Programmable Or Condition Responsive Means Controls Grab Operation Patents (Class 414/730)
  • Patent number: 11366158
    Abstract: A test system for testing a device having a plurality of electrical contacts. The test system comprising: a device table operable to hold at least one device under test, a probe comprising at least one probe end for contacting electrical contacts of a device under test, a movement mechanism operable to move one or both of the device table and the probe so as to bring the at least one probe end into contact with at least one electrical contact of a device under test, and a profile determining system configured to determine a profile of the electrical contacts of a device under test.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2022
    Assignee: TeraView Limited
    Inventors: Bryan Edward Cole, Darius Sullivan, Simon Chandler
  • Patent number: 11289354
    Abstract: A conveying mechanism includes a suction part that has a suction pad and sucks and holds a target object by the suction pad, a bracket connected to the suction part through a joint that is swingable, an elastic component in which one end part is fixed to the suction part and the other end part is fixed to the bracket, a negative pressure control unit that controls generation of a negative pressure at the suction part, and a movement unit that moves the bracket. The elastic component permits a swing of the suction part according to tilt or deformation of the target object that is sucked and held and, when suction holding of the target object is released, the elastic component returns the orientation of the suction pad to a predetermined orientation when the suction pad is not sucking and holding the target object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2021
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2022
    Assignee: DISCO CORPORATION
    Inventors: Yoshinori Kakinuma, Masashi Kimura, Masayuki Kawase
  • Patent number: 11285623
    Abstract: An electrically insulated tool is provided for a paint robot of a robotic painting system. The insulated tool includes an insulated main body having a mounting bracket disposed at a first end of the main body, configured for removably coupling the insulated tool to a paint robot. The tool has an optical sensor system including first and second optical fiber cables, and first and second spaced-apart optic ports coupled to the respective first and second optical fiber cables. The optic ports are configured to provide light communication as a light emitter and a light receiver. An interruption in the light communication between the light emitter and the light receiver indicates a presence of a workpiece component adjacent a detection region of the insulated tool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2022
    Assignee: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
    Inventors: Jared R. Bentum, Zayd Qasas, Christopher M. Sheppard, Larry G. MacLean, Bryan R. Hunter
  • Patent number: 11241792
    Abstract: An abnormality detection method of an encoder includes an output step, a control step, an information acquisition step, and an abnormality determination step. The abnormality determination step compares command position information with detection position information of a motor calculated based on an output signal, and determines that the encoder is abnormal in a case where a difference between the command position information and the detection position information of the motor is equal to or more than a predetermined value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 8, 2022
    Assignee: PANASONIC INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Yasuhiro Kinugasa, Kei Aimi, Atsumi Hashimoto
  • Patent number: 11110616
    Abstract: Exemplary embodiments provide enhancements for soft robotic actuators. In some embodiments, angular adjustment systems are provided for varying an angle between an actuator and the hub, or between two actuators. The angular adjustment system may also be used to vary a relative distance or spacing between actuators. According to further embodiments, rigidizing layers are provided for reinforcing one or more portions of an actuator at one or more locations of relatively high strain. According to further embodiments, force amplification structures are provided for increasing an amount of force applied by an actuator to a target. The force amplification structures may serve to shorten the length of the actuator that is subject to bending upon inflation. According to still further embodiments, gripping pads are provided for customizing an actuator's gripping profile to better conform to the surfaces of items to be gripped.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2021
    Assignee: SOFT ROBOTICS, INC.
    Inventors: Joshua Aaron Lessing, Ryan Knopf, Carl Vause
  • Patent number: 11065761
    Abstract: A method of training a robot to pick a plurality of articles includes determining an identity of an article and determining if the article has a uniform distribution of weight. If the article has a uniform distribution of weight, a three-dimensional (3D) model of the article is created and stored in a database record associated with the identity. If the article does not have a uniform distribution of weight, a 3D model is created, two-dimensional (2D) images of each side of the article are created, and a 3D center of gravity of the article is determined. The 3D model, the 2D images, and the 3D center of gravity of the article are stored in a database record associated with the identity of the article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 20, 2021
    Assignee: Dematic Corp.
    Inventors: Robert C. Sciog, Laszlo T. Szebelledy
  • Patent number: 11027421
    Abstract: A robot is provided which has: a housing including a plurality of joints; a reduction gear placed in the joint, the reduction gear including a lubrication chamber where a gear mechanism for slowing down and transmitting an output of a motor and lubricant is sealed; and an air chamber placed inside the housing, the air chamber communicating with the lubrication chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2021
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Yaskawa Denki
    Inventors: Naoyuki Ohtsubo, Tsuyoshi Ito, Yuji Ishimaru
  • Patent number: 11014229
    Abstract: A robot includes a robot arm including an A arm rotating around an A rotation axis and a B arm provided rotatably around a B rotation axis having an axial direction different from an axial direction of the A rotation axis, an A driving mechanism including an A motor and an A reduction gear and configured to drive the A arm, and a B driving mechanism including a B motor and a B reduction gear and configured to drive the B arm. A center axis of an input shaft and a center axis of an output shaft of the A reduction gear correspond to each other. A center axis of an input shaft and a center axis of an output shaft of the B reduction gear correspond to each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2021
    Inventor: Takuya Owa
  • Patent number: 10969760
    Abstract: According to some aspects of the invention, auxiliary axis measurement systems for determining three-dimensional coordinates of an object are provided as shown and described herein. According to some aspects of the invention, methods for operating auxiliary axis measurement systems for determining three-dimensional coordinates of an object are provided as shown and described herein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2021
    Assignee: FARO TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
    Inventors: Kishore Lankalapalli, Kenneth Steffey, Keith G. Macfarlane, Paul C. Atwell, Dragos M. Stanescu
  • Patent number: 10955430
    Abstract: An auto-navigating robotic processing vehicle including a carriage having a frame, an autonomous drive section configured to traverse the carriage effecting vehicle travel on a facility floor, and having an autonomous navigation section to effect autonomous navigation vehicle travel, a processing section with different processing modules connected to and carried by the frame, each of the different processing modules having a different predetermined laboratory processing function with a different predetermined function characteristic corresponding to the processing module and being automatically selectable to effect a preprocess or preprocess condition of laboratory samples and/or sample holders with respect to a process at a processing station, and a controller automatically selects at least one processing module and the corresponding predetermined function of the selected processing module effecting automatically the preprocess or preprocess condition based on an identification of a travel location for the v
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2021
    Assignee: HIGHRES BIOSOLUTIONS, INC.
    Inventors: Louis Guarracina, Ulysses Gilchrist
  • Patent number: 10869728
    Abstract: A method of using a robotic guidance system for performing surgery on a spine is provided. The method includes utilizing a computerized tomographic scan image of a location on a spinal column of a patient, such that the computerized tomographic scan image is connected to a computer and visible on a monitor connected to the computer. The method also includes attaching a coupling component to the spinal column of the patient, coupling a marker to the coupling component, and imaging, with a fluoroscope, the view of the spinal column of the patient, wherein the fluoroscope image is transmitted to the computer and visible on the monitor and the at marker is clearly visible in the fluoroscope image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2019
    Date of Patent: December 22, 2020
    Assignee: P Tech, LLC
    Inventor: Peter M. Bonutti
  • Patent number: 10710402
    Abstract: A robotic wheel gripper unit that is configured for gripping and transporting a wheel to a predetermined position during an assembly operation with a tire is disclosed. The robotic wheel gripper unit comprises a selectively moveable arm that includes a gripper tool connected thereto. The gripper tool further includes a plurality of gripper fingers and at least one sensor. The gripper fingers are configured for selectively engaging a portion of a wheel. The sensor is configured to detect a predetermined element on the wheel, such as a TPMS valve stem, to assist in placement of the wheel during an assembly operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2020
    Assignee: International Wheel and Tire, Inc.
    Inventor: Kevin R. Kerwin
  • Patent number: 10576642
    Abstract: A multi-jointed robot arm which enables the use of a small space, in which a first arm member is supported to be capable of rotation in relation to a pair of support members, which are provided to stand on a base member at a predetermined width interval, by a first joint, further, a second arm member is supported to be capable of rotation in relation to the first arm member by a second joint, in which the second arm member holds a robot hand which grips a work on an opposite side from the second joint, the first arm member includes a pair of side portions which join the first joint and the second joint, and a storage space into which the second arm member enters between the pair of side portions is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2020
    Assignee: FUJI CORPORATION
    Inventors: Daisuke Fukuoka, Shigefumi Suzuyama
  • Patent number: 10562449
    Abstract: Method and apparatus are disclosed for accelerometer-based external sound monitoring during low speed maneuvers. An example vehicle includes accelerometers affixed to windows of the vehicle, speakers located inside the vehicle, and an infotainment head unit. Each of the speakers is uniquely associated with one of the accelerometers. The infotainment head unit, when a speed of the vehicle satisfies a threshold, selects a zone corresponding to a direction of travel of the vehicle. Additionally, the infotainment head unit plays signals captured by the accelerometers associated with the selected zone on the corresponding speakers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2020
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Joshua Wheeler, Scott Andrew Amman, John Edward Huber, Leah Busch, Ranjani Rangarajan, Erick Michael Lavoie, Marla Johnston
  • Patent number: 10525589
    Abstract: A robot system includes at least one robot, a first sensor, at least one second sensor, and circuitry. The at least one robot is to work on a workpiece. The first sensor is to detect a three-dimensional shape of the workpiece. The at least one second sensor is to detect a three-dimensional position of the workpiece. The circuitry is configured to control the at least one robot based on teaching data. The circuitry is configured to correct the teaching data according to the three-dimensional shape detected by the first sensor. The circuitry is configured to correct the teaching data according to the three-dimensional position detected by the at least one second sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2020
    Assignee: KABUSHIKI KAISHA YASKAWA DENKI
    Inventors: Fuminori Kutsukake, Keisuke Yonehara, Toshimitsu Irie
  • Patent number: 10518417
    Abstract: Provided is an article retrieval system including: a sensor that measures the states of articles stored in a storage container; an article detection part for detecting the articles on the basis of the states of the articles measured by the sensor; handling part for retrieving the articles or changing the positions and/or orientations of the articles detected by the article detection part; and a controller that controls the sensor, the article detection part, and the handling part. The controller includes: a space dividing part for dividing the space in which the articles exist according to the states of the articles measured by the sensor; and a switching part for switching at least one of a method of measurement with the sensor, a method of detection with the article detection part, and a method of retrieval with the handling part in each of the spaces divided by the space dividing part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2019
    Assignee: Fanuc Corporation
    Inventor: Jun Wada
  • Patent number: 10513029
    Abstract: The invention relates to a transmission, to a transmission housing, to a driving member mounted rotatably in the transmission housing, to an output member mounted rotatably in the transmission housing and to at least one speed-changing transmission stage which couples the output member to the driving member and has a torque-supporting member, wherein the driving member together with the output member and the torque-supporting member forms a preassembled assembly in which the torque-supporting member is mounted rotatably on the transmission housing by means of a transmission-stage rolling bearing device and has a toothing which is in engagement with a driving pinion mounted rotatably in the transmission housing. The invention also relates to an electric driving device and to an industrial robot having at least one such transmission.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2019
    Assignee: KUKA Deutschland GmbH
    Inventors: Rainer Krumbacher, Franz Liebl
  • Patent number: 10507989
    Abstract: The present disclosure shows an apparatus for the automated removal of workpieces arranged in a bin, said apparatus having a first object recognition device for detecting the workpieces in the bin; a first picker for picking and removing the workpieces from the bin; a controller for evaluating the data of the first object recognition device, for path planning and for controlling the first picker; a buffering station on which the first picker places the workpieces after the removal from the bin and a positioning apparatus that more accurately positions and/or isolates the workpieces starting from the buffering station. Provision is made that the buffering station has at least one tiltable placement area that is tiltable into a slanted position via a tilting mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2019
    Assignee: Liebherr-Verzahntechnik GmbH
    Inventors: Markus Zollitsch, David Haenschke, Bernhard Riedmiller, Thomas Mattern
  • Patent number: 10502643
    Abstract: A deformation sensing apparatus comprises an elastic substrate, a first strain-gauge element formed on a first surface of the elastic substrate, and configured to output a first signal in response to a strain applied in a first direction, and a second strain-gauge element formed on a second surface of the elastic substrate opposite to the first surface, and configured to output a second signal in response to a strain applied in the same first direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2019
    Assignee: Facebook Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Sean Jason Keller, Tristan Thomas Trutna, David R. Perek, Bruce A. Cleary, III
  • Patent number: 10384355
    Abstract: A robot includes a base, an arm provided on the base, and a reducer having a sliding part and decelerating driving of the arm, wherein a lubricating oil can be supplied to the sliding part from an opposite side to the arm with respect to the sliding part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2019
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Kotaro Sekine, Tetsuya Kawase
  • Patent number: 10369671
    Abstract: The chain magazine for holding tool'(5) for machine tool'includes a continuous chain (1) which has chain links (2) each with at least one tool holder (2a, 2b) and with which at least one sprocket (6, 7) meshes and a guide device (9-12) which has a guide element (12) that can be moved back and forth between a first and a second position, by means of which a tool holder (2a, 2b) of a chain link (2) can be turned in and turned out.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2019
    Assignee: GF Machining Solutions AG
    Inventors: Andreas Scheidegger, Ernst Haueter
  • Patent number: 10286564
    Abstract: A robotic device includes a robot arm. A fluid-powered tool is located on the robot arm. A hose supplies a pressurized working fluid to the fluid-powered tool. A fluid motor is coupled to an electric generator to drive the electric generator. An actuator selectively supplies the pressurized working fluid to the fluid motor. A battery is operatively connected to receive electrical energy from the electric generator. A controller is powered by the battery and is operatively connected to the actuator to control operation of the fluid motor and charging of the battery by the electric generator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2019
    Assignee: LINCOLN GLOBAL, INC.
    Inventor: Toby Baumgartner
  • Patent number: 10105808
    Abstract: A processing system having a function for appropriately maintaining processing accuracy, without depending on a degree of abrasion of a tool. An unused tool used in a machine tool is captured by using a camera mounted on a robot, so as to obtain a reference image of the tool. Next, an image of the tool is captured after a predetermined number of processing operations carried out. An average amount of tool abrasion per one processing operation is calculated based on the two images, so as to estimate a current amount of tool abrasion. Based on the estimation result and a previously input limit amount of abrasion, the number of remaining possible processing operations of the tool is calculated and output.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2018
    Assignee: FANUC CORPORATION
    Inventor: Kazutaka Nakayama
  • Patent number: 10099330
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a system, an apparatus and a method for providing tools on a machine tool. The system includes a first tool magazine for accommodating a plurality of tools; a first feeding device which is adapted to remove tools from the first tool magazine and feed them to the spindle; at least one second tool magazine for accommodating a plurality of tools; a second feeding device which is adapted to remove tools from the second tool magazine and provide them at a predetermined transfer position; and a transfer apparatus which is adapted to feed tools removed from the second tool magazine to the first tool magazine, with the result that the second tool magazine serves as a supply magazine for the first tool magazine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2018
    Assignee: DECKEL MAHO PFRONTEN GMBH
    Inventors: Oliver Kraft, Sebastian Riedel, Michael Trenkle
  • Patent number: 10035261
    Abstract: An actuatable joint for a robotic system has a body, a motor positioned in the body, an output shaft configured to be rotated by the motor relative to the body, and a bearing assembly positioned between the output shaft and the body and configured to support the rotation of the output shaft. The bearing assembly has a first axial angular contact roller bearing. The roller bearing has a pair of frusto-conical bearing rings forming a pair of parallel races, a bearing cage positioned between the pair of bearing rings and including a plurality of openings, and a plurality of rollers positioned in the openings and in contact with the races.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2018
    Assignee: Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG
    Inventors: Joseph Johnson, Craig Hooker
  • Patent number: 10031515
    Abstract: A production system in which a position of a robot relative to a machine tool can be measured and an operation position of the robot can be corrected based on the measurement result, by using a simple configuration. The robot has a vision device attached to a movable part such as a robot arm. The machine tool has a visual target arranged on an outer surface of the machine tool. An image of the visual target captured by a camera is processed by a robot controller or an image processor. Due to such image processing, the position of the robot relative to the machine tool can be measured. Further, the production system has a correcting part which corrects a position of a motion of the robot regarding supplying and ejecting a workpiece, based on the positional relationship between the robot and the machine tool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2018
    Assignee: FANUC CORPORATION
    Inventors: Hiromitsu Takahashi, Hiroji Nishi
  • Patent number: 9919887
    Abstract: A web unwind stand for obtaining, loading, splicing, and unwinding a web material from a plurality of convolutely wound rolls and forwarding the web material unwound from each of the convolutely wound rolls uninterruptedly to a downstream apparatus is disclosed. The unwind stand has a frame, a positionable roll grasping apparatus having a mandrel connectively engaged thereto and, splicing means. The positionable roll grasping apparatus is capable of obtaining and disposing the convolutely wound rolls proximate to the splicing means relative to the frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2018
    Assignee: The Procter & Gamble Company
    Inventors: Matthew Joseph Macura, Rong Deng, Craig Allen Powell, Todd Douglas Lenser
  • Patent number: 9868181
    Abstract: Assembly equipment comprises a base, a first holding hand provided in a first robot arm set on the base, a second holding hand provided in a second robot arm set on the base, and a control device configured to control the first and second robot arms and the first and second holding hands. The first holding hand comprises an attachment connected to the first robot arm and having a rotation shaft, and an aligning holding mechanism provided in a rotation mechanism having a rotation shaft located to intersect the rotation shaft of the attachment or located in a skewed positional relationship with the rotation shaft of the attachment. A cooperative working area of the first and second holding hands is provided in an overlapping area where working areas of the first and second holding hands overlap with each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 16, 2018
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Toshiaki Osato, Takashi Arai, Shuichi Hirasawa
  • Patent number: 9827057
    Abstract: A robotic system includes a camera having an image frame whose position and orientation relative to a fixed frame is determinable through one or more image frame transforms, a tool disposed within a field of view of the camera and having a tool frame whose position and orientation relative to the fixed frame is determinable through one or more tool frame transforms, and at least one processor programmed to identify pose indicating points of the tool from one or more camera captured images, determine an estimated transform for an unknown one of the image and tool frame transforms using the identified pose indicating points and known ones of the image and tool frame transforms, update a master-to-tool transform using the estimated and known ones of the image and tool frame transforms, and command movement of the tool in response to movement of a master using the updated master-to-tool transform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Tao Zhao, Giuseppe Maria Prisco, John Ryan Steger, David Q. Larkin
  • Patent number: 9815208
    Abstract: A device for connecting a tool to an arm of a robot, comprising: —a body (2; 32) having an annular wall provided with openings (6; 36), received within which are one or more balls (8; 38), which are mobile within said openings between an inoperative position and an operative position, in said operative position said balls projecting from said wall to engage corresponding portions of said tool and clamping the latter on said arm; and —a piston (4; 34), configured for co-operating with said balls and governed fluid-dynamically between a first position and a second position, wherein, in said second position, —said piston forces said-balls into said operative position, and, in said first position, said piston releases said balls so that they can move into said inoperative position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2017
    Assignee: Robotools S.r.l.
    Inventor: Elio Strobietto
  • Patent number: 9770823
    Abstract: The present teachings provide a method of controlling a remote vehicle having an end effector and an image sensing device. The method includes obtaining an image of an object with the image sensing device, determining a ray from a focal point of the image to the object based on the obtained image, positioning the end effector of the remote vehicle to align with the determined ray, and moving the end effector along the determined ray to approach the object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2017
    Assignee: IROBOT DEFENSE HOLDINGS, INC.
    Inventors: Wesley Hanan Huang, Emilie A. Phillips
  • Patent number: 9713870
    Abstract: A method for locating a first vehicle component relative to a second vehicle component includes the following steps: (a) moving the robotic arm to a first position such that a form feature of the first vehicle component is within a field of view of a camera; (b) capturing an image the form feature of the first vehicle component; (c) moving the robotic arm to a second position such that the form feature of the second vehicle component is within the field of view of the camera; (d) capturing an image of the form feature of the second vehicle component; (e) picking up the second vehicle component using the robotic arm; and (f) moving the robotic arm along with the second vehicle component toward the first vehicle component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2017
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Jianying Shi, John Patrick Spicer, Lance T. Ransom
  • Patent number: 9647519
    Abstract: A number of variations may include a method of assembly of a rotor and a stator having a concentric air gap in an electric motor comprising: providing inflatable gap support tooling in a deflated state in an air gap between a rotor and a stator; filling the inflatable gap support tooling with a fluid so that it uniformly fills at least a portion of the air gap between the stator and the rotor and holds the stator and the rotor together as a single unit; placing the single unit into a motor assembly; seating a plurality of bearings into the motor assembly; locking the stator into place in the motor assembly; removing the fluid from the inflatable gap support tooling; and removing the inflatable gap support tooling from the motor assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2017
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Paul F. Turnbull, Alan G. Holmes
  • Patent number: 9645601
    Abstract: Controlling a switch or valve at a distance is achieved by a support member having a movable portion, with the moveable portion including an elongate member, and a drive mechanism in communication with the moveable portion. A motor, hand crank, or other force transmission apparatus acts to move the drive mechanism and thus the movable portion and elongate member such that a valve or switch is actuated at a distance from a user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2017
    Inventor: Robert L. Stevenson
  • Patent number: 9566714
    Abstract: An apparatus for monitoring food consumption by an individual from a food compartment wherein the food compartment may contain or hold solids or liquids. In one example, the apparatus includes a feed arm operative to transfer food from the food compartment to an individual; and, a sensor(s) used in part to determine the quantity or type of the solid or liquids in the food compartment or container. Determining the quantity and/or type of food in the food compartment prior to and after the individual has ceased consuming food from the food compartment the amount or quantity of the food can be determined. Based on such knowledge the nutritional value of the food may be determined and if needed transmitted to a remote location. In addition, sensors may also monitor an individual's physical data and communicate such data to a remote location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2017
    Inventor: Jonathan P. Dekar
  • Patent number: 9457472
    Abstract: A position detection device for a horizontal articulated robot includes a camera for imaging the robot or a work as an imaging object, a control section for calculating a location of the imaging object from an image, an acquisition section (I/O) for obtaining the drive amounts of first and second electric motors of the robot, and a storage section for storing the calculated location of the imaging object and the drive amounts so as to correspond to each other. A common trigger signal for detecting the location of the imaging object is input to the camera and the I/O. The camera starts to image the imaging object in response to the input of the trigger signal. The I/O starts to obtain the drive amounts in response to the input of the trigger signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2016
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Katsuji Igarashi, Atsushi Asada, Nobuyuki Setsuda, Chieko Iuchi
  • Patent number: 9429948
    Abstract: The invention relates to a humanoid robot endowed with particular capabilities for managing falls. The risks of falling limit the development of the mass-market use of humanoid robots. In the prior art, the modalities for detecting falls are not well suited to the case of very dynamic robots since the center of mass is very often outside their support polygons. The modalities for managing falls are also poorly suited to robots which must be economical in their computation resources. According to the invention, the conventional support polygon is supplemented with effectors for which it is determined that they are sufficiently close to the ground. Protection strategies are implemented, chosen from a set of strategies defined by a classification of the angles of fall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2016
    Assignee: ALDEBARAN ROBOTICS
    Inventor: David Gouaillier
  • Patent number: 9415517
    Abstract: A capacitance based tactile array sensor is disclosed that provides for close resolution of sensing pixels by using insulated conductors as electrodes, and allows for eliminating the need for a joint or connection interface near periphery of the sensor array. Optional aspects of the invention include provision for allowing use of stretchable conductors, reduction of the burden of number of connections at one layer of conductors in the sensor, providing for differential sensing resolutions at different areas of sensing, and modularity in configuration allowing replacement of a defective sensor pixel in the array. The tactile array sensor may be integrated with surface of a robotic hand's finger, palm, or any other surface of a device that requires multi-point sensing of external contacts. The capacitance information is processed for useful display or control of systems based on the contact feedback.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2016
    Inventor: Prakash C R J Naidu
  • Patent number: 9333039
    Abstract: Systems and methods for providing vibration feedback in robotic systems are disclosed. A system for configuring a robotic surgery system to provide vibration feedback during robot-assisted surgery includes a sensor, an actuator, and a controller. The sensor is coupled to the robotic surgery system such that the sensor senses a vibration of a surgical tool. The actuator is coupled to the surgery system such that the actuator provides a vibration to a user at a control station. The controller is electrically coupled with the sensor and the actuator. The controller is configured to receive data corresponding to a sensed vibration from the sensor. The controller is further configured to actuate the actuator based on the received data such that the actuator provides a vibration to the user when the sensor senses the vibration of the tool. The above system may be configured to provide tactile and/or audio feedback.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2016
    Assignee: The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania
    Inventors: Katherine J. Kuchenbecker, Dorsey Standish, William McMahan, Jamie Gewirtz
  • Patent number: 9299000
    Abstract: An object region extraction system, an object region extraction method, and an object region extraction program, including an effectiveness evaluation quantity acquisition unit to acquire an evaluation quantity which increases or decreases when an angle formed by two back projections selected from back projections of one point of an object approach a right angle, wherein the back projections cross each other at a position in three-dimensional space and obtained from respective images, which include the one point and captured by respective m-number of image acquisition units, where m is greater than one, and an object region determination unit to, when the evaluation quantity is equal to or larger than or equal to or smaller than a predetermined value, determine the position to be a region occupied by the object, and output the determination result.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2016
    Assignee: NEC CORPORATION
    Inventor: Hiroo Ikeda
  • Patent number: 9239234
    Abstract: A work system includes an arm mechanism, a position and an orientation of which are configured to be changed so as to process an object placed on a work area, a member arranged at a distal end portion of the arm mechanism to receive a light projection pattern for calculating a position and an orientation of the distal end portion of the arm mechanism, and an irradiation unit configured to form the light projection pattern on the member and on the object by irradiating the member and the object with pattern light. In addition, an image sensing unit senses an image of the object and is fixed at a position independent of the arm mechanism, and a first calculation unit calculates a position and an orientation of the distal end portion of the arm mechanism and an irradiation plane of the pattern light based on the light projection pattern formed on the member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 19, 2016
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Masato Aoba
  • Patent number: 9233469
    Abstract: A robotic system includes a robot, a three-dimensional (3D) point cloud camera, and a controller. The camera outputs an image data file having two-dimensional (2D) color data and 3D depth data. The controller receives input criteria and the image data file, and detects 2D and 3D line segments in the image data file. Sets of new 3D lines are generated via back-projecting some of the 2D line segments onto some of the 3D line segments. The new 3D lines are grouped into intersecting lines, and the controller performs a normal vector grouping function on the intersecting lines to identify candidate planes. Intersecting planes are identified from the candidate planes, and candidate boxes are identified from the intersecting planes. The controller locates a target box from among the identified candidate boxes via the input criteria. A control action may be commanded on the target box by the end effector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 12, 2016
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Moonju Lee, Jianying Shi
  • Patent number: 9227321
    Abstract: A method for controlling a manipulator includes determining by a control device one or more contact force values between the manipulator and a first workpiece. Each of the contact force values is based on an actual driving force of the manipulator and a drive force according to a dynamic model of the manipulator. The method also includes at least one of a) measuring in multiple stages an orientation and location of the first workpiece based on at least one of the one or more determined contact force values or b) joining a second workpiece and the first workpiece under a compliant regulation, where a joining state of the first and second workpieces is monitored based on at least one of an end pose of the manipulator obtained under the compliant regulation, a speed of a temporal change of the manipulator, or at least one of the one or more determined contact force values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2016
    Assignee: KUKA Roboter GmbH
    Inventors: Simon Klumpp, Günter Schreiber
  • Patent number: 9211647
    Abstract: A parallel link robot includes a base part having actuators, a part movable with respect to the base part, link parts with first ends linked with the plurality of actuators rotatably around rotary shafts with respect to the base part and with other ends linked with the moving part, and fixtures attached to the base part to measure rotational positions of the link parts. The base part has reference flat surfaces, and the link parts have moving flat surfaces extended in parallel with respect to the rotary shafts. Positional relationships between the moving flat surfaces and the reference flat surfaces become predetermined positional relationships when the link parts rotate to reference positions for calibration of position. The fixtures have measuring devices arranged at measurement positions with known positional relationships with respect to the reference flat surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 15, 2015
    Assignee: FANUC CORPORATION
    Inventor: Tomoaki Nagayama
  • Patent number: 9174346
    Abstract: A loading/unloading robot includes an arm unit attached to a support unit that is capable of being raised and lowered and a hand unit for conveying a loaded/unloaded object, attached to the arm unit. The support unit includes a base portion capable of revolving around a raising/lowering axis and a head portion rotatably attached to the base portion. The arm unit includes arms that are rotatably attached to the head portion. Front ends of the arms move forward and backward along a forward/backward direction that passes the head portion. The hand unit includes a loading/unloading hand rotatably attached to the arm. A center distance from the rotational axis of the head portion to the rotational axes of rear arms is shorter than a center distance from an axis of revolution of the base portion to the rotational axis of the head portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2015
    Assignee: HIRATA CORPORATION
    Inventor: Hiroaki Ando
  • Patent number: 9162719
    Abstract: Embodiments disclosed herein relate to systems including a limbed vehicle having a plurality of controllably movable limbs (e.g., a limbed machine, limbed robot, etc.), a plurality of spaced posts that the limbed vehicle may travel on using the limbs, and at least one logistical-support unit associated with at least one of the posts and configured to provide logistical support to the limbed vehicle. As non-limiting examples, such disclosed embodiments of systems may be used to service an agriculture field, to enable travel over an environmentally-sensitive area or an area impassable by a conventional wheeled or tracked vehicle, and may be used in many other different applications. Embodiments disclosed herein also relate to limbed vehicles configured to receive logistical support from a logistical-support unit, methods of providing logistical support to such limbed vehicles, post networks, and posts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2015
    Assignee: The Invention Science Fund I, LLC
    Inventors: Jeffrey A. Bowers, Roderick A. Hyde, Muriel Y. Ishikawa, Jordin T. Kare, Clarence T. Tegreene, Lowell L. Wood, Victoria Y. H. Wood
  • Patent number: 9149338
    Abstract: An end effector includes a tip part having a deformation member that is physically changed due to contact with an object, a gauge display part configured to display gauge information according to a physical change of the deformation member, and a connecting rod part connected to the tip part and configured to operate the tip part. A manipulator including an end effector configured to display physical information, which varies according to an object making contact with a tip part, on a gauge display part, an endoscope configured to obtain an image of the tip part of the end effector and an image of the gauge display part, and a control part configured to control transmission of the image obtained by the endoscope, and to control operations of the tip part and the endoscope.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2015
    Assignee: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Won Jun Ko, Jung Yun Choi, Se Gon Roh, Tae Sin Ha
  • Patent number: 9031697
    Abstract: The present teachings provide a method of controlling a remote vehicle having an end effector and an image sensing device. The method includes obtaining an image of an object with the image sensing device, determining a ray from a focal point of the image to the object based on the obtained image, positioning the end effector of the remote vehicle to align with the determined ray, and moving the end effector along the determined ray to approach the object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2015
    Assignee: iRobot Corporation
    Inventors: Wesley Hanan Huang, Emilie A. Phillips
  • Publication number: 20150104283
    Abstract: A robot system according to embodiments includes a robot including an arm, and a work table. On the work table, an object used for work performed by the robot by using the arm is placed. The arm of the robot includes a first arm portion, a second arm portion, and a third arm portion. The first arm portion supports an end effector to be rotatable about a first rotation axis at a distal end thereof. The second arm portion supports a base end of the first arm portion to be swingable about a second rotation axis substantially perpendicular to the first rotation axis. The third arm portion supports a base end of the second arm portion to be swingable about a third rotation axis substantially perpendicular to the second rotation axis.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 19, 2014
    Publication date: April 16, 2015
    Applicant: KABUSHIKI KAISHA YASKAWA DENKI
    Inventors: Kazuyoshi NOGAMI, Tamio NAKAMURA, Takashi NISHIMURA, Takashi SUYAMA, Nobukazu MIYAUCHI
  • Publication number: 20150016933
    Abstract: A transfer device includes a suction unit capable of sucking an object and a transfer unit moving the suction unit. The suction unit includes a base member; a plurality of nozzles provided for a plurality of types of objects; a housing room formation unit attached to the base member, forming a housing room for housing the other end portion side of the plurality of nozzles, and including a sealing unit facing air outlets; a negative pressure generation unit generating negative pressure inside the housing room; and a drive unit driving the plurality of nozzles such that the air outlet of a nozzle selected from the plurality of nozzles in accordance with a type of the object is separated from the sealing unit, and the air outlet of a non-selected nozzle is bumped against the sealing unit to be sealed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 1, 2014
    Publication date: January 15, 2015
    Applicant: FANUC CORPORATION
    Inventor: Yoshinori Ochiishi