Spherical Gimbal for Bionic Eye

Summary:
A gimbal arrangement comprises a socket (6) having a partially spherical inner surface with a first radius; a ball (2) located within the socket and having a partially spherical outer surface with a second radius smaller than the first radius; a first array of electromagnets (5) mounted at the outer surface of the ball; a second array of electromagnets (7) mounted at the inner surface of the socket (6); and means for supplying power selectively to different ones of the electromagnets of the two arrays to support the ball within the socket in a position where the partially spherical surfaces of the ball and socket are substantially concentric about a common center and to control the orientation of the ball relative to the socket.

Full Description:
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to an improved gimbal design, and in particular to an improved gimbal for mounting an optical sensor such as a camera.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
In order to allow a sensor to be rotated independently about two orthogonal axes, known gimbal designs are based on the general approach of having two concentric stages or cages each mounted on a separate set of bearings and actuators to control rotation about one axis, with the inner stage mounted on the outer stage to allow the sensor to rotate independently about the two orthogonal axes. Similarly, in order to allow a sensor to be rotated independently about three orthogonal axes, three stages are used, mounted successively on one another.

There are a number of problems with this approach. The large number of components makes known gimbal arrangements unreliable, expensive and complex to assemble. Further, the large number of components makes it difficult to scale down the gimbal for small sensors.

The present invention was made in attempt to overcome these problems, at least in part.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In a first aspect, the invention provides a gimbal arrangement comprising:

a socket having a partially spherical inner surface with a first radius;
a ball located within the socket and having a partially spherical outer surface with a second radius smaller than the first radius;
a first array of electromagnets mounted at the outer surface of the ball;
a second array of electromagnets mounted at the inner surface of the socket; and
means for supplying power selectively to different ones of the electromagnets of the two arrays to support the ball within the socket in a position where the partially spherical surfaces of the ball and socket are substantially concentric and to control the orientation of the ball relative to the socket.

Problem this idea/invention addresses:
To create a bionic eye provides a multitude of design & innovation challenges. The spherical gimbal provides a unique solution to be a viable actuation sub-component, based on the design characteristics of being spherical in shape, thus fitting within the limited confined space of the eye socket. Even more importantly, it motor component is also hollow, thus providing the maximum space available for other visual and integrated circuitry sub-components to be fitted within the gimbal

Attached files:
Gimbal_I_Cutaway_Insitu_v002_001.jpg
Gimbal_G_Exploded_View_v003.jpg
IMG_1883s.jpg
IMG_1870s.jpg

Patents:
CN 101,473,160
GB 2,439,346
US 81,790,072

Asking price: [CONTACT SELLER]
Available for consultation? Yes

Invention #12120
Date posted: 2016-02-11

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