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Title:
EXERCISE MACHINE WITH PANCAKE MOTOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/070436
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
An exercise machine is disclosed. The exercise machine comprises a pancake motor. The exercise machine comprises a torque controller coupled to the pancake motor. The exercise machine comprises a high resolution encoder coupled to the pancake motor.

Inventors:
ORADY, Aly, E. (325 Vermont Street, San Francisco, CA, 94103, US)
VALENTE, Michael (325 Vermont Street, San Francisco, CA, 94103, US)
WEATHERSPOON, Darryl (325 Vermont Street, San Francisco, CA, 94103, US)
STOTT, Bret, G. (325 Vermont Street, San Francisco, CA, 94103, US)
Application Number:
US2018/052436
Publication Date:
April 11, 2019
Filing Date:
September 24, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
TONAL SYSTEMS, INC. (325 Vermont Street, San Francisco, CA, 94103, US)
International Classes:
A63B21/005
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TAN, Christopher, C. (Van Pelt, Yi & James LLP10050 N. Foothill Blvd., Suite 20, Cupertino CA, 95014, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. An exercise machine comprising:

a pancake motor;

a torque controller coupled to the pancake motor; and

a high resolution encoder coupled to the pancake motor.

2. The exercise machine of claim 1 , further comprising a voltage stabilizer coupled to the pancake motor to dissipate power.

3. The exercise machine of claim 1 , further comprising a low resolution encoder coupled to the pancake motor.

4. The exercise machine of claim 3, further comprising an encoding pattern that uses phase to determine direction associated with the low resolution encoder.

5. The exercise machine of claim 1 , further comprising a spool coupled to the pancake motor, and a cable wound about the spool.

6. The exercise machine of claim 5, further comprising an arm, wherein the arm positions the cable.

7. The exercise machine of claim 6, wherein the arm has an ability to pivot.

8. The exercise machine of claim 6, wherein the arm has an ability to translate.

9. The exercise machine of claim 1 , wherein the exercise machine is a strength training machine.

10. The exercise machine of claim 1, further comprising a differential coupled to the pancake motor.

11. The exercise machine of claim 10, further comprising a first spool and a second spool, each spool coupled to the differential.

12. The exercise machine of claim 11, further comprising: a first arm; a second arm; a first cable; and a second cable, wherein: the first cable is wound about the first spool; the second cable is wound about the second spool; the first arm positions the first cable; and the second arm positions the second cable.

13. The exercise machine of claim 12, wherein the pancake motor, first spool, and second spool are mounted near the top of the exercise machine.

14. The exercise machine of claim 12, wherein the cables are routed over the top of the exercise machine.

15. The exercise machine of claim 1, further comprising a low profile gear box coupled to the pancake motor.

16. The exercise machine of claim 1, further comprising a low profile differential coupled to the pancake motor.

17. The exercise machine of claim 1, wherein the exercise machine is low profile.

18. The exercise machine of claim 1 , further comprising a second pancake motor.

19. The exercise machine of claim 18, further comprising a first spool and a second spool, wherein the first spool is coupled to the pancake motor, and wherein the second spool is coupled to the second pancake motor.

20. The exercise machine of claim 19, further comprising: a first arm; a second arm; a first cable; and a second cable, wherein: the first cable is wound about the first spool; the second cable is wound about the second spool; the first arm positions the first cable; and the second arm positions the second cable.

21. The exercise machine of claim 1 , further comprising a wall bracket, wherein the exercise machine at least in part hangs on the wall bracket.

22. The exercise machine of claim 1 , wherein the pancake motor has teeth compatible with a belt integrated into a body of the pancake motor along an outer circumference.

23. The exercise machine of claim 1 , wherein the pancake motor uses cable tension and gravity to move a slider up and down to desired positions for a first arm.

24. An exercise machine, comprising:

a motor;

a gearbox coupled to the motor, wherein the gearbox comprises bevel gears;

a spool coupled to the gearbox; and

a cable wound about the spool.

25. The exercise machine of claim 24, wherein the gearbox is a differential.

26. The exercise machine of claim 24, wherein a belt couples the gearbox to the motor.

27. The exercise machine of claim 24, wherein the bevel gears are spherical gears.

28. The exercise machine of claim 24, wherein the bevel gears are inside a belt sprocket coupled to the motor.

29. The exercise machine of claim 24, wherein the spool is mounted on a gear.

30. The exercise machine of claim 24, wherein the gearbox includes a planetary gearset.

31. The exercise machine of claim 30, wherein the planetary gearset includes a sun gear and a planet, and wherein the spool is mounted on a sun gear.

32. The exercise machine of claim 24, wherein the gearbox is a differential, and further comprising a second spool and a second spool, wherein the second spool is coupled to the gearbox and the second cable is wound about the second spool.

33. The exercise machine of claim 32, wherein the differential comprises a belt sprocket, wherein a belt couples the belt sprocket to the motor.

34. The exercise machine of claim 32, wherein the differential comprises a belt sprocket, wherein a toothed belt couples the belt sprocket to the motor.

35. The exercise machine of claim 34, wherein the bevel gears comprise: a planet gear mounted inside the belt sprocket; and a sun gear wherein the spool is mounted on the sun gear.

36. An exercise machine, comprising:

a motor;

a lockable translatable mount;

a cable coupled to the motor via the lockable translatable mount; and

a sensor coupled to the lockable translatable mount, wherein the sensor is used at least in part to determine mount lock state.

37. The exercise machine of claim 36, wherein the sensor is used at least in part to determine a mount position.

38. The exercise machine of claim 37, wherein the mount position is used at least in part to check for a properly configured exercise.

39. The exercise machine of claim 37, further comprising a motor controller coupled to the motor and the sensor, wherein the motor controller is used at least in part to adjust torque of the motor based at least in part on the mount position.

40. The exercise machine of claim 36, further comprising a lockable arm coupled to the mount and a second sensor coupled to the lockable arm, wherein the second sensor is used at least in part to determine arm angle.

41. The exercise machine of claim 40, wherein the second sensor is used at least in part to check for a properly configured exercise.

42. The exercise machine of claim 36, further comprising a motor controller coupled to the motor and the sensor, wherein the motor controller is used at least in part to determine a cable length.

43. The exercise machine of claim 42, wherein the sensor is used at least in part to adjust the determination of the cable length.

44. The exercise machine of claim 36, further comprising a safety controller coupled to the motor and the sensor, wherein the safety controller reduces cable tension based at least in part on a detection of an arm unlock state.

45. The exercise machine of claim 36, wherein the safety controller reduces torque to the motor based at least in part on the ESTOP state.

46. An exercise machine, comprising:

a motor;

a mount;

a cable coupled to the motor via the mount;

a sensor coupled to the mount, wherein the sensor is used at least in part to determine mount lock state; and

a lockable arm coupled to the mount and a second sensor coupled to the lockable arm, wherein the second sensor is used at least in part to determine arm angle.

47. An exercise machine, comprising:

a tension generating device;

a translatable arm mount coupled to the tension generating device;

an arm coupled to the translatable arm mount; and

a cable coupled to the tension generating device via the arm.

48. The exercise machine of claim 47, wherein the tension generating device is based on at least one of the following: electronic resistance, pneumatic cylinders, springs, weights, flexing nylon rods, elastics, pneumatics, hydraulics, and friction.

49. The exercise machine of claim 47, wherein the translatable arm mount permits the arm to pivot vertically.

50. The exercise machine of claim 47, wherein the wherein the translatable arm mount permits the arm to pivot vertically at least in part using teeth.

51. The exercise machine of claim 50, wherein the teeth are trapezoidal in shape.

52. The exercise machine of claim 51 , wherein the teeth are engaged using a compressed spring and arm-based lever.

53. The exercise machine of claim 47, wherein the translatable arm mount permits locking.

54. The exercise machine of claim 53, wherein the locking is based at least in part on a pin.

55. The exercise machine of claim 47, further comprising a track for the translatable arm mount to slide along one dimension of translation.

56. The exercise machine of claim 55, wherein the track is rotatable horizontally.

57. The exercise machine of claim 56, wherein the arm may be stowed by pivoting the arm vertically and rotating the track in a compact manner behind the exercise machine.

58. An exercise machine, comprising:

a tension generating device;

a sensor monitoring the tension generating device; and

a safety controller coupled to the tension generating device and the sensor, wherein the safety controller is configured to:

collect a sensor data from the sensor;

analyze the sensor data to determine whether the sensor data is within a specification; and

in the event the sensor data is not within a specification, entering an error stop mode for the tension generating device.

59. The exercise machine of claim 58, wherein the tension generating device includes a motor and wherein the sensor monitors at least one of the following: rotation of the motor and electrical current in a phase of the motor.

60. The exercise machine of claim 58, wherein the sensor monitors acceleration of an exercise machine frame.

61. The exercise machine of claim 58, wherein the tension generating device includes a motor and wherein the sensor monitors at least one of the following: motor torque, motor speed, motor voltage, and motor acceleration.

62. The exercise machine of claim 58, further comprising a cable coupled to the tension generating device, wherein the sensor monitors at least one of the following: cable tension, cable speed, cable position, and cable acceleration.

63. The exercise machine of claim 58, wherein the sensor monitors at least one of the following: a voltage associated with the exercise machine, an electrical current associated with the exercise machine, and a temperature associated with the exercise machine.

64. The exercise machine of claim 58, wherein the tension generating device includes a motor and wherein the specification is based at least on at least one of the following: electrical current on a lead of the motor; current consumed by the motor; torque being generated by the motor; speed of the motor; voltage being applied to the motor; resistance of the motor; and speed of the motor.

65. The exercise machine of claim 58, wherein the specification is based at least in part on little or no acceleration of an exercise machine frame.

66. The exercise machine of claim 58, wherein the specification is based at least in part on at least one of the following: a safe range of system voltage; a safe range of system electrical current; and a safe range of temperature.

67. The exercise machine of claim 58, wherein the specification is based at least in part on a physics model.

68. The exercise machine of claim 67, further comprising a cable coupled to the tension generating device, wherein the physics model calculates a safe amount of torque.

69. The exercise machine of claim 67, further comprising a cable coupled to the tension generating device, wherein the physics model determines the specification based at least in part on a cable speed and/or cable tension.

70. The exercise machine of claim 58, wherein the error stop disables all power to the exercise machine.

71. The exercise machine of claim 58, further comprising a cable coupled to the tension generating device, wherein the error stop mode disables all power to any device driving the cable.

72. The exercise machine of claim 58, wherein the error stop disables a main system power supply and/or relies on an auxiliary supply to keep the safety controller operational.

73. The exercise machine of claim 58, further comprising a cable coupled to the tension generating device, wherein the error stop mode reduces tension on the cable.

74. The exercise machine of claim 58, further comprising a cable coupled to the tension generating device, wherein the error stop mode reduces cable retraction speed.

75. The exercise machine of claim 58, wherein the tension generating device is configured to provide an arm cable assist feature.

76. The exercise machine of claim 75, wherein the arm cable assist feature comprises using the cable providing tension for exercise to be routed to support the arm's weight when the translatable arm mount is unlocked.

77. A method, comprising:

collecting a sensor data from a sensor monitoring a tension generating device of an exercise machine;

analyzing the sensor data to determine whether the sensor data is within a specification; and

in the event the sensor data is not within a specification, entering an error stop mode for the tension generating device.

78. A computer program product, the computer program product being embodied in a tangible computer readable storage medium and comprising computer instructions for: collecting a sensor data from a sensor monitoring a tension generating device of an exercise machine;

analyzing the sensor data to determine whether the sensor data is within a specification; and

in the event the sensor data is not within a specification, entering an error stop mode for the tension generating device.

Description:
EXERCISE MACHINE WITH PANCAKE MOTOR

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] Strength training, also referred to as resistance training or weight lifting, is an important part of any exercise routine. It promotes the building of muscle, the burning of fat, and improvement of a number of metabolic factors including insulin sensitivity and lipid levels. Many users seek a more efficient and safe method of strength training.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0002] Various embodiments of the invention are disclosed in the following detailed description and the accompanying drawings.

[0003] Figure 1 A is a block diagram illustrating an embodiment of an exercise machine.

[0004] Figure IB illustrates a front view of one embodiment of an exercise machine.

[0005] Figure 1C illustrates a perspective view of the system of Figure IB wherein for clarity arms, cables, and belts are omitted.

[0006] Figure ID illustrates a front view of the system of Figure IB.

[0007] Figure IE illustrates a perspective view of the drivetrain of Figure IB.

[0008] Figure 2A illustrates a top view of one embodiment of an exercise machine.

[0009] Figure 2B illustrates a top view of an alternate embodiment of an exercise machine.

[0010] Figure 3 A is a circuit diagram of an embodiment of a voltage stabilizer.

[0011] Figure 3B is a flowchart illustrating an embodiment of a process for a safety loop for an exercise machine.

[0012] Figure 4 is an illustration of arms in one embodiment of an exercise machine.

[0013] Figure 5 A is an illustration of a locked position for an arm. [0014] Figure 5B is an illustration of an unlocked position for an arm.

[0015] Figure 6 is an illustration of an embodiment of a vertical pivot locking mechanism.

[0016] Figures 7 A and 7B illustrate locking and unlocking for arm vertical pivoting.

[0017] Figures 8 A and 8B illustrate a top view of a track that pivots horizontally.

[0018] Figure 9A shows column (402) from a side view.

[0019] Figure 9B shows a top view of arm (402).

[0020] Figure 9C shows device locking member (415) having been pulled back from top member (412).

[0021] Figure 9D shows a side view of track (402) with cable (501) located in the center of track (402), and arm (702) traveling down and directly away from the machine.

[0022] Figure 9E shows the front view, now with arm (702) traveling down and to the left.

[0023] Figure 9F is a perspective view of an exercise machine arm extended upward.

[0024] Figure 9G is a perspective view of an exercise machine arm extended horizontally.

[0025] Figure 9H illustrates an exploded perspective view drawing of an arm (702) including its lever (732), compression spring (733), and locking member (722).

[0026] Figure 91 illustrates both an assembled sectioned and non-sectioned perspective view drawing of the arm (702).

[0027] Figure 9J is a side view section of an exercise machine slider (403) with its locking mechanism and pin locked.

[0028] Figure 9K is a side view section of an exercise machine slider (403) with its locking mechanism and pin unlocked. [0029] Figure 9L is a perspective view of an exercise machine slider (403), revealing the pin (404) as well as teeth (422) for an arm vertical pivot.

[0030] Figure 9M is a perspective view of the exercise machine slider (403) in a column/rail (402) with revealed teeth (422), with arm (702) set at a vertical pivot at a point parallel to the horizontal plane.

[0031] Figure 9N is a side view section of the exercise machine slider (403) in a column/rail (402), with arm (702) set at a vertical pivot at a point parallel to the horizontal plane.

[0032] Figure 90 is a sectional side view of the exercise machine slider (403).

[0033] Figure 9P illustrates an exploded perspective view drawing of the exercise machine slider (403).

[0034] Figure 9Q is a perspective view of a column locking mechanism for a horizontal pivot.

[0035] Figure 9R is a top view of the top member (412).

[0036] Figure 9S is a side view of the column locking mechanism for the horizontal pivot.

[0037] Figure 9T illustrates an exploded perspective view drawing of the column locking mechanism including locking member (415).

[0038] Figure 9U is a perspective view of a wrist (704), showing a spring mechanism that enables access to the interior of the wrist (for example, to the bolts shown in Figures 9V and 9W) in order to, for example, service the wrist.

[0039] Figure 9V is a perspective section of the wrist (704).

[0040] Figure 9W is a side view section of the wrist (704).

[0041] Figure 9X illustrates an exploded perspective view drawing of the wrist (704).

[0042] Figures 10A, 10B, and IOC illustrate a stowed configuration. [0043] Figure 11 illustrates the footprint of the dynamic arm placement.

[0044] Figures 12A, 12B, 12C, and 12D illustrate a differential for an exercise machine.

[0045] Figure 12E illustrates an exploded perspective view drawing of sprocket (201) and shaft (210).

[0046] Figure 12F illustrates an exploded perspective view drawing of planet gears

(205, 207), sprocket (201) and shaft (210).

[0047] Figure 12G illustrates an exploded perspective view drawing of a cover for sprocket (201).

[0048] Figure 12H illustrates an exploded perspective view drawing of the sun gears

(204, 205) respectively bonded to spools (202, 203) and assembled with sprocket (201).

[0049] Figure 121 illustrates an exploded perspective view drawing of the assembled differential (200) with finishing features.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0050] The invention can be implemented in numerous ways, including as a process; an apparatus; a system; a composition of matter; a computer program product embodied on a computer readable storage medium; and/or a processor, such as a processor configured to execute instructions stored on and/or provided by a memory coupled to the processor. In this specification, these implementations, or any other form that the invention may take, may be referred to as techniques. In general, the order of the steps of disclosed processes may be altered within the scope of the invention. Unless stated otherwise, a component such as a processor or a memory described as being configured to perform a task may be implemented as a general component that is temporarily configured to perform the task at a given time or a specific component that is manufactured to perform the task. As used herein, the term 'processor' refers to one or more devices, circuits, and/or processing cores configured to process data, such as computer program instructions.

[0051] A detailed description of one or more embodiments of the invention is provided below along with accompanying figures that illustrate the principles of the invention. The invention is described in connection with such embodiments, but the invention is not limited to any embodiment. The scope of the invention is limited only by the claims and the invention encompasses numerous alternatives, modifications and equivalents. Numerous specific details are set forth in the following description in order to provide a thorough understanding of the invention. These details are provided for the purpose of example and the invention may be practiced according to the claims without some or all of these specific details. For the purpose of clarity, technical material that is known in the technical fields related to the invention has not been described in detail so that the invention is not unnecessarily obscured.

[0052] Traditionally, the majority of strength training methods and/or apparatuses fall into the following categories:

• Body Weight: Nothing in addition to the gravitational force of body weight is used to achieve resistance training. Pull-ups are a good example of this. Some systems such as TRX provide props that may help one better achieve this;

• Free weights: A traditional example are dumbbells, which also operate using gravity as a force. The tension experienced by a user throughout a range of motion, termed throughout this specification as an "applied tension curve", varies depending on the angle of movement and/or the direction of gravity. For some motion, such as a bicep curl, the applied tension curve is particularly variable: for a bicep curl it starts at near zero when the arm is at full extension, peaks at 90 degrees, and reduces until the arm reaches full curl at near zero again;

• Fixed-track machine: Machines that use weights, for example plates of metal comprising a weight stack, coupled by a cable attached to a cam joined to a mechanism running on a pivot and/or track. These often have a fixed applied tension curve, though some systems such as Nautilus have used oddly shaped cams in order to achieve non-linear applied tension curves. Often a weight setting is selected for a weight stack by using a pin inserted associated with a desired plate; and

• Cable-machines: Also known as gravity-and-metal based cable-machines, these are a cross between free weights and fixed track machines. They comprise a weight stack attached to a cable, often via a pulley system which may be adjustable in height or direction. Fixed-track machines have historically been criticized by some for overly isolating a single muscle. Free weights on the other hand have historically been criticized by some for activating too many small stabilizer muscles, meaning that a user's workout may be limited by these small muscles before the large ones have even gotten a good workout. Cables do not run on a track, and thus still require some use of stabilizer muscles, but not as much as free weights because the direction of pull is strictly down the cable. The effective applied tension curves varies if the angle of attack between a user's hand and the cable changes throughout the range of motion.

[0053] While gravity is the primary source of tension and/or resistance in all of the above, tension has also been achieved using springs and/or flexing nylon rods as with Bowflex, elastics comprising rubber bands/resistance bands as with TheraBand, pneumatics, and hydraulics. These systems have various characteristics with their own applied tension curve.

[0054] Electronic Resistance. Using electricity to generate tension/resistance may also be used, for example, as described in co-pending US Patent Application No. 15/655,682 (Attorney Docket No. RIPTPOOl) entitled DIGITAL STRENGTH TRAINING filed July 20, 2017, which is incorporated herein by reference for all purposes. Examples of electronic resistance include using an electromagnetic field to generate tension/resistance, using an electronic motor to generate tension/resistance, and using a three-phase brushless direct- current (BLDC) motor to generate tension/resistance. The techniques discussed within the instant application are applicable to other traditional exercise machines without limitation, for example exercise machines based on pneumatic cylinders, springs, weights, flexing nylon rods, elastics, pneumatics, hydraulics, and/or friction.

[0055] Low Profile. A strength trainer using electricity to generate tension/resistance may be smaller and lighter than traditional strength training systems such as a weight stack, and thus may be placed, installed, or mounted in more places for example the wall of a small room of a residential home. Thus, low profile systems and components are preferred for such a strength trainer. A strength trainer using electricity to generate tension/resistance may also be versatile by way of electronic and/or digital control. Electronic control enables the use of software to control and direct tension. By contrast, traditional systems require tension to be changed physically/manually; in the case of a weight stack, a pin has to be moved by a user from one metal plate to another. [0056] Such a digital strength trainer using electricity to generate tension/resistance is also versatile by way of using dynamic resistance, such that tension/resistance may be changed nearly instantaneously. When tension is coupled to position of a user against their range of motion, the digital strength trainer may apply arbitrary applied tension curves, both in terms of position and in terms of phase of the movement: concentric, eccentric, and/or isometric. Furthermore, the shape of these curves may be changed continuously and/or in response to events; the tension may be controlled continuously as a function of a number of internal and external variables including position and phase, and the resulting applied tension curve may be pre-determined and/or adjusted continuously in real time.

[0057] Figure 1 A is a block diagram illustrating an embodiment of an exercise machine. The exercise machine includes the following:

[0058] a controller circuit (1004) , which may include a processor, inverter, pulse- width-modulator, and/or a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD);

[0059] a motor (1006), for example a three-phase brushless DC driven by the controller circuit;

[0060] a spool with a cable (1008) wrapped around the spool and coupled to the spool. On the other end of the cable an actuator/handle (1010) is coupled in order for a user to grip and pull on. The spool is coupled to the motor (1006) either directly or via a shaft/belt/chain/gear mechanism Throughout this specification, a spool may be also referred to as a "hub";

[0061] a filter (1002), to digitally control the controller circuit (1004) based on receiving information from the cable (1008) and/or actuator (1010);

[0062] optionally (not shown in Figure 1 A) a gearbox between the motor and spool.

Gearboxes multiply torque and/or friction, divide speed, and/or split power to multiple spools. Without changing the fundamentals of digital strength training, a number of combinations of motor and gearbox may be used to achieve the same end result. A cable- pulley system may be used in place of a gearbox, and/or a dual motor may be used in place of a gearbox;

[0063] one or more of the following sensors (not shown in Figure 1 A): [0064] a position encoder; a sensor to measure position of the actuator (1010) or motor (100). Examples of position encoders include a hall effect shaft encoder, grey-code encoder on the motor/spool/cable (1008), an accelerometer in the actuator/handle (1010), optical sensors, position measurement sensors/methods built directly into the motor (1006), and/or optical encoders. In one embodiment, an optical encoder is used with an encoding pattern that uses phase to determine direction associated with the low resolution encoder. Other options that measure back-EMF (back electromagnetic force) from the motor (1006) in order to calculate position also exist;

[0065] a motor power sensor; a sensor to measure voltage and/or current being consumed by the motor (1006);

[0066] a user tension sensor; a torque/tension/strain sensor and/or gauge to measure how much tension/force is being applied to the actuator (1010) by the user. In one embodiment, a tension sensor is built into the cable (1008). Alternatively, a strain gauge is built into the motor mount holding the motor (1006). As the user pulls on the actuator (1010), this translates into strain on the motor mount which is measured using a strain gauge in a Wheatstone bridge configuration. In another embodiment, the cable (1008) is guided through a pulley coupled to a load cell. In another embodiment, a belt coupling the motor (1006) and cable spool or gearbox (1008) is guided through a pulley coupled to a load cell. In another embodiment, the resistance generated by the motor (1006) is characterized based on the voltage, current, or frequency input to the motor.

[0067] In one embodiment, a three-phase brushless DC motor (1006) is used with the following:

• a controller circuit (1004) combined with filter (1002) comprising:

o a processor that runs software instructions;

o three pulse width modulators (PWMs), each with two channels, modulated at 20 kHz;

o six transistors in an H-Bridge configuration coupled to the three PWMs; o optionally, two or three ADCs (Analog to Digital Converters) monitoring current on the H-Bridge; and/or o optionally, two or three ADCs monitoring back-EMF voltage;

• the three-phase brushless DC motor (1006), which may include a synchronous-type and/or asynchronous-type permanent magnet motor, such that:

o the motor (1006) may be in an "out-runner configuration" as described below; o the motor (1006) may have a maximum torque output of at least 60 Nm and a maximum speed of at least 300 RPMs;

o optionally, with an encoder or other method to measure motor position;

• a cable (1008) wrapped around the body of the motor (1006) such that entire motor (1006) rotates, so the body of the motor is being used as a cable spool in one case. Thus, the motor (1006) is directly coupled to a cable (1008) spool. In one embodiment, the motor (1006) is coupled to a cable spool via a shaft, gearbox, belt, and/or chain, allowing the diameter of the motor (1006) and the diameter of the spool to be independent, as well as introducing a stage to add a set-up or step-down ratio if desired. Alternatively, the motor (1006) is coupled to two spools with an apparatus in between to split or share the power between those two spools. Such an apparatus could include a differential gearbox, or a pulley configuration; and/or

• an actuator (1010) such as a handle, a bar, a strap, or other accessory connected directly, indirectly, or via a connector such as a carabiner to the cable (1008).

[0068] In some embodiments, the controller circuit (1002, 1004) is programmed to drive the motor in a direction such that it draws the cable (1008) towards the motor (1006). The user pulls on the actuator (1010) coupled to cable (1008) against the direction of pull of the motor (1006).

[0069] One purpose of this setup is to provide an experience to a user similar to using a traditional cable-based strength training machine, where the cable is attached to a weight stack being acted on by gravity. Rather than the user resisting the pull of gravity, they are instead resisting the pull of the motor (1006).

[0070] Note that with a traditional cable-based strength training machine, a weight stack may be moving in two directions: away from the ground or towards the ground. When a user pulls with sufficient tension, the weight stack rises, and as that user reduces tension, gravity overpowers the user and the weight stack returns to the ground.

[0071] By contrast in a digital strength trainer, there is no actual weight stack. The notion of the weight stack is one modeled by the system. The physical embodiment is an actuator (1010) coupled to a cable (1008) coupled to a motor (1006). A "weight moving" is instead translated into a motor rotating. As the circumference of the spool is known and how fast it is rotating is known, the linear motion of the cable may be calculated to provide an equivalency to the linear motion of a weight stack. Each rotation of the spool equals a linear motion of one circumference or 2jir for radius r. Likewise, torque of the motor (1006) may be converted into linear force by multiplying it by radius r.

[0072] If the virtual/perceived "weight stack" is moving away from the ground, motor

(1006) rotates in one direction. If the "weight stack" is moving towards the ground, motor (1006) rotates in the opposite direction. Note that the motor (1006) is pulling towards the cable (1008) onto the spool. If the cable (1008) is unspooling, it is because a user has overpowered the motor (1006). Thus, note a distinction between the direction the motor (1006) is pulling, and the direction the motor (1006) is actually turning.

[0073] If the controller circuit (1002, 1004) is set to drive the motor (1006) with, for example, a constant torque in the direction that spools the cable, corresponding to the same direction as a weight stack being pulled towards the ground, then this translates to a specific force/tension on the cable (1008) and actuator (1010). Calling this force "Target Tension", this force may be calculated as a function of torque multiplied by the radius of the spool that the cable (1008) is wrapped around, accounting for any additional stages such as gearboxes or belts that may affect the relationship between cable tension and torque. If a user pulls on the actuator (1010) with more force than the Target Tension, then that user overcomes the motor (1006) and the cable (1008) unspools moving towards that user, being the virtual equivalent of the weight stack rising. However, if that user applies less tension than the Target Tension, then the motor (1006) overcomes the user and the cable (1008) spools onto and moves towards the motor (1006), being the virtual equivalent of the weight stack returning.

[0074] BLDC Motor. While many motors exist that run in thousands of revolutions per second, an application such as fitness equipment designed for strength training has different requirements and is by comparison a low speed, high torque type application suitable for certain kinds of BLDC motors configured for lower speed and higher torque.

[0075] In one embodiment, a requirement of such a motor (1006) is that a cable

(1008) wrapped around a spool of a given diameter, directly coupled to a motor (1006), behaves like a 200 lbs weight stack, with the user pulling the cable at a maximum linear speed of 62 inches per second. A number of motor parameters may be calculated based on the diameter of the spool.

User Requirements

Target Weight 200 lbs

Target Speed 62 inches/sec = 1.57 4 8 meters/sec |

Requirements by Spool Size

Thus, a motor with 67.79 Nm of force and a top speed of 395 RPM, coupled to a spool with a 3 inch diameter meets these requirements. 395 RPM is slower than most motors available, and 68 Nm is more torque than most motors on the market as well.

[0076] Hub motors are three-phase permanent magnet BLDC direct drive motors in an "out-runner" configuration: throughout this specification out-runner means that the permanent magnets are placed outside the stator rather than inside, as opposed to many motors which have a permanent magnet rotor placed on the inside of the stator as they are designed more for speed than for torque. Out-runners have the magnets on the outside, allowing for a larger magnet and pole count and are designed for torque over speed. Another way to describe an out-runner configuration is when the shaft is fixed and the body of the motor rotates.

[0077] Hub motors also tend to be "pancake style". As described herein, pancake motors are higher in diameter and lower in depth than most motors. Pancake style motors are advantageous for a wall mount, subfloor mount, and/or floor mount application where maintaining a low depth is desirable, such as a piece of fitness equipment to be mounted in a consumer's home or in an exercise facility /area. As described herein, a pancake motor is a motor that has a diameter higher than twice its depth. As described herein, a pancake motor is between 15 and 60 centimeters in diameter, for example 22 centimeters in diameter, with a depth between 6 and 15 centimeters, for example a depth of 6.7 centimeters.

[0078] Motors may also be "direct drive", meaning that the motor does not incorporate or require a gear box stage. Many motors are inherently high speed low torque but incorporate an internal gearbox to gear down the motor to a lower speed with higher torque and may be called gear motors. Direct drive motors may be explicitly called as such to indicate that they are not gear motors.

[0079] If a motor does not exactly meet the requirements illustrated in the table above, the ratio between speed and torque may be adjusted by using gears or belts to adjust. A motor coupled to a 9" sprocket, coupled via a belt to a spool coupled to a 4.5" sprocket doubles the speed and halves the torque of the motor. Alternately, a 2:1 gear ratio may be used to accomplish the same thing. Likewise, the diameter of the spool may be adjusted to accomplish the same.

[0080] Alternately, a motor with lOOx the speed and 100th the torque may also be used with a 100:1 gearbox. As such a gearbox also multiplies the friction and/or motor inertia by lOOx, torque control schemes become challenging to design for fitness equipment / strength training applications. Friction may then dominate what a user experiences. In other applications friction may be present, but is low enough that it is compensated for, but when it becomes dominant, it is difficult to control for. For these reasons, direct control of motor torque is more appropriate for fitness equipment / strength training systems. This would normaly lead to the selection of an induction type motor for which direct control of torque is simple. Although BLDC motors are more directly able to control speed and/or motor position rather than torque, torque control of BLDC motors can be made possible with the appropriate methods when used in combination with an appropriate encoder..

[0081] Reference Design. Figure IB illustrates a front view of one embodiment of an exercise machine. An exercise machine (1000) comprising a pancake motor (100), a torque controller (600) coupled to the pancake motor, and a high resolution encoder coupled to the pancake motor (102) is disclosed. As described herein, a "high resolution" encoder is any encoder with 30 degrees or greater of electrical angle. Two cables (500) and (501) are coupled respectively to actuators (800) and (801) on one end of the cables. The two cables (500) and (501) are coupled directly or indirectly on the opposite end to the motor (100). While an induction motor may be used for motor (100), a BLDC motor is a preferred embodiment for its cost, size, weight, and performance. A BLDC motor is more challenging than an induction motor to control torque and so a high resolution encoder assists the system to determine position of the BLDC motor.

[0082] Sliders (401) and (403) may be respectively used to guide the cable (500) and

(501) respectively along rails (400) and (402). The exercise machine in Figure IB translates motor torque into cable tension. As a user pulls on actuators (800) and/or (801), the machine creates / maintains tension on cable (500) and/or (501). The actuators (800, 801) and/or cables (500, 501) may be actuated in tandem or independently of one another.

[0083] In one embodiment, electronics bay (600) is included and has the necessary electronics to drive the system. In one embodiment, fan tray (500) is included and has fans that cool the electronics bay (600) and/or motor (100).

[0084] Motor (100) is coupled by belt (104) to an encoder (102), an optional belt tensioner (103), and a spool assembly (200). Motor (100) is preferably an out-runner, such that the shaft is fixed and the motor body rotates around that shaft. In one embodiment, motor (100) generates torque in the counter-clockwise direction facing the machine, as in the example in Figure IB. Motor (100) has teeth compatible with the belt integrated into the body of the motor along the outer circumference. Referencing an orientation viewing the front of the system, the left side of the belt (104) is under tension, while the right side of the belt is slack. The belt tensioner (103) takes up any slack in the belt. An optical rotary encoder (102) coupled to the tensioned side of the belt (104) captures all motor movement, with significant accuracy because of the belt tension. In one embodiment, the optical rotary encoder (102) is a high resolution encoder. In one embodiment, a toothed belt (104) is used to reduce belt slip. The spools rotate counter-clockwise as they are spooling cable / taking cable in, and clockwise as they are unspooling / releasing cable out.

[0085] Spool assembly (200) comprises a front spool (203), rear spool (202), and belt sprocket (201). The spool assembly (200) couples the belt (104) to the belt sprocket (201), and couples the two cables (500) and (501) respectively with front spool (203) and rear spool (202). Each of these components is part of a low profile design. In one embodiment, a dual motor configuration not shown in Figure IB is used to drive each cable (500) and (501). In the example shown in Figure IB, a single motor (100) is used as a single source of tension, with a plurality of gears configured as a differential are used to allow the two cables/actuators to be operated independently or in tandem. In one embodiment, spools (202) and (203) are directly adjacent to sprocket (201), thereby minimizing the profile of the machine in Figure IB.

[0086] As shown in Figure IB, two arms (700, 702), two cables (500, 501) and two spools (202, 203) are useful for users with two hands, and the principles disclosed without limitation may be extended to three, four, or more arms (700) for quadrupeds and/or group exercise. In one embodiment, the plurality of cables (500, 501) and spools (202, 203) are driven by one sprocket (201), one belt (104), and one motor (100), and so the machine (1000) combines the pairs of devices associated with each user hand into a single device.

[0087] In one embodiment, motor (100) should provide constant tension on cables

(500) and (501) despite the fact that each of cables (500) and (501) may move at different speeds. For example, some physical exercises may require use of only one cable at a time. For another example, a user may be stronger on one side of their body than another side, causing differential speed of movement between cables (500) and (501). In one embodiment, a device combining dual cables (500) and (501) for single belt (104) and sprocket (201), should retain a low profile, in order to maintain the compact nature of the machine, which can be mounted on a wall.

[0088] In one embodiment, pancake style motor(s) (100), sprocket(s) (201) and spools (202, 203) are manufactured and arranged in such a way that they physically fit together within the same space, thereby maximizing functionality while maintaining a low profile.

[0089] As shown in Figure IB, spools (202) and (203) are respectively coupled to cables (500) and (501) that are wrapped around the spools. The cables (500) and (501) route through the system to actuators (800) and (801), respectively.

[0090] The cables (500) and (501) are respectively positioned in part by the use of

"arms" (700) and (702). The arms (700) and (702) provide a framework for which pulleys and/or pivot points may be positioned. The base of arm (700) is at arm slider (401) and the base of arm (702) is at arm slider (403). [0091] The cable (500) for a left arm (700) is attached at one end to actuator (800).

The cable routes via arm slider (401) where it engages a pulley as it changes direction, then routes along the axis of rotation of track (400). At the top of track (400), fixed to the frame rather than the track is pulley (303) that orients the cable in the direction of pulley (300), that further orients the cable (500) in the direction of spool (202), wherein the cable (500) is wound around spool (202) and attached to spool (202) at the other end.

[0092] Similarly, the cable (501) for a right arm (702) is attached at one end to actuator (601). The cable (501) routes via slider (403) where it engages a pulley as it changes direction, then routes along the axis of rotation of track (402). At the top of the track (402), fixed to the frame rather than the track is pulley (302) that orients the cable in the direction of pulley (301), that further orients the cable in the direction of spool (203), wherein the cable (501) is wound around spool (203) and attached to spool (203) at the other end.

[0093] One important use of pulleys (300, 301) is that they permit the respective cables (500, 501) to engage respective spools (202, 203) "straight on" rather than at an angle, wherein "straight on" references being within the plane perpendicular to the axis of rotation of the given spool. If the given cable were engaged at an angle, that cable may bunch up on one side of the given spool rather than being distributed evenly along the given spool.

[0094] In the example shown in Figure IB, pulley (301) is lower than pulley (300).

This is not necessary for any functional reason but demonstrates the flexibility of routing cables. In a preferred embodiment, mounting pulley (301) lower leaves clearance for certain design aesthetic elements that make the machine appear to be thinner. Figure 1C illustrates a perspective view of the system of Figure IB wherein for clarity arms, cables, and belts are omitted. Figure ID illustrates a front view of the system of Figure IB. Figure IE illustrates a perspective view of the drivetrain of Figure IB.

[0095] Figure 2A illustrates a top view of one embodiment of an exercise machine.

In one embodiment, the top of view of Figure 2A is that of the system shown in Figure IB. As long as motor torque is in the counter-clockwise direction, a cable is under tension. The amount of tension is directly proportional to the torque generated by the motor, based on a factor that includes the relative diameters of the motor (100), sprocket (201), and spools (202) and (203). If the force pulling on a cable overcomes the tension, the respective spool will unspool releasing cable, and hence the spool will rotate clockwise. If the force is below the tension, then the respective spool will spool take in cable, and hence the spool will rotate counter-clockwise.

[0096] When the motor is being back-driven by the user, that is when the user is retracting the cable, but the motor is resisting, and the motor is generating power. This additional power may cause the internal voltage of the system to rise. The voltage is stabilized to prevent the voltage rising indefinitely causing the system to fail or enter an unsafe state. In one embodiment, power dissipation is used to stabilize voltage, for example to burn additional power as heat.

[0097] Figure 2B illustrates a top view of an alternate embodiment of an exercise machine. As shown in Figure 2B, pulleys (300) and (301) may be eliminated by rotating and translating the dual-spool assembly. The ideal location of the dual-spool assembly would be placed such that the cable route from both spools to the respective pulleys (302) and (303) is straight-on. Eliminating these pulleys both reduces system friction and reduces cost with the tradeoff of making the machine (1000) thicker, that is, less shallow from front to back.

[0098] Voltage Stabilization. Figure 3 A is a circuit diagram of an embodiment of a voltage stabilizer. The stabilizer includes a power supply (603) with protective element (602) that provides system power. Such a system may have an intrinsic or by-design capacitance (612). A motor controller (601), which includes the motor control circuits as well as a motor that consumes or generates power is coupled to power supply (603). A controller circuit (604) controls a FET transistor (608) coupled to a high-wattage resistor (607) as a switch to stabilize system power. A sample value for resistor (607) is a 300W resistor/heater. A resistor divider utilizing a resistor network (605) and (606) is arranged such that the potential at voltage test point (609) is a specific fraction of system voltage (611). When FET (608) is switched on, power is burned through resistor (607). The control signal to the gate of FET (610) switches it on and off. In one embodiment, this control signal is pulse width modulated (PWM) switching on and off at some frequency. By varying the duty cycle and/or percentage of time on versus off, the amount of power dissipated through the resistor (607) may be controlled. Factors to determine a frequency for the PWM include the frequency of the motor controller, the capabilities of the power supply, and the capabilities of the FET. In one embodiment, a value in the range of 15-20 KHz is appropriate. [0099] Controller (604) may be implemented using a micro-controller, microprocessor, discrete digital logic, any programmable gate array, and/or analog logic, for example analog comparators and triangle wave generators. In one embodiment, the same microcontroller that is used to implement the motor controller (601) is also used to implement voltage stabilization controller (604).

[00100] In one embodiment, a 48 Volt power supply (603) is used. The system may be thus designed to operate up to a maximum voltage of 60 Volts. In one embodiment, the Controller (604) measures system voltage, and if voltage is below a minimum threshold of 49 Volts, then the PWM has a duty cycle of 0%, meaning that the FET (610) is switched off. If the motor controller (601) generates power, and the capacitance (612) charges, causing system voltage (611) to rise above 49 Volts, then the controller (601) will increase the duty cycle of the PWM. If the maximum operating voltage of the system is 60 Volts, then a simple relationship to use is to pick a maximum target voltage below the 60 Volts, such as 59 Volts, so that at 59 Volts, the PWM is set to a 100% duty cycle. Hence, a linear relationship of PWM duty cycle is used such that the duty cycle is 0% at 49 Volts, and 100% at 59 Volts. Other examples of relationships include: a non-linear relationship; a relationship based on coefficients such as one representing the slope of a linear line adjusted by a PID loop; and/or a PID loop directly in control of the duty cycle of the PWM.

[00101] In one embodiment, controller (604) is a micro-controller such that 15,000 times per second an analog to digital converter (ADC) measures the system voltage, invokes a calculation to calculate the PWM duty cycle, then outputs a pulse with a period corresponding to that duty cycle.

[00102] Safety. Safety of the user and safety of the equipment is important for an exercise machine. In one embodiment, a safety controller uses one or more models to check system behavior, and place the system into a safe-stop, also known as an error-stop mode or ESTOP state to prevent or minimize harm to the user and/or the equipment. A safety controller may be a part of controller (604) or a separate controller (not shown in Figure 3 A). A safety controller may be implemented in redundant modules/controllers/subsystems and/or use redundancy to provide additional reliability. Figure 3B is a flowchart illustrating an embodiment of a process for a safety loop for an exercise machine. [00103] Depending on the severity of the error, recovery from ESTOP may be quick and automatic, or require user intervention or system service.

[00104] In step 3002, data is collected from one or more sensors, examples including:

1) Rotation of the motor (100) via Hall sensors within the motor;

2) Rotation of the motor (100) via an encoder (103) coupled to the belt;

3) Rotation of each of the two spools (202, 203);

4) Electrical current on each of the phases of the three-phase motor (100);

5) Accelerometer mounted to the frame;

6) Accelerometer mounted to each of the arms (400, 402);

7) Motor (100) torque;

8) Motor (100) speed;

9) Motor (100) voltage;

10) Motor (100) acceleration;

11) System voltage (611);

12) System current; and/or

13) One or more temperature sensors mounted in the system

[00105] In step 3004, a model analyzes sensor data to determine if it is within spec or out of spec, including but not limited to:

1) The sum of the current on all three leads of the three-phase motor (100) should equal zero;

2) The current being consumed by the motor (100) should be directly proportional to the torque being generated by the motor (100). The relationship is defined by the motor's torque constant; 3) The speed of the motor (100) should be directly proportional to the voltage being applied to the motor (100). The relationship is defined by the motor's speed constant;

4) The resistance of the motor (100) is fixed and should not change;

5) The speed of the motor (100) as measured by an encoder, back EMF voltage, for example zero crossings, and Hall sensors should all agree;

6) The speed of the motor (100) should equal the sum of the speeds of the two spools (202, 203);

7) The accelerometer mounted to the frame should report little to no movement. Movement may indicate that the frame mount has come loose;

8) System voltage (611) should be within a safe range, for example as described above, between 48 and 60 Volts;

9) System current should be within a safe range associated with the rating of the motor;

10) Temperature sensors should be within a safe range;

11) A physics model of the system may calculate a safe amount of torque at a discrete interval in time continuously. By measuring cable speed and tension, the model may iteratively predict what amount of torque may be measured at the motor (100). If less torque than expected is found at the motor, this is an indication that the user has released one or more actuators (800,801); and/or

12) The accelerometer mounted to the arms (400, 402) should report little to no movement. Movement would indicate that an arm has failed in some way, or that the user has unlocked the arm.

[00106] In step 3006, if a model has been determined to be violated, the system may enter an error stop mode. In such an ESTOP mode, depending on the severity, it may respond with one or more of:

1) Disable all power to the motor;

2) Disable the main system power supply, relying on auxiliary supplies to keep the processors running; 3) Reduce motor torque and/or cable tension to a maximum safe value, for example the equivalent of torque that would generate 5 lbs of motor tension; and/or

4) Limit maximum motor speed, for example the equivalent of cable being retracted at 5 inches per second.

[00107] Arms. Figure 4 is an illustration of arms in one embodiment of an exercise machine. An exercise machine may be convenient and more frequently used when it is small, for example to fit on a wall in a residential home. As shown in Figure 4, an arm (702) provides a way to position a cable (501) to provide a directional resistance for a user's exercise, for example if the arm (702) positions the cable user origination point (704) near the ground, by pulling up on actuator (801) the user may perform a bicep curl exercise or an upright row exercise. Likewise, if the arm (702) positions cable user origination point (704) above the user, by pulling down on actuator (801) the user may perform a lat pulldown exercise.

[00108] Traditionally, exercise machines utilize one or more arms pivoting in the vertical direction to offer adjustability in the vertical direction. However, to achieve the full range of adjustability requires long arms. If a user wishes to have 8 feet of adjustment such that the tip of the arm may be above the user 8 feet off the ground, or at a ground position, then a 5 foot arm may be required to be practical. This is inconvenient because it requires more space to pivot the arm, and limits the number of places where such a machine can be placed. Furthermore, a longer arm undergoes higher lever-arm forces and increases the size and complexity of the joint in order to handle those larger forces. If arms could be kept under three feet in length, a machine may be more conveniently placed and lever-arm forces may be more reasonable.

[00109] Figure 4 shows arm (702) connected to slider (403) on track (402). Without limitation, the following discussion is equally applicable to arm (700) connected to slider (401) and track (400) in Figure IB. Note that as shown in Figure 4, cable (501) travels within arm (702). For clarity, cable (501) is omitted from some of the following figures and discussion that concern the arm (702) and its movement.

[00110] An arm (702) of an exercise machine capable of moving in different directions and ways is disclosed. Three directions and ways include: 1) translation; 2) vertical pivot; and 3) horizontal pivot. [00111] Translation. In one embodiment, as shown in Figure 4, arm (702) is capable of sliding vertically on track (402), wherein track (402) is between 24 and 60 inches, for example 42 inches in height. Arm (702) is mounted to slider (403) that slides on track (402). This is mirrored on the other side of the machine with slider (401) on track (400).

[00112] As shown in Figure IB, slider (401) is at a higher vertical position than right slider (403), so the base of arm (700) is higher than that of arm (702). Figures 5 A and 5B show how an arm (702) can be moved up and down in a vertical direction.

[00113] Figure 5A is an illustration of a locked position for an arm. In Figure 5A, pin (404), within slider (403), is in a locked position. This means that the end of pin (404) is located within one of a set of track holes (405). Pin (404) may be set in this position through different means, including manual pushing, spring contraction, and electrically driven motion.

[00114] Figure 5B is an illustration of an unlocked position for an arm. In Figure 5B, pin (404) has been retracted for track holes (405). This enables slider (403) to move up or down track (402), which causes arm (702) to move up or down. In one embodiment, the user manually moves slider (403). In an alternate embodiment, the motor uses cable tension and gravity to move sliders up and down to desired positions.

[00115] Sliding the slider (403) up and down track (402) physically includes the weight of the arm (702). The arm (702), being between 2 and 5 feet long, for example 3 feet long, and for example made of steel, may weigh between 6 and 25 lbs, for example 10 lbs. This may be considered heavy by some users to carry directly. In one embodiment, motor (100) is configured to operate in an 'arm cable assist' mode by generating a tension matching the weight of the arm (702) on the slider (403), for example 10 lbs on cable (501), and the user may easily slide the slider (403) up and down the track without perceiving the weight of the arms.

[00116] The exercise machine is calibrated such that the tension on the cable matches the weight of the slider, so the user perceives none of the weight of the arm. Calibration may be achieved by adjusting cable tension to a level such that the slider (403) neither rises under the tension of the cable (501), or falls under the force of gravity. By increasing or reducing motor torque as it compares to that used to balance gravity, the slider may be made to fall lower, or raise higher. [00117] Placing the motor (100) and dual-spool assembly (200) near the top of the machine as shown in Figure IB is disclosed. An alternate design may place heavy components near the bottom of the machine, such that cables (500) and (501) are routed from the bottom to the sliders which would conceal cables and pulleys from the user. By placing heavier components near the top of the machine, routing cables from the top of the machine and columns down to the slider allows cable tension to offset the effect of gravity. This allows motor torque to be utilized to generate cable tension that allows the user to not perceive the weight of the arms and slider without an additional set of pulleys to the top of a column. This also allows motor torque to be utilized to move the slider and arms without the intervention of the user.

[00118] Vertical Pivot. In addition to translating up and down, the arms may pivot up and down, with their bases in fixed position, to provide a great range of flexibility in positioning the user origination point of a given arm. Keeping arm (702) in a fixed vertically pivoted position may require locking arm (702) with slider (403).

[00119] Figure 6 is an illustration of an embodiment of a vertical pivot locking mechanism. In Figure 6, slider (403) includes a part (420) that has teeth (422). Teeth (422) match female locking member (722) of arm (702).

[00120] Using trapezoidal teeth for locking is disclosed. The teeth (422) and matching female locking member (722) use a trapezoidal shape instead of a rectangular shape because a rectangular fitting should leave room for the teeth to enter the female locking member. Using a rectangular tooth causes "wiggle" in the locking joint, and this wiggle is leveraged at the end of arm (702). A trapezoidal set of teeth (422) to enter female locking mechanism (722) makes it simpler for the two members to be tightly coupled, minimizing joint wiggle.

[00121] Using a trapezoidal set of teeth increases the risk of the joint slipping / back- drive while under the stress of high loads. Empirically a slope of between 1 and 15 degrees, for example 5 degrees, minimizes joint slippage while maximizing ease of entry and tightening. The slope of the trapezoid is set such that the amount of back-drive force is lower than the amount of friction of the trapezoidal surfaces on one another.

[00122] Figures 7A and 7B illustrate locking and unlocking for arm vertical pivoting. In Figure 7A, arm (702) is locked into slider part (420). As shown in Figure 7A, teeth (422) and female member (722) are tightly coupled. This tight coupling is produced by the force being produced by compressed spring (733).

[00123] In Figure 7B a user unlocks arm (702). When the user pulls up on lever (732) of arm (702), this causes spring (733) to release its compression, thus causing female locking member (722) to pull backward, disengaging from teeth (422). With arm (702) thus disengaged, the user is free to pivot arm (702) up or down around hole (451). To lock arm (702) to a new vertically pivoted position, the user returns lever (732) to the flat position of Figure 7A.

[00124] Horizontal Pivot. The arms may pivot horizontally around the sliders to provide user origination points for actuators (800,802) closer or further apart from each other for different exercises. In one embodiment, track (402) pivots, thus allowing arm (702) to pivot.

[00125] Figures 8 A and 8B illustrate a top view of a track that pivots horizontally. In Figure 8A, arm (702) is positioned straight out from the machine, in a 90 degree orientation to the face of the machine. Arm (702) may be locked to slider as shown in Figure 7A. Further, slider (403) may be locked into track (402) as shown in Figure 5 A.

[00126] Figure 8B shows all of track (402), slider (403), and arm (702) pivoted to the right around hole (432). The user may do this simply by moving the arm left or right when it is in an unlocked position.

[00127] Figures 9A, 9B, and 9C illustrate a locking mechanism for a horizontal pivot. Figure 9A shows column (402) from a side view. This view shows top member (412). In one embodiment, the bottom of track 402 not shown in Figure 9 A has a corresponding bottom member (412a, not shown), with the same function and operation as top member (412).

[00128] Figure 9B shows a top view of arm (402). This view shows that top member (412) and corresponding bottom member (412a) both have teeth (413). Teeth (413) can be placed around the entire circumference of top member (412), or just specific arcs of it corresponding to the maximum rotation or desired positions of track (402). [00129] Figure 9B shows track (402) in a locked position as the teeth (414) of a device locking member (415) are tightly coupled to teeth (413). This tight coupling prevents track (402), and thus arm (702) from pivoting left or right, horizontally.

[00130] Figure 9C shows device locking member (415) having been pulled back from top member (412). In one embodiment, device locking member (415) uses a similar compression spring mechanism as shown in Figures 7 A and 7B. This, together with the pulling back for bottom member (412a), frees up track (402) to rotate freely around cable (501). To do this, the user simply rotates arm (702) left or right, as desired. In one embodiment, a mechanism is used to permit the simultaneous unlocking and locking of top bottom members (412, 412a).

[00131] Concentric Path. In order for cable (501) to operate properly, bearing high loads of weight, and allow the track to rotate, it should always remain and travel in the center of track (402), no matter which direction arm (702) is pointed or track (402) is rotated. Figures 9D and 9E illustrate a concentric path for cabling.

[00132] Figure 9D shows a side view of track (402) with cable (501) located in the center of track (402), and arm (702) traveling down and directly away from the machine. Figure 9E shows the front view, now with arm (702) traveling down and to the left. In both views of Figure 9D and Figure 9E, cable (501) is directly in the center of track (402). The system achieves this concentric path of cable (501) by off-centering slider (403) and including pulley (406) that rotates horizontally as arm (702), slider (403), and track (402) rotate.

[00133] Arm Mechanical Drawings. Figures 9F - 9X illustrate mechanical drawings of the arm (700, 702), components coupled to the arm such as the slider (401,403), and various features of the arm. Figure 9F is a perspective view of an exercise machine arm extended upward. Figure 9F is a view from the side of an arm (702) extended upward on an angle and its associated column (400), with the arm at its highest position along the column (400). Figure 9G is a perspective view of an exercise machine arm extended horizontally. Figure 9G is a view from the side of an arm (702) extended straight horizontally and its associated column (400), with the arm at its highest position along the column (400). Figure 9H illustrates an exploded perspective view drawing of an arm (702) including its lever (732), compression spring (733), and locking member (722). Figure 91 illustrates both an assembled sectioned and non-sectioned perspective view drawing of the arm (702).

[00134] Figure 9J is a side view section of an exercise machine slider (403) with its locking mechanism and pin locked. Figure 9K is a side view section of an exercise machine slider (403) with its locking mechanism and pin unlocked. Figure 9L is a perspective view of an exercise machine slider (403), revealing the pin (404) as well as teeth (422) for an arm vertical pivot. Figure 9M is a perspective view of the exercise machine slider (403) in a column/rail (402) with revealed teeth (422), with arm (702) set at a vertical pivot at a point parallel to the horizontal plane. Figure 9N is a side view section of the exercise machine slider (403) in a column/rail (402), with arm (702) set at a vertical pivot at a point parallel to the horizontal plane. The female locking member (722) and compression spring (733) are visible within the section of Figure 9N. Figure 90 is a sectional side view of the exercise machine slider (403). Figure 9P illustrates an exploded perspective view drawing of the exercise machine slider (403).

[00135] Figure 9Q is a perspective view of a column locking mechanism for a horizontal pivot. Figure 9Q shows both top member (412) interfacing with the device locking member (415). Figure 9Q shows without limitation a solenoid mechanism for controlling the device locking member (415). Figure 9R is a top view of the top member (412), and Figure 9S is a side view of the column locking mechanism for the horizontal pivot. Figure 9T illustrates an exploded perspective view drawing of the column locking mechanism including locking member (415).

[00136] In one embodiment, the user origination point (704) is a configurable "wrist" to allow local rotation for guiding the cable (500, 501). Figure 9U is a perspective view of a wrist (704), showing a spring mechanism that enables access to the interior of the wrist (for example, to the bolts shown in Figures 9V and 9W) in order to, for example, service the wrist. This has the benefit of concealing aspects of the wrist without preventing access to them. Figure 9V is a perspective section of the wrist (704). Figure 9W is a side view section of the wrist (704). Figure 9X illustrates an exploded perspective view drawing of the wrist (704).

[00137] Stowing. Stowing arms (700, 702) to provide a most compact form is disclosed. When arm (702) is moved down toward the top of the machine as described above, and pivoted vertically until is flush with the machine as described above, the machine is in its stowed configuration which is its most compact form. Figures 10A, 10B, and IOC illustrate a stowed configuration. Figure 10A shows this stowed configuration wherein the rails (400, 402) may be pivoted horizontally until the arm is facing the back of the machine (1000) and completely out of the view of the user. Figure 10B illustrates a perspective view mechanical drawing of an arm (702) stowed behind rail (402).

[00138] Figure IOC shows that this configuration may be unobtrusive. Mounted on wall (2000), machine (1000) may take no more space than a large mirror with ornamental framing or other such wall hanging. This compact configuration makes machine (1000) attractive as exercise equipment in a residential or office environment. Typically home exercise equipment consumes a non-trivial amount of floor space, making them obstacles to foot traffic. Traditionally home exercise equipment lacks functionality to allow the equipment to have a pleasing aesthetic. Machine (1000), mounted on wall (2000), causes less of an obstruction and avoids an offensive aesthetic.

[00139] Range of Motion. An exercise machine such as a strength training machine is more useful when it can facilitate a full body workout. An exercise machine designed to be configurable such that it can be deployed in a number of positions and orientation to allow the user to access a full body workout is disclosed. In one embodiment, the exercise machine (1000) is adjustable in three degrees of freedom on the left side, and three degrees of freedom on the right side, for a total of six degrees of freedom.

[00140] As described above, each arm (700, 702) may be translated / moved up or down, pivoted up or down, or pivoted left and right. Collectively, this wide range of motion provides a substantial footprint of workout area relative to the compact size of machine (1000). Figure 11 illustrates the footprint of the dynamic arm placement. The footprint (2100) as shown in Figure 11 indicates than a compact / unobtrusive machine (1000) may serve any size of human being, who vary in "wing spans". As described herein, a wing span is the distance between left and right fingertips when the arms are extended horizontally to the left and right.

[00141] Arm Sensor. Wiring electrical / data connectivity through a movable arm (700, 702) is not trivial as the joint is complex, while sensors to measure angle of an arm are useful. In one embodiment, an accelerometer is placed in the arm coupled to a wireless transmitter, both powered by a battery. The accelerometer measures the angle of gravity, of which gravity is a constant acceleration. The wireless transmitter sends this information back to the controller, and in one embodiment, the wireless protocol used is Bluetooth.

[00142] For manufacturing efficiency, one arm is mounted upside down from the other arm, so control levers (732) in either case are oriented inwards. As the two arms are thus mirror images of one another, the signals from the accelerometer may be distinguished based at least in part because the accelerometer is upside down / mirrored on one opposing arm.

[00143] Differential. Figures 12A - 12D illustrate a differential for an exercise machine. Figure 12A shows a top view of the differential, making reference to the same numbering as in Figure IB and Figure 2, wherein sprocket (201) and spools (202, 203) rotate around shaft (210).

[00144] Figure 12B illustrates a cross-sectional view of Figure 12A. In addition to the components shown and discussed for Figure 12A, this figure shows differential configuration of components embedded within sprocket (201) and spools (202) and (203). In one embodiment, sun gears (204) and (206) are embedded inside of cavities within spools (203) and (202), respectively. In one embodiment, planet gear (205) is embedded within sprocket (201), with the planet gear (205) to mesh with sun gears (204, 206) within spools (203, 202).

[00145] This configuration of sun gears (204, 206) and planet gear (205) operates as a differential. That is, sun gears (204, 206) rotate in a single vertical plane around shaft (210), whereas planet gear (205) rotates both in that vertical plane, but also horizontally. As described herein, a differential is a gear box with three shafts such that the angular velocity of one shaft is the average of the angular velocities of the others, or a fixed multiple of that average. In one embodiment, bevel style gears are used rather than spur gears in order to promote a more compact configuration.

[00146] The disclosed use of sun gears (204, 206) and planet gear (205) and/or embedding the gears within other components such as sprocket (201) permit a smaller size differential for dividing motor tension between cables (500) and (501) for the purposes of strength training. [00147] Figure 12C illustrates a cross-sectional view mechanical drawing of differential (200). Figure 12C shows an assembled sprocket (201), front spool (202), rear spool (203) and shaft (210).

[00148] Figure 12D illustrates a front cross-sectional view of sprocket (201). In one embodiment, multiple planet gears are used instead of a single gear (205) as shown in Figure 12B. As shown in Figure 12D, sprocket (201) is shown with cavities (211) and (212), which house planet gears (205) and (207). Without limitation, sprocket (201) is capable of embedding a plurality of planet gears. More planet gears enable a more balanced operation and a reduced load on their respective teeth, but cost a tradeoff of greater friction. Cavities (211) and (212), together with other cavities within sprocket (201) and spools (202) and (203), collectively form a "cage" (200) in which the sun gears (204, 206) and planet gears (205, 207) are housed and operate.

[00149] As shown in Figure 12D, planet gears (205) and (207) are mounted on shafts (208) and (209), respectively. Thus, these gears rotate around these shafts in the horizontal direction. As noted above, while these gears are rotating around their shafts, they may also rotate around shaft (210) of Figure 12B and 12D as part of sprocket (201).

[00150] In one embodiment, each planet and sun gear in the system has at least two bearings installed within to aid in smooth rotation over a shaft, and the sprocket (201) has at least two bearings installed within its center hole to aid in smooth rotation over shaft (210). Shaft (210) may have retaining rings to aid in the positioning of the two sun gears (204, 206) on shaft (210).

[00151] In one embodiment, spacers may be installed between the sun gears (204, 206) and the sprocket (201) on shaft (210) to maintain the position of the sun gears (204, 206). The position of the planet gears (205, 207) may be indexed by the reference surfaces on the cage

(200) holding the particular planet gear (205, 207), with the use of either spacers or a built in feature.

[00152] Differential Mechanical Drawings. Figures 12E- 121 illustrate detailed mechanical drawings of differential (200) and various features of the differential. Figure 12E illustrates an exploded perspective view drawing of sprocket (201) and shaft (210). Figure 12F illustrates an exploded perspective view drawing of planet gears (205, 207), sprocket

(201) and shaft (210). Figure 12G illustrates an exploded perspective view drawing of a cover for sprocket (201). Figure 12H illustrates an exploded perspective view drawing of the sun gears (204, 205) respectively bonded to spools (202, 203) and assembled with sprocket (201). Figure 121 illustrates an exploded perspective view drawing of the assembled differential (200) with finishing features.

[00153] Together, the components shown in Figures 12A-12I function as a compact, integrated, pancake style gearbox (200). The teeth (213) of sprocket (201), which mesh with toothed belt (104), enable the pancake differential / gearbox (200) to rotate in specific, pre- measured increments. This may allow electronics bay (600) to maintain an accurate account of the lengths of cables (500) and (501).

[00154] The use of a differential in a fitness application is not trivial as users are sensitive to the feel of cables. Many traditional fitness solutions use simple pulleys to divide tension from one cable to two cables. Using a differential (200) with spools may yield a number of benefits and challenges. An alternative to using a differential is to utilize two motor or tension generating methods. This achieves two cables, but may be less desirable depending on the requirements of the application.

[00155] One benefit is the ability to spool significantly larger amounts of cables. A simple pulley system limits the distance that the cable may be pulled by the user. With a spool based configuration, the only limitation on the length of the pull is the amount of the cable that may be physically stored on a spool - which may be increased by using a thinner cable or a larger spool.

[00156] One challenge is the feel of the cable. If a user pulls a cable and detects the teeth of the gears passing over one another, it may be an unpleasant experience for the user. Using spherical gears rather than traditional straight teeth bevel gears is disclosed, which provides smoother operation. Metal gears may be used, or plastic gears may be used to reduce noise and/or reduce the user feeling of teeth.

[00157] Cable Zero Point. With configurable arms (700, 702), the machine (1000) must remember the position of each cable (500, 501) corresponding to a respective actuator (800, 801) being fully retracted. As described herein, this point of full retraction is the "zero point". When a cable is at the zero point, the motor (100) should not pull further on that cable with full force. For example, if the weight is set to 50 lbs, the motor (100) should not pull the fully retracted cable with 50 lbs as that wastes power and generates heat. [00158] In one embodiment, the motor (100) is driven to reduce cable tension instead to a lower amount, for example 5 lbs, whenever the end of the cable is within a range of length from the zero point, for example 3 cm Thus when a user pulls on the actuator/cable that is at the zero point, they will sense 5 lbs of nominal tension of resistance for the beginning 3 cm, after which the intended full tension will begin, for example at 50 lbs.

[00159] In one embodiment, to determine the zero point upon system power-up the cables are retracted until they stop. In addition, if the system is idle with no cable motion for a pre-determined certain amount of time, for example 60 seconds, the system will recalibrate its zero point. In one embodiment, the zero point will be determined after each arm reconfiguration, for example an arm translation as described in Figures 5 A and 5B above.

[00160] Cable Length Change. In order to determine when a cable is at the zero point, the machine may need to know whether and how much that cable has moved. Keeping track of cable length change is also important for determining how much of the cable the user is pulling. For example, in the process demonstrated in Figures 5 A and 5B, if a user moves slider (403) down 20 cm, then the cable length will have increased by 20cm. By keeping track of such length change, the machine (1000) avoids overestimating the length of the user's pull and avoids not knowing the ideal cable length at which to drop cable tension from full tension to nominal tension.

[00161] In a preferred embodiment, to keep track of cable length change the machine has a sensor in each of the column holes (405) of Figures 5 A and 5B. When the user retracts pin (404), the sensor in that hole sends a signal to electronics bay (600) that slider (403) is about to be moved. Once the user moves slider (403) to a new location and resets pin (404), the track hole (405) receiving pin (404) sends a signal to electronics bay (600) of the new location of slider (403). This signal enables electronics bay (600) to compute the distance between the former hole and current holes (405), and add or subtract that value to the current recorded length of the cable. The control signals from holes (405) to electronics bay (600) concerning pin (404) retraction and resetting travel along physical transmission wires that maintain a connection regardless of where cable (501) or pin (404) are.

[00162] In practice, a user retracts and replaces pin (404) only when the cable is fully retracted since any cable resistance above the slider and arm weight matching resistance as described above makes it quite physically difficult to remove the pin. As the machine (1000) is always maintaining tension on the cable in order to offset the weight of the slider plus arm, as the slider moves up and down, the cable automatically adjusts its own length. After the pin is re-inserted, the machine re-zeroes the cable length and/or learns where the zero point of the cable is.

[00163] In an alternate embodiment, the sensor is in pin (404) instead of holes (405). In comparison to the preferred embodiment, the physical connections between holes (405) and electronics bay (600) still exist and signals are still generated to be sent to electronics bay (600) once pin (404) is removed or reset. One difference is that the signal is initiated by pin (404) instead of by the relevant hole (405). This may not be as efficient as the preferred embodiment because holes (405) still need to transmit their location to electronics bay (600) because of system startup, as if the hole (405) were not capable of transmitting their location, the machine would have no way of knowing where on track (402) slide (403) is located.

[00164] In one embodiment, using hole sensors (405) is used by the electronics (600) to determine arm position and adjust torque on the motor (100) accordingly. The arm position may also be used by electronics (600) to check proper exercise, for example that the arm is low for bicep curl and high for a lat pulldown.

[00165] Cable Safety. When a user has retracted cable (501), there is typically a significant force being applied on slider (403) of Figures 5 A and 5B. This force makes it physically challenging for the user to retract pin (404) at this point. After the user retracts cable (501) to the zero point and the machine resets the tension at the nominal weight of 5 lbs, the user instead may find it easy to retract pin (404).

[00166] Without a safety protocol, if a user were able to begin removing pin (404) while, for example, 50 lbs of force is being applied to cable (501), a race would ensue between the user fully removing pin (404) and the machine reducing tension weight to 5 lbs. As the outcome of the race is indeterminate, there is a potentially unsafe condition that the pin being removed first would jerk the slider and arm suddenly upwards with 50 lbs of force. In one embodiment, a safety protocol is configured so that every sensor in holes (405) includes a safety switch that informs the electronics bay (600) to reduce motor tension to a safe level such as 5 or 10 lbs. The electrical speed of such a switch being triggered and motor tension being reduced is much greater than the speed at which the slider would be pulled upward against gravity. [00167] In a preferred embodiment, the removal of the locking pin (404) causes the system to reduce cable tension to the amount of tension that offsets the weight of the slider and arm. This allows the slider and arm to feel weightless.

[00168] WaD Bracket. To make an exercise machine easier to install at home, in one embodiment the frame is not mounted directly to the wall. Instead, a wall bracket is first mounted to the wall, and the frame as shown in Figure 1C is attached to the wall bracket. Using a wall bracket has a benefit of allowing a single person to install the system rather than requiring at least two people. Using a wall bracket also allows the mounting hardware such as lag bolts going into wall studs for the bracket to be concealed behind the machine.

Alternately, if the machine (1000) were mounted directly, then mounting hardware would be accessible and visible to allow installation. Using a wall bracket also keeps the machine away from dust created while drilling into the wall and/or installing the hardware.

[00169] Compactness. An advantage of using digital strength training is compactness. The system disclosed includes the design of joints and locking mechanisms to keep the overall system small, for example the use of a pancake motor (100) and differential (200) to keep the system small, and tracks (400) and sliders (401) to keep arms (700) short.

[00170] The compact system also allows the use of smaller pulleys. As the cable traverses the system, it must flow over several pulleys. Traditionally fitness equipment uses large pulleys, often 3 inches to 5 inches in diameter, because the large diameter pulleys have a lower friction. The disclosed system uses many 1 inch pulleys because of the friction compensation abilities of the motor control filters in electronics box (600); the friction is not perceived by the user because the system compensates for it. This additional friction also dampens the feeling of gear teeth in the differential (200).

[00171] Although the foregoing embodiments have been described in some detail for purposes of clarity of understanding, the invention is not limited to the details provided. There are many alternative ways of implementing the invention. The disclosed embodiments are illustrative and not restrictive.