Having Fringing Field Coupling Patents (Class 324/687)
  • Patent number: 10746683
    Abstract: An analyte in a liquid sample is detected using a capacitive sensor having electrodes and a sensor surface, and a signal processor. The sample is dried to reduce its liquid content, and capacitive measurements are made after the drying and preferably also before the drying. The sample may include particles, and the analyte is part of or attached to the particles, and the particles provide a major part of the capacitance change compared to absence of particles. In another example the particles are degenerative and form an integral mass upon application of heat, enhancing the extent of capacitance change.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2020
    Assignee: ALTRATECH LIMITED
    Inventors: Timothy Cummins, Brian O'Farrell
  • Patent number: 10742213
    Abstract: A low-power non-contact proximity sensor with improved sensitivity. In particular, the non-contact proximity sensor includes a capacitive sensor decoupled from a surrounding environment by a guard ring. Both the capacitive sensor and the guard ring are driven by a direct current (DC) power source, with the guard ring driven based on feedback from the voltage applied to the capacitive sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2020
    Assignee: Lumitex, Inc.
    Inventor: Emeric S. Bennett
  • Patent number: 10582900
    Abstract: An object approach detection apparatus (ACU) includes an input interface (IN) for receiving a response signal from a proximity sensor (PSj) measured relative to a first base-value of said at least one sensor. A filter module (FM) is configured to filter said response signal to produce a filtered response signal. A proximity event declarator (PED) is configured to declare a proximity event has occurred if the filtered response signal fulfils a first condition, in particular crosses a first threshold. A base value adaptor (BVA) is configured to choose a new base value in response of the declaring that the proximity event has occurred.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2020
    Assignee: KONINKLIJKE PHILIPS N.V.
    Inventors: Nikhil Rajan Chandwadkar, Mukund Dhondiram Dongare, Shripad Anil Dharmadhikari
  • Patent number: 10408782
    Abstract: In some aspects, a device is provided having a member with a region of enhanced electrochemical activity. In one aspect, a sensor of enhanced electrochemical activity is provided for detecting an analyte concentration level in a bio-fluid sample. The sensor may include a sensor member of a semiconductor material wherein the sensor member has a surface region of enhanced electrochemical activity. In other aspects, the member may be made of semiconducting foam having a surface region of enhanced electrochemical activity. In some embodiments, the region may be thermally-induced. Manufacturing methods and apparatus are also provided, as are numerous other aspects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2019
    Assignee: Ascensia Diabetes Care Holdings AG
    Inventors: Steven C. Charlton, Serban Peteu, Steve Sun, Yuan Wang
  • Patent number: 10369287
    Abstract: A medication injector for dispensing liquid medications to people includes a container which is filled with the liquid and which has an opening at one end for dispensing the liquid and at least one pair of capacitive measuring electrodes disposed opposite each other in the outer region of the container, in particular on the wall, for determining the permittivity of the respective medium in the intermediate region between the measuring electrodes. The measuring electrodes are used by the injector to determine the fill level of the container. A shielding surrounds the measuring electrodes in the manner of a sheath, is disposed around the container, and reduces possible external interfering influences on the capacitive measurement, such as those resulting from contact, for example. Additionally, a contact sensor is provided which can indicate the measurement as invalid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2019
    Assignees: Siebersdorf Labor GmbH, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
    Inventors: Manfred Bammer, Gernot Schmid, Otmar Putz
  • Patent number: 10317448
    Abstract: A system for detecting a living being using electric fields may include sensors configured to generate and receive an electric field. The system may include at least one amplifier connected to at least one electrode of a sensor, a controller to operate the sensors, and a processor connected to the controller. The processor may output a signal representative of the presence or absence of a living being present in the electric fields or representative of a distance between the sensor and the living being. The sensors may be attached to a rigid or flexible substrate forming part of a skin that can be attached to a robot, a vehicle, or another moving or autonomous device to sense the presence of a living being near the device. The device may be configured to stop moving or to move to avoid the living being in the electric field.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2019
    Assignee: SWIFT ENGINEERING, INC.
    Inventors: Andrew Streett, Bryan Brown
  • Patent number: 10203303
    Abstract: An apparatus comprising a plurality of first elongate electrodes (101) separated from a plurality of second transversely oriented elongate electrodes (102) by an electrolyte (103), the plurality of transversely oriented first (101) and second (102) electrodes forming an array of respective electrochemical sensor nodes at the spaced crossings thereof, wherein the first electrodes (101) are configured such that the interaction of an analyte with the first electrode (101) at a sensor node affects an electrical property of the sensor node, and wherein the apparatus comprises respective terminals connected to each electrode (101, 102) for electrical connection to a measurement circuit to enable determination of the presence and/or amount of analyte at a particular sensor node based on a measurement of the electrical property of that sensor node.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2019
    Assignee: NOKIA TECHNOLOGIES OY
    Inventors: Michael Astley, Di Wei, Stefano Borini, Jani Kivioja
  • Patent number: 10108292
    Abstract: A capacitive sensor system has a receiving electrode with a capacitive coupling to a ground plane or ground electrode, a first transmission electrode arranged between the receiving electrode and the ground plane and having a size with respect to the receiving electrode such that the transmission electrodes covers a surface area of the receiving electrode, and a second transmission electrode arranged adjacent to the receiving electrode and which is not coupled with the first transmission electrode, wherein the second transmission electrode is driven with a higher alternating voltage than the first transmission electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2018
    Assignee: MICROCHIP TECHNOLOGY INCORPORATED
    Inventor: Andreas Dorfner
  • Patent number: 9927933
    Abstract: A system has a gesture detection device with a plurality of input channels and an output channel which uses an alternating electric near field generated through at least one transmission electrode coupled with the output channel, wherein some of the input channels are coupled with receiving electrodes of the gesture detection device. The system further has a plurality of touch electrodes, wherein the touch electrodes are coupled with one of the input channels by multiplexing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignee: MICROCHIP TECHNOLOGY GERMANY GMBH
    Inventors: Axel Heim, Andreas Dorfner, Roland Aubauer
  • Patent number: 9921228
    Abstract: A lateral test flow arrangement for a test molecule is disclosed, comprising: a test strip for transporting an analyte away from a sampling region and towards an absorbing region, the test strip having therein and remote from the sampling region, a test region for functionalization with a molecule which binds to the test molecule or to a conjugate of the test molecule; a sensing test capacitor having electrodes extending across the test strip at least partially aligned with the test region and being physically isolated therefrom; a reference test capacitor having electrodes extending across the test strip and being physically isolated therefrom; and an electronic circuit configured to measure a time-dependant capacitance difference between the sensing test capacitor and the reference test capacitor. A method for carrying out that lateral flow tests is also disclosed, as are test systems and in particular pregnancy test systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2018
    Assignee: NXP B.V.
    Inventors: Viet Nguyen, Franciscus Petrus Widdershoven, Roel Daamen
  • Patent number: 9632629
    Abstract: A capacitive sense array configured to improve noise immunity in detecting a presence of a conductive object is described. In one embodiment, a capacitive sense array includes at least a first set of sense elements disposed in straight parallel lines along a first axis of the capacitive sense array. A second set of sense elements is disposed in crooked paths about a second axis of the capacitive sense array. The first and second sets form a capacitive sense array that includes crooked sense paths in at least one of the axes of the sense array.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2017
    Assignee: PARADE TECHNOLOGIES, LTD.
    Inventors: Patrick Norman Prendergast, Mark W. Rouse
  • Patent number: 9437478
    Abstract: A chip package including a chip is provided. The chip includes a sensing region or device region adjacent to an upper surface of the chip. A sensing array is located in the sensing region or device region and includes a plurality of sensing units. A plurality of first openings is located in the chip and correspondingly exposes the sensing units. A plurality of conductive extending portions is disposed in the first openings and is electrically connected to the sensing units, wherein the conductive extending portions extend from the first openings onto the upper surface of the chip. A method for forming the chip package is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2016
    Assignee: XINTEC INC.
    Inventors: Yen-Shih Ho, Tsang-Yu Liu, Shu-Ming Chang, Yu-Lung Huang, Chao-Yen Lin, Wei-Luen Suen, Chien-Hui Chen, Ho-Yin Yiu
  • Patent number: 9341461
    Abstract: A wall thickness inspection device includes an electrostatic capacity detector 4 for detecting the electrostatic capacity of a portion of an object subjected to wall thickness inspection, and an arithmetic and control unit for taking in the electrostatic capacity detected by the electrostatic capacity detector 4 and converting the electrostatic capacity to a wall thickness. The electrostatic capacity detector 4 includes a sensor unit 5 brought into contact with the surface of a portion of the object subjected to the wall thickness inspection, and an elastic body 6 for biasing the sensor unit 5 toward the portion of the object. The sensor unit 5 has a curved surface 50 with the radius of curvature R represented by 2 mm?R?10 mm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2016
    Assignee: NIHON YAMAMURA GLASS CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Naohiro Tanaka, Goro Tambo
  • Patent number: 9035662
    Abstract: A device and a method for the capacitive detection of an object which is preferably arranged behind a flat article that is transparent to electromagnetic radiation or a wall, including a sensor incorporating sensor electrodes for the detection of the object, preferably for the detection of relative movements between the sensor and the flat article or a finger, where a control circuit serves for the control of the sensor electrodes and for the evaluation of the output signals of the sensor, and, due to the fact that the sensor comprises at least one sensor electrode which is surrounded by at least one further electrode, the surrounding further electrode is connected to the sensor electrode by the control circuit in such a manner that, in the event of a change of the potential of the sensor electrode, the potential of the surrounding further electrode is regulated in the opposite sense to the sensor electrode in such a way that the sensor electrode remains at a pre-determined or pre-definable potential, such th
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Inventor: Gerd Reime
  • Patent number: 8866491
    Abstract: Techniques for correcting tail effect are described herein. In an example embodiment, a device comprises a sensor coupled with a processing logic. The sensor is configured to measure a plurality of measurements from a sensor array, where the measurements are representative of a conductive object that is in contact with or proximate to the sensor array. The sensor array comprises RX electrodes and TX electrodes that are interleaved without intersecting each other in a single layer on a substrate of the sensor array. The processing logic is configured to determine a set of adjustment values that correspond to a tail effect associated with the measurements, and to generate adjusted measurements based on the set of adjustment values, where the adjusted measurements correct a parasitic signal change of the tail effect.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Assignee: Cypress Semiconductor Corporation
    Inventors: Petro Ksondzyk, Vasyl Mandziy, Igor Kolych, Massoud Badaye
  • Patent number: 8866490
    Abstract: Techniques for eliminating tail effect are described herein. In an example embodiment, a device comprises a sensor coupled with a processing logic. The sensor is configured to measure a plurality of measurements from a sensor array when the sensor array is in an unsettled state, where the measurements represent a conductive object that is proximate to a touch-sensing surface of the sensor array. The processing logic is configured to determine a set of adjustment values that correspond to a tail effect associated with the plurality of measurements, and to generate adjusted measurements corresponding to the plurality of measurements based on the set of adjustment values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Assignee: Cypress Semiconductor Corporation
    Inventors: Vasyl Mandziy, Igor Kolych, Volodymyr Hutnyk, David G. Wright
  • Patent number: 8854063
    Abstract: A method for determining a capacitance and/or a change in capacitance of a capacitive sensor element (C2) comprises the steps of: a) discharging an average value capacitor (C3), and either b1) discharging the capacitive sensor element and c1) charging an operating capacitor (C1) to a charging voltage (VDD), or b2) discharging the operating capacitor and c2) charging the capacitive sensor element to the charging voltage, d) connecting the operating capacitor to the capacitive sensor element, e) connecting the operating capacitor to the average value capacitor, and f) evaluating a voltage established across the operating capacitor or across the average value capacitor in order to determine the capacitance and/or the change in capacitance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2014
    Assignee: E.G.O. Elektro-Gerätebau GmbH
    Inventor: Bernhard Roth
  • Patent number: 8633715
    Abstract: Proximity sensing arrangements utilize one or more sensing devices to detect and/or to discern objects that are or become proximate, or are expected to be proximate to a position of interest. For example, one or more capacitive sensors may be distributed to locations about a machine, e.g., attached to, incorporated with, or otherwise associated with a moving or otherwise operating component of the machine. Corresponding control electronics drive each capacitive sensor, using a corresponding excitation signal, as well as process information read from each capacitive sensor to make intelligent proximity related decisions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2014
    Assignee: Process Equipment Co. of Tipp City
    Inventor: Robert G. Lenz
  • Patent number: 8593163
    Abstract: A surface-conforming obscured feature detector includes a plurality of sensor plates flexibly connected together, each having a capacitance that varies based on the dielectric constant of the materials that compose the surrounding objects and the proximity of those objects. A sensing circuit is coupled to the sensor plates to measure the capacitances of the sensor plates. A controller is coupled to the sensing circuit to analyze the capacitances measured by the sensing circuit. One or a plurality of indicators are coupled to the controller, and are selectively activated to identify the location of a relative high capacitance, which can be indicative of an obscured feature behind a surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2013
    Assignee: Franklin Sensors, Inc.
    Inventor: David M. Dorrough
  • Patent number: 8564314
    Abstract: A capacitive sensor includes at least one substrate, a capacitive touch position sensor, and a capacitive fingerprint sensor. The capacitive touch position sensor is included on the at least one substrate and in a touch sensing area. The capacitive touch position sensor includes electrodes configured to enable detection of presence and position of a touch in the touch sensing area. The capacitive fingerprint sensor is included on the at least one substrate and in as fingerprint sensing area. The capacitive fingerprint sensor includes electrodes configured to enable identification of the fingerprint of a finger placed in the fingerprint sensing area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2013
    Assignee: Atmel Corporation
    Inventors: Jalil Shaikh, Esat Yilmaz
  • Patent number: 8476912
    Abstract: An obscured feature detector operates from a stationary position on a surface being examined. The detector includes a plurality of sensor plates positioned in an array on the underside of the device, which sense the examined surface. The sensor plates are connected to a capacitance sensing circuit, which connects to indicators positioned on the back side of the detector through additional circuitry. A handle positioned on the back of the detector allows the user to grasp the device and place it in a stationary position on the surface being examined while also observing the indicators on the back side of the detector. Increases in capacitance caused by the presence of features behind or within the surface being examined are detected by the sensor plates and the capacitance sensing circuit. The indicators identify locations of larger capacitances, associated with the presence of a feature, such as a stud, beam, or electrical wiring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2013
    Assignee: Franklin Sensors, Inc.
    Inventor: David Dorrough
  • Patent number: 8441268
    Abstract: A system for detecting fluid on a substrate is provided. The system includes, but is not limited to, a sensor board, a first capacitive sensor, and a platform upon which the substrate is to be placed. The first capacitive sensor is mounted on the sensor board. The first capacitive sensor has a transmit sensor pad for transmitting a signal, a receive sensor pad for receiving the signal, and an analog-to-digital convertor connected with the receive sensor pad for analyzing the received signal. The platform is a first distance from the transmit and receive sensor pads.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2013
    Assignee: Lam Corporation
    Inventors: Peter Norton, Charley Abboud
  • Patent number: 8353210
    Abstract: The invention relates to a system for measuring a physical variable using a plurality of measuring sensors (20). Said system is characterized in that an inverting measuring signal amplifier (17; 17.1, 17.2) is connected downstream of every measuring sensor (20), one output of a sensor (20) each being connected to an inverting input of the measuring signal amplifier (17; 17.1, 17.2) connected downstream of the measuring sensor (20).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 15, 2013
    Assignee: Tecan Trading AG
    Inventors: Lars Kamm, Werner Hinn, Roman Baumann
  • Patent number: 8164354
    Abstract: Proximity sensing arrangements utilize one or more sensing devices to detect and/or to discern objects that are or become proximate, or are expected to be proximate to a position of interest. For example, one or more capacitive sensors may be distributed to locations about a machine, e.g., attached to, incorporated with, or otherwise associated with a moving or otherwise operating component of the machine. Corresponding control electronics drive each capacitive sensor, using a corresponding excitation signal, as well as process information read from each capacitive sensor to make intelligent proximity related decisions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2012
    Assignee: Process Equipment Co. of Tipp City
    Inventor: Robert G. Lenz
  • Patent number: 8115500
    Abstract: Test structures and methods for measuring contact and via parasitic capacitance in an integrated circuit are provided. The accuracy of contact and via capacitance measurements are improved by eliminating not-to-be-measured capacitance from the measurement results. The capacitance is measured on a target test structure that has to-be-measured contact or via capacitance. Measurements are then repeated on a substantially similar reference test structure that is free of to-be-measured contact or via capacitances. By using the capacitance measurements of the two test structures, the to-be-measured contact and via capacitance can be calculated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2012
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd
    Inventors: Yih-Yuh Doong, Keh-Jeng Chang, Yuh-Jier Mii, Sally Liu, Lien Jung Hung, Victor Chih Yuan Chang
  • Publication number: 20110215822
    Abstract: An obscured feature detector operates from a stationary position on a surface being examined. The detector includes a plurality of sensor plates positioned in an array on the underside of the device, which sense the examined surface. The sensor plates are connected to a capacitance sensing circuit, which connects to indicators positioned on the back side of the detector through additional circuitry. A handle positioned on the back of the detector allows the user to grasp the device and place it in a stationary position on the surface being examined while also observing the indicators on the back side of the detector. Increases in capacitance caused by the presence of features behind or within the surface being examined are detected by the sensor plates and the capacitance sensing circuit. The indicators identify locations of larger capacitances, associated with the presence of a feature, such as a stud, beam, or electrical wiring.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 29, 2010
    Publication date: September 8, 2011
    Inventor: David Dorrough
  • Patent number: 7855566
    Abstract: A sensor system has a support that extends along an observation zone, a row of detection subassemblies arranged one after another on the support and having subcircuits for capturing detection events within respective observation subzones defined by the respective detection subassemblies, and a base circuit on the support. The detection subassemblies are controlled with an alternating voltage having a frequency that forms a carrier frequency based on which a signal dialog occurs between the subcircuits and the base circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 21, 2010
    Assignee: Ident Technology AG
    Inventor: Wolfgang Richter
  • Patent number: 7839282
    Abstract: The disclosure relates to analysis of materials using a capacitive sensor to detect anomalies through comparison of measured capacitances. The capacitive sensor is used in conjunction with a capacitance measurement device, a location device, and a processor in order to generate a capacitance versus location output which may be inspected for the detection and localization of anomalies within the material under test. The components may be carried as payload on an inspection vehicle which may traverse through a pipe interior, allowing evaluation of nonmetallic or plastic pipes when the piping exterior is not accessible. In an embodiment, supporting components are solid-state devices powered by a low voltage on-board power supply, providing for use in environments where voltage levels may be restricted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2010
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: Mahendra P. Mathur, James L. Spenik, Christopher M. Condon, Rodney Anderson, Daniel J. Driscoll, William L. Fincham, Jr., Esmail R. Monazam
  • Patent number: 7705615
    Abstract: An extruded capacitive sensor assembly includes multiple sense conductors of unequal length disposed in an upper section of a non-conductive jacket, and a ground conductor disposed in a lower section of the jacket adjacent a panel or carrier to which the strip is affixed. A sensor strip with three sense conductors is formed by extruding a non-conductive jacket having first and second sense conductors in the upper section of the jacket, and severing the first sense conductor to create three unequal length sense conductor segments. Electrical termination to the sense and ground conductors can be made at the point where the first sense conductor is severed, or at the end of the sensor strip. In cases where only two sense conductor segments are needed, the third sense conductor segment is removed or simply un-used.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2010
    Assignee: STRATTEC Power Access LLC
    Inventors: Zinovy Tyves, Gary D. Bree, Brent T. Repp, Seyed R. Zarabadi
  • Patent number: 7675296
    Abstract: Driver distraction in a motor vehicle is assessed by capacitively detecting the driver's head pose relative to the forward direction of vehicle motion. A symmetrical array of sensor electrodes is disposed in the cockpit ceiling above the driver's head, and pairs of electrodes disposed along varying axes of rotation with respect to the forward direction are successively activated for capacitance measurement. The capacitance measurements are combined to form a signal whose strength depends on the degree of alignment between the driver's head (i.e., the head pose) and the respective axes of rotation, and the driver's head pose is calculated to assess driver distraction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 9, 2010
    Assignee: Delphi Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: David K. Lambert, Timothy J. Newman, Larry M. Oberdier
  • Patent number: 7590495
    Abstract: A method for calculating material properties of a material includes determining a dilatational wavespeed and a shear wave speed. The dilatational wavespeed is determined by conducting vertical vibration tests of two specimens of the material, one specimen being twice as thick as the other. Transfer functions are obtained from these tests and used to calculate the dilatational wavespeed. The shear wavespeed is determined by conducting horizontal vibration tests of two specimens with one specimen being twice as thick as the other. The shear wavespeed can be calculated from transfer functions obtained from these tests and the dilatational wavespeed. Other material properties can be calculated from the dilatational and shear wavespeeds. Frequency dependence of the properties can be determined by conducting the tests at different frequencies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2009
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: Andrew J. Hull
  • Patent number: 7584060
    Abstract: A method for calculating material properties of a material includes conducting two insertion loss tests of the material having a single thickness and a double thickness. These tests are conducted at a zero wavenumber. Utilizing these insertion loss tests, a dilatational wavespeed is computed. The method continues by calculating a shear wavespeed by performing three insertion loss tests of the material at single, double and triple thicknesses. These tests are conducted at a non-zero wavenumber. A shear wavespeed can be calculated from the dilatational wavespeed and these insertion loss tests. Lamé constants, Young's modulus, Poisson's ratio, and the shear modulus for the material of interest can then be calculated using the dilatational and shear wavespeeds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2009
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: Andrew J. Hull
  • Patent number: 7578195
    Abstract: The invention relates to a flexible, resilient capacitive sensor suitable for large-scale manufacturing. The sensor comprises a dielectric, an electrically conductive layer on the first side of the dielectric layer, an electrically conductive layer on a second side of the dielectric layer, and a capacitance meter electrically connected to the two conductive layers to detect changes in capacitance upon application of a force to the detector. The conductive layers are configured to determine the position of the applied force. The sensor may be shielded to reduce the effects of outside interference.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 25, 2009
    Assignee: Milliken & Company
    Inventors: Alfred R. DeAngelis, David Bruce Wilson, Brian A. Mazzeo
  • Patent number: 7560938
    Abstract: An electric field object sensing system uses a charge pumping circuit to provide a voltage over a capacitor that varies dependent upon the capacitive coupling between a transmitter electrode and a receiver electrode. The output of the charge pump is preferably fed to a high impedance read-out means, such as an analog-digital converter (ADC). The system is preferably implemented in CMOS and integrated in control circuits of electronic products.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2009
    Assignee: Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.
    Inventors: Cornelis Van Berkel, Asher J. Hoskins, David S. George
  • Patent number: 7538562
    Abstract: A high-performance miniature RF sensor that maintains gain, directivity, and isolation in a miniature package. The miniature RF sensor includes stacked current and voltage pickups disposed in a PCB construction, the sensor further including quarter wave transforming filter, triaxial shielding, and skin-effect filtering.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2009
    Assignee: Inficon, Inc.
    Inventors: Craig Garvin, Michael Bonner, Kenneth Rosys
  • Patent number: 7518382
    Abstract: A sensor chip for measuring of structures in a finger surface includes an electronic chip provided with a number of sensor electrodes for capacitance measurements. The chip further includes a first layer comprising a metal or another electrically conducting material over and coupled to the sensor electrodes and a first dielectric layer substantially covering the first metal layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2009
    Assignee: Idex ASA
    Inventors: Ovidiu Vermesan, Jon Nysaether, Ib-Rune Johansen, Jon Tschudi
  • Patent number: 7508221
    Abstract: A wall detector (1) for detecting an object (3) embedded in a substrate (2) includes a detection antenna (5) for introducing broadband, high-frequency alternating electric fields (9) of a measurement frequency (fM) in the substrate (2); a measurement system (6) connected to the detection antenna (5) for measuring the delayed interaction of the alternating fields (9) with the object (3), a calculation device (7) for detecting the object (3) based on the measurement signal and for determining the associated depth information, and a permittivity measurement device (8) with at least one auxiliary potential plate (11) for measuring the permittivity measurement signal of the substrate at a permittivity measurement frequency (fp) that is a lower than the measurement frequency; and an associated measurement method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2009
    Assignee: Hilti Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Christoph Wuersch, Wilfried Kaneider, Harald Schmitzer
  • Publication number: 20090072841
    Abstract: An extruded capacitive sensor assembly includes multiple sense conductors of unequal length disposed in an upper section of a non-conductive jacket, and a ground conductor disposed in a lower section of the jacket adjacent a panel or carrier to which the strip is affixed. A sensor strip with three sense conductors is formed by extruding a non-conductive jacket having first and second sense conductors in the upper section of the jacket, and severing the first sense conductor to create three unequal length sense conductor segments. Electrical termination to the sense and ground conductors can be made at the point where the first sense conductor is severed, or at the end of the sensor strip. In cases where only two sense conductor segments are needed, the third sense conductor segment is removed or simply un-used.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 4, 2007
    Publication date: March 19, 2009
    Inventors: Zinovy Tyves, Gary D. Bree, Brent T. Repp, Seyed R. Zarabadi
  • Patent number: 7486086
    Abstract: A method for measuring intrinsic capacitance of a MOS device is provided. The MOS device includes a first terminal, a second terminal, a third terminal and a fourth terminal. First, provide a first input signal to the second terminal and ground the third terminal and fourth terminal. Then, charge the first terminal and measure a first current required for charging the first terminal. Afterward, provide a second input signal to the second terminal, ground the third terminal and the fourth terminal, and measure a second current required for charging the first terminal, wherein the first input signal and the second input signal have the same low level, but different high levels. Finally, determine intrinsic capacitance between the first terminal and the second terminal according to the first current, the second current and a high level difference between the first input signal and the second input signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2009
    Assignee: Macronix International Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yao-Wen Chang, Hsing-Wen Chang, Tao-Cheng Lu
  • Patent number: 7479791
    Abstract: Disclosed is a charge transfer-based circuit arrangement for capacitive proximity switches comprising a capacitive sensor element (C3), the capacity of which changes according to the actuation mode. The circuit arrangement includes a central capacitor (C2), a first controllable connecting means (D2) that impinges the capacitive sensor element with a charging voltage (U3) according to a triggering signal, and a second controllable connecting means (T1) which connects the capacitive sensor element to the central capacitor according to the triggering signal in order to transfer the charge from the capacitive sensor element to the central capacitor. The charging voltage can be an AC voltage while the connecting means can be impinged upon by the AC voltage in such a way that the first connecting means or the second connecting means is alternately conductive.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2009
    Assignee: E.G.O. Elektro-Geraetebau GmbH
    Inventor: Randolf Kraus
  • Publication number: 20080295407
    Abstract: This device is provided for a luggage compartment designed to be placed overhead. The compartment comprises a mobile part (4) between an open position and a closed position and a mechanism for acting on said mobile part (4) to promote its closing. Said mobile part (4) presents an opening (14) designed for introducing and retrieving luggage as well as a lower exterior surface (12). The control device comprises detection means reacting when pressure is exerted on a predetermined zone of the lower exterior surface (12) of the mobile part (4) as well as for sending a control signal to the mechanism acting on the mobile part (4) to close the part when pressure is exerted on said detection means. The detection means are disposed at the lower exterior surface (12) of the mobile part (4).
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 14, 2005
    Publication date: December 4, 2008
    Applicants: Airbus Deutschland GmbH, Airbus Societe Par Actions Simplifiees
    Inventors: Olaf Von Wieding, Lars Rowold, Bodo Wisch, Bruno Alquier
  • Patent number: 7427844
    Abstract: A pump assembly for pumping a liquid and a method of controlling the pump assembly. The pump assembly includes a motor coupled to a pump, and an electronic switch assembly electrically connected to the motor to control the current through the motor. The electronic switch assembly includes an electronic switch, a generator that provides a substantially periodic pulsing signal, a circuit control configured to provide a second signal, and decision logic connected to the generator, the circuit control, and the electronic switch. The decision logic receives the periodic pulsing and second signals and generates a control signal that selectively controls the electronic switch based on the periodic pulsing and second signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2008
    Assignee: A. O. Smith Corporation
    Inventor: William L. Mehlhorn
  • Publication number: 20080122458
    Abstract: Proximity sensing arrangements utilize one or more sensing devices to detect and/or to discern objects that are or become proximate, or are expected to be proximate to a position of interest. For example, one or more capacitive sensors may be distributed to locations about a machine, e.g., attached to, incorporated with, or otherwise associated with a moving or otherwise operating component of the machine. Corresponding control electronics drive each capacitive sensor, using a corresponding excitation signal, as well as process information read from each capacitive sensor to make intelligent proximity related decisions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 21, 2007
    Publication date: May 29, 2008
    Applicant: PROCESS EQUIPMENT CO. OF TIPP CITY
    Inventor: Robert G. Lenz
  • Patent number: 7358742
    Abstract: A method and apparatus is shown for detecting with high sensitivity by allowing the operation of an e-field amplifier without a DC bias resistor shunt with the amplifier input. E-fields produced by an approaching body, or changing E-field of the background, turn on the amplifier from a partial DC bias state with E-field coupling to the power supply of the amplifier. The result is high sensitivity and extremely long battery life. The amplifier is sensitive to transient and quasitatic DC E-field and the AC background signals. The signals are available simultaneously for processing at the output of the amplifier in a DC and AC coupled channel. The resulting signals are passed to a control system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2008
    Inventor: Thomas G. Cehelnik
  • Patent number: 7301351
    Abstract: The invention relates to a flexible, resilient capacitive sensor suitable for large-scale manufacturing. The sensor comprises a dielectric, an electrically conductive detector and trace layer on the first side of the dielectric layer comprising a detector and trace, an electrically conductive reference layer on a second side of the dielectric layer, and a capacitance meter electrically connected to the trace and to the conductive reference layer to detect changes in capacitance upon interaction with detector. The sensor is shielded to reduce the effects of outside interference.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2007
    Assignee: Milliken & Company
    Inventors: Alfred R. Deangelis, D. Bruce Wilson, Brian A. Mazzeo
  • Publication number: 20070247172
    Abstract: The disclosure relates to a touch sensing device and method. An embodiment of the disclosed method that comprises starting to count with a counter while charging a sensing point which has distributed capacitance periodically, then transferring the charge on the sensing point to a second capacitor. Next, the voltage on the second capacitor is compared with a reference voltage, and if the former exceeds the latter, the counter stops counting and saving the count value. If the voltage on the second capacitor is less than the reference voltage, the sensing point is judged to determine whether it is in a touching state or in a non-touching state according to the saved count value while discharging the second capacitor, clearing the counter after the discharge, then restarting the method. Using the device and method of this disclosure, the touching sensing action can be tested accurately.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 29, 2006
    Publication date: October 25, 2007
    Inventor: Zhiqian Li
  • Patent number: 7256589
    Abstract: A capacitance sensor system and method includes a capacitive sensor as an array of sensor electrodes near the surface of the integrated circuit and charge pump circuits for measuring the capacitance at each sensor electrode. Shield electrodes and unused sense electrodes are used for background capacitance cancellation at each array location. The shield electrodes are switched between the circuit supply potentials in a manner synchronous to the capacitance sensing at the sense electrodes. The improved background capacitance cancellation allows all circuitry to be located outside the sensor array. The capacitance data is used to determine the positions of fingerprint artifacts and other fingerprint features.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2007
    Assignee: Atrua Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Thomas L. Andrade
  • Patent number: 7126351
    Abstract: Natural diamonds can be discerned from imitations, synthetic diamonds and treated diamonds on the basis of their physical qualities. Labs always test several specific characteristics in order to discern natural diamonds from others. One of the tested qualities is electrical conductivity. The invention concerns a method to establish the presence of electrical bulk conductivity. Use is made to this end of the fact that the proximity of an electrically conductive object (gemstone) has an influence on the parasitic capacity of a capacitive probe. The parasitic capacity is also influenced by the dielectric constant of the dielectric. The influence of the proximity of electrically conductive gemstones as opposed to non-conductive gemstones on the parasitic capacity is hereby larger than the influence of the differences in the dielectric constant of the gemstones.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2006
    Assignee: Wetenschappelljk en Technisch Onderzoekscentrum voor Diamant Inrichting erkend bij toepassing van de besluitwet van 30 januari 1947
    Inventor: Patrick Claus
  • Patent number: 7109726
    Abstract: A combined passive and active object sensing system (30; 50; 70) employing electric field sensing is described. An electric field sensing transmission electrode (2) generates a first electric field (11, 12, 13) that induces a current in an electric field sensing reception electrode (4). A passive object (10) is sensed from variation in this current. An active object (31; 51; 71) comprises a further electric field sensing transmission electrode (33; 53; 73) and generates a second electric field (35, 36, 37; 55, 56, 57; 75, 76, 77). This may be generated by the active object (31) coupling with and applying a phase shift to the first electric field (11, 12, 13). Alternatively the second electric field (55, 56, 57) may be generated at a different frequency to the first electric field (11, 12, 13). Alternatively the second electric field (75, 76, 77) may be generated by the active object (71) coupling with an alternating magnetic field generated by a coil (172).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2006
    Assignee: Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.
    Inventor: Cornelis van Berkel
  • Patent number: 7078911
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are described for interacting with electronic devices through motional commands. The method uses perturbations of the background quasistatic electric fields. The apparatus measures perturbations in electric potential relative to the background. Body movement is recognized by comparing changes in signals over time. Signals collected from sensors are compared with training sets to recognize specified motional commands or gestures. Upon recognizing the commands, the apparatus issues the predetermined response to the motion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2006
    Inventor: Thomas G. Cehelnik