Electrical Patents (Class 473/199)
  • Publication number: 20090253526
    Abstract: Monitoring of a golf ball and apparatus for doing so is described using differential time locating. Launch parameters of a golf ball can be characterized independent of any specific positional measurement on the basis of a ball signal that is transmitted from the ball. These parameters include initial spin, initial velocity, and initial trajectory. Ground proximity detection is described as well as a landing position and rollout position detection technique and associated apparatus. Calibration techniques are described for various kinds of range receivers that subsequently receive the ball signal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 31, 2009
    Publication date: October 8, 2009
    Inventors: Larry J. Koudele, Guy R. Wagner
  • Publication number: 20090239672
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a system for measuring dynamic information of a golf ball for a screen golf, and more particularly to, such a system for measuring dynamic information of a golf ball, which accurately measures the angle and speed of a golf ball and a golf club from four different optical beam planes positioned in front of a golf ball hitting platform in a screen golf facility installed mainly in an indoor driving range so as to implement an expected carry distance and falling point of the golf ball in the form of a three-dimensional image based on the measurements of the angle and speed of the golf ball.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 13, 2007
    Publication date: September 24, 2009
    Inventor: Doo-Hyun You
  • Publication number: 20090203457
    Abstract: A practice device suitable for practicing golf putts, especially one provided in a mat, the device comprising a target and an upstanding shock absorber. When provided in a mat the device has a flush entry point thus accurately simulating an actual golf hole. Preferred embodiments include an essentially straight shock absorber which is higher in the centre than at its edges thus retaining more centrally struck putts adding further to the realism of the device. Certain embodiments include a light emitting means to define the target and means to detect the presence, speed and direction of balls moving into or out of the target.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 11, 2007
    Publication date: August 13, 2009
    Inventor: Graham Gibbons
  • Publication number: 20090137340
    Abstract: Disclosed are a ball for use in a sporting activity, and a tracking system for tracking the ball. The ball comprises a microchip embedded in the ball. The microchip is adapted to transmit an information specific to a location of the ball to the tracking system. The tracking system is configured to locate the ball based on the information specific to the spatial location of the ball.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 28, 2007
    Publication date: May 28, 2009
    Inventor: Calvin Small
  • Publication number: 20090075744
    Abstract: A method of determining spin parameters of a spot ball, such as spin axis and rotation velocity of a golf ball. The spin axis is determined solely from the trajectory of the flying ball, and the rotational velocity is determined from a frequency analysis of a signal provided by a radar, which signal comprises spectrum traces positioned equidistantly in frequency, which frequency distance relates to the spin velocity.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 28, 2006
    Publication date: March 19, 2009
    Applicant: INTERACTIVE SPORTS GAMES A/S
    Inventor: Fredrik Tuxen
  • Publication number: 20090069105
    Abstract: Systems and methods for improving golf skills and related features are provided. A user may be identified and may hit a golf ball at the kiosk. The distance the golf ball travels may be determined at the kiosk. The kiosk may be a standalone kiosk, or a network-enabled kiosk that may communicate with one or more other kiosks at the same location and/or other locations, one or more local servers (e.g., an administrative server) and/or one or more remote servers (e.g., a web server). The determined distance may be used to simulate various games such as darts, poker, or other games. The determined distance may be also used to assess a skill rating of the user. The assessed skill rating may be stored. The stored skill rating may be retrieved via a website, at the standalone kiosk, or at the one or more other kiosks.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 10, 2008
    Publication date: March 12, 2009
    Applicant: Range Revolution, Inc.
    Inventor: Scott W. Holland
  • Publication number: 20080287207
    Abstract: A system (20) for capturing and analyzing golf club information and golf ball information during and after a golfer's swing is disclosed herein. The golf club information includes golf club head orientation, golf club head velocity, and golf club spin. The golf club head orientation includes dynamic lie, loft and face angle of the golf club head. The golf club head velocity includes path of the golf club head, attack of the golf club head and downrange information. The golf ball information includes golf ball velocity, golf ball launch angle, golf ball side angle, golf ball speed manipulation and golf ball orientation. The golf ball orientation includes the true spin of the golf ball, and the tilt axis of the golf ball which entails the back spin and the side spin of the golf ball. The system includes CMOS camera units (26 and 28) and a computer (22).
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 20, 2007
    Publication date: November 20, 2008
    Applicant: CALLAWAY GOLF COMPANY
    Inventor: SCOTT R. MANWARING
  • Publication number: 20080287208
    Abstract: A golf ball movement measuring apparatus includes: a camera for taking a plurality of images of a golf ball hit by a golf club; a dark-colored background material which is disposed so as to configure a background of the golf ball in the images; and a processing unit to which the images are transmitted from the camera, the processing unit masking a background portion excepting the dark-colored background material in the images in black through image processing, and the processing unit analyzing a movement of the golf ball hit by the golf club.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 21, 2007
    Publication date: November 20, 2008
    Applicant: BRIDGESTONE SPORTS CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Fumiaki SATO, Wataru BAN
  • Publication number: 20080261711
    Abstract: A system and an apparatus for providing data relating to a sports club/bat and/or a sports ball before, during or after launch. The data may be used for testing the club/ball or for introduction into a video feed of the club/ball in order to enhance TV broadcasting of sports tournaments or training. Additionally, games may be played where ball data are projected into a virtual reality, such as a virtual golf course, so that the ball path in the virtual reality may be seen. The system is suitable for e.g. golf, cricket, and baseball.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 13, 2004
    Publication date: October 23, 2008
    Inventor: Fredrik Tuxen
  • Publication number: 20080220892
    Abstract: A golf ball with an imbedded chip and a golf club grip that is capable of communication with the golf ball in order to provide certain information to the golfer, such as the height of the ball, how hard the ball was hit, the distance traveled, the spin and trajectory, and the angle it was hit at, along with other factors
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 6, 2008
    Publication date: September 11, 2008
    Inventors: Fredel Williamson, Carlton Williamson
  • Publication number: 20080139330
    Abstract: A method of estimating a parameter of a sports ball in flight which parameter is estimated on the basis of a determined or measured position of launch thereof. The launch position may be determined using path information relating to the flight path of the ball or an element used for launching the ball. Optionally, optical data, such as image data, and/or sound may be used for determining the launch position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 1, 2005
    Publication date: June 12, 2008
    Inventor: Fredrik Tuxen
  • Patent number: 7344446
    Abstract: The ball detection apparatus is for detecting when a golf ball is hit off a golf tee of an automatic golf ball teeing machine. The detection apparatus comprises a radar device for producing a first signal in response to detecting movement of a golf club towards the tee, a directional microphone for producing a second signal in response to detecting the sound of a golf club striking a golf ball and monitoring means for detecting a coincidence between the first and second signals. An automatic golf ball teeing machine including such ball detection apparatus is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2008
    Inventor: Martin Wyeth
  • Patent number: 7321330
    Abstract: The present invention provides a ball measuring apparatus capable of measuring a trajectory of a ball from a hitting position to a landing position, the landing position and a stop position. A ball measuring apparatus 100 according to a first embodiment includes a first millimeter wave radar device 1 capable of carrying out a measurement from the hitting position to a predetermined position of the trajectory and having at least one transmitting antenna and a plurality of receiving antennas, and a second millimeter wave radar device 2 capable of measuring the stop position and having at least one transmitting antenna and a plurality of receiving antennas. A ball measuring apparatus 101 according to a second embodiment has a millimeter wave radar device 31 and a CCD camera 32.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2008
    Assignee: SRI Sports Limited
    Inventor: Takahiro Sajima
  • Patent number: 7255649
    Abstract: A golf putting training device is provided which allows a golfer to practice distance control in a confined area by displaying an estimate of how far a golf ball would have traveled on a green having a selected stimp value after being struck with a putter and subsequently colliding with a target strike plate of the training device. The golf putting training device includes a housing and rear stabilization plate, a target strike plate, a doppler microwave speed sensor, an impact sensor, a green speed selector, a distance display, an audible beeper, and a microcontroller which calculates the putting distance based on the measurement of the speed of the rolling golf ball prior to impact and the stimp setting selected. An audible beeper provides an indication of the rolling progress of the simulated roll of the golf ball past the target strike plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2007
    Inventor: William Dean McConnell
  • Patent number: 7220187
    Abstract: Apparatus and a method for computing and outputting a putting backstroke instruction for a planned putt of a golf ball during recreational play. A computing means includes means for initializing or customizing according to a specific golfer putting on a specific golf green, the golfer putting at least one initializing putt a pre-selected distance on a level area of a green. During recreational play thereafter, in the preferred embodiment of the invention, the golfer, for each segment of a planned putt enters the applicable grade and length. The computing means outputs to the golfer an instruction for the length of the backstroke recommended, i.e., required for the planned putt. Another embodiment of the invention requires the inputting of the length of the planned putt but excludes the inputting of the grade of the green.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2007
    Inventors: Gary E. Schmidt, Philip A. Schmidt
  • Patent number: 7214138
    Abstract: A system is described for monitoring the swing path of a golf club head and for monitoring flight characteristics of a golf ball following impact. A processor utilizes data from spaced apart spaced sensor arrays in determining the club head speed and head angle of a golf club during the swing phase of the club. Image capture devices captures successive images of the ball after impact, and the system processor generates data reflecting ball flight characteristics based on a comparison of the images.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2007
    Assignee: BGI Acquisition, LLC
    Inventors: Keith Stivers, Allan Epstein, Steve R. Lamb
  • Patent number: 7153215
    Abstract: A method a fitting a golf club to a golfer based on the golfer's playing characteristics and the inherent properties of the golfer's current golf club. A golf club is selected and a analyzed to determine if the selected golf club is optimized for the golfer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2006
    Assignee: Callaway Golf Company
    Inventors: Randolph J. Peterson, Nicholas C. Arthur
  • Patent number: 7130782
    Abstract: A gas flow simulation method includes setting an imaginary object model such as a sphere model having at least one concavity, convexity, groove or projection formed thereon by means of a computer. A spatial part on a periphery of the imaginary object model is set. A surface of the imaginary object model and the spatial part is divided into a large number of blocks to form a large number of latticed divisions by lattice points. A gas flows to the imaginary object model from one direction of the spatial part. A motion element of a flow of the gas in the spatial part for each latticed division or for each latticed point is computed, with the gas flowing in the spatial part and passing along the surface of the imaginary object model. The flow of the gas on the periphery of the imaginary object model is simulated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2006
    Assignee: SRI Sports Limited
    Inventors: Akio Miyori, Masaki Shiraishi, Kazuhiro Fujisawa, Takahiro Sajima
  • Patent number: 7086955
    Abstract: A launch monitor system including a support structure, a first light-reflecting element disposed on this support structure, a lighting unit and an camera unit. A computer receives signals generated by light patterns received by the camera unit and computes a variety of flight characteristics for the object. The system may be moved back and forth to vary the field-of-view of the camera unit. The system also computes and displays object trajectories from the computed flight characteristics which account for the characteristics of the object and the atmospheric conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2006
    Assignee: Acushnet Company
    Inventors: William Gobush, Diane Pelletier, Douglas C. Winfield, Charles Days, Steven Aoyama, Edmund A. Hebert, James Alan Silveira
  • Patent number: 7033281
    Abstract: The biomechanical angle of a body joint 11 of a trainee during a given physical activity is continuously monitored and a corresponding audible tracking signal (31, 32, 33, 43, 42, 44) is provided, in real time, to the trainee. This audible tracking signal augments kinematic feedback to the trainee regarding the physical activity and thereby facilitates ease or rapidity of training. In various embodiments, multiple body joints can be monitored, sensitivity of the tracking signal with respect to biomechanical angle excursions can be modified, tracking signals can be recorded for later playback, and a metronome beat can be provided in conjunction with the tracking signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2006
    Inventors: James V. Carnahan, David M. Blackshear
  • Patent number: 6842232
    Abstract: Electro-optical measurement of distance and motion parameters of a target is obtained with high resolution by employing matched comparators for obtaining differences in arrival times of transmit and receive pulses, and by compensating for time delays introduced by system components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2005
    Inventor: Reza Miremadi
  • Publication number: 20040259653
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a launch monitor system that measures flight characteristics of an object moving in a predetermined field-of-view. The system includes a support structure, a lighting unit, a camera unit disposed on the support structure, and a calibration assembly. The calibration assembly includes a calibration fixture and at least one telescoping member. A first end of the telescoping member is coupled to the support structure and a second end is contactable with or coupled to the fixture. In an extended position of the telescoping member, the calibration fixture is in the field-of-view of the camera unit. In a retracted position, the calibration fixture out of the field-of-view. The calibration fixture further includes contrasting markings. In another embodiment, the system includes a frame and the launch monitor is pivotally suspended from the frame so that it self-levels. The present invention further includes a method of calibrating a launch monitor having a calibration fixture.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 16, 2004
    Publication date: December 23, 2004
    Inventors: William Gobush, Diane I. Pelletier, Douglas C. Winfield, Charles Days, Steven Aoyama, Edmund A. Hebert, James Alan Silveira
  • Patent number: 6834129
    Abstract: A flying sphere is photographed twice at a predetermined time interval and two static images thus obtained are used to measure a rotation of the sphere through an image processing based on a recognition mark of a surface of the sphere. The recognition mark includes a central mark having a directivity and a rotating angle calculating mark provided to surround the central mark. The central mark includes a rectangle and a circle provided apart from the rectangle adjacent to one of short sides of the rectangle. Three or more rotating angle calculating marks are provided. Respective center positions of the rotating angle calculating marks are present in a region provided apart from a center position of the central mark by 13 mm to 17 mm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 21, 2004
    Assignee: Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd.
    Inventor: Takeshi Asakura
  • Publication number: 20040248662
    Abstract: A launch monitor system including a support structure, a first light-reflecting element disposed on this support structure, a lighting unit and an camera unit. A computer receives signals generated by light patterns received by the camera unit and computes a variety of flight characteristics for the object. The system may be moved back and forth to vary the field-of-view of the camera unit. The system also computes and displays object trajectories from the computed flight characteristics which account for the characteristics of the object and the atmospheric conditions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 13, 2004
    Publication date: December 9, 2004
    Inventors: William Gobush, Diane Pelletier, Douglas C. Winfield, Charles Days, Steven Aoyama, Edmund A. Hebert, James Alan Silveira
  • Patent number: 6782118
    Abstract: A system for measuring the distance traveled by bodies in flight during sports events, the bodies executing trajectories having a common predetermined take-off area, and a variable landing point within a landing surface. The system includes a fixed image acquisition device positioned at a predetermined distance from the take-off area for acquiring the image of the landing surface, a recorder for recording the landing surface image at least from the moment of initiation of the flight to completion of the flight, an identifying device for identifying a landing point of the body within the landing surface, and a calculating device for calculating the distance of the landing point from the take-off area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2004
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventor: Antonio Verga
  • Patent number: 6774932
    Abstract: A system for the enhancement of a televised golf broadcast, which requires: obtaining detailed topographic measurements of golf greens; inputting these data into a Geographic Information System (GIS) program, smoothing the data, and generating contours on a selected interval; storing and processing the contour data such that it may be viewed from various other perspectives; selecting a real-time televised image of a golf green from a plurality of camera positions; synchronizing and superimposing the contour database image over the televised feed; computing and processing equations of motion which take into account the location of the golf ball relative to the golf cup, the weight of the golf ball, the effect of the wind, the Stimpmeter speed of the green, and the gravitational influence of the slope of the green, to determine a path the putt can take to roll into the cup or to come to rest within 18 inches of the cup; and displaying the combined images along with the projection of the calculated ball path on
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2004
    Assignee: Ewing Golf Associates, LLC
    Inventors: David J. Ewing, Zollie L. Johnson, Donald A. Vossler
  • Patent number: 6764412
    Abstract: A launch monitor system including a support structure, a first light-reflecting element disposed on this support structure, a lighting unit and an camera unit. A computer receives signals generated by light patterns received by the camera unit and computes a variety of flight characteristics for the object. The system may be moved back and forth to vary the field-of-view of the camera unit. The system also computes and displays object trajectories from the computed flight characteristics which account for the characteristics of the object and the atmospheric conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 20, 2004
    Assignee: Acushnet Company
    Inventors: William Gobush, Diane Pelletier, Douglas C. Winfield, Charles Days, Steven Aoyama, Edmund A. Hebert, James Alan Silveira
  • Patent number: 6682446
    Abstract: A device for estimating the range of a struck ball includes a backstop, at least one velocity measuring device, a data processor having a data structure communicating with the velocity measuring device, and a display communicating with the data processor. The range of a struck ball is estimated by measuring the velocity and departure angle, or alternatively, the horizontal and vertical velocities of a moving ball. The measurements are communicated to the data processor. The data processor calculates the range using formulae stored in the data structure or extrapolates the range from a database stored in the data structure. The range may be further manipulated to take account of environmental factors and factors unique to the player. The range is displayed at the display.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2004
    Inventor: Darrin Bolin
  • Patent number: 6671642
    Abstract: At step 1, a golf ball model is divided into a large number of elements composed of a large number of nodal points in the form of meshes; a physical property of a material for the golf ball is inputted; a simulation is executed by an analysis based on a finite element method, assuming that a golf club head collides with the golf ball; and a strain amount generated in the golf ball model at the time of the collision is computed. At step 2, a stress and a strain component of each element of the golf ball model and coordinate values of the nodal points of each element are outputted; and a value of a stress and a strain of each of six components of each element are computed momently. At step 3, the relationship between the stress and the strain of each component of each element is found from the value of the stress and the strain of each of the six components; and energy loss values of each element are computed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2003
    Assignee: Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kazuyoshi Miyamoto, Masaki Shiraishi
  • Patent number: 6634959
    Abstract: A golf ball locator system including a golf ball including an electromagnetic signal transmitter; at least two electromagnetic signal receivers configured to receive an electromagnetic signal transmitted by the golf ball; and a processor coupled to the receivers and configured to receive signals from the receivers, to determine a location of the golf ball using triangulation calculations, and to output at least one signal indicating the location of the golf ball in relation to a two-dimensional area including the location of the golf ball.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2003
    Assignee: Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, P.C.
    Inventor: Eckhard H. Kuesters
  • Patent number: 6616543
    Abstract: A launch monitor system including a support structure, a first light-reflecting element disposed on this support structure, a lighting unit and an camera unit. A computer receives signals generated by light patterns received by the camera unit and computes a variety of flight characteristics for the object. The system may be moved back and forth to vary the field-of-view of the camera unit. The system also computes and displays object trajectories from the computed flight characteristics which account for the characteristics of the object and the atmospheric conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2003
    Assignee: Acushnet Company
    Inventors: William Gobush, Diane Pelletier, Douglas C. Winfield, Charles Days, Steven Aoyama, Edmund A. Hebert, James Alan Silveira
  • Publication number: 20030130054
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a monitor system that measures flight characteristics of at least one object moving in a predetermined field-of-view using at least one fluorescent marker. The system may include a lighting unit with a light filter, at least one camera unit with a camera filter. The lighting unit directs light in the direction of the object. If there is a light filter the light is filtered prior to reaching the object. The camera unit is pointed toward the object and the camera filter inhibits all wavelengths except those in a certain range. The reflected light from the object is transmitted to the camera through the camera filter. In one embodiment, the system includes a camera filter that is electronically switchable between at least two colors. The present invention further includes methods for monitoring at least one object with at least one marker using filters.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 19, 2002
    Publication date: July 10, 2003
    Inventors: Laurent C. Bissonnette, William Gobush, Diane I. Pelletier, Mitchell E. Lutz
  • Patent number: 6579190
    Abstract: A ball motion measuring apparatus has a CCD camera having a multi-shutter which can open and close successively; strobes; a swinging speed measuring sensor; and a controlling/computing device connected to the CCD camera, the strobes, and the swinging speed measuring sensor. The swinging speed measuring sensor outputs a trigger signal for opening/closing the shutter to the CCD camera when the swinging speed measuring sensor detects passage of a golf club. Upon receipt of the trigger signal, the multi-shutter opens and closes successively. Synchronously with the opening/closing of the multi-shutter, the strobes emit flashlight sequentially. In this manner, a plurality of images of a golf ball driven by the golf club are photographed in a one-image frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2003
    Assignee: Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd.
    Inventor: Akio Yamamoto
  • Patent number: 6561917
    Abstract: A system (20) for capturing and analyzing golf club information and golf ball information during and after a golfer's swing is disclosed herein. The golf club information includes golf club head orientation, golf club head velocity, and golf club spin. The golf club head orientation includes dynamic lie, loft and face angle of the golf club head. The golf club head velocity includes path of the golf club head, attack of the golf club head and downrange information. The golf ball information includes golf ball velocity, golf ball launch angle, golf ball side angle, golf ball speed manipulation and golf ball orientation. The golf ball orientation includes the true spin of the golf ball, and the tilt axis of the golf ball which entails the back spin and the side spin of the golf ball. The system includes camera units (26 and 28), a trigger device (30) and a computer (22).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2003
    Assignee: Callaway Golf Company
    Inventor: Scott R. Manwaring
  • Patent number: 6533674
    Abstract: A launch monitor system including a light source and at least one camera unit with an electronic shutter. The camera unit captures at least one image of an object in flight when the electronic shutter is activated. A computer receives signals related to the image and computes launch conditions for the object. The system also computes and displays object trajectories from the computed launch conditions and a predetermined set of lift and drag parameters which account for the characteristics of the object and the atmospheric conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2003
    Assignee: Acushnet Company
    Inventor: William Gobush
  • Patent number: 6500073
    Abstract: A launch monitor system including a support structure, a first light-reflecting element disposed on this support structure, a lighting unit and an camera unit. A computer receives signals generated by light patterns received by the camera unit and computes a variety of flight characteristics for the object. The system may be moved back and forth to vary the field-of-view of the camera unit. The system also computes and displays object trajectories from the computed flight characteristics which account for the characteristics of the object and the atmospheric conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2002
    Assignee: Acushnet Company
    Inventors: William Gobush, Diane Pelletier, Douglas C. Winfield, Charles Days, Steven Aoyama, Edmund A. Hebert, James Alan Silveira
  • Patent number: 6488591
    Abstract: A launch monitor system including a support structure, a first light-reflecting element disposed on this support structure, a lighting unit and an camera unit. A computer receives signals generated by light patterns received by the camera unit and computes a variety of flight characteristics for the object. The system may be moved back and forth to vary the field-of-view of the camera unit. The system also computes and displays object trajectories from the computed flight characteristics which account for the characteristics of the object and the atmospheric conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2002
    Assignee: Acushnet Company
    Inventors: William Gobush, Diane Pelletier, Douglas C. Winfield, Charles Days, Steven Aoyama, Edmund A. Hebert, James Alan Silveira
  • Patent number: 6458035
    Abstract: A method of measuring rotational motion of a golf ball. A hit golf ball is photographed by use of two cameras disposed along the traveling direction of the golf ball with a predetermined distance therebetween, and rotational motion of the golf ball is measured based on the photographed images of the golf ball. There is used a golf ball that has a no-depression polygonal mark in black or a dark color close to black printed on the surface of the golf ball. The hit golf ball is photographed by use of two cameras, and the position of an angular point of the no-depression polygonal mark is detected from photographed images, by means of image processing. The rotational motion of the hit golf ball is calculated based on change in position of the angular point in images photographed by the two cameras.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2002
    Assignee: Bridgestone Sports Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Sh{overscore (u)} Katayama
  • Patent number: 6456232
    Abstract: A system is disclosed that can determine the speed of a golf club or golf ball, and report that speed in a format suitable for use on a television broadcast, a radio broadcast, the Internet or another medium. In one embodiment, the system includes a set of radars pointed toward the golf ball. Data from the radars is collected and sent to a computer which can determine the speed of the club during a swing, the speed of the ball after being hit, the angle of the path of the ball and/or other related statistics.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 24, 2002
    Assignee: Sportvision, Inc.
    Inventors: Kenneth A. Milnes, Marvin S. White, Richard H. Cavallaro, Stanley K. Honey, Fred Judson Heinzmann
  • Patent number: 6431990
    Abstract: A system (20) for capturing and analyzing golf club information and golf ball information during and after a golfer's swing is disclosed herein. The golf club information includes golf club head orientation, golf club head velocity, and golf club spin. The golf club head orientation includes dynamic lie, loft and face angle of the golf club head. The golf club head velocity includes path of the golf club head, attack of the golf club head and downrange information. The golf ball information includes golf ball velocity, golf ball launch angle, golf ball side angle, golf ball speed manipulation and golf ball orientation. The golf ball orientation includes the true spin of the golf ball, and the tilt axis of the golf ball which entails the back spin and the side spin of the golf ball. The system includes camera units (26 and 28), a trigger device (30) and a computer (22).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2002
    Assignee: Callaway Golf Company
    Inventor: Scott R. Manwaring
  • Patent number: 6371862
    Abstract: A game apparatus and method can determine flight characteristics of an object propelled by a player from a launch site toward a backstop. The foregoing can operate with a launch detector located at the launch site for producing a launch signal in response to launching of the object. A backstop sensing arrangement may be employed at the backstop having at least one spaced pair of sensors for producing a pair of arrival signals in response to arrival of the object at the backstop. A processor may be employed, which is coupled to the launch detector and the backstop sensing arrangement. The processor can (a) determine the relative response times of the launch detector and the backstop sensing arrangement, and (b) produce a characteristic signal as a function of the relative arrival times of the pair of arrival signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2002
    Inventor: Kenneth Reda
  • Patent number: 6346055
    Abstract: A golf play pacing system utilizing a device that is contained in the flag stick itself. The system is initiated either by an external device or by an activation switch in the flag stick that is activated when the stick moves through an arc of approximately 45°, and reactivated when the stick is returned to perpendicular. The system includes circuitry that measures a plurality of parameters since the last reset of the device, and activates alarm mechanisms when specific time parameters have expired. The alarm mechanism includes visual and audible alarms for the golfers and alarm communication capability to alert third parties. The system also includes a data display.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2002
    Inventor: Kathleen Rège
  • Patent number: 6302802
    Abstract: An optical sensor net system for measuring the relational dynamic information of a spheroidal projectile. A support frame for the system may include light emitters that generate divergent non-parallel rays of light. The non-parallel rays of light emitted may be directed to and received by a plurality of light detectors substantially arranged within a single plane. The intersecting non-parallel rays of light may form an asymmetrical optical sensor net that may also capture both golf ball and golf club information as they pass through. The light detectors that receive the rays of light may be spaced apart at preselected locations and distances less than the diameter of a spheroidal object such as a golf ball.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2001
    Assignee: Focaltron Corporation
    Inventor: Yi-Ching Pao
  • Patent number: 6293802
    Abstract: A hybrid format for representing a video lesson which is transported from a first location to a second location across a communication channel includes a first item having a first format type and a second item having a second format type. The first format type is different from said second format type, yet the lesson can be played to the student as if it were a single contiguous data item. As such, efficiencies can be obtained in storage and transfer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2001
    Assignee: Astar, Inc.
    Inventor: David R. Ahlgren
  • Patent number: 6241622
    Abstract: A launch monitor system including a support structure, a first light-reflecting element disposed on this support structure, a lighting unit and a camera unit. A computer receives signals generated by light patterns received by the camera unit and computes a variety of flight characteristics for the object. The system may be moved back and forth to vary the field-of-view of the camera unit. The system also computes and displays object trajectories from the computed flight characteristics which account for the characteristics of the object and the atmospheric conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2001
    Assignee: Acushnet Company
    Inventors: William Gobush, Diane Pelletier, Douglas C. Winfield, Charles Days, Steven Aoyama, Edmund A. Hebert, James Alan Silveira
  • Patent number: 6113504
    Abstract: A golf ball locator system. The golf ball comprises a transmitter that transmits a coded signal, identifying the ball, and that is received by an array of receivers. The receivers measure either the angle of arrival, or the time of arrival of the signal, which is transmitted to a processor that uses triangulation calculations to generate location coordinates of the golf ball. The processor then transmits the location coordinates to a display unit. The display unit can be portable and viewed by the golfer. The display unit can simply display golf ball position coordinates in relation to a pre-existing golf course map, or display the golf ball on a map which may include various landmarks of the golf course. The system can further include a player location device that allows the system to give audio or visual traveling instructions to assist the golfer to locate his/her ball.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2000
    Assignee: Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, P.C.
    Inventor: Eckhard H. Kuesters
  • Patent number: 6062985
    Abstract: A golf play pacing device that is contained in the flag stick itself. The device includes an orientation sensing switch in the flag stick that is activated when the stick moves through an arc of approximately 45.degree., and reactivated when the stick is returned to perpendicular. The orientation switch controls circuitry that measures the time expired since the last reset of the device, and activates an alarm mechanism when that time is expired. The alarm mechanism includes visual alarms for the golfers and alarm capability for third parties. A sequence to monitor the putting time of players on the green can also be activated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2000
    Inventor: Kathleen Rege
  • Patent number: 6042483
    Abstract: There is disclosed a method of measuring the motion of a golf ball. The passing of a club head to hit a ball is detected by a sensor. A detection signal is sent from the sensor to a trigger section of a control unit. In response to the detection signal, shutter signals are sent from the trigger section to first and second cameras at a proper timing, while providing an appropriate time lag between the shutter signals, so as to photograph an image of the hit golf ball through the first and second cameras. The first and second cameras are disposed facing horizontally, apart from each other, and away from the set position of the ball at a predetermined distance. This method enables the motion of the golf ball to be measured even outdoors and through use of a relatively inexpensive apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2000
    Assignee: Bridgestone Sports Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Shu Katayama
  • Patent number: 6012987
    Abstract: Apparatus to facilitate the playing of a recreational game. The apparatus includes an electronic surveillance camera (8) and a motion sensor (20) mounted above and focused on a target area (2). The image data generated by the camera (8) and the data generated by the motion sensor (20) is transmitted to a central processing unit. The image of the target area transmitted by the surveillance camera (8) is displayed on the screen of a video monitor. Movement of an object on the target area (2) is detected by the motion sensor (20) and displayed on the monitor screen. The central processing unit includes a library of target area overlays to alter the viewed charateristics of the target area on the monitor screen. Each target area may include a marker surrounded by a spaced apart scoring ring or rings so that a ball lying on the target area can, if it lies within a predetermined area, be allocated a score.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2000
    Inventor: Ralph Wynyard Nation
  • Patent number: 5984794
    Abstract: An apparatus for determining flight parameters of a ball in flight along a flight path, includes a pair of light conditioning elements on the ball, a first set of sensors having mutually orthogonal fields of view intersecting along a first plane through which the ball initially passes during flight and a second set of sensors having mutually orthogonal fields of view intersecting along a second plane through which the ball subsequently passes during flight. Each sensor includes a linear array of photodiodes for obtaining a linear image of a linear section of the ball. A controller successively pulses the sensors at microsecond intervals to obtain multiple, successive linear images of successive linear sections of the ball to obtain first and second reconstructed images of the entire ball and the locations of the elements thereon at the first and second planes, respectively, and processes changes in the locations of the elements at the first and second planes to derive the flight parameters.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1999
    Assignee: Interactive Light Inc.
    Inventor: Reza Miremadi