Patent Number: 6,296,317

Title: Vision-based motion sensor for mining machine control

Abstract: A mining machine having a position sensing and control apparatus is claimed. The mining machine has a vehicle body having forward and rearward ends and movable along a mine floor. A cutter head is mounted on the forward end of the mining machine for upward and downward movement relative to the vehicle body. A conveyor mounted on the vehicle body conveys material cut by the cutter head. The position sensing and control apparatus has at least one light source and at least one imaging device mounted on the machine. The position sensing and control apparatus captures images of natural features of an interior surface of a mine, digitizes the images and determines the distance between the imaging device and the natural feature to determine positional change of the machine.

Inventors: Ollis; Mark (Pittsburgh, PA), Fromme; Christopher C. (Pittsburgh, PA), Hegadorn; Timothy Ennis (Pittsburgh, PA), Kelly; Alonzo James (Sewickley, PA), Bares; John (Wexford, PA), Herman; Herman (Pittsburgh, PA), Stentz; Anthony J. (Pittsburgh, PA), McCargo Moore, Jr.; Richard (Pittsburgh, PA), Herdle; David K. (Cranberry Township, PA), Higgins; Frank (Cranberry Township, PA), Campbell; Bryan G. (Cranberry Township., PA)

Assignee: Carnegie Mellon University

International Classification: G05D 1/02 (20060101); E21C 035/08 ()

Expiration Date: 10/02/2018