BMW has been granted a patent for a monitoring device that can be attached to a human or mechanical manipulator. The device includes a sensor to detect the current value of the manipulator and a control unit to compare it with a previous value. The device also includes transponder elements attached to the operating element and workstation, which are detected by the same sensor. GlobalData’s report on Bayerische Motoren Werke gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Bayerische Motoren Werke, Battery management systems was a key innovation area identified from patents. Bayerische Motoren Werke's grant share as of September 2023 was 39%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Monitoring device for human operator control element attachment

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Bayerische Motoren Werke AG

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11774938B2) describes a monitoring apparatus designed for human operators. The apparatus includes a detection device with a sensor that can detect the current actual value of the human operator. This value is then compared to a previous value stored in a control unit. The detection device consists of two transponder elements, one attached to the operator control element and the other attached to a workstation. Both transponder elements are detected by the same sensor.

The monitoring apparatus also includes a signal device that can indicate the concordance or discordance between the current and previous values to the human operator. This signal device can be attached directly or indirectly to the operator and can be visually, audibly, or physically perceptible. Examples of signal devices mentioned in the patent include light-emitting elements, loudspeakers, and vibrators.

The apparatus is powered by an energy unit that supplies power to the sensor's antenna element. The current and previous values of the human operator can include contact value, position value, orientation value, movement value, direction of movement value, and the attachment or use of a specific operator control element. The apparatus also includes an inspection unit that can receive and display the current and previous values, as well as the concordance or discordance.

The patent also describes a method for operating the monitoring apparatus. The method involves detecting the actual value of the human operator using the transponder elements and sensor, associating this value with the previous value stored in the control unit, and determining the concordance or discordance between the two values. The method also includes signaling the concordance or discordance to the human operator using a signal device and storing the setpoint values, concordance, and discordance in the control unit. The actual values, concordance, and discordance can be transmitted to an inspection unit and displayed on its display.

Overall, this patent describes a monitoring apparatus and method that can track and compare the current and previous values of a human operator. The apparatus includes a detection device, control unit, signal device, and inspection unit, while the method involves detecting, associating, determining, signaling, storing, and displaying the values.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.