New! View global litigation for patent families

GB2494621A - Electrical lock with feedback control - Google Patents

Electrical lock with feedback control Download PDF

Info

Publication number
GB2494621A
GB2494621A GB201114850A GB201114850A GB2494621A GB 2494621 A GB2494621 A GB 2494621A GB 201114850 A GB201114850 A GB 201114850A GB 201114850 A GB201114850 A GB 201114850A GB 2494621 A GB2494621 A GB 2494621A
Authority
GB
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
locking
member
mechanism
shaft
vehicle
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
GB201114850A
Other versions
GB201114850D0 (en )
Inventor
Ronen Tzirin
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
LOGISTILOCK Ltd
Original Assignee
Logistilock Ltd
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E05LOCKS; KEYS; WINDOW OR DOOR FITTINGS; SAFES
    • E05BLOCKS; ACCESSORIES THEREFOR; HANDCUFFS
    • E05B47/00Operating or controlling locks or other fastening devices by electric or magnetic means
    • E05B47/02Movement of the bolt by electromagnetic means; Adaptation of locks, latches, or parts thereof, for movement of the bolt by electromagnetic means
    • E05B47/026Movement of the bolt by electromagnetic means; Adaptation of locks, latches, or parts thereof, for movement of the bolt by electromagnetic means the bolt moving rectilinearly
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E05LOCKS; KEYS; WINDOW OR DOOR FITTINGS; SAFES
    • E05BLOCKS; ACCESSORIES THEREFOR; HANDCUFFS
    • E05B77/00Vehicle locks characterised by special functions or purposes
    • E05B77/46Locking several wings simultaneously
    • E05B77/465Automatic locking when all passengers have left the vehicle
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E05LOCKS; KEYS; WINDOW OR DOOR FITTINGS; SAFES
    • E05BLOCKS; ACCESSORIES THEREFOR; HANDCUFFS
    • E05B81/00Power-actuated vehicle locks
    • E05B81/02Power-actuated vehicle locks characterised by the type of actuators used
    • E05B81/04Electrical
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E05LOCKS; KEYS; WINDOW OR DOOR FITTINGS; SAFES
    • E05BLOCKS; ACCESSORIES THEREFOR; HANDCUFFS
    • E05B81/00Power-actuated vehicle locks
    • E05B81/02Power-actuated vehicle locks characterised by the type of actuators used
    • E05B81/04Electrical
    • E05B81/06Electrical using rotary motors
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E05LOCKS; KEYS; WINDOW OR DOOR FITTINGS; SAFES
    • E05BLOCKS; ACCESSORIES THEREFOR; HANDCUFFS
    • E05B81/00Power-actuated vehicle locks
    • E05B81/12Power-actuated vehicle locks characterised by the function or purpose of the powered actuators
    • E05B81/18Power-actuated vehicle locks characterised by the function or purpose of the powered actuators to effect movement of a bolt or bolts
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E05LOCKS; KEYS; WINDOW OR DOOR FITTINGS; SAFES
    • E05BLOCKS; ACCESSORIES THEREFOR; HANDCUFFS
    • E05B81/00Power-actuated vehicle locks
    • E05B81/24Power-actuated vehicle locks characterised by constructional features of the actuator or the power transmission
    • E05B81/32Details of the actuator transmission
    • E05B81/40Nuts or nut-like elements moving along a driven threaded axle
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E05LOCKS; KEYS; WINDOW OR DOOR FITTINGS; SAFES
    • E05BLOCKS; ACCESSORIES THEREFOR; HANDCUFFS
    • E05B81/00Power-actuated vehicle locks
    • E05B81/54Electrical circuits
    • E05B81/64Monitoring or sensing, e.g. by using switches or sensors
    • E05B81/66Monitoring or sensing, e.g. by using switches or sensors the bolt position, i.e. the latching status
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E05LOCKS; KEYS; WINDOW OR DOOR FITTINGS; SAFES
    • E05BLOCKS; ACCESSORIES THEREFOR; HANDCUFFS
    • E05B81/00Power-actuated vehicle locks
    • E05B81/54Electrical circuits
    • E05B81/64Monitoring or sensing, e.g. by using switches or sensors
    • E05B81/70Monitoring or sensing, e.g. by using switches or sensors the wing position
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E05LOCKS; KEYS; WINDOW OR DOOR FITTINGS; SAFES
    • E05BLOCKS; ACCESSORIES THEREFOR; HANDCUFFS
    • E05B83/00Vehicle locks specially adapted for particular types of wing or vehicle
    • E05B83/02Locks for railway freight-cars, freight containers or the like; Locks for the cargo compartments of commercial lorries, trucks or vans
    • E05B83/04Locks for railway freight-cars, freight containers or the like; Locks for the cargo compartments of commercial lorries, trucks or vans for sliding wings
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E05LOCKS; KEYS; WINDOW OR DOOR FITTINGS; SAFES
    • E05BLOCKS; ACCESSORIES THEREFOR; HANDCUFFS
    • E05B83/00Vehicle locks specially adapted for particular types of wing or vehicle
    • E05B83/02Locks for railway freight-cars, freight containers or the like; Locks for the cargo compartments of commercial lorries, trucks or vans
    • E05B83/12Locks for railway freight-cars, freight containers or the like; Locks for the cargo compartments of commercial lorries, trucks or vans for back doors of vans
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E05LOCKS; KEYS; WINDOW OR DOOR FITTINGS; SAFES
    • E05BLOCKS; ACCESSORIES THEREFOR; HANDCUFFS
    • E05B47/00Operating or controlling locks or other fastening devices by electric or magnetic means
    • E05B47/0001Operating or controlling locks or other fastening devices by electric or magnetic means with electric actuators; Constructional features thereof
    • E05B2047/0014Constructional features of actuators or power transmissions therefor
    • E05B2047/0018Details of actuator transmissions
    • E05B2047/0023Nuts or nut-like elements moving along a driven threaded axle
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E05LOCKS; KEYS; WINDOW OR DOOR FITTINGS; SAFES
    • E05BLOCKS; ACCESSORIES THEREFOR; HANDCUFFS
    • E05B47/00Operating or controlling locks or other fastening devices by electric or magnetic means
    • E05B2047/0094Mechanical aspects of remotely controlled locks
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E05LOCKS; KEYS; WINDOW OR DOOR FITTINGS; SAFES
    • E05BLOCKS; ACCESSORIES THEREFOR; HANDCUFFS
    • E05B63/00Locks or fastenings with special structural characteristics
    • E05B63/0065Operating modes; Transformable to different operating modes
    • E05B63/0069Override systems, e.g. allowing opening from inside without the key, even when locked from outside
    • E05B63/0073Override systems, e.g. allowing opening from inside without the key, even when locked from outside by withdrawal of the entire lock unit

Abstract

A locking mechanism comprising a lock housing 24 for mounting to a portion of a vehicle and a keeper 26 for mounting to another portion of the vehicle; an electrically driven sliding locking bolt 44 slidably housed within the lock housing between an electro-optical device, such as photo diodes (78, 80, fig.5) detecting infra red radiation emitted from light emitting diodes (74, 76, fig.5); wherein the electro-optical device controls movement of the locking bolt which may be driven by a motor 40. The photo emitters and detectors may be coupled to a controller which monitors the position of the locking bolt and determines if it has reached the retracted and extended positions, the controller may adjust the power supplied to the motor in response to sensed conditions such as if the bolt is jammed. Preferably a magnetic sensor 46 and magnet is provided to determine when the vehicle door is in the closed position for automatic locking. Preferably the mechanism is unlocked and locked based on proximity of a valid radio frequency identification (RFID) signal to provide keyless hands-free locking and unlocking. A mechanical override may be provided.

Description

INTELLECTUAL

. .... PROPERTY OFFICE Applicalion No. GB1114850.9 RTIN4 Da1:28 Dcccmbcr2ol I The following terms are registered trademarks and should be read as such wherever they occur in this document: Ups FedEX Intellectual Properly Office is an operaling name of Ihe Patent Office www.ipo.gov.uk

AUTOMATIC VEHICLE LOCKINC MECHANISM

BACKGROUND

1. TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present invention relates to systems and methods for securing a cargo cabin or compartment of a vehicle, particularly, the present invention relates to an automatic locking mechanism adapted to be retrofitted to doors of a vehicle.

2. DISCUSSION OF THE RELATED ART [0002] Common carrier companies, such as the U.S. postal service, UPS, FedEx, as well as many other carriers generally handle delivery of packages, goods and merchandise locally and all around the world on a daily basis. To carry out such wide spread distribution, particularly in local settings, such carriers typically employ small trucks and vans and for achieving a speedy delivery of the goods the packages to their designated destinations.

[0003] Accordingly, to ensure a proper delivery of requested packages, carrier companies usually employ drives and/or other personnel who drive, ride or otherwise help in the loading and/or unloading of the packages onto or from the trucks/vans, respectively. As typically done, drivers make multiple deliveries on a single run or, in other words, drivers may load their vans or trucks with multiple packages so that they can deliver the packages sequentially and, therefore, save time as they conveniently transit from one destination to another.

[0004] Upon reaching their designated destinations, calTiers usually set their vehicle on a side of a road, i.e., curb, parking lot, etc., so that the carriers can attend to loading and/or unloading the packages while not being situated too distant away for the carrier to carry any packages by foot or by use of a cart and the like. For example. U.S. mail carriers generally park their mail trucks on the side of the curb before walking to an entrance of home or a business. By further example, UPS or FeddEx drivers usually park their cargo vans in areas, such as parking lots, office drive-ins and the like, before proceeding up an elevator with the delivered package. Consequently, while making multiple runs the driver or carrier may become oblivious to the fact that the cargo compartment may have been improperly secured or unlocked. The occurrences of such mishaps is not to uncommon and, indeed, carrier drivers may ultimately forget or not be mindful to properly close, secure or otherwise lock the cargo compartment as may occur on a busy delivery day.

[0005] Thus, an untended or unsupervised truck has a potential of inviting intruders, i.e., car thieves.,robbers, or other suspicious opportunistic bystanders to break into the van, steal or otherwise damage the packages or merchandise located within the van or truck. Although certain companies may employ special reinforced vehicles or even employ specialized security services to accompany carrier drivers dunng deliveries such means may be costly and, in some instances, provide a logistical overkill to the requirements at hand.

BRIEF SUMMARY

[0006] Exemplary embodiments of the present invention disclose an automatic locking mechanism adapted for use within a cargo compartment of a transport vehicle, such as a van, truck, or other types of mobile cabins intended for containing packages, merchandise or goods designated for delivery. According'y, the automatic locking mechanism employs a first locking member having a locking shaft powered by an electric motor. The locking mechanism further employs a second locking member, i.e., a receptacle, for receiving the shaft for locking the mechanism and securing the doors to of the compartment to which the locking members are attached.

[0007] Further, the locking mechanisms employs electro-optical devices adapted for monitoring, defining and confining motion of the locking shaft as the locking shaft moves in and out of the first locking member into or out from the second locking member, respectively. Hence, the overall operation and locking of the disclosed locking mechanism are controlled by a controller, such as a processor, adapted for executing certain algorithms and software, all of which are stored on an integrated circuit board contained within the first locking mechanism.

[0008] In accordance with certain embodiments of the present technique, opening of the automatic locking mechanism is achieved by radio frequency identification

I

(REID) device, including an RE reader, such as one disposed on a vehicle in which the locking mechanism is employed, and an RF transmitter, typically held in the possession of the driver/carrier. Hence, during operation, when the carner vehicle is left unattended, as may happen during the delivery of packages to certain destinations, the locking mechanism automatically thcks and secures the doors of the vehicle so that no intruders may enter the cargo compartment of the vehicle. Upon return of the driver to the vehicle, the dnver uses the RF device to open and regain access to the cargo compartment of the vehicle, if needed.

[0009] In accordance with other aspects of the present technique, a locking member of the locking mechanism is further adapted to being detached andlor removed from the door or a portion to which the locking mechanism is attached. Such a mechanism can be operated and used to overcome situations in which the locking mechanism loses power or is otherwise inoperable. Thus, the operator/driver can remove the lock to open and gain immediate access the cargo compartment.

[0010] Hence, in accordance with the present technique, the aforementioned locking mechanism ensures the cargo compartment of the vehicle automatically locks such that it remains so until the driver needs to or desires to unlock the compartment. In so doing, the locking mechanism relieves the driver from paying attention to the locking state of the door, further providing the carrier with a sense of security and confidence regarding the unattended contents of the vehicle.

[0011] Other aspects of the invention may include a system alTanged to execute the aforementioned method. These, additional, andlor other aspects and/or advantages of the embodiments of the present invention are set forth in the detailed description which follows; possibly inferable from the detailed description; and/or learnable by practice of the embodiments of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRTPTION Of THE DRAWINGS [0012] for a better understanding of embodiments of the invention and to show how the same may be carried into effect, reference will now be made, purdy by way of example, to the accompanying drawings in which like numerals designate corresponding elements or sections throughout.

[0013] In the accompanying drawings: [00141 Figure 1 is a top view of a vehicle, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present technique.

[00151 Figure 2 is a front view of a locking mechanism, in accordance with and exemplary embodiment of the present technique.

[0016] Figure 3 is a perspective view of the locking mechanism of Figure 2, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present technique.

[0017] Figure 4, is a side view of a locking member, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present technique.

[00181 Figure 5 is a top view of a locking member, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present technique.

[00191 Figure 6 is another top view of a locking member, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present technique.

[0020] Figure 7, is a block diagram of a locking system, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present technique.

DETA ILED DESCRIPTION

[0021] With specific reference now to the drawings in detail, it is stressed that the particulars shown are by way of example and for purposes of illustrative discussion of the prefened embodiments of the present invention only, and are presented in the cause of providing what is believed to be the most useful and readily understood description of the principles and conceptual aspects of the invention. In this regard, no attempt is made to show structural details of the invention in more detail than is necessary for a fundamental understanding of the invention, the description taken with the drawings making apparent to those skilled in the art how the several forms of the invention may be embodied in practice.

[0022] Before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangement of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is applicable to other embodiments or of being practiced or carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

[0023] Referring now to the figures, particularly. FIG. 1 illustrates a top view of a vehicle 10. in accordance with exemplary embodiments of the present technique.

Hence, the vehicle 10 may generally be a truck, van or any other type of vehicle adapted to carry items, packages, goods, and/or other merchandises, including packages of various sized and shapes. Thus, the vehicle 10 is a type generally employed by common carrier services such as U.S. mail carners, UPS carriers, FedEx carriers, DHL carriers and other common carriers providing services throughout the [0024] As further illustrated, the cargo vehicle 10 includes a driver's cabin 12 and a cargo cabin/compartment 14 disposed behind the driver's cabin 12. It should be born in mind that the cargo compartment 14 is a unit generally physically separated from the cabin 12. Hence, the compartment 14 is adapted to contain packages and/or items typically delivered by the carrier between destinations. Further, the compartment 14 includes a side door 16, disposed on a side of the vehicle 10, as well as hinged doors 18 and 20 disposed at a rear portion of the vehicle 10. Further, side door 16 may be a sliding door, such that when the door 16 closes it becomes adjacent and to flush with vehicle edge 17. Similarly, the doors 18 and 20 are adapted to move frontwards and/or backwards relative a length of the vehicle. Hence, both doors 1 8 and 20 are adapted to move and close such that both doors may become adjacent to and flush with one another. Thus, the door 16 and the front-opening/closing doors 16 and 18, provide the driver of the vehicle 10 access to and from the cabin 14 for enabling the driver to place packages in or pull packages out from the compartment 14.

[0025] As further illustrated, each of the doors 16, vehicle edge 17, and hinged doors 18 and 20, include a locking mechanism 22 generally made up of a first locking member 24, and a second locking member 26, where in one illustrated implementation the member 24 is disposed on an inner side of door 16, and a second locking member 26 is disposed on an inner side of vehicle edge 17. Accordingly, when the sliding door 16 is in a closed position, the first locking member and the second locking member automatically interlock with one another so as to ensure the door 16 secures to portion 17, thereby preventing any outside unrecognized agents for breaking or otherwise opining the door 16.

[0026] Similarly, doors 18 and 20 of the vehicle 10 also include the locking mechanism 22, where, for example, the hinged door 18 includes the first locking member 24 while the other hinged door 20 includes the second locking member 26.

Similar to the door 16, when doors 18 and 20 are in a closed position, the locking mechanism 22 automatically locks the aforementioned doors for keeping any unknown or recognized agents outside the compartment 14 of the vehicle.

[0027] As further discussed below, such automatic interlocking of the members 24 and 26 may be facilitated, for example. by a magnetic mechanism whereby the first locking member 24 includes a magnetic sensor for detecting changes in magnetic fields caused by a ferromagnetic material. i.e., magnet. included within the second locking member 26. As will be discussed further below, the locking mechanism 22 forms an autonomous computerized unit adapted to be easily retrofitted onto carrier vehicles, such as the illustrated vehicle 10 of figure 1. The locking mechanism 22 further employs a vanety of electrical, magnetic, and electro-optical devices for enabling movement of a locking shaft, as well as for providing the locking mechanism 22 with various signal inputs and outputs from internal and/or external sources.

[0028] As may be appreciated by those skilled in the art, while the present disclosure may illustrate certain configurations and adaptations of the locking mechanism 22, nevertheless, it should be born in mind that other design of the locking mechanism may be contemplated or envisioned by the present technique to fit other types of carrier vehicles possessing various types of doors and/or openings, some of which may not be shown. Accordingly, the various designs and/or configurations of the locking mechanism 22 discussed hereinabove may chosen for use and/or manufacture based on certain fabrication, business, financial or other considerations.

[0029] As further illustrated by figure 1, there is disposed on external edges of the vehicle 10, RFID devices 28 and 30, adapted for receiving and/or transmitting signals from REID devices, such as devices 32 and 34. disposed a distance away from the vehicle 10. For example, the RFID device 32 and/or 34 may each be used to communicate with devices 28 and 30, respectively, so as to bring about the unlocking and/or opening of the doors 16 and 18, 20, respectively. Thus, a carrier, for example, may swipe the device 32 across or otherwise be in close proximity to the REID device 28 for unlocking mechanism 22 affixed to the door 16 and vehicle portion 17. In so doing, signals obtained via the RFID device 28 are provided to a control, contained within the first locking member 24, for disengaging a locking shaft (see below) from the locking member 26. A similar operation applies to the doors 18 and 20 via first and second locking members 24 and 26, respectively.

[0030] Turning now to figure 2, there is shown a front view of a thcking mechanism, in accordance with and exemplary embodiment of the present technique. In the illustrated embodiment hinged doors 18 and 20 are shown to include the locking mechanism 22. More specifically, on the inner side of door 18 there is disposed the first locking member 24. Correspondingly, in an inner side of the door 20 there is disposed the second locking member 26. Hence, each of the locking members 24 and 26 are situated on their respective doors such that when the doors 18 and 20 are in a closed position, the locking member 24 becomes disposed directly above the ocking member 26.

[0031] Further, the locking member 24 is adapted to include multiple components including mechanical, electrical, magnetic. electro-optical andlor opto-electrical components, all of which contribute to the overall operation and control of the locking mechanism 22. Thus1 some of the components housed in the first locking mechanism 24 include an electrical motor 40, a driver 42 and a locking shaft 44 (as illustrated by dashed lines). The member 24 further includes a magnetic sensor 46 disposed at the bottom of the surface of the member 24. Hence, during closing of the cargo compartment 14 (see figure 1 above), as may happen when the carrier leaves the vehicle 10 to make a delivery, doors 1 8 and 20 are adapted to turn towards one another for closing the compartment 14. In so doing, the sensor 46 senses a ferromagnetic magnetic material (e.g., magnet 52) contained within the locking member 26, prompting a locking movement of the locking shaft 44. As further shown below, such locking operation causes the shaft 44 to extend into the receptacle 50 of the locking member 26.

[0032] Accordingly, the second locking member 26 is generally affixed to the door 20 via, for example, screws 48, however, those skilled in the art will appreciate that other attaching means, i.e., welds, reinforced nails, etc., can be used to securely place the member 26 onto the door 20. As further illustrated the locking member 26 includes a receptacle 50 adapted to receive the locking shaft 50 when the doors 18 and 20 are in a closed position. It should be born in mind that while the aforementioned discussion specifically pertains to the operation and structure of the locking mechanism 22 in the context of hinged doors 18 and 20, a similar discussion would ensue when to other door types, including sliding door 16, vehicle edge 17, as well as other types of doors used in carrier and/or cargo vehicles.

[0033] Figure 3 is a perspective view of the locking mechanism 22 shown in figure 2, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present technique. Generally, the member 22 may be made of a resilient metal, such as steel, titanium, copper, galvanized materials and/or amalgams or any combination of the aforementioned metals as well as any other metals structurally sound and are resistant to rust and corrosive effects.

[0034] Further, in the shown embodiment, the locking mechanism 22 is illustrated as being in a locked position where the members 24 and 26 are situated one on top of the other, respectively. Thus, the locking shaft 44 extends from the member 24 and is received by the receptacle 50 of the second locking member 26.

[0035] As can further be shown by figure 3, the first locking member 26 is coupled to a third member 60 disposed adjacent to and behind the locking member 24.

Accordingly, the member 60 complements the locking member 24 and the member 60 is generally more slender than he locking member 26. Further, the member 60 may generally be made up of the same or similar type of material forming the member 24.

In a preferred embodiment, the third member 60 is adapted to be coupled to a velucle door, such as the door 18 (see figure 2) and, therefore, provide structural and mechanical support to the member 24, as well as to the entire locking mechanism 22.

Hence, the third member 60 maintains the structurally integrity of the locking member 24. particularly in light of any attempts to break or otherwise forcefully decouple the member 26 from the door 18.

[0036] As further depicted by figure 3, the above-mentioned magnetic locking system employed by the locking mechanism 22 is effectuated by the magnetic sensor 46 and magnet 52. Thus, when a certain spatial separation exists between the locking members 24 and 26, as may occur during the closing or opening of vehicle doors, i.e., doors 18 and 20 of vehide 10, the magnetic senor 46 is adapted to sense the variation of a magnetic field produced by of the magnet 52. As mentioned above, the sensing of the magnet 52 will lead the locking mechanism 22 to automatically lock and secure the doors 18 and 20 of the cargo compartment 14 of vehicle 10 (see figure 1).

[0037] Further, figure 3 illustrates the locking member 24 as including a quick release switch 62 adapted for quickly releasing the member 24 form the member 60. Hence, by virtue of being an electrical device, the locking mechanism may lose electrical power or otherwise may become inactive. To avoid an unnecessary locking of the door to which the ocking member 24 is affixed, the switch 62 may be actuated for separating (see figure 6) the member 24 from the member 60. Thus, the member/latch and the switch 62 act as a quick release mechanism should the locking mechanism become inoperable.

[0038] As further shown by figure 4, there is illustrated a side view of the locking member 24, in accordance with an embodiment of the present technique.

Accordingly, the third member/latch 60 is illustrated as being affixed to the cargo 18, thereby providing an intermediary element between the vehicle door 18 and the locking member 24. The latch 60 further includes a rail 64, engraved onto a front side of the member 60, adapted to latch onto a corresponding rail 66, similarly engraved onto a back side of the locking member 24. Hence, should the driver, carrier or other operators desire to remove or replace the locking member 24 from its mounted place on the door 18, as may happen during loss of power or other maintenance operations, the carrier/driver can slide off and detach the locking member 1 8 from the latch 60.

Hence, the rails 64 and 66 from a quick and easy release mechanism to ensure the doors 18 and 20 of the vehicle 10 can be opened with rdative ease regardless of the functioning state of the locking mechanism 22.

[0039] Figure 4 and figure 5 are top views of a locking member, in accordance with an embodiment of the present technique. More specifically, the figure depicts an inner view of internal components disposed within the locking member 24. As mentioned above and as illustrated, the locking mechanism 24 includes an electrical motor 40, a driving shaft 42 coupled to the motor 40, and a locking shaft coupled to the driving shaft. As further illustrated, the locking member 24 includes a power supply 70, a processing device 72, and electro-optical components 74, 76, 78, and 80.

Further, the aforementioned electrical and electro-opticai components may be disposed an integrated circuit board 82 adapted to electrically interconnect the various working electrical elements of the locking mechanism member 24.

[0040] More specifically, the power supply 70 provides power to all the operating components of the locking member 24 including the motor 40, processor 72 and the electro-optical components 74-80. k a preferred embodiment, the power supply 70 may draw its power from the vehicle 10 (see figure 1), while in other embodiments the power supply may be coupled to a battery, capacitor or other devices that are adapted to harness and/or store energy for later use.

[0041] Accordingly, power delivered the motor 40 is generally used for actuating the driving shaft 42 for producing a linear motion of the locking shaft 44. 1-lence, in a prefelTed embodiment, the driving shaft 42 and the locking shaft 44 may be coupled, for example, via a nut or the like, thereby forming that converts rotary motion, as provided by the motor 40, into linear motion. Thus, the driving shaft 42 can be threaded so that when it is driven by the motor 40, it causes the coupling (e.g., nut) between the shafts 42 and 44 to ride along threads of the driving shaft 42 for producing linear extension and retraction movement of the locking shaft 44.

Effectively, this produces the linear motion of the shaft when it interlocks with the second locking member 26 of the entire locking mechanism 22.

[0042] Tn addition, electro optical components 74 and 76 may form photo emitters, such as light emitting diodes LEDs), Accordingly, in a preferred embodiment such emitters ma include electromagnetic infra-red (IR) emitters adapted to emit photons in the IR regions. Similarly, electro-optical detectors 78 and 80 may form photodiodes adapted to correspondingly detect electromagnetic radiation in the IR region, such as the radiation emitted by the JR emitters 74 and 76. Thus, the photo elements 74-80 provide for an electro-optical system adapted to define movement of the thcking shaft 44 as it moves between a locked to an unlocked state.

[0043] More specifically, in the illustrated exemplary embodiment of figure, the shaft 44 is depicted in an unlocked position such that it blocks an JR beam between the photo elements 70 and 74, as well as between the photo elements 76 and 80. The blocking of the JR beam of the shaft 44 effectively disables (via the controller 72) the movement of the shaft 44 so as to indicate that locking member 24 is in an unlocked position. Hence, the use of the aforementioned photo elements also serves as safety mechanisms for ensuring the shaft 44 does not retract to far back into the member 24 to hit or otherwise damage the motor 40 or other components of the thcking member 24. Similarly, during a locking operation, the locking shaft 44 begins moving towards edges 84 and 86 (as illustrated by figure 5) until the placement of the shaft no longer blocks the electromagnetic beam existing between photo elements 76 and 78. At that point, the fomied electromagnetic beams between the photo elements 74 and 80, as well as those beams existing between points 76 and 78 may provide the controller 72 with corresponding signals to terminate the motion of the shaft 44 when a fully thcked position is achieved, as illustrated by figure 5. Hence, those skilled in the art will appreciate that various operable combinations and variations of intenuption or completion of electromagnetic beams existing between the elements 76 and 78 and 74 and 80 can be envisioned so as to confine or otherwise define the movement of the shaft 44 within and/or beyond the member 24. Thus, the electro-optical mechanism, as explained above, defines the confines of linear movement desired by the shaft 44 when it transitions between locked and unlocked positions. Such a system may further be adapted to provide feed back to the controller 72 for indicating various special and kinematic parameters, i.e., speed, acceleration, of the shaft 44. Hence, the photo elements 74-80 can be activated and or controlled by the controller 72. By the same token the photo elements, particularly, elements 78 and 80 provide electrical signals to the controller 72 indicating the linear position of the locking shaft 44 relative to other components of the locking member 24. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the use of the photo-elements may be used in a variety of geometrical configurations for forming electromagnetic beams for restricting andlor enabling movement of the shat 44 in and out of the locking member.

[0044] As further illustrated by figures 4 and 5, the locking member 24 includes a bearing 90 (having the above mentioned edges 84 and 86) adapted to provide structural support to the locking shaft 44, particularly, when the shaft 44 is in an extended position, as illustrated in figure 5. Thus, force applied to the locking member 24 so as to cause a bending of the shaft 44, would be absorbed by the bearing and would lead to a reduction of load placed on the locking shaft 44, motor 40 and/or other components within the locking member 24.

[0045] Figure 7. is a block diagram 100 of a locking system, in accordance with an embodiment of the present technique. Block diagram 100 is an exemplary depiction of functional elements generally included within a vehicle locking mechanism, such as the above discussed thcking mechanism 22 (figure 1). The diagram 100 further depicts the functional relationship between the components of the locking mechanisms and the interchange of electrical signals and data between the various components. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that diagram 100 is merely an exemplary implementation of the locking mechanism 22 and other variations using similar elements are envisioned by present technique.

[0046] Accordingly, the block diagram 100 includes the controller 72 coupled to the above-mentioned RE device 30, motor 40 and magnetic sensor 46. The controller is further coupled to electro-optical device 102 and driver switch 104. Further, the electro-optical set up 102 includes the photo elements 74-80, as well as other related electrical and/or electro-optical components adapted to support the functionality and operation of the electro-optical devices 74-80.

[0047] Hence, the controller 72 is adapted to provide and receive electrical signals to and from the various components of the locking mechanism 22. For example, signals provided to the controller 72 by the magnetic sensor 46 indicating the close proximity of the first locking member 24 and the second locking member 26 (i.e., closing of the doors 18 and 20), may initiate a sequence of events to bring about the interlocking of the locking members 24 and 26. Thus, upon receipt of the signals from the sensor 46, the controller 72 provides power the motor 40 in order to begin the movement of the locking shaft 44 (see figures 5 and 6). At the same time, the controfler 72 may power the electro-optical device 102 which, in turn, monitors the linear movement of the shaft 44 and provides feedback data to the controfler 72 to increase, restrict, halt or otherwise alter the movement of the shaft 44. In so doing, the controfler 72 may be adapted to increase or reduce power to the motor based upon the requirements or ambient conditions experienced by the motor 40, shaft 44 or other components of the locking mechanism 22. Thus, in the event the locking member 22 gets stuck, jams. or stops midway during movement, as could happen when the locking mechanisms operates under certain ambient conditions, controller 72 is adapted to monitor the movement of the locking member 22 and determine whether the shat 44 becomes jammed or locks improperly. For example, the controller 72 may be adapted to detect variations in electrical power provided andior consumed by the motor 40 that could result where the motion of the shaft 44 is not in accordance with a desired operation.

Accordingly, the controller 72 may correspondingly increase or decrease the required culTent so as to release the locking member 22 and/or prevent jamming of the shaft 44 while it moves in and out of locking positions.

[0048] Still in other aspects of the technique, the controller 72 can generally reduce power to the motor 40 during a locking operation or, alternatively, increase power to the motor 40 during and an unlocking operation. Again, such features are desire in order to ensure a rather smooth and continuous movement of the shaft 44 while minimizing any abrupt, intermittent jerks and/or undesired movements by the shaft 44, thereby minimizing any damages to the shaft 44 and/or other components to the member 22 and/or its surroundings.

[0049] In a preferred embedment, the locking mechanism 22 can be adapted to operate between a wide range of temperatures such as between -30 Celsius and 70 Celsius. Hence, for example, while operating in cold environment frost additional exposure to the elements may attempt to hinder of the movement of the motor 40 or locking shaft 44. To overcome such conditions, signals indicating the strenuous operation of the motor will be provide to the controller 72 which, in turn, will bring about an increase in driving culTent to the motor 40 for assuring the locking shaft 44 ultimately moves into a locking position, as shown by figures 3 and 6.

[0050] As further illustrated, the controller 72 may provide signals acid receive signals from the RE device 30. Thus, for example, when the carrier/driver attempts to gain reentry to the vehicle compartment, the RF device intakes the RF identification (placed with the carrier) and provides the RE ID to the controller to initiate the opening of the locking mechanism 22. Again, such opening operations generally involve providing appropriate signals to the motor 40 and electro-optical devices 102, as described above. In addition, the driver/carrier switch 104 may provide signals to the controller 72 for opening the locking mechanism 22 similar to the manner described above.

[0051] Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the controller 72 may be formed of a computer processor, such as a dedicated processor or a field programmable array (FPGA) device or other silicon-based devices such as those fabricated using VLSI and or other integration methods. The controller 72 may further include storage memory devices, such as magnetic memory devices, solid state devices, flash memory devices, optical memoiy devices, or combinations thereof Accordingly, the controller may be adapted to execute and apply various algorithms and programs written in a variety of computer codes, including but not limited to C, C++, Visual Basic, andlor other computer programming codes.

[0052] Thos skilled in the art will appreciate that the locking mechanism 22 and its various electrical, mechanical. electro-optical and other components may be adapted to comply and even exceed certain industry standards. In addition, the locking mechanism 22, as descnbed herein, can also be adapted to operate in various harsh and rugged environmental and telTain conditions, as well as withstand mechanical, electrical and other forces that may be applied to the member 22.

Claims (1)

  1. <claim-text>CLAIMSWhat is claimed is: 1. A locking mechanism, compnsing: a first locking member adapted to be attached to a portion of a vehide: a second locking member adapted to be attached to another poition of the vehicle; wherein the first locking member comprises a shaft, wherein the shaft is disposed between an electro-optica device disposed within the first locking member; and wherein the electro-optical device is adapted to control movement of the shaft when the first locking member engages with the second locking member for locking together the portions of the vehicle.</claim-text> <claim-text>2. The locking mechanism according to claim 1, wherein the first locking member is disposed above the second locking member.</claim-text> <claim-text>3. The locking mechanism according to claim 1, wherein the second locking member comprises a receptacle for receiving the shaft.</claim-text> <claim-text>4. The locking mechanism according to claim I, wherein the electro-optical device comprises a plurality of photon emitters and photon detectors.</claim-text> <claim-text>5. The locking mechanism according to claim 4. wherein electromagnetic beams formed between the plurality of photon emitters and photon detectors define boundaries within which movement of the shaft takes place.</claim-text> <claim-text>6. The locking mechanism according to claim i, comprising a controller coupled to the electro-optical device, wherein the electro-optical device provides signals to the controller for indicating whether the shaft has reached the boundaries of movement.</claim-text> <claim-text>7. The locking mechanism according to claim 6, wherein the controller comprises a microprocessor.</claim-text> <claim-text>8. The locking mechanism according to claim 6, wherein the controller is adapted to control an amount of power provided to a motor for moving the shaft, wherein the amount of power provided to the motor can vary according to varying conditions experienced by the locking mechanism.</claim-text> <claim-text>9. The locking mechanism according to claim 8, wherein the conditions comprise at least one of thermal, mechanical, electrical, ambient, andior user dependant conditions.</claim-text> <claim-text>10. The locking mechanism according to claim I. comprising a magnetic sensor for indicating when the first locking member is in close proximity to the second locking member.</claim-text> <claim-text>11. The locking mechanisms according to claim 1, wherein the first locking member and the second locking member can be retrofitted onto the vehicle.</claim-text> <claim-text>12. The locking mechanism according to claim 6, wherein the first locking member disengages from the second locking member upon receipt of a radio frequency identification (REID) signal by the controller from an RED device disposed away from the locking mechanism.</claim-text> <claim-text>13. The locking mechanism according to claim I, wherein the portions of the vehicle comprise a door to cargo compartment of the vehicle.</claim-text> <claim-text>14. The locking mechanism according to claim 1, comprising a third member disposed between the first member and the portion of the vehicle, wherein the first member can be separated from the third member so that the third member remains on the portion of the vehicle and the second member is no longer coupled to the vehicle.</claim-text> <claim-text>15. A method for thcking a vehicle. comprising: sensing a close proximity of a first thcking member and a second ocking member.wherein the first locking member is attached to a portion of a vehicle, and the second locking member is attached to another portion of the vehicle; actuating a shaft for engaging the first locking member and the second locking member; and locking together the portions of the vehicle, wherein the shaft is disposed between an electro-optical device disposed within the first locking member, and wherein the electro-optical device is adapted to control movement of the shaft when the first locking member engages with the second locking member.</claim-text> <claim-text>16. The method according to claim 15, comprising unlocking the locking mechanism using a radio frequency identification (REID) signal.</claim-text> <claim-text>17. The method according to claim 15, comprising defining boundaries of movement of the shaft using a plurality of photon emitters and a plurality of photon detectors comprising the electro-optical device.</claim-text> <claim-text>18. The method according to claim 15, comprising providing signaL from the electro-optical device to a controller.</claim-text> <claim-text>19. A tangible machine readable medium comprising: code adapted for determining a dose proximity of a first locking member and a second locking member, wherein the first locking member is attached to a portion of a vehicle, and the second locking member is attached to another portion of the vehicle; code adapted for actuating a shaft for engaging the first locking member and the second locking member; and code adapted for locking together the portions of the vehicle, wherein the shaft is disposed between an electro-optica device disposed within the first locking member, and wherein the electro-optical device is adapted to control movement of the shaft when the first locking member engages with the second locking member.</claim-text> <claim-text>20. The tangible machine readable medium according to claim 19. comprising code adapted for unlocking the locking mechanism using a radio frequency identification (REID) signal.</claim-text> <claim-text>21. The tangible machine readable medium according to claim 19, comprising code for defining boundaries of movement of the shaft using a plurality of photon emitters and a plurality of photon detectors comprising the electro-optical device.</claim-text>
GB201114850A 2011-08-29 2011-08-29 Automatic vehicle locking mechanism Withdrawn GB201114850D0 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB201114850A GB201114850D0 (en) 2011-08-29 2011-08-29 Automatic vehicle locking mechanism

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB201114850A GB201114850D0 (en) 2011-08-29 2011-08-29 Automatic vehicle locking mechanism

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
GB201114850D0 GB201114850D0 (en) 2011-10-12
GB2494621A true true GB2494621A (en) 2013-03-20

Family

ID=44838834

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
GB201114850A Withdrawn GB201114850D0 (en) 2011-08-29 2011-08-29 Automatic vehicle locking mechanism

Country Status (1)

Country Link
GB (1) GB201114850D0 (en)

Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JP2003082919A (en) * 2001-09-12 2003-03-19 Isono Body:Kk Luggage compartment door for vehicle
US20030179073A1 (en) * 2002-03-20 2003-09-25 Ohanes Ghazarian Electronic secure locking system
WO2004073187A1 (en) * 2003-02-06 2004-08-26 Mi-Jack Products, Inc. Security system for cargo trailers
JP2009228291A (en) * 2008-03-21 2009-10-08 Kitamura Seisakusho:Kk Automatic door device
US20110066288A1 (en) * 2009-09-14 2011-03-17 K.A. Schmersal Holding GmbH & Co., KG Guard lock for a component for closing an opening

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JP2003082919A (en) * 2001-09-12 2003-03-19 Isono Body:Kk Luggage compartment door for vehicle
US20030179073A1 (en) * 2002-03-20 2003-09-25 Ohanes Ghazarian Electronic secure locking system
WO2004073187A1 (en) * 2003-02-06 2004-08-26 Mi-Jack Products, Inc. Security system for cargo trailers
JP2009228291A (en) * 2008-03-21 2009-10-08 Kitamura Seisakusho:Kk Automatic door device
US20110066288A1 (en) * 2009-09-14 2011-03-17 K.A. Schmersal Holding GmbH & Co., KG Guard lock for a component for closing an opening

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
GB201114850D0 (en) 2011-10-12 grant

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US3614147A (en) Safety lock for trailer doors
US5123691A (en) Electric lock apparatus for vehicular tool box
US3601453A (en) Safety lock for trailer doors
US6323782B1 (en) Unattended item delivery system
US5693987A (en) Vehicle keyless deadbolt locking system
US4917419A (en) Electromechanical door lock system
US20050017855A1 (en) System for providing a virtual vehicle boundary
US6400266B1 (en) Door sensor for a trailer
US6179036B1 (en) Automatic overhead door opening system with dual motor drive and automatic door lock
US7714708B2 (en) Smart pallet-box cargo container
US6843084B2 (en) Storage compartment security system
US4242668A (en) Cart theft prevention system
US20110118946A1 (en) Method and device for actuating a door or a flap of a vehicle
US6076868A (en) Vehicle compartment latch
US20010054952A1 (en) Automatic port operation
US6577226B1 (en) System and method for automatic vehicle unlock initiated via beam interruption
US7038585B2 (en) Cargo lock and monitoring apparatus and process
US5755547A (en) Side loading refuse collection vehicle arm restraint
US6705136B2 (en) Storage compartment security system
US5755126A (en) Security system for cargo loading doors
US6137419A (en) Pickup truck tailgate monitor
US6049448A (en) Security system for roll down doors
US5154458A (en) Security device for cargo doors and similar articles
US4921152A (en) Combination storage container and motorcycle holder
US4577880A (en) Theft prevention apparatus for shopping carts

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
WAP Application withdrawn, taken to be withdrawn or refused ** after publication under section 16(1)