Linux Electrons has an article about the World's Smallest Flying Robots being
unveiled. Unlike some other micro air
vehicles, these robots have onboard batteries (no power tether) and
are autonomous via radio link (as a side note, Rog-a-matic emailed me
that it could be that radio links
to robots are patented now?, weird!). Anyway, these micro fliers
could be used from anything like surveilance to hobby toys. It's a
small world after all!
I can't beleive they awarded a patent for this.
This patent thing is getting rediculous.
Humm, I guess I better get my patent application in for the "proper
methods of taking a crap using a modern toilet".
I can collect billions in royalties from everyone using toilets.
IANAL, however I spent a year and a half doing patent infringement
analysis; that was about five years ago. Here are a couple of observations
1. The independent claims (those which do not depend on other claims
being valid) are claims 1, 17, 31, and 32. Those are the core of the
patent. Violate those and it's a concern; if you can show prior art on
a claim, then that claim and all dependent claims would be invalid. In
order for the patent to be invalid, all four independent claims need to
2. The focus of the patent seems to be on wireless, Internet-connected
which can interact with their non-Internet-connected surroundings. The
closest thing I can find on the market would be what Evolution Robotics
did with their EV1; see http://www.evolution.com/news/release/BDM-5
which is close to the Jan. 14, 2002 date the patent was filed. Since
that's when the official press release was issued, they would be the
most likely source of "proof of prior art".
I'm a little rusty on the details & rules, but that "Provisional
application No. 60/261,741, filed on Jan. 16, 2001" may be of concern as
the earlier date to search around. Evolution Robotics was founded in
Who knows, maybe the inventor Stephen Eliot Zweig works for Evolution
So then this patent would affect all these groups doing
internet remote control of robots.
One of these seems to go back to 1996 or so.
Granted it isn't ll that illustrious controlling a robot arm, but it
is controlling something off the internet. Putting in a wireless link
instead of a ethernet cable isn't a big stretch.