Spherical Patents (Class 901/18)
  • Patent number: 9027441
    Abstract: A gear includes a body defining a portion of a sphere and including at least one curved surface. A plurality of teeth extend from the at least one curved surface. The plurality of teeth are arranged in rows and columns that define a plurality of longitudinal and latitudinal arcuate channels along the curved surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2015
    Assignee: Tangent Robotics LLC
    Inventors: Jamie Gewirtz, Jason R. Halpern
  • Patent number: 9023060
    Abstract: A robotic surgery system comprises a mounting base, a plurality of surgical instruments, and an articulate support assembly. Each instrument is insertable into a patient through an associated minimally invasive aperture to a desired internal surgical site. The articulate support assembly movably supports the instruments relative to the base. The support generally comprises an orienting platform, a platform linkage movably supporting the orienting platform relative to the base, and a plurality of manipulators mounted to the orienting platform, wherein each manipulator movably supports an associated instrument.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2015
    Assignee: Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas G. Cooper, Stephen J. Blumenkranz, Gary S. Guthart, David J. Rosa
  • Patent number: 9021916
    Abstract: A robotic arm includes a driving unit, a first arm assembly connected to the driving unit, and a second arm assembly. The first arm includes two balls. The second arm assembly includes two arms and two intermediate members. Each intermediate member is secured to an end of one of the two arms. Each intermediate member defines a receiving recess. Each receiving recess has a spherical inner circumferential surface. Each ball is partially received in one of the two receiving recesses and abuts against the spherical inner circumferential surface. The two arms and the two intermediate members are capable of rotating about the balls. The driving unit drives the balls to move. The balls force the arms to move in a direction as a moving orientation of the balls, at the same time the arms rotating about the balls.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2015
    Assignees: Shenzhen Futaihong Precision Industry Co., Ltd., FIH (Hong Kong) Limited
    Inventors: Jie Gao, Jian-Ping Jin, Bing Yu
  • Patent number: 8875594
    Abstract: A humanoid robot includes a spherical joint with three degrees of freedom in rotation about three axes, the spherical joint connecting a first element and a second element of the robot, and three actuators for moving the spherical joint. The three actuators include a first actuator coupled to the first element, a second actuator coupled to the second element and the first actuator, and a third actuator coupled to the second element and the first actuator. The second actuator and the third actuator act in parallel and coupled together. The first actuator acts in series with the second actuator and the third actuator about a first axis of the three axes. An angular range of movement about the first axis is greater than an angular range of movement about either a second axis or a third axis of the three axes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2014
    Assignee: BIA
    Inventors: Samer Alfayad, Fathi Ben Ouezdou, Fay├žal Namoun
  • Patent number: 8834489
    Abstract: A robotic surgery system comprises a mounting base, a plurality of surgical instruments, and an articulate support assembly. Each instrument is insertable into a patient through an associated minimally invasive aperture to a desired internal surgical site. The articulate support assembly movably supports the instruments relative to the base. The support generally comprises an orienting platform, a platform linkage movably supporting the orienting platform relative to the base, and a plurality of manipulators mounted to the orienting platform, wherein each manipulator movably supports an associated instrument.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2014
    Assignee: Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas G. Cooper, Stephen J. Blumenkranz, Gary S. Guthart, David J. Rosa
  • Publication number: 20140153168
    Abstract: A display system includes a display panel that displays information and a movement apparatus that moves the display panel. The movement apparatus includes: a slide mechanism configured to move the display panel linearly relative to a base chassis; a right-and-left tilt mechanism configured to change an angle of a display surface of the display panel in a right-and-left direction; an up-and-down tilt mechanism configured to change an angle of the display surface of the display panel in an up-and-down direction; and a rotation mechanism configured to rotate the display panel on a rotation axis orthogonal to the display surface of the display panel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 14, 2013
    Publication date: June 5, 2014
    Inventor: Masashi HIDA
  • Patent number: 8516919
    Abstract: A robot includes a base a movable platform, a plurality of control arms, a first actuator, a plurality of second actuators, and a rotation mechanism. The plurality of control arms are rotatably connected to the base and the movable platform respectively. The second actuators are configured to respectively drive the control arms to swing. The rotation mechanism includes a shaft rotated by the first actuator. The shaft is rotatable relative to the base and the movable platform is positioned around at least two axes. The at least two axes include two axes substantially perpendicular to each other. The shaft is slidable relative to the base.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2013
    Assignees: Hong Fu Jin Precision Industry (ShenZhen) Co., Ltd., Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Yong Feng
  • Patent number: 8401349
    Abstract: An approach is provided for an automated patch panel. A command is received to change a connection state of an optic patch cord. A robotic arm is controlled to change the connection state of the optic patch cord with respect to a particular port of a plurality of ports disposed about a disk-shaped face of a docking panel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2013
    Assignee: Verizon Patent and Licensing Inc.
    Inventor: David Z. Chen
  • Patent number: 8326590
    Abstract: A method for simulating a movement zone of a robot having at least one data processing installation, simulating at least one movement path of the robot, comprises providing a number of selectable points on the at least one movement path of the robot, calculating a braking path for each of the selectable points, calculating a virtual movement zone based on the braking paths and a maximum position reachable by the robot for the respective at least one movement path, and carrying out the simulation of functions of the robot off-line using a software module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2012
    Assignee: ABB Technology AG
    Inventors: Soenke Kock, Adam Loeschner, Christoph Winterhalter, Kevin Behnisch, Roland Krieger
  • Patent number: 8302281
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for providing motor vehicle sub-assemblies with unrestricted model mix and quick changeover between models. The apparatus includes a track; a carriage mounted for longitudinal movement along the track between first and second positions; and first and second turrets rotatably mounted on the carriage at longitudinally spaced locations and each including a plurality of circumferentially spaced individual faces and unique tooling fixtures on the respective faces for receiving unique work piece components corresponding to a plurality of motor vehicle body styles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2012
    Assignee: Comau, Inc.
    Inventor: Velibor Kilibarda
  • Publication number: 20120227531
    Abstract: A telescopic tilting device 12 comprises a telescopic arm 14 which is extendable and retractable along an arcuate path 16. Preferably, the telescopic arm 14 includes two arcuate members 22, 24 which are telescopically slidable relative to each other. More preferably, the device further comprises a drive unit 20 having a flexible belt 43 for moving the telescopic arm 14. There is also provided an endoscope holding device 10 which has such a telescopic tilting device 12.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 23, 2012
    Publication date: September 13, 2012
    Inventors: Arunkumar SUBRAMANIAN, Kabilan Santhanam, Ning Tang
  • Patent number: 8256320
    Abstract: A device for handling and/or performing work operations on objects comprises: at least a first arm (2) comprising a first end (2a) for supporting a tool (3) for moving or working; means for supporting and moving (4) the first arm (2) which comprise at least a first linear electric motor (5), developing on a closed path (P), for moving the first arm (2) along a circular trajectory (91), and at least a second linear electric motor (6), to which the first arm (2) is directly connected, developing in an arched trajectory (92). The first (5) and the second (6) linear electric motors cooperate to move the first arm (2).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2012
    Assignee: Motor Power Company S.R.L.
    Inventors: Paolo Mignano, Claudio Bianchini
  • Patent number: 8210068
    Abstract: A rotation mechanism includes a flange, a shaft, a first swing member, and a second swing member. The shaft extends along a first axis. The first swing member is rotatably connected to and received in the flange around a second axis substantially perpendicular to the first axis. The second swing member is rotatably connected to and received in the first swing member around a third axis substantially perpendicular to the first axis and the second axis. The shaft extends through the flange, the first swing member, and the second swing member. The shaft is non-rotatably and slidably received in the second swing member. A robot using the rotation mechanism is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2012
    Assignees: Hong Fu Jin Precision Industry (ShenZhen) Co., Ltd., Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Yong Feng
  • Patent number: 8099189
    Abstract: Ball robot comprising a shell, a diametric main axle, at least one pendulum, and a drive mechanism comprising at least two drive motors, wherein the drive motors are arranged on the pendulum(s) in the vicinity of the inner surface of the shell. There is also provided a ball robot with a ball shaped shell, a diametric axle attached to the shell concentric with the main axis of rotation of the shell, and a drive mechanism located inside the shell and supported by the diametric axle, wherein the diametric axle is arranged to accommodate for dimensional changes of the shell along the main axis of rotation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 17, 2012
    Assignee: Rotundus AB
    Inventors: Viktor Kaznov, Fredrik Bruhn, Per Samuelsson, Lars Stenmark
  • Patent number: 8020465
    Abstract: A parallel spherical mechanism with two degrees of freedom for connecting a body to a fixed base in such a manner as to enable it to be oriented in three dimensions by turning about a first axis that is fixed relative to said fixed base, and about a second axis that is fixed relative to said body for orienting, these two axes intersecting at a center of spherical motion situated in said body for orienting, wherein: it comprises at least four links, each of said links being connected to said fixed base via a first connection point and to said body for orienting via a second connection point, and each link belonging to a first type or a second type, there being at least one link of each type, in which: in the link(s) of the first type, the first connection point is at any point of said fixed base, and the second connection point coincides with said center of spherical motion situated in said body for orienting: and in the link(s) of the second type, the first connection point lies on said first axis and the sec
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2011
    Assignee: Agence Spatiale Europeenne
    Inventors: Rocco Vertechy, Carlo Menon, Vincenzo Parenti Castelli
  • Patent number: 7988912
    Abstract: A microtiter plate transport device is configured to grip a microtiter plate in a first location. The microtiter plate transport device is configured to make a vertical approach to the microtiter plate and grip the microtiter plate in either a portrait orientation or a landscape orientation along either the opposing longer sides or the opposing shorter sides of the microtiter plate. The device comprises a Cartesian coordinate robot including a first gripping member and a second gripping member opposed to the first gripping member. The first gripping member and the second gripping member are supported by an arm configured to move along a vertical axis which extends between the first gripping member and the second gripping member. The first gripping member and the second gripping member are configured to rotate about the vertical axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2011
    Assignee: Beckman Coulter, Inc.
    Inventors: Samuel H. Rizzotte, Paul N. Avgerinos, Donald A. Turner
  • Publication number: 20100122602
    Abstract: A parallel kinematic positioning system 10 (PKPS 10) that is comprised of a stationary base plate (12) and an upper movable platform (28) to which is attached a workpiece or an instrument. Between the stationary base plate (12) and the upper movable platform (28) are positionally attached six strut assemblies (50). The six strut assemblies operate a hexapod that include in combination, a counterbalance subassembly (111), a servo motor subassembly (134), a bearing and encoder subassembly (156) and an electronics circuit (190). The combination accurately and repeatably positions the upper movable platform (28) within six degrees of freedom relative to the base plate (12).
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 17, 2008
    Publication date: May 20, 2010
    Inventors: Sacha L. Marcroft, Andre' Perrin, Robert Domes, Marc Webster, Fred L. Ansaldi
  • Publication number: 20100036525
    Abstract: A method for operating a system including at least two robots for handling parts and a robot control unit arranged for control of said at least two robots. Each of the robots is arranged with a parts handler device including a rigid arm with one end connected to the end element of an arm of the robot by a first swivel arranged for radial movement of the rigid arm in relation to the end element. Each of the robots is also arranged with a gripper connected to the rigid arm by a second swivel arranged for free, passive rotation of the gripper in relation to the rigid arm. The method includes generating instructions for the at least two robots to pick and/or move and/or place a part and sending the instructions to each robot simultaneously.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 19, 2007
    Publication date: February 11, 2010
    Applicant: ABB RESEARCH LTD.
    Inventors: Ramon Casanelles, Francisco Cortes Grau
  • Publication number: 20090003983
    Abstract: An articulated robot having a low lowest posture, a long up-down stroke, and such rigidity that the predetermined positional accuracy can be secured is provided. It includes a first arm (42) which is rotatable about a first horizontal axis (43), a second arm (44) which is rotatable about a second horizontal axis (45) at the other end of the first arm (42), a third arm (46) which is rotatable about a third horizontal axis (47) at the other end of the second arm (44), an up-down table (48) which is rotatable about a fourth horizontal axis (49) at the other end of the third arm (46), a fourth arm which is rotatable about the first horizontal axis (43) and rotatable about the second horizontal axis (45) at its other end, a first parallel link mechanism (53), a second parallel link mechanism (56), and a third parallel link mechanism (58).
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 22, 2005
    Publication date: January 1, 2009
    Inventors: Kentaro Tanaka, Satoshi Sueyoshi, Eiji Tanaka, Kouji Tsukuda
  • Publication number: 20080264195
    Abstract: An industrial robot including a drive package with a motor and a gear between an output shaft of the motor and a third shaft of the robot in immediate proximity to the third shaft for rotation of an upper arm of the robot relative to a lower arm. The gear is a multistage gear transmission with parallel gear-wheel axes and one of the gear wheels of the gear is secured to the third shaft.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 13, 2006
    Publication date: October 30, 2008
    Applicant: ABB AB
    Inventors: Jan Larsson, Karl-Gunnar Johnsson, Mars Olsson, Bo Toresson, Stig Persson, Tommi Paananen
  • Patent number: 7386408
    Abstract: A parallel kinematic machine has a parallel kinematic mechanism including an end effecter and a parallel link mechanism. A numerical control device controls a position and orientation of the end effecter based on kinematics of the parallel kinematic mechanism. A posture setter sets an adjustment tool on the end effecter in a known posture in a reference coordinate system defined outside the parallel kinematic mechanism based on a measurement method. A data acquirer acquires data in accordance with a measurement method selecting code for designating the measurement method used by the posture setter in setting the adjustment tool in the known posture, and defines a correlation between kinematic parameters for the parallel kinematic mechanism and the reference coordinate system. A calculator calculates the kinematic parameters based on the acquired data by using a relational expression describing forward kinematics of the parallel kinematic mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2008
    Inventors: Nobutaka Nishibashi, Kazuaki Yagi
  • Patent number: 7303063
    Abstract: A sequential stepped movement staging device comprises six legs 70 of equal length extending radially from a central sphere 46 in an X-Y-Z orthogonal relationship. The sphere 46 and legs 70 are held in a horizontally fixed position relative to a support surface 14 by a holder including a primary retaining member 40, a secondary retaining member 74 fixed in superposition to the primary retaining member 40, and an alignment cylinder 84. The secondary retaining member 74 is slidably disposed in the alignment cylinder 84 to allow for vertical movement of the sphere 46, legs 70, and retaining members 40, 74. One of six actuating rods 94 pushes down on one of three upwardly extending legs 70H thereby rotating the sphere 46 and causing two of three downwardly descending legs 70L to move a work surface 16 capable of horizontal sliding movement over the support surface 14 from a first position to a second position. In one embodiment of the invention shown in FIG.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2007
    Inventor: Franklin D. Neu
  • Patent number: 6757985
    Abstract: Apparatus for the precise positioning of an object such as a work platform relative to a base, comprising, for each of three orthogonal axes, a flexure coupling between the work platform and the base, at least one of the flexure couplings having a rotary bearing and rotary positioning device where it connects with the work platform or the base. The apparatus provides precise positioning in up to three orthogonal rotational axes and up to three linear axes, and it is useful in the electro-optics industry.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2004
    Assignee: KFH Design Limited
    Inventor: Kenneth Frank Hall
  • Patent number: 6592315
    Abstract: A robotic self-feeding device uses a multiplicity of dishes, utensils and control methods to handle a wide variety of food, including sandwiches. Its operating sequence has a hover mode in which a utensil is automatically steered over a food holder and is constrained from moving away from the food holder. The user points to the desired food with the utensil and triggers pickup which is automatically accomplished. Its gripper can operate tong utensils to grasp food. It can cut food. The process of eating is thus easy and intuitive for people who may have a wide variety of severe paralysis disabilities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2003
    Inventor: William Joseph Osborne, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6243624
    Abstract: A compliant controller implements a biological model of a primate muscle so as to provide simultaneous position and force control with nonlinear damping for an actuator. The compliant controller uses one or more position sensors but does not require the use of a force sensor to provide force control. The compliant controller implements a force determining algorithm that is a function of an initial actuator position, a subsequently sensed actuator position, a desired actuator position and a position calculated from a nonlinear damping function. The algorithm updates or resets the initial actuator position or the calculated position depending upon the amount of actuator movement sensed. The compliant controller in accordance with the force determining algorithm and resetting of the various position values allows a desired position to be quickly attained while allowing the controller to compliantly respond to the presence or removal of an unknown or unexpected disturbing force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2001
    Assignee: Northwestern University
    Inventors: Chi-haur Wu, Der-Tsai Lee
  • Patent number: 5890656
    Abstract: The present invention provides a robotic dispensing apparatus comprising a gear pump operably coupled to a rotatable element positioned along the sixth axis of a multi-axis robot such that the gear pump is driven by the multi-axis robot. In one embodiment of the present invention, a sixth axis motor of the multi-axis robot drives the rotatable element and a dispense valve communicates with the gear pump for receiving and dispensing viscous material from the gear pump. Preferably, a flexible coupling interconnects the gear pump and the rotatable element and a manifold and piping system cooperate to deliver the viscous material pumped by the gear pump to the dispense valve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 6, 1999
    Assignee: ABB Flexible Automation Inc.
    Inventor: Thomas A. Fuhlbrigge
  • Patent number: 5668432
    Abstract: A moving member 2 is rotatably and slidably arranged in a holder 11 having a spherical inner surface 11a. An inertia body 5 is connected to the moving member 2 via a supporting member 4. At a location opposite the inertia body 5, an arm 3 extends so that it is directed outwardly via an opening of the holder. A piezo electric actuator 63 is arranged between the rotating member 2 and the supporting member 4. An elongation of the actuator causes a relative swing movement between the inertia body 5 and moving member to occur in one direction such that a reaction force in the moving member 2 due to the inertia of the inertia body 5 exceeds the frictional force between the moving member 4 and the holder 11, which allows the moving member 4 to be displaced with respect to the holder 11.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 16, 1997
    Assignee: Nippondenso Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Takayuki Tominaga, Kouji Senda, Takaharu Idogaki, Takashi Kaneko, Hitoshi Kanayama
  • Patent number: 5527390
    Abstract: A treatment system is disclosed, which has a treatment apparatus for performing a predetermined treatment for a planar workpiece contained in a carrier, and a first air-tight carrier storage chamber for storing the carrier. The treatment apparatus has an air-tight second carrier storage chamber. An inert gas supply pipe and an exhaust pipe are connected to each of the treatment apparatus, the first carrier storage chamber, and the second carrier storage chamber. An open/close valve and an open/close device are connected to each of the inert gas supply pipes and the exhaust pipes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 18, 1996
    Assignees: Tokyo Electron Kabushiki, Tokyo Electron Tohoku Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yuji Ono, Katsuhiko Mihara
  • Patent number: 5312220
    Abstract: An industrial robot is provided with robot hands (44, 46) capable of being moved by turning actions between a workpiece handling position to which a workpiece is transported and at which the workpiece is fed to the chucking device (10) of a machine tool and a standby position away from the workpiece handling position. The robot also incorporates a robot hand (42) capable of being turned in a plane at the workpiece handling position to align a workpiece with the chucking device (10) of the machine tool, and a pneumatic cylinder actuator (48) capable of linearly moving the robot hand (42) toward the chucking device (10) and away from the chucking device (10) so as to remove a workpiece from the chucking device (10). The industrial robot can be readily fixed to the bed of the machine tool by bolts, for example.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 1992
    Date of Patent: May 17, 1994
    Assignee: Fanuc Ltd.
    Inventors: Nobutoshi Torii, Ryo Nihei
  • Patent number: 5276390
    Abstract: A hybrid position and force control system for a robotic manipulator. A displacement error signal of an end effector such as a robotic hand is multiplied by a pseudo-inverse of a matrix product of a selection matrix and a Jacobian matrix to provide a joint displacement error signal in the coordinates of the various joints of the manipulator. The system may be tuned for obstacle avoidance and the like by means of a joint tuning signal having displacement and force components each produced by multiplying a user-provided tuning signal by a matrix difference between an identity matrix and a matrix product of a pseudo-inverse of the Jacobian mattrix and the Jacobian matrix.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 1993
    Date of Patent: January 4, 1994
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventors: William D. Fisher, M. Shahid Mujtaba
  • Patent number: 5219263
    Abstract: A transporter or transport robot especially for transporting workpieces between presses has a cantilever arm swingable about a vertical first axis on a stationary base and a horizontal second axis in a common plane. A linear positioner is swingable at a free end of this cantilever arm about a vertical third axis and carries a gripper head on which the gripper is mounted for rotation about further axes. The workpiece can thus be swung across the first vertical axis to maintain its position along a line between the presses if the linear positioner and cantilever arm will swing in opposite senses. The actuator for the angular displacement may be electrical or hydraulic and a linear motor can be provided for the linear positioner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 1992
    Date of Patent: June 15, 1993
    Assignee: THR-Bilsing GmbH
    Inventors: Otto Stuckmann, Alfred Bilsing, Klaus Stanzel
  • Patent number: 5115178
    Abstract: Herein disclosed is a gravity compensating mechanism for an articulated type industrial robot having upper and lower arms whirling in the direction of gravity. The upper and lower arm gravity compensating mechanism includes a cam mechanism and an elastic member in the robot to solve problems: that the whirling range of the robot arms is narrowed by the spring means of the gravity compensating mechanism; that the gravity compensating mechanism is disposed outside of the robot arms to restrict the working space; and that it is difficult to disposed the gravity compensating mechanism for the upper arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 1990
    Date of Patent: May 19, 1992
    Assignee: Seiko Instruments Inc.
    Inventor: Tsuyoshi Umeda
  • Patent number: 5085556
    Abstract: An industrial robot apparatus for palletizing or depalletizing loads onto or from a pallet, having a robot body, a slider supported on the robot body and movable in a first direction, a mechanism for moving the slider, a first arm provided on one end of the slider and rotatable parallel to a plane perpendicular to the first direction, a first motor for rotating the first arm, a second arm provided on a distal end of the first arm, rotatable parallel to the perpendicular plane and substantially extendible and retractable, a second motor for rotating the second arm, an extension/retraction mechanism for substantially extending and retracting the second arm, a wrist provided on a distal end of the second arm, rotatable parallel to the perpendicular plane and used to hold a load; and a third motor for rotating the wrist.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 1990
    Date of Patent: February 4, 1992
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Denki K.K.
    Inventor: Sadayuki Ohtomi
  • Patent number: 5060532
    Abstract: A universal joint boom assembly comprising two boom segments having paired eared ends connected end to end by means of a universal joint with one of its set of ears parallel to an X axis and the other set of ears parallel to a Y axis which is perpendicular to the X axis. An offset X axis hydraulic assembly and an offset Y axis hydraulic assembly interconnects the boom segments to cause pivoting of the boom universal joint so as to lean a boom segment in the direction of the X and Y axes respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 1990
    Date of Patent: October 29, 1991
    Inventor: Sidney L. Barker
  • Patent number: 5028195
    Abstract: A horizontal/vertical conversion transporting apparatus, wherein a mechanism for variably changing a distance between upper and lower boat hands for clamping an article therebetween is mounted on a conversion arm, the conversion arm is vertically movable along a support arm, and at the same time, the conversion arm is rotatable within the plane of vertical movement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 1990
    Date of Patent: July 2, 1991
    Assignee: Tel Sagami Limited
    Inventors: Katsumi Ishii, Atsushi Wada
  • Patent number: 5019762
    Abstract: An industrial robot apparatus has a plurality of robots mounted for movement along a pathway. When a malfunction sensor detects a malfunction of one of the robots, a withdrawal controller withdraws the malfunctioning robot from the pathway, and the operation usually performed by the malfunctioning robot is allotted to one or more of the remaining normal robots by an operation allotter. A normal robot to which an operation is allotted is controlled by a hand replacement controller to replace its detachable hand with a hand corresponding to that of the malfunctioning robot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 1990
    Date of Patent: May 28, 1991
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Hisao Kato
  • Patent number: 4979127
    Abstract: An automatic setting method is provided, in which the position of a tool tip point in a coordinate system set for a faceplate of a robot, can be set easily and accurately. The robot is caused to assume different postures while maintaining the tool tip point of a tool (2) at one point (4) within a space in which the robot is installed. Four or more coordinate positions of a faceplate center point (3) corresponding to the individual postures of the robot are given for instruction. Subsequently, a spherical surface (5) passing through these instruction positions is determined by the method of least squares, and the position of the tool tip point in the faceplate coordinate system is calculated and set on the basis of a calculated value of the position of the center of curvature of the spherical surface, the individual instruction coordinate positions, and tool posture vectors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 1989
    Date of Patent: December 18, 1990
    Assignee: Fanuc Ltd
    Inventors: Toru Mizuno, Ryuichi Hara, Hiroji Nishi
  • Patent number: 4960271
    Abstract: A cantilever mounted table for an X-ray patient undergoing procedures requiring tilting the table head to foot or canting the table about its longitudinal axis allows a medical team free axis to one side and an end of the patient, and provides an improved collision sensing switch in the event the table strikes an obstruction below.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 1988
    Date of Patent: October 2, 1990
    Assignee: John K. Grady
    Inventor: John P. Sebring
  • Patent number: 4922430
    Abstract: A method is provided for controlling the movement of an object 1, 61, in an environment 64. The method involves making predictions of collisions, given the outlines of the object and the environment, so that avoiding action can be taken. The object and environment are modelled as clusters of interpenetrating spherical bubbles, the model comprising the relative positions of the centers 6, 7, 8, 9, and 21 to 28 inclusive of the bubbles and their respective radii. The model simplifies the prediction of the point of collision of two such modelled objects by examining the collisions between bubbles only. An early, safe, approximate prediction of the collision can be obtained using Newton's approximation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 1987
    Date of Patent: May 1, 1990
    Assignee: U.S. Philips Corporation
    Inventor: Peter R. Wavish
  • Patent number: 4801239
    Abstract: Arm device adapted to move and position a first basic part (6) relatively to a second basic part (4), comprising at least three arms (1,2,3,7) capable of being extended and shortened in a controlled manner, said arms being free to pivot in attachments (5) on the second basic part, while one attachment on the first basic part is rigid, and one of said arms is torisonally rigid. A third basic part (15) is connected to the first basic part through a joint (16), and at least one auxiliary arm (12,13) is at one end connected to one of the arms (7) through a joint, while the other end of the auxiliary arm is connected to the third basic part (15), and the lengths of the auxilary arm can be varied. Thereby is achieved that the arm device has a large number of degrees of freedom with respect to movement of the third basic part, which holds a tool or a tool holder. Moreover, the tool or the tool holder may be journalled for rotation relatively to the third basic part ( 15).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 1987
    Date of Patent: January 31, 1989
    Assignee: Multi Craft a.s.
    Inventor: Arne Austad
  • Patent number: 4775289
    Abstract: A robot (10) includes a statically-balanced direct-drive arm (14) having three degrees of freedom, all of which are independent articulated drive joints, the driving axes of two of which intersect at the center of gravity of the arm to eliminate gravity forces on the drive system without counterweights.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 1987
    Date of Patent: October 4, 1988
    Assignee: Regents of the University of Minnesota
    Inventor: Homayoon Kazerooni
  • Patent number: 4686402
    Abstract: A drive for inducing pivoting rotational and linear movements includes a drive unit comprising two coaxial motors and having a pivot axis and a rotation axis normal to the pivot axis, and a drive element formed as a linear drive. The drive unit operated to induce swinging movements about the pivot axis and rotational movements about the rotation axis is interchangeably and releasably connectable to the linear drive. A transmission device interconnects the drive unit with the linear drive.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 1986
    Date of Patent: August 11, 1987
    Assignee: Arnold Muller GmbH & Co KG
    Inventor: Karl-Heinz Wurst
  • Patent number: 4668155
    Abstract: The invention relates to an industrial robot of the kind comprising a body and an arm system pivotally journalled thereon. In order to achieve an improved and extended working range in a vertical space underneath or above the robot, the arm system is supported in the body via a substantially fork-shaped bearing bracket. Linear actuators intended for the operation of the arms are pivotally journalled in the bearing bracket so that, when the arm system assumes its neutral position, the actuators will be oriented primarily transversely to the longitudinal axis of a body and substantially parallel with the first arm pivotally journalled in the bearing bracket. Both actuators are disposed between the body and the first arm in all positions of the arm system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 1985
    Date of Patent: May 26, 1987
    Assignee: Asea AB
    Inventors: Herbert Kaufmann, Torbj/o/ rn Forss
  • Patent number: 4662813
    Abstract: A rotary mechanism for robot manipulators and the like has a housing and a shaft moveably disposed in the housing so that an end portion thereof is movable toward and away from the housing. A cylinder and piston assembly is connected to the shaft for moving the shaft. A robot manipulator is connected to the end portion and a mechanism for operating the manipulator is also carried there. A support is connected to the shaft and is carried therewith and is disposed at a distance from the end portion. A chain drive system is operatively associated with the shaft for rotating the shaft on the longitudinal axis thereof. A pair of braces are disposed in the housing and are engaged with the support for preventing rotation of the support during operation of the chain drive mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 1985
    Date of Patent: May 5, 1987
    Inventor: John F. Hartman
  • Patent number: 4643036
    Abstract: A power transmission device includes a rotatably mounted drive screw, a nut element which is movable along the drive screw, and a pair of links which connect the nut element to a driven member. The links are rigidly connected to each other by a torsionally stiff member to prevent relative angular movement therebetween.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 1985
    Date of Patent: February 17, 1987
    Assignee: Asea AB
    Inventor: Karl-Erik Forslund
  • Patent number: 4628765
    Abstract: A robotic wrist joint comprises a spherical member which is mounted within a ring shaped housing for rotational movement in any direction. A control pin extends from an outer surface of the spherical member. A first semi-circular yoke is pivotally mounted to the ring shaped housing and carries a first track. A second yoke is provided in a position radially inwardly of the first yoke. The second yoke is also semi-circular and is mounted for rotation on the housing about an axis perpendicular to the rotational axis of the first yoke. The second yoke carries a second track. The control pin extends into both the first and the second track so that the spherical member can be brought into any desired location by selectively pivoting the yokes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 1985
    Date of Patent: December 16, 1986
    Assignee: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Inventors: Robert Y. Dien, Ethan C. Luce
  • Patent number: 4613278
    Abstract: The conveyor robot which, in particular, is intended for being mounted between presses, comprises a double arm (14) that is rotatable about a central, vertical axis (12) and swingable about a central, horizontal axis (16). Both ends of the double arm (14) support engaging members (26) which, independently of one another, are extendable to opposite sides. The double arm (14) is formed with an articulated joint the axis of which coincides with the central, horizontal axis (16). The two parts (36,38) of the double arm (14) separated by the articulated joint are interconnected by a cross-bar (28) variably adjustable in length.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 1983
    Date of Patent: September 23, 1986
    Inventor: Alfred Bilsing
  • Patent number: 4579558
    Abstract: A novel mechanical hip joint for attaching a robotic leg to a body member is described, which comprises, a housing adapted for connection to the body member, a spherical socket defined within the housing, a ball joint received by the socket for rotational movement about a first horizontal axis, a bearing member rigidly interconnecting the leg and the ball joint and presenting a bearing surface confronting the housing and socket, and a motor interconnecting the housing and bearing surface for selectively imparting rotary movement to the leg, about a second horizontal axis transverse of said first axis, between first and second angular limits.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 1984
    Date of Patent: April 1, 1986
    Inventor: James L. Ramer
  • Patent number: 4547119
    Abstract: A robotic system including a manipulator arm for moving a device to a predetermined point within a working volume under control of microprocessor based control unit. The manipulator arm includes various sections and joints defining a base, a shoulder, an arm and a wrist. The wrist is jointed to pivot about a pitch axis and a roll axis. The manipulator is arranged to pivot the arm about the base axis and shoulder axis, which axes intersect at a common point. The arm includes a section which is extendable through the use of telescoping links. The wrist is mounted on the end of the telescoping links, with the pitch and roll axes intersecting at a second point. The second point lies along the extension axis of the arm links and is spaced from the shoulder-base axis intersection point. The links forming the telescoping section are arranged to move in unison with each other. A motor and associated harmonic drives are provided to effect the motion at the joints.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 1983
    Date of Patent: October 15, 1985
    Assignee: United States Robots, Inc.
    Inventors: Peter E. Chance, Mitchell Weiss
  • Patent number: 4541060
    Abstract: A path control method and apparatus which are well-suited especially for application to articulated machine tools and industrial robots having path-controlled parts, using commands calculated from teach point information and orders calculated from the commands by operations performed without coordinate transformations so that a large number of path points can be evaluated without considerably lengthening an operating period of time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 1983
    Date of Patent: September 10, 1985
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventor: Takashi Kogawa