A scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory has invented a new method for monitoring the motion of a moving object with respect to a stationary object in real time, which has applications for industrial facilities and machines. The patented technology is available via patent license agreement to companies that would make, use, or sell it commercially.
Many industrial fabrication and assembly processes require very high-precision relative alignment of parts. Some systems have employed an alignment technique called RASNIK (Relative Alignment System of the Nikhef Institute), which uses three components to project the image of a finely detailed mask through a lens onto a small digital camera. Any motion in any of the three elements — mask, lens, and camera — will result in a corresponding movement of the projected image on the camera.
A Navy researcher has improved on the original RASNIK technique by integrating the mask and lens into a single component, as well as adding a tiltmeter to measure rotational movement. The two-element RASNIK system reduces one movement ambiguity by integrating the mask and lens, while the tiltmeter eliminates the challenge of discerning between pure translations and rotations. The alignment information can be displayed visually in real time, and the system provides good resolution in a low-cost, easily installable package for industrial uses.
- Provides not only relative alignment and contact sensing, but also precise information regarding the nature of physical contact experienced by the objects being monitored (e.g. loading, forced rotation, torsion)
- Offers a significant improvement for those already using RASNIK systems for monitoring alignment between components
- Tilt meter provides a way to distinguish between translational and rotational movements with a single standalone system
- Low cost, easily installable, and functions in a manner which is intuitive to an untrained operator after working with the system for only a few minutes
- Businesses can commercialize the technology by licensing U.S. Patents 10,234,285 and 9,513,119 from the Navy
- License fees paid to the Navy are negotiable
- Businesses that license the technology may have the opportunity to pursue collaborative research with the inventor
- Testing data may be available to companies evaluating the technology
- TechLink guides businesses through evaluation and licensing; services provided at no cost