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US6263989: Robotic platform

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Filing Information

Inventor(s) Chikyung Won ·
Assignee(s) iRobot Corporation ·
Attorney/Agent(s) Fish & Richardson P.C. ·
Primary Examiner Daniel G. DePumpo ·
Application Number US9237570
Filing date 01/26/1999
Issue date 07/24/2001
Predicted expiration date 01/26/2019
U.S. Classifications 180/932  · 180/901  · 180/87  ·
International Classifications --
Kind CodeB1
International Classifications 180 81 · 180 82 · 180 87 · 180 91 · 180 932 · 180901 · 901 1 ·
Related U.S. Application DataCROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/096,141, filed Aug. 11, 1998, and U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/079,701, filed Mar. 27, 1998.
14 Claims, 21 Drawings


Abstract

An articulated tracked vehicle that has a main section, which includes a main frame, and a forward section. The main frame has two sides and a front end, and includes a pair of parallel main tracks. Each main track includes a flexible continuous belt coupled to a corresponding side of the main frame. The forward section includes an elongated arm. One end of the arm is pivotally coupled to the main frame near the forward end of the main frame about a transverse axis that is generally perpendicular to the sides of the main frame. The arm has a length sufficiently long to allow the forward section to extend below the main section in at least some degrees of rotation of the arm, and a length shorter than the length of the main section. The center of mass of the main section is located forward of the rearmost point reached by the end of the arm in its pivoting about the transverse axis. The main section is contained within the volume defined by the main tracks and is symmetrical about a horizontal plane, thereby allowing inverted operation of the robot.

Independent Claims | See all claims (14)

  1. 1. An articulated tracked vehicle comprising: a main section including a main frame having two sides and a front end, and including a pair of parallel main tracks coupled to a corresponding side of the main frame; and a forward section including an elongated arm having a proximal end and a distal end, the proximal end of the arm being pivotally coupled to the main frame near the forward end of the main frame about a transverse axis generally perpendicular to the sides of the main frame allowing continuous rotation of the arm about the transverse axis, the arm having a length sufficiently long to allow the forward section to pivot such that the forward section extends below the main section, and a length shorter than the length of the main section; wherein the vehicle includes a drive system for driving the main tracks to propel the vehicle in a first mode of locomotion, and for rotating the arm about the transverse axis to propel the vehicle in a second mode of locomotion.
  2. 13. An invertible articulated tracked vehicle comprising: a main section including a main frame having two sides and a front end, and including a pair of parallel main tracks coupled to a corresponding side of the main frame; a forward section including a pair of elongated arms each having a proximal end and a distal end, the proximal ends of the arms being pivotally coupled to the main frame near the forward end of the main frame allowing rotation of the arms around a transverse axis that is generally perpendicular to the sides of the main frame, the forward section further including a pair of forward tracks one track coupled to each of the two arms; and on each side of the vehicle, a pair of drive pulleys for supporting and driving each of the main and forward tracks, respectively, the drive pulleys being coaxial with the transverse axis of rotation of the arms, and joined so that the main and forward tracks are driven together; wherein the main section is contained within a volume defined by the main tracks and the vehicle is configured to operate in two opposite vertical orientations.

Referenced By

Document NumberAssigneeInventorsIssue/Pub Date
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Patent Family

Document NumberAssigneeInventorsIssue/Pub Date
US6263989 iRobot Corporation Chikyung Won Jul 2001
US20080236907 IROBOT CORPORATION Chikyung Won Oct 2008