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Spatial feature tracking impedence sensor using multiple electric fields

United States Patent

5,793,176
August 11, 1998
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
Linear and other features on a workpiece are tracked by measuring the fields generated between electrodes arrayed in pairs. One electrode in each pair operates as a transmitter and the other as a receiver, and both electrodes in a pair are arrayed on a carrier. By combining and subtracting fields between electrodes in one pair and between a transmitting electrode in one pair and a receiving electrode in another pair, information describing the location and orientation of the sensor relative to the workpiece in up to six degrees of freedom may be obtained. Typical applications will measure capacitance, but other impedance components may be measured as well. The sensor is designed to track a linear feature axis or a protrusion or pocket in a workpiece. Seams and ridges can be tracked by this non-contact sensor. The sensor output is useful for robotic applications.
Novak; James L. (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
08/ 042,292
April 2, 1993
The government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC04-76DP00789 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy.