With the New Year comes a new round of patents, and while many readers have wondered why most of the previous postings are mostly design patents, this week’s roundup (from the last Official Gazette for Patents of 2014) includes only “general and mechanical” patents.
I can only assume that such patents are released less frequently, in larger batches, or that everyone left everything until the end of the year.
The year-end brought a great amount of medical patents, for which we can be thankful, and a weird amount of golf-related ones as well, for which I am puzzled. Although I have always wanted one of these. So as we move on with the New Year, here is a look at the (non-design) patents for this week, and a glimpse of what 2015 may hold – the fun, the silly, the useful, and a crib baby bottle holder for self-feeding.
The patent claims that a new design could reduce both noise and turbulence. Michigan engineers have been experimenting with different techniques for similar morphing wings, so the idea is not new; however, Dan Inmann, Professor and Department Chair of Aerospace Engineering at the University says that “the technology is still decades away.”
In-Wheel Driving Device
Samsung Techwin has been approved for an “in-wheel driving device” patent.
Instead of an internal combustion engine, “the driving power of each wheel of a car is directly controlled via an electric motor that is provided in the wheel.”
This would change the car design method and the setup of assembly lines; however, the patent claims that car manufacturers would have reduced development costs and risks.
The patent also asserts the design provides easy access for motor repair.
Retractable Bottle Opener & Method of Use
This patent, assigned to “Bottle Ops,” calls for “a retractable bottle opener with a wearable wrist band coupled to a wrist-arm area of a user.”
It also features a “light emitting device” that shines on the user’s hand when the bottle opener is in its operational position – and even has a spot to hold your lighter.
To use the bottle opener, “The limb may create sufficient impetus through various motions, such as swinging an arm, jabbing an arm, and flailing an arm.”
Personally, I flail.
Citing the need for an alternative assistive device for “rehabilitation motions,” this patent for a robotic cane was assigned to … Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (the automobile manufacturing and research and development company owned by Toyota Motor Company).
The patent describes the cane as featuring a motorized, omni-directional wheel coupled to a second end of the cane body, a balance control sensor, and a controller module.
In-line Staged Horizontal Takeoff Vehicles & Related Methods
This patent describes a multi-stage aerospace vehicle that is configured for horizontal takeoff and landing. “The flight vehicle and the launch vehicle are separable in flight. In an aspect, the flight vehicle is an unmanned aerial vehicle configured for high-altitude, long-endurance operations.”
The patent, which cites the need for drones with these capabilities, further explains “what is needed are devices and methods which facilitate optimization of an aerospace vehicle during some of all phases of flight.” David Luther was the sole name on this patent, with no apparent company involvement.
Electro-Motive Diesel has applied for a patent describing “a tender car capable of propelling itself when disconnected from the consist.”
So you can’t merely pull the pin and run away with your portion of the train (making it much more difficult to get away from the bad guys).
Sign Language Action Generating Device & Communication Robot
The images correspond with Honda Motor’s communication robot patent looks similar (exactly the same) to one of its current humanoid robots, ASIMO. Sharing similar functions, this patent may be for new capabilities (or just it may just be very specific, very detailed changes).
The patent explains, “The present invention relate to a technique of performing sign language by a robot, and more specifically, to a sign language action generating device which generate a sign language action generating by connecting each sign language action corresponding to a word used in a sign language by a robot, and a communication robot equipped with the sign language action generating device.”
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense