US Pat. No. 10,634,504

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR ELECTRONIC MAPPING AND LOCALIZATION WITHIN A FACILITY

CLEARPATH ROBOTICS INC., ...

1. A method for electronically mapping a facility, the method comprising:obtaining, by a processor, a CAD file from at least one non-transitory computer-readable medium, the CAD file having graphical representations representing known features of the facility;
generating, by the processor, an occupancy-map image based on the CAD file;
generating, by the processor, a keyframe graph based on the CAD file;
storing a map file on the at least one non-transitory computer-readable medium, wherein the map file comprises the occupancy-map image and the keyframe graph;
detecting, by the processor, a sensed feature in the facility with at least one sensor; and
updating, by the processor, the occupancy-map image based on the sensed feature; and
wherein the sensed feature is not a feature of the known features of the facility prior to the processor detecting the sensed feature.

US Pat. No. 10,618,401

MOBILE PLATFORM FOR MATERIALS TRANSPORT

CLEARPATH ROBOTICS INC., ...

1. A mobile platform comprising:a chassis comprising a first end, a second end distal the first end, and opposite sides extending therebetween;
a pair of suspension devices located on the opposite sides, each comprising:
a respective rocker beam, pivotally connected to a respective side, and extending from about a centre of the chassis to about the first end, and being one of a pair of rocker beams;
a respective central wheel connected to the rocker beam at about the centre, and being one of a pair of central wheels; and,
a respective first end wheel connected to the rocker beam at about the first end, and being one of a pair of first end wheels; and,
one or more second end wheels located at the second end,
each of the pair of rocker beams configured to rotate between at least: a first position, the pair of central wheels extending outwards from a bottom portion of the chassis in the first position, such that the chassis rolls using at least the pair of central wheels; and, a second position, the pair of central wheels retracting towards the bottom portion in the second position, such that the chassis rolls using the pair of first end wheels, and the one or more second end wheels without the pair of central wheels;
a drive system configured to drive the pair of central wheels;
one or more sensors positioned to sense one or more of force, a strain, and a rotation of one or more of the pair of suspension devices;
one or more load cells configured to sense a load on the chassis; and,
a control device in communication with the one or more sensors and the one or more load cells, the control device configured to adjust operation of the drive system according to data received from the or more sensors and the one or more load cells.

US Pat. No. 10,585,440

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR USING HUMAN-OPERATED MATERIAL-TRANSPORT VEHICLES WITH FLEET-MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

CLEARPATH ROBOTICS INC., ...

1. A method of using a human-operated material-transport vehicle with a fleet-management system, comprising:operating a driver-support system mounted to the human-operated material-transport vehicle, the driver-support system comprising a processor operable to:
receive a mission definition from the fleet-management system, wherein the mission definition comprises one or more tasks to be conducted by the human-operated material-transport vehicle;
plan a path based on the mission definition;
display the path via a human-vehicle interface to assist the operator of the human-operated material-transport vehicle to conduct the one or more tasks;
monitor and collect a vehicle-mission information associated with an operation of the human-operated material-transport vehicle by the operator within an industrial facility associated with the fleet-management system, wherein the driver-support system comprises:
at least one sensor for determining at least one of a vehicle location and a vehicle velocity; and
a task-input device for receiving one or more user inputs from the operator for providing a task-related data; and
transmit the vehicle-mission information to the fleet-management system during the operation by the operator of the human-operated material-transport vehicle for completing the one or more tasks;
during the operation by the operator of the human-operated material-transport vehicle for completing the one or more tasks:
operating the fleet-management system to:
determine, based on the at least one of the vehicle location and the vehicle velocity and a fleet status of one or more other vehicles operating within the industrial facility, of one or more potential collisions between the human-operated material-transport vehicle and the one or more other vehicles; and
determine, based on the one or more user inputs, a task status of the one or more tasks being conducted by the human-operated material-transport vehicle; and
generate and transmit to the driver-support system a collision notification associated with the one or more potential collisions and an updated mission definition based the task status; and
operating the driver-support system to:
in response to receiving the collision notification, generating a collision alert via the human-vehicle interface to warn the operator of the one or more potential collisions;
update the path based on the updated mission definition; and
display the updated path via the human-vehicle interface.

US Pat. No. 10,625,611

ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING INTERFACE DEVICE

CLEARPATH ROBOTICS INC., ...

1. An electric vehicle charging interface device comprising:a chassis having a top, a bottom, a front side, and a back side opposite the front side, the chassis configured to move along a longitudinal axis between an uncompressed position and a compressed position;
two electrodes extending from the front side of the chassis in a direction away from the chassis, the two electrodes being laterally spaced from the longitudinal axis and positioned on opposed sides of the longitudinal axis; and,
a biasing portion configured to bias the chassis towards the uncompressed position.

US Pat. No. 10,462,076

SYSTEM, APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR AUTOMATIC ENVIRONMENTAL DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS

CLEARPATH ROBOTICS INC., ...

1. A system for automatic environmental data collection and analysis comprising:an unmanned vehicle associated with a geographical survey entity; and
a server in communication with the unmanned vehicle, comprising:
a processor and a communication interface, the processor configured to:
receive, using the communication interface, a geographic survey request from a first computing device;
determine whether one or more sets of existing geographic survey data stored in a memory is sufficient to satisfy the geographic survey request;
in response to determining the geographic survey request can be satisfied with the one or more sets of existing geographic survey data:
analyze the one or more of the sets of existing geographic survey data to generate a processed geographic survey data; and
transmit, using the communication interface, the processed geographic survey data to the first computing device; and
in response to determining the geographic survey request cannot be satisfied with the one or more of the sets of existing geographic survey data:
translate the geographic survey request into mission data for collecting geographic survey data, wherein the mission data comprises data for instructing the unmanned vehicle to collect the geographic survey data;
transmit, using the communication interface, the mission data to a second computing device associated with the geographic survey entity;
receive, using the communication interface, the geographic survey data collected by the geographic survey entity using the mission data and the unmanned vehicle;
analyze the geographic survey data to generate processed geographic survey data; and,
transmit, using the communication interface, the processed geographic survey data to the first computing device.

US Pat. No. 10,682,948

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES WITH LIGHTING CONTROL

CLEARPATH ROBOTICS INC., ...

1. An autonomous vehicle, comprising:a chassis;
two or more drive wheels extending below the chassis;
a drive motor housed within the chassis for driving the drive wheels;
an illumination system for emitting light from at least a portion of the chassis;
a memory storing a plurality of lighting pattern definitions; and
a processor operable to:
receive state data defining a current state of the autonomous vehicle;
select a lighting pattern of the plurality of lighting patterns based on the state data; and
control the illumination system according to the selected lighting pattern definition.

US Pat. No. 10,955,845

METHOD, SYSTEM AND APPARATUS FOR HANDLING OPERATIONAL CONSTRAINTS FOR CONTROL OF UNMANNED VEHICLES

CLEARPATH ROBOTICS INC., ...

1. A non-transitory computer-readable medium storing computer-readable instructions executable by a processor to perform a method, the method comprising:storing in a data storage one or more operational constraints, each operational constraint comprising (i) a class identifier that identifies one of a speed limit and a travel direction restriction within a region of an environment, (ii) an indication of the region in which at least one unmanned vehicle is to be deployed, and (iii) a property defining a constraint on an operation of the at least one unmanned vehicle within the region;
receiving a request associated with an operational constraint from an unmanned vehicle of the at least one unmanned vehicle;
in response to receiving the request, retrieving the operational constraint from the data storage based on the request;
sending the retrieved operational constraint to the unmanned vehicle via a network; and
operating the unmanned vehicle by controlling at least one of a speed of the unmanned vehicle and a direction of the unmanned vehicle according to the retrieved operational constraint,
wherein the method further comprising:
prior to storing the one or more operational constraints, storing one or more operational constraint templates, each template including (i) a class and (ii) a property definition.

US Pat. No. 10,662,045

CONTROL AUGMENTATION APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR AUTOMATED GUIDED VEHICLES

CLEARPATH ROBOTICS INC., ...

1. An augmentation system for an automated guided vehicle (AGV) deployed in a facility and including a control module for controlling a drive mechanism based on sensor data received from a navigation sensor, the system comprising:an inter-module communications interface connected to the control module;
a memory;
a processor connected to the communications interface and the memory, the processor configured to:
obtain an operational command defining a goal for the AGV;
prior to generating control data defining one or more operations for the AGV to execute the operational command, determine whether the sensor data received from a navigation sensor of the AGV indicates the presence or absence of guidance infrastructure for use in a default control mechanism of the AGV; and
when the sensor data indicates the absence of the guidance infrastructure, override the default control mechanism, wherein overriding the default control mechanism comprises:
generating the control data defining the one or more operations for the AGV to execute the operational command;
converting the control data to simulated sensor data to enable the control module to control the drive mechanism in the absence of guidance infrastructure, wherein the simulated sensor data corresponds to sensor data that would have been generated by the navigation sensor in the presence of the guidance infrastructure and converting the control data to simulated sensor data comprises:
determining one or more sensors to simulate based on one or more data types of the control data, and
determining the simulated sensor data required to trigger the one or more operations defined by the control data; and
sending the simulated sensor data to the control module, whereby the control module is operable to control the drive mechanism in the absence of the guidance infrastructure to execute the operational command.

US Pat. No. 10,990,100

METHOD, SYSTEM AND APPARATUS FOR HANDLING OPERATIONAL CONSTRAINTS FOR CONTROL OF UNMANNED VEHICLES

CLEARPATH ROBOTICS INC., ...

1. A non-transitory computer-readable medium storing computer-readable instructions executable by a processor to perform a method, the method comprising:storing in a data storage one or more operational constraints, each operational constraint comprising (i) a class identifier that identifies one of a speed limit and a travel direction restriction within a region of an environment, (ii) an indication of the region in which at least one unmanned vehicle is to be deployed, and (iii) a property defining a constraint on an operation of the at least one unmanned vehicle within the region;
receiving a request associated with an operational constraint from an unmanned vehicle of the at least one unmanned vehicle;
in response to receiving the request, retrieving the operational constraint from the data storage based on the request;
sending the retrieved operational constraint to the unmanned vehicle via a network; and
operating the unmanned vehicle by controlling at least one of a speed of the unmanned vehicle and a direction of the unmanned vehicle according to the retrieved operational constraint,
wherein the method further comprising:
prior to storing the one or more operational constraints, storing one or more operational constraint templates, each template including (i) a class and (ii) a property definition.

US Pat. No. 10,885,495

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR AUTONOMOUS PROVISION REPLENISHMENT

CLEARPATH ROBOTICS INC., ...

14. A method of operating a self-driving material-transport vehicle for autonomous provision replenishment, the method comprising:determining, by a provision-replenishment station, that a number of items at a stocking queue of a manufacturing process does not satisfy a replenishment threshold;
transmitting, by the provision-replenishment station to a fleet-management system, a provision-replenishment signal, the provision-replenishment signal including a drop-off location and a first time stamp corresponding to a signal generation time;
generating, by the fleet-management system, a replenishment mission based on the provision-replenishment signal having an associated pick-up location and the drop-off location;
transmitting the replenishment mission from the fleet-management system to the self-driving material-transport vehicle;
operating the self-driving material-transport vehicle to:
execute the replenishment mission;
transmit to the fleet-management system, following completion of the replenishment mission, a confirmation signal including a second time stamp corresponding to a replenishment completion time;
in response to receiving the confirmation signal at the fleet-management system, operating the fleet-management system to determine a delivery time interval based on the first and second time stamps;
determining, by the fleet-management system, a replenishment time buffer associated with the replenishment threshold;
adjusting the replenishment threshold based on the replenishment time buffer and the delivery time interval to generate an updated replenishment threshold; and
transmitting the updated replenishment threshold to the provision-replenishment station.

US Pat. No. 10,701,622

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR WIFI MAPPING IN AN INDUSTRIAL FACILITY

CLEARPATH ROBOTICS INC., ...

1. A system for operating one or more self-driving vehicles for WiFi mapping in an industrial facility, the system comprising:a self-driving vehicle having a WiFi transceiver in communication with a fleet-management system via a first WiFi access point;
the self-driving vehicle having a drive system for moving the self-driving vehicle and a control system for autonomously navigating the self-driving vehicle;
the control system having at least one non-transitory computer readable medium and a processor, the at least one medium storing instructions that, when executed, cause the processor to be configured to:
receive a mission data comprising a destination location and a mission priority from the fleet-management system via the WiFi transceiver;
determine a path to the destination location;
determine at least one preferred measurement location, wherein the at least one preferred measurement location comprises a location associated with at least one of a number of data points below a minimum data point threshold and data points associated with a measurement date that is older than a minimum measurement frequency threshold;
determine whether modifying the path to include the at least one preferred measurement location would cause the self-driving vehicle to exceed a mission completion time determined based on the mission priority;
in response to determining the modified path would not cause the self-driving vehicle to exceed the mission completion time, modify the path to include the at least one preferred measurement location as an intermediate location;
instruct the drive system to move the self-driving vehicle along the modified path to the destination location based on autonomous navigation;
receive a WiFi received signal strength indication via the WiFi transceiver when the self-driving vehicle is in proximity of the at least one preferred measurement location; and
store a value based on the received signal strength indication in association with the at least one preferred measurement location on the at least one medium.

US Pat. No. 10,990,093

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR UNMANNED VEHICLES HAVING SELF-CALIBRATING SENSORS AND ACTUATORS

Clearpath Robotics Inc., ...

1. An unmanned vehicle comprising:a chassis;
a processor for controlling a propulsion system of the unmanned vehicle and receiving sensor data from one or more sensors of the unmanned vehicle, the processor configured to:
enumerate one or more unmanned vehicle capabilities by querying one or more of the propulsion system and the one or more sensors of the unmanned vehicle; and
operate the propulsion system in an autonomous calibration mode by:
automatically controlling the propulsion system to move the chassis;
collecting the sensor data from the one or more sensors; and
processing the sensor data using one or more uncertainty propagation models to determine at least one degree of certainty on the calibration;
determine that the degree of certainty is above a threshold value; and
subsequently switch operation of the propulsion system to an operational mode based on the determination that the degree of certainty is above the threshold value.

US Pat. No. 10,990,919

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR AUTONOMOUS LINESIDE PARTS DELIVERY TO AN ASSEMBLY LINE PROCESS

CLEARPATH ROBOTICS INC., ...

1. A method for autonomous lineside parts delivery to an assembly-line process, comprising:receiving a part-supply schedule, the schedule comprising a first part identifier identifying a first part to be supplied, and a second part identifier identifying a second part to be supplied, an assembly-line location to be supplied with the first and second parts, a first delivery time and a second delivery time for supplying the first and second parts, respectively, to the assembly-line location, wherein the first delivery time is before the second delivery time;
generating a first mission and a second mission, wherein the first mission comprises picking up the first part at a first pick-up location and delivering the first part to the assembly-line location at the first delivery time, and the second mission comprises picking up the second part at a second pick-up location and delivering the second part to the assembly-line location at the second delivery time;
selecting a first self-driving material-transport vehicle for executing the first mission and a second self-driving material-transport vehicle for executing the second mission;
receiving the first mission with a first vehicle processor on the first vehicle, and the second mission with a second vehicle processor on the second vehicle;
executing the first and second missions with the first and second vehicles, respectively, to supply the corresponding parts to the assembly-line location at the respective first and second delivery times in accordance with the part-supply schedule;
in the process of executing the first and second missions:
monitoring estimated arrival times for the first vehicle and the second vehicle to arrive at the assembly-line location to determine whether the estimated arrival time of the second vehicle is before the estimated arrival time of the first vehicle;
in response to determining that the estimated arrival time of the second vehicle is before the estimated arrival time of the first vehicle, automatically generating an updated second mission to re-route the second vehicle along an updated drop-off path from the second pick-up location to a waypoint location;
executing, by the second vehicle processor, the updated second mission by operating the second vehicle to follow the updated drop-off path and to stop at the waypoint location for a waiting period; and
subsequent to the waiting period, operating, by the second vehicle processor, the second vehicle to drive from the waypoint location to the assembly-line location to deliver the second part by the second delivery time.

US Pat. No. 10,974,899

APPARATUS, SYSTEMS, AND METHODS FOR PAYLOAD PICK-UP AND DROP-OFF WITH A SELF-DRIVING MATERIAL-TRANSPORT VEHICLE

Clearpath Robotics Inc., ...

1. A system for providing smart pick-up and drop-off, comprising:a payload transfer surface supported by at least one vertical support member, the payload transfer surface having an access channel;
a sensor associated with the payload transfer surface for sensing a presence or absence of a payload on the payload transfer surface;
a fleet-management system in communication with the sensor for managing a fleet of self-driving vehicles;
at least one self-driving material-transport vehicle in communication with the fleet-management system, the vehicle having a lift appliance for elevating the payload;
wherein, the sensor communicates a signal to the fleet-management system indicative of the presence or absence of the payload and the fleet-management system sends instructions to the vehicle based on the signal to autonomously drive the vehicle under the payload transfer surface and elevate the lift appliance so that the lift appliance is positioned within the access channel and the payload is elevated above the payload transfer surface.

US Pat. No. 10,974,585

MOBILE PLATFORM FOR MATERIALS TRANSPORT

CLEARPATH ROBOTICS INC., ...

1. A mobile platform comprising:a chassis comprising a first end, a second end distal the first end, and opposite sides extending there between;
a pair of suspension devices located on the opposite sides, each comprising:
a respective rocker beam, pivotally connected to a respective side, and extending from about a centre of the chassis to about the first end, and being one of a pair of rocker beams;
a respective central wheel connected to the rocker beam at about the centre, and being one of a pair of central wheels; and,
a respective first end wheel connected to the rocker beam at about the first end, and being one of a pair of first end wheels; and,
one or more second end wheels located at the second end, each of the pair of rocker beams configured to rotate between at least: a first position, the pair of central wheels extending outwards from a bottom portion of the chassis in the first position, such that the chassis rolls using at least the pair of central wheels; and, a second position, the pair of central wheels retracting towards the bottom portion in the second position, such that the chassis rolls using the pair of first end wheels, and the one or more second end wheels without the pair of central wheels;
a drive system configured to drive the pair of central wheels;
one or more sensors positioned to sense one or more of force, a strain, and a rotation of one or more of the pair of suspension devices; and
a control device in communication with the one or more sensors, the control device configured to adjust operation of the drive system according to data received from the one or more sensors.

US Pat. No. 10,928,835

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR FLEXIBLE MANUFACTURING USING SELF-DRIVING VEHICLES

CLEARPATH ROBOTICS INC., ...

1. A method for flexible conveyance in an assembly process, comprising:based on a mission, transporting an assembly to a first workstation using a self-driving vehicle, the mission being based on one or more workstations of a plurality of workstations, the plurality of workstations comprising the first workstation and a second workstation;
performing an operation on the assembly at the first workstation;
subsequently transporting the assembly to the second workstation using the self-driving vehicle;
receiving assembly-plan information from at least one workstation of the plurality of workstations; and
updating the mission based on the assembly-plan information,
wherein the assembly remains on the self-driving vehicle while the operation is performed.

US Pat. No. 10,880,412

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR COMMUNICATING BETWEEN A FLEET OF ROBOTS AND A FLEET MANAGER

CLEARPATH ROBOTICS INC., ...

1. A method for implementing an auxiliary transport protocol for exchanging data between a sender computing device and a receiver computing device, comprising:storing, at the sender computing device, a plurality of routing records containing respective content type indicators and, for each content type indicator, (i) a message source identifier and (ii) a message destination identifier; the routing records including:
a first routing record containing an initial content type indicator and a message destination identifier corresponding to a relay of the sender computing device; and
a second routing record containing an extended content type indicator and a message destination identifier corresponding to a bridge of the sender computing device;
responsive to generation of an initial message having a payload and the initial content type indicator identifying a local type of the payload within a primary transport protocol, routing the initial message to the relay of the sender computing device over a first connection established via the primary transport protocol according to the first routing record;
at the relay of the sender computing device, responsive to receiving the initial message, generating an extended message having the payload and the extended content type indicator identifying a global type of the payload within the auxiliary transport protocol, and routing the extended message to the bridge of the sender computing device over a second connection established via the primary transport protocol according to the second routing record;
at the bridge of the sender computing device, responsive to receiving the extended message, generating a converted extended message for transmission via the auxiliary transport protocol; and
transmitting the converted extended message to the receiver computing device via the auxiliary transport protocol.

US Pat. No. 10,814,891

METHOD, SYSTEM AND APPARATUS FOR SELF-DRIVING VEHICLE OBSTACLE AVOIDANCE

CLEARPATH ROBOTICS INC., ...

1. A method for obstacle avoidance with a self-driving vehicle within a facility comprising:autonomously driving the self-driving vehicle;
using a sensor of the self-driving vehicle to obtain a measurement of a speed of the self-driving vehicle;
receiving the measurement of the speed with a processor of the self-driving vehicle;
using the processor to define a first and a second sensor region based on the speed of the self-driving vehicle, wherein the second sensor region has a range greater than a range of the first sensor region; and
during operation of the self-driving vehicle, detecting whether an object is within the second sensor region and in response to detecting the object is within the second sensor region,
adjusting the operation of the self-driving vehicle to reduce a risk of colliding with the object while determining an avoidance response for avoiding the object, wherein determining the avoidance response for avoiding the object comprises generating a new path for the self-driving vehicle and autonomously driving the self-driving vehicle according to the new path; and
in response to detecting the object is within the first sensor region, triggering an emergency stop at the self-driving vehicle to avoid collision with the object.