower, when the robot lawnmower is in the teachable state, the teach routine stores global positions determined by the localizing system in the non-transitory memory, and when the robot lawnmower is in the unteachable state, the teach routine issues an indication of the unteachable state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2018
    Assignee: iRobot Corporation
    Inventors: Paul C. Balutis, Alec Likhite, Brian Doughty, Jeff Karlson, Tyler Nikitas
  • Patent number: 10042366
    Abstract: A control method and system for adjusting the relative position of a mobile household with respect to a human is provided by the present disclosure. The mobile household device obtains the location information of the target object at multiple time points, and, according to the obtained location information, determines the current moving direction and positional relation of the target object relative to the mobile household device, and moves to the dominant hand side of the target object according to preset conditions. By detecting and analyze the state of the user, the mobile household device can actively adjust its motion, thus improving its intelligence level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2018
    Assignee: Huizhou TCL Mobile Communication Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Yu Zheng
  • Patent number: 9984467
    Abstract: According to the embodiments described herein, a method for vehicle positioning or navigation utilizing associated feature pairs may include creating a plurality of associated feature pairs by retrieving an initial set of camera data from the camera comprising two-dimensional UV space information, forming pairs from the UV space information, and associating each pair from the UV space information with pairs from each of the plurality of three-dimensional global feature points of the industrial facility map, calculating a best estimate poses from calculated vehicle poses of the associated feature pairs, using an accumulated odometry to update the best estimate pose to a current localized position and setting a seed position as the current localized position. The navigation of the materials handling vehicle is tracked and/or navigated along the inventory transit surface navigate in at least a partially automated manner utilizing the current localized position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2018
    Assignee: Crown Equipment Corporation
    Inventors: Kashyap Chandrasekar, Ryan Estep, Jacob Thomson, Lucas Waltz
  • Patent number: 9921067
    Abstract: Systems and methods for calibrating odometry of a materials handling vehicle. One embodiment of a method includes determining a current location of the materials handling vehicle, determining an odometry distance from the current location to a destination based on a calculation of a determined number of rotations of a wheel and a circumference of the wheel, and determining a positioning system distance from the current location to the destination. Some embodiments include comparing the odometry distance with data from the positioning system distance to calculate a scaling factor, applying the scaling factor to a fast alpha filter to achieve a fast filter result, and applying the scaling factor to a slow alpha filter to achieve a slow filter result. Similarly, some embodiments include applying the fast alpha filter to the scaling factor to smooth noise, calculating an updated odometry distance utilizing the scaling factor, and utilizing the updated odometry distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2018
    Assignee: Crown Equipment Corporation
    Inventors: Timothy William Fanselow, Justin Forbes Thode, Ryan Michaels Estep
  • Patent number: 9910439
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are methods and apparatus for controlling autonomous vehicles utilizing maps that include visibility information. A map is stored at a computing device associated with a vehicle. The vehicle is configured to operate in an autonomous mode that supports a plurality of driving behaviors. The map includes information about a plurality of roads, a plurality of features, and visibility information for at least a first feature in the plurality of features. The computing device queries the map for visibility information for the first feature at a first position. The computing device, in response to querying the map, receives the visibility information for the first feature at the first position. The computing device selects a driving behavior for the vehicle based on the visibility information. The computing device controls the vehicle in accordance with the selected driving behavior.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2018
    Assignee: Waymo LLC
    Inventors: David Ian Franklin Ferguson, Nathaniel Fairfield, Bradley Templeton
  • Patent number: 9889856
    Abstract: The present application discloses a method and apparatus for controlling an unmanned vehicle. The method may comprise: collecting image information and vital sign information of a person in an unmanned vehicle, and origin information and destination information of the unmanned vehicle; generating action characteristic information of the person based on the image information; generating emotional characteristic information and physical state information of the person based on the action characteristic information and the vital sign information; determining a route and an operation mode of the unmanned vehicle based on the emotional characteristic information, the physical state information, the origin information and the destination information; and controlling the unmanned vehicle based on the determined route and operation mode. The implementation achieves automatic control of an unmanned vehicle based on the emotion and physical state of a person in the unmanned vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2018
    Assignee: BEIJING BAIDU NETCOM SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Zhao Zhang
  • Patent number: 9889559
    Abstract: In one embodiment the present disclosure provides a robotic updating apparatus that includes mapping circuitry to provide movement instructions, the mapping circuitry including map data; wherein the map data includes a defined area for the robotic updating apparatus; movement circuitry to receive the movement instructions and to control movement of the robotic apparatus within the defined area; wherein movement is based on, at least in part, the movement instructions; device discovery circuitry to discover at least one target device within the defined area; and update circuitry to provide update for at least one target device; wherein the device discovery circuitry also to communicate the update to the at least one target device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2018
    Assignee: INTEL CORPORATION
    Inventor: Igor Muttik
  • Patent number: 9836046
    Abstract: A self-propelled device includes a drive system, a wireless communication port, a memory and a processor. The memory stores a first set of instructions for mapping individual inputs from a first set of recognizable inputs to a corresponding command that controls movement of the self-propelled device. The processor (or processors) receive one or more inputs from the controller device over the wireless communication port, map each of the one or more inputs to a command based on the set of instructions, and control the drive system using the command determined for each of the one or more inputs. While the drive system is controlled, the processor processes one or more instructions to after the set of recognizable inputs and/or the corresponding command that is mapped to the individual inputs in the set of recognizable inputs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2017
    Inventors: Adam Wilson, Dan Danknick
  • Patent number: 9836060
    Abstract: A trailer backup assist system is provided herein. A camera captures images of a trailer connected to a vehicle. A display has a screen for displaying captured images and registering a touch event thereon to assign a target on the imaged trailer. A controller processes the captured images and tracks the target to determine a hitch angle between the vehicle and the trailer while the vehicle is automatically steered during a trailer backup maneuver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2017
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Maher Ghneim, Erick Michael Lavoie
  • Patent number: 9823662
    Abstract: The invention concerns a transport vehicle and a method for the trouble-free transport of load shelves in workshops with partially autonomous operation, having the following features: (a) a vehicle body with a carrier plate for receiving and transporting a load shelf with cargo, with two separately driven drive wheels, at least one support wheel being provided at the front and at the rear of the vehicle body in each case; (b) a transverse link which connects the drive wheels which are each pivotable via an angled lever about the rotational axis, such that the drive wheels can carry out vertical movements independently of each other; (c) a centrally disposed adjusting element which, via a lifting-turning lever and a thrust rod connected thereto, can move two front lifting rods and two rear lifting rods in order to raise or lower the carrier plate; (d) a system for supplying energy to the vehicle body; and (e) at least one 3D scanner and at least one light field sensor in the front region of the vehicle body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2017
    Assignee: GRENZEBACH MASCHINENBAU GMBH
    Inventors: Siegfried Mecklinger, Bernhard Kuegle
  • Patent number: 9815199
    Abstract: A control system, method and computer program product cooperate to assist control for an autonomous robot. An interface receives recognition information from an autonomous robot, said recognition information including candidate target objects to interact with the autonomous robot. A display control unit causes a display image to be displayed on a display of candidate target objects, wherein at least two of the candidate target objects are displayed with an associated indication of a target object score.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2017
    Assignee: SONY CORPORATION
    Inventors: Kenta Kawamoto, Yoshiaki Iwai, Satoru Shimizu
  • Patent number: 9791858
    Abstract: A self-propelled device includes a drive system, a wireless communication port, a memory and a processor. The memory stores a first set of instructions for mapping individual inputs from a first set of recognizable inputs to a corresponding command that controls movement of the self-propelled device. The processor (or processors) receive one or more inputs from the controller device over the wireless communication port, map each of the one or more inputs to a command based on the set of instructions, and control the drive system using the command determined for each of the one or more inputs. While the drive system is controlled, the processor processes one or more instructions to after the set of recognizable inputs and/or the corresponding command that is mapped to the individual inputs in the set of recognizable inputs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2017
    Inventors: Adam Wilson, Dan Danknick
  • Patent number: 9792739
    Abstract: An operation monitoring system for a machine is provided. The operation monitoring system includes a frame and a dump body. The operation monitoring system further includes an inertial measurement unit to measure acceleration and rotation of the dump body. The operation monitoring system further includes a position determination unit to determine position of the machine. The operation monitoring system further includes a time logging unit to record a time entry. The operation monitoring system further includes a processing unit in communication with the inertial measurement unit, the position determination unit and the time logging unit. The processing unit is configured to determine operation states of the machine based on the received signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2017
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventor: Anders C. Thomsen
  • Patent number: 9759566
    Abstract: A first device is operated to obtain a navigation track between a first location and a second location by establishing a peer-to-peer communication connection with a second device and receiving a message that contains information associated with the first location and/or the second location from the second device. The information is associated with a navigation module on the first device. The information associated with the at least one of the first location and the second location is processed using the navigation module to obtain the navigation track between the first location and the second location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2017
    Assignee: AT&T Intellectual Property I, L.P.
    Inventor: John Ruckart
  • Patent number: 9740212
    Abstract: A method for moving one or more mobile drive units within a workspace includes receiving, from a first mobile drive unit, a reservation request requesting use of a first path segment to move in a first direction. The method further includes determining that a second mobile drive unit is currently located on the first path segment and determining whether the second mobile drive unit is moving in the first direction. Additionally, the method includes transmitting a reservation response indicating that the reservation request is denied, in response to determining that the second mobile drive unit is not moving in the first direction. The method also includes transmitting a reservation response indicating that the reservation request is granted, in response to determining that the second mobile drive unit is moving in the first direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2017
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Raffaello D'Andrea, Peter R. Wurman, Michael T. Barbehenn, Andrew E. Hoffman, Michael C. Mountz
  • Patent number: 9645581
    Abstract: A method for navigating an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from an initial position of the UAV towards a base position comprises A) flying the UAV to a plurality of destination positions each having a first predetermined distance from the initial position of the UAV, wherein the plurality of destination positions correspond to a plurality of trial directions with respect to the initial position, respectively; B) detecting, for each of the plurality of destination positions, a distance from the base position to the destination position when the UAV is at the destination position, thereby to obtain a plurality of detected distances corresponding to the plurality of trial directions, respectively; C) determining a return direction of the UAV on the basis of the plurality of detected distances; and D) flying the UAV a second predetermined distance along the return direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2017
    Assignee: ZEROTECH (Shenzhen) Intelligence Robot Co., Ltd
    Inventors: Jianjun Yang, Mingliang Feng
  • Patent number: 9639346
    Abstract: An approach is provided for updating an embedded vehicle system during travel with one or more data packages configured based on the operating time associated with the travel. A maintenance platform determines an estimated operating time of at least one embedded system. The maintenance platform configures one or more data packages for performing one or more maintenance operations based, at least in part, on the estimated operating time. The maintenance platform then causes, at least in part, a transmission of the one or more data packages to the at least one embedded system to initiate the one or more maintenance operations during the estimated operating time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2017
    Assignee: HERE Global B.V.
    Inventor: Marko Tapio Tuukkanen
  • Patent number: 9637121
    Abstract: A method, control unit and computer program product is disclosed for executing an evasive maneuver of a motor vehicle. If an obstacle is detected in the vehicle's path, the evasive maneuver is initiated and a nominal trajectory is calculated. Control devices of the motor vehicle are actuated in such a way that the motor vehicle drives along the nominal trajectory under normal road conditions. The evasive maneuver is executed as calculated if the motor vehicle moves along the nominal trajectory. An alternative trajectory, which is actually possible with respect to the driving dynamics under the given road conditions, is calculated based on the reaction of the motor vehicle to the actuation of its control devices if the motor vehicle does not move along the nominal trajectory. The evasive maneuver is executed along the alternative trajectory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2017
    Assignee: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Boliang Yi, Frank Bonarens
  • Patent number: 9606541
    Abstract: A docking station (20) and a robot (22) for docking therein, include corresponding transmission parts. These transmission parts are for the transmission of energy, such as electricity, for recharging the robot (22), and/or signals, for operating the robot (22), the energy and/or signals passing between the docking station and the robot (22). The docking station (20) and robot (22) are such that the docking of the robot (22) in the docking station (20) is at a horizontal orientation, as the transmission part on the robot (22) includes laterally protruding docking contacts that contact corresponding laterally oriented contact arms of the docking station (20).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Assignee: F Robotics Acquisitions Ltd.
    Inventor: Shai Abramson
  • Patent number: 9578856
    Abstract: A system and method for preventing an animal being managed by a human from approaching a certain area using image recognition technology includes an apparatus put on the animal, and a marker having either a preset color or a preset shape or both and installed in the certain area. The apparatus put on the animal includes a camera to capture a ground surface image of a movement path of the animal, a stimulus applicator to apply a stimulus to the animal, a memory to store an image of the marker, and a control unit, and operates the stimulus applicator to apply a stimulus to the animal when an image matched with the image of the marker stored in the memory is recognized in the image captured by the camera as the animal moves.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2017
    Assignee: E-Collar Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Greg Van Curen, Hosung So
  • Patent number: 9568329
    Abstract: An energy replenishment quantity control system 100 for controlling a replenishment quantity of each energy source in a moving body V which utilizes more than one kind of energy source, comprises a route searching part C10 configured to search a route to a destination, an energy cost calculating part C12 configured to calculate an energy cost of each energy source in using the respective energy sources based on information about the route searched by the route searching part C10, an energy replenishment quantity controlling part E14 configured to control the replenishment quantity of the energy sources based on the energy costs calculated by the energy cost calculating part C12.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2017
    Assignee: TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Yusuke Oku, Takuji Yamada
  • Patent number: 9554508
    Abstract: A robot lawnmower includes a robot body, a drive system, a localizing system, a teach monitor, and a controller in communication with one another. The drive system is configured to maneuver the robot lawnmower over a lawn. The teach monitor determines whether the robot lawnmower is in a teachable state. The controller includes a data processing device and non-transitory memory in communication with the data processing device. The data processing device executes a teach routine when the controller is in a teach mode for tracing a confinement perimeter around the lawn as a human operator pilots the robot lawn mower, when the robot lawnmower is in the teachable state, the teach routine stores global positions determined by the localizing system in the non-transitory memory, and when the robot lawnmower is in the unteachable state, the teach routine issues an indication of the unteachable state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2017
    Assignee: iRobot Corporation
    Inventors: Paul C. Balutis, Alec Likhite, Brian Doughty, Jeff Karlson, Tyler Nikitas
  • Patent number: 9483053
    Abstract: In an arrangement of an area wire for an unmanned autonomous operating vehicle having an electric motor supplied with power from a battery for operating an operating machine, and magnetic sensors for detecting intensity of a magnetic field of the area wire and controlled to run about in an operating area defined by the area wire to perform an operation using the operating machine and to return to a charging device installed on the area wire so as to charge the battery, there are provided with a charging device detecting area set to be used for detecting a position of the charging device, and a turn-back portion formed by bending the area wire at an appropriate position toward the charging device detecting area and again bending the area wire to return in a same direction with a predetermined space, whereby the operating area is divided into a plurality of zones.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2016
    Assignee: HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Makoto Yamamura, Toshiaki Kawakami, Nobuyuki Habuka
  • Patent number: 9434229
    Abstract: A suspension control system for a vehicle having a wheel (52) mounted to the vehicle via a suspension device mounted to a mounting point on the vehicle with an electric motor being arranged to apply to the wheel a torque for driving the wheel, the suspension control system comprising a controller arranged to modulate a torque applied to the wheel by the electric motor based on the relative longitudinal movement of the wheel with respect to the mounting point on the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2016
    Assignee: PROTEAN ELECTRIC LIMITED
    Inventor: Christopher David Hilton
  • Patent number: 9429944
    Abstract: Certain embodiments of the present invention provide robotic control modules for use in a robotic control system of a vehicle, including structures, systems and methods, that can provide (i) a robotic control module that has multiple functional circuits, such as a processor and accompanying circuits, an actuator controller, an actuator amplifier, a packet network switch, and a power supply integrated into a mountable and/or stackable package/housing; (ii) a robotic control module with the noted complement of circuits that is configured to reduce heat, reduce space, shield sensitive components from electro-magnetic noise; (iii) a robotic control system utilizing robotic control modules that include the sufficiently interchangeable functionality allowing for interchangeability of modules; and (iv) a robotic control system that distributes the functionality and processing among a plurality of robotic control modules in a vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2016
    Assignees: Deere & Company, iRobot Corporation
    Inventors: Mikhail O. Filippov, Osa Fitch, Scott P. Keller, John O'Connor, David S. Zendzian, Nadim El Fata, Kevin Larsen, Arlen Eugene Meuchel, Mark David Schmaltz, James Allard, Chris A. De Roo, William Robert Norris, Andrew Julian Norby, Christopher David Glenn Turner
  • Patent number: 9417632
    Abstract: A path planning autopilot guides vehicles efficiently even when they are far from a desired path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2016
    Assignee: Trimble Navigation Limited
    Inventors: John W Peake, Stephan Pleines
  • Patent number: 9412211
    Abstract: A system and a method for recreating an operation of a crashed vehicle during and/or before the accident. An accident data recorder collects vehicle operation data related to the operation of the crashed vehicle prior to and/or during the accident. A processor may analyze the prior vehicle operation data that may include prior acceleration input data, prior braking input data, and/or prior steering input data and may output vehicle control data to at least one electronic controller based on the prior vehicle operation data. The at least one electronic controller automatically operates the test vehicle on a test surface to recreate an operation of the crashed vehicle during and/or before the accident. At least one electronic controller unit automatically and accurately recreates a response of the crashed vehicle to the prior acceleration input, the prior steering input, and the prior braking input.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2016
    Assignee: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
    Inventor: Gregory G. Dato
  • Patent number: 9405294
    Abstract: Method and system for guiding a robotic garden tool (100) is disclosed. The robotic garden tool (100) may include at least two sensing means (108, 110, and 202). The robotic garden tool (100) is equipped to follow along a guiding wire (402) on a lawn (400). While the robotic garden tool (100) moves along the guiding wire (402), the sensing means (108, 110, and 202) may detect a magnetic field strength generated from current carrying guiding wire (402). The method (500) and the system (300) is equipped to provide instructions to the robotic garden tool (100) to follow the guiding wire (402) based on the difference of magnetic field strength sensed by at least two sensing means (108, 110, and 202).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2016
    Assignee: HUSQVARNA AB
    Inventors: Patrik Jägenstedt, Bengt-Allan Bergvall
  • Patent number: 9393939
    Abstract: It is determined whether or not there is a “wheel to be subject to the vehicle stability control, in which a braking force is decreased with respect to a braking force corresponding to the pressing force of the brake pad due to fade or the like” (reduced braking force wheel) during vehicle stability control. When there is a reduced braking force wheel, a “wheel with a highest order of priority determined in advance for wheels for which a braking force needs to be generated in order to enhance the travel stability in the vehicle stability control” (first braking force allocated wheel) is identified among wheels excluding the reduced braking force wheel, and the pressing force of the brake pad of the first braking force allocated wheel is increased based on a lack of the braking force in the reduced braking force wheel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2016
    Assignee: ADVICS CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Atsuto Hirota
  • Patent number: 9395723
    Abstract: A self-propelled robot and method for operating the same are provided. The self-propelled robot includes a base, a drive motor, a communication transceiver, at least two laterally spaced-apart range finding sensors and a processor. The base defines a bottom of a payload receiving space. The drive motor is operable to propel the base across a surface. The communication transceiver is configured to communicate with a carry sensor that is remote from the robot. The range finding sensors are configured to provide range information indicative of a distance between the remote device and the range finding sensors. The processor is configured to, when communication transceiver is in communication with the remote device, operate the drive motor to maintain a predefined distance between the range finding sensor and the carry sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2016
    Assignee: FIVE ELEMENTS ROBOTICS, INC.
    Inventors: James Pari, Nicholas Lynch
  • Patent number: 9378469
    Abstract: An operation of a system is controlled according to a control trajectory represented by a solution of a set of differential equations satisfying boundary conditions, wherein the set of differential equations includes ordered piecewise differential equations. The set of differential equations is parameterized to produce a first set of parameters representing values of the solution at switching times and a second set of parameters representing values of the switching times. The first and the second sets of parameters are determined alternately until the boundary conditions are satisfied to produce the solution; and the control trajectory is generated based on the solution to control the operation of the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2016
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories, Inc.
    Inventors: Yebin Wang, Scott A. Bortoff
  • Patent number: 9378558
    Abstract: An information processing apparatus includes a self-position/self-orientation calculation unit calculating self-position and/or self-orientation in the predetermined coordinate system based on a marker in acquired imaged image data when it is determined that the marker exists within a predetermined area and the marker is imaged in the imaged image data and based on received position information and physical amounts measured by sensors for measuring the physical amounts to be used for autonomous navigation when the marker does not exist within the predetermined area or the marker is not imaged in the imaged image data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2016
    Assignee: RICOH COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Yasuhiro Kajiwara, Tamon Sadasue, Kenichi Ozawa, Takayuki Saitoh
  • Patent number: 9333983
    Abstract: A steering wheel is configured as a dual-state input device configured to operate in two distinct states based on a current driving mode. In a manual driving mode, the input device is configured to control a limited set of vehicle functions and in an autonomous mode the input device is configured to control an expanded set of vehicle functions. The steering wheel includes a wheel rim movably mounted on a steering column and a hub disposed within a center of the wheel rim on the steering column, the main body portion comprising an interactive touch screen disposed on the main body portion. The wheel rim is configured to disengage from the hub and move along the steering column to a retracted position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2016
    Assignees: Volkswagen AG, Audi AG
    Inventors: William Brian Lathrop, James Leigh Toggweiler, Erik Robert Glaser, Nathaniel Robert Coser, Bryan Grant
  • Patent number: 9310807
    Abstract: A method of creating an indoor environment map includes acquiring encoded position information by detecting revolutions of wheels when a mobile unit travels using encoders to predict a position of the mobile unit based on the encoded position information, acquiring a measured distance from the mobile unit to an object existing in a surrounding environment using the distance measuring sensor, predicting a position of the mobile unit to be moved, estimating a distance from the mobile unit to the object at the predicted position of the mobile unit, determining whether the estimated distance is matched with the measured distance, correcting the predicted position of the mobile unit to estimate a position of the mobile unit to be moved by the matching of the predicted position with the measured position, and creating the indoor environment map using the corrected position and the measured distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2016
    Assignee: ELECTRONICS AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS RESEARCH INSTITUTE
    Inventors: Yu-Cheol Lee, Sang Ik Na, Won Pil Yu, Kyu Seo Han
  • Patent number: 9272413
    Abstract: A conveying system according to an embodiment includes a robot and a controller. The controller includes a switching unit. The robot includes an arm unit formed of a hand and a plurality of arms connected rotatably with respect to one another, and a base unit. An arm on a rear end side is connected to the base unit rotatably about a rotation axis, and the hand is rotatably connected to an arm on a front end side. The switching unit switches cylindrical coordinate control for controlling the arm unit such that a trajectory of the hand overlaps with any one of lines radiating from the rotation axis and rectangular coordinate control for controlling the arm unit such that the trajectory of the hand overlaps with none of the lines at a predetermined timing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2016
    Assignee: KABUSHIKI KAISHA YASKAWA DENKI
    Inventors: Masatoshi Furuichi, Yoshiki Kimura, Tomohiro Matsuo, Yoshihiro Kusama
  • Patent number: 9268331
    Abstract: A domestic robotic system that includes a robot, which is programmed to move within a working area defined by a boundary and has boundary distance sensors that enable it to estimate the current distance from the boundary; the robot is programmed to move across the working area and, secondly, so that when the boundary distance sensors indicate that the robot is a distance X away from the boundary and is approaching the boundary, the robot begins performing a gradual turn; this gradual turn is such that: the robot progressively changes direction while continuing to move across said working area; and the robot transitions from approaching the boundary to receding from the boundary; the robot is also programmed to calculate a path for the gradual turn such that, during the gradual turn, the robot approaches the boundary to a predetermined closest distance before receding from the boundary.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2016
    Assignee: F ROBOTICS ACQUISITIONS LTD.
    Inventors: Shai Abramson, Ran Zaslavsky, Ido Ikar
  • Patent number: 9266518
    Abstract: A vehicle includes a chassis, a modular component, and a central operating system. The modular component is supported by the chassis. The central operating system includes a component control system, a primary master controller, and a secondary master controller. The component control system is configured for controlling the modular component. The primary and secondary master controllers are in operative communication with the component control system. The primary and secondary master controllers are configured to simultaneously transmit commands to the component control system. The component control system is configured to accept commands from the secondary master controller only when a fault occurs in the primary master controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2016
    Assignees: GM Global Technology Operations LLC, The United States of America As Represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Nathan Fraser-Chanpong, Ivan Spain, Andrew D. Dawson, William J. Bluethmann, Chunhao J. Lee, Robert L. Vitale, Raymond Guo, Thomas M. Waligora, Akinjide Akinniyi Akinyode, Ryan M. Reed
  • Patent number: 9254822
    Abstract: A system having a primary inertial measurement unit and a secondary inertial measurement unit configured to generate a primary position signal and a secondary position signal respectively is provided. The system also includes an error detection module communicably coupled to the primary inertial measurement unit and the secondary inertial measurement unit. The error detection module is configured to receive the primary position signal and the secondary position signal and detect if an out-range error is present in at least one of the primary position signal and the secondary position signal. The error detection module is also configured to detect if an in-range error is present in at least one of the primary position signal and the secondary position signal and determine an action to be performed based on the presence of at least one of the out-range error and the in-range error.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 9, 2016
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Paul R. Friend, Timothy Evans, Qi Chen, Andrew T. Whitten, Nicholas R. Vogel, Hong Chang, Salman Chikni, Frank A. Willis
  • Patent number: 9255781
    Abstract: A first sensor detects whether an object is within a first region that surrounds the first sensor. A second sensor detects whether the object is within a second region that surrounds the second sensor. The first and second sensors are omnidirectional capacitive electrodes. In response to the first sensor detecting that the object is not within the first region, a device determines that the object is not proximate to a particular side of the first and second sensors. In response to the first sensor detecting that the object is within the first region, and the second sensor detecting that the object is within the second region, the device determines that the object is not proximate to the particular side. In response to the first sensor detecting that the object is within the first region, yet the second sensor detecting that the object is not within the second region, the device determines that the object is proximate to the particular side.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 9, 2016
    Assignee: TEXAS INSTRUMENTS INCORPORATED
    Inventor: Peter Spevak
  • Patent number: 9228847
    Abstract: A method and a device for navigating an electric vehicle in charging are provided. The method comprises: S1, obtaining a navigation area, wherein the navigation area comprises a plurality of charging stations; S2, receiving a charging request from an electric vehicle in the navigation area; S3, obtaining a plurality of first time periods according to the electric vehicle and the plurality of charging stations; S4, selecting a minimum first time period from the plurality of first time periods; and S5, navigating the electric vehicle to a charging station corresponding to the minimum first time period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2016
    Assignee: Tsinghua University
    Inventors: Qinglai Guo, Hongbin Sun, Boming Zhang, Wenchuan Wu, Shujun Xin, Zhengshuo Li
  • Patent number: 9224297
    Abstract: A method of determining an object distance from a vehicle includes sending a first transmission signal during a first burst period from a first transmitter, listening for a first reflection signal during a first listen period in a receiver, and sending a second transmission signal during a second burst period from a second transmitter. The second transmission signal is sent based on a time when the first transmission signal is sent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2015
    Assignee: FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
    Inventors: Aric David Shaffer, Vern Stempnik, Brian Choi, Michael David Kane