Robot Control Patents (Class 700/245)
  • Patent number: 9943967
    Abstract: The present disclosure discloses a five-degree-of-freedom hybrid robot with rotational supports. A first and a second fixed shaft seats are rotatably connected to a first and a second rotational support through a hinge, respectively. One end of a first length adjustment device runs through the first rotational support, and the other end is fixedly connected to a moving platform. One end of each of the second and third length adjustment devices runs through the first rotational support and is then connected to the moving platform, respectively. Middle portions of the first, second and third length adjustment devices are each hinged onto the first rotational support. One end of a fourth length adjustment device runs through the second rotational support and is connected to the moving platform. Middle portion of the fourth length adjustment device is hinged onto the second rotational support.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2018
    Assignee: TIANJIN UNIVERSITY
    Inventors: Tian Huang, Chenglin Dong, Haitao Liu, Xuda Qin, Jiangping Mei, Qi Liu, Manxin Wang
  • Patent number: 9946263
    Abstract: A method of controlling operation of a robotic cleaning device and a robotic cleaning device performing the method. The robotic cleaning device includes a main body, a propulsion system arranged to move the robotic cleaning device, and an obstacle detection device arranged to detect obstacles. The robotic cleaning device further includes a controller arranged to control the propulsion system to move the robotic cleaning device. The controller is further arranged to identify one or more sections to be cleaned where the robotic cleaning device is likely to move without being hindered by the detected obstacles, and to control movement of the robotic cleaning device such that cleaning of the identified one or more sections is prioritized before sections of the surface where the robotic cleaning device is more likely to be hindered by the detected obstacles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2018
    Assignee: AKTIEBOLAGET ELECTROLUX
    Inventors: Magnus Lindhé, Petter Forsberg
  • Patent number: 9931753
    Abstract: Examples method and devices for automatic gait transition are described herein. In an example embodiment, a computing system may identify gaits for the robotic device to perform in response to receiving an input for the robotic device to move at a velocity. The system may determine criteria for selecting a gait from the identified gaits for the robotic device to perform based on sensor data of the environment (e.g., slope and terrain) and based on the state of the robotic device. The system may modify the set of criteria based on prior operation of the robotic device in respective environments similar to the environment. Responsive to determining the criteria for selecting a gait, the computing system may determine whether the identified gaits include a gait that enables the robotic device to move at the velocity according to the set of criteria, and provide instructions to operate based on the determination.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2018
    Assignee: Boston Dynamics, Inc.
    Inventors: Alfred Anthony Rizzi, Kevin Blankespoor, Matthew David Malchano, Mathew Livianu
  • Patent number: 9925012
    Abstract: The invention relates to a robotic system for moving a shapeable instrument like a shapeable catheter within an object like a person. The system (1) comprises a robotic device (2, 3) for modifying the shape of the instrument (2) and moving the instrument within the object (7) and a control unit (4) for controlling the robotic device based on structure information like a roadmap, a target position and shape and an actual position and shape such that the instrument is moved and the shape of the instrument is modified from the actual position and shape to the target position and shape. Since the control unit considers structure information while controlling the robotic device, the navigation of the instrument can be automatically performed under consideration of knowledge about regions within the object, through which the instrument is navigatable. The navigation may therefore be performed without or with few user interactions only.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignee: Koninklijke Philips N.V.
    Inventor: Sander Hans Denissen
  • Patent number: 9925667
    Abstract: The disclosure provides systems and methods for mitigating slip of a robot appendage. In one aspect, a method for mitigating slip of a robot appendage includes (i) receiving an input from one or more sensors, (ii) determining, based on the received input, an appendage position of the robot appendage, (iii) determining a filter position for the robot appendage, (iv) determining a distance between the appendage position and the filter position, (v) determining, based on the distance, a force to apply to the robot appendage, (vi) causing one or more actuators to apply the force to the robot appendage, (vii) determining whether the distance is greater than a threshold distance, and (viii) responsive to determining that the distance is greater than the threshold distance, the control system adjusting the filter position to a position, which is the threshold distance from the appendage position, for use in a next iteration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignee: Boston Dynamics, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen Berard, Alex Yu Khripin, Benjamin Swilling
  • Patent number: 9925669
    Abstract: An example method includes receiving position data indicative of position of a demonstration tool. Based on the received position data, the method further includes determining a motion path of the demonstration tool, wherein the motion path comprises a sequence of positions of the demonstration tool. The method additionally includes determining a replication control path for a robotic device, where the replication control path includes one or more robot movements that cause the robotic device to move a robot tool through a motion path that corresponds to the motion path of the demonstration tool. The method also includes providing for display of a visual simulation of the one or more robot movements within the replication control path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignee: X Development LLC
    Inventor: Jeffrey Linnell
  • Patent number: 9928648
    Abstract: In various embodiments, computerized methods and systems for identifying object paths to navigate objects in scene-aware device environments are provided. An object path identification mechanism supports identifying object paths. In operation, a guide path for navigating an object from the start point to the end point in a scene-aware device environment is identified. A guide path can be predefined or recorded in real time. A visibility check, such as a look-ahead operation, is performed based on the guide path. Based on performing the visibility check, a path segment to advance the object from the start point towards the end point is determined. The path segment can be optionally modified or refined based on several factors. The object is caused to advance along the path segment. Iteratively performing visibility checks and traverse actions moves the object from the start point to the end point. The path segments define the object path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignee: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: Anthony James Ambrus, Jeffrey Kohler
  • Patent number: 9919872
    Abstract: An order fulfillment system and method of fulfilling orders, each with at least one article, includes at least one mobile robotic unit that is capable of autonomous routing in an order fulfillment facility. A stationary robotic order-picking station with a stationary robot and vision equipment sorts articles into orders. The at least one mobile robotic unit transfers articles to or from the stationary robotic order-picking station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2018
    Assignee: Dematic, Corp.
    Inventors: Michael S. Khodl, David M. Berghorn, Todd S. Hunter
  • Patent number: 9921574
    Abstract: A system and methods for incorporating disparate sources of collective feedback in the preparation and execution of an initial interaction between a social robot and a human being is disclosed. These methods include retrieving interaction content, assigning a life cycle to new content, detecting and removing expired life cycle content, modifying interaction scripts to include new interaction content and sending the modified interaction script to at least one social robot, wherein the at least one social robot executes the modified script during the period of time specified by the life cycle associated with the interaction topic to obtain an improved interaction with a human receiving, by the data management system, interaction log data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2018
    Assignee: Sprint Communications Company L.P.
    Inventors: Brandon C. Annan, Joshua Cole, Deborah M. Gilbert
  • Patent number: 9921586
    Abstract: A navigation control system for an autonomous vehicle comprises a transmitter and an autonomous vehicle. The transmitter comprises an emitter for emitting at least one signal, a power source for powering the emitter, a device for capturing wireless energy to charge the power source, and a printed circuit board for converting the captured wireless energy to a form for charging the power source. The autonomous vehicle operates within a working area and comprises a receiver for detecting the at least one signal emitted by the emitter, and a processor for determining a relative location of the autonomous vehicle within the working area based on the signal emitted by the emitter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2018
    Assignee: iRobot Corporation
    Inventor: Mark J. Chiappetta
  • Patent number: 9913696
    Abstract: A robotic surgical system employs a surgical instrument (20), a robot (40) for navigating the surgical instrument (20) relative to an anatomical region (10) within a coordinate system (42) of the robot (40), and a robot controller (43) for defining a remote center of motion for a spherical rotation of the surgical instrument (20) within the coordinate system (42) of the robot (40) based on a physical location within the coordinate system (42) of the robot (40) of a port (12) into the anatomical region (10). The definition of the remote center of rotation is used by the robot controller (43) to command the robot (40) to align the remote center of motion of the surgical instrument (20) with the port (12) into the anatomical region (10) for spherically rotating the surgical instrument (20) relative to the port (12) into the anatomical region (10).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2018
    Assignee: KONINKLIJKE PHILIPS N.V.
    Inventors: Haytham Elhawary, Aleksandra Popovic
  • Patent number: 9914220
    Abstract: A method and computer program product for controlling data transfer between a client device and auxiliary robot cell functions of a robot cell as well as to an interface arrangement for the robot cell. The arrangement includes a reverse proxy providing connectivity for a client device to auxiliary robot cell functions accessible via a local addressing space, where the reverse proxy receives, in a first message having a destination address belonging to the interface device and being a first global address in a global addressing space, a request intended for an auxiliary robot cell function, converts the first address to a first local address of the auxiliary robot cell function in the local addressing space and sends the request to a web server associated with the auxiliary robot cell function using the first local address.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2018
    Assignee: ABB Schweiz AG
    Inventor: Kjell Svensson Landin
  • Patent number: 9915937
    Abstract: Example systems and methods may allow for parallel operation of robotic devices within a workcell, such as industrial robots controlled to manufacture an output product. One example method includes receiving ordered sequences of operations for a plurality of corresponding robotic devices, determining time-based sequences of operations for each of the robotic devices, where a time-based sequence of operations indicates positions within the workcell at corresponding timesteps of a global timeline, determining one or more potential collisions involving the robotic devices that would result from parallel execution of the time-based sequences of operations within the workcell, modifying the time-based sequences of operations in order to prevent the one or more potential collisions, and providing instructions for parallel execution of the modified time-based sequences of operations at timesteps of the global timeline by the robotic devices within the workcell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2018
    Assignee: X Development LLC
    Inventors: Jeffrey Linnell, Kendra Byrne
  • Patent number: 9908239
    Abstract: A mobile robot for responding to computer system issues travels to and interacts with a specific computer system in a data center based on a command from a central control system. The mobile robot can collect environmental data from a location proximate to a specific computer system, communicatively couple to a specific computer system via engaging a communication connector with an interface of the specific computer system, collect data from a specific computer system via the coupling to the specific computer system, establish a remote communication link between the specific computer system and a remote computer system, and send the collected data to a remote computer system or process the collected data. The mobile robot can manipulate one or more manipulable arms to remove a component part from a specific computer system and install a replacement component part in a specific computer system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2018
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Kevin Patrick O'Brien, Jignesh Gandhi
  • Patent number: 9907447
    Abstract: An electric vacuum cleaner in which a dust container inside an autonomous robotic vacuum cleaning unit can be fluidically connected to a station using propulsive force of the cleaning unit moving to a dust discharge position. The cleaning unit includes a body case, and a primary dust container including: a container body accumulating dust collected by the cleaning unit; a disposal port discharging dust from inside the container body; and a disposal lid opening and closing the disposal port. The station includes a dust transfer pipe connected to the disposal port of the primary dust container; a lever hooked by the disposal lid while the cleaning unit is homing, opening the disposal lid and connecting the disposal port and the dust transfer pipe; and a secondary dust container in which dust discharged from the primary dust container through the dust transfer pipe is accumulated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2018
    Assignee: TOSHIBA LIFESTYLE PRODUCTS & SERVICES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Masatoshi Tanaka, Yukio Machida, Atsushi Morishita, Yuji Ohtsuka, Hiromitsu Ichikawa, Hiromitsu Murata
  • Patent number: 9908760
    Abstract: Some embodiments include a motorized transport unit providing customer assistance at a shopping facility, comprises: a transceiver; a control circuit; a motorized wheel system; a lift system; and a memory coupled to the control circuit and storing computer instructions that when executed by the control circuit cause the control circuit to: activate a motorized wheel system, while continuing to monitor location information, to position the motorized transport unit under the item container and aligned, based on the location information, relative to a frame of the item container; and activate the lift system to lift on the frame of the item container lifting a first portion of the item container such one or more wheels of the item container are lifted off of a floor while two or more other wheels of the item container remain in contact with the floor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2018
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Donald R. High, David C. Winkle, Michael D. Atchley
  • Patent number: 9902071
    Abstract: A system is provided that includes a machine assembly, a first imaging sensor, an encoder, and one or more processors. The machine assembly is movable to actuate a brake lever of a vehicle in order to open a valve of an air brake system. The first imaging sensor is positioned to acquire two-dimensional perception information of a working environment that includes the brake lever during movement of the machine assembly towards the brake lever. The encoder detects a displacement of the machine assembly relative to a reference position of the machine assembly. The one or more processors estimate a target position of the brake lever relative to the machine assembly during movement of the machine assembly based on the two-dimensional perception information and the displacement. The one or more processors drive the movement of the machine assembly towards the target position of the brake lever.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2018
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Huan Tan, John Michael Lizzi, Douglas Forman, Charles Burton Theurer, Omar Al Assad, Romano Patrick, Balajee Kannan, Yonatan Gefen
  • Patent number: 9905264
    Abstract: A servo control system according to the present invention includes a servo control device for driving a driven body that operates periodically using a servomotor; and a learning controller for generating correction data based on a location deviation with respect to a uniform command pattern, and storing the correction data in delay memory and correcting the location deviation. The delay memory includes first memory having a short access delay time and second memory having a long access delay time. The servo control device includes a switching unit for assigning one of the first memory and the second memory to the learning controller, depending on a learning period according to the command pattern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2018
    Assignee: FANUC CORPORATION
    Inventors: Kouki Kameta, Naoto Sonoda
  • Patent number: 9894536
    Abstract: Systems, methods and apparatuses for a motion-controlled device that is operable to support deployment or operation of a wireless network, are disclosed. One apparatus (motion-controlled device) includes a receiver, a motion controller, and a controller. The receiver is operative to sense wireless communication signals of a wireless network. The motion controller is operative to control a positioning of the motion-controlled device in a plurality of dimensions. The controller is operative to at least facilitate analysis of the sensed wireless communication signals, and provide a control signal to the motion controller, wherein the control signal controls the positioning of the motion-controlled device based at least in part on the sensed wireless communication signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2018
    Assignee: ARUBA NETWORKS, INC.
    Inventors: Arogyaswami Paulraj, Bernd Bandemer, Jose Tellado
  • Patent number: 9889568
    Abstract: A surgical tool includes a tool shaft, and end effector and a wrist that couples the end effector to the tool shaft. The tool includes a drive mechanism configured to effect movement of one or both of the wrist and the end effector in yaw and pitch via independent actuation of four independent cable ends of two or more independent cables that extend between the drive mechanism and the wrist.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2018
    Assignee: SRI International
    Inventors: Pablo Eduardo Garcia Kilroy, Kenneth C. Miller, Thomas D. Egan, Thomas P. Low, Arthur Maxwell Crittenden, Karen Shakespear Koenig
  • Patent number: 9886035
    Abstract: An example method includes determining a target area of a ground plane in an environment of a mobile robotic device, where the target area of the ground plane is in front of the mobile robotic device in a direction of travel of the mobile robotic device. The method further includes receiving depth data from a depth sensor on the mobile robotic device. The method also includes identifying a portion of the depth data representative of the target area. The method additionally includes determining that the portion of the depth data lacks information representing at least one section of the target area. The method further includes providing an output signal identifying at least one zone of non-traversable space for the mobile robotic device in the environment, where the at least one zone of non-traversable space corresponds to the at least one section of the target area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2018
    Assignee: X Development LLC
    Inventors: Kevin William Watts, Kurt Konolige
  • Patent number: 9886037
    Abstract: The invention is related to methods and apparatus that use a visual sensor and dead reckoning sensors to process Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM). These techniques can be used in robot navigation. Advantageously, such visual techniques can be used to autonomously generate and update a map. Unlike with laser rangefinders, the visual techniques are economically practical in a wide range of applications and can be used in relatively dynamic environments, such as environments in which people move. One embodiment further advantageously uses multiple particles to maintain multiple hypotheses with respect to localization and mapping. Further advantageously, one embodiment maintains the particles in a relatively computationally-efficient manner, thereby permitting the SLAM processes to be performed in software using relatively inexpensive microprocessor-based computer systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2018
    Assignee: IROBOT CORPORATION
    Inventors: L. Niklas Karlsson, Paolo Pirjanian, Luis Filipe Domingues Goncalves, Enrico Di Bernardo
  • Patent number: 9885876
    Abstract: A system for selectively controlling visibility of information in a work environment is provided. The system includes one or more polarized emissive screens located within the work environment. The screens have a first direction of polarization. Information displayed on the screens are visible to a person inside the work environment. The work environment includes at least one window which permits viewing of the polarized emissive screens from outside of the work environment. A polarizing filter having a second direction of polarization arranged at an angle to the first direction of polarization is positioned proximate to the window. A person outside the work environment can see inside the environment through the window, but has an altered view of the information on the displays.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2018
    Assignee: Steelcase, Inc.
    Inventors: Matthew Mead, Paul Noll, Lisa Mead, Rémi Marcel Louis Casal, Joel Stanfield
  • Patent number: 9884427
    Abstract: An integrated multiaxial wrist and grasper system for use in a robotic tool can yaw, pitch and grasp via actuation of four independent cable ends of four cables. The tool includes a drive mechanism that effects movement of the multiaxial wrist and grasper via actuation of the cables that extend between the drive mechanism and the wrist.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2018
    Assignee: SRI International
    Inventors: Thomas P. Low, Pablo Eduardo Garcia Kilroy, Kenneth C. Miller, Thomas D. Egan, Arthur Maxwell Crittenden, Karen Shakespear Koenig
  • Patent number: 9877628
    Abstract: A vacuum cleaner is provided. The vacuum cleaner includes an imaging unit configured to image a floor and generate a captured image, a storage unit configured to store a plurality of pieces of floor information that identify different types of floors and suction intensity information of the vacuum cleaner corresponding to each of the plurality of pieces of floor information, and a controller configured to search for floor information corresponding to the generated captured image among the plurality of pieces of floor information, and control a suction intensity of the vacuum cleaner using suction intensity information corresponding to the searched floor information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2018
    Assignee: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Won-gyu Park
  • Patent number: 9875391
    Abstract: The invention discloses an image recognition system, comprising: a robot having an image collection module configured to drive an image collection module to collect an image in a view of the robot by the image collection drive module; a light source configured to supplement light when the image collection module collecting an image; a face detection module configured to locate a face image in an image according to the image collected by the image collection module; a face recognition module configured to implement a preprocessing for the located face image, then the preprocessed face image being compared with an image feature information of a known identity in a database, to determine an identity information and a confidence probability of the present face image. The invention can identify a face based on a fixed face pose, and it can identify a face based on a local or web server database.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 23, 2018
    Assignee: Yutou Technology (Hangzhou) Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Ningqing Liang, Mingxiu Chen, Hongxin Zhang
  • Patent number: 9860077
    Abstract: Computerized appliances may be operated by users remotely. A learning controller apparatus may be operated to determine association between a user indication and an action by the appliance. The user indications, e.g., gestures, posture changes, audio signals may trigger an event associated with the controller. The event may be linked to a plurality of instructions configured to communicate a command to the appliance. The learning apparatus may receive sensory input conveying information about robot's state and environment (context). The sensory input may be used to determine the user indications. During operation, upon determine the indication using sensory input, the controller may cause execution of the respective instructions in order to trigger action by the appliance. Device animation methodology may enable users to operate computerized appliances using gestures, voice commands, posture changes, and/or other customized control elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2018
    Assignee: Brain Corporation
    Inventors: Patryk Laurent, Csaba Petre, Eugene M. Izhikevich
  • Patent number: 9849588
    Abstract: Computerized appliances may be operated by users remotely. A learning controller apparatus may be operated to determine association between a user indication and an action by the appliance. The user indications, e.g., gestures, posture changes, audio signals may trigger an event associated with the controller. The event may be linked to a plurality of instructions configured to communicate a command to the appliance. The learning apparatus may receive sensory input conveying information about robot's state and environment (context). The sensory input may be used to determine the user indications. During operation, upon determine the indication using sensory input, the controller may cause execution of the respective instructions in order to trigger action by the appliance. Device animation methodology may enable users to operate computerized appliances using gestures, voice commands, posture changes, and/or other customized control elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2017
    Assignee: Brain Corporation
    Inventors: Eugene M. Izhikevich, Patryk Laurent, Csaba Petre, Todd Hylton, Vadim Polonichko
  • Patent number: 9852758
    Abstract: In an approach for preventing damage to a tape library, a processor receives a first sensor reading, wherein the first sensor is located within a tape library. A processor receives a second sensor reading, wherein the second sensor is located external to the tape library. A processor determines that the second sensor reading is greater than or equal to the first sensor reading. A processor receives an indication that a door to the tape library is open. Responsive to receiving the indication that the door to the tape library is open, a processor disables a fan.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2017
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Michael P. McIntosh, Shawn M. Nave, Michael J. Talty
  • Patent number: 9854602
    Abstract: The disclosure describes procedures for allocating network resources for a mobile device communicating within a Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. The mobile device can be configured to decode a physical downlink shared channel (PDSCH), acquire first and second physical downlink control channel (PDCCH) decode indicators from a payload of the same PDSCH communication, decode a PDCCH for downlink control information (DCI) associated with a first application data type based on the first PDCCH decode indicator a second application data type based on the second PDCCH decode indicator. The first PDCCH decode indicator can identify an upcoming LTE subframe where the mobile device is required to decode the PDCCH for DCI associated VoLTE resource assignments and the second PDCCH decode indicator can identify an upcoming LTE subframe where the mobile device is required to decode the PDCCH for DCI associated with high bandwidth best effort (BE) data resource assignments.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2017
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Tarik Tabet, Vinay R. Majjigi, Christian W. Mucke, Syed A. Mujtaba
  • Patent number: 9851211
    Abstract: An information processing apparatus includes: a travel purpose acquisition unit that acquires a travel purpose of a mobile object; a setting unit that sets multiple travel routes in different travel directions in a forward area with respect to the mobile object; a calculation unit that calculates, regarding each of the multiple travel routes, a predictive value of a travel state in which the mobile object travels along each of the multiple travel routes; a computing unit that computes, regarding each of the multiple travel routes, an evaluation value for the mobile object to realize traveling according to the travel purpose from weighting values that are predetermined according to the travel purpose and the predictive values; and a determining unit that determines, as a travel route to be followed next, a travel route with the highest evaluation represented by the evaluation value among the multiple travel routes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2017
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Wataru Hatanaka, Daiki Inaba, Hiroshi Shimura
  • Patent number: 9848529
    Abstract: The invention relates to an autonomous lawn mower comprising a control unit in electrical connection with electrical connection means, and at least one replaceable part. The electrical connection means is located such that connection and disconnection of the electrical connection means and its counterpart of the replaceable part can be performed when replacing the replaceable part. The module for such autonomous lawn mower can replace the replaceable part of the lawn mower and comprises a signal generation unit and a counterpart for the electrical connection means of the lawn mower for transmitting electrical signals to a control unit of the autonomous lawn mower. The autonomous lawn mower forms an autonomous lawn mower system together with the module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2017
    Assignee: HONDA RESEARCH INSTITUTE EUROPE GMBH
    Inventors: Mathias Franzius, Nils Einecke, Roman Dirnberger, Ronny Borsdorf
  • Patent number: 9838832
    Abstract: Techniques to facilitate linking a control device to a specific industrial asset in an industrial automation environment are disclosed herein. In at least one implementation, an initiating link is established between a mobile device and a target device (e.g., the target device being selected from one or more industrial assets discovered within a close-range initiating range of a proximity communication system of the mobile device). This initiating link can be established using Near Field Communications (NFC), QR code, an optical indicator, and/or other means. The initiating link enables and is used to establish a functional link between the target device and a control device. The functional link can include a larger range, higher performance networking connection. In some implementations a secondary communication device serves as proxy for the target device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2017
    Assignee: Rockwell Automation Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: David A. Vasko, Ronald Bliss
  • Patent number: 9827674
    Abstract: A method for the conditional stopping of at least one manipulator and a manipulator assembly. The manipulator travels along a path which has a stopping point. In order to be able to stop the manipulator at the stopping point, a braking point on the path is calculated as a function of a speed of the manipulator. If the status of a travel condition variable necessitates braking of the manipulator in the event of exceeding the braking point, the manipulator is braked.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: KUKA Roboter GmbH
    Inventors: Holger Tronnier, Günther Wiedemann, Stefan Burkhart, Andreas Aurnhammer, Manfred Hüttenhofer
  • Patent number: 9821458
    Abstract: Example implementations may relate to methods and systems for determining a safe trajectory for movement of an object by a robotic system. According to these various implementations, the robotic system may determine at least first and second candidate trajectories for moving the object. For at least a first point along the first candidate trajectory, the robotic system may determine a predicted cost of dropping the object at the first point along the first candidate trajectory. And for at least a second point along the second candidate trajectory, the robotic system may determine a predicted cost of dropping the object at the second point along the second candidate trajectory. Then, based on these various determined predicted costs, the robotic system may select between the first and second candidates trajectories and may then move the object along the selected trajectory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2017
    Assignee: X Development LLC
    Inventor: Kevin William Watts
  • Patent number: 9823628
    Abstract: A laboratory system and a method for controlling a laboratory system comprises multiple subsystems; each subsystem being configured to receive and carry out a command; and a master control device configured to process command groups and/or command(s) within the same command group simultaneously; to process command groups and/or command(s) of different command groups sequentially; and within a command group, to process command group(s) and/or command(s) grouped into a command group before processing other commands command group(s) and/or command(s).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2017
    Assignee: Tecan Trading AG
    Inventor: Mark Ma
  • Patent number: 9817386
    Abstract: A joint guarantee system for vehicle assembly is applied to a vehicle assembly line that assembles an assembling object to a vehicle carried through on a conveyer line as an assembling element, and includes a vehicle detector that detects the vehicle entering the conveyer line, tool detectors disposed along the conveyer line that detect a position of an assembling tool on the conveyer line, an inertial sensor module installed in the assembling tool that detects an angle and a displacement of the assembling tool for an assembling point of the vehicle and the assembling object, a tool controller that applies control signals corresponding to a predetermined assembling point of the vehicle and the assembling object, a kind of assembling element, and assembling torque of the assembling tool, to the assembling tool, and a main controller that processes and stores the above information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2017
    Assignee: Hyundai Motor Company
    Inventors: Jaehyun Lee, Sung Phil Ryu
  • Patent number: 9817744
    Abstract: Apparatus, computer-readable storage medium and a method executed by a computer for tracing the memory accesses of an object-oriented program comprises assigning a unique identification to each class object created from at least one class in the object-oriented program by modifying a class definition of the at least one class. In response to an unloading of one of the class objects, obtaining class unloading related information from a runtime environment of the object-oriented program and obtaining the unique identification of the unloaded class object according to the returned information. Then releasing memory space assigned to the unloaded class object for storing the memory access information of the unloaded class object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2017
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Zhi Da Luo, Wei Liu
  • Patent number: 9815190
    Abstract: The robot cleaner includes a case, a suction device provided in the case, a suction nozzle for sucking dust from a floor by driving of the suction device, a dust collection device for collecting foreign substances contained in the air sucked via the suction nozzle, a wheel unit to allow movement, a main controller for controlling the driving of the suction device and the wheel unit, a Wi-Fi module provided in the case to provide Access Point (AP), and a NFC module provided in the case to provide an external terminal with AP information for accessing to the AP through NFC communication.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2017
    Assignee: LG ELECTRONICS INC.
    Inventors: Bongju Kim, Seongeun Cho, Sangmok Kim
  • Patent number: 9810526
    Abstract: A method for measuring a three-dimensional shape of an inner surface of a vitreous silica crucible which enables the measurement of the three-dimensional shape of the inner surface of the crucible without contaminating the inner surface of the crucible, is provided. According to the present invention, a method for measuring a three-dimensional shape of a vitreous silica crucible, including a fogging step to form a fog onto an inner surface of the vitreous silica crucible, a three-dimensional shape measuring step to measure a three-dimensional shape of the inner surface, by measuring a reflected light from the inner surface irradiated with light, is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2017
    Assignee: SUMCO CORPORATION
    Inventors: Toshiaki Sudo, Tadahiro Sato, Ken Kitahara
  • Patent number: 9809395
    Abstract: A method for controlling a material flow system, wherein the material flow system includes vehicles for transporting goods packages, wherein the vehicles communicate autonomously among one another in the material flow system, wherein the vehicles move by movement steps along a material flow path from a starting node to a target node, and wherein a logical clock is associated with each node. The method includes providing each movement step of a first vehicle with a time stamp, carrying out movement steps such that for the first vehicle, successive movement steps assume monotonically increasing values for the time stamp, and for each node that is traversed, providing an outgoing movement step of the first vehicle with value of a time stamp which is less than or equal to a value of a time stamp for a subsequently incoming movement step of a second vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2017
    Assignee: Karlsruher Institut fuer Technologie
    Inventors: Zaezilia Seibold, Kai Furmans, Marco Gebhardt, Thomas Stoll
  • Patent number: 9810511
    Abstract: A technique is presented for tracking a target illuminated by a laser designator. A light beam scattered from the target in response to illumination by the designator is received and projected on a detector as an unfocused spot. The detector is divided into a plurality of sectors, each sector being adjacent to two sectors and all sectors meeting at a common point. Each sector outputs a signal indicative of a respective energy of the portion of the light beam illuminating the sector of the detector. A sum of the signals is determined. A plurality of ratios is determined, each ratio corresponding to a respective sector and being calculated by dividing a signal from the respective sector by the sum of the signals. The orientation of the system with respect to the target is determined based on the three ratios, via a look-up table and/or via one or more algorithms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2017
    Assignee: Analog Modules, Inc.
    Inventors: Ian Drummond Crawford, Noal Conan Chandler
  • Patent number: 9802286
    Abstract: A robot control system provided in a machining system including a robot and a machine tool. The robot control system includes a robot controller controlling the robot, a portable teach pendant connected to the robot controller, and a communication network adapted to connect the robot controller to a machine tool controller controlling the machine tool. The teach pendant includes a display section configured to display information relating to the robot and the machine tool. The robot controller includes a processing section configured to obtain information relating to the machine tool from the machine tool controller through the communication network, make the display section of the teach pendant display a machine tool-related screen in accordance with a given screen program, and make the machine tool-related screen of the display section of the teach pendant display the information, as obtained, relating to the machine tool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Assignee: FANUC LTD
    Inventors: Hiroji Nishi, Tetsuaki Kato
  • Patent number: 9801686
    Abstract: A computer-assisted surgery system may have a robotic arm including a surgical tool and a processor communicatively connected to the robotic arm. The processor may be configured to receive, from a neural monitor, a signal indicative of a distance between the surgical tool and a portion of a patient's anatomy including nervous tissue. The processor may be further configured to generate a command for altering a degree to which the robotic arm resists movement based on the signal received from the neural monitor; and send the command to the robotic arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Assignee: MAKO Surgical Corp.
    Inventors: Chris Alan Lightcap, Hyosig Kang, Arthur E. Quaid, III, Rony Abovitz
  • Patent number: 9802315
    Abstract: A link position and attitude estimating unit 53 (54) of a controller 40 of a mobile robot 1 sequentially estimates the actual position and attitude of a first particular link 2 by using input parameters which at least include at least one of a desired attitude of an in-contact-with-ground link 13 and an observation value of the actual attitude of the first particular link 2, a desired position of the in-contact-with-ground link 13, and an observation value of the actual displacement amount of each joint. The driving force for each joint is adjusted by using the estimated values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Assignee: HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Yoshiki Kanemoto
  • Patent number: 9805724
    Abstract: Methods and apparatuses are provided for controlling an electronic device that includes a plurality of microphones configured to receive voice input, a storage unit configured to store a sound recording file, and a display unit configured to visually display speaker areas of individual speakers when recording a sound or playing a sound recording file. The electronic device also includes a control unit configured to provide a user interface relating a speaker direction to a speaker by identifying the speaker direction while recording the sound or performing playback of the sound recording file, and to update at least one of speaker information, direction information of a speaker, and distance information of the speaker through the user interface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Eungha Kim, Jeongwook Seo, Sangho Kim, Bongseok Park, Cheongjae Lee
  • Patent number: 9802322
    Abstract: A mobile robot includes a processor connected to a memory and a wireless network circuit, for executing routines stored in the memory and commands generated by the routines and received via the wireless network circuit. The processor drives the mobile robot to a multiplicity of accessible two dimensional locations within a household, and commands an end effector, including at least one motorized actuator, to perform mechanical work in the household. A plurality of routines include a first routine which monitors a wireless local network and detects a presence of a network entity on the wireless local network, a second routine which receives a signal from a sensor detecting an action state of one of the network entities, the action state changeable between waiting and active, and a third routine which commands the end effector to change state of performing mechanical work based on the presence and on the action state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Assignee: iRobot Corporation
    Inventors: Colin Angle, David Snelling, Melissa O'Dea, Timothy S. Farlow, Samuel Duffley, Jeffrey W. Mammen, Michael J. Halloran
  • Patent number: 9798328
    Abstract: A cleaning robot includes a chassis, a drive system connected to the chassis and configured to drive the robot, a signal generator and sensor carried by the chassis, and a controller in communication with the drive system and the sensor. The signal generator directs a signal toward the floor surface. The sensor is responsive to reflected signals from the floor surface. The controller controls the drive system to alter direction of the robot responsive to a reflected signal indicating an edge of the floor surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: iRobot Corporation
    Inventor: Jasper Vicenti
  • Patent number: 9798957
    Abstract: A control method for a robot cleaner includes acquiring a plurality of images of surroundings during travel of the robot cleaner in a cleaning area, estimating a plurality of room-specific feature distributions according to a rule defined for each of a plurality of rooms, based on the images acquired while acquiring the plurality of images, acquiring an image of surroundings at a current position of the robot cleaner, obtaining a comparison reference group including a plurality of room feature distributions by applying the rule for each of the plurality of rooms to the image acquired while acquiring the image at the current position, comparing the obtained comparison reference group with the estimated room-specific feature distributions, and determining a room from the plurality of rooms having the robot cleaner currently located therein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: LG ELECTRONICS INC.
    Inventors: Dongki Noh, Seungwook Lim, Taekyeong Lee, Inbo Shim
  • Patent number: 9796386
    Abstract: Methods and devices for detecting traffic signals and their associated states are disclosed. In one embodiment, an example method includes a scanning a target area using one or more sensors of a vehicle to obtain target area information. The vehicle may be configured to operate in an autonomous mode, and the target area may be a type of area where traffic signals are typically located. The method may also include detecting a traffic signal in the target area information, determining a location of the traffic signal, and determining a state of the traffic signal. Also, a confidence in the traffic signal may be determined. For example, the location of the traffic signal may be compared to known locations of traffic signals. Based on the state of the traffic signal and the confidence in the traffic signal, the vehicle may be controlled in the autonomous mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: WAYMO LLC
    Inventors: David I. Ferguson, Nathaniel Fairfield, Anthony Levandowski