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Title:
ODOMETER SYSTEM FOR A MOBILE APPARATUS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/093946
Kind Code:
A4
Abstract:
An odometer system for a mobile apparatus (1) is described. The odometer system comprises a distance determining device (2, 30) configured to transmit a beam of radiation (13) from a stationary measurement reference point (3) remote from the mobile apparatus (1) to a target surface (4) at the mobile apparatus (1) and to determine, from reflected radiation (15) of the beam (13) off the target surface (4), a measurement value of an instantaneous separation distance (D m ) between the target surface (4) and the stationary measurement reference point (3). The system further comprises data receiving means (7', 9) at the mobile apparatus (1) and communication means (7) for wirelessly communicating the measurement value to the data receiving means (7', 9) at the mobile apparatus (1). The data receiving means (7') comprises offsetting or zeroing means (10, 9) for identifying a reference start point (21) for measuring a travelled distance (Dt) of the mobile apparatus (1) along a path, and for determining the travelled distance (Dt), using subsequently received measurement values, with respect to the identified start point (21).

Inventors:
MCGUFFIE, Iain (Hungry Hill Farm, Stoke LacyBromyard, Hereford and Worcester HR7 4HD, HR7 4HD, GB)
Application Number:
IB2016/057282
Publication Date:
June 29, 2017
Filing Date:
December 01, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BEAMRIDER LTD (Fleet House, Spring Lane SouthMalvern, Worcestershire WR14 1AT, WR14 1AT, GB)
International Classes:
G01C22/00; A63C19/06; G01C15/00; G01C15/06; G01S17/08
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NICHOLLS, Jeremy (VENI GMBH SWISS & EUROPEAN PATENT ATTORNEYS, Villa de MeuronBuristrasse 21, 3006 Bern, 3006, CH)
Download PDF:
Claims:
AMENDED CLAIMS

received by the International Bureau on 6 June 2017 (06.06.2017)

Claims

1. Odometer system for a mobile apparatus (1), the system comprising: a first distance determining device (2, 30) configured to transmit a beam of radiation (13) from a stationary measurement reference point (3) remote from the mobile apparatus (1) to a target surface (4) at the mobile apparatus (1) and to determine, from reflected radiation (15) of the beam (13) off the target surface (4), a measurement value of an instantaneous separation distance (Dm) between the target surface (4) and the stationary measurement reference point (3), data receiving means (7', 9) at the mobile apparatus (1); communication means (7) for wirelessly communicating the measurement value to a data receiving means (7', 9) at the mobile apparatus (1), wherein the data receiving means (7') comprises offsetting or zeroing means (10, 9) for identifying a reference start point (21) for measuring a travelled distance (Dt) of the mobile apparatus (1) along a path, and for determining the travelled distance (Dt), using subsequently received measurement values, with respect to the identified start point (21).

2. Odometer system (2) according to claim 1, comprising target tracking means (31, 33, 34, 37, 38) for training the beam (13) on the remote target surface (4) as the mobile apparatus (1) moves.

3. Odometer system according to claim 2, wherein the target tracking means (31, 33, 34, 37, 38) comprises target offset determining means (31) for determining an offset angle between an angular position of the remote target surface (4) relative to the stationary measurement reference point (3) and the transmission direction of the beam (13), and beam orientation adjustment means (33, 34, 37, 38) for automatically adjusting the transmission direction of the beam (13) in dependence on the offset angle.

4. Odometer system according to claim 3, wherein the target offset determining means (31) comprises: beam position determining means for determining a position of the beam (13), 18

optical image acquisition means (31) for acquiring an image of the remote target surface (4), first pattern recognition means (31) for detecting, in the image, a predetermined pattern (11) of the remote target surface (4), and pattern position determining means (31) for determining a position of the pattern

(11),

wherein the target offset determining means (31) is configured for determining an offset distance (dx, dy) between the positions of the beam (15) and the pattern (11).

5. Odometer system according to claim 4, wherein the beam position

determining means comprises second pattern recognition means for detecting, in the image, the reflection (15) of the beam (13).

6. Odometer system according to claim 3, wherein the first distance determining device (30) comprises angular displacement drive means (34, 38) for rotational displacement (39, 40) of the beam (13) relative to a stationary mount (3), whereby the beam position determining means is configured to determine an angular orientation of the beam (13) from information from the transmission beam drive means (34, 38).

7. Odometer system according to one of the preceding claims, wherein the instantaneous measurement value comprises an incremental change in the separation distance (Dm) since a previous distance measurement. 8. Odometer system according to one of claims 4 to 7, wherein the optical image acquisition means, the first pattern recognition means and/or the second pattern recognition means comprise an optical or digital zoom means for varying the scale of the image, the pattern (11) or the reflection (15) in dependence on the separation distance (Dm).

9. Odometer system according to claim 6, wherein the drive means (34, 38) comprises means for varying a displacement resolution of the drive means (34, 38) in dependence on the separation distance (Dm).

10. Odometer system according to one of the preceding claims, comprising means for detecting an out-of-range condition of the beam alignment with the target 19

surface (4), wherein the communication means (7) is configured to stop communicating the measured value in the event of said out-of-range condition.

11. Odometer system according to one of the preceding claims, wherein the mobile apparatus (1) is a marking apparatus (1) for applying a marking substance (14) to a ground surface.

12. Odometer system according to one of the preceding claims, wherein the path is a straight path.

13. Odometer system according to one of the preceding claims, wherein the path is a curved path.

14. Odometer system according to one of the preceding claims, comprising means for indicating the current distance travelled by the mobile apparatus to an operator of the mobile apparatus.

15. Odometer system according to one of the preceding claims, comprising a control means (9) for controlling a speed of the mobile apparatus, or an operational parameter of an equipment of the mobile apparatus, in dependence on the travelled distance (Dt).

16. Odometer system according to one of the preceding claims, further comprising second and/or third distance determining devices (2) as described in one of claims 1 to 15, the radiation beams (13i, 132, 133) of the first, second and/or third distance determining devices (2) being oriented to different target surfaces or different regions (Hi, 112, 113) of the same target surface (4), wherein the odometer system comprises target orientation determining means (31) for, using first, second and/or third measurement values from the first, second and/or third distance determining devices (2), determining a spatial orientation of the target surface (4), the target surfaces and/or the mobile apparatus (1).

17. Method of measuring a distance travelled by a mobile apparatus, characterised by using an odometer system according to one of claims 1 to 16.