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Robot history question

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  • Stephen Noel
    Hi everybody, I was referred to your organization by another bot enthusiast. I really hope that you can help me. I am an electrical engineer working as a
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 4, 2006
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      Hi everybody,

      I was referred to your organization by another 'bot enthusiast. I really
      hope that you can help me.

      I am an electrical engineer working as a consultant. I am currently
      investigating the validity of a foreign patent that describes toy which
      chases a spot of light projected on the ground by a handheld controller
      (e.g. flashlight or laser pointer).

      It is very similar behavior to a classic Photovore but is distinguished
      by the fact that the photodetectors are aimed downwards at the ground,
      such that they ignore the source of the light and only see the reflected
      spot.

      Does anyone have objective evidence - preferably dated printed material
      - of such a device existing earlier than 2002, either a commercially
      available product or something someone cobbled together? I would very
      much appreciate any help you can provide me in tracking this down; it's
      really important to me to find a prior art example.

      Thanks in advance,

      Stephen Noel
    • Randy M. Dumse
      ... David Anderson s SR04 has optical sensors (CdS) pointed down, on the can/tennis ball gripper, and that s how he did line following. Might have some basis
      Message 2 of 8 , Feb 6, 2006
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        > Does anyone have objective evidence - preferably
        > dated printed material
        > - of such a device existing earlier than 2002,
        > either a commercially
        > available product or something someone cobbled
        > together? I would very
        > much appreciate any help you can provide me in
        > tracking this down; it's
        > really important to me to find a prior art example.

        David Anderson's SR04 has optical sensors (CdS) pointed down, on
        the can/tennis ball gripper, and that's how he did line
        following. Might have some basis on your case of prior art.
        http://www.geology.smu.edu/~dpa-www/robots/sr04/

        Randy
        www.newmicros.cmo
      • Stephen Noel
        Thanks, Randy. I read through David s work and have tried to contact him, but no response yet. Any other thoughts, anybody? The foreign patent describes, in
        Message 3 of 8 , Feb 7, 2006
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          Thanks, Randy. I read through David's work and have tried to contact
          him, but no response yet.

          Any other thoughts, anybody? The foreign patent describes, in essence, a
          toy vehicle/robot which chases a light beam reflected off the floor. The
          patent filing date is 2002. I am trying to prove that this type of toy
          had already been invented and publicly disclosed prior to 2002. If I can
          do this, there is a chance that the patent can be nullified.

          Things that would help me prove that the toy had already been invented
          include:

          1) The existence of a commercial product or kit which embodies this
          behaviour.

          2) The existence of a publicly-documented amateur example (or just
          description) of such a toy. Dated sources such as web pages, magazine
          articles, and book descriptions are all valid.

          I have heard a lot of anecdotal evidence that people have been doing
          this for years, but the challenge is in finding a published example that
          the patent holder might reasonably have seen or read about prior to
          2002, and thereby simply copied the idea and claimed it as his own
          invention. I think this is the case, but I have not been able to find
          that public proof yet. Can anyone help?

          Stephen


          Randy M. Dumse wrote:
          >>Does anyone have objective evidence - preferably
          >>dated printed material
          >>- of such a device existing earlier than 2002,
          >>either a commercially
          >>available product or something someone cobbled
          >>together? I would very
          >>much appreciate any help you can provide me in
          >>tracking this down; it's
          >>really important to me to find a prior art example.
          >
          >
          > David Anderson's SR04 has optical sensors (CdS) pointed down, on
          > the can/tennis ball gripper, and that's how he did line
          > following. Might have some basis on your case of prior art.
          > http://www.geology.smu.edu/~dpa-www/robots/sr04/
          >
          > Randy
          > www.newmicros.cmo
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Visit the SRS Website at http://www.seattlerobotics.org
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >

          --
          Stephen Noel
          Pronetiq Consultation
          networks - systems - infrastructure
          http://www.pronetiq.com
          (514) 926-4700
        • Pete Miles
          Well, how about laser guided missiles? The military has been using them for more than 20 years. The missile homes in on the reflected light from a laser
          Message 4 of 8 , Feb 7, 2006
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            Well, how about laser guided missiles? The military has been using them for more than 20 years. The missile homes in
            on the reflected light from a laser beam. It is quite simple, and I am quite sure you will find many patents and
            process disclosures on this technology all over the place.

            Newton Research labs (here in the Seattle area) developed a nifty little device that uses a laser to tag a police
            officer during training sessions. A painball gun tracks the laser spot and shoots at the police officer when the video
            bad guy shoots at the police officer. This way the police officer better get used to ducking behind obsticles during
            the training sessions or get shot with a paint ball.

            For some big toys there are the autonomous combat robots from the early years of Robot Wars (mid 90's) that tracked
            infrared light on each robot so the robots can home in on each other, and destroy each other.

            Then you can look at how the Sony Aibo toy robot dog or the VisionOne humanoid robots from Japan track light sources.

            Or you could consider derivitives of Kenneth Maxons laser opject finding system that can be used to track objects using
            a simple laser pointer.

            Or better yet, look at the CMU Camera from CMU, here is a simple camera system that is designed to be mounted on a
            hobbiest robot so that it can be tuned to track a particular color such as a laser light (or any other color).

            All of these have been around long before 2002.

            This should give you lots of ideas to look into.

            Pete


            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Stephen Noel" <snoel@...>
            To: <SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2006 3:17 PM
            Subject: Re: [SeattleRobotics] Robot history question


            > Thanks, Randy. I read through David's work and have tried to contact
            > him, but no response yet.
            >
            > Any other thoughts, anybody? The foreign patent describes, in essence, a
            > toy vehicle/robot which chases a light beam reflected off the floor. The
            > patent filing date is 2002. I am trying to prove that this type of toy
            > had already been invented and publicly disclosed prior to 2002. If I can
            > do this, there is a chance that the patent can be nullified.
            >
            > Things that would help me prove that the toy had already been invented
            > include:
            >
            > 1) The existence of a commercial product or kit which embodies this
            > behaviour.
            >
            > 2) The existence of a publicly-documented amateur example (or just
            > description) of such a toy. Dated sources such as web pages, magazine
            > articles, and book descriptions are all valid.
            >
            > I have heard a lot of anecdotal evidence that people have been doing
            > this for years, but the challenge is in finding a published example that
            > the patent holder might reasonably have seen or read about prior to
            > 2002, and thereby simply copied the idea and claimed it as his own
            > invention. I think this is the case, but I have not been able to find
            > that public proof yet. Can anyone help?
            >
            > Stephen
            >
            >
            > Randy M. Dumse wrote:
            > >>Does anyone have objective evidence - preferably
            > >>dated printed material
            > >>- of such a device existing earlier than 2002,
            > >>either a commercially
            > >>available product or something someone cobbled
            > >>together? I would very
            > >>much appreciate any help you can provide me in
            > >>tracking this down; it's
            > >>really important to me to find a prior art example.
            > >
            > >
            > > David Anderson's SR04 has optical sensors (CdS) pointed down, on
            > > the can/tennis ball gripper, and that's how he did line
            > > following. Might have some basis on your case of prior art.
            > > http://www.geology.smu.edu/~dpa-www/robots/sr04/
            > >
            > > Randy
            > > www.newmicros.cmo
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Visit the SRS Website at http://www.seattlerobotics.org
            > > Yahoo! Groups Links
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
            > --
            > Stephen Noel
            > Pronetiq Consultation
            > networks - systems - infrastructure
            > http://www.pronetiq.com
            > (514) 926-4700
            >
            >
            > Visit the SRS Website at http://www.seattlerobotics.org
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
          • Stephen Noel
            Thanks, Pete, these are all good references on visual tracking. I have reviewed most of them, and will continue to dig. Patents tend to be, by necessity, very
            Message 5 of 8 , Feb 8, 2006
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              Thanks, Pete, these are all good references on visual tracking. I have
              reviewed most of them, and will continue to dig.

              Patents tend to be, by necessity, very narrow in scope. In this
              particular case, the patent is for a toy which follows a projected light
              spot, NOT for the underlying technologies, such as laser designation of
              objects, and tracking of said objects using a vision system.

              I agree that there are many examples of techniques to locate and
              recognize objects in the available literature, including those that you
              mentioned. They help my case by showing that the inventive step to go
              from a 1968-era Paveway laser-guided munition to a spot-following toy is
              quite minor. I still need to find a clear example of a spot-following
              toy in order to really seal the issue.

              Thanks,

              Stephen

              Pete Miles wrote:
              > Well, how about laser guided missiles? The military has been using them for more than 20 years. The missile homes in
              > on the reflected light from a laser beam. It is quite simple, and I am quite sure you will find many patents and
              > process disclosures on this technology all over the place.
              >
              > Newton Research labs (here in the Seattle area) developed a nifty little device that uses a laser to tag a police
              > officer during training sessions. A painball gun tracks the laser spot and shoots at the police officer when the video
              > bad guy shoots at the police officer. This way the police officer better get used to ducking behind obsticles during
              > the training sessions or get shot with a paint ball.
              >
              > For some big toys there are the autonomous combat robots from the early years of Robot Wars (mid 90's) that tracked
              > infrared light on each robot so the robots can home in on each other, and destroy each other.
              >
              > Then you can look at how the Sony Aibo toy robot dog or the VisionOne humanoid robots from Japan track light sources.
              >
              > Or you could consider derivitives of Kenneth Maxons laser opject finding system that can be used to track objects using
              > a simple laser pointer.
              >
              > Or better yet, look at the CMU Camera from CMU, here is a simple camera system that is designed to be mounted on a
              > hobbiest robot so that it can be tuned to track a particular color such as a laser light (or any other color).
              >
              > All of these have been around long before 2002.
              >
              > This should give you lots of ideas to look into.
              >
              > Pete
              >
              >
              > ----- Original Message -----
              > From: "Stephen Noel" <snoel@...>
              > To: <SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com>
              > Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2006 3:17 PM
              > Subject: Re: [SeattleRobotics] Robot history question
              >
              >
              >
              >>Thanks, Randy. I read through David's work and have tried to contact
              >>him, but no response yet.
              >>
              >>Any other thoughts, anybody? The foreign patent describes, in essence, a
              >>toy vehicle/robot which chases a light beam reflected off the floor. The
              >>patent filing date is 2002. I am trying to prove that this type of toy
              >>had already been invented and publicly disclosed prior to 2002. If I can
              >>do this, there is a chance that the patent can be nullified.
              >>
              >>Things that would help me prove that the toy had already been invented
              >>include:
              >>
              >>1) The existence of a commercial product or kit which embodies this
              >>behaviour.
              >>
              >>2) The existence of a publicly-documented amateur example (or just
              >>description) of such a toy. Dated sources such as web pages, magazine
              >>articles, and book descriptions are all valid.
              >>
              >>I have heard a lot of anecdotal evidence that people have been doing
              >>this for years, but the challenge is in finding a published example that
              >>the patent holder might reasonably have seen or read about prior to
              >>2002, and thereby simply copied the idea and claimed it as his own
              >>invention. I think this is the case, but I have not been able to find
              >>that public proof yet. Can anyone help?
              >>
              >>Stephen
              >>
              >>
              >>Randy M. Dumse wrote:
              >>
              >>>>Does anyone have objective evidence - preferably
              >>>>dated printed material
              >>>>- of such a device existing earlier than 2002,
              >>>>either a commercially
              >>>>available product or something someone cobbled
              >>>>together? I would very
              >>>>much appreciate any help you can provide me in
              >>>>tracking this down; it's
              >>>>really important to me to find a prior art example.
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>David Anderson's SR04 has optical sensors (CdS) pointed down, on
              >>>the can/tennis ball gripper, and that's how he did line
              >>>following. Might have some basis on your case of prior art.
              >>>http://www.geology.smu.edu/~dpa-www/robots/sr04/
              >>>
              >>>Randy
              >>>www.newmicros.cmo
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>Visit the SRS Website at http://www.seattlerobotics.org
              >>>Yahoo! Groups Links
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>
              >>--
              >>Stephen Noel
              >>Pronetiq Consultation
              >>networks - systems - infrastructure
              >>http://www.pronetiq.com
              >>(514) 926-4700
              >>
              >>
              >>Visit the SRS Website at http://www.seattlerobotics.org
              >>Yahoo! Groups Links
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Visit the SRS Website at http://www.seattlerobotics.org
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >

              --
              Stephen Noel
              Pronetiq Consultation
              networks - systems - infrastructure
              http://www.pronetiq.com
              (514) 926-4700
            • Brian Dean
              ... I fellow demonstrated such a toy at a TAR (Triangle Amateur Robotics) meeting several years ago - basically a BEAM style toy that did exactly this. I
              Message 6 of 8 , Feb 8, 2006
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                On Wed, Feb 08, 2006 at 09:29:32AM -0500, Stephen Noel wrote:

                > I agree that there are many examples of techniques to locate and
                > recognize objects in the available literature, including those that
                > you mentioned. They help my case by showing that the inventive step
                > to go from a 1968-era Paveway laser-guided munition to a
                > spot-following toy is quite minor. I still need to find a clear
                > example of a spot-following toy in order to really seal the issue.

                I fellow demonstrated such a toy at a TAR (Triangle Amateur Robotics)
                meeting several years ago - basically a BEAM style toy that did
                exactly this. I remember he turned out the lights and shined a
                flashlight on the floor and the robot followed the light on the floor
                - it worked very well.

                TAR web site: http://www.triangleamateurrobotics.org/

                My memory might be failing, but I think it was based on a design out
                of Dave Hrynkiw's and Mark Tilden's book - "Junkbots, Bugbots, and
                Bots on Wheels". I don't have my book handy to check the publish date
                or verify whether there is a design in the book that is close, but it
                should be easy to look up.

                Let me know and I can pass on the name and e-mail of the person who
                demo'd this robot to you off-line. I know the demo was after 2002,
                but the design it was based on might not have been.

                -Brian
                --
                Brian Dean
                ATmega128 based MAVRIC controllers
                http://www.bdmicro.com/
              • LJGeib@aol.com
                Apparently, there was an entire contest devoted to light following robots in the 1996 Robothon. The most famous robot to come out of that contest was Randy
                Message 7 of 8 , Feb 8, 2006
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                  Apparently, there was an entire contest devoted to light following robots in
                  the 1996 Robothon. The most famous robot to come out of that contest was Randy
                  Sargents "Herbie", Which is still being copied in various forms.

                  Here's a link

                  http://images.amazon.com/media/i3d/01/make_vol2_amazon.pdf

                  The LM386 based circuit is in Dave Hrynkiw's JUNKBOTS book. and may be the
                  one Brian is refering to.

                  Larry


                  In a message dated 2/8/06 10:19:29 AM, bsd@... writes:


                  > On Wed, Feb 08, 2006 at 09:29:32AM -0500, Stephen Noel wrote:
                  >
                  > > I agree that there are many examples of techniques to locate and
                  > > recognize objects in the available literature, including those that
                  > > you mentioned. They help my case by showing that the inventive step
                  > > to go from a 1968-era Paveway laser-guided munition to a
                  > > spot-following toy is quite minor. I still need to find a clear
                  > > example of a spot-following toy in order to really seal the issue.
                  >
                  > I fellow demonstrated such a toy at a TAR (Triangle Amateur Robotics)
                  > meeting several years ago - basically a BEAM style toy that did
                  > exactly this.  I remember he turned out the lights and shined a
                  > flashlight on the floor and the robot followed the light on the floor
                  > - it worked very well.
                  >
                  > TAR web site: http://www.triangleamateurrobotics.org/
                  >
                  > My memory might be failing, but I think it was based on a design out
                  > of Dave Hrynkiw's and Mark Tilden's book - "Junkbots, Bugbots, and
                  > Bots on Wheels".  I don't have my book handy to check the publish date
                  > or verify whether there is a design in the book that is close, but it
                  > should be easy to look up.
                  >
                  > Let me know and I can pass on the name and e-mail of the person who
                  > demo'd this robot to you off-line.  I know the demo was after 2002,
                  > but the design it was based on might not have been.
                  >
                  > -Brian
                  > --
                  > Brian Dean
                  > ATmega128 based MAVRIC controllers
                  > http://www.bdmicro.com/
                  >



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • mycroft2152
                  Hi Stephan, One of the early articles about a light following robot car(OMNI Photovore) was published in the March 1991 issue of Discover Magazine. I remember
                  Message 8 of 8 , Feb 9, 2006
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                    Hi Stephan,

                    One of the early articles about a light following robot car(OMNI
                    Photovore) was published in the March 1991 issue of Discover
                    Magazine.

                    I remember building one. It was based on a Radio Shack toy car.

                    Hope this helps.

                    TANSTAAFL!

                    Myc



                    --- In SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com, Stephen Noel <snoel@...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    > Hi everybody,
                    >
                    > I was referred to your organization by another 'bot enthusiast. I
                    really
                    > hope that you can help me.
                    >
                    > I am an electrical engineer working as a consultant. I am currently
                    > investigating the validity of a foreign patent that describes toy
                    which
                    > chases a spot of light projected on the ground by a handheld
                    controller
                    > (e.g. flashlight or laser pointer).
                    >
                    > It is very similar behavior to a classic Photovore but is
                    distinguished
                    > by the fact that the photodetectors are aimed downwards at the
                    ground,
                    > such that they ignore the source of the light and only see the
                    reflected
                    > spot.
                    >
                    > Does anyone have objective evidence - preferably dated printed
                    material
                    > - of such a device existing earlier than 2002, either a
                    commercially
                    > available product or something someone cobbled together? I would
                    very
                    > much appreciate any help you can provide me in tracking this down;
                    it's
                    > really important to me to find a prior art example.
                    >
                    > Thanks in advance,
                    >
                    > Stephen Noel
                    >
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