View Full Version : patenting White box/Front line Robotics robot form

02-24-2007, 01:24 PM

I was reading some articles on Front Line Robotics/White Box Robotics trying to put a patent on the style of Robot that they build- using PC parts.

I was wondering if there is any truth to this?


02-26-2007, 09:03 AM
I haven't heard anything about it, but I find it pretty hard to put a patent on something like this. I'd have to take a look at the writeup to see just what they are trying to patent though before I can say anything. Where did you come across this information?

02-26-2007, 10:25 AM
I'm no patent lawyer, but I think they'd have to be a bit more specific than that. On the other hand, patent laws are being loosened every day to allow things like mathematical algorithms and even bits of the human genome to be patented.

Speaking of patents, Google has just unleashed a new feature for the information-craving masses.

Google Patent Search (http://www.google.com/patents)

Just punch in something like "apple peeler" or "robot" or "neural ganglia" or "contraceptive" and prepare to be inundated with more esoteric jargon than you know what to do with!

03-28-2007, 08:17 PM
I'm not a big fan of the patent office. Some of the things that they allow patents to be filed on are...surprising...to say the very least. It does make one wonder what kind of education patent office personnel would need. Where do you advertise for someone capable of understanding the jargon and B.S. that is used in patent applications?
Evolution Robotics might have "prior art" on this one, with the ER1 laptop-based machine they sold until a couple of years ago.

03-29-2007, 10:11 AM
Yeah, I'd like to know where this information came from. I looked around a little bit about it, but didn't really have the time to look too deep.

It would surprise me one bit though. It is really messed up some of the patents that slide through.

For instance, the force feedback of a controller. Sony got sued by Immersion because Immersion had a patent on force feedback. I mean come on, how many companies out there have force feedback in their controller nowadays? I don't know how all this works, so do they all have to pay Immersion? Last I heard is the reason why the PS3 controller doesn't have force feedback is because Sony didn't want to pay Immersion royalties for the force feedback.

03-29-2007, 10:57 AM
I'm going to derail this thread with a good old-fashioned tirade. Here it comes.

It really makes my hackles rise whenever someone refers to a vibrating controller as "force feedback." The term was originally applied to flight stick and steering wheel controllers that moved or resisted movement in response to the in-game environment, for the purpose of creating a more realistic experience. Have you ever held a vibrating game controller and said "Damn, feels like I'm firing a gun/crashing an airplane/punching Mike Tyson?" No, you haven't. You say, "Damn, this controller sure is vibrating!" Effectively, this removes you from the realism of the game, as opposed to encouraging it.

I'm a stubborn old man, and those are my two cents on this particular topic.

03-29-2007, 11:19 AM
I never steered a "force feedback" wheel had it shake a bit, or stiffen up at a turn and thought, "man, this feels like I'm driving a real car" either.

Did your stone age ancestors rip on the people who made the wheel and thought that it was going to be used for something cool, haha;) Just razzlin ya a bit!

Seriously though, via Answers.com:

force feedback (¦förs ¦fēd′bak) (control systems) A method of error detection in which the force exerted on the effector is sensed and fed back to the control, usually by mechanical, hydraulic, or electric transducers.

sorry man:) The term "force feedback" may have originated from flight and racing sim, but it's used all over the gaming community and has been for a long time and will be for years to come.

Stubborn old man, I tell ya! Next thing I know ur going to be yelling at me for stepping on your side of our office, haha!

03-29-2007, 12:24 PM
Well you can just go jump in a lake, mister smartypants.

Also, I'm talking about playing games. It's not all about textbook definitions. I think this is more of a semantic argument than a technical one.

08-06-2007, 02:49 AM
There have new for a long time.