News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Robotic Wireless Test System", for Approval

June 12, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Schlub, Robert W. (Cupertino, CA); Shiu, Boon Wai (San Jose, CA); Chen, Chun-Lung (Sunnyvale, CA); Haylock, Jonathan M. (Los Angeles, CA); O'Conner, Hagan P. (Monte Sereno, CA), filed on November 20, 2012, was made available online on May 29, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Apple Inc.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "This relates to electronic devices and, more particularly, to systems for testing wireless electronic devices.

"Electronic devices such as cellular telephones and other portable devices are often provided with wireless circuitry. For example, cellular telephones contain wireless radio-frequency transceiver circuitry for communicating using cellular telephones bands. Electronic devices may also contain circuitry for communicating using wireless local area network communications bands and other communications bands of interest.

"Before devices are sold to customers, extensive wireless tests are performed. Testing allows designers to optimize antenna and wireless transceiver performance. Testing also ensures that regulatory limits on emitted radiation levels are satisfied.

"Modern wireless electronic devices are becoming increasingly sophisticated. For example, wireless devices are being designed with the capability to operate in large numbers of frequency bands using multiple antennas. Conventional test systems can become overburdened when performing desired tests over multiple bands and antennas, leading to potential delays.

"It would therefore be desirable to be able to provide improved test systems for wirelessly testing electronic devices."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Devices under test may be wirelessly tested in a test system. The test system may include a wireless test chamber with metal walls lined with pyramidal absorbers. A trapdoor may be provided in an opening in a chamber wall to accommodate a robotic arm or other robotic system.

"A robotic arm may have grippers that can grip a device under test or that can grip a phantom head or other support structure that is supporting a device under test. The robotic arm may move the device under test to a docking station for automatic battery charging during testing. When it is desired to perform wireless tests on a device under test, the robotic arm may move a device under test that is outside of the chamber through the trapdoor into an interior portion of the test chamber. The robotic arm may also move devices under test within the interior of the test chamber to facilitate testing.

"Movable support structures such as a turntable and a test antenna positioner may be used to place a device under test in a variety of angular orientations with respect to a test antenna during testing. The robotic arm may periodically flip the device under test or may otherwise adjust the placement of the device under test on the turntable to ensure that the device under test is tested in all desired orientations.

"Emitted radiation levels can be measured using a liquid filled phantom and test probe on a robotic arm. The test probe may be moved within the liquid filled phantom while another robotic arm moves a device under test to a variety of different positions with respect to the phantom.

"Further features of the invention, its nature and various advantages will be more apparent from the accompanying drawings and the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of an illustrative electronic device of the type that may be tested using a wireless test system in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an illustrative docking station having connectors that are adapted to plug into connector ports on wireless electronic devices in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of a wireless test system in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 4 is a diagram of an illustrative test chamber and associated robotic systems for performing wireless tests on wireless electronic devices in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an illustrative robotic arm of the type that may be used to move devices under test within a wireless test chamber in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a portion of an anechoic chamber wall with pyramidal absorbers for reducing reflections in a wireless test chamber in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional side view of a portion of a wireless test chamber wall in which a trapdoor covered with pyramidal anechoic chamber wall absorbers has been formed to accommodate a robotic arm in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional side view of a two-sided trapdoor covered with pyramidal anechoic chamber wall absorbers in a wireless test chamber to accommodate a robotic arm in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a rotating wireless test chamber turntable on which a device under test is resting on an end surface in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a rotating wireless test chamber turntable on which a device under test is resting on a side surface in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a rotating wireless test chamber turntable on which a device under test is resting on a rear surface in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 12 is a side view of a robotic wireless test chamber arm being used to position devices under test that are resting on dielectric support structures within a wireless test chamber in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a phantom head with support posts for holding a device under test in a wireless test chamber with a robotic arm in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 14 is a side view of a wireless test system in which a robotic arm is being used to perform wireless tests on devices under test that have been mounted on respective phantom heads in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 15 is a side view of a wireless test system of the type in which specific absorption rate measurements on a device under test are being made using a robotic arm in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

"FIG. 16 is a flow chart of illustrative steps involved in using robotic test systems to perform wireless tests on devices under test in a test chamber in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Schlub, Robert W.; Shiu, Boon Wai; Chen, Chun-Lung; Haylock, Jonathan M.; O'Conner, Hagan P. Robotic Wireless Test System. Filed November 20, 2012 and posted May 29, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=2198&p=44&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140522.PD.&OS=PD/20140522&RS=PD/20140522

Keywords for this news article include: Apple Inc.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC


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Source: Politics & Government Week


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