Surfaces Pressed Together (e.g., Compressible Type) Patents (Class 338/99)
  • Patent number: 9797792
    Abstract: A tactile fur sensing system and a method of operating thereof allow early detection of an impending contact with an object. A plurality of filaments or threads are positioned on a zone or area of a surface of robotic device in a cost-effective manner. One or more sensors are configured to detect electrical resistance and/or displacement of the plurality of filaments or threads. A processor determines that there is contact with an object based on the detected electrical resistance and/or displacement. The detection of electrical resistance can be based on adjustable baseline values and/or adjustable threshold values. A plurality of nubs may alternatively or in addition be positioned on a surface area. Each nub has an outer cast or protection layer defining a cavity therein. At least a portion of a sensor for detecting resistance and/or displacement is positioned within the cavity of the nub.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: TOYOTA MOTOR ENGINEERING & MANUFACTURING NORTH AMERICA, INC.
    Inventor: Douglas A. Moore
  • Patent number: 9488538
    Abstract: This disclosure if directed to an improved pressure, force, and orientation sensing system, which may be applied to various industrial articles or sports equipment, fore remote performance analysis and user interface. Where applied to sports equipment, including a golf club, the sensor array of flexible and resilient piezo-resistive material permits collection of grip force data for an array of positions around and along the golf club grip handle; for the analysis, processing and communication of the data once collected, and a method of providing automated golf instruction using a force sensing golf grip of the present invention. Where applied to improved manufacturing lines and shipping of containers, force sensing packages may be equipped with the sensor arrays disclosed herein. The force sensing package is of similar shape to a standard sized package the ordinary forces on which are being tested and by the sampled force sensing package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2016
    Assignee: Smart Skin Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Kumaran Thillainadarajah, Arpad Kormendy, Adam Joseph MacDonald
  • Patent number: 9376312
    Abstract: An improved MEMS transducer apparatus and method. The method includes providing a movable base structure having a base surface region overlying a substrate and a center cavity with a cavity surface region. At least one center anchor structure and one spring structure can be spatially disposed within a substantially circular portion of the surface region. The spring structure(s) can be coupled the center anchor structure(s) to a portion of the cavity surface region. The substantially circular portion can be configured within a vicinity of the center of the surface region. At least one capacitor element, having a fixed and a movable capacitor element, can be spatially disposed within a vicinity of the cavity surface region. The fixed capacitor element(s) can be coupled to the center anchor structure(s) and the movable capacitor element(s) can be spatially disposed on a portion of the cavity surface region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2016
    Assignee: mCube Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel N. Koury, Jr., Anthony F. Flannery, Jr.
  • Patent number: 9236817
    Abstract: In summary it is described a column for a piece of furniture as well as a piece of furniture with at least one movable member (1, 2, 31), wherein said part is adapted to be moved relative to the rest of the furniture in a non-manual way. Further, there is provided a device for detecting collisions of the automatically movable member with obstacles, an automatic drive mechanism (5, 6) which is adapted to move the movable member, a control device adapted to control the automatic drive mechanism (5, 6), and at least one sensor (4) adapted to detect a collision during the motion of the movable member (1, 2, 31) with an obstacle and to transmit this incident to the control device wherein the at least one sensor (4) comprises a force-sensitive sensor (41).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 12, 2016
    Assignee: KESSEBOHMER PRODUKTIONS GMBH & CO. KG
    Inventors: Thomas Strothmann, Oliver Spahn
  • Patent number: 8723635
    Abstract: A pressure transducer comprising a corrosion resistant metal diaphragm, having an active region, and capable of deflecting when a force is applied to the diaphragm; and a piezoresistive silicon-on-insulator sensor array disposed on a single substrate, the substrate secured to the diaphragm, the sensor array having a first outer sensor near an edge of the diaphragm at a first location and on the active region, a second outer sensor near an edge of the diaphragm at a second location and on the active region, and at least one center sensor substantially overlying a center of the diaphragm, the sensors connected in a bridge array to provide an output voltage proportional to the force applied to the diaphragm. The sensors are dielectrically isolated from the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Assignee: Kulite Semiconductor Products, Inc.
    Inventor: Nora Kurtz
  • Patent number: 8586882
    Abstract: A multi-directional switch includes switches, a wiring board having an electrode, a pressure-sensitive body disposed over the electrode, a detection pin disposed on the upper surface of the pressure-sensitive body, and an operating body configured to push the detection pin and the switches by being tilted. The degree of a pushing force exerted by the operating body onto the detection pin changes the contact resistance between the pressure-sensitive body and the electrode. The multi-directional switch enables an electronic apparatus connected thereto to perform diverse functions by reflecting changes in the contact resistance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2013
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventors: Tsuyoshi Tanaka, Hitokazu Shitanaka, Hideaki Eto
  • Patent number: 8547197
    Abstract: A bend-detecting (bending) sensor is provided, including a flexible substrate, at least a pair of electrode patterns spaced apart from each other provided on the flexible substrate, and a paste layer containing conductive particles. The paste layer is coated onto the flexible substrate where the electrode patterns are formed, such that when the flexible substrate is bent, the density of the conductive particles between the electrode patterns changes and an electric resistance between the electrode patterns also changes, thereby sensing deformation of the flexible substrate, and eventually, a target to which the flexible display element or the flexible substrate is attached. When the bending sensor is applied to the flexible display device, the electrode patterns and the paste layer may be formed on the flexible substrate which is to form the flexible display element, thus forming a bending sensing structure with a thickness of the flexible display element or less.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2013
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd
    Inventors: Kang-Ho Byun, Byung-Jik Kim
  • Patent number: 8497758
    Abstract: A pressure transducer comprising a corrosion resistant metal diaphragm, having an active region, and capable of deflecting when a force is applied to the diaphragm; and a piezoresistive silicon-on-insulator sensor array disposed on a single substrate, the substrate secured to the diaphragm, the sensor array having a first outer sensor near an edge of the diaphragm at a first location and on the active region, a second outer sensor near an edge of the diaphragm at a second location and on the active region, and at least one center sensor substantially overlying a center of the diaphragm, the sensors connected in a bridge array to provide an output voltage proportional to the force applied to the diaphragm. The sensors are dielectrically isolated from the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2013
    Assignee: Kulite Semiconductor Products, Inc.
    Inventor: Nora Kurtz
  • Patent number: 8400256
    Abstract: A hand covering that may be in the form of a glove includes at least one finger receptacle having a sheath wall with an external surface and an internal surface, an outer strand having a metallic component and an inner strand. The outer strand includes a portion that extends into the sheath wall of the receptacle such that the portion of the outer strand does not cross the interior surface of the sheath wall of the receptacle. The outer strand and the inner strand are associated with one another such that, when a finger of a user is accommodated in the at least one receptacle, an electrical conductivity path exists that includes the finger of the user, the inner strand, and the outer strand.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2013
    Inventor: Sam Matthews
  • Patent number: 8368505
    Abstract: An electrical membrane switch that is actuated by applying a force against a layer of a variable resistance material that overlies and is in direct contact with switch poles that are applied to and supported by a substrate. A gap is provided between the switch poles, and the layer extends across the gap. The substrate can be a circuit board with electrical traces formed thereon to convey electrical current to the switch poles. As a sufficient force is applied to the surface of the layer of the variable resistance material, its resistance changes from a relatively high value, in which the switch is in a non-conducting state, to a relatively low value, in which the switch is in a conductive state. A protective sheet can optionally be included over the variable resistance layer and can include graphics/text to indicate the position of each switch in an array and its function.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2013
    Assignee: Almax Manufacturing Corporation
    Inventors: Robert W. Deppiesse, Alan M. Burk
  • Patent number: 8339238
    Abstract: A resistive sheet includes a flexible cover sheet, a wiring part provided on the bottom face of the cover sheet, and ring, circular-arc, or spiral resistive layer connected to the wiring part. This resistive layer has an uneven bottom face. The resistive sheet also includes a spacer layer whose bottom face is disposed at a position lower than the resistive layer. The wiring part is sandwiched between the bottom face of the cover sheet and the spacer layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2012
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventors: Satoshi Yoshihara, Masaki Sawada, Hisanori Kusunoki, Hiroto Inoue
  • Patent number: 8314721
    Abstract: A key switch can generate several signals is provided. The key switch includes a key top, a body, a first electronic circuit, a second electronic circuit, and a switch mechanism. Pressing the key top, the switch key generates a first signal while the first electronic circuit is closed by the switch mechanism; the switch key generates a second signal while the second electronic circuit is closed; and the switch key generates a third signal while both the first electronic circuit and the second electronic circuit is closed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2012
    Assignees: Hong Fu Jin Precision Industry (ShenZhen) Co., Ltd., Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Huan-Ting Xu, Duo Liu
  • Patent number: 8289194
    Abstract: A key assembly includes a touching portion, and a detecting unit. The detecting unit includes a power source, a first detector, a second detector, a processor, a first resistor layer, and a second resistor layer parallel spaced from the first resistor layer. The first resistor layer includes a first end and a second end. The second resistor layer includes a third end and a fourth end. The first end is connected to a first electrode of the power source via the first detector, and the fourth end is connected to the first electrode of the power source via the second detector. The second and the third ends are connected to a second electrode of the power source. The processor electrically connected to the first detector and the second detector performs a predetermined function of the electronic device in response to electrical signals from the first and second detectors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2012
    Assignee: Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Chen-Ter Lin
  • Patent number: 8274358
    Abstract: A multidirectional input member according to the present invention includes a base plate on which a looped sensor that includes a plurality of groups of non-contacting electrodes configured in a loop is formed and an operation plate locating opposite to the base plate. The operation plate has a first loop-shaped protrusion that is located at a plane opposite to the base plate, that is protruded toward the base plate side, that is opposite to the looped sensor, and that is configured with a resistant rubber member. The first protrusion has a configuration in which its sectional area of a plane parallel to the base plate is tapered in the direction from the operation plate side toward the base plate side.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2012
    Assignee: Shin-Etsu Polymer Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hitoshi Ando, Brian St. Jacques, David Moe
  • Patent number: 8228162
    Abstract: There is provided a pressure sensitive switch including: a cover; a slide portion that is stored in the cover and is slidable by being pressed in a horizontal direction; a pressing unit including a pressure portion that has an inner side face brought into contact with the slide portion and can be moved by being pressed by the slide potion; a sheet resistive body that has an upper face brought into contact with the pressing unit; and a conductive plate that is disposed on the lower side of the sheet resistive body with a predetermined gap arranged therebetween. The slide portion is slidable within a horizontal plane, and the pressing portion presses the sheet resistive body by sliding the slide portion, and a resistance value between the sheet resistive body and the conductive plate changes in accordance with a change in a slide operation force for sliding the slide portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2012
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventors: Satoshi Yoshihara, Masaki Sawada, Hisanori Kusunoki, Hiroto Inoue
  • Patent number: 8188834
    Abstract: The device has a first substrate on which an electrical resistive element is mounted, and a second substrate on which a contact electrode is mounted. The contact electrode is disposed opposite the resistive element at an electrically insulating distance. It can be brought into electrical contact with the resistive element by pressing the substrates together. The device is provided with electrical or electronic circuitry for detecting the location of the compression point. At least one of the substrates is equipped with a flat leaf spring of spring-grade sheet metal attached flush thereto, which leaf covers the compression zone of the substrates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2012
    Assignee: Hoffmann + Kripper GmbH
    Inventor: Stefan Berres
  • Patent number: 8169295
    Abstract: A manually operable position sensor is shown, for providing control signals to an electronic device, such as an audio player. A fabric ribbon (101) has a length substantially longer than its width with insulating yarns and electrically conducting yarns included therein. The conducting yarns define three conductive tracks (103, 104, 105) running the length of the fabric. The conductive tracks are configured to interface with an electronic device at a first end. At a second end, an active region of the fabric forms part of a sensor assembly that is receptive to a manually applied pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2012
    Assignee: Peratech Limited
    Inventor: Stuart Mark Walkington
  • Patent number: 8089336
    Abstract: Apparatus for detecting the position of the mechanical interaction is disclosed. A first fabric conducting layer (601) has electrically conducting fibers, electrically conducting tracks (602, 603) and terminals (604) connectable to a circuit. A second fabric layer (605) has conducting fibers and insulating fibers. A third separating layer (608) is constructed from an insulator with openings to allow conduction to occur. A forth fabric conducting layer (609) also has electrically conducting fibers, electrically conducting tracks (610, 611) and terminals connectable to a circuit. The second fabric (605) is a knitted fabric having a substantially smooth back (606) and an irregular front (607). The knitted fabric is positioned such that the irregular surface is in contact with the first conducting layer and the smooth surface is in contact with the separating layer (608).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2012
    Assignee: Peratech Limited
    Inventor: John Burkitt
  • Publication number: 20110221564
    Abstract: An electrical membrane switch that is actuated by applying a force against a layer of a variable resistance material that overlies and is in direct contact with switch poles that are applied to and supported by a substrate. A gap is provided between the switch poles, and the layer extends across the gap. The substrate can be a circuit board with electrical traces formed thereon to convey electrical current to the switch poles. As a sufficient force is applied to the surface of the layer of the variable resistance material, its resistance changes from a relatively high value, in which the switch is in a non-conducting state, to a relatively low value, in which the switch is in a conductive state. A protective sheet can optionally be included over the variable resistance layer and can include graphics/text to indicate the position of each switch in an array and its function.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 12, 2010
    Publication date: September 15, 2011
    Applicant: Almax Manufacturing Corporation
    Inventors: Robert W. Deppiesse, Alan M. Burk
  • Patent number: 8018319
    Abstract: A foil-type switching element comprises a first carrier foil and a second carrier foil arranged at a certain distance from each other by means of a spacer, which comprises one opening (18) defining an active area. An elongate resistive layer (20) is provided on the second carrier foil within the active area while elongate 5 shunt means (22) are arranged on the first miler foil within the active area and facing the resistive layer (20). The form of the opening (18) in the spacer is such that the active area generally tapers in the longitudinal direction of the elongate resistive layer (20), so that when pressure is applied on the switching element, the shunt means (22) shunt a portion of the resistive layer (20) that 10 progressively increases with pressure, from the broad end of the spacer opening (18) towards its narrow end.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2011
    Assignee: IEE International Electronics & Engineering S.A.
    Inventors: Werner Bieck, Andreas Petereit, Christian Bour
  • Patent number: 8008607
    Abstract: Methods of forming a layered heater are provided that comprise at least one resistive layer comprising a resistive circuit pattern, the resistive circuit pattern defining a length, a thickness, and a spacing, wherein the thickness varies along the length of the trace of the resistive circuit pattern for a variable watt density. The methods include achieving the variable thickness by varying a dispensing rate of a conductive ink used to form the resistive circuit pattern, varying the feed rate of a target surface relative to the dispensing of the ink, and overwriting a volume of conductive ink on top of a previously formed trace of the resistive circuit pattern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2011
    Assignee: Watlow Electric Manufacturing Company
    Inventors: Kevin Ptasienski, James McMillin, Thomas T. Nagl, Rolando O. Juliano
  • Patent number: 7788799
    Abstract: A variable resistance device comprises a resistive member having a resistive resilient material. A first conductor is configured to be electrically coupled with the resistive member at a first contact location over a first contact area. A second conductor is configured to be electrically coupled with the resistance member at a second contact location over a second contact area. The first contact location and second contact location are spaced from one another by a distance. The resistance between the first conductor at the first contact location and the second conductor at the second contact location is equal to the sum of a straight resistance component and a parallel path resistance component. At least one of the first location, the second location, the first contact area, and the second contact area is changed to produce a change in resistance between the first conductor and the second conductor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2010
    Assignee: Authentec, Inc.
    Inventors: Allan E. Schrum, Michael D. Rogers
  • Patent number: 7772960
    Abstract: A force sensing resistor (FSR) includes a substrate having separated electrically conductive traces and another substrate having a resistive layer in which the substrates are subjected to a biasing force such that the substrates contact one another with the resistive layer electrically connecting the traces with a resistance inversely dependent on the biasing force. Upon an external force applied towards a substrate, the substrates contact one another with a total force which is the sum of the forces with the resistive layer electrically connecting the traces with a resistance inversely dependent on the total force. An FSR output which is a function of the resistance is measured. Whether a change in magnitude of the FSR output during a time interval is greater than a threshold is determined. A touch applied on the FSR is detected during the time interval if the change is greater than the threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2010
    Assignee: Interlink Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Jeffrey R. Baker
  • Patent number: 7750790
    Abstract: The invention provides a strain gauge which includes a fabric base and at least one conductive yarn. In addition, the fabric base is weaved with a plurality of non-conductive yarns, and the fabric base thereon defines a sensing direction. Moreover, each of the conductive yarn is gimped by a textile process with one of the non-conductive yarns and is woven through the fabric base along the sensing direction. Furthermore, the at least one conductive yarn is capable of being applied by an electric power; when an external force acts on the fabric base, the geometrical property of the at least one conductive yarn alters so that a change of an electric property associated with the applied electric power is sensed to indicate an elongation of said strain gauge applied by the external force along the sensing direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2010
    Assignee: Chang-Ming Yang
    Inventors: Chang Ming Yang, Chun-Mei Chou
  • Patent number: 7554045
    Abstract: A linear sensor (101, 201) comprising electrically conductive textile fibers (103, 105, 205, 207) and electrically insulating textile fibers (106, 208). The sensor comprises at least two conductive elements (102, 104, 204, 206) having electrically conductive textile fibers (103,105, 205, 207). The sensor also has electrically insulating textile fibers (106, 208) spaced to separate the two electrically conductive elements when no pressure is applied to said sensor, and to allow electrical conduction between the two conductive elements under the application of pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2009
    Assignee: Peratech Limited
    Inventors: David Lee Sandbach, Stuart Mark Walkington
  • Publication number: 20090134966
    Abstract: A force sensing resistor (FSR) includes a substrate having separated electrically conductive traces and another substrate having a resistive layer in which the substrates are subjected to a biasing force such that the substrates contact one another with the resistive layer electrically connecting the traces with a resistance inversely dependent on the biasing force. Upon an external force applied towards a substrate, the substrates contact one another with a total force which is the sum of the forces with the resistive layer electrically connecting the traces with a resistance inversely dependent on the total force. An FSR output which is a function of the resistance is measured. Whether a change in magnitude of the FSR output during a time interval is greater than a threshold is determined. A touch applied on the FSR is detected during the time interval if the change is greater than the threshold.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 27, 2007
    Publication date: May 28, 2009
    Applicant: Interlink Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Jeffrey R. Baker
  • Patent number: 7528337
    Abstract: A first resistor layer is formed on the lower surface of a base in film form, and at the same time, a second resistor layer in which particles of different particle diameters are dispersed is formed and layered on the lower surface of the first resistor layer, and thus, a pressure sensitive conductive sheet is formed. In this configuration, the second resistor layer in uneven form makes contact with the fixed contacts in accordance with a pressing force so that electrical connection is made via the second resistor layer and the first resistor layer, and therefore, a thin panel switch with little fluctuation in the resistance value resulting from repeated operation where a stable resistance value can be gained can be realized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2009
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventors: Koji Tanabe, Hirotoshi Watanabe
  • Publication number: 20090015368
    Abstract: A data input device includes a first electrode structure having a first collector electrode and a first plurality of finger electrodes extending from the first collector electrode and a second electrode structure including a second collector electrode and a second plurality of finger electrodes extending from the second collector electrode, the first and second electrode structures being arranged on a first carrier layer in such a way, that in an active area of the data input device, the first plurality of finger electrodes extend between the second plurality in an interdigitating arrangement.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 25, 2007
    Publication date: January 15, 2009
    Applicant: IEE INTERNATIONAL ELECTRONICS & ENGINEERING S.A.
    Inventors: Bogdan Serban, Philippe Boyer, Johann Bar
  • Patent number: 7391296
    Abstract: A variable resistance device comprises a resistive member having a resistive resilient material. A first conductor is configured to be electrically coupled with the resistive member at a first contact location over a first contact area. A second conductor is configured to be electrically coupled with the resistance member at a second contact location over a second contact area. The first contact location and second contact location are spaced from one another by a distance. The resistance between the first conductor at the first contact location and the second conductor at the second contact location is equal to the sum of a straight resistance component and a parallel path resistance component. At least one of the first location, the second location, the first contact area, and the second contact area is changed to produce a change in resistance between the first conductor and the second conductor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2008
    Assignee: Varatouch Technology Incorporated
    Inventors: Allan E. Schrum, Michael D. Rogers
  • Patent number: 7213323
    Abstract: The cost and complexity of an electronic pressure sensitive transducer are decreased by constructing such a transducer directly on a printed circuit board containing support electronics. Conductive traces are formed on the printed circuit board to define a contact area. A flexible substrate having an inner surface is positioned over the contact area. An adhesive spacer, substantially surrounding the contact area, attaches the flexible substrate to the printed circuit board. At least one resistive layer is deposited on the flexible substrate inner surface. In use, the resistive layer contacts at least two conductive traces in response to pressure applied to the flexible substrate to produce an electrical signal indicative of applied pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2007
    Assignee: Interlink Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey R. Baker, Carlos S. Sanchez, Patrick H. Bair
  • Patent number: 7190251
    Abstract: A method of providing a variable resistance from a resistive member including a resistive resilient material comprises electrically coupling a first conductor with the resistive member at a first contact location over a first contact area; and electrically coupling a second conductor with the resistive member at a movable second contact location over a second contact area. The second contact location is movable relative to the resistive member to change the second contact location between the second conductor and the resistive member, the first contact location and the movable second contact location being spaced from one another by a distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2007
    Assignee: Varatouch Technology Incorporated
    Inventors: Allan E. Schrum, Michael D. Rogers
  • Patent number: 7187264
    Abstract: A foil-type switching element comprises a first carrier foil and a second carrier foil arranged at a certain distance from each other by means of a spacer 10. The spacer 10 comprises at least one recess 12 defining an active area of the switching element. At least two electrodes and a layer of pressure sensitive material are arranged within the active area of the switching element between the first and second carrier foils in such a way that, in response to a pressure acting on the active area of the switching element, the first and second carrier foils are pressed together against the reaction force of the elastic carrier foils and an electrical contact is established between the at least two electrodes via the pressure sensitive material. The active area comprises an inner region 14 and a number of outer regions 18, the inner region having a generally convex shape and the outer regions extending outwardly from said inner region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2007
    Assignee: IEE International Electronics & Engineering S.A.
    Inventors: Werner Bieck, Dries Chabach, Yves Decoster, Robert Ollett, Alain Schumacher
  • Patent number: 7161460
    Abstract: A switching element provided with a foil construction includes a first supporting foil and a second supporting foil that are kept at a distance from one another via a spacer. The spacer has a recess in at least one active area of the switching element. A contact arrangement includes at least two electrodes and is arranged in the active area of the switching element so that an electrical current between the electrodes is established when both foil layers are pressed together. A structure made of an electrically nonconducting material is placed inside the active area of the switching element and prevents the electrodes from coming into contact in the area of the structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2007
    Assignee: IEE International Electronics & Engineering S.A.
    Inventor: Laurent Federspiel
  • Patent number: 7154370
    Abstract: A high precision power resistor having the improved property of reduced resistance change due to power is disclosed. The resistor includes a substrate having first and second flat surfaces and having a shape and a composition; a resistive foil having a low TCR of about 0.1 to about 1 ppm/° C. and a thickness of about 0.03 mils to about 0.7 mils cemented to one of the flat surfaces with a cement, the resistive foil having a pattern to produce a desired resistance value, the substrate having a modulus of elasticity of about 10×106 psi to about 100×106 psi and a thickness of about 0.5 mils to about 200 mils, the resistive foil, pattern, type and thickness of cement, and substrate being selected to provide a cumulative effect of reduction of resistance change due to power.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2004
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2006
    Assignee: Vishay Intertechnology, Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph Szwarc, Reuven Goldstein
  • Patent number: 7145432
    Abstract: An electronic resistor user interface comprises flexible conductive materials and a flexible variably resistive element capable of exhibiting a change in electrical resistance on mechanical deformation and is characterised by textile-form electrodes (10,12) a textile form variably resistive element (14) and textile-form members (16) connective to external circuitry.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2006
    Assignees: Canesis Network Ltd., Peratech Limited
    Inventors: David Lussey, Dianne Jones, Steven Leftly
  • Patent number: 7080562
    Abstract: A high-sensitivity pressure conduction sensor is presented. The present invention includes a pair of locally resilient conductive layers and a locally resilient pressure conduction composite disposed between and contacting both conductive layers. Alternate embodiments include at least three locally resilient conductive layers and at least two locally resilient pressure conduction composites, each having a critical percolation threshold. Each composite is disposed between and contacting two conductive layers in a multi-layer fashion. Other embodiments include a locally resilient pressure conduction composite, a flexible substrate completely surrounding the composite so as to seal it therein, and a pair of electrical leads contacting the composite and terminating outside of the flexible substrate. Pressure conduction composites are composed of a plurality of conductive particles electrically isolated within a non-conductive matrix.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2006
    Assignee: QorTek, Inc.
    Inventors: Gareth Knowles, Eli Hughes
  • Patent number: 7068142
    Abstract: A pressure-sensitive sensor includes two base films opposite to each other, a pair of electrodes provided on the two base films, and first and second pressure-sensitive resistors provided by two layers on the electrodes to form a predetermined gap therebetween. Further, a contact state between the first and second pressure-sensitive resistors is changed in accordance with a pressure applied to at least one of the base films, and a resistance between the electrodes is changed in accordance with the contact state between the pressure-sensitive resistors. In addition, each of the pressure-sensitive resistors is constructed with a binder resin having an elasticity modulus in a range between 10 and 1000 Mpa, and electrical conductive particles each of which is coated with a polymer. Accordingly, the pressure-sensitive sensor including the pressure-sensitive resistors can accurately detect a pressure in a range between 1 and 20 kPa.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2006
    Assignee: Denso Corporation
    Inventors: Tomoyasu Watanabe, Kenichi Yanai, Masashi Totokawa, Yuuichi Sekine
  • Patent number: 6987232
    Abstract: There is provided herein a sensor for use in connection with an electronic patient monitor, wherein the sensor preferably uses a linearly configured resistive ladder with spaced-apart resistors as a means of determining at least approximately a location of the patient on the sensor as well as an approximate length of the sensor which is compressed by the patient. By continuously determining both of these quantities over time it is possible to track the patient's movement and determine to what extent the patient needs to be manually turned and/or the extent to which a next-scheduled turn can be skipped.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 17, 2006
    Assignee: Bed-Check Corporation
    Inventors: Toby E. Smith, Craig L. Cooper
  • Patent number: 6967561
    Abstract: A current control device is described wherein a pressure conduction composite is compressed and decompressed to alter its conductivity and thereby current conduction through the device. The pressure conduction composite is composed of a nonconductive matrix, a conductive filler, and an additive. The invention consists of electrodes, a nonconducting isolator, and pressure plates contacting the composite. Electrically activated actuators apply a force onto pressures plates. Each actuator is a piezoelectric, piezoceramic, electrostrictive, magnetostrictive, or piezo-controlled pneumatic element, capable of extending and/or contracting thereby altering pressure and consequently resistivity within the composite.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2005
    Assignee: QorTek, Inc.
    Inventors: Bruce Bower, Gareth Knowles
  • Patent number: 6943660
    Abstract: A current control device is described wherein a pressure conduction composite is compressed and decompressed to alter its conductivity and thereby current conduction through the device. The pressure conduction composite is composed of a nonconductive matrix, a conductive filler, and an additive. The invention consists of electrodes and pressure plates contacting the composite. Electrically activated actuators apply a force onto pressures plates. Actuators are composed of a piezoelectric, piezoceramic, electrostrictive, magnetostrictive, and shape memory alloy materials, capable of extending and/or contracting thereby altering pressure and consequently resistivity within the composite. Two or more current control devices are electrically coupled parallel to increase power handling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2005
    Assignee: QorTek, Inc.
    Inventors: Bruce Bower, Gareth Knowles
  • Patent number: 6909354
    Abstract: The cost and complexity of an electronic pressure sensitive transducer are decreased by constructing such a transducer directly on a printed circuit board containing support electronics. Conductive traces are formed on the printed circuit board to define a contact area. A flexible substrate having an inner surface is positioned over the contact area. An adhesive spacer, substantially surrounding the contact area, attaches the flexible substrate to the printed circuit board. At least one resistive layer is deposited on the flexible substrate inner surface. In use, the resistive layer contacts at least two conductive traces in response to pressure applied to the flexible substrate to produce an electrical signal indicative of applied pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2005
    Assignee: Interlink Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey R. Baker, Carlos S. Sanchez
  • Patent number: 6867681
    Abstract: A current control device is described wherein a pressure conduction composite is compressed and decompressed to alter its conductivity and thereby current conduction through the device. The pressure conduction composite is composed of a nonconductive matrix, a conductive filler, and an additive. The invention consists of electrodes and pressure plates contacting the composite. Electrically activated actuators apply a force onto pressures plates. Actuators are composed of a piezoelectric, piezoceramic, electrostrictive, magnetostrictive, and shape memory materials, capable of extending and/or contracting thereby altering pressure and consequently resistivity within the composite. In an alternate embodiment, two or more current control devices are electrically coupled parallel to increase power handling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2005
    Assignee: QorTek, Inc.
    Inventors: Bruce Bower, Gareth Knowles
  • Patent number: 6842885
    Abstract: A method for manufacturing a power bus on a chip, where the power bus has slits generated therein. The present invention relates to a method to manufacture a power bus in which the reference to a layout data base shows the coordinate location of the power buses in the chip. A height and width for the power bus is calculated based on its coordinates. Based on the height and width of the power buses and the predetermined size and spacing between power slits, a number of power slits to be generated is determined. These power slits are then generated by adding the power slits to the power bus in the coordinates of the layout database. The method of the present invention also generates power slits for use in manufacturing power buses on a chip for cases in which the power buses overlap.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2005
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Chong Ming Lin, Tatao Chuang, Tran Long, Hy Hoang
  • Patent number: 6841743
    Abstract: A multidirectional control switch of the present invention is used in a variety of electronic apparatuses including a portable telephone and a personal digital assistant. A first switch contact of this switch outputs a first signal continuously varying as a top surface of a substantially disc-shaped operating member undergoes a sliding press along a locus substantially in arc form. With a stronger press, a second switch contact outputs a second signal. The multidirectional control switch has a simple structure and can be reduced in size because these two switch contacts are integrally formed, thereby eliminating a need to combine discrete elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2005
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroyasu Okada, Masaki Sawada, Hiroto Inoue, Tamotsu Yamamoto
  • Publication number: 20040246094
    Abstract: A foil-type switching element comprises a first carrier foil having a first electrode arrangement applied thereon and a second carrier foil having a second electrode arrangement applied thereon, said first and second carrier foils being arranged at a certain distance by means of a spacer in such a way that said first and second electrodes face each other in an active area of said switching element. At least said second electrode arrangement comprises a resistive layer which faces said first electrode arrangement. In response to a pressure acting on said switching element said first and second electrode arrangements are pressed together, the shape and/or the size of a mechanical contact surface between said first and second electrode arrangements being given by a mechanical response function depending on the amount of pressure applied. According to the invention, said resistive layer has a shape such that an electrical response function of said sensor is decoupled from said mechanical response function.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 2, 2004
    Publication date: December 9, 2004
    Applicant: IEE INTERNATIONAL ELECTRONICS & ENGINEERING S.A.
    Inventors: Werner Bieck, Yves Decoster, Alain Schumacher, Thomas Schleeh
  • Patent number: 6798332
    Abstract: A current control device is described wherein a pressure conduction composite is compressed and decompressed to alter its conductivity and thereby current conduction through the device. The pressure conduction composite is composed of a nonconductive matrix, a conductive filler, and an additive. The invention consists of electrodes and pressure plates contacting the composite. Electrically activated actuators apply a force onto pressures plates. Actuators are composed of a piezoelectric, piezoceramic, electrostrictive, magnetostrictive, and shape memory alloy materials, capable of extending and/or contracting thereby altering pressure and consequently resistivity within the composite. In an alternate embodiment, two or more current control devices are electrically coupled parallel to increase power handling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 28, 2004
    Assignee: QorTek, Inc.
    Inventors: Bruce Bower, Gareth Knowles
  • Patent number: 6798331
    Abstract: A current control device is described wherein a pressure conduction composite is compressed and decompressed to alter its conductivity and thereby current conduction through the device. The pressure conduction composite is composed of a nonconductive matrix, a conductive filler, and an additive. The invention consists of electrodes, a nonconducting isolator, and pressure plates contacting the composite. Electrically activated actuators apply a force onto pressures plates. Actuators are composed of a piezoelectric, piezoceramic, electrostrictive, magnetostrictive, and shape memory alloy materials, capable of extending and/or contracting thereby altering pressure and consequently resistivity within the composite. In an alternate embodiment, two or more current control devices are electrically coupled parallel to increase power handling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 28, 2004
    Assignee: QorTek, Inc.
    Inventors: Bruce Bower, Gareth Knowles
  • Patent number: 6794982
    Abstract: A multidirectional input device includes ring-shaped resistance element layer 18, first conductive layer 22 and second conductive layer 23 shaping in arcs corresponding to resistance element layer 18, and knob 14 having ring-shaped protruded section 14D. Resistance element layer 18 has at least a pair of electrodes and is formed on flexible insulating substrate 16. Protruded section 14D brings resistance element layer 18 into contact with first conductive layer 22 or second conductive layer 23 when the knob is tilted. When a given voltage is applied to the electrodes and the knob is tilted, resistance element layer 18 comes in contact with first conductive layer 22 or second conductive layer 23, so that an output signal of a high resolution concerning a tilt angle can be obtained. The output signal is supplied to a microprocessor and calculated, then an angle or a direction is detected and recognized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2004
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroto Inoue, Hiroyasu Okada, Tamotsu Yamamoto, Masaki Sawada, Keiji Kaizaki
  • Patent number: 6794983
    Abstract: A current control device is described wherein a pressure conduction composite is compressed and decompressed to alter its conductivity and thereby current conduction through the device. The pressure conduction composite is composed of a nonconductive matrix, a conductive filler, and an additive. The invention consists of electrodes, a nonconducting isolator, and pressure plates contacting the composite. Electrically activated actuators apply a force onto pressures plates. Actuators are composed of a piezoelectric, piezoceramic, electrostrictive, magnetostrictive, and shape memory alloy materials, capable of extending and/or contracting thereby altering pressure and consequently resistivity within the composite. In an alternate embodiment, two or more current control devices are electrically coupled parallel to increase power handling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2004
    Assignee: QorTek, Inc.
    Inventors: Bruce Bower, Gareth Knowles
  • Patent number: 6791037
    Abstract: A multi-direction switch that is less likely to generate erroneous movement and may reduce fabrication and assembly difficulty includes redesigned metal conductive legs of a joystick and corresponding electrode elements so that the interval between the metal conductive legs and the electrode elements increases to prevent the metal conductive legs from mistakenly connecting the electrode elements when the joystick is depressed thereby to increase oscillation amplitude of the joystick and improve the operation maneuverability thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2004
    Assignee: Zippy Technology Corp.
    Inventor: Ying-Liang Ling