Vehicle Chassis, Running Gear Or Headlamp Patents (Class 33/288)
  • Patent number: 10393494
    Abstract: A straightness checking method includes the steps of standing a pin at each of both edge portions of linear members of a plurality of linearly-disposed components, and also standing a cut-out pin formed to have a cut-out on a part of a side face thereof, at an intermediate portion between the both edge portions, fixing one end portion and the other end portion of a line member respectively to the pins stood at the both edge portions, bringing into contact with the intermediate portion of the line member an uncut side face part corresponding to a side face without the cut-out formed of the cut-out pin, and rotating the cut-out pin and checking whether or not the line member vibrates due to rotation of the cut-out pin.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2019
    Assignee: FANUC CORPORATION
    Inventor: Makoto Izaki
  • Patent number: 10337954
    Abstract: A vehicle headlamp includes a housing, at least one lamp located in the housing, at least one beam alignment light source positioned in the housing and configured to project an image to aid in alignment of the at least one lamp, and at least one beam alignment mechanism operably coupled to the housing and configured to adjust the direction of light from the at least one lamp based on an image projected by the beam alignment light source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2019
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Stephen Kenneth Helwig, David A. Brown, Simon Howard Curwood, Diane Marie LaHaie, Matt W. Roosen, Brian Carroll, Ken Alan Ward
  • Patent number: 10323936
    Abstract: A sensor calibration tool, in particular for calibrating sensors on a vehicle, includes a vertical rail that defines a first rail axis, a vertically movable carriage assembly, and a horizontally movable carriage assembly. The vertically movable carriage assembly is supported by the vertical rail and movable along the first rail axis, and has a horizontal rail that defines a second rail axis transverse to the first rail axis. The horizontally movable carriage assembly is supported by the horizontal rail and is movable along the second rail axis. The horizontally movable carriage assembly has a transverse mounting bar with a plurality of target mounts. Each target mount is configured to releasably support a respective calibration target. Different combinations and positions of calibration targets enables calibration of sensors on different vehicles based on predetermined specifications corresponding to the different vehicles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2019
    Assignees: Bosch Automotive Service Solutions Inc., Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventor: Reiner Leikert
  • Patent number: 10288721
    Abstract: A radar adjustment fixture and method for adjusting a radar device on a vehicle includes a base having wheels for moving on a ground surface, at least one adjustment tool mounted on the base, and at least one manipulator mounted on the base for adjusting an adjustable proximate distance to thereby adjust a vertical height of the at least one adjustment tool. The at least one adjustment tool is located proximally relative to the base and located said adjustable proximate distance relative to the ground surface. The at least one manipulator adjusts said adjustable proximate distance to thereby adjust a vertical height of the at least one adjustment tool. The at least one manipulator is located distally relative to the base and the at least one adjustment tool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2019
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Erich A. Paap, Michael Jon Ambrozich, Travis Michael Duerstock
  • Patent number: 10274315
    Abstract: A vehicle wheel alignment rack is described herein that includes at least one laser and a target. The laser is removably coupled to a wheel of a vehicle. The target corresponds to the laser and is disposed at an opposite end of the vehicle from the laser. The target is directly and removably coupled to a frame of the vehicle such that the target is aligned with the frame at a known angle. The wheel is aligned to the frame by comparing the known angle to an expected and actual position on the target where a beam of light from the laser strikes the target. Some embodiments of the claimed invention include at least a second laser and a second target similarly disposed. Various means of coupling the target or targets to the frame are also disclosed herein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: Hall Labs LLC
    Inventors: David R. Hall, Stephen R. Hall, Christopher Johnson, Jason Simpson, Jedediah Knight
  • Patent number: 10132751
    Abstract: An embodiment of the present disclosure discloses a method for detecting flatness of a fluorescent wheel in a laser light source, comprising: acquiring, during the rotation of a fluorescent wheel, a spot of laser light emitted by a laser reflected from a substrate of the fluorescent wheel; determining an inner diameter of the spot; and determining flatness of the fluorescent wheel according to the inner diameter of the spot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2018
    Assignees: HISENSE CO., LTD., HISENSE USA CORPORATION, HISENSE INTERNATIONAL CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Fei Zhao, Xianrong Liu
  • Patent number: 10113852
    Abstract: A point-to-point distance gauge includes a rod-like main body formed by fitting a plurality of cylindrical rods 111, 112, and 113 having different diameters with one another so as to be expandable to a desired length; a spherical-tipped shaft 12 provided on one end 113a of the main body 11 so as to be capable of being folded to a desired angle with respect to the main body 11 and to be capable of maintaining the desired angle, a tip 12a of the spherical-tipped shaft 12 being formed in a spherical shape having a diameter larger than a shaft diameter; and a conical-tipped shaft 13 provided on the other end 113a of the main body 11 so as to be capable of being folded to a desired angle with respect to the main body 11 and to be capable of maintaining the desired angle, a tip 13a of the conical-tipped shaft 13 being formed in a conical shape.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2018
    Assignee: Body Shop Sano Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Syusuke Sano, Masaya Sano
  • Patent number: 10054433
    Abstract: A headlamp aiming tool includes a linear member and four legs. The first and second legs are used to measure the distance between the headlamps of a vehicle and the height of the headlamps relative to the ground or floor. The tool may also be mounted on the vehicle via the first and second legs and a fastener connected with the third leg arranged between first and second legs. A laser device is connected with the fourth leg and aligned with a centerline of the vehicle to direct a laser beam against a screen in front of the vehicle to indicate the vehicle centerline on the screen. The headlamp light and spacing measurements are used to provide headlamp center points on the screen and to determine the horizontal and vertical offset of the low beam light which is used to adjust the aim of the headlamps.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2018
    Assignee: American Automobile Association, Inc.
    Inventor: Dwayne Shumate
  • Patent number: 10001429
    Abstract: A device for checking the wheel suspension of a vehicle, in particular, of a motor vehicle, includes: a device for determining the wheel normals and/or the center of rotation of a wheel of the vehicle; a device for determining the movement trajectory of the wheel normals and/or of the center of rotation of the wheel during a movement of the vehicle; and a comparison and evaluation device, which is configured to compare the determined movement trajectory of the wheel normals and/or of the center of rotation of the wheel to a predefined movement trajectory, and to output a defect message when the deviation of the determined movement trajectory from the predefined movement trajectory exceeds a predefined limiting value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2018
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Christof Krueger, Pavel Pavlov, Simone Graf, Stefanie Peters, Tobias Hanning
  • Patent number: 9821849
    Abstract: A wheel alignment system for a three-wheeled vehicle comprises a reflecting assembly and a first laser emitting assembly. The reflecting assembly includes a first mirror having a first reflective surface arranged in a first mirror plane that is perpendicular to a rear wheel vertical plane, which is defined centrally through a rear wheel along a direction of travel of the vehicle. The first laser emitting assembly includes a first laser emitter configured to emit a first laser light at the reflective surface along a laser line parallel to a first front wheel vertical plane, which is defined centrally through a first front wheel, and first indicia corresponding to a toe angle of the first front wheel. The first the mirror reflects the first laser light toward the first indicia.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2017
    Assignees: Bosch Automotive Service Solutions LLC, Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventor: Andrew Prusinowski
  • Patent number: 9778030
    Abstract: A vehicle wheel service system including a plurality of sensors positioned in proximity to a heavy-duty multi-axle vehicle, to measure angles associated with three or more axles of the vehicle without repositioning the mounting of the sensors after initiating a measurement procedure. Additional sensors, associated with a vehicle reference, such as the vehicle frame axis, are disposed to provide vehicle reference measurement data which is communicated to a processing system. The processing system is configured with software instructions to evaluate the measurement data and to determine various vehicle wheel alignment angle measurements and/or necessary vehicle adjustments for each axle relative to the vehicle reference or to a fixed axle having a determined relationship to the vehicle reference.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2017
    Assignee: Hunter Engineering Company
    Inventors: James W. McClenahan, Michael T. Stieff, John M. Boncek, Timothy A. Strege, Nicholas J. Colarelli, III
  • Patent number: 9733065
    Abstract: A motorcycle frame rack enables a motorcycle frame to be repaired without removing many components from the motorcycle. A motorcycle is positioned on the motorcycle frame rack, secured in place and then the frame is adjusted using chains coupled to towers. A self-centering laser measuring system is able to be used to analyze and measure damage to the motorcycle frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2017
    Inventor: Allen Cagle
  • Patent number: 9649990
    Abstract: A device for optically recording the underbody of a vehicle using at least one camera, includes at least two mirrors which are disposed and oriented in such a way that images of several areas of the underbody of the vehicle are able to be recorded simultaneously by the camera.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2017
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GMBH
    Inventors: Manuel Hoellmann, Axel Wendt
  • Patent number: 9644952
    Abstract: A process for calibrating and evaluating a machine-vision vehicle wheel alignment system having front and rear imaging components associated with each of the left and right sides of a vehicle support structure. Each pair of imaging components defines a front and rear field of view, with a common overlapping region associated with each respective side of the vehicle support structure. Optical targets disposed within each of the overlapping field of view regions are observed by the imaging components to establish performance ratings for the system as a whole, for groups of components within the system, and for individual components within the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2017
    Assignee: Hunter Engineering Company
    Inventors: Mark S. Shylanski, Daniel R. Dorrance, Bruce E. Bernard, Thomas J. Golab, Michael T. Stieff, James W. McClenahan, J. Kaleb Silver, Timothy A. Strege, Nicholas J. Colarelli, III
  • Patent number: 9587934
    Abstract: A hybrid wheel alignment system and methodology use passive targets for a first pair of wheels (e.g. front wheels) and active sensing heads for another pair of wheels (e.g. rear wheels). The active sensing heads combine image sensors for capturing images of the targets with at least one spatial relationship sensor for sensing a relationship between the active sensing heads. One or both of the active sensing heads may include inclinometers or the like, for sensing one or more tilt angles of the respective sensing head. Data from the active sensing heads may be sent to a host computer for processing to derive one or more vehicle measurements, for example, for measurement of parameters useful in wheel alignment applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2017
    Assignee: SNAP-ON INCORPORATED
    Inventor: Steven W. Rogers
  • Patent number: 9477978
    Abstract: A system for advising a user on the condition of a vehicle is described. Data can be collected from a vehicle in the form of images or reflected energy from a section or part of the vehicle, and the data can be analyzed to determine if repairs, damage, or other problems are present. The collected data may also be images of identifying panels or insignia on the car. A report with results of the analysis can be provided to the user. The results of the analysis may describe detected damage or repairs, provide vehicle history or identifying information, or report detection of repainting.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2016
    Assignee: UNITED SERVICES AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION
    Inventors: Charles Lee Oakes, III, Reynaldo Medina, III
  • Patent number: 9470507
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method and system for determining vehicle wheel alignment, and namely camber angles, total and individual toe and front wheel steering axis caster and steering wheel axle tilt angle, by measuring changes in wheel sensor angles from a predetermined (i.e. control) position. Changes are measured using gyroscopic sensors or angular rate sensors or MEMS angular rate sensors (MEMS gyroscopes).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2016
    Inventor: Vladimir Nagornov
  • Patent number: 9395179
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for detecting, for wheel assemblies on opposite ends of an axle during an alignment angle measurement or inspection process, relative movement or slip between the alignment angle sensor or optical target and the wheel assembly upon which it is mounted. Changes in measurements of invariant characteristics of the solid axle or an associated wheel assembly are observed by an alignment measurement or inspection system as indications of movement or slip between at least one of the alignment angle sensors or optical targets and the associated wheel assembly. Upon detection of a change a measurement of an invariant characteristic, an operator is alerted by the alignment measurement or inspection system to the presence of movement or slip of one or both of the alignment angle sensors or optical targets associated with the wheel assemblies of the axle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2016
    Assignee: Hunter Engineering Company
    Inventor: Michael T. Stieff
  • Patent number: 9297648
    Abstract: A laser square gauge for use with an automobile for measuring camber, toe and wheel offset. The laser square gauge generates a vertical laser datum line off of the wheel. The visible line replaces the cumbersome use of jigs and string lines. The gauge is operable by a single user and generates an accurate, repeatable reference. The reference can be used to easily measure camber, offset, toe-in and toe-out of the other wheels, as well as car body and frame dimensions. The gauge permits easy maintenance of records to check set-up dimensions of each car for each environment, such as a race track. The gauge is particularly useful for setting up the alignment and suspension of high performance racing automobiles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2016
    Assignee: Intercomp Company
    Inventors: William P. Kroll, Randie Evenson
  • Patent number: 9157724
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method and system for determining vehicle wheel alignment, and namely, camber angles, total and individual toe and front wheel steering axis caster and tilt angles (caster and kingpin inclination), by measuring changes in wheel sensor angles from a predetermined position. Changes are measured using gyroscopic sensors or MEMS angular rate sensors (MEMS gyroscopes).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2015
    Inventor: Vladimir Vladimirovich Nagornov
  • Patent number: 9142067
    Abstract: A method for axle measurement of a motor vehicle, including the steps of initiating a first axle measurement operation, using a first selection signal; outputting a first control signal to an electronic brake control system of the motor vehicle as a function of the first selection signal; activating a first brake configuration of electronically operable brakes of the motor vehicle as a function of the first control signal, using the electronic brake control system; and carrying out the first axle measurement operation while the first brake configuration is activated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2015
    Assignee: ROBERT BOSCH GMBH
    Inventors: Stephen Westphal, Klaus Hummel
  • Patent number: 8997361
    Abstract: A laser measurement system operates to measure portions of a vehicle, such as a vehicle frame. The measurements are used, for example, to determine if the portions of the vehicle are bent or damaged. The measurement system includes a laser scanner and at least one target assembly that can be connected to a point of the vehicle. The laser scanner emits a laser beam that is detected by the target. Time and laser position information detected by the target are used to determine the location of the target, as well as the location of the point of the vehicle. The location of the point is then compared to an original location of the point to determine if damage has occurred.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: Infinity Laser Measuring LLC
    Inventors: Robin L. Knoke, Matt J. Brunk, Mark W. Schulz, Eric J. Krause, Lee G. Macklem, William M. Roth, Daniel Darst
  • Publication number: 20150040410
    Abstract: A wheel alignment measuring device using a body center line of a vehicle includes: front laser sensors provided at both sides of a front of a workbench on which the vehicle is disposed to measure positions of side panels each provided at both sides of a front of the vehicle; rear laser sensors at both sides of a rear of the workbench to measure positions of the side panels each provided at both sides of a rear of the vehicle; and a measuring unit configured to connect a center point A of a connection line connecting two points of a front of the side panels measured by the front laser sensors and a center point B of a connection line connecting two points of a rear of the side panels measured by the rear laser sensors to obtain a body center line C of the vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 28, 2013
    Publication date: February 12, 2015
    Applicant: Hyundai Motor Company
    Inventor: Tae Mun Hwang
  • Patent number: 8830119
    Abstract: Systems, apparatuses, and methods for aligning a radar sensor included in a vehicle. One method includes generating a laser cross-beam in front of the radar sensor that is approximately perpendicular to a thrust line of the vehicle and mounting a sensor alignment apparatus on the radar sensor. The sensor alignment apparatus includes a mounting arm and a receiver flag. The mounting arm supports the receiver flag, and the receiver flag includes a first surface that intersects the cross-beam at a first point and a second surface opposite the first surface that intersects the cross-beam at a second point. The method further includes determining a position of the first point, determining a position of the second point, determining a difference between the position of the first point and the position of the second point, and determining an adjustment for the radar sensor based on the difference.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2014
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventor: Robert Borruso
  • Patent number: 8816834
    Abstract: A steering angle sensing device for vehicle wheel alignment includes a swingable rocking arm. The rocking arm can be located in a predetermined position and slidably connected with a simple wheel alignment calibrator. When a wheel of the vehicle is steered, the wheel alignment calibrator affixed to the wheel is synchronously rotated along with the steering of the wheel. At this time, the rocking arm is driven to swing by a corresponding angle and the steering angle sensing device emits a human-perceivable signal to a calibration worker, whereby the calibration worker can real-time know the steering angle of the wheel for conveniently performing the wheel alignment process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2014
    Inventor: Jen-Yung Yang
  • Patent number: 8760641
    Abstract: A method for determining the alignment of a pair of vehicle wheels includes the steps of positioning a beam projecting device consecutively on each wheel, in the same angular relationship to the wheel, and projecting a beam to a receptor, which is located in a predetermined angular relationship the other wheel. The projecting device, the receptor or both is utilized to determine the angle between the beams and the angle is related to the alignment of the pair of wheels; the receptor being maintained in the same position for each beam projection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2014
    Inventor: Terence Peter Grogan
  • Patent number: 8650766
    Abstract: A target system for optical chassis alignment includes a target and a target mounting element having a target receiving element to which the target is attached. The target mounting element is attachable to a wheel of a motor vehicle so that the target is aligned at an angle to the wheel center plane. A significant mark at a known distance from a reference plane and at least two additional undetermined marks are situated on the target.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2014
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Guenter Nobis, Volker Uffenkamp
  • Patent number: 8604437
    Abstract: A method for measuring and testing a vehicle frame (15), in particular a commercial vehicle or bus frame, wherein a radiation source and a radiation receiver are arranged in front of the frame (15) and radiation is beamed from the radiation source toward the frame (15) and onto a reflector support (1) having at least one reflector (2, 3, 4, 5). The reflector (2, 3, 4, 5) is assigned to a part of the frame (15), and the radiation is reflected by the reflector (2, 3, 4, 5) to the radiation receiver and a measuring device determines location coordinates of the reflector (2, 3, 4, 5) at different measuring points of the frame part. A substantially non-deformed section (A) of the frame part is ascertained from the resulting measuring points (P) and the variation of the measuring points (P) from the non-deformed section (A) is determined.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2013
    Assignee: Haweka AG
    Inventors: Dirk Warkotsch, Alexander Eberle, Tilo Janz, Harald Schenitzki
  • Publication number: 20130318803
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a measuring apparatus, and more particularly to an apparatus used during testing of the steering characteristics of a wheeled motor vehicle and can be used for measuring and adjusting the chassis geometry parameters including toe-in/toe-out, camber, caster, steering angles and plays, and the like. The apparatus designed to be mounted within the interwheel space on the wheel disk and comprising a removable support designed to be mounted on the inner side of the wheel disk.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 6, 2012
    Publication date: December 5, 2013
    Inventor: Mykhaylo Lokshyn
  • Patent number: 8571758
    Abstract: A system and method of continuously updating a steering wheel angle offset value to adapt to changing road conditions. A vehicle control system receives a plurality of vehicle parameter values each from a different vehicle sensor. The system then calculates a plurality of observed steering angle values, each using a different calculation method based on one or more of the plurality of vehicle parameter values. The plurality of observed steering angle values are then used to calculate a vehicle steering angle. A steering wheel angle offset value is then calculated based on the steering wheel angle and the calculated vehicle steering angle. The steering wheel angle offset value and the steering wheel angle are used to control the vehicle's steering system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2013
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Willy Klier, David VanderLugt
  • Patent number: 8561307
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for determining the alignment of a vehicle wheel using an optical target assembly secured to the vehicle wheel in a non-determined position, the optical target assembly having a dimensionally stable shape and a plurality of optical target elements disposed on a plurality of target surfaces. Images of the optical target elements are acquired by an imaging system, together with target identifying indicia, and utilized together with previously stored target characterization data to determine a spatial orientation of the optical target assembly and an alignment of the vehicle wheel onto which it is secured.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2013
    Assignee: Hunter Engineering Company
    Inventors: Michael T. Stieff, Dennis M. Linson, Daniel R. Dorrance, Thomas J. Golab, Mark S. Shylanski
  • Publication number: 20130250098
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for determining the alignment of a vehicle wheel using an optical target assembly secured to the vehicle wheel in a non-determined position, the optical target assembly having a dimensionally stable shape and a plurality of optical target elements disposed on a plurality of target surfaces. Images of the optical target elements are acquired by an imaging system, together with target identifying indicia, and utilized together with previously stored target characterization data to determine a spatial orientation of the optical target assembly and an alignment of the vehicle wheel onto which it is secured.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 4, 2012
    Publication date: September 26, 2013
    Applicant: Hunter Engineering Company
    Inventors: Michael T. Stieff, Dennis M. Linson, Daniel R. Dorrance, Thomas J. Golab, Mark S. Shylanski
  • Publication number: 20130239420
    Abstract: A laser square gauge for use with an automobile for measuring camber, toe and wheel offset. The laser square gauge generates a vertical laser datum line off of the wheel. The visible line replaces the cumbersome use of jigs and string lines. The gauge is operable by a single user and generates an accurate, repeatable reference. The reference can be used to easily measure camber, offset, toe-in and toe-out of the other wheels, as well as car body and frame dimensions. The gauge permits easy maintenance of records to check set-up dimensions of each car for each environment, such as a race track. The gauge is particularly useful for setting up the alignment and suspension of high performance racing automobiles.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 28, 2013
    Publication date: September 19, 2013
    Inventors: William P. Kroll, Randie Evenson
  • Patent number: 8490290
    Abstract: A machine vision vehicle wheel alignment system for acquiring measurements associated with a vehicle. The system includes at least one imaging sensor having a field of view and at least one optical target secured to a wheel assembly on a vehicle within the field of view of the imaging sensor. The optical target includes a plurality of visible target elements disposed on at least two surfaces in a determinable geometric and spatial configuration which are calibrated prior to use. A processing unit in the system is configured to receive at least two sets of image data from the imaging sensor, with each set of image data acquired at a different rotational position of the wheel assembly around an axis of rotation and representative of at least one visible target element on each of the two surfaces, from which the processing unit is configured to identify said axis of rotation of the wheel assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2013
    Assignee: Hunter Engineering Company
    Inventors: Michael T. Stieff, Daniel R. Dorrance, Thomas J. Golab, Mark S. Shylanski
  • Publication number: 20130139396
    Abstract: A laser measurement system operates to measure portions of a vehicle, such as a vehicle frame. The measurements are used, for example, to determine if the portions of the vehicle are bent or damaged. The measurement system includes a laser scanner and at least one target assembly that can be connected to a point of the vehicle. The laser scanner emits a laser beam that is detected by the target. Time and laser position information detected by the target are used to determine the location of the target, as well as the location of the point of the vehicle. The location of the point is then compared to an original location of the point to determine if damage has occurred.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 24, 2013
    Publication date: June 6, 2013
    Applicant: INFINITY LASER MEASURING LLC
    Inventor: Infinity Laser Measuring LLC
  • Patent number: 8448342
    Abstract: A set according of target assemblages for optical chassis measurement encompasses at least two target assemblages that are each provided for mounting on a wheel of a motor vehicle, as well as a respective target and a target holder having a target receptacle on which the target is mounted. Each of the target holders is mountable on a wheel of a motor vehicle in such a way that the target is oriented at an angle to the wheel center plane. A significant mark and at least two further undetermined marks are disposed on the target, and the spacing of the significant mark from a reference plane of the respective target assemblage is unknown, but the same in each case for all target assemblages.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2013
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Guenter Nobis, Volker Uffenkamp
  • Publication number: 20130110314
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for utilizing a vehicle wheel alignment system to guide the placement and orientation of a vehicle service apparatus or alignment fixture relative to the thrust line of a vehicle. A laser adapter for projecting a reference line is mounted to a steerable wheel of the vehicle, and is aligned relative to both a line of the vehicle and to the supporting surface on which the vehicle is disposed. The vehicle line is determined by the vehicle wheel alignment system, and the steerable wheel, together with the adapter, are steered relative to the determined vehicle line, such that a projected reference line defined by the position and orientation of the adapter is established parallel to both the supporting surface and the vehicle line. The placement and orientation of the vehicle service apparatus or alignment fixture is subsequently adjusted relative to the projected reference line.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 24, 2012
    Publication date: May 2, 2013
    Applicant: HUNTER ENGINEERING COMPANY
    Inventor: Hunter Engineering Company
  • Patent number: 8413341
    Abstract: A vehicle measurement system that provides highly realistic guidance to perform a vehicle measurement procedure is described. An exemplary system includes a data storage device configured to store vehicle data for a plurality of vehicles. The vehicle data corresponding to each respective vehicle includes an image of the vehicle and information of predefined points on the vehicle to which emitters or targets should be attached for performing a vehicle measurement procedure. A user interface is provided to receive a user input identifying a vehicle under test. After the user identifies a vehicle under test, the system retrieves vehicle data corresponding to the vehicle under test from the data storage device; and displays the image of the vehicle under test on the display with the predefined points on the vehicle identified.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2013
    Assignee: Snap-On Incorporated
    Inventors: Darwin Y. Chen, Joel A. Kunert, Brian A. Walesa, Rajani K. Pulapa
  • Patent number: 8393085
    Abstract: Controlling a deflection of an irradiation direction of a vehicle lamp based on a detected steering angle includes calculating a target angle of the irradiation direction of the vehicle lamp based on the steering angle and calculating a difference angle between the target angle and a current deflection angle of the irradiation direction of the vehicle lamp. A new deflection angle is calculated and includes setting the new deflection angle to the target angle if the difference angle is equal to or smaller than a given limit angle, and setting the new deflection angle to an angle obtained by adding or subtracting the limit angle to or from the current deflection angle if the difference angle is larger than the given limit angle. Deflection of the irradiation direction of the lamp is controlled based on the deflection angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2013
    Assignee: Koito Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Masashi Yamazaki, Kazuo Goto
  • Patent number: 8381409
    Abstract: A laser measurement system operates to measure portions of a vehicle, such as a vehicle frame. The measurements are used, for example, to determine if the portions of the vehicle are bent or damaged. The measurement system includes a laser scanner and at least one target assembly that can be connected to a point of the vehicle. The laser scanner emits a laser beam that is detected by the target. Time and laser position information detected by the target are used to determine the location of the target, as well as the location of the point of the vehicle. The location of the point is then compared to an original location of the point to determine if damage has occurred.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2013
    Assignee: Infinity Laser Measuring LLC
    Inventors: Robin L. Knoke, Matt J. Brunk, Mark W. Schulz, Eric J. Krause, Lee G. Macklem, William M. Roth, Daniel Darst
  • Patent number: 8341848
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for determining the alignment of a vehicle wheel using an optical target assembly secured to the vehicle wheel in a non-determined position, the optical target assembly having a dimensionally stable shape and a plurality of optical target elements disposed on a plurality of target surfaces. Images of the optical target elements are acquired by an imaging system, together with target identifying indicia, and utilized together with previously stored target characterization data to determine a spatial orientation of the optical target assembly and an alignment of the vehicle wheel onto which it is secured.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Assignee: Hunter Engineering Company
    Inventors: Michael T. Stieff, Dennis M. Linson, Daniel R. Dorrance, Thomas J. Golab, Mark S. Shylanski
  • Patent number: 8306696
    Abstract: A method and system for positioning a vehicle chassis in approximate alignment with a predetermined datum are provided. The vehicle includes a first longitudinal end adapted to be pivotally connected to a substantially fixed point and a second longitudinal end including at least one axle and an operatively associated two-corner fluid suspension system. According to the method, the fluid suspension system controls the alignment of the vehicle chassis to be aligned with an artificial horizon represented as the predetermined datum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2012
    Assignee: Driveright Holdings, Ltd.
    Inventors: Gregory A. Holbrook, Joseph A. Bounds
  • Patent number: 8272138
    Abstract: An apparatus and method of aligning a vehicle's fixed rear axle relative to the vehicle frame and suspension elements uses an adjustable axle housing shim between one end of the axle housing and a leaf spring. One end of the axle is moved by the adjustable axle housing shim to remove any skew in the axle and wheels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2012
    Inventors: Scott S. Porta, Michael C. Loescher
  • Patent number: 8224529
    Abstract: A steering wheel angle detection system having a steering wheel angle sensor, a generator and a controller memory such that when a vehicle ignition is powered off, movement of a steering wheel generates electricity and allows a steering wheel angle sensor to detect the change in steering wheel angle. The change, or an indicator, is stored in non-volatile RAM until a time in which the ignition is powered-on. The generator may be a generator dedicated to the steering wheel angle sensor or it may be an electric motor that is part of an electrically assisted power steering system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2012
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies
    Inventor: Erick Michael Lavoie
  • Patent number: 8215023
    Abstract: A machine vision vehicle wheel alignment system for acquiring measurements associated with a vehicle. The system includes at least one imaging sensor having a field of view and at least one optical target secured to a wheel assembly on a vehicle within the field of view of the imaging sensor. The optical target includes a plurality of visible target elements disposed on at least two surfaces in a determinable geometric and spatial configuration. A processing unit in the system is configured to receive at least two sets of image data from the imaging sensor, with each set of image data acquired at a different rotational position of the wheel assembly around an axis of rotation and representative of at least one visible target element on each of the two surfaces, from which the processing unit is configured to identify said axis of rotation of the wheel assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2012
    Assignee: Hunter Engineering Company
    Inventors: Michael T. Stieff, Daniel R. Dorrance, Thomas J. Golab, Mark S. Shylanski
  • Patent number: 8136259
    Abstract: Alignment device adapted to measure characteristic angles of the wheels and of the steering of motor vehicles, particularly camber, toe-in, caster, by way of arms provided with sensors to be fastened to the wheels. In particular, in the step for determining the mounting error of the grip elements (runout), the level sensor is used to measure the wheel rotation angle and methods for compensating the measurements performed when the arms are at a nonzero level are then applied.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2012
    Assignee: Cemb S.p.A.
    Inventors: Giancarlo Torri, Luca Corti
  • Patent number: 8096057
    Abstract: A method for the relative positioning of an object to be measured with respect to a measuring device, first of all the object to be measured is detected by the measuring device and the position of the object to be measured with respect to the measuring device is ascertained. Then a return message signal is generated which indicates whether the object to be measured is located in a position that is suitable for taking the measurement or not.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 17, 2012
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Stefan Schommer, Ulrich Bichlmeier, Hermann Bux
  • Publication number: 20110302795
    Abstract: A target system for optical chassis alignment includes a target and a target mounting element having a target receiving element to which the target is attached. The target mounting element is attachable to a wheel of a motor vehicle so that the target is aligned at an angle to the wheel center plane. A significant mark at a known distance from a reference plane and at least two additional undetermined marks are situated on the target.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 28, 2009
    Publication date: December 15, 2011
    Inventors: Guenter Nobis, Volker Uffenkamp
  • Publication number: 20110265337
    Abstract: A set according of target assemblages for optical chassis measurement encompasses at least two target assemblages that are each provided for mounting on a wheel of a motor vehicle, as well as a respective target and a target holder having a target receptacle on which the target is mounted. Each of the target holders is mountable on a wheel of a motor vehicle in such a way that the target is oriented at an angle to the wheel center plane. A significant mark and at least two further undetermined marks are disposed on the target, and the spacing of the significant mark from a reference plane of the respective target assemblage is unknown, but the same in each case for all target assemblages.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 11, 2009
    Publication date: November 3, 2011
    Inventors: Guenter Nobis, Volker Uffenkamp
  • Patent number: 8033028
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for determining the alignment of a vehicle wheel using an optical target attached to the vehicle wheel, the optical target having a dimensionally stable shape and a plurality of visible features defining target elements arranged in a known geometric and spatial configuration relative to each other across at least two surfaces. A two-dimensional image of the optical target is acquired by an imaging system to detect a plurality of target element images corresponding to the plurality of target elements. A spatial orientation of the optical target and an alignment of the vehicle wheel is then determined from the plurality of target element images and the known geometric and spatial configuration of the plurality of target elements on the target surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2011
    Assignee: Hunter Engineering Company
    Inventors: Michael T. Stieff, Daniel R. Dorrance, Thomas J. Golab, Mark S. Shylanski