Canon had 51 patents in robotics during Q3 2023. One patent is for an information processing apparatus that simulates a virtual robot and a virtual image pickup apparatus moving together in a virtual space. Another patent is for a manipulation apparatus that determines an acceptable manipulation direction for a robot based on the direction it receives a load from an object. There is also a patent for a vibration type actuator that reduces force changes between a contact body and a vibrating body. Additionally, there is a patent for an information processing apparatus that analyzes operation parameters of a robotic system and displays warning events in association with the operation display area and information display area. Lastly, there is a patent for methods and systems involving a hot melt machine and automated creation and joining of break strips. GlobalData’s report on Canon gives a 360-degreee view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

Canon grant share with robotics as a theme is 29% in Q3 2023. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Recent Patents

Application: Information processing apparatus, robot system, information processing method, manufacturing method for product, and recording medium (Patent ID: US20230271314A1)

The patent filed by Canon Inc. describes an information processing apparatus that simulates a virtual robot and a virtual image pickup apparatus moving together in a virtual space. The processor of the apparatus is configured to associate setting information of the virtual image pickup apparatus with a teaching point of the virtual robot. This allows for the control and coordination of the virtual robot and image pickup apparatus in a simulated environment.

The information processing apparatus receives input of the setting information to be associated with the teaching point. It also displays an image on a display portion for receiving input of the setting information. The image includes buttons for loading and storing the setting information from a storage portion.

The processor of the apparatus is further configured to display an image obtained by a virtual imaging operation of the virtual image pickup apparatus based on the setting information. This is done when the virtual image pickup apparatus has been moved in an interlocked manner with the virtual robot to the teaching point. Additionally, an image corresponding to the virtual robot operated to the teaching point is displayed on the display portion.

The setting information can be uniquely associated with each teaching point, and it includes information of the field angle of the virtual image pickup apparatus. The virtual image pickup apparatus can be incorporated in a virtual mobile terminal, and the setting information set by the virtual mobile terminal can be associated with the teaching point. The setting information may also include information of the imaging direction of the virtual image pickup apparatus.

The patent also describes a robot system that includes a robot, an image pickup apparatus held by the robot, a control apparatus, and the information processing apparatus described above. The control apparatus controls the robot based on the teaching point and controls the image pickup apparatus based on the associated setting information.

Overall, the patent describes an information processing apparatus and method for simulating the movement and coordination of a virtual robot and image pickup apparatus in a virtual space, allowing for the association of setting information with teaching points. This technology has potential applications in manufacturing processes and robotics systems.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.