Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2284085 Summary

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(12) Patent: (11) CA 2284085
(54) English Title: TOPOLOGICAL AND MOTION MEASURING TOOL
(54) French Title: INSTRUMENT SERVANT A MESURER LA TOPOLOGIE ET LE MOUVEMENT
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • G01B 21/04 (2006.01)
  • G01B 11/16 (2006.01)
  • G06F 3/00 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors (Country):
  • DANISCH, LEE (Canada)
(73) Owners (Country):
  • CANADIAN SPACE AGENCY (Canada)
(71) Applicants (Country):
  • CANADIAN SPACE AGENCY (Canada)
(74) Agent: ANDERSON, J. WAYNE
(45) Issued: 2003-12-02
(86) PCT Filing Date: 1998-03-17
(87) PCT Publication Date: 1998-09-24
Examination requested: 2002-04-05
(30) Availability of licence: N/A
(30) Language of filing: English

(30) Application Priority Data:
Application No. Country Date
2,200,117 Canada 1997-03-17
08/863,063 United States of America 1997-05-23

English Abstract




A position, orientation, shape and motion measuring tool is provided in the
form of a flexible substrate with bend and twist sensors distributed along its
surface at known intervals. A ribbon-type substrate is preferred. The
geometric configuration of the substrate is calculated from inter-referencing
the locations and orientations of the sensors based upon the detected bend and
twist values. Suitable applications include motion capture for humans for use
in animation, six degree of freedom input to a computer, profile measurement
and location tracking within a large, singularity-free working space.


French Abstract

L'invention concerne un instrument servant à mesurer la position, l'orientation, la forme et le mouvement. Ledit instrument se présente sous forme d'un substrat flexible, muni de capteurs de courbure et de torsion, lesquels sont répartis le long de la surface dudit substrat à des intervalles préétablis. Un substrat de type ruban est préférable. La configuration géométrique du substrat est calculée à partir des références comparées des emplacements et des orientations des capteurs en fonction des valeurs de courbure et de torsion détectées. Des applications possibles sont les suivantes: saisie du mouvement à des fins d'animation, entrée de six degrés de liberté dans un ordinateur et mesure du profil et repérage d'emplacements dans un espace de travail important ne présentant pas de singularités.


Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.


THE EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION IN WHICH AN EXCLUSIVE
PROPERTY IS-CLAIMED ARE AS FOLLOWS:

1. A measuring tool fax providing data
corresponding to a geometric configuration in space
comprising:
(a) a flexible substrate capable of bending in at
least two degrees of freedom;
(b) spaced bend sensor means and twist sensor means
coupled to and positioned at known respective bend
sensor and twist sensor spacing intervals along the
substrate to provide flexure signals indicating the
respective local state of bend and twist present in
the substrate at the respective locations where the
bend sensor means and twist sensor means are coupled
to the substrate; and
(c) sensor data processing means coupled to the
bend sensor means and twist sensor means for
receiving flexure signals therefrom and for
presenting data on the geometric configuration of
the substrate in three dimensional space,
wherein the sensor data processing means
operates by determining the geometric configuration
of the substrate from bend and twist signals derived
from the flexure signals provided by the bend sensor
means and twist sensor means and from the spacing
intervals for such sensors.

2. A measuring tool as in claim 1 wherein the bend
sensor means and twist sensor means are positioned

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at common, shared bend and twist sensor spacing
intervals along the length of the substrate.

3. A measuring tool as in claim 1 wherein the
shape of the substrate is in the form of a ribbon
having a longitudinal dimension, the substrate being
substantially limited to bending along its length
about axes which are transverse to the longitudinal
dimension of the substrate but being free to twist
about such longitudinal dimension.

4. A measuring tool as in claims 1 or 3 wherein
the bend sensor means and twist sensor means are
provided as pairs of bend sensors co-located at
locations along the substrate and respectively
positioned to measure bending occurring about
respective, splayed intersecting bend axes, the bend
arid twist signals being provided by additively
combining the output of the two co-located bend
sensors and by extracting a difference from the
output of said two co-located bend sensors.

5. A measuring tool as in claims 1 or 3 wherein:
(a) the band sensor means and twist sensor means
comprise optical fibers that have been rendered
sensitive to their state of curvature by having
treated surface portions of their outer surfaces
rendered absorbent to light passing through such
fibers;

47



(b) the fibers have reversing loops and the treated
surface portions are located in the region of the
loops;
(c) the reversing loops define median lines;
(d) the loops are mounted in pairs along the
substrate, to provide a combined bend and twist
sensor means within each pair, the substrate having
a surface; and wherein
(e) the planes of the loops are parallel to the
surface of the substrate; and
(f) the median lines of the loops are oriented at
splayed angles from each other,
whereby the bend and twist signals are obtained
by additively combining the outputs of the loops in
each pair and by extracting a difference value from
the outputs of the loops in each pair.

6. A measuring tool as in claims 1 or 3 wherein
the bend sensor means and twist sensor means
comprise optical fibers that have been rendered
sensitive to their state of curvature by having
treated surface portions of their outer surfaces
rendered absorbent to light passing through such
fibers.

7. A measuring tool as in claim 6 wherein the
optical fibers have reversing loops and the fibers
have been rendered sensitive to their state of
curvature in the region of the loops to provide said
bend sensor means and twist sensor means.



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8. A measuring tool as in claim 7 wherein the
substrate is a ribbon with a longitudinal dimension,
the reversing loops of said twist sensor means
define bisecting median lines, the median lines of
the loops being aligned with the longitudinal
dimension of the ribbon, the loops having surfaces
that are disposed parallel to the plane of the
substrate and are outwardly directed from the loops,
and wherein the treated surface portions on each
loop are located on the outwardly directed surfaces
of the fiber on only opposite halves and opposite,
outwardly-directed surfaces of each such loop.

9. A measuring tool as in claim 7 wherein the
loops of the bend sensor means are mounted in nested
pairs, the treated surface portions of the fibers in
the two loops of each pair being located at
complimentary, opposite, outwardly directed face
surface portions in each loop, whereby, when the
nested loops undergo a common change in bend
curvature, the intensity of light passing through
the respective loops in each pair changes value in
opposite directions.

10. A measuring tool as in claim 9 wherein the
difference in outputs of the loops in the nested
pair is provided to the sensor data processing means
as a measure of bend curvature.

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17. A geometric configuration monitoring tool with
a configuration monitoring reference surface for
measuring the relative location and orientation in
three dimensional space of a surface to be measured
with respect to a reference location comprising:
(a) a flexible substrate capable of flexure in
three dimensional space which carries said
configuration monitoring reference surface and
reference location; and
(b) a plurality of bend sensor means and twist
sensor means serving as angular displacement sensors
and respectively spaced at known intervals along
said substrate
whereby the position and orientation in three
dimensional space of said configuration monitoring
reference surface with respect to the said reference
location is determinable geometrically from the
values for angular displacement provided by said
angular displacement sensors at their respective
locations along said substrate, combined with the
values for the intervals separating such sensors.

12. A tool as in claim 11 wherein said bend sensor
means and twist sensor means are interspersed
between each other.

13. A tool as in claim 11 wherein said bend sensor
means and twist sensor means are co-located with
each other.




14. A tool as in claim 13 wherein said bend sensor
means and twist sensor means comprise two bend
censors positioned to measure bending in splayed
directions to provide bend and twist signals derived
from the sum and difference in the outputs of said
bend sensors.

15. A tool as in claims 11, 12, 13 or 14 wherein
said substrate is in the form of a structure of
ribbon-like configuration with a longitudinal
extent, said ribbon-like structure being free along
its length to flex about. axes that are transverse to
its longitudinal extent but resistant to flexure
about axes that are parallel to the longitudinal
extent of the ribbon.

16. A tool as in claims 11, 12, 13, 14 or 15 for
measuring the relative location and orientation. in
space of first. and second surfaces to be measured
with respect to each other, said tool having:
(a) a first portion of the shape monitoring
reference surface bring adjacent to a first surface
to be measured; and
(b) a second portion of the shape monitoring
reference surface lying adjacent; to a second surface
to be measured,
wherein the first and second portions of the
shape monitoring reference surface bound an
intermediate portion of the monitoring tool which is
unconstrained in space except at it juncture with

51



said first and second portions of the shape
monitoring reference surface.

17. A tool as in claims 11, 12, 13 or 14 wherein
said substrate is in the form of a sheet carrying
the reference surface and having said bend sensor
means and twist sensor means attached thereto.

18. A method of providing data defining the spatial
configuration of a path extending in three
dimensional space, comprising conforming a substrate
in the form of a flexible sheet into a spatial
configuration along the path to be defined,
providing multiple bend sensor means and multiple
twist sensor means attached to said substrate at
predetermined intervals along and proximate to the
path to be defined, collecting bend signals and
twist signals from said respective service means,
and processing said signals to produce data on the
spatial configuration of the path along its extent
in three dimensional space, said processing of said
signals operating by combining bend signals and
twist signals from said bend sensor means and twist
sensor means together with the spacing intervals
therebetween to produce such data.

19. A method as claimed in claim 18, the substrate
being in the form of a ribbon having a longitudinal
dimension and limited to bending along its length

52



about axes transverse to the longitudinal dimension,
and twisting about its longitudinal dimension.

20. A method as claimed in claims 18 or 19, said
sensors comprising optical fibres rendered sensitive
to their state of curvature by having treated
surface portions of their outer surfaces rendered
absorbent for light passing through the fibers.

21. A measuring tool comprising:
(a) a flexible substrate;
(b) spaced flexure sensors, flexural freedom coupled to
and positioned at known flexure sensor spacing
intervals along the substrate to provide flexure
signals indicating the local state of flexure
present in the substrate at the locations where the
flexure sensors are coupled to the substrate; and
(c) sensor data processing means coupled to the flexure
sensors for receiving flexure signals therefrom and
for presenting data on the geometric configuration
of the substrate;
wherein the sensor data processing means
operates by extrapolating the geometric
configuration of the substrate from the flexure
signals provided by the flexure sensors and the
spacings intervals between such. sensors.

22. A measuring tool as in claim 21 wherein the
flexure sensors comprise twist and bend sensors
positioned at known bend and twist sensor spacing
intervals along the length of the substrate to
provide signals indicating the local state of bend
and twist present in the substrate at the locations

53




where the bend and twist sensors are attached to the
substrate.

23. A measuring tool as in claim 22 wherein the
shape of the substrate is in the form of a ribbon
having a longitudinal dimension, the substrate being
substantially limited to bending along its length
about axes which are transverse to the longitudinal
dimension of the substrate but is being free to
twist.

24. A measuring tool as in claim 23 wherein the
bend and twist sensors comprise pairs of bend
sensors co-located at the same locations along the
substrate and respectively positioned to measure
bending occurring transversely to lines on the
ribbon which are respectively oriented outwardly at
substantially the same angle from the longitudinal
dimension of the ribbon.

25. A measuring tool as in claim 23 wherein the
bend and twist sensors comprise optical fibers that
have been rendered sensitive to their state of
curvature by having treated surface portions of
their outer surfaces rendered absorbent to light
passing through such fibers.

26. A measuring tool as in claim 25 wherein the
optical fibers have reversing loops and the fibers
have been rendered sensitive to their state of
curvature in the region of the loops.

27. A measuring tool as in claim 26 wherein the
reversing loops of the twist sensors define
bisecting median lines, the median lines of the



54


loops being aligned with the longitudinal dimension
of the substrate, the loops having outwardly
directed surfaces formed in the plane of the
substrate, and the treated surface portions being
located on the outwardly directed surfaces of the
fibers on only opposite halves and opposite,
outwardly-directed surfaces of the loops.

28. A measuring tool as in claim 21 wherein:
(a) the sensors comprise optical fibers that have
been rendered sensitive to their state of curvature
by having treated surface portions of their outer
surfaces rendered absorbent to light passing through
such fibers;
(b) the fibers have reversing loops and the treated
surface portions are located in the region of the
loops;
(c) the reversing loops define median lines;
(d) the loops are mounted in pairs along the
substrate, the substrate having a longitudinal
dimension and a sensor-carrying surface;
(e) the planes of the loops are parallel to the
surface of the substrate; and
(f) the median lines of the loops are oriented at
substantially 90 degrees to each other and at 45
degrees to the longitudinal dimension of the
substrate.

29. A measuring tool as in claims 26, 27 or 28
wherein the loops are mounted in nested pairs, the
treated surface portions of the fibers being located
at complimentary portions in the region of the loops
whereby, when the nested loops undergo a common
change in curvature, the intensity of light passing



55


through the respective loops in each pair changes
value in opposite directions.

30. A measuring tool as in claim 29 wherein the
complimentary portions of the fiber loops rendered
sensitive to curvature are respectively positioned
on opposite, outwardly directed face surfaces
portions of the surfaces of the respective fibers to
permit the difference in their outputs to be used as
a measure of curvature.

31. A geometric configuration monitoring tool with
a shape monitoring reference surface for measuring
the relative location and orientation in space of a
surface to be measured with respect to a reference
location comprising:
(a) a flexible substrate which carries said shape
monitoring reference surface and reference location;
and
(b) a plurality of angular displacement sensors
spaced at known intervals along said substrate
whereby the position and orientation of said
shape monitoring reference surface with respect to
the said reference location is determinable
geometrically from the values for angular
displacement provided by the angular displacement
sensors at their respective locations along said
substrate, combined with the values for the
intervals separating such sensors.

32. A tool as in claim 31 wherein said angular
displacement sensors are bend and twist sensors.

33. A tool as in claim 32 wherein said bend and
twist sensors are interspersed with each other.

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34. A tool as in claim 32 wherein said bend and
twist sensors are co-located with each other.

35. A tool as in claims 32, 33 or 34 wherein said
substrate is in the form of a ribbon-like
configuration with a longitudinal extent carrying
the reference surface on one side, said ribbon-like
structure being free along its length to flex about
axes that are transverse to its longitudinal extent
but resistant to flexure about axes that are
perpendicular to the axes of the reference surface
and parallel to the longitudinal extent of the
ribbon.

36. A tool as in claims 31, 32, 33 or 34 for
measuring the relative location and orientation in
space of first and second surfaces to be measured
with respect to each other, said tool having:
(a) a first portion of the shape monitoring
reference surface lying for placement adjacent to a
first surface to be measured; and
(b) a second portion of the shape monitoring
reference surface for placement adjacent to a second
surface to be measured, wherein the first and
second portions of the shape monitoring reference
surface bound an intermediate portion of the
monitoring tool which is free to be unconstrained in
space except at its juncture with said first and
second portions of the shape monitoring reference
surface.

37. A tool as in claims 31, 32, 33 or 34 wherein
said substrate is planar, carrying the reference

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surface on one reference surface side and having
bend sensors positioned on the other sensor side.

58



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Admin Status

Title Date
(86) PCT Filing Date 1998-03-17
(87) PCT Publication Date 1998-09-24
(85) National Entry 1999-09-16
Examination Requested 2002-04-05
(45) Issued 2003-12-02

Maintenance Fee

Description Date Amount
Last Payment 2015-01-28 $450.00
Next Payment if small entity fee 2016-03-17 $225.00
Next Payment if standard fee 2016-03-17 $450.00

Note : If the full payment has not been received on or before the date indicated, a further fee may be required which may be one of the following

  • the reinstatement fee set out in Item 7 of Schedule II of the Patent Rules;
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Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Filing $300.00 1999-09-16
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 2000-03-17 $100.00 2000-01-26
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 3 2001-03-19 $100.00 2000-12-22
Reinstatement - failure to respond to office letter $200.00 2001-07-10
Registration of Documents $100.00 2001-07-10
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 4 2002-03-18 $100.00 2001-12-13
Special Order $100.00 2002-04-05
Request for Examination $400.00 2002-04-05
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 5 2003-03-17 $150.00 2003-03-04
Final $300.00 2003-09-04
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 6 2004-03-17 $200.00 2004-02-25
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 7 2005-03-17 $200.00 2005-02-01
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 8 2006-03-17 $200.00 2006-02-07
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 9 2007-03-19 $200.00 2007-02-22
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 10 2008-03-17 $250.00 2008-02-08
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 11 2009-03-17 $250.00 2009-02-23
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 12 2010-03-17 $250.00 2010-02-08
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 13 2011-03-17 $250.00 2011-02-07
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 14 2012-03-19 $250.00 2012-02-15
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 15 2013-03-18 $450.00 2013-03-04
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 16 2014-03-17 $450.00 2014-02-21
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 17 2015-03-17 $450.00 2015-01-28

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