Vermont Patent of the Month – November 2020

Safety is the most important thing – especially on a job site. Many physically demanding jobs, such as mining or construction, can be dangerous, so mitigating those dangers is key. Use of safety gear and training is common, but fail-safes on machinery are often far superior in protecting employees. 

Alken, Inc looked at creating a pair of magnetic sensors. A sending device equipped with an inductor, and a receiving device with a magnetic field sensor. One is attached to the employee and one to the machine’s danger zone. A detector circuit on the receiving device will emit a warning if the magnetic field reaches a certain threshold. In one design, the sending device would be built into safety gloves for the worker. The inductor would coil around the fingers, allowing movement but ensuring each finger is able to set off the sensor.

For instance, skinning meat in food processing requires the employee to keep their hands near the blades, but not on them. The first sensor would be in the gloves. The second would be near the blades of the machine. If the employee’s hands get too near the blades, a warning is emitted. If they get closer still, the sensors are triggered and the machine shuts down. 

Are you developing new products? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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Wisconsin Patent of the Month – November 2020

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