||Industrial robot having a gripping device
|| An industrial robot gripping device for gripping workpieces which have opposite contoured faces comprise gripping jaws which are contained by a parallel linkage which have faces which engage on the respective faces of the workpiece from opposite sides and are of a mere image configuration so that the engagement is complete. The parallel linkages include a coupler link at one end of the linkage which carries the respective clamping jaw and a flap interconnecting two parallel crank arms at their opposite end parts and also connecting two guide rod members which are pivoted at spaced locations to the housing so that they may move parallel to each other. The outer crank arms of each linkage include an extending portion which terminates in a bearing pin which is engaged in a curved slot which is defined symmetrically on each side of the housing. The bearing pins are driven by the driving mechanism such as an air cylinder to cause them to move in the curve slot and transmit the motion to the parallel linkage and also two connecting rods to a central pin which moves along a slot which is defined in a symmetrical line of the housing.
||Pfaff Industriemaschinen GmbH
|| An industrial robot has a head movable in first and second orthogonal directions within a working area to manipulate a workpiece. The industrial robot comprises a stationary base extending along the first direction, an intermediary base slidably disposed on the stationary base to move along the first direction, and a slider slidably disposed on the intermediary base and to move along the second direction. The slider has a supporting portion which extends towards the working area and which supports the head thereon so that the supporting portion positions the head within the working area remotely from the stationary base and the intermediary base.
||Seiko Instruments & Electronics Ltd.
||Sonar ranging/light detection system for use in a robot
|| A sonar ranging/light detection system provides information regarding the surrounding environment to a robot. The sonar portion of the system includes an upper rotating detector which provides 360.degree. coverage as well as a lower, fixed detector located on the front of the robot which provides sensory information in the direction of robot movement. A light detector similarly provides a 360.degree. light sensing capability. The upper sonar and light detectors utilize a common rotating mirror driven by a stepper motor and include a slotted shaft encoder in combination with an optopair semiconductor detector. The shaft encoder provides angular information to a microcomputer controller which is also responsive to sonar ranging information in exercising control of the stepper motor. The transmitted sonar signal is comprised of a pulse train of four different frequencies to ensure that simultaneous echoes from more than one surface do not cancel each other out and provide false ranging information. As the time for echo return increases for greater distances, the gain of the sonar receiver is increased by the controller in anticipation of receipt of a weaker echo. The rotating detector is capable of continuous 360.degree. rotation, sector scanning, or pointing in a designated direction in obtaining ranging information and employs a retro-torque damping technique to provide faster angular stabilization of the mirror prior to making range measurements. The upper and lower sonar detectors are utilized in an alternating manner in the various modes of operation.
||Compliant assembly system device
|| A compliant assembly system device including operator means for holding parts to be assembled; first and second interconnected deformable structures for supporting the operator means; the first deformable structure including a deformable portion having a first center being responsive to a force and to a moment applied to the operator means to permit rotation of the operator means about the first center; the second deformable structure including a deformable portion having a second center spaced from the first center and remote from the system, being responsive to a force and to a moment applied to the operator means to permit rotation of the operator means about the second remote center; the force causing generally equal and opposite offsetting rotations about the first and second centers which result in translational motion of the assembly device and a moment causing generally equal and opposite offsetting translations which result in rotation of the assembly device about an intermediate compliance center between the first and second centers at or near the parts to be assembled.
||The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc.
||Control apparatus for programmable manipulator
|| Control apparatus is provided to control a programmable manipulator having a manipulator arm movable in a plurality of axes to perform a predetermined pattern of work operations in a replay cycle with respect to a movable workpiece while the workpiece is moving or is stationary at a point along a predetermined workpiece path. In replay, the control apparatus generates interpolation control signals from stored data in accordance with the workpiece position. The stored data includes two or more series of signals representing manipulator arm positions to accomplish the predetermined pattern of work operations with respect to the workpiece at two or more respective positions of the workpiece. During replay, data is read out from the two series of signals that are associated with workpiece positions on either side of the present workpiece position. In one arrangement one signal is read out from each of the two series corresponding to the same sequential element in each series and representing the same point in the predetermined work operation pattern with respect to the workpiece. The sequential elements in the series are successively read out to perform the predetermined pattern of work operations with respect to the workpiece. The control apparatus performs a linear interpolation operation between the signals from the two series and the present position of the workpiece. The control apparatus in one embodiment includes a linear interpolation unit having a stage for developing a signal equal to the difference between the two signals, an arithmetic stage for multiplying the difference signal by 1/d where 1 represents the present workpiece position between the workpiece positions associated with the two series and d represents the distance between the respective workpiece positions associated with the two series, and a stage for combining the signal from the first series and the signal developed by the arithmetic stage.
||Pick and place robot
|| A pick and place robot is provided in which support 10 carries a rotatable turret 12, which in turn has one end of the pick and place arm 14 pivotally carried therefrom, the arm carrying a working tool 16 at its other end supported in rotatable relation and connected to constant orientation means 62, 64, 66 which maintains the working tool in a given disposition throughout the extent of the swing of the arm from a pick to a place location, both the turret and the arm being driven independently by its own drive.
||Method and apparatus for providing force feedback using multiple grounded actuators
||An apparatus and method for interfacing the motion of a user-manipulable object with a computer system includes a user object physically contacted or grasped by a user. A 3-D spatial mechanism is coupled to the user object, such as a stylus or a medical instrument, and provides three degrees of freedom to the user object. Three grounded actuators provide forces in the three degrees of freedom. Two of the degrees of freedom are a planar workspace provided by a closed-loop linkage of members, and the third degree of freedom is rotation of the planar workspace provided by a rotatable carriage. Capstan drive mechanisms transmit forces between actuators and the user object and include drums coupled to the carriage, pulleys coupled to-grounded actuators, and flexible cables transmitting force between the pulleys and the drums. The flexibility of the cable allows the drums to rotate with the carriage while the pulleys and actuators remain fixed to ground. The interface also may include a floating gimbal mechanism coupling the linkage to the user object. The floating gimbal mechanism includes rotatably coupled gimbal members that provide three degrees of freedom to the user object and capstan mechanisms coupled between sensors and the gimbal members for providing enhanced sensor resolution.
||Head for industrial robot
|| A head for an industrial robot comprising, a head body mounted on an end of an arm of the industrial robot, an internal motor, a nut member and a guide member rotatably supported by the head body. A belt drive device is provided between the motor and the nut member. A screw rod passes through and threadedly engages with the nut member. A spline shaft has at a lower end an operating chuck. A connecting device connects the screw rod and the spline shaft to each other in a sealable manner and slide members for preventing rotation of the screw rod. A fluid is supplied to operate the chuck through passages formed in the screw rod and the spline shaft.
||Kabushiki Kaisha Sankyo Seiki Seisakusho
||Apparatus for predicting the lifetime of cable for movable portion of industrial robot
|| An apparatus for predicting the lifetime of cables for movable portions of an industrial robot, the apparatus comprising: measuring devices connected to the cables for the movable portions of the industrial robot for measuring mechanical movement of the cables for said movable portions; and a CPU for making accummulating results obtained by the measuring devices and predetermined reference values to determine that the cables for said movable portions have exceeded their lifetime if the accumulated exceeds a predetermined reference value.
||Mitsubishi Denki K.K.
||Robust high-performance control for robotic manipulators
|| Model-based and performance-based control techniques are combined for an electrical robotic control system. Thus, two distinct and separate design philosophies have been merged into a single control system having a control law formulation including two distinct and separate components, each of which yields a respective signal component that is combined into a total command signal for the system. Those two separate system components include a feedforward controller and a feedback controller. The feedforward controller is model-based and contains any known part of the manipulator dynamics that can be used for on-line control to produce a nominal feedforward component of the system's control signal. The feedback controller is performance-based and consists of a simple adaptive PID controller which generates an adaptive control signal to complement the nominal feedforward signal.
||United States Government as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
||Supporting and transport apparatus
|| In order to treat disk-shaped bodies, specifically semiconductor disks in a vacuum plant, they must be transported and deposited between stations. A given disk is supported at its edge by two supporting arms each having two fingers and supporting surfaces at four edge sections of the disk distributed along the circumference of the disk. In order to grasp or release the disk by decreasing or increasing the distance between the supporting arms, both supporting arms are mounted to a respective piston/cylinder unit. In such units a respective cylinder moves relative to a stationary piston rod. The ends of both piston rods are thereby mounted oppositely of each other to a rotation axle extending perpendicularly to the axes of the cylinders by means of which the two piston/cylinder units can be pivoted together with the supporting arms from one station to the other station within the vacuum plant. The two piston/cylinder units are operated by a pressurized medium fed via conduits through the hollow piston rods to move the supporting arms away from each other and against the action of a pressure spring positioned inside of the cylinder and resting against the cylinder and the piston and active for the opposed stroke movement.
||Robot articulation device
|| The robot articulation device includes a first arm pivoted on a support stand for rotation about a first axis and a second arm is pivotally mounted on the free end of the first arm for rotational movement about a second axis. The first and second axes may be vertically or horizontally disposed. Opposed recessed are located in the first and second arms concentric with the second axis and a sleeve secured to one of the arms extends into the recess in the other arm. A projection is secured to the other arm and extends into the sleeve and bearings are disposed between the projection and the sleeve and the sleeve and the recess, respectively. A gear reduction unit is located in the other recess and is provided with an input shaft which may be driven from a drive motor mounted on the support stand.
||Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha
||Robot device and control method thereof
||Acceleration information, rotation angle information and rotation angular velocity information are detected by an acceleration sensor and a rotation angle sensor, and detected signals are stored into a storage section in time series. Specific information such as dispersion is calculated from the stored time series signals, and the state of the robot device is determined from the specific information. When it is detected as the state of the robot device that the robot device is lifted up, the movement of a predetermined movable part which acts to the outside is stopped.
|| A manipulator comprises a carriage on which is mounted a peel having jaws for gripping a workpiece. The peel can move relative to the carriage longitudinally vertically and in tilt. Detectors give signals representing parameters on which the position of the peel depend and a circuit derives from those signals an indication of the position of the jaws, taking into account the angular attitude of the peel. The position indication can be used to control the peel jaws to a required position relative to the carriage.
||Remote manipulator arm for nuclear generator repair
|| A remote manipulator arm for positioning and operating tube sheet repair tools within a nuclear generator shell. The arm includes a number of arm segments linked serially, each having a remotely-controlled motor to pivot an elbow in the arm segment by way of gears. A mounting bracket passes through a manhole in the generator shell and provides a stable point of connection for the arm, both inside and outside the shell, as well as connections for power and control signals to the arm. A workhead is provided for mounting on the arm end opposite the bracket, and can carry a plurality of tools to conduct repair operations on tubes. The mounting bracket can be installed from without the shell and does not block the manhole, and the arm is self-installing, requiring no human presence within the generator shell.
||Travel control method, travel control device, and mobile robot for mobile robot systems
|| In the travel control method in the mobile robot system including a plurality of mobile robots and the control station for controlling these mobile robot, the control station directs one of a plurality of mobile robots to the destination robot, responding to the direction, searches the route to the destination directed by the control station and sends the result to the control station. The control station which receives this in formation checks if the travel path searched by the mobile robot is already reserved by other mobile robots or not by the reservation table. If not, the control station informs the reserve completion to said mobile robot. The mobile robot which received the information of the reservation completion travels automatically along the travel path which is already reserved. In addition, said control station, when there are other mobile robots which disturb the travel of each mobile robot, directs the robot to wait or to take an alternate route according to the situation, or directs other mobile robots that disturb the travel to halt.
||Shinko Electric Co., Ltd.
||Grip device for sheet-like objects
|| A gripping device for gripping an outer peripheral edge of an object to be grasped such as, for example, a semiconductor wafer, with the gripping device including a base, gripping members for gripping the object to be grasped, elastic members disposed between the base and the grip members so as to urge the respective grip members in an opening or closing direction. A driver for the grip members is provided, with the driver being fashioned as a linear or flat shape memory alloy member which is connected across the grip members.
||Robot handling apparatus
|| Robotic apparatus may be provided for handling workpieces such as semiconductor wafers within an integrated vacuum processing system and may be mounted within a vacuum load lock chamber adjacent a plurality of vacuum processing chambers. The apparatus includes an upper arm, a forearm, an end effector for supporting a wafer to be transported, and a wrist connecting the forearm to the end effector. The upper arm is rotatable in a level plane about an upright shoulder axis adjacent its inner end. A first coupling mechanism interconnects the forearm to the upper arm for mutual rotation about an elbow axis in a level plane. An end effector serves to support a wafer to be transported and a wrist connects the forearm to the end effector distant from the elbow axis. A second coupling mechanism interconnects the forearm to the wrist for their mutual rotation in a level plane about a wrist axis. Rotation of the upper arm moves the end effector between a retracted position and an extended position distant from the retracted position along a substantially straight line of travel and without change in its azimuthal orientation.
||Brooks Automation, Inc.
||Method of calibrating highly precise robots
|| A method of calibrating highly precise robots having a plurality of arms and axes comprises the method steps of: attaching an angular rate sensor (30) at an arm of the robot, adjusting the arm to a predetermined nominal position, generating an angular rate about an axis (40) of the robot, comparing the angular rate measured by the angular rate sensor (30) about its input axis (46, 48) with the nominal component of the angular rate generated about said axis (40), which nominal component results for the nominal position, and correcting the parameters of the robot according to the deviation of the measured angular rate and the nominal component.
||Bodenseewerk Geratetechnik GmbH
||Device for transmitting movements and components thereof
||A device for transmitting movements comprising a parallel kinematics transmission structure adapted to provide at least one degree of freedom including three translational degrees of freedom, the parallel kinematics transmission structure further comprising a base member (2), a moveable member (4), and at least one parallel kinematics chain (6) coupling the base member (2) and the moveable member (4), each parallel kinematics chain (6) having a first arm (8) moveable in a movement plane wherein the movement planes are at a distance to a symmetry axis (40), and each parallel kinematics chain (6) comprising a second arm (10) coupled to the moveable member (4), wherein a first end (18) of the second arm (10) is adapted to be coupled to the first arm (8) and a second end (16) of the second arm (10) is adapted to be coupled to the moveable member (4).
||Nikon Technologies, Inc.