Vehicle which is steerable along a guide wire lying in the ground
Patent 4310789 Issued on January 12, 1982. Estimated Expiration Date: April 15, 2000. Estimated Expiration Date is calculated based on simple USPTO term provisions. It does not account for terminal disclaimers, term adjustments, failure to pay maintenance fees, or other factors which might affect the term of a patent.
A sensor array which extends only over a fraction of the length of the vehicle generates pick-up signals in response to signals emitted by a ground wire lying in the ground. The pick-up signals are processed in signal-processing circuits to generate a heading signal and a displacement signal representing the position of the vehicle and the direction of its longitudinal axis relative to the guide wire. A curvature detector is provided for generating a curvature signal, which represents the curvature of a bend of the guide wire near the sensor array. The heading, displacement and curvature signals are combined by a signal-combining circuit, which delivers a position control signal to position control means for controlling at least one steerable wheel of the vehicle so as to steer the latter along the guide wire.