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1. (WO1998049087) WASTE BIN MANIPULATOR ARM
Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

WHAT IS CLAIMED:
1. A manipulator arm (11) comprising:
a base support (61, 65, 67);
a hinge structure (21, 23, 85) for providing pivoting in a horizontal plane and in a vertical plane;
an extension arm (27, 53) having a first end connected to said hinge structure (21, 23, 85) and a second end;
a grasping bin actuator (45) connected to the second end of said extension arm (27, 53).

2. The manipulator arm (11) as recited in claim 1 wherein said hinge structure (21, 23, 85) further comprises:
a horizontal hinge (21) connected to said base support (61 , 65, 67); an angled hinge member (23) having a horizontal leg (151) pivotally carried within said horizontal hinge (21) and a vertical leg (153);
a vertical hinge (85) supported by and pivotably rotatable about said vertical leg, said vertical hinge (85) connected to said first end of said extension arm (27, 53).

3. The manipulator arm (11) as recited in claim 1 wherein said extension arm (27, 53) further comprises:
a first extension member (53) having a first end pivotally connected to said hinge structure (21, 23, 85), and a second end; and
a second extension member (27) having a first end pivotally connected to said second end of said first extension member (53), and a second end connected to said bin actuator (45).

4. The manipulator arm (11) as recited in claim 1 wherein said bin actuator (45) is attached to said second end of said extension arm (27, 53) to remain oriented away from said base support (61, 65, 67) regardless of the position of said extension arm (27, 53) with respect to said base support (61, 65, 67).

5. The manipulator arm (11) as recited in claim 1 wherein said bin actuator (45) further comprises:
a symmetrical rotation support (47) connected to said second end of said extension arm (27, 53);
a first symmetrical rotation member (49) pivotally supported about a first axis by said symmetrical rotation support (47) and having a first elongate curved portion (51) extending at an angle with respect to said first axis;

a second symmetrical rotation member (50) pivotally supported about a second axis by said symmetrical rotation support (47) and having a second elongate curved portion (51) extending at an angle with respect to said first axis, and operable in concert with said first symmetrical rotation member (49) to grasp an object, said angle enabling said first and second elongate curved portion (51)s to assume an approximately horizontal position when grasping, and an approximately vertical position when not grasping; and
a mechanical power source (87, 89) connected to said first and second symmetrical rotation members (49 & 50) .

6. The manipulator arm (11) as recited in claim 5 wherein said mechanical power source further comprises:
a hydraulic cylinder (89);
a first actuator chain (91) extending from a point secured by said hydraulic cylinder (89);
a hydraulic piston (87) carried within and hydraulically actuated to extend from said hydraulic cylinder (89);
at least a first sprocket (121) engaging said first actuator chain (91) to turn when said hydraulic piston (87) is displaced out of said hydraulic cylinder (89).

7. The manipulator arm (11) as recited in claim 6 wherein said mechanical power source (87, 89) further comprises:
a second actuator chain (92) having a first end connected to said hydraulic piston (87), and a second end connected to at least a second sprocket (251 ) rotationally linked to said at least a first sprocket (121) to assist in turning said at least a first and said at least a second sprockets (251 , 121) simultaneously.

8. The manipulator arm (11) as recited in claim 2 and wherein said hinge structure (21, 23, 85) further comprises:
a first camming ring (177) carried on said horizontal leg of said angled hinge and which rotates when said manipulator arm (11) is pivoted about an axis of said horizontal hinge (85) ; and
a first mechanically activated hydraulic flow restrictor (19) which restricts hydraulic flow in response to rotation of said first camming ring (177).

9. The manipulator arm (11) as recited in claim 8 and wherein said manipulator arm (1 1) further comprises a hydraulic lift cylinder (75) having a first pivot end and a second end and a hydraulic lift piston (79) having a first end within said second end of said hydraulic lift cylinder and a second pivot end, and where one of said first and said second pivot ends is
connected to said base support (61, 65, 67) and the other of said first and said second pivot ends is connected to said extension arm (27, 53) for lifting said extension arm (27, 53), wherein said hydraulic lift cylinder is in fluid communication with said mechanically activated hydraulic flow restrictor (19).

1 1. The manipulator arm (11) as recited in claim 1 and wherein said base support (61 , 65, 67) further comprises:
an upper rectangular tube shaped structure (59) for fitting atop a chassis member (15) of a vehicle and having a generally horizontal portion and a downwardly sloping portion 63) terminating at a first end, and having a second end;
a lower rectangular tube shaped structure (72) having a first end adjacent said first end of said upper rectangular tube shaped structure (59) and a second end; and
an end cap (67) covering said second end of said upper rectangular tube shaped structure (59), and providing surface to facilitate attachment to said chassis member (15), the first end of said lower rectangular tube shaped structure (79) connected to the first end of said upper rectangular tube shaped structure (59).

12. The manipulator arm (1 1) as recited in claim 3 and further comprising: a strut (37) having a first end pivotally attached to said hinge structure (21, 23, 85) and a second end pivotally attached to said second extension member (27) adjacent but spaced apart from said second end of said first extension member (53);
a hydraulic extension cylinder (33) having a first vertical pivot end and a second end and a hydraulic extension piston (31 ) having a first end within said second end of said hydraulic extension cylinder and a second vertical pivot end, and where one of said first and said second vertical pivot ends is connected to said hinge structure (21, 23, 85) and the other of said first and second vertical pivot ends is connected to said second extension member (27) and where actuation of said hydraulic extension cylinder (33) causes said first and second extension member (27) to pivotally extend from said base support (61, 65, 67).

13. The manipulator arm (1 1) as recited in claim 1 wherein said bin grasping actuator (45) is resiliently pivotable with respect to said second end of said extension arm (27, 53), to enable a back and forth motion of said extension arm (27, 53) to pivotingly shake a bin held by said bin grasping actuator (45).

14. The manipulator arm (11) as recited in claim 13 and further comprising a shaker arm connected to said bin grasping actuator (45) and oriented to make contact with a surface when said bin is held in a position to be emptied to enhance said shaking.

15. A manipulator arm (11) comprising:
a base support (61, 65, 67) for attachment to a chassis member of a vehicle;
a hinge structure (21, 23, 85) for providing pivoting in a horizontal plane and in a vertical plane independently of an angle of pivot in said horizontal plane;
an extension arm (27, 53) having a first end connected to said hinge structure (21 , 23, 85) and a second end, said extension arm (27, 53) limited in speed of angular displacement in said vertical plane;
a bin grasping actuator (45) connected to the second end of said extension arm (27, 53), to enable said extension arm (27, 53) to grasp a bin and hold it through pivoting displacement to a vertical position.

16. The manipulator arm (11) as recited in claim 15 wherein said bin grasping actuator (45) further comprises:
a pair of cooperating symmetrical rotation members (49, 50) actuatable from a first approximately vertical position when not grasping to a second approximately horizontal position when grasping; and
a mechanical power source (87, 89) connected to said pair of cooperating symmetrical rotation members (49, 50).

17. A removable manipulator arm (11) comprising:
a tube shaped outer bracket (301) having an inside, and attachable adjacent a chassis member (15) of a vehicle;
an inner bracket (317) having an outer surface closely slidably fittable within said inside of said tube shaped outer bracket (301);
a holding structure (305) for engaging said inner bracket with respect to one of said chassis member (15) and said tube shaped outer bracket (301); a hydraulic manipulator arm (11) having a hinge structure (21 , 23, 85) for providing pivoting in a horizontal plane and in a vertical plane and attached to said inner bracket (317);
an extension arm (27, 53) having a first end connected to said hinge structure (21, 23, 85) and a second end; and
a bin grasping actuator (45) connected to the second end of said extension arm (27, 53).

18. The removable manipulator arm (11) as recited in claim 17 and wherein said outer bracket (301) has a first aperture and where said inner bracket has a second aperture, positioned such that when said inner bracket is engaged with said outer bracket (301), said first and said second apertures align, and further comprising a locking pin (313) inserted through said first and said second apertures to hold said inner bracket in engagement with said outer bracket (301).

19. The removable manipulator arm (1 1) as recited in claim 17 and wherein said outer bracket (301) has a first end connected to a plate for attachment of the outer bracket (301) to a vehicle frame, and a second end.

20. The removable manipulator arm (11) as recited in claim 17 and wherein said inner bracket (317) has a first end for insertion into said outer bracket (301) and a second end and wherein said holding structure further comprises a plate (305) attached to said inner bracket (317) adjacent said second end for facilitating attachment of said inner bracket (317) with respect to said outer bracket (301).

21. A removable manipulator arm (11) comprising:
a hydraulic manipulator arm (11) having a hinge structure (21, 23, 85) including a brace (309) for providing pivoting in a horizontal plane and in a vertical plane and attached to said inner bracket (317);
an extension arm (27, 53) having a first end connected to said hinge structure (21, 23, 85) and a second end;
a bin grasping actuator (45) connected to the second end of said extension arm (27, 53);

an inner bracket (317) having pair of parallel spaced apart inner bracket members (335, 317) connected to and extending away from said brace (309);
an outer bracket (301) having a pair of spaced apart tube shaped outer bracket (301) members each having an inside, and attachable adjacent a chassis member of a vehicle, each of said inner bracket members having an outer surface closely slidably fittable within said inside of an associated one of said outer bracket (301) members.

22. A manipulator for grasping and further comprising:
a rotation support (341);
a first symmetrical rotation member (49) pivotally supported about a first axis by said rotation support and having a first elongate curved portion (51) extending at an angle with respect to said first axis;
a first sprocket (346) connected to said first symmetrical rotation member (49) and rotatable with said first symmetrical rotation member (49); a second symmetrical rotation member (50) pivotally supported about a second axis by said rotation support and having a second elongate curved portion (51) extending at an angle with respect to said second axis;
a second sprocket (343) connected to said first symmetrical rotation member (49) and rotatable with said first symmetrical rotation member (49), said second symmetrical rotation member (50) operable in concert with said first symmetrical rotation member (49) to grasp an object;
a chain (345) surrounding said first and said second sprockets in a figure-8 pattern; and
a mechanical power source (347, 361) powerably connected to one of said first and said second symmetrical rotation members (49, 50).

23. The manipulator arm (1 1) as recited in claim 22 wherein said mechanical power source (347, 361) further comprises:
a hydraulic cylinder (347);
a hydraulic piston (361) carried within and hydraulically actuated to extend from said hydraulic cylinder (347); and
a link (357, 359) connecting said hydraulic piston (361) and said chain.

24. The manipulator arm (11) as recited in claim 23 wherein said link (357, 359) further comprises:
a translation plate (357) connected to said hydraulic piston (361); and a translation sprocket (359) rotatably supported by said translation plate (357) and engaging said chain (345), said translation sprocket ( 359) set to forcibly turn when said hydraulic piston (361) is actuated from said hydraulic cylinder (347).

25. The manipulator arm (11) as recited in claim 24 wherein said chain (345) has a first end and a second end supported by said rotation support (341), and wherein said translation sprocket ( 359) engages said chain (341) near said first and second ends of said chain (345) such that said translation sprocket (359) will turn as it is moved by said hydraulic piston.

26. A removable manipulator arm (11) comprising:
a bracket (400) further comprising:
a pair of spaced apart tubes (401, 403) each having a first end and a second end;
an end plate (407) attached over the second ends of said pair of spaced apart tubes (401, 403);
an abutment plate (415) attached over the first ends of said pair of spaced apart tubes (401, 403);
a manipulator base plate (417) abutting and attachable to said abutment plate (415); and
a hydraulic manipulator arm (1 1) having a hinge structure (21, 23, 85) supported by said manipulator base plate (417) for providing pivoting in a horizontal plane and in a vertical plane;
an extension arm (27, 53) having a first end connected to said hinge structure (21, 23, 85) and a second end; and
a bin grasping actuator (45) connected to the second end of said extension arm (27, 53).