Flaccid Drive Element Patents (Class 901/21)
  • Patent number: 9956092
    Abstract: A method couples a body worn apparatus and a prosthetic with the body of a person. The body worn apparatus has a plurality of activation elements arranged in at least one suit bundle, and a substrate supporting the plurality of activation elements. The method also activates the at least one suit bundle to move the prosthetic.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2018
    Inventor: Daniel Theobald
  • Patent number: 9027431
    Abstract: An apparatus having a member that revolves about a remote center of motion (RCM) and a base link coupled to a mounting fixture. A first and second link are pivotably coupled to the member at respective distances from the RCM and are translatable relative to the base link along a first direction, at a fixed ratio of displacement. The ratio of respective distances equals a fixed ratio of displacement. The apparatus has a translational motion generator for a first and second element along parallel opposing directions. The translational motion generator is disposed on the first link and enables motion parallel to the first direction. The base link is fixed in position, the first element is fixed to the base link and the second element is fixed to the second link, such that the first and second link may translate relative to the base link with fixed ratio of displacement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2015
    Assignee: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
    Inventors: Hsiao-Wei Tang, Hendrik Van Brussel, Jan Peirs, Thierry Janssens
  • Patent number: 9016744
    Abstract: A mechanical capstan amplifier. The mechanical capstan amplifier (60) having a first tensioner (64) with a first actuating rod (72) extending therefrom. The first tensioner (64) is configured to rotate the first actuating rod (72). The amplifier (60) also includes a drive motor (62) having a drive rod (78) extending therefrom. The drive motor (62) is configured to rotate the drive rod (78). A first cord (66), extending between the first actuating rod (72) and a first load to be moved also extends at least partially around the drive rod (78). Actuation of the first tensioner (64) causes the first cord (66) to tighten around the drive rod (78) and moves the load.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2015
    Assignee: Ohio University
    Inventor: Michael Starkey
  • Patent number: 9014856
    Abstract: In one embodiment of the invention, a control system for a robotic surgical instrument is provided including a torque saturation limiter, a torque to current converter coupled to the torque saturation limiter, and a motor coupled to the torque to current converter. The torque saturation limiter receives a desired torque signal for one or more end effectors and limits the desired torque to a range between an upper torque limit and a lower torque limit generating a bounded torque signal. The torque to current converter transforms a torque signal into a current signal. The motor drives an end effector of one or more end effectors to the bounded torque signal in response to the first current signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Assignee: Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott Manzo, Nitish Swarup
  • Publication number: 20150096392
    Abstract: The invention concerns a flexible transmission (1 and 1?) intended to be disposed between a motor member imposing a rotation movement and a receiving member receiving the rotation movement via the flexible transmission, the transmission comprising a flexible sheath (2) in which a flexible shaft (3) extends, bearings (4) with rolling elements being regularly interposed between the flexible sheath and the flexible shaft to guide the latter in rotation in the flexible sheath. The invention also concerns robotic arms provided with such a flexible transmission, and a cable actuator having a motor offset using such a flexible transmission.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 26, 2013
    Publication date: April 9, 2015
    Applicant: COMMISSARIAT A L'ENERGIE ATOMQUE ET AUX ENERGIES ALTRNATIVES
    Inventor: Philippe Garrec
  • Patent number: 9002518
    Abstract: In one embodiment of the invention, a control system for a robotic surgical instrument is provided including a torque saturation limiter, a torque to current converter coupled to the torque saturation limiter, and a motor coupled to the torque to current converter. The torque saturation limiter receives a desired torque signal for one or more end effectors and limits the desired torque to a range between an upper torque limit and a lower torque limit generating a bounded torque signal. The torque to current converter transforms a torque signal into a current signal. The motor drives an end effector of one or more end effectors to the bounded torque signal in response to the first current signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott Manzo, Nitish Swarup
  • Patent number: 8979152
    Abstract: A tendon-driven robotic gripper is disclosed for performing fingertip and enveloping grasps. One embodiment comprises two fingers, each with two links, and is actuated using a single active tendon. During unobstructed closing, the distal links remain parallel, creating exact fingertip grasps. Conversely, if the proximal links are stopped by contact with an object, the distal links start flexing, creating a stable enveloping grasp. The route of the active tendon and the parameters of the springs providing passive extension forces are optimized in order to achieve this behavior. An additional passive tendon is disclosed that may be used as a constraint preventing the gripper from entering undesirable parts of the joint workspace. A method for optimizing the dimensions of the links in order to achieve enveloping grasps of a large range of objects is disclosed and applied to a set of common household objects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: Willow Garage, Inc.
    Inventors: Matei Ciocarlie, Scott Stanford
  • Patent number: 8974376
    Abstract: An introducing device system includes: an insertion portion; a bending portion which is provided at the insertion portion; an operation portion through which an input operation is performed for bending the bending portion; a pulling member connected to the bending portion and pulled in accordance with the operation through the operation portion; a detection section that detects a moving state of the pulling member; a driving unit that rotationally drives; a driving force transmitting unit including an inner circumferential surface configured to be able to contact an outer circumferential surface of the driving unit, and an outer circumference on which the pulling member is wound, the driving force transmitting unit being reduced in diameter in accordance with pulling of the pulling member; and a driving unit control section controls the driving unit when the moving state detected by the detection section is different from a state determined in advance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2015
    Assignee: Olympus Medical Systems Corp.
    Inventor: Yasuhiro Okamoto
  • Patent number: 8910537
    Abstract: A holding arm apparatus 1 is configured to connect upper and lower timing pulleys 5A and 6A of a vertical arm unit 4 to each other with a timing belt 15, to widen the range of rotation angle of a horizontal arm unit 5 and allow the position and angle of an endoscope 20 held at a front end of the horizontal arm unit 5 to be widely changed. The horizontal arm unit 5 and a counterweight 6 turn by the same angle, to maintain a weight balance by the counterweight 6. Using the timing belt 15 reduces the total weight and operation noise of the holding arm apparatus 1. Accordingly, the apparatus is appropriate for a medical front.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2014
    Assignee: Mitaka Kohki Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Katsushige Nakamura, Masao Doi, Tatsuya Hashimoto, Masakazu Nakamura
  • Publication number: 20140318299
    Abstract: An apparatus for driving an articulating probe comprises an elongate probe constructed and arranged to articulate in at least one predetermined degree of motion and to transition from a flexible state to a rigid state, and a force transfer mechanism constructed and arranged to apply a force to the probe. The force is selected from the group consisting of a force that causes probe to articulate in the at least one predetermined degree of motion and a force that causes the probe to transition from the flexible state to the rigid state. The base structure is attached to portion of the force transfer mechanism and the elongate probe; the base structure comprising one or more stabilizing elements constructed and arranged to resist undesired movement of the probe caused by force from the force transfer mechanism.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 20, 2012
    Publication date: October 30, 2014
    Inventors: Arnold E. Oyola, Robert Anderson, Gabriel Johnston, Ian J. Darisse, Joseph A. Stand, Luis Bettencourt, Todd Franglois
  • Publication number: 20140294551
    Abstract: A substrate transport apparatus including a frame, a drive section connected to the frame and including at least one independently controllable motor, at least two substrate transport arms connected to the frame and comprising arm links arranged for supporting and transporting substrates, and a mechanical motion switch coupled to the at least one independently controllable motor and the at least two substrate transport arms for effecting the extension and retraction of one of the at least two substrate transport arms while the other one of the at least two substrate transport arms remains in a substantially retracted configuration.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 16, 2014
    Publication date: October 2, 2014
    Inventors: Christopher Hofmeister, Alexander G. Krupyshev, Krysztof A. Majczak, Martin Hosek, Jay Krishnasamy
  • Patent number: 8833197
    Abstract: A steerable multi-linked device may include a first multi-linked mechanism and a second multi-linked mechanism. At least one of the first multi-linked mechanism and the second multi-linked mechanism may include a first link, a plurality of intermediate links, a second link movably coupled to a second one of the intermediate links and a reinforcing member. A first one of the intermediate links may be movably coupled to the first link, and the reinforcing member may extend from a first end of a third one of the intermediate links toward a second end of the third one of the intermediate links.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2014
    Assignee: Carnegie Mellon University
    Inventors: Brett Zubiate, Howie Choset
  • Patent number: 8833827
    Abstract: A tendon-driven robotic gripper is disclosed for performing fingertip and enveloping grasps. One embodiment comprises two fingers, each with two links, and is actuated using a single active tendon. During unobstructed closing, the distal links remain parallel, creating exact fingertip grasps. Conversely, if the proximal links are stopped by contact with an object, the distal links start flexing, creating a stable enveloping grasp. The route of the active tendon and the parameters of the springs providing passive extension forces are optimized in order to achieve this behavior. An additional passive tendon is disclosed that may be used as a constraint preventing the gripper from entering undesirable parts of the joint workspace. A method for optimizing the dimensions of the links in order to achieve enveloping grasps of a large range of objects is disclosed and applied to a set of common household objects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2014
    Assignee: Willow Garage, Inc.
    Inventors: Matei Ciocarlie, Scott Stanford
  • Patent number: 8794100
    Abstract: A remote controlled actuator includes a spindle for holding a tool, a spindle guide section of an elongated configuration, a distal end member rotatably supporting the spindle, and a drive unit housing connected to a base end of the spindle guide section. The distal end member is fitted to the spindle guide section for alteration in attitude. The spindle guide section includes an outer shell pipe, a rotary shaft, and guide pipe. Within the guide pipe, an attitude altering member is inserted to alter the attitude of the distal end member. A connection device detachably connects the spindle guide section with the drive unit housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2014
    Assignee: NTN Corporation
    Inventors: Hiroshi Isobe, Takayoshi Ozaki
  • Patent number: 8776632
    Abstract: A serial robot includes a base, first and second segments, a proximal joint joining the base to the first segment, and a distal joint. The distal joint that joins the segments is serially arranged and distal with respect to the proximal joint. The robot includes first and second actuators. A first tendon extends from the first actuator to the proximal joint and is selectively moveable via the first actuator. A second tendon extends from the second actuator to the distal joint and is selectively moveable via the second actuator. The robot includes a transmission having at least one gear element which assists rotation of the distal joint when an input force is applied to the proximal and/or distal joints by the first and/or second actuators. A robotic hand having the above robot is also disclosed, as is a robotic system having a torso, arm, and the above-described hand.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Dalong Gao, Chris A. Ihrke
  • Patent number: 8777547
    Abstract: A substrate transporting robot apparatus is disclosed which is adapted to transport a substrate to and from a chamber of an electronic device processing system. The apparatus may include an upper arm rotatable in an X-Y plane, a forearm rotatable relative to the upper arm in the X-Y plane, and a wrist member rotatable relative to the forearm in the X-Y plane, the wrist member including an end effector adapted to carry a substrate. The wrist member may be subjected to independent rotation such that various degrees of yaw may be imparted to the wrist member. In some aspects, the independent rotation is provided without a motive power device (e.g., motor) being provided on the arms or wrist member, i.e., the wrist member may be remotely driven. Systems and methods using the robot apparatus are also provided as are numerous other aspects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Izya Kremerman, Jeffrey C. Hudgens
  • Publication number: 20140190305
    Abstract: An introducing device system includes: an insertion portion; a bending portion which is provided at the insertion portion; an operation portion through which an input operation is performed for bending the bending portion; a pulling member connected to the bending portion and pulled in accordance with the operation through the operation portion; a detection section that detects a moving state of the pulling member; a driving unit that rotationally drives; a driving force transmitting unit including an inner circumferential surface configured to be able to contact an outer circumferential surface of the driving unit, and an outer circumference on which the pulling member is wound, the driving force transmitting unit being reduced in diameter in accordance with pulling of the pulling member; and a driving unit control section controls the driving unit when the moving state detected by the detection section is different from a state determined in advance.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 29, 2014
    Publication date: July 10, 2014
    Applicant: OLYMPUS MEDICAL SYSTEMS CORP.
    Inventor: Yasuhiro OKAMOTO
  • Patent number: 8770905
    Abstract: The anthropomorphic force-reflective master arm is a light, anthropomorphic, back-drivable, six degree of freedom (DOF) master arm designed to control the motion of a remote slave device having arbitrary structure. Three of the link members are rotationally coupled to each other to form a handle, such that axes of rotation of each of the handle link members intersects at the user's hand position. The kinematics of the master arm is simplified to two independent sub-systems, which are the hand position and hand orientation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2014
    Assignees: King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, King Abdulazia City for Science and Technology
    Inventors: Mayez Al-Mouhamed, Nesar Merah
  • Patent number: 8714045
    Abstract: A robot joint driving apparatus and a robot having the same are capable of minimizing a load applied to a drive motor by rotating a ball nut part such that a ball screw part performs linear movement in a power transmission structure using a wire and the ball screw apparatus. The robot joint driving apparatus includes a reversible drive motor, a ball nut part rotated according to operation of the drive motor, a ball screw part performing linear movement according to rotation of the ball nut part, a wire connected to the ball screw part from both sides of the ball screw part, an idle pulley rotatably installed at one side of the wire, and a joint part rotatably installed at an opposite side of the wire.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2014
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Jeong Hun Kim, Young Bo Shim
  • Patent number: 8701519
    Abstract: A substrate handling robot having a robot body and a robot arm with an end effector is configured to exhibit angular (?), radial (R) and Z motion. A pair of coaxial shafts link the robot arm to respective motors dedicated to angular (?) and radial (R) motions. The motors are stationarily mounted with respect to the robot body. The shafts are rotatably supported by a floating platform which is motivated in the Z direction by a third motor also stationarily mounted with respect to the robot body. The third motor is coupled to the platform by a Z motion linkage. The first and second motors are coupled to the coaxial shafts by angular and radial motion linkages each of which includes primary and secondary timing belts whose relative motions are synchronized with the Z motion linkage to achieve controllable independent angular (?), radial (R) and Z motions in a simple, light-weight package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2014
    Assignee: Genmark Automation, Inc.
    Inventor: Alexander Todorov
  • Publication number: 20140083230
    Abstract: A robot having an overall structure inspired by the Octopus vulgaris is described. The robot has soft arms joined in a radial manner to a central support. The soft arms have the capability of lengthening, shortening and wrapping around in a coil-shape manner. The extremely simple movements and coordination of the soft arms are effective because of the interaction between the single actions. For example during locomotion, while some arms act as a support for stability, the others provide for thrusting allowing the robot to advance. Once near the target, some arms provide for stability whereas the others can bend so as to wrap around and transport external entities.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 2, 2012
    Publication date: March 27, 2014
    Inventors: Marcello Calisti, Andrea Arienti, Michele Giorelli, Barbara Mazzolai, Cecilia Laschi, Paolo Dario
  • Patent number: 8661927
    Abstract: A cable guide re-orders a plurality of cables. A first guide plate has a plurality of first guide holes that receive a plurality of cables in a first order. A second guide plate has a plurality of second guide holes that receive the plurality of cables in a different second order. An intermediate guide plate is located between the first and second guide plates. The intermediate guide plate has a plurality of intermediate guide holes. Each of the intermediate guide holes receives one of the plurality of cables and causes a change of direction in the cable to facilitate the change from the first to the second order. The intermediate guide plate may further include cable passages to allow some cables to pass through without changing direction. There may be more than one intermediate guide plate. The cables may change from a generally linear to a generally circular arrangement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2014
    Assignee: Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: S. Christopher Anderson, Thomas G. Cooper
  • Patent number: 8660695
    Abstract: Aspects of the subject technology relate to a robotic finger digit including a distal finger joint coupled between a distal finger part and a middle finger part, a middle finger joint coupled between the middle finger part and a proximal finger part and an extend tendon coupled at a first end to the distal finger joint, and coupled at a second end to an actuation device. In certain aspects, the robotic finger can further include a flex tendon coupled at a first end to the distal finger joint, and coupled at a second end to the actuation device, wherein the actuation device is configured to move the extend tendon and the flex tendon substantially the same distance in order to flex and/or extend the robotic finger digit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2014
    Assignee: The Shadow Robot Company Limited
    Inventors: Armando De La Rosa Tames, Graeme Richard Lawrence Walker, Jake Benjamin Goldsmith, John Hugo Elias, Matthew Paul Godden, Richard Martin Greenhill
  • Patent number: 8635929
    Abstract: A robot joint driving apparatus has an improved structure, a robot having the same, and a cable linkage method of the robot joint driving apparatus. In the robot joint driving apparatus, lines of a cable to drive a robot joint unit are connected plural times in parallel, thereby increasing torsional stiffness of the robot joint unit. Further, a cable fixing unit is provided on an output pulley, thereby preventing slippage of the cable on the output pulley. Moreover, the overall size of the robot joint driving apparatus is reduced due to an improved power transmission structure from a driving motor to the output pulley.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2014
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Soo Sang Yang, Youn Baek Lee, Hyun Sik Sim, Yeon Taek Oh
  • Patent number: 8635928
    Abstract: A robotic arm deployment apparatus is provided for a tip following robotic arm, of the type comprising a plurality of controllable segments (34) each comprising articulated links. The apparatus includes a straight guide portion (16) having a length at least equal to the length of each arm segment so that the arm control system can be calibrated as each segment passes through the guide.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2014
    Assignee: Oliver Crispin Robotics Limtied
    Inventors: Andrew Crispin Graham, Robert Oliver Buckingham
  • Publication number: 20140020499
    Abstract: The invention provides an improved method and robotic apparatus for applying a structural membrane lining in conduits. The remotely controlled robot comprises a series of segment blocks maintained in alignment by flexible linear rods supported in spherical swivel bushings. The rods allow for articulation as the robot negotiates bends. Segment blocks include radial guide finger pinions and guide fingers for concentric positioning. Fingers are of engineered plastics and brass to provide ballast weight for perpendicular alignment and contain high frequency air turbine vibrators. Steering vertebrae are included to maintain concentricity of the lining dissipation cup through bends. Also included are electric servo motors controlling cables and take up wheels controlling the angle of the segment blocks.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 25, 2013
    Publication date: January 23, 2014
    Applicant: Quest-Inspar LLC
    Inventor: Kent Weisenberg
  • Publication number: 20130340559
    Abstract: The invention provides an articulating mechanism useful, for example, for remote manipulation of various surgical instruments and diagnostic tools within, or to, regions of the body. Movement of segments at the proximal end of the mechanism results in a corresponding, relative movement of segments at the distal end of the mechanism. The proximal and distal segments are connected by a set of cables in such a fashion that each proximal segment forms a discrete pair with a distal segment. This configuration allows each segment pair to move independently of one another and also permits the articulating mechanism to undergo complex movements and adopt complex configurations. The articulating mechanisms may also be combined in such a way to remotely mimic finger movements for manipulation of an object or body tissue.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 28, 2013
    Publication date: December 26, 2013
    Applicant: Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: David J. Danitz, Adam Gold
  • Publication number: 20130319159
    Abstract: A system for releasably attaching a steerable disposable multi-linked device to a durable device may include a disposable portion and a durable portion. The disposable portion may include a connecting member connected to the disposable portion and the durable portion and a steerable multi-linked device. The steerable multi-linked device may include a first link, a plurality of intermediate links, a second link movably coupled to a second one of the intermediate links, and a cable which passes through the first link and intermediate links and extends beyond a first end of the first link. A first one of the intermediate links may be movably coupled to the first link. The durable portion may include an axial member which defines an opening therethrough and a feeder mechanism.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 16, 2013
    Publication date: December 5, 2013
    Applicant: Carnegie Mellon University
    Inventors: Brett Zubiate, Amir Degani, Howie Choset
  • Publication number: 20130312564
    Abstract: An arm unit having an improved configuration to simply change stiffness according to varying situations and a robot having the same are provided. The robot includes an arm unit, and a drive unit to drive the arm unit. The arm unit includes a plurality of links to come into rolling contact with one another via at least two regions thereof, and a plurality of wires penetrating the plurality of links to connect the links to one another.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 21, 2013
    Publication date: November 28, 2013
    Applicants: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Yong Jae KIM, Sang bae Kim, Shan bao Cheng, Karl Iagnemma
  • Patent number: 8584548
    Abstract: A robot arm assembly includes a first link, a second link, and a joint rotatably connecting the first link and the second link. The joint includes an actuator mounted on the first link, a harmonic drive including a wave generator, a flex spline fitting over the wave generator, and a circular spline engaging the flex spline, and a belt drive between the actuator and the harmonic drive. The flex spline is fixed to the first link, the circular spline is fixed to the second link, and the belt drive transmits the rotational movement from the actuator to the wave generator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2013
    Assignees: Hong Fu Jin Precision Industry (ShenZhen) Co., Ltd., Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Dong-Wei Gao, Zhen-Xing Liu
  • Patent number: 8578810
    Abstract: In accordance with various exemplary embodiments of the present teachings, a surgical device can include a first pair of articulably coupled links, a second pair of articulably coupled links, and a tension member coupled to the first pair of links and the second pair of links such that altering tension in the tension member exerts a force tending to articulate the first pair of links and the second pair of links so as to bend the first pair of links and the second pair of links. The surgical device can be configured such that the first pair of links has a lower resistance to bending than the second pair of links upon altering the tension in the tension member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2013
    Assignee: Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc.
    Inventor: Caitlin Q. Donhowe
  • Patent number: 8573090
    Abstract: A remote controlled actuator includes a spindle for holding a tool, a spindle guide section of an elongated configuration, a distal end member rotatably supporting the spindle, and a drive unit housing connected to a base end of the spindle guide section. The distal end member is fitted to the spindle guide section for alteration in attitude. The spindle guide section includes an outer shell pipe, a rotary shaft, and guide pipe. Within the guide pipe, an attitude altering member is inserted to alter the attitude of the distal end member. A connection device detachably connects the spindle guide section with the drive unit housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2013
    Assignee: NTN Corporation
    Inventors: Hiroshi Isobe, Takayoshi Ozaki
  • Patent number: 8561497
    Abstract: A wrist assembly (311) for a robotic arm or other mechanical device is provided. The wrist assembly comprises a first arm (313) which terminates in a first radius (317), a second arm (315) which terminates in a second radius (319), and a first band (331) that is devoid of weld joints and the extends around a portion of each of said first and second radii.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2013
    Assignee: Fabworx Solutions, Inc.
    Inventor: Richard J. Kent
  • Publication number: 20130239735
    Abstract: In one embodiment of the invention, a robotic arm is provided including a linkage assembly and a strap drive train. The linkage assembly includes first, second, third, and fourth links pivotally coupled in series together at first, second, and third joints to define a parallelogram with an insertion axis. The strap drive train includes first and second sets of straps coupled to the linkage assembly. As the linkage assembly is moved about a pitch axis, the first set of straps ensures the third link maintains the same angle relative to the first link, and the first and second set of straps ensures the fourth link maintains the same angle relative to the second link.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 8, 2013
    Publication date: September 19, 2013
    Applicant: INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERATIONS, INC.
    Inventors: Todd R. Solomon, Thomas G. Cooper
  • Publication number: 20130228031
    Abstract: The articulated multiple-axis robot structure according to the invention has a frame, an arm and a forearm, a shaft (15) for attaching a tool, an actuator commanding the pivoting of a slide-socket (14A), which is rotatable relative to the forearm and translatably connected to the forearm, an actuator commanding the pivoting a nut-socket (14B) that is rotatable relative to the forearm and connected in translation to the forearm and a coupling device capable of securing the sockets (14A, 14B) in rotation. This device comprises a coupling washer (18), arranged between the sockets (14A, 14B) and connected in rotation with a first socket from among the slide-socket (14A) and the nut-socket (14B).
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 1, 2013
    Publication date: September 5, 2013
    Applicant: STAUBLI FAVERGES
    Inventors: Vincent GERAT, Joel CONRAD, Eric SALLET
  • Patent number: 8523509
    Abstract: A robot has a structure in which finger joints do not interfere with each other. The robot includes a first actuator driving the finger joint, a first power transmission, a second actuator driving the finger joint, and a second power transmission. The first actuator and the first power transmission are coupled with a wrist joint so that the position of the first actuator and the first power transmission is changed. Accordingly, even if the wrist joint operates, the distance between the first actuator and the finger joint is constantly maintained.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2013
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kang Min Park, Ja Woo Lee, Yong-Jae Kim
  • Patent number: 8516918
    Abstract: A biomimetic mechanical joint for generating a variable torque between support members of a biomimetic robotic device, including a base support member, a rotary support member rotatably coupled to the base support member, and a variable-radius pulley operably coupled between the base support member and rotary support member. The variable-radius pulley comprises a sheave body having a variable radius and one or more tendon grooves formed in the circumferential outer surface. The mechanical joint further includes one or more flexible tendons and antagonistic actuator pairs, with each actuator pair being coupled to one or more tendons and configured to operate the tendon around the variable-radius pulley in either direction to create a variable torque between the base and rotary support members.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2013
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: Stephen C. Jacobsen, Marc X. Olivier, Brian J. Maclean
  • Patent number: 8511198
    Abstract: A robot arm system includes a support base, a first robot arm, a first driving mechanism, a second robot arm, a second driving mechanism, and a wrist assembly. The first driving mechanism drives the first robot arm to rotate around the first rotation axis. The second driving mechanism drives the second robot arm to rotate around the second rotation axis. The robot arm system further comprises a first wheel positioned on the support base, a second wheel positioned on the second robot arm, a third wheel positioned on the wrist assembly and rotatably connecting to the second robot arm, a first flexible belt connecting the first wheel with the second wheel, and a second flexible belt connecting the third wheel with the second wheel. The first wheel, the second wheel, and the third wheel have the same radius.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2013
    Assignees: Hong Fu Jin Precision Industry (ShenZhen) Co., Ltd., Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Guo-Qing Zhang
  • Publication number: 20130195586
    Abstract: A transmission mechanism includes: a drive pulley which is provided on a drive shaft and has external teeth with a predetermined pitch width; a driven pulley which is provided on a driven shaft and has external teeth with the pitch width; and a belt having internal teeth with the pitch width which engage with the external teeth of the drive pulley and the driven pulley. Further, the belt includes sub-belts having a periodic variation characteristic in which the pitch width varies periodically, and the sub-belts are arranged in a state where phases of the periodic variation characteristic thereof are shifted from each other.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 6, 2012
    Publication date: August 1, 2013
    Applicant: KABUSHIKI KAISHA YASKAWA DENKI
    Inventor: KABUSHIKI KAISHA YASKAWA DENKI
  • Patent number: 8498741
    Abstract: A humanoid robot includes a torso, a pair of arms, a neck, a head, a wrist joint assembly, and a control system. The arms and the neck movably extend from the torso. Each of the arms includes a lower arm and a hand that is rotatable relative to the lower arm. The wrist joint assembly is operatively defined between the lower arm and the hand. The wrist joint assembly includes a yaw axis and a pitch axis. The pitch axis is disposed in a spaced relationship to the yaw axis such that the axes are generally perpendicular. The pitch axis extends between the yaw axis and the lower arm. The hand is rotatable relative to the lower arm about each of the yaw axis and the pitch axis. The control system is configured for determining a yaw angle and a pitch angle of the wrist joint assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2013
    Assignees: GM Global Technology Operations, The United States of America as Represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Chris A. Ihrke, Lyndon Bridgwater, David M. Reich, Charles W. Wampler, II, Scott R. Askew, Myron A. Diftler, Vienny Nguyen
  • Patent number: 8483880
    Abstract: A robotic hand assembly comprising: a hand section comprising: at least one digit provided with at least one actuatable joint; and a control section comprising: at least one actuation device, the at least one actuation device comprising: a sensing module configured to sense a force applied to a tendon coupled at a first end to the at least one actuatable joint; and an actuation module configured to actuate the at least one actuatable joint.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2013
    Assignee: The Shadow Robot Company Limited
    Inventors: Armando de la Rosa Tames, Graeme Richard Lawrence Walker, Jake Benjamin Goldsmith, John Hugo Elias, Matthew Paul Godden, Richard Martin Greenhill
  • Patent number: 8467903
    Abstract: A humanoid robot includes a robotic hand having at least one finger. An actuation system for the robotic finger includes an actuator assembly which is supported by the robot and is spaced apart from the finger. A tendon extends from the actuator assembly to the at least one finger and ends in a tendon terminator. The actuator assembly is operable to actuate the tendon to move the tendon terminator and, thus, the finger.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2013
    Assignees: GM Global Technology Operations LLC, The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Chris A. Ihrke, David M. Reich, Lyndon Bridgwater, Douglas Martin Linn, Scott R. Askew, Myron A. Diftler, Robert Platt, Brian Hargrave, Michael C. Valvo, Muhammad E. Abdallah, Frank Noble Permenter, Joshua S. Mehling
  • Patent number: 8452453
    Abstract: A robot is provided with: a base section; three motors set on the base section; a support so set that an axial centerline is perpendicular to a surface of the base section; pulleys; three wires into which nonlinear springs are incorporated; an output shaft connected to a load; a differential mechanism having a pinion gear connected to the output shaft and also having an affixation member disposed at the upper end of the support; a universal joint disposed at the ring of the differential mechanism; and a wire guide disposed at the affixation member of the differential mechanism. Two side gears of the differential mechanism and two motors are connected in one-to-one correspondence by means of two wires through the pulleys, and the remaining motor and the universal joint are connected by means of the remaining wire which is passed through the wire guide.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2013
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Yaskawa Denki
    Inventors: Wennong Zhang, Hiroshi Nakamura
  • Patent number: 8452447
    Abstract: Telerobotic, telesurgical, and surgical robotic devices, systems, and methods selectively calibrate end effector jaws by bringing the jaw elements into engagement with each other. Commanded torque signals may bring the end effector elements into engagement while monitoring the resulting position of a drive system, optionally using a second derivative of the torque/position relationship so as to identify an end effector engagement position. Calibration can allow the end effector engagement position to correspond to a nominal closed position of an input handle by compensating for wear on the end effector, the end effector drive system, then manipulator, the manipulator drive system, the manipulator/end effector interfacing, and manufacturing tolerances.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2013
    Assignee: Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc.
    Inventor: Tom Nixon
  • Publication number: 20130118288
    Abstract: A robot arm assembly includes a supporting arm, first and second mechanical arms, a first driving member, a second driving member, a first transmission mechanism between the first mechanical arm and the first driving member, and a second transmission mechanism between the second mechanical arm and the second driving member. The first driving member drives the first transmission mechanism to rotate the first mechanical arm. The second driving member drives the second transmission mechanism to rotate the second mechanical arm. The first driving member and the second driving member are both carried in the supporting arm and are arranged side by side.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 15, 2012
    Publication date: May 16, 2013
    Inventor: ZHEN-XING LIU
  • Publication number: 20130091974
    Abstract: An articulated structure having a tubular inflatable casing that contains a fluid under pressure and that has a central axis along which there are defined at least one fixed-geometry segment and at least one variable-geometry segment, the arm including a deformation mechanism for deforming the variable-geometry segment, the casing and the deformation mechanism arranged so as to generate curvature of the variable-geometry segment in such a manner that the variable-geometry segment conserves a volume that is substantially constant. A robot arm including such a structure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 31, 2011
    Publication date: April 18, 2013
    Applicant: COMMISSARIAT A L'ENERGIE ATOMIQUE ET AUX ENERGIES ALTERNATIVES
    Inventors: Alain Riwan, Sebastien Voisembert
  • Patent number: 8414246
    Abstract: An intelligent modular hybrid robot arm system is usable with mobile robots, and is applicable to stationary industrial arms. The intelligent modular hybrid robot arm system provides a large work envelope and a controlled and directed rotational movement for a flexible snake robot arm. The intelligent modular hybrid robot arm system has the ability to change end effector tools and sensors. The platform computers have the ability to interact with other subsystems for coordinated as well as independent tasks. The flexibly snake robot arm can be covered with a flexible sensor network, or “skin”. The intelligent modular hybrid robot arm system can manage its energy use, stores the arm in a compact shape and uses a central support tube offering unobstructed arm access to all sectors of its working envelope.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2013
    Assignee: Cycogs, LLC
    Inventor: Wayland E. Tobey
  • Patent number: 8412376
    Abstract: A method is provided for distributing tension among tendons of a tendon-driven finger in a robotic system, wherein the finger characterized by n degrees of freedom and n+1 tendons. The method includes determining a maximum functional tension and a minimum functional tension of each tendon of the finger, and then using a controller to distribute tension among the tendons, such that each tendon is assigned a tension value less than the maximum functional tension and greater than or equal to the minimum functional tension. The method satisfies the minimum functional tension while minimizing the internal tension in the robotic system, and satisfies the maximum functional tension without introducing a coupled disturbance to the joint torques. A robotic system includes a robot having at least one tendon-driven finger characterized by n degrees of freedom and n+1 tendons, and a controller having an algorithm for controlling the tendons as set forth above.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2013
    Assignees: GM Global Technology Operations LLC, The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Inventors: Muhammad E. Abdallah, Robert Platt, Charles W. Wampler, II
  • Publication number: 20130061708
    Abstract: A robot arm mechanism includes a drive arm, a support arm, a transmission assembly and three tool portions. The support arm is rotatably connected to the drive arm. The three tool portions are rotatably mounted on the support arm. The transmission assembly includes a first bevel gear, a second bevel gear and a transmission belt. The first bevel gear is mounted on the drive arm, the second bevel gear is mounted on the support arm and engages with the first bevel gear. The transmission belt is driven by the second bevel gear and imparts rotary motion to the plurality of tool portions simultaneously.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 23, 2012
    Publication date: March 14, 2013
    Applicants: HON HAI PRECISION INDUSTRY CO., LTD., HONG FU JIN PRECISION INDUSTRY (ShenZhen) CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Bo LONG
  • Publication number: 20130060383
    Abstract: The invention relates to an industrial robot having an apparatus for driving an attachable/detachable four-bar link mechanism, comprising: a base frame having a rotating joint for a robot body; a pivot frame which is coupled to the rotating joint and which has a rotating joint; a column frame which is coupled to the rotating joint of the pivot frame, and which has a straight-line joint; a motor arranged in the pivot frame to rotate the column frame; a decelerator attachably/detachably mounted on the rotating joint of the pivot frame or directly on the pivot frame to receive driving force from the motor; and a four-bar link installed between an output shaft of the decelerator and the column frame.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 4, 2011
    Publication date: March 7, 2013
    Applicant: SAMSUNG HEAVY IND. CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Hie Yong Jeong, Dong Soo Kang, Eun Jung Kim, Young Jun Park