Mobile Robot Patents (Class 901/1)
  • Publication number: 20150148955
    Abstract: Systems and methods for cleaning a structure via a robot are described. The system includes a first robot and a second robot. The first robot includes a body, a tool arm, a sensor coupled, a drive system configured to allow vertical and inverted positioning of the first robot, a transceiver, and a controller. The second robot similarly includes a body, a drive system configured to allow positioning of the second robot, a transceiver, and a controller. The system includes a base station in communication with the first robot via the first robot transceiver and/or in communication with the second robot via the second robot transceiver. The first robot is configured to autonomously perform a maintenance task on the structure. The second robot is configured to autonomously provide a support service to the first robot during the maintenance task. The first robot is configured to communicate with the second robot.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 26, 2013
    Publication date: May 28, 2015
    Inventors: Hon Wah Chin, William D. Duncan, Roderick A. Hyde, Jordin T. Kare, Tony S. Pan, David B. Tuckerman, Lowell L. Wood,, Jr.
  • Publication number: 20150148959
    Abstract: Disclosed are a robot cleaner, a controlling method of the same, and a robot cleaning system. The robot cleaner can perform a cleaning operation with respect to only a user's desired region, in a repeated and concentrated manner. Further, as the robot cleaner runs on a user's desired region in a manual manner, a designated region can be precisely set. Further, as the robot cleaner performs a cleaning operation by setting a user's desired region, only a simple configuration is added to a terminal device such as a remote control unit. Accordingly, additional costs can be reduced, and a malfunction can be prevented.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 3, 2015
    Publication date: May 28, 2015
    Inventors: IIsoo CHO, Taebum KWON, Suuk CHOE
  • Publication number: 20150148951
    Abstract: Provided are a method and a control apparatus for cooperative cleaning using multiple cleaning robots, including monitoring an overall cleaning condition of an extensive space and automatically assigning multiple cleaning robots to a space required to be cleaned, and when a cleaning area is fixed based on a cooperative cleaning method, data on an amount of garbage generated from the cleaning area or a cleaning condition of the cleaning area may be accumulated to facilitate easier management of the cleaning.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 16, 2014
    Publication date: May 28, 2015
    Applicant: Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute
    Inventors: Seo Hyun JEON, Min Su JANG, Dae Ha LEE, Chang Eun LEE, Hyun Ja IM, Young Jo CHO, Jae Hong KIM, Jong Hyun PARK
  • Patent number: 9043031
    Abstract: Provided is a device for wirelessly controlling robots suitable for competition or educational purposes, the device including: an input module configured to receive commands from a human user interface, the human user interface sending signals indicative of inputs by a user to control a robot; a protocol translator configured to translate the received commands into a protocol to which the robot is responsive; a wireless output module configured to wirelessly transmit the translated commands to the robot such that the robot executes the commands.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: Westlake & Eanes Science & Technology Association
    Inventors: Rachel Gardner, Akshay Prakash, Benjamin Jared Gorr, Eric J. Rothfus
  • Patent number: 9043030
    Abstract: A manipulator and a method of generating the shortest path along which the manipulator moves to grip an object without collision with the object models a target object and a gripper into a spherical shape, measures a current position of the gripper and a position of the target object and a target position of the gripper, calculates an arc-shaped path in a two-dimensional plane along which the gripper needs to move by calculating an included angle of a triangle consisting of the position of the object and the current position and target position of the gripper, transforms the arc-shaped path in the two-dimensional plane into an arc-shaped path in a three-dimensional space using a transform matrix consisting of the position of the object and the current position and target position of the gripper, thereby automatically generating the shortest path of the manipulator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Jong Do Choi, Kyung Shik Roh, Young Bo Shim
  • Patent number: 9043012
    Abstract: A pharmacy automation system having a robot having a hardware device and a software for internal mapping is configured to carry out at least the following different interactions: the robot communicates autonomously with a physician or an assistant directly or via an intermediary; the robot interacts with an inventory of goods and browses the inventory of goods to determine if a prescribed medication is available in the pharmacy; if the prescribed medication is available in the pharmacy, the robot interacts with a medication dispenser, using the internal mapping to fill a container with the prescribed medication, and store the container; when a patient or a proxy arrives to pick up the prescribed medication, the robot checks and approves an identification of the patient or the proxy; and hands the container with the prescribed medication over to the patient or proxy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Inventors: Neil S. Davey, Brendan Boyce Murphy, Sonya R. Davey, Haris Godil
  • Patent number: 9043016
    Abstract: Certain embodiments of the present invention provide robotic control modules for use in a robotic control system of a vehicle, including structures, systems and methods, that can provide (i) a robotic control module that has multiple functional circuits, such as a processor and accompanying circuits, an actuator controller, an actuator amplifier, a packet network switch, and a power supply integrated into a mountable and/or stackable package/housing; (ii) a robotic control module with the noted complement of circuits that is configured to reduce heat, reduce space, shield sensitive components from electro-magnetic noise; (iii) a robotic control system utilizing robotic control modules that include the sufficiently interchangeable functionality allowing for interchangeability of modules; and (iv) a robotic control system that distributes the functionality and processing among a plurality of robotic control modules in a vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignees: Deere & Company, iRobot Corporation
    Inventors: Mikhail O. Filippov, Osa Fitch, Scott P. Keller, John O'Connor, David S. Zendzian, Nadim El Fata, Kevin Larsen, Arlen Eugene Meuchel, Mark David Schmaltz, James Allard, Chris A. De Roo, William Robert Norris, Andrew Julian Norby, Christopher David Glenn Turner
  • Patent number: 9043021
    Abstract: Systems, methods, and other embodiments associated with swarm management are described. One example system comprises a communication component configured to establish a communication link with at least one element, where the at least one element is part of a swarm. The example system also comprises a management component configured to manage performance of a task list by the swarm through the communication link.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Inventors: Brendan Edward Clark, Ronald Charles Krosky, Phillip George Ammar
  • Patent number: 9038557
    Abstract: A hull robot is disclosed for operation on a surface of a hull of a vessel. The robot can include a drive subsystem onboard the robot for driving and maneuvering the robot about the hull. A sensor subsystem onboard the robot can sense an attachment state of the robot to the hull. The attachment state can include at least one of attached and detached. A signal generation subsystem onboard the robot can emit a distress signal when the attachment state is detached.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventor: Fraser M. Smith
  • Publication number: 20150142170
    Abstract: A computer program and a system for controlling walking of a mobile robot, notably a humanoid robot moving on two legs. Conventionally, control was guided by driving a zero moment point. Such driving was performed within a fixed coordinate system connected to a progression surface and assumed knowledge of the characteristics of said surface and the creation of a provisional trajectory. Such driving encountered significant limitations due to the nature of the progression surfaces on which walking can effectively be controlled and an obligation to have a perfect knowledge of their geometry; and also in respect to the necessary computing power, and the appearance of the walk which bore little resemblance to an actual human walk. The invention overcomes such limitations by providing a walk which includes a pseudo-free or ballistic phase, an impulse phase imparted by the heel of the robot, and a landing phase.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 20, 2015
    Publication date: May 21, 2015
    Inventors: Bruno MAISONNIER, Pascal LAFOURCADE, Alain BERTHOZ
  • Publication number: 20150135459
    Abstract: Provided is a blade maintenance device for a wind turbine. The blade maintenance device for the wind turbine includes: a body that travels along a leading edge of a blade; support units that extend from the body to both sides of the blade and support the sides of the blade; and a maintenance unit installed at at least one of the body and the support units so as to perform maintenance of an outer side of the blade.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 22, 2012
    Publication date: May 21, 2015
    Applicant: SAMSUNG HEAVY IND. CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Byung Kyu Lee, Hong Gyeoum Kim, Jong Hwan Lee, Young Seok Cho, Young Youl Ha, In Chul Ha, Dong Ki Han
  • Publication number: 20150142249
    Abstract: A coordinated transport robot system according to an embodiment includes: first and second robots each including a mobile unit and a movement control unit; first and second position error absorption mechanisms provided on the first and second robots; an impedance model estimating an external force from the amount of displacement detected by the passive element unit; an external force estimating unit estimating respective external forces acting on the first and second robots based on external forces estimated with a dynamics model and estimated by the impedance model; a compliance model calculating respective position correction amounts of the first and second robots to make an external force zero; and a movement command calculating unit calculating movement commands to the first and second robots based on the position correction amounts. Each of the movement control units control the respective mobile units based on the respective movement commands.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 24, 2014
    Publication date: May 21, 2015
    Inventors: Junichiro OOGA, Hideki OGAWA
  • Publication number: 20150136012
    Abstract: A modular system for building underwater robotic vehicles (URVs), including a pressure vessel system, modular chassis elements, a propulsion system and compatible buoyancy modules. The pressure vessel system uses standardized, interchangeable modules to allow for ease of modification of the URV and accommodation of different internal and external components such as sensors and computer systems. The system also includes standard, reconfigurable connections of the pressure vessel to the modular chassis system. A standardized, modular propulsion system includes a magnetic clutch, and a magnetic sleeve used to power the URV on or off.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 24, 2014
    Publication date: May 21, 2015
    Inventor: EDDIE HUGH WILLIAMS
  • Publication number: 20150142252
    Abstract: A robotic device includes a housing configured to house a mobile device. The robotic device also includes an articulating image director aligned with a field of view of a camera of the mobile device. The housing of the robotic device is positioned at an angle to provide a forward view or rear facing view to the camera via the articulating image director.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 31, 2014
    Publication date: May 21, 2015
    Inventor: Donald Bolden HUTSON
  • Publication number: 20150139766
    Abstract: One embodiment is directed to a personal robotic system, comprising: an electromechanical mobile base defining a cross-sectional envelope when viewed in a plane substantially parallel to a plane of a floor upon which the mobile base is operated; a torso assembly movably coupled to the mobile base; a head assembly movably coupled to the torso; a releasable bin-capturing assembly movably coupled to the torso; and a controller operatively coupled to the mobile base, torso assembly, head assembly, and bin-capturing assembly, and configured to capture a bin with the bin-capturing assembly and move the torso assembly relative to the mobile base so that the captured bin fits as closely as possible within the cross-sectional envelope of the mobile base.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 26, 2014
    Publication date: May 21, 2015
    Applicant: Willow Garage, Inc.
    Inventor: Steve Cousins
  • Publication number: 20150142169
    Abstract: A cleaning robot including a main body, a pad mounted below the main body to implement cleaning, and a drive assembly to apply drive power to the pad. The drive assembly moves the main body to a target position by adjusting the drive power. The cleaning robot may move at a high speed owing to omni-directional movement thereof without rotation of the main body. Further, the cleaning robot may imitate a human wiping pattern, thus achieving enhanced cleaning efficiency. Furthermore, various cleaning patterns including a straight pattern and a curvilinear pattern may be applied to the cleaning robot.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 3, 2014
    Publication date: May 21, 2015
    Inventors: In Joo KIM, Jeong Ki Yoo, Dong Hyun Lee, Dong Hun Lee, Jin Sung Kim
  • Patent number: 9033087
    Abstract: A probe-holder carriage includes a frame which can slide over a highly magnetically permeable support surface and at least one permanent magnet able to interact magnetically with, and couple the robot to, the surface. The permanent magnet is positioned so that one pole grazes the surface and faces the surface at a minimum distance from it. The frame defines a central housing which can support at least one probe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: Tecnomac S.R.L.
    Inventor: Arturo Lama
  • Patent number: 9037396
    Abstract: A method of localizing a mobile robot includes receiving sensor data of a scene about the robot and executing a particle filter having a set of particles. Each particle has associated maps representing a robot location hypothesis. The method further includes updating the maps associated with each particle based on the received sensor data, assessing a weight for each particle based on the received sensor data, selecting a particle based on its weight, and determining a location of the robot based on the selected particle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: iRobot Corporation
    Inventors: Robert Todd Pack, Scott R. Lenser, Justin H. Kearns, Orjeta Taka
  • Patent number: 9033079
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a mobile robot, in which a wheel is mounted on a robot body in an elevatable structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: Yujin Robot Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kyung Chul Shin, Seong Ju Park, No Soo Lee
  • Patent number: 9037336
    Abstract: A robot system includes a planar sign, a robot, a distance direction sensor, and a controller. The controller is configured to control the robot and includes a map data memory and a progress direction determining device. The map data memory is configured to store map data of a predetermined running path including a position of the planar sign. The progress direction determining device is configured to compare a detection result of the distance direction sensor and the stored map data so as to determine a progress direction of the robot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: KABUSHIKI KAISHA YASKAWA DENKI
    Inventors: Dai Kouno, Tamio Nakamura
  • Publication number: 20150128547
    Abstract: The invention proposes an autonomous robot, such as an autonomous lawn mower, comprises at least one camera for obtaining at least one input image, a communication interface for transmitting the input image and receiving a remote control instruction, a control unit for controlling an operation of the autonomous robot, and wherein the control unit is adapted to control the operation at the autonomous robot in response to the received remote control instruction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 21, 2014
    Publication date: May 14, 2015
    Inventors: Nils EINECKE, Mathias FRANZIUS, Roman DIRNBERGER, Ronny BORSDORF
  • Publication number: 20150134079
    Abstract: Provided are a walk-assistive robot and a method of controlling the same. The method of controlling the walk-assistive robot includes: obtaining ground information that is information regarding ground a walking direction; determining control patterns of the walk-assistive robot by analyzing the obtained ground information; and controlling the walk-assistive robot based on the determined control patterns.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 28, 2014
    Publication date: May 14, 2015
    Inventors: Suk June YOON, Kyung Shik ROH, Young Bo SHIM, Young Do KWON, Sung Hwan AHN, Hyo Seok HWANG
  • Publication number: 20150134109
    Abstract: A switched capacitive device includes a stator including a plurality of first electrodes extending substantially in a longitudinal dimension. The switched capacitive device also includes an armature including a plurality of second electrodes proximate the plurality of first electrodes. The plurality of second electrodes is translatable with respect to the plurality of first electrodes. The plurality of second electrodes extends substantially in the longitudinal dimension. The plurality of first electrodes and the plurality of second electrodes are configured to induce substantially linear motion of the second plurality of electrodes in the longitudinal dimension with respect to the first plurality of electrodes as a function of an electric field induced by at least a portion of the first plurality of electrodes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 11, 2013
    Publication date: May 14, 2015
    Applicant: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Rui Zhou, Manoj Ramprasad Shah, Kiruba Sivasubramaniam Haran, Arthur Vorwerk Radun, Enis Tuncer
  • Publication number: 20150134080
    Abstract: A wearable robot may include a gear part having an exoskeleton structure to be worn on legs of a user, a sensor part including a first electromyogram (EMG) sensor attached at a first location of at least one leg of the user, and a second EMG sensor attached at a second location, and a controller to detect a walking assist starting point to assist the user with walking, based on a first EMG signal detected by the first EMG sensor and a second EMG signal detected by the second EMG sensor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 3, 2014
    Publication date: May 14, 2015
    Inventor: Chang Hyun ROH
  • Patent number: 9031691
    Abstract: The disclosure provides an approach for determining simplified models of humanoid robots. A simplification application linearizes a robot model around a nominal state and performs a singular value decomposition of an inertial term of the model, selecting singular values and corresponding singular vectors to be kept in an inertial term of a simplified model by matching a kinetic energy of the original model to a kinetic energy of the simplified model. Further, a gravitational forces term and a velocity-dependent forces term may be determined by computing active joint torques at sample poses around the nominal pose and solving for the gravitational forces term and the velocity-dependent forces term. A mapping from the simplified model to the original model may be determined using, e.g., numerical optimization.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2015
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventor: Katsu Yamane
  • Patent number: 9031714
    Abstract: A control system for integrated human-trained animal-robot interaction comprising: an operator control unit linked to receive trained animal detection information representative of locations of detected IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices), the operator control unit further linked to one or more unmanned robotic vehicles for providing control information to a selected robotic vehicle, the control information including an optimal path leading the selected robotic vehicle to a detected IED in order for the selected robotic vehicle to neutralize the detected IED.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2015
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Hobart R. Everett, Lisa Albuquerque, Paul Scerri, Gregory T. Kogut, Darren N. Powell
  • Patent number: 9031693
    Abstract: A cleaning robot is disclosed. A first sensing unit generates a sensing signal to a transmittal line according to an external wireless signal. When the external wireless signal is sensed by the first sensing unit, a state of the transmittal line does not match with a pre-determined state. When the external wireless signal is not sensed by the first sensing unit, the state of the transmittal line matches with the pre-determined state. A control unit generates a movement signal when the state of the transmittal line matches with the pre-determined state. A plurality of wheels rotate according to the movement signal. A second sensing unit generates a second sensing signal according to the external environment of the cleaning robot. When the state of the transmittal line does not match with the pre-determined state, the control unit adjusts the movement signal according to the second sensing signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2015
    Assignee: MSI Computer (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yi-Feng Lin, Hung-Chou Chen, Shih-Che Hung
  • Patent number: 9030501
    Abstract: Methods and systems for modifying a display of a field of view of a robotic device to include zoomed-in and zoomed-out views are provided. In examples, the robotic device may include a camera to capture images in a field of view of a robotic device, and distance sensors which can provide outputs that may be used to determine a distance of the robotic device to an object in the field of view of the robotic device. A display of the field of view of the robotic device can be generated, and as the distance decreases, the display can be modified to include a zoomed-in view of the object. As the distance increases, the display can be modified to include a zoomed-out view of the object. An amount of zoom of the object may be inversely proportional to the distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2015
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventors: Munjal Desai, Ryan Hickman, Thor Lewis, Damon Kohler
  • Patent number: 9031730
    Abstract: A power demand management apparatus comprises a schedule holding section that holds a power restriction schedule indicating a device on which a mobile robot is to perform power restriction, in association with a power restriction execution time; a movement instructing section that transmits movement instructions to the robot such that, prior to the power restriction execution time indicated in the power restriction schedule, the robot moves to an area in which is arranged the device on which the power restriction is to be performed at the execution time; and a restriction instructing section that transmits power restriction instructions to the robot, thereby causing the robot to perform the power restriction on the device at the execution time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2015
    Assignee: The Japan Research Institute, Limited
    Inventors: Motohide Ikeda, Ken Watanabe, Makoto Inoue
  • Publication number: 20150126129
    Abstract: According to one aspect, the disclosed subject matter describes herein a system that includes a mobile robotic platform for navigating within a coverage area associated with an access point belonging to a communications network under test, wherein the mobile robotic platform includes a client device emulation module configured to emulate multiple client devices that are wirelessly connected to the access point and to send emulated test traffic data to the access point from each of the emulated client devices via a wireless connection. The mobile robotic platform also includes a real client device that includes a client application configured to communicate simulated test traffic data to the access point via an established wireless connection and a performance metrics module configured to determine wireless communication performance metrics associated with the wireless connection between the access point and at least one of the real client device or the emulated client devices.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 28, 2014
    Publication date: May 7, 2015
    Inventors: Madhu H. Rangappagowda, Jimmy Hardy, Qing Liu, Timothy Earl Bennington-Davis, Dane Bennington
  • Publication number: 20150127156
    Abstract: A remote controlled robot with a head that supports a monitor and is coupled to a mobile platform. The mobile robot also includes an auxiliary camera coupled to the mobile platform by a boom. The mobile robot is controlled by a remote control station. By way of example, the robot can be remotely moved about an operating room. The auxiliary camera extends from the boom so that it provides a relatively close view of a patient or other item in the room. An assistant in the operating room may move the boom and the camera. The boom may be connected to a robot head that can be remotely moved by the remote control station.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 12, 2015
    Publication date: May 7, 2015
    Inventors: Yulun Wang, Charles S. Jordan, Kevin Hanrahan, Daniel Sanchez, Marco Pinter
  • Publication number: 20150122559
    Abstract: Provided is a lower limb structure for a legged robot with which a load on an actuator for driving a knee joint can be reduced. The lower limb structure for the legged robot comprises: a hip joint main body; a thigh portion; a hip joint coupling for connecting the thigh portion to the hip joint main body; and a knee joint main body joined to the thigh portion. The lower limb structure for the legged robot provides a thigh portion auxiliary link having one end portion joined to the hip joint main body or the hip joint coupling to be rotatable about a pitch axis and the other end portion joined to the knee joint main body to be rotatable about the pitch axis. A knee joint actuator increases and decreases a length from the one end portion to the other end portion of the thigh portion auxiliary link.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 11, 2013
    Publication date: May 7, 2015
    Applicant: THK CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Masaki Nagatsuka
  • Publication number: 20150127163
    Abstract: An object of the present invention is to provide a robot system controlling method and robot system which perform link angle control and joint stiffness control through feedback control.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 9, 2015
    Publication date: May 7, 2015
    Inventor: Kiyoshi Takagi
  • Patent number: 9026301
    Abstract: Systems, methods and devices for the automated delivery of goods form one to another using a robotic tug and accompanying cart. A computer within the tug or cart stores an electronic map of the building floor plan and intended paths for the tug to take when traversing from one location to the next. During the delivery, a variety of different sensors and scanners gather data that is used to avoid obstacles and/or adjust the movement of the tug in order to more closely follow the intended path. The system preferably includes both wired and wireless networks that allow one or more tugs to communicate with a tug base station, a primary network located at the site of the delivery and a remote host center that monitors the status and data collected by the tugs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2015
    Assignee: Aethon, Inc.
    Inventors: Aldo Zini, Spencer Wayne Allen, Barry Mark Skirble, Henry F. Thorne, Stuart Fairley
  • Patent number: 9021645
    Abstract: A pool cleaning robot for cleaning a surface of a swimming pool, said robot comprising: a main housing; main wheels being configured for propelling the robot; an auxiliary brushwheel disposed between said main wheels and configured for being rotated by the robot about an axis of rotation; and at least one inlet being formed in a bottom panel of the housing between said main wheels and being configured for intake of water and debris, wherein said main wheels are configured for being rotated by the robot at a first angular velocity, and said auxiliary brushwheel is configured for being rotated by the robot at a second angular velocity which is greater than the first angular velocity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2015
    Assignee: Maytronics Ltd.
    Inventor: Efraim Garti
  • Patent number: 9026302
    Abstract: A robot configured to navigate a surface, the robot comprising a movement mechanism; a logical map representing data about the surface and associating locations with one or more properties observed during navigation; an initialization module configured to establish an initial pose comprising an initial location and an initial orientation; a region covering module configured to cause the robot to move so as to cover a region; an edge-following module configured to cause the robot to follow unfollowed edges; a control module configured to invoke region covering on a first region defined at least in part based at least part of the initial pose, to invoke region covering on least one additional region, to invoke edge-following, and to invoke region covering cause the mapping module to mark followed edges as followed, and cause a third region covering on regions discovered during edge-following.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2015
    Assignee: iRobot Corporation
    Inventors: Michael S. Stout, Gabriel Francis Brisson, Enrico Di Bernardo, Paolo Pirjanian, Dhiraj Goel, James Philip Case, Michael Dooley
  • Patent number: 9022159
    Abstract: [OBJECT] To provide a device which is held by vacuum on a wall surface or a window surface of glass of a building, and which is moved along the surface, thereby performing the cleaning operation. [SOLVING MEANS] In three clinging units which are arranged in a row, each of the clinging units includes clinging unit putting forward/backward means for putting the clinging unit in and out in a direction intersecting with the surface. The clinging units adjacent to each other are coupled by transverse expansion and contraction means via the clinging unit putting forward/backward means, so as to constitute a row clinging unit group. In three row clinging unit groups which are arranged in the longitudinal direction, the row clinging unit groups adjacent to each other are coupled by lengthwise expansion and contraction means via the clinging unit putting forward/backward means. Each of the clinging units can be selectively set in one of three states, i.e.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2015
    Assignees: Urakami LLC, Fujii Denko Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Fukashi Urakami
  • Patent number: 9021900
    Abstract: Provided is an in-pipe inspection robot which moves along a path in a pipe to inspect suspected areas such as cracks in the pipe. An in-pipe inspection robot in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention has a configuration in which two or more operating units having a plurality of arms, which move forward and backward in a radial direction of a pipe, are connected to each other to move in a straight direction or to be bent relative to each other by means of a flexible link mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2015
    Assignee: Industry-Academic Cooperation Foundation Yonsei University
    Inventors: Hyun Seok Yang, Woong Sun Jeon
  • Publication number: 20150119298
    Abstract: A system for performing one or more microfluidic processes includes an integrated fluidic device comprising a plurality of well regions and a plurality of control valves and a workflow manager. The system also includes a transfer robot adapted to transfer the integrated fluidic device between a plurality of stations in response to a series of instructions from the workflow manager and a first station comprising a dispensing robot adapted to dispense at least one of a plurality of sample solutions and at least one of a plurality of reagents into the integrated fluidic device. The system further includes a second station comprising a fluidic controller unit and a third station comprising an inspection station.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 29, 2014
    Publication date: April 30, 2015
    Inventors: Gang Sun, Greg Harris, Andy May, Kyle Self, Kevin Farrell, Paul Wyatt
  • Publication number: 20150120060
    Abstract: The apparatus control method includes the steps of designating at least one notification apparatus, determining notification information, judging a status of the designated notification apparatus, and transmitting the notification information to the designated notification apparatus in accordance with a judgment result obtained in the status judging step.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 29, 2014
    Publication date: April 30, 2015
    Applicant: SHARP KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Yasunori YAMASHITA, Masafumi HIRATA, Hideaki KIZUKI, Makoto SHINKAI
  • Publication number: 20150120044
    Abstract: A control method that executes a numerical non-linear optimization procedure with forward simulation of the full dynamics of the bipedal robot (including ground collisions) to compute a foothold, which produces the desired center of mass velocity during the next step of the walking cycle. The controller includes a gait generator that outputs desired joint trajectories designed to track a desired foothold provided by the foot placement algorithm. A torque calculator is included to output desired joint torques designed to track the desired joint trajectories provided by the gait generator. Additionally, the controller includes an actuator controller that produces the desired joint torques determined by the torque calculator at each joint on the physical robot, which may be a legged robot with torque-controlled joints. The foot placement algorithm may use nonlinear optimization that is solvable using a mathematical model of the dynamics of the controlled robot.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 31, 2013
    Publication date: April 30, 2015
    Applicant: DISNEY ENTERPRISES, INC.
    Inventor: RICK E. CORY
  • Publication number: 20150120057
    Abstract: A mobile robot including a robot body, a drive system supporting the robot body, and a controller in communication with the drive system. The robot also includes an actuator moving a portion of the robot body through a volume of space adjacent the mobile robot and a sensor pod in communication with the controller. The sensor pod includes a collar rotatably supported and having a curved wall formed at least partially as a surface of revolution about a vertical axis. The sensor pod also includes a volumetric point cloud sensor housed by the collar and observing the volume of space adjacent the robot from within the collar along an observation axis extending through the curved wall. A collar actuator rotates the collar and the volumetric point cloud sensor together about the collar axis.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 30, 2014
    Publication date: April 30, 2015
    Applicant: iRobot Corporation
    Inventors: Cheuk Wah Wong, Eben Rauhut, Brian C. Benson, JR., Peter J. Lydon, Michael T. Rosenstein, Michael Halloran, Steven V. Shamlian, Chikyung Won, Mark Chiappetta, Justin H. Kearns, Orjeta Taka, Robert Todd Pack, Timothy S. Farlow, Jasper Fourways Vicenti
  • Publication number: 20150120127
    Abstract: A mobile unit according to an embodiment includes a main body, a moving mechanism, a sensor, a recognizer, a first movement adjuster, a second landmark recognizer, and a second movement adjuster. The moving mechanism moves the main body. The sensor detects a distance and a direction to an object around the main body. The recognizer recognizes a landmark based on a detection result of the sensor. The first movement adjuster controls the moving mechanism such that the main body is moved to a target position based on the landmark. If the distance to the landmark has become smaller than a first threshold, the second landmark recognizer recognizes a second landmark. The second movement adjuster controls the moving mechanism such that the main body is moved to the target position based on the second landmark.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 29, 2014
    Publication date: April 30, 2015
    Applicant: KABUSHIKI KAISHA YASKAWA DENKI
    Inventors: Taku SHIKINA, Tamio NAKAMURA, Dai KOUNO, Takashi NISHIMURA
  • Publication number: 20150120045
    Abstract: A robotic submersible includes a housing having a body and a tail. In another aspect, a pump and a pump tank adjust the buoyancy of a submersible housing. In a further aspect, a first linear actuator controls the pump and/or a buoyancy, and/or a second linear actuator controls a position of a battery and/or adjusts a center of gravity. Another aspect includes a pump and at least one linear actuator that control gliding movements of the housing. In still a further aspect, a motor couples a tail with a body, such that the motor controls the movements of the tail to create a swimming movement. Moreover, an additional aspect provides a controller selectively operating the pump, first actuator, second actuator, and motor to control when swimming and gliding movements occur.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 23, 2014
    Publication date: April 30, 2015
    Applicant: BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
    Inventors: Xiaobo Tan, Feitian Zhang, Jianxun Wang, John Thon
  • Publication number: 20150120056
    Abstract: Disclosed is a mobile robot including a main body and a pattern irradiation unit emitting a cross-shaped optical pattern including a horizontal line optical pattern and a vertical line optical pattern intersecting the horizontal line optical pattern. The pattern irradiation unit includes a light source and a lens converting light emitted from the light source into the cross-shaped optical pattern, the lens includes convex cells on an incidence surface upon which the emitted light is incident, the incidence surface is divided into a first area converting the light emitted from the light source into the horizontal line optical pattern and a second area converting the light emitted from the light source into the vertical line optical pattern, vertical convex cells extended in parallel in the vertical direction are formed in the first area, and horizontal convex cells extended in parallel in the horizontal direction are formed in the second area.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 29, 2014
    Publication date: April 30, 2015
    Inventors: Dongki Noh, Seungmin Baek, Younguk Ku
  • Patent number: 9020636
    Abstract: The solar energy and solar farms are used to generate energy and reduce dependence on oil (or for environmental purposes). The maintenance and repairs in big farms become very difficult, expensive, and inefficient, using human technicians. Thus, here, we teach using the robots with various functions and components, in various settings, for various purposes, to improve operations in big (or hard-to-access) farms, to automate, save money, reduce human mistakes, increase efficiency, or scale the solutions to very large scales or areas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2015
    Inventor: Saied Tadayon
  • Patent number: 9020639
    Abstract: Robotic systems according to the invention include a frame or body with two or more wheels rotatably mounted on the frame or body and a motor for independently driving each wheel. A system controller generates a signal for actuating each motor based on information provided by one or more sensors in communication with the system controller for generating feedback signals for providing reactive actuation of the motors for generating one or more functions selected from the group consisting of forward motion, backward motion, climbing, hopping, balancing, throwing and catching. A power source is included for providing power to operate the drive motors, system controller and the one or more sensors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2015
    Assignee: The Regents of the University of California
    Inventors: Thomas R. Bewley, Benjamin A. Sams, Po-Ting Chen
  • Patent number: 9020679
    Abstract: Systems, methods and devices for the automated delivery of goods form one to another using a robotic tug and accompanying cart. A computer within the tug or cart stores an electronic map of the building floor plan and intended paths for the tug to take when traversing from one location to the next. During the delivery, a variety of different sensors and scanners gather data that is used to avoid obstacles and/or adjust the movement of the tug in order to more closely follow the intended path. The system preferably includes both wired and wireless networks that allow one or more tugs to communicate with a tug base station, a primary network located at the site of the delivery and a remote host center that monitors the status and data collected by the tugs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2015
    Assignee: Aethon, Inc.
    Inventors: Aldo Zini, Spencer Wayne Allen, Barry Mark Skirble, Henry F. Thorne, Stuart Fairley
  • Publication number: 20150107915
    Abstract: A low profile stepper robot is described and claimed herein. The robot includes a plurality of foot assemblies. Each foot assembly includes a suction cup, a vacuum generator, and a valve, with the vacuum generator being operationally connected to the suction cup. A conduit connects a source of operational fluid flow to the vacuum generators, and the valves allow or prevent fluid flow to the vacuum generators. Actuators are positioned between the foot assemblies and the robot base. The actuators provide for linear and rotational displacement of the foot assemblies, allowing the robot to walk and turn along an inspection surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 21, 2014
    Publication date: April 23, 2015
    Inventors: S. William Glass, III, Bradley A. Thigpen, Robert A. Furter
  • Publication number: 20150107037
    Abstract: An autonomous coverage robot includes a cleaning assembly having forward roller and rearward rollers counter-rotating with respect to each other. The rollers are arranged to substantially maintain a cross sectional area between the two rollers yet permitting collapsing therebetween as large debris is passed. Each roller includes a resilient elastomer outer tube and a partially air-occupied inner resilient core configured to bias the outer tube to rebound. The core includes a hub and resilient spokes extending between the inner surface of the outer tube and the hub. The spokes suspend the outer tube to float about the hub and transfer torque from the hub to the outer tube while allowing the outer tube to momentarily deform or move offset from the hub during impact with debris larger than the cross sectional area between the two rollers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 31, 2014
    Publication date: April 23, 2015
    Applicant: iRobot Corporation
    Inventors: Duane Leigh Gilbert, JR., Faruk Halil Bursal, Richard Joseph Therrien, Russell Walter Morin