Electric Motor Patents (Class 901/38)
  • Patent number: 10005186
    Abstract: A workpiece conveying device capable of correctly positioning and conveying a workpiece that has a burr having an indefinite shape by means of a robot. A robot hand has first and second claws configured to move toward and away from each other. The first claw has a first contacting portion configured to come into contact with a lower surface of the burr, and a first clamping portion arranged at a front end of the first contacting portion and configured to come into contact with a main body of the workpiece. The second claw has a second contacting portion configured to come into contact with the lower surface of the burr, and a second clamping portion arranged at a front end of the second contacting portion and configured to come into contact with the main body. The first and second clamping portions cooperatively position and clamp the main body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2018
    Assignee: Fanuc Corporation
    Inventor: Hideyuki Watanabe
  • 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: 8998561
    Abstract: According to one embodiment, a gripping device grips a rim of a workpiece by opening and closing gripping plates. The device includes a gripping unit, a hoisting and lowering unit and a motion control unit. The gripping unit includes a first and a second gripping plate. The first gripping plate has a first gripper to contact the rim. The second gripping plate has a second gripper to contact the rim. At least one of the first and second gripping plates is moved and the first and second gripper are spaced from each other. The hoisting and lowering unit is configured to hoist and lower the gripping unit. The motion control unit is configured to control open/close operations and hoisting and lowering operations. The motion control unit mechanically controls first first hoisting and lowering operations, controls second the open/close operations, and controls third second hoisting and lowering operations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: Shibaura Mechatronics Corporation
    Inventor: Masaaki Furuya
  • Patent number: 8991884
    Abstract: A robotic finger assembly can include a base for mounting the finger to a robotic hand, with the base having a motor, and at least three links. The links of the robotic hand are connected to each other and to the base by a series of joints. A joint shaft and a pivot shaft, where the pivot shaft can freely move within its respective joint shaft, is connected to a preceding link. The motor is activated for opening or closing the finger. The finger closes on an object with a distributed force across the links. Grasping also can mean engaging an object like a human hand, by closing the first finger link until it engages the object, then closing the second finger link until it engages the object, then closing the third link until it engages the object. A robotic hand assembly is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: RE2, Inc.
    Inventor: Mark J. DeLouis
  • 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: 8925986
    Abstract: A clamp (1) is described for manipulators including a body (2) provided with two coplanar seats (21, 22) for housing the respective jaws (G1, G2). The jaws (G1, G2) are translatable in parallel in the respective seats (21, 22) alternately in the two ways, between a retracted position and an extended position, with average- or long-stroke. The clamp further includes an electrical motor (M) for activating the jaws and an electronic unit (CPU) for controlling the electric motor, inside the body (2) of the clamp (1). A transmission assembly is operatively interposed between the electric motor and the jaws, and includes in its turn two pushing screws (V1, V2) and respective translation assemblies (GT1, GT2). The rotation given by the electric motor (M) to the counter rotating pushing screws (V1, V2) causes the translation in opposite directions of the translation assemblies (GT1, GT2), which trail the jaws (G1, G2).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2015
    Assignee: GIMATIC S.p.A.
    Inventor: Giuseppe Maffeis
  • Patent number: 8910984
    Abstract: An object is to provide a robot hand and a robot that are compact and lightweight and can reliably hold various types of workpieces. To achieve this object, the robot hand and the robot include: a plurality of joint portions that rotates about respective rotation axes parallel with each other; a plurality of links that is connected via each of the joint portions in sequence from a distal end; a linking member that links rotations of the joint portions adjacent to each other; and a single drive source that drives only the joint portion at a proximal end to rotate the joint portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2014
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Yaskawa Denki
    Inventor: Hiromitsu Akae
  • Patent number: 8910985
    Abstract: A gripper apparatus for removing and replacing objects such as containers or vials in an array of containers has a gripper head which extends downward from a support arm, a planetary gear assembly mounted in the gripper head including at least three planet gears, and at least one gripping grip extending downward from each planet gear and projecting beyond a lower end of the gripper head. A drive motor drives the planetary gear assembly to rotate the planet gears in opposite directions, moving the grips inward and outward along predetermined paths to grip and carry an object and release the object when in a desired location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2014
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert K. Neeper
  • Publication number: 20140352459
    Abstract: A drive device includes plural moving portions, piezoelectric motors that move the moving portions, at least one drive circuit that drives the piezoelectric motors, and a connection/disconnection portion that connects and disconnects the piezoelectric motors and the drive circuit. The number of drive circuits is fewer than the number of piezoelectric motors.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 18, 2014
    Publication date: December 4, 2014
    Applicant: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Akira Matsuzawa, Osamu Urano, Yoshiteru Nishimura, Masakuni Shiozawa, Osamu Miyazawa
  • Publication number: 20140346796
    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: Application
    Filed: August 11, 2014
    Publication date: November 27, 2014
    Inventors: Matei Ciocarlie, Scott Stanford
  • Patent number: 8894117
    Abstract: A robot finger driving module is driven by a driving motor installed in a robot hand. The robot finger driving module receives a driving force of the driving motor by a pulley gear connected to the driving motor through a driving belt. When the robot finger driving module is fixed, a driving direction of a first output gear is opposite to a rotation-driving direction of a second output gear. When the robot finger driving module rotates, even though any one of the first output gear and the second output gear is fixed, the other is driven to rotate in the rotating direction of the robot finger driving module, thereby exhibiting differential gear characteristics.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2014
    Assignee: Korea Institute of Science and Technology
    Inventors: Seyoung Cheon, Yonghwan Oh
  • Publication number: 20140239655
    Abstract: A robot hand that changes a space between finger members provided apart from each other includes: moving members on which the finger members are vertically provided; a palm member including a moving mechanism for moving the moving members in a predetermined axial direction; and guide members that guide the movement of the moving members in the predetermined axial direction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 5, 2014
    Publication date: August 28, 2014
    Applicant: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Kenjiro MURAKAMI, Daisuke KIRIHARA
  • Patent number: 8814241
    Abstract: A robot hand, which has an arbitrary object grasping function in the same manner as a human hand and a high precision and stable grasping function in the same manner as an industrial gripper and performs a pose similar to a human hand while having complete opposability without any increase in complexity or degree of freedom. The robot hand includes a base part, and a plurality of finger connection parts, and a plurality of finger modules connected to the plurality of finger connection parts. The finger connection parts connected to the base part are connected to adjacent finger connection parts by roll joints such that each pair the finger connection parts connected by the roll joints is driven together, and the finger connection parts adjacent to the finger connection parts connected to the base part are driven separately from the finger connection parts connected to the base part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2014
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yong Jae Kim, Duke Kimm, Sang Il Hong
  • Patent number: 8801063
    Abstract: A robot hand is provided, the robot hand including three finger sections, a supporting section which supports a proximal end of each of the three finger sections, and a circumferential movement section which circumferentially moves a second finger section and a third finger section of the three finger sections about a position where the three finger sections are supported on the supporting section is provided. The circumferentially moving second finger section and third finger section are circumferentially movable in a range of 180 degrees or greater in a circumferential direction substantially around a hand axis of the robot hand, about the position where the three finger sections are supported on the supporting section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2014
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Takashi Nammoto, Kazuhiro Kosuge, Haruaki Chiba
  • Patent number: 8752874
    Abstract: A robot hand that changes a space between finger members provided apart from each other includes: moving members on which the finger members are vertically provided; a palm member including a moving mechanism for moving the moving members in a predetermined axial direction; and guide members that guide the movement of the moving members in the predetermined axial direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2014
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Kenjiro Murakami, Daisuke Kirihara
  • Patent number: 8690212
    Abstract: Embodiments are directed to a robot hand including a frame, a link member moving relative to the frame, a joint unit provided between the frame and the link member, a drive unit supplying power to the joint unit so as to rotate the link member, and a backlash removal unit supplying constant torque to the joint unit, even if a relative position of the link member to the frame is changed as the link member is rotated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2014
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Youn Baek Lee, Yong Jae Kim, Jeong Hun Kim, Heum Yong Park
  • Patent number: 8618762
    Abstract: A tendon tensioning system includes a tendon having a proximal end and a distal end, an actuator, and a motor controller. The actuator may include a drive screw and a motor, and may be coupled with the proximal end of the tendon and configured to apply a tension through the tendon in response to an electrical current. The motor controller may be electrically coupled with the actuator, and configured to provide an electrical current having a first amplitude to the actuator until a stall tension is achieved through the tendon; provide a pulse current to the actuator following the achievement of the stall tension, where the amplitude of the pulse current is greater than the first amplitude, and return the motor to a steady state holding current following the conclusion of the pulse current.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 31, 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: Matthew J. Reiland, Myron A. Diftler
  • Patent number: 8614559
    Abstract: A programmable robot system includes a robot provided with a number of individual arm sections, where adjacent sections are interconnected by a joint. The system furthermore includes a controllable drive mechanism provided in at least some of the joints and a control system for controlling the drive. The robot system is furthermore provided with user a interface mechanism including a mechanism for programming the robot system, the user interface mechanism being either provided externally to the robot, as an integral part of the robot or as a combination hereof, and a storage mechanism co-operating with the user interface mechanism and the control system for storing information related to the movement and further operations of the robot and optionally for storing information relating to the surroundings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2013
    Assignee: Universal Robots ApS
    Inventors: Kristian Kassow, Esben Hallundbæk Østergaard, Kasper Støy
  • Patent number: 8597370
    Abstract: Artificial hand suitable for robotic applications or as a prosthesis, comprising a frame with a thumb and at least two fingers, and having a motor drive for adjusting the thumb and the fingers with respect to the frame, wherein the motor drive has a housing and an axle which is rotatably positioned within the housing, and wherein the housing is mounted in a first bearing supported by the frame to enable that the housing may rotate with regard to the frame, and that the thumb and fingers are drivingly connected with the housing and the axle respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2013
    Assignee: Lacquey B.V.
    Inventors: Martijn Wisse, Freerk Wilbers, Cory Meijneke
  • Publication number: 20130313945
    Abstract: A motor includes a vibrating plate having a projection part to be pressed against a driven member and a piezoelectric material provided on the vibrating plate, wherein a Young's modulus EL in the pressing direction of the vibrating plate and a Young's modulus ES in a direction crossing the pressing direction are different.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 30, 2013
    Publication date: November 28, 2013
    Applicant: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Koichi KAMIJO, Osamu MIYAZAWA, Akihiro SAWADA, Reiko NAGAHAMA
  • Patent number: 8585111
    Abstract: A robot hand includes a first finger unit and a second finger unit, a driving unit that causes the finger units to perform an opening and closing action, and a finger-unit moving mechanism that changes a direction in which the opening and closing action of the first finger unit and the second finger unit is performed. The finger-unit moving mechanism includes a worm wheel, a motor, and a worm. A first gear that rotates in a direction different from the rotating direction of the worm in association with the rotation of the worm is provided in the first finger unit. A second gear that rotates in a direction opposite to the rotating direction of the first gear in association with the rotation of the worm is provided in the second finger unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2013
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Takashi Nammoto, Kazuhiro Kosuge, Haruaki Chiba
  • Patent number: 8579343
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are a robot actuator and a humanoid robot having the same. The robot actuator includes a rotation driving source, a ball screw member including a ball screw part connected to the rotation driving source and a nut part connected to the ball screw part, a guide member separated in parallel from the ball screw part, a slider member movably supported by the guide member, and a connection member connecting the slider member and the nut part to move the slider member in connection with movement of the nut part, and the connection member is relatively movably connected to at least one of the nut part and the slider member. Therefore, efficiency in force reflection and back-drivability of the actuator is improved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2013
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kang Min Park, Ja Woo Lee, Yong Jae Kim
  • Patent number: 8534729
    Abstract: A robotic gripper (10) has fingers (12) that are configured to grasp an object, and an actuator (20) for driving the fingers. The actuator has a drive train (30) connected to the fingers for driving the fingers, an impact mechanism (40) mechanically connected to the drive train for driving the drive train, and a motor (50) connected to the impact mechanism for driving the impact mechanism. The impact mechanism generates a series of impacts that are delivered to the drive train when the impact mechanism is loaded beyond a threshold torque. The drive train is a back-drive inhibited drive train provided by a worm drive (32, 34) that is mechanically coupled to the impact mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2013
    Assignee: Harris Corporation
    Inventors: Loran J. Wilkinson, Matthew D. Summer, John B. Rust, Paul M. Bosscher
  • 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: 8439414
    Abstract: A gripper apparatus for removing and replacing objects such as containers or vials in an array of containers has a gripper head which extends downward from a support arm, a planetary gear assembly mounted in the gripper head including at least three planet gears, and at least one gripping pin extending downward from each planet gear and projecting beyond a lower end of the gripper head. A drive motor drives the planetary gear assembly to rotate the planet gears in opposite directions, moving the pins inward and outward along predetermined paths to grip and carry an object and release the object when in a desired location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2013
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert K. Neeper
  • Patent number: 8424942
    Abstract: An industrial gripper includes a base plate, at least three finger units to be moved relative to the base plate, a supporting unit to support the finger units, a first drive unit coupled to the supporting unit to allow simultaneous angular displacement of the finger units toward an object, and a second drive unit coupled to the supporting unit to adjust orientation angles between the finger units. Each of the finger units includes an intermediation member to be moved in a first direction by the first drive unit, a grip member to grip the object by being moved in a second direction different from the first direction as a movement direction of the intermediation member, and a connection member to convert the first direction movement of the intermediation member into the second direction movement of the grip member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2013
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hahn Park, Sung Wook Jung, Jae Chul Hwang, Yong Won Choi
  • Publication number: 20120328402
    Abstract: A holding system includes a force control module configured to generate a force signal to cause a holding device to perform at least one of a hold stroke and a release stroke. The hold stroke includes transitioning a gripping element of the holding device to a first position to grip an object. The release stroke includes transitioning the gripping element to a second position to release the object. The holding device is non-backdrivable. A stall detection module is configured to (i) monitor a sensor signal received from a sensor of an electric motor assembly of the holding device and (ii) detect a first stall condition of an electric motor based on the sensor signal. A shut off module is configured to shut off current to the electric motor based on the detection of the first stall condition during or at an end of the release stroke.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 18, 2012
    Publication date: December 27, 2012
    Applicant: Delaware Capital Formation, Inc.
    Inventors: Orlando Trujillo, James W. Geary
  • Publication number: 20120316674
    Abstract: A piezoelectric actuator includes a vibrating body including a piezoelectric device; a driving circuit that supplies a driving signal to the piezoelectric device; a phase difference detecting circuit that detects a phase difference between the driving signal and a detection signal detected based on vibration of the vibrating body; and a frequency controller that controls the frequency and power of the driving signal, wherein the frequency controller sets the power to an upper limit voltage value when the frequency is changed so that the phase difference falls within a predetermined range and sets the voltage to a lower limit voltage value smaller than the upper limit voltage value when the phase difference is outside the predetermined range.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 4, 2012
    Publication date: December 13, 2012
    Applicant: SEIKO EPSON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Osamu URANO
  • Patent number: 8332071
    Abstract: An actuator having a two-parameters energy converter is coupled to a transducer and is driven by a controller. Prior to assembly and operation of the actuator, a calibration procedure is performed. The calibration procedure, together with the unique controller, enable accurate control of the output parameters of the actuator. In one example, the parameters are rate and force, and the calibration and controller enable accurate control of the rate and force at the output of the actuator by measuring only the rate at the output of the energy converter. Consequently, no sensors are needed at the output of the actuator, i.e., at the output of the transducer, where the load is applied.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Inventor: David Zeltzer
  • Publication number: 20120279342
    Abstract: A motor including a driven unit; an actuator including a vibrating plate having, at an end thereof, a protrusion which is biased toward the driven unit and a piezoelectric body stacked on the vibrating plate; and a biasing unit biasing the actuator toward the driven unit, wherein an axis in a direction in which the biasing unit biases the actuator toward the driven unit intersects with a plane containing a vibrating surface of the vibrating plate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 1, 2012
    Publication date: November 8, 2012
    Applicant: SEIKO EPSON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Shinji YASUKAWA, Osamu MIYAZAWA
  • Patent number: 8303007
    Abstract: A drive mechanism and a gripper mechanism equipped with the drive mechanism are provided. An electrical gripper includes a drive mechanism equipped with a motor, a feed screw that transmits a rotary drive force from the motor to a feed nut capable of displacement in an axial direction, and a gripper section that grips a workpiece by coupling to the feed nut and being displaced thereby. The drive mechanism further is constituted by a self-locking mechanism, which prevents the feed nut from being retracted as a result of a reactive force received in the event that the feed nut is advanced and the workpiece is gripped by the gripper section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2012
    Assignee: SMC Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yoshihiro Fukano, Shoichi Makado
  • Publication number: 20120239197
    Abstract: A robotic gripper. Each of two gripper fingers is attached to a bearing carriage. Each bearing carriage defines a rack gear and is adapted to ride on a bearing rail. A single pinion gear has two gear elements. Each of the two gear elements are meshed with one of the two rack gears so as to drive the two bearing carriages in opposite direction upon rotation of the pinion gear. A worm gear is fixed to the single pinion gear. A worm screw is meshed to the worm gear and adapted to cause rotation of the worm gear and the single pinion gear and a gripping action or a releasing action of the two gripping fingers, depending on the rotation of the worm screw. A motor is adapted to drive the worm screw in a first rotary direction and a second rotary direction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 13, 2011
    Publication date: September 20, 2012
    Inventors: Brian L. Ganz, Nicholas Pratte, James Hutchings, Chinapong Songchan
  • Patent number: 8209055
    Abstract: An exemplary system for sensing the state and position of a robot is provided. The system measures the acceleration and angular velocity of the robot and calculates a velocity, and a displacement of the robot. The state of the robot according to the acceleration and the velocity vector, of the robot, is determined. The system includes an alarm that activates according to the state of the robot. The system also compensates for any inaccuracy of the measured displacements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2012
    Assignees: Hong Fu Jin Precision Industry (ShenZhen) Co., Ltd., Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Wen Shu
  • Publication number: 20120150322
    Abstract: A jointed mechanical device is provided. The device includes at least one element (204) having a fixed end and a deflectable end. The device also includes at least one actuating structure (206) having a first end coupled to at least the deflectable end of the element, where the actuating structure includes at least one elastic element (214) in series with at least one non-elastic element. The device further includes at least one force actuator (202) configured to apply an actuator force to a second end of the actuating structure. Additionally, the device includes a control system (315) for adjusting an operation of the force actuator based at least one actuation input, an amount of the actuator force, and an amount of displacement generated by the force actuator.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 20, 2010
    Publication date: June 14, 2012
    Applicant: VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY
    Inventors: Michael Goldfarb, Skyler Ashton Dalley, Huseyin Atakan Varol, Tuomas Emory Wiste
  • Patent number: 7959199
    Abstract: A multi-joint finger unit (1) has first and second joint sections (3, 5) constructed by using bevel gears. In each joint section (3, 5), the section where a driving bevel gear (10, 44) and a driven bevel gear (14, 56) mesh with each other and also a bearing section of a joint shaft (15, 57) are assembled in a tubular housing (13, 51) whose forward end is closed. Rear end openings (13A, 52) of the tubular housings (13, 51) are closed by a tubular housing (7) at a finger root and a tubular housing (41) at a finger body section. The section where the gears of the joint sections (3, 5) mesh and the bearing section are substantially sealed, so that a foreign matter is prevented from entering from the outside to these sections and lubricant does not leaks from these sections. The multi-joint finger unit is suitable for use in place where thick powder dust is present and in a clean room.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2011
    Assignees: Harmonic Drive Systems Inc., Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Masashi Horiuchi, Toshihiro Hirabayashi, Hirokazu Ohta, Morihiko Ohkura
  • Patent number: 7950710
    Abstract: A robot includes a base unit, at least two link mechanisms arranged on the base unit, drive units capable of bending and expanding the link mechanisms, and a control unit controlling the drive units. At least one drive unit has a drive force larger than those of the other drive units, and the other drive units are passively displaced by external forces larger than their own drive forces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2011
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Yaskawa Denki
    Inventors: Kenji Matsukuma, Takayuki Nakamura, Kazuhiko Yokoyama, Kazuhiro Fukudome
  • Patent number: 7852030
    Abstract: In a controller, a first switch unit establishes electrical connection between a power-off brake and a power source when a servomotor is energized. The electrical connection causes the power-off brake to be released. A second switch unit is provided between the power-off brake and the power source. The second switch unit establishes electrical connection between the power-off brake and the power source upon being manually operated during the servomotor being deenergized. A calculating unit calculates a driving speed of the joint by the servomotor. A determining unit determines whether the calculated driving speed of the joint is greater than a predetermined threshold speed. An interrupting unit interrupts a supply of electrical power from the power source to the power-off brake through the electrical connection established by the second switch unit when it is determined that the calculated driving speed of the joint is greater than the predetermined threshold speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 14, 2010
    Assignee: Denso Wave Incorporated
    Inventor: Koji Kamiya
  • Patent number: 7795832
    Abstract: A robot hand equipped with a function of gently pinching an object may include a single degree of freedom joint for allowing bending or stretching at a connecting portion between a distal phalange section and a middle phalange section. The robot hand may further include a driving mechanism for causing this joint to make a rotating motion within a predetermined angular range. This driving mechanism is constituted by a motor and a speed reducer. The joint and the driving mechanism are configured so that the distal phalange section is rotated relative to the middle phalange section in two directions, namely, an inward direction and an outward direction within the predetermined angular range from a state where the distal phalange section is arranged in a straight line with the middle phalange section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2010
    Assignee: Japan Science and Technology Agency
    Inventors: Ichiro Kawabuchi, Kiyoshi Hoshino
  • Patent number: 7794194
    Abstract: An apparatus and associated method is provided for individually positioning first and second input links of a four-bar linkage to move first and second follower links pivotally joined therebetween in order to move a chuck supported by one of the follower links between a retracted position and an extended position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2010
    Assignee: Seagate Technology LLC
    Inventors: Michael Thomas Murray, John William Rigsby, Sabrina Lynn Murray
  • Patent number: 7556300
    Abstract: A finger unit of a robot hand has a first rotational actuator, a first finger joint part, a first finger linkage, a second finger joint part, and a second finger linkage that are connected in this order. A second rotational actuator is attached to the first finger linkage. The first finger linkage swivels about the first finger joint part by the first rotational actuator, and the second finger linkage swivels about the second finger joint part by the second rotational actuator. The second rotational actuator is attached to the first finger linkage so as to be in a slantwise orientation relative to a straight line connecting a center of rotation of the first finger joint part and a center of rotation of the second finger joint part. With this configuration, an axial length of the finger unit of a robot hand can be shortened.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2009
    Assignee: Harmonic Drive Systems Inc.
    Inventor: Naoki Kanayama
  • Patent number: 7556299
    Abstract: A multi-finger grasping mechanism (300), comprising three two-joint finger units (1-1 to 1-3). Each two-joint finger unit further comprises a finger root part (2), a finger root side joint part (5), a finger intermediate part (3), a finger tip side joint part (6), and a finger tip part (4). The finger intermediate part (3) can be swung about the joint axis (5a) of the finger root side joint part (5), and the finger tip part (4) can be swung about the joint axis (6a) of the finger tip side joint part (6). The finger tip part (4) can be swung about the center axis thereof. When a bolt (W) is held by the finger tip part (4) and the finger part (4) is rotated, the tightening operation of the bolt (W) can be performed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2009
    Assignee: Harmonic Drive Systems Inc.
    Inventor: Junji Koyama
  • Patent number: 7530280
    Abstract: A micro actuator including a translationally driving section having a moving portion which is incorporated in a case and moves translationally, and a displacement enlarging member having one end portion connected to the moving portion of the translationally driving section and another end portion connected to the case, wherein as the one end portion is pulled on the basis of the translational movement, the amount of displacement of its distal end is enlarged.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2009
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Naoki Muramatsu
  • Patent number: 7488020
    Abstract: A workpiece-gripping chuck includes a converting mechanism provided in a body, which converts a driving force from a rotary driving source into a displacement in the axial direction. First and second pistons of the converting mechanism are displaced in the axial direction under a rotary action of a pinion gear. Further, the first and second pistons are displaced in the axial direction, respectively, by supplying a pressure fluid from a first or second port formed in the body. A workpiece may be positioned by means of a pair of gripping members under the driving action of the rotary driving source, and the workpiece is further gripped by the gripping members by applying a pressing force of the pressure fluid in addition to the driving force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2009
    Assignee: SMC Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Motohiro Sotome, Yuji Tsuda
  • Publication number: 20080232932
    Abstract: A manipulator comprises an operation command unit provided with an attitude adjusting unit and an end effector control unit, a connecting unit having one end connected to the operation command unit, a working unit connected to the other end of the connecting unit and provided with an end effector and a support unit supporting the end effector for motions, and a control unit that transmits an operation command provided by the attitude adjusting unit to the support unit to adjust the attitude of the end effector and transmits an operation command provided by the end effector control unit to the end effector to operate the end effector. The support unit includes a first joint capable of turning about a first axis perpendicular to the center axis of the connecting unit, and a second joint capable of turning about a second axis perpendicular to the first axis. The end effector can be turned for rolling about an axis substantially parallel to the second axis of the second joint.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 30, 2008
    Publication date: September 25, 2008
    Applicant: KABUSHIKI KAISHA TOSHIBA
    Inventor: Makoto JINNO
  • Patent number: 7300084
    Abstract: An apparatus for convening a liquid crystal display panel for moving various size unit liquid crystal display panels. The present invention includes a horizontal driving unit controlling a revolution of a motor, a plurality of screw shafts protruding out of the horizontal driving unit. A pair of robot arms having first and second ends, the first ends are supported by corresponding screw shafts and extend from the screw shafts, and a plurality of clamping units connected to the second ends of the robot arms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2007
    Assignee: L.G.Philips LCD Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kyung-Su Chae, Jong-Go Lim
  • Patent number: 7168748
    Abstract: A robotic device has a base and at least one finger having at least two links that are connected in series on rotary joints with at least two degrees of freedom. A brushless motor and an associated controller are located at each joint to produce a rotational movement of a link. Wires for electrical power and communication serially connect the controllers in a distributed control network. A network operating controller coordinates the operation of the network, including power distribution. At least one, but more typically two to five, wires interconnect all the controllers through one or more joints. Motor sensors and external world sensors monitor operating parameters of the robotic hand. The electrical signal output of the sensors can be input anywhere on the distributed control network. V-grooves on the robotic hand locate objects precisely and assist in gripping. The hand is sealed, immersible and has electrical connections through the rotary joints for anodizing in a single dunk without masking.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2007
    Assignee: Barrett Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: William T. Townsend, Traveler Hauptman, Adam Crowell, Brian Zenowich, John Lawson, Vitaliy Krutik, Burt Doo
  • Patent number: 7073833
    Abstract: A gripper comprises a motor 25, contained within a case 32, for driving a translational nut 23 that is moved in translation, a finger 20 having one end connected to the translational nut 23, with the other end being connected to the case 32, in which when the one end is pulled upon a movement of the translational nut, the finger is expanded in the amount of displacement at a top end, a plate-like stopper member 26 connected to one end of the finger 20 and having a projecting piece 26b around the outer periphery thereof, a holder member 22 for inserting loosely the projecting piece 26b, a locating nut 28 for adjusting a predetermined gap from the stopper member 26 by being threadingly engaged with a threaded portion of the holder member 22, and a spring 29 for pressing the locating nut 28.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2006
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Naoki Muramatsu
  • Patent number: 7014235
    Abstract: A method for gripping objects by means of a robotic gripper mechanism is provided, wherein the gripping mechanism comprises gripping jaws, a wedge actuator between the gripping jaws, wherein the wedge actuator moves the gripping jaws together and apart as it slides backward and forward, and a motor that moves the wedge actuator by means of a connecting leadscrew. The method comprises applying current to the motor so that the motor reaches maximum operating speed before the gripper mechanism comes into contact with any object. When the gripping jaws contact an object, e.g., media cartridge, they collapse over the object, gripping it. The inertia from the rotating mass of the motor increases the force and speed of the gripping action. In another embodiment, a flywheel may be added to the leadscrew to provide additional rotating mass and increase the inertia before contact.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2006
    Assignee: Storage Technology Corporation
    Inventor: Timothy C. Ostwald
  • Patent number: 6921419
    Abstract: An externally-powered prosthesis mechanism usable with persons with amputations at or proximal to the level of the metacarpophalangeal joint, as well as persons with high-level amputations. The prosthesis mechanism includes a grasping mechanism including a mechanically operable finger member and a mechanically operable thumb member kinematically linked to the finger member such that the grasping mechanism is disposed in respective opened and closed configurations when the finger member is respectively moved away from and toward the thumb member. The prosthesis mechanism further includes a drive system extending tangentially with respect to the grasping mechanism and including a motor operatively connected to drive at least one planetary gear stage, which is operatively connected to drive the grasping mechanism to the opened configuration when the motor is driven in a first direction and further drive the grasping mechanism to the closed configuration when the motor is driven in a second opposite direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 26, 2005
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Department of Veterans Affairs
    Inventors: Richard F. Weir, Edward C. Grahn
  • Patent number: 6918622
    Abstract: A robot hand finger makes a hooking movement similar to that of the human fingers with less number of driving units by installing a 4-joint link. A robot hand includes several fingers and 4-joint link in order to implement a horizontal movement of the fingers. A robot hand selectively drives a hooking movement and a horizontal movement of fingers with less number of driving units by having a clutch unit. A robot hand includes fingers with a strain gage and is able to control a grasping force by using a value measured by the strain gage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2005
    Assignee: Korea Institute of Science and Technology
    Inventors: Mun-Sang Kim, Bong-Soo Kang, Woo-Jin Chung, Hyung-Jin Lee, Chong-Won Lee