List of our patents

Robotics and civil engineering

Method and device for quantitatively determining the setting of an alternator.
A method for quantitatively determining the setting of an alternator without removing or dismantling the alternator rotor, even when the width of the alternator air gap is no greater than 10 mm. The method uses a thin flat sensor with a recess on one side for receiving a piston. The sensor is inserted into the air gap and positioned in front of the wedge where the setting is to be determined, so that the piston is facing said wedge. A fluid is then injected into the sensor to urge the piston into contact with the wedge and press it thereagainst while the sensor is in engagement with the rotor. The pressure of the injected fluid, which is proportional to the force applied to the spring behind the wedge, is measured. Wedge movement when the pressure is exerted is also measured by means of a strain gauge attached to a flexible blade contacting the piston. The setting may thus be deduced from the measured force and movement. An apparatus for carrying out the method is also disclosed.

No. Application, patent (CA) : CA 2204786
No. Application, patent (USA) : 5,524,474
Method and apparatus for determining the position of an underwater object in real-time.
A method and apparatus is disclosed for providing a determined position in real-time of an underwater bject using a plurality of sensors operating at various sampling rates and for using the determined position n real-time in order to perform inspection tasks inter alia.

No. Application, patent (CA) : CA 2539591
No. Application, patent (USA) : 7,257,483
System and method for the three-dimensional mapping of a structural surface.
The invention relates to a system and a method for the three-dimensional mapping of a structural surface. Two wires extend at the front of and along the structural surface in order to define a reference surface area. A measuring unit including a laser assembly and a camera is moved in front of the structural surface in order to progressively scan the surface. Two separate light planes directed towards the structural surface are projected using the laser assembly. Images of the structural surface containing lines resulting from an intersection of the light planes with the structural surface and four reference points resulting from an intersection of the light planes with the wires are detected using the camera. The images are processed in order to determine the 3D co-ordinates of the lines defining the mapping in a reference system related to the reference surface area while considering the position and the orientation of the measuring unit based on the reference points.

No. Application, patent (CA) : CA 2701497
No. Application, patent (USA) : 12/734034
Cutting head with spatter collection for cutting a tubular object.
The invention relates to a cutting head with spatter collection for cutting a tubular object. The cutting head includes a frame as well as gripping, cutting, advancing, and sealing members. The gripping member is used for gripping the object and securing the position thereof relative to the frame. The cutting member includes a motor driving a blade for cutting the tubular object. The advancing member is used for guiding the cutting member so as to change the cutting depth of the blade through a cutting area defined by an opening in the frame. The sealing member includes elements extending about the cutting area and defining a chamber for containing the spatter generated by the blade upon cutting. A suction duct communicating with the chamber is used for drawing in the spatter and conveying the latter towards a spatter collection outlet.

No. Application, patent (CA) : CA 2730656
No. Application, patent (USA) : 12/737479
Device and method for aligning one or more wires in a plane.
The invention relates to a device and to a method for precisely aligning at least one wire in a plane extending from a surface on which one end of the wire is anchored. The wire, which is in a taut position, is held by a fastener rigidly connected to an inclinometer capable of measuring an inclination of the wire. The inclinometer is connected to a mobile member of a structure by a joint having elements hinged in relation to one another so as to enable a relative angular movement of the elements. The mobile member is movable relative to the surface so as to enable the wire to be positioned in the plane according to the inclination of the wire measured by the inclinometer which is free to be directed freely along an axis of the wire. The device can align two wires forming a precise reference plane.

No. Application, patent (CA) : CA 2751491
No. Application, patent (USA) : 13/138381
Robot for tooling a structural part under water.
A robot for machining a part of structure under water, comprising a machine tool having a chamber receiving a machining element, a support and guiding structure of the machine tool fixable with respect to the part to be machined and having submersible mobile elements and corresponding submersible guiding elements defining axes along which the mobile elements are movable to position the machine tool with respect to the part to be machined, displacement units for displacement of the mobile elements along the axes, a gas supply connecting to the machine tool to inject gas in the chamber, and a programmable control unit for operating the displacement units and the machine tool based on a closed-loop control mode in order to achieve the machining of the part.

No. Application, patent (CA) : CA 2694883
No. Application, patent (USA) : 12/932465
Submersible robot for operating a tool relative to a surface of an underwater structure.
A submersible robot for operating a tool relative to a surface of an underwater structure has a tool holder movably mounted on a support assembly provided with a driving arrangement for movably holding the tool in operative position relative to the surface. Position and orientation of the support assembly relative to the surface is locked and adjusted by locking and levelling arrangements. A programmable control unit operates the driving, locking and levelling arrangements and the tool and receives measurements from a sensor unit. The control unit has an operation mode wherein a positioning of the robot is determined and controlled as function of an initial position for defining a first work area, and shifted positions of the robot for defining additional work areas, the work areas having overlapping portions with one another for tracking displacements of the robot relative to the surface of the structure using the sensor unit.

No. Application, patent (CA) : CA 2753640
No. Application, patent (USA) : 13/249404
Bracelet for moving ultrasonic sensors along a pipe.
A bracelet (14) for moving sensors (12) along a straight or elbow pipe. The bracelet (14) has a number of side-by-side positionable supports (10) for removably holding the sensors (12) respectively. A flexible attachment, such as a string (20), is provided for holding the supports (10) in a pliant side-by-side series arrangement (22). The string (20) has opposite ends (24) extending beyond the supports (10) at opposite ends (26) of the series arrangement (22). The bracelet (14) further has a frame (28) having an inner circular opened surface (30) for installation around the pipe, and a longitudinal circular side receiving surface (32) along which the series arrangement (22) of the supports (10) is mounted. The side receiving surface (32) is provided with fastening members (34) projecting at both ends (26) of the series arrangement (22) of the supports (10). The ends (24) of the string (20) is supported by the fastening members (34).

No. Application, patent (CA) : CA 2411947
No. Application, patent (USA) : 6,497,159
Apparatus for moving a measuring device along a pipe.
The invention relates to an apparatus which is used to move a measuring device along a pipe. The inventive apparatus comprises: a collar (4); a support device which supports the measuring device in relation the collar (4); at least one drive wheel (18, 20, 22) which is mounted to the collar (4) and which is oriented such as to move the collar (4) along the pipe, each of said wheels having an axle; a flexible transmission device (26) comprising an inlet for receiving a rotational movement and an outlet for transmitting said rotational movement; a gearing device which is mounted to the collar in order to re-direct the rotational movement from the outlet of the flexible transmission device (26) towards the axle of the wheel; and a coupling device which is used to connect the gearing device to the axle of the wheel.

No. Application, patent (CA) : CA 2511677
No. Application, patent (USA) : 7,284,456
Motorized bracelet assembly for moving sensor modules around a pipe.
A motorized bracelet assembly for ultrasonic crack detection in a pipe. The bracelet has a motorized frame adapted for installation around the pipe and a sliding arrangement slideably mounted onto the frame. The sliding arrangement guides a displacement of sensor modules in periphery of the pipe. A first driving device controllably drives the sliding arrangement and thereby displacing the sensor modules in periphery of the pipe at desired operating positions. The bracelet comprises biasing devices for biasing the sensor modules against the pipe and a second driving device for controllably driving the frame along the axial direction of the pipe at a desired operating position.

No. Application, patent (CA) : CA 2545285
No. Application, patent (USA) : 7,950,298
Remote controlled inspection and intervention vehicle for high tension power system.
A vehicle for use on a live line. The vehicle is provided with three coplanar traction wheels mounted on a frame and spaced along a first longitudinal axis parallel to the live line and above therefrom. The vehicle is also provided with two movable coplanar pressure wheels mounted on the frame and spaced along a second longitudinal axis parallel to the line and below therefrom. The vehicle has a driving motor mounted on the frame, for driving the traction wheels. The motor has a source of energy, such as batteries. The vehicle has a pressure mechanism mounted on the frame and coupled to the pressure wheels, for maintaining the line squeezed between the traction wheels and the pressure wheels. The vehicle has a control mechanism coupled to the motor for controlling the motor. Thereby, in use, the vehicle is moved along the line. The vehicle can also be provided with a de-icing tool. The de-icing tool has a collar with two parts opening and closing around the line. The collar supports several blades concentrically spaced apart from each other and forming an open cone in a forward moving direction of the vehicle.

No. Application, patent (CA) : CA 2299662
No. Application, patent (USA) : 6,494,141
Remote-controlled vehicle which travels on conductors and which can pass over obstacles by means of temporary support rotors.
The invention relates to a remote-controlled vehicle which is intended to be mounted on at least one conductor cable and to pass over any obstacle it encounters thereon. According to the invention, the vehicle comprises: a frame; inspection systems; motors used to move the vehicle; a remote control system; at least two carrying arms which are pivot mounted to the frame and which exert a pressure in the direction of the conductor(s), such as to enable the frame to be suspended from the conductor(s); and at least two opposing wheels which are attached to each carrying arm in order to enable the vehicle to travel along said conductor(s) while suspended. The axis of rotation of each of the wheels is inclined in relation to the vertical axis and at least one of said wheels is actuated by the above-mentioned motors. Moreover, at least one temporary support rotor is equipped with at least two pivoting blades which are disposed above the corresponding conductor in order temporarily to support the vehicle when one of the wheels encounters an obstacle.

No. Application, patent (CA) : CA 2514440
No. Application, patent (USA) : 7,634,966
Remote-controlled vehicle designed to be mounted on a support and capable of clearing an obstacle.
The invention concerns a remote-controlled vehicle designed to be mounted on a support and capable of clearing an obstacle on the support. The vehicle comprises first and second mobile frames. At least one articulated arm is mounted mobile on the first frame and a wheel is mounted on the articulated arm to maintain the vehicle on the support. A fastening means co-operates with the wheel and is adapted to retain the wheel on the support. At least one temporary support arm is mounted mobile on the second frame. The temporary support arm comprises retaining means for maintaining the vehicle on the support. The vehicle comprises motor means connected between the frames and the arms for moving same with respect to one another so as to clear an obstacle encountered on the support.

No. Application, patent (CA) : CA 2562719
No. Application, patent (USA) : 7,552,684

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