Happy New Year!
ParalleMIC has been finally updated after an almost three-month pause. Two were
the major axes of development during that period. Firstly, more than 30 patents
have been added. Secondly, an important Gallery section has been started.
I have been always perplexed by patent law, and particularly how similar
inventions have been subsequently patented. Perhaps, one day, I will devote a
small section in which such (pairs of) patents will be displayed. I have picked
two such examples from the recently added patents. Note, however, that I did
not have the time to carefully examine the claims of those patents, so do not
consider what follows as criticism but rather as sheer curiosity.
It is probably Merlet's "active wrist" that heads the list of "attractive"
patented designs, yet well behind Clavel's Delta robot. (Recall the great
number of companies and universities that develop variations of that robot,
many of which have even been successfully patented.) After Hephaist's identical
SWF6B-30 (), and a number of University
implementations, there was the similar design of MicroDexterity Systems'
ParaDex. A paradox, indeed, it may be to some that MD Systems recently patented
their ParaDex (). Well, I agree
that the similarities are not that striking at all - the platform joints of the
ParaDex manipulator are distinct. But what can be said about the "General
purpose jig" recently patented by the Japanese Calsonic Corporation
(), which at first glance
reminds me so much of Neos Robotics' Tricept?
Now, for a practical hint. I continue to link for all patents to the Delphion
web site because it offers one of the best IP databases. However, unless you
pay a monthly subscription, you can view only the cover page of patents. For US
patents, though, you may use the USPTO web site () and
view the entire patents for free. You only need to install a plugin that allows
you to view TIFF images within your browser. Such a free plugin is available
The second contribution to ParalleMIC has been the launch of a new section that
will list existing parallel mechanisms with brief specifications, photos, and
links. I have started the section with several popular PKMs. The section will
further include parallel robots (motion bases and industrial robots ready for
integration), motion simulators (complete systems), and others.
And finally, I have slightly redesigned the ParalleMIC logo. It used to be too
fluffy and the text did not display well...
January 2, 2002
* Some 30 patents have been added in Sublists 02, 06, 15, 20, and in the new
* A new section "Gallery of Existing Parallel Mechanisms" has been started
* Stewart platform for pick-and-place, DR. MADER Maschinenbau GmbH
* Handlex (a Stewart platform), Fachhochschule Bochum
* Parallel robot simulations, Prof. Dr. H. Münch, Hochschule Magdeburg
* RoMed (a Stewart platform from PI), a medical robot
* Hexapod Project, Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA
* Hexapod, Institut für Mechatronik und Automatisierungstechnik
* Reconfigurable tripod, FH Heilbronn