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Gyroscopic Sensors

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000200877D
Publication Date: 2010-Oct-27

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A vehicle service system configured to provide spatial measurements associated with vehicle components such as the vehicle wheels, body panels, or suspension components using a set of sensor units which include one or more small, self-contained sensors such as MEMS accelerometers or vibrating structure gyroscopes. Multiple sensor units mounted to various components of a vehicle are each configured to detect at least one common reference field, from which calibration data may be obtained during a rolling compensation procedure. Once calibrated, movement and orientation of each sensor unit in a spatial region associated with the common reference field is tracked by a processing system receiving transmitted data from the sensor units to provide spatial measurements associated with each sensor unit, from which various parameters such as vehicle component movement and vehicle wheel alignment angles can be subsequently determined.

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Gyroscopic Sensors

October 25, 2010

ABSTRACT

  A vehicle service system configured to provide spatial measurements associated with vehicle components such as the vehicle wheels, body panels, or suspension components using a set of sensor units which include one or more small, self-contained sensors such as MEMS accelerometers or vibrating structure gyroscopes. Multiple sensor units mounted to various components of a vehicle are each configured to detect at least one common reference field, from which calibration data may be obtained during a rolling compensation procedure. Once calibrated, movement and orientation of each sensor unit in a spatial region associated with the common reference field is tracked by a processing system receiving transmitted data from the sensor units to provide spatial measurements associated with each sensor unit, from which various parameters such as vehicle component movement and vehicle wheel alignment angles can be subsequently determined.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

  Many vehicle wheel alignment service systems currently in use utilize active electronic sensors attached to the vehicle wheels, a laser pattern projected onto the vehicle wheel in cooperation with a camera system, or optical targets attached to the vehicle wheels for

observation by a camera system. These systems do not use triangulation or trilateration techniques as their primary method for determining location and/or position of the vehicle wheels and/or vehicle components. Hence, these vehicle wheel alignment measurement systems require a direct line-of-sight between at least some of the installed components and/or sensors.

  Active electronic sensors require at least one sensor to be visible to another sensor for determining vehicle wheel toe angles. Laser pattern projection systems require the projected pattern to be visible to suitable optical sensors. Similarly, optical target systems require that the observing cameras be positioned in line-of-sight to observe the optical targets disposed on the vehicle wheels and/or components.

  The required line-of-sight constraints render the use of these systems difficult in some locations. For example, optical target systems have difficulty in short vehicle service bays due to the need for the observing cameras to be positioned in front of the vehicle such that each optical target is in a camera's field of view (FOV).

  Similarly, laser pattern projection systems are difficult to install in narrow vehicle service bays because the projected target pattern must be in a sensor's field of view, requiring that the

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sensors be positioned laterally adjacent to the vehicle. Optical target systems and laser projection systems are additionally difficult to move from one vehicle service bay to another, and are difficult to utilize accurately within the full range of vertical movement of a vehicle lift rack wherein the projected laser patterns or optical targets may be vertically moved out...