Fiber Optic Gap Gauge
Billy E. Wood, Scott E. Groves, Greg J. Larsen, Roberto J. Sanchez
U.S. Patent 7,134,219 B2
November 14, 2006
A small, lightweight gauge with high sensitivity can indirectly determine the displacement or absolute gap width by measuring the axial strain orthogonal to the displacement or gap. The gauge’s base, preferably made of titanium, has a central tension bar. Springs connect opposite ends of this bar to a pair of end connector bars. An elongated bow spring connected to these connector bars has a middle section that bows away from the base, producing an axial strain to define a gap. A strain sensor, such as a Fabry–Perot interferometer, measures this strain, which is proportional to the displacement of the middle section and thus indirectly provides a measurement of axial strain.
Drum Ring Removal/Installation Tool
William Andrew Andrade
U.S. Patent 7,134,174 B1
November 14, 2006
This handheld tool, or a pair of such tools, can be used to remove or install a bolt-type clamping ring on a container barrel or drum. The clamping ring has a pair of clamping ends, each with a throughbore. The tool has an elongated handle with an elongated lever arm transversely connected to one end. The lever arm can be inserted into a throughbore and leveraged with the handle to exert a first moment on the selected clamping end. A second lever arm, such as a socket with an open-ended slot, is suspended alongside the first lever arm. It, too, can engage the clamping end and, with the handle, exert a second moment orthogonal to the first moment. In this manner, the first and second moments hold the end in a fixed position so that the clamping end may be controlled with the handle. Two independently controlled tools may be used simultaneously on a pair of clamping ends to contort the geometry of the drum clamping ring so it can be installed or removed.
Flexible Electrode Array for Artificial Vision
Peter Krulevitch, Dennis L. Polla, Mariam N. Maghribi, Julie Hamilton
U.S. Patent 7,146,221 B2
December 5, 2006
In this artificial vision system, an image is captured or otherwise converted into a signal that is transmitted via an implant to the retina. The implant consists of a polymer substrate made of a compliant material such as poly(dimethylsiloxane) that conforms to a retina’s shape. Electrodes and conductive leads embedded in the substrate transmit a signal to the cells in the retina, and this signal, which represents the image, stimulates the cells.