WO2009047629A1 - Visual display means for a power tool - Google Patents

Visual display means for a power tool Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2009047629A1
WO2009047629A1 PCT/IB2008/003137 IB2008003137W WO2009047629A1 WO 2009047629 A1 WO2009047629 A1 WO 2009047629A1 IB 2008003137 W IB2008003137 W IB 2008003137W WO 2009047629 A1 WO2009047629 A1 WO 2009047629A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
power tool
display unit
camera
tool
means
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/IB2008/003137
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Mark Hemingway
Original Assignee
Gmc Worldwide Pty Limited
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
Priority to GB0719749.4 priority Critical
Priority to GB0719749A priority patent/GB0719749D0/en
Application filed by Gmc Worldwide Pty Limited filed Critical Gmc Worldwide Pty Limited
Publication of WO2009047629A1 publication Critical patent/WO2009047629A1/en

Links

Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B25HAND TOOLS; PORTABLE POWER-DRIVEN TOOLS; MANIPULATORS
    • B25FCOMBINATION OR MULTI-PURPOSE TOOLS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; DETAILS OR COMPONENTS OF PORTABLE POWER-DRIVEN TOOLS NOT PARTICULARLY RELATED TO THE OPERATIONS PERFORMED AND NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B25F5/00Details or components of portable power-driven tools not particularly related to the operations performed and not otherwise provided for
    • B25F5/02Construction of casings, bodies or handles
    • B25F5/021Construction of casings, bodies or handles with guiding devices

Abstract

The invention relates to a power tool provided with a camera means and display unit so as to allow the use of the power tool to perform work on a workpiece to be viewed by the user of the power tool. The display unit has a screen which can be viewed and which is positioned remotely from the tool portion of the power tool and workpiece, thereby avoiding the need for the user to be close to the workpiece and hence increase the safety of the user.

Description

Visual display means for a Power Tool

The present invention relates to apparatus and a method which provides a view of the position of a tool relative to a work-piece on which work is being or is to be performed using the tool.

Although the following description refers almost exclusively to a tool in the form of a circular, mitre or chop saw which includes a motor for driving the circular blade to rotate and perform a cutting action, it will be appreciated by persons skilled in the art that the apparatus and method of the present invention can be used for other types of tools such as other forms of saws, as well as drills, lathes and the like, indeed any apparatus where the accurate positioning of the tool relative to a workpiece is required.

The use of guides, such as laser guides to provide a guide line which is generated on the workpiece to be followed and hence provide for the accurate sawing of work-pieces with powered saws is well known. Typically, the laser guide shines a narrow beam of light, in or adjacent to the same plane as the saw blade, which indicates where the blade will contact the work-piece. In use a user will mark a work-piece to indicate where they require the blade of the saw to contact said work-piece. The user then positions the workpiece so the laser guide is aligned with the mark and then either the saw is offered up to the work-piece or vice-versa depending on the type of saw.

A problem with this method is that the user still has to regularly look closely at the workpiece to confirm that the guide and work-piece are still aligned and the blade is cutting where required. Frequently, this requires the user to position their face close to the work piece and saw, thereby exposing themselves to obvious risks of injury, particularly when the saw is operating. Furthermore due to the debris which is created by the cutting action it can be difficult for the user to identify the original marking which may cause the user to try and remove debris from a position close to the saw blade, which again can be dangerous.

It is therefore an aim of the present invention to provide an improved viewing means for use with power tools .

It is a further aim of the present invention to provide an improved method of inspecting the accuracy of power tools .

In the first aspect of the invention there is provided a power tool to perform a working action on a workpiece and wherein said power tool includes at least one camera means associated therewith to capture video relating to the operation of the power tool which video can be viewed through a display unit by the user of the tool.

In one embodiment the images that are captured are live and represent the tool as it is being used to perform the working action on the workpiece.

Typically the tool includes a tool portion in the form of a saw blade, drill bit or lathe tip to perform the working action.

In one embodiment the camera means is mounted on the power tool so that the camera is substantially aligned with the tool portion of said power tool to view where the tool portion contacts the work piece. Preferably the one or more images recorded by the camera are displayed on the display unit in real time.

In one embodiment the camera means is mounted on the tool so as to be substantially aligned with the plane of a blade of the tool, allowing the camera to view where the blade is to contact the work piece. Furthermore, this alignment of the camera means with the blade allows the user to view, via the display unit, the alignment of the blade with a guideline which may have been drawn on, or generated by, a laser guideline means In one embodiment the camera is mounted in line with the plane of the blade so that the lens of the camera is perpendicular to said blade.

In one embodiment the display unit is mounted on the power tool. Typically the display unit is located at a spaced distance from the camera unit and is located so as to be viewable by the person when using the power tool. Thus the image can be viewed when the person is in their normal operating location with respect to the power tool.

Typically the power tool is a hand held and hand operated power- tool.

Preferably the display unit is located on the body or housing of the power tool.

In one embodiment the camera includes a lens which is fixed in position. Alternatively, in another embodiment, the camera lens is adjustable so as to be focussed on different points . Typically the camera is mounted on an adjustable bracket so both the position and the focal point of the camera can be adjusted.

In one embodiment the camera is operable so as to allow the user to select to zoom in or zoom out so as to alter the video display they are watching ion the display unit. For example, for a particularly intricate working operation, the user may wish to select to operate the camera to zoom in on the part of the workpiece which is being worked on. Typically the control means to allow the operation of the camera are provided on the display unit and are operable by the user of the power tool.

In one embodiment the camera is formed integrally with the housing of the blade of the power tool. In one embodiment the display unit is provided as part of or in association with the handle arrangement of the power tool In one embodiment the display unit is mounted via a hinge. Typically, if the blade is moved relative to the work-piece the display unit substantially remains facing the original direction, this is typically achieved by a biased hinge assembly and therefore allows the display unit to be available to be viewed.

In one embodiment the power tool is any of a circular saw, a mitre saw, chop saw, a band saw or a jigsaw.

When the power tool is a mitre saw or chop saw the display unit is mounted on the handle of the same. Typically the camera means is mounted on the portion of the power tool which is pivotally movable towards and away from the workpiece.

In one embodiment die display unit is mounted above the centre axis of die blade.

Preferably the display unit and camera can be fitted to the product as a unit and typically the means for powering and connecting between the camera and display unit are integral to die product in such a manner that there is no hard wiring required between the product and the power tool.

In a second aspect of the invention there is provided a powered tool including a rotatable blade and wherein the tool further includes image capturing and viewing means in the form of at least one camera means associated therewith, said camera means being located at a substantially constant spaced distance from the blade, and a display unit displaying the image captured by said camera in use, said display unit mounted to be viewable by the user of the power tool when in use.

In one embodiment the camera and/or display unit are provided to be selectively mountable on the power tool. In this embodiment the display unit may be moved to a location remote from the power tool to be viewed. In addition or alternatively the apparatus in this format may be provided to be retrofitted to existing apparatus. In a further aspect of the invention there is provided image capturing and viewing apparatus in the form of at least one camera means and display unit having a display screen wherein said image capturing means is associated with a power tool and being a substantially constant spaced distance from the working portion of the power tool, said display unit displaying the image taken through said camera in use.

In one embodiment both the display unit and camera means are mounted at spaced locations on said power tool.

In one embodiment the display unit includes a memory in which data allowing the generation of at least video is held, said video representing safety messages which may be displayed to the user of the tool. In addition or alternatively data may be stored which allows the generation of instructions as to how the tool should be used.

Typically, when the power tool is a mitre saw, in order to get the most useful view of the workpiece the camera is positioned behind the blade. The signal relayed to the screen from the camera is reversed or otherwise reoriented in order for the image on die display unit screen to realistically represent the scene viewed by the user. The reoreintation or inversion or flip is to avoid the problem where if the workpiece widi the marker line on is moved towards die right in reality, the image on the screen appears to move to the left and the left hand moving the work appears on die right hand when it comes into the display. The reoriented or flipped image ensures the workpiece with marker line when moved to the right in reality moves to the right on die screen and die left hand moving the workpiece will come into 'shot' on the left hand of the screen if die work is moved sufficiendy far enough.

A further important feature is that if the user can view their hand in the display screen then their hand is too close to the blade. This is a powerful reminder to place the hand well clear of the blade by keeping it out of shot on the screen. In one embodiment the camera means is located on the hinge on the power tool and the advantage of this location is the view point is static and is best suited to a camera which has a zoom facility due to the fact that it is a reasonable distance from the point it needs to focus on.

In another embodiment the camera means is located on die head of the power tool such as the movable head of the mitre or chop saw and the advantage of this is that it can achieve a very good quality image on the screen from a fixed focus and hence has lower cost. In this case die camera moves up and down widi the saw head.

In another embodiment the camera means is located on the fixed base of die power tool looking towards die working portion which has the practical advantage of being out of die dust path for the product and therefore will reduce cleaning and maintenance.

Typically the display unit can be rotated to suit die user and also tilted to best provide crispness of image and avoid reflections. The display unit can also preferably be folded down so diat die screen is protected in storage and in transit.

In a further aspect of the invention there is provided a method of using a power tool, said power tool including a display unit and camera means, said method comprising switching on the camera and display unit, placing a workpiece on which a working operation is to be performed into position with respect to the power tool, moving and/or operating said power tool to perform the working action and wherein said camera means is positioned to capture video of the working operation being performed and the user of the tool viewing the video via the display unit during operation of the tool.

In one embodiment the display unit and camera means are switched on when the power tool is switched on.

In one embodiment when the display unit is switched on safety messages and/or information is first displayed on the display screen. In one embodiment, sensing means may be located on the power tool and if, during operation of the power tool the sensor means, or any other part of the tool, detects or is detected as being non operational or is operating in a hazardous manner, a warning message is generated and displayed on the display unit to make the user aware of the same.

In one embodiment the power tool is preset such that when the same is first switched on after having been purchased, the display unit automatically generates for display, instructions on how to operate the power tool correctly. In one embodiment the power tool is rendered inoperable until the showing of the instructions via the display unit is detected as having been done.

In one embodiment the operating instructions can be generated for viewing at any time in response to a user request input via control means on the display unit such as for example via a touch screen display.

Specific embodiments of the invention are now described with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:

Figures l a-c show a power tool in the form of a mitre saw in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;

Figure 2 shows a mitre saw in accordance with one embodiment of the invention; and

Figures 3a and 3b show a display unit and camera means respectively in accordance with embodiments of the invention.

Turning firstly to Figure I a there is shown a mitre saw 2. Said mitre saw 2 is equipped with legs 4 which provide stability to the apparatus, a substantially flat surface 6 for positioning of a work-piece thereon, a saw blade 8 positioned behind a retractable guard 10, and handles 12 for gripping by the user to move the saw blade 8, driven by a motor to rotate to perform the cutting action, about hinge mechanism 14. In use the saw blade 8 rotates behind guard 10 when the saw is an upright condition as shown. A work-piece (not shown) is typically placed on surface 6 and the handles 12 grasped by the user to bring the saw blade 8 towards the work-piece about hinge mechanism 14. As the blade 8 moves towards the work-piece the guard 8 retracts, exposing said blade. Slot 16 is positioned to allow the blade 8 to pass through surface 6 once it has cut through said work-piece. In this embodiment surface 6 also has various markings 18 which act as guides on which the work- piece can be positioned. It is typical for saws of this type to also employ laser guides which generate a line projected onto the workpiece to indicate where the blade is to cut on the work- piece.

Figure I b shows the camera 20 mounted on a part of the hinge mechanism 14 in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. Mounting the camera 20 in this position ensures it is always located at a substantially constant spaced distance from the saw blade 8. This also helps the work-piece (not shown) remain in focus when viewed via the camera. The focal length of the camera can be altered by rotating collar 22.

Figure I c shows the display unit 24. In this embodiment the display 24 unit has a screen in the form of a 3.5 inch colour LCD monitor. It displays in real time the video footage captured by the camera means 20. It can be seen that the camera is mounted in the same plane as the saw blade 8 thereby showing exactly where the blade contacts the work-piece in use. The display unit 24 is mounted towards the top of the apparatus 2 on a hinge 26 so that display always substantially faces the user with respect to the position of the user when using the tool to perform the working action on the workpiece. The user therefore does not need to place their face near the saw 2 to closely inspect where the blade 8 is to cut.

Figure 2 shows a similar embodiment wherein the saw 2 has been moved towards a work-piece 28. It can be seen in this figure that the saw blade 8 has been moved towards work-piece 28 about hinge mechanism 14. The blade guard 10 has been retracted to allow said contact. Also, this embodiment is shown from a different angle, therefore the motor unit housing 30, which encases the motor which drives the circular blade 8, can be clearly seen.

As stated previously the display unit 24 is mounted at the top of the apparatus 2 and substantially faces the user. This therefore negates the need for the user to place their face anywhere near the blade 8 and/or work-piece 28. It also means that the user can view the display from their normal position when operating the power tool. It should also be noted that even in this position the camera means 20 has remained a spaced distance from the blade 8 so the view on the display unit 24 remains in focus.

Figure 3a shows a close up view of the display means 24. In this view the hinge 26 and buttons 32 for selecting the display options can be clearly seen. In this embodiment the hinge 26 is a universal joint so the orientation of the display can be adjusted to suit the user perfectly.

Figure 3b shows a close up of the camera means 20 mounted on the hinge mechanism 14. In this embodiment the saw type is a mitre saw, and the blade therefore can be set at various angles about axis 31 with respect to the work-piece (not shown) . The graduations 34 indicating the angle at which the blade can be set can be seen. This highlights that it is important, in this embodiment, that the camera means 20 is mounted on the hinge mechanism 14 so that even when the blade is offset at an angle the camera means follows the angled movement o f the blade and therefore still points along the plane of the blade. As a result therefore the camera means axis 35 is substantially in line with the plane in which the blade is oriented at any given time with respect to the axis 31 about which the blade and camera means can be rotated.

In one embodiment, when operating the power tool for the first time, the display unit is witched on and the user is provided with instructions as to how to use the power tool, said instructions being provided via the display unit screen. The display unit can either be provided with a memory in which data for the generation of the instructions is stored or alternatively an auxiliary source such as a DVD player can be connected to the display unit to allow a DVD provided with the power tool to be played and the instructions viewed. In this way the user is made aware of the safe operating instructions . Indeed in one embodiment the power tool may not be operable until the display unit detects that the instructions have been displayed.

In one embodiment the display unit can also be sued to generate warning messages during the operation of the power tool, so that if, for example, an unsafe working practice or unsafe operation of the power tool is detected, possibly by sensing means on the power tool, a signal is transmitted to the display unit which has a processor which can then generate a warning message on the display screen. Typically the message generated is selected from a range of stored messages as appropriate to the signal received.

Typically the power for the display unit and camera means is provided by the power tool such that no separate power supply is required..

The apparatus therefore provides a means whereby the user of the power tool can view the performance of the cutting operation on the workpiece at all times and without the need to place their hands or head close to the cutting operation thereby improving the safety of use of the tool.

Claims

Claims
1 . A power tool to perform a working action on a workpiece and wherein said power tool includes at least one camera means associated therewith to capture video relating to the operation of the power tool which video can be viewed through a display unit by the user of the tool.
2. A power tool according to claim 1 wherein the images that are captured are live and represent the tool as it is being used to perform the working action on the workpiece.
3. A power tool according to claim 1 wherein the tool includes a tool portion in the form of a saw blade, drill bit or lathe tip to perform the working action.
4 A power tool according to claim 1 wherein the camera means is mounted on the power tool so that the camera is substantially aligned with the tool portion of said power tool to view where the tool portion contacts the work piece.
5 A power tool according to claim 1 wherein the camera means position is adjustable angularly along with the angular- adjustment of the tool portion.
6 A power tool according to claim 1 wherein the camera means is mounted on the tool so that the camera is substantially aligned with the plane of a blade of the tool, allowing the camera to view where the blade is to contact the work piece.
7 A power tool according to claim 1 wherein the camera is mounted in line with the plane of the blade so that the lens is perpendicular to said blade.
8 A power tool according to claim 1 wherein the display unit is mounted on the power tool.
9 A power tool according to claim 8 wherein the display unit is located at a spaced distance from the camera unit and is located so as to be viewable by the person when using the power tool.
10 A power tool according to claim 9 wherein the display unit can be viewed when the person is in their normal operating location with respect to the power tool.
1 1 A power tool according to claim 1 wherein the lens of the camera means is fixed in position.
12 A power tool according to claim 1 wherein the camera lens is adjus table so as to allow the user to operate the camera via the display unit to zoom the same in and out to alter the display on the display unit accordingly.
13 A power tool according to claim 12 wherein the camera is mounted on an adjustable bracket so both the position and the focal point of the camera can be adjusted.
14 A power tool according to claim 1 wherein the camera is formed integrally with the housing of the tool.
15. A power tool according to claim 1 wherein the display unit is provided as part of or in association with the handle arrangement of the power tool.
16 A power tool according to claim 1 wherein the display unit is mounted such that the same remains substantially in the same orientation during use of the power tool to perform the working action.
17 A power tool according to claim 1 wherein the tool is a mitre or chop saw and the display unit is mounted on the handle of the same.
18 A power tool according to claim 1 wherein the display unit includes a memory in which data allowing the generation of at least video is held.
19 A power tool according to claim 18 wherein said video data includes safety messages which may be displayed to the user of the tool and/or allows the generation of instructions as to how the tool should be used.
20 A power tool according to claim 1 wherein the display unit can be connected to an auxiliary source of video data.
21 A power tool, said power tool including a rotatable blade and wherein the tool further includes image capturing and viewing means in the form o f at least one camera means associated therewith, said camera means being a substantially constant spaced distance from the blade, and a display unit displaying the image taken through said camera in use, said display unit mounted to be viewable by the user of the power tool when in use.
22. A power tool according to claim 21 wherein the camera and/or display unit are provided to be selectively mountable on the power tool.
23 A power tool according to claim 21 wherein the display means may be moved to a location remote from the power tool to be viewed.
24 A power tool according to claim 21 wherein the image capturing and display means are retrofitted to the power tool.
25 Image capturing and viewing apparatus in the form of at least one camera means and display screen wherein said image capturing means is associated with a power tool and being a substantially constant spaced distance from the working portion o f the power tool, said display unit displaying the image taken through said camera in use.
26 Apparatus according to claim 25 wherein the display unit and camera means are mounted at spaced locations on said power tool.
27 A method o f using a power tool, said power tool including a display unit and camera means, said method comprising switching on the camera and display unit, placing a workpiece on which a working operation is to be performed into position with respect to the power tool, moving and/or operating said power tool to perform the working action and wherein said camera means is positioned to capture video of the working operation being performed and the user of the tool viewing the video via the display unit during operation of the tool.
28 A method according to claim 27 wherein the display unit and camera means are switched on when the power tool is switched on.
29 A method according to claim 27 wherein when the display unit is switched on safety messages and/or information is first displayed on the display screen.
30 A method according to claim 27 wherein sensing means are provided on the power tool and if, during operation of the power tool the sensor means, or any other part o f the tool, detects, or is detected, as being non operational or is operating in a hazardous manner, a warning message is generated and displayed on the display unit to make the user aware of the same.
31 A method according to claim 27 wherein the power tool is preset such that when the same is first switched on after having been purchased, the display unit automatically generates for display, instructions on how to operate the power tool correctly.
32 A method according to claim 31 wherein the power tool is rendered inoperable until the showing of the instructions via the display unit is detected as having been done.
33. A method according to claim 31 wherein the operating instructions can be generated for viewing at any time in response to a user request input via control means on the display unit.
PCT/IB2008/003137 2007-10-10 2008-10-10 Visual display means for a power tool WO2009047629A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB0719749.4 2007-10-10
GB0719749A GB0719749D0 (en) 2007-10-10 2007-10-10 Visual display means for tool

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WO2009047629A1 true WO2009047629A1 (en) 2009-04-16

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Cited By (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP2857146A3 (en) * 2013-10-01 2015-06-03 MAN Truck & Bus AG Camera and display-guided screwing device
US9498231B2 (en) 2011-06-27 2016-11-22 Board Of Regents Of The University Of Nebraska On-board tool tracking system and methods of computer assisted surgery
US9908182B2 (en) 2012-01-30 2018-03-06 Black & Decker Inc. Remote programming of a power tool
US10011006B2 (en) 2013-08-08 2018-07-03 Black & Decker Inc. Fastener setting algorithm for drill driver
US10105149B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2018-10-23 Board Of Regents Of The University Of Nebraska On-board tool tracking system and methods of computer assisted surgery
US10219811B2 (en) 2011-06-27 2019-03-05 Board Of Regents Of The University Of Nebraska On-board tool tracking system and methods of computer assisted surgery
EP3341160A4 (en) * 2015-08-27 2019-04-10 Hubbell Inc Remotely activated portable hand tool

Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20030202091A1 (en) * 2002-04-18 2003-10-30 Jaime Garcia Modular assisted visualization system
US20060111809A1 (en) * 2002-04-18 2006-05-25 Etter Mark A Graphical user interface
US20080229589A1 (en) * 2007-03-23 2008-09-25 Danny Bone Power tool having improved visibility of the cutting area

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20030202091A1 (en) * 2002-04-18 2003-10-30 Jaime Garcia Modular assisted visualization system
US20060111809A1 (en) * 2002-04-18 2006-05-25 Etter Mark A Graphical user interface
US20080229589A1 (en) * 2007-03-23 2008-09-25 Danny Bone Power tool having improved visibility of the cutting area

Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US10219811B2 (en) 2011-06-27 2019-03-05 Board Of Regents Of The University Of Nebraska On-board tool tracking system and methods of computer assisted surgery
US9498231B2 (en) 2011-06-27 2016-11-22 Board Of Regents Of The University Of Nebraska On-board tool tracking system and methods of computer assisted surgery
US10080617B2 (en) 2011-06-27 2018-09-25 Board Of Regents Of The University Of Nebraska On-board tool tracking system and methods of computer assisted surgery
US9908182B2 (en) 2012-01-30 2018-03-06 Black & Decker Inc. Remote programming of a power tool
US10105149B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2018-10-23 Board Of Regents Of The University Of Nebraska On-board tool tracking system and methods of computer assisted surgery
US10011006B2 (en) 2013-08-08 2018-07-03 Black & Decker Inc. Fastener setting algorithm for drill driver
EP2857146A3 (en) * 2013-10-01 2015-06-03 MAN Truck & Bus AG Camera and display-guided screwing device
EP3341160A4 (en) * 2015-08-27 2019-04-10 Hubbell Inc Remotely activated portable hand tool

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