News Column

Patent Issued for Substrate Transport Apparatus

June 25, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- Brooks Automation, Inc. (Chelmsford, MA) has been issued patent number 8747050, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews editors.

The patent's inventors are Hofmeister, Christopher (Hampstead, NH); Caveney, Robert T. (Windham, NH).

This patent was filed on September 14, 2012 and was published online on June 10, 2014.

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "The exemplary embodiments relate to a substrate transport apparatus and, more particularly, to a robot transport arm of a substrate transport apparatus.

"Various types of substrate transport apparatus are known in the art. Examples of substrate transport apparatus are described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,404,894, 5,431,529 and 5,765,983. U.S. Pat. No. 4,951,601 discloses a substrate processing apparatus with multiple processing chambers and a substrate transport apparatus.

"In many substrate processing applications, a substrate transport apparatus includes a substrate transport robot which is mounted in a central transfer chamber. Typically, the transport robot has a controller that controls a drive that powers an arm assembly. The arm assembly typically operates in the transfer chamber to transfer a substrate to and from various processing chambers on a substrate support or an end effector.

"Generally, the transport and processing chambers are maintained substantially at a vacuum to prevent contamination of substrates while being transported and processed. Other atmospheres may also be maintained in the transport and processing chambers if required. Some processing techniques may require the use of atmospheres that are corrosive, have an elevated temperature, or that generally present a hostile environment to the transport robot electronics and drive. In these cases, it would be advantageous to locate the controller and drive outside the hostile environment of the transfer chamber. It would also be advantageous to simplify the mechanical coupling between the drive and the end effector. It would be still further advantageous to couple the drive to the end effector in a manner that does not require a mechanical connection through the wall of the transfer chamber."

Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "In accordance with one exemplary embodiment a substrate transport apparatus is provided. The substrate transport apparatus includes a first shaftless rotary motor including a first stator and a first rotor, the first stator being linearly distributed and the first rotor being coupled to a first arm, a second shaftless rotary motor including a second stator and a second rotor, the second stator being linearly distributed and the second rotor being coupled to a second arm, the second arm being connected to the first arm, and a first substrate support being coupled to at least one of the first and second arms, wherein the first stator and second stator are configured so that the first and second arms and the first substrate support are inside the stators and a motor output at a connection between the first and second shaftless rotary motors and a respective one of the first and second arms is a resultant force disposed peripheral to the first and second arms.

"In accordance with another exemplary embodiment a substrate transport apparatus is provided. The substrate transport apparatus includes a first shaftless rotary motor including a first stator and a first rotor, the first stator being linearly distributed and the first rotor being coupled to a first arm, a second shaftless rotary motor including a second stator and a second rotor, the second stator being linearly distributed and the second rotor being coupled to a second arm, the second arm being connected to the first arm, and a first substrate support being coupled to at least one of the first and second arms, wherein the first stator and second stator are arranged so that the first stator and second stator substantially surround the first and second arms.

"In accordance with yet another exemplary embodiment a substrate transport apparatus is provided. The substrate transport apparatus includes a housing, a first stator linearly distributed substantially along peripheral walls of the housing, a second stator linearly distributed substantially along the peripheral walls of the housing, a first substrate transport arm having a center of rotation located within the housing, the first substrate transport arm having an upper arm rotatable about the center of rotation and forming a first rotor, a forearm rotatably coupled at a first end to the upper arm at a location eccentric to the center of rotation, the forearm forming a second rotor, and a first substrate support rotatably coupled to a second opposite end of the forearm, and wherein the first stator and first rotor form a first motor and the second stator and second rotor form a second motor, and the upper arm, forearm and first substrate support are inside the first and second stators and a motor output of the first and second motors at a connection point between the first and second motors and a respective one of the upper arm and forearm is a resultant force disposed peripheral to the upper arm and forearm."

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Hofmeister, Christopher; Caveney, Robert T.. Substrate Transport Apparatus. U.S. Patent Number 8747050, filed September 14, 2012, and published online on June 10, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8747050.PN.&OS=PN/8747050RS=PN/8747050

Keywords for this news article include: Robotics, Machine Learning, Emerging Technologies, Brooks Automation Inc..

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Source: Journal of Engineering


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