|Title of Invention||
A DEVICE AND A METHOD FOR IMOBILIZING A TARGET
|Abstract||An apparatus (100) for immobilizing a target includes electrodes (514, 504) deployed after contact is made between the apparatus and the target. Spacing of deployed electrodes (514, 504) may be more accurate and/or more repeatable for more effective delivery of an immobilizing stimulus signal.|
|Full Text||FORM 2
THE PATENTS ACT, 1970
(39 of 1970)
THE PATENTS RULES, 2003
(Se section 10, rule 13)
"SYSTEMS AND METHODS USING AN ELECTRIFIED PROJECTILE"
We, TASER International, Inc., of 17800 N. 85tn Street, Scottsdale, Arizona 85255-9603, U.S.A.
The following specification particularly describes and ascertains the invention and the manner in which it is to be performed.
5 SYSTEMS AND METHODS USING AN ELECTRIFIED PROJECTILE
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) to copending US. patent application 60/509,577 filed October 7,2003 by Patrick W. Smith ct al. 10
GOVERNMENT LICENSE RIGHTS The present invention may have been, in part, derived in connection with U.S. Government sponsored research. Accordingly, the U.S. Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others 15 on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of contract No. N00014-02^C-0059 awarded by the Office of Naval Research.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Embodiments of the present invention generally relate to systems and methods using an
20 dectrtfiedprojectik for reducing mobility in a person or animal.
Weapons that ddiver electrified projectiles have been used for self defease and law enforcement where the target struck by the pfojecnieisaluinianbeingoranantrnal. One conventional class of such weapons includes conducted energy weapons of the type described in U.S. Patents 3,803,463 and 4,253, J 32 to Cover. A conducted energy weapon typically fires two
25 projectiles from a handheld device to a range of about 15 feet to deliver a stimulus signal to the target The projectiles remain tethered to a power supply in .the handheld device by two Fine, insulated wires. Tethered projectiles are also called darts.
A stimulus signal comprising a series of relatively high voltage pulses are delivered through the wires and into the target, causing pain in the target. At die time that the stimulus
30 signal is delivered, a high impedance gap (e.g., air or clothing) may exist between electrodes of the projectiles and the target's conductive tissue. The stimulus signal conventionally includes a relatively high voltage (e.g., about 50,000 volts) to ionize a pathway across such a gap of up to 2 inches. Consequently, the stimulus signal may be conducted through the target's tissue without penetration of the projectile into the tissue. Effectiveness of a stimulus signal of the type
35 described by Cover is limited. For example, tests showed that most human targets who were
given a physical motor task to perform during or after being struck with the projectiles and
subjected to a relatively high voltage (e.g., light against the person armed with the weapon)
could accomplish the task.
5 Conventional conducted energy vveapoiis that use a gunpowder propellant have limited
application. These weapons are classified as Firearms and are subject to heavy restrictions in the United States, severely limiting their marketability.
Other conventional energy weapons known as stun guns omit the projectiles and deliver essentially the same stimulus signal to a target when the target is in close proximity to the
10 weapon. These weapous have limited application because close proximity typically decreases the safety of the person armed with the weapon.
Another conventional conducted energy weapon, not classified as a firearm, uses compressed gas to propel the projectile as described for example in U.S. Patent 5,078,117 to Cover. This propulsion system uses a relatively small primer that is detonated by an electric
15 charge in the weapon. The detonation forces a cylinder of compressed gas such as nitrogen onto a puncturing device to release an amount of compressed nitrogen that propels the projectile out of the weapon.
Mote recently, a relatively higher energy waveform has been used in the conducted energy weapons discussed above. This waveform was developed from studies using
20 anesthetized pigs to measure tte muscular response of a raa^
weapon's stimulation. Devices using the higher energy waveform are called Electro-Muscular Disruption (EMD) devices and arc of the type generally described mU.S. Patent Application 10/016,082 to Patrick Smith, riled December 12,2001, incorporated herein by this reference. An EMD waveform applied to an animal's skeletal muscle typically causes that skeletal muscle
25 to violently contract The EMD waveform apparently overrides the target's nervous system's muscular control, causing involuntary lockup of the skeletal-muscle, and may result in complete immobilization of the target. Unfortunately, the relatively higher energy EMD waveform is generally produced from a higher power capability energy source. For instance, a weapon of this type may include 8 AA size 1.5 volt batteries, a large capacity capacitor, and transformers to
30 generate a 26-watt EMD output to a tethered projectile (e.g., a dart).
A two pulse waveform of the type described in U.S. Patent Application 10/447,447 to Magne Nerheim filed February 11,2003, provides a relatively high voltage, low amperage pulse (to form an arc through a gap as discussed above) followed by a relatively lower voltage, higher amperage pulse (to stimulate the target). Effects on skeletal muscles may be achieved with 80%
35 less power than EMD waveforms, discussed above.
Conventional conducted energy weapons have limited range to achieve an effective separation of two electrodes to stimulate the target by an electric current passing between the electrodes. In one conventional weapon, two projectiles, each with an electrode, arc fired from
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5 the same cartridge at an 8-degree angle of separation. The uppr nrojectile is fired along the line of sight from the weapon. The lower projectile is fired at an 8-degree downward angle. This angle separates the electrodes during flight. At a range of 21 feet, the bottom electrode will contact the target about 3 feet below die top electrode's point of contact
A consistent electrode separation regardless of die distance from the handheld device to
10 the target is provided in a system ns described in U.S. Patent Number 6,575,073 to McNulty. There, a larger projectile c /ing a first electrode includes a range sensor. At a sensed distance from the target* the larger projectile fires a smaller projectile carrying the second electrode. Higher cost and lower reliability result. A range sensing system could malfunction by having a narrow field of view, for example, where the device could impact the target at such an oblique
15 angle that the range sensor never effectively senses the target until it is too close to effeaively deploy the second electrode. Alternatively, if the device is fired in a direction where the projectile must pass close by an obstacle en route to the target, die range sensor might detect an object next to its trajectory and prematurely fire the second electrode, causing tie second electrode to miss the target
20 An atxayofelcrtrod« tethered together has bra
Ragner. Such arrays, when in flight, are inherently aerodynamically unstable. Accuracy of hito^ a tai^ with such an array is less than wHhotn^
Without systems and methods of the present wvenuon, farther knproveniK^tsm cost reliability, range, and effectiveness cannot be realized for energy weapons. Applications for
25 energy weapons will remain limited, hampering law enforcement and failing to provide increased self defense to individuals.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to various aspects of the present invention, an apparatus for immobilizing a 30 target includes electrodes deployed after contact is made between the apparatus and the target Spacing of deployed electrodes may be more accurate and/or more repeatable for more effective delivery of an immobilizing stimulus signal.
In another implementation, a system for immobilizing a target includes a launch device and a projectile. The projectile is not tethered to the launch device. The projectile deploys an 35 electrode after the projectile contacts the target. By deploying an electrode after contact, a distance between electrodes is less dependent on range from die launch device;to the target. Consequently, targets at various ranges receive more uniform stimulation. A larger number of applications for energy weapons may be met with projectiles, methods, and systems of the
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5 present invention due to various aspects including lower cost, lower complexity, higher reliability, greater range and accuracy, and improved effectiveness in various combinations according to the implementation.
A method for immobilizing a target, according to various aspects of the present invention, includes in any order: (a) providing a first electrode, a second electrode, a signal
10 generator, and an electrode deployment apparatus mat deploys the second electrode; (b)
restraining movement of the second electrode with respect to the first electrode; (c) removing restraint of the second electrode with respect to the first electrode after the first electrode makes contact with the target, so that the second electrode initially moves away from the target to make contact with the target a distance away from where the first electrode made contact with the
15 target; and (d) providing a stimulus signal via the signal generator, die first electrode, and the second electrode.
A device for immobilizing a target, according to various aspects of the present invention, includes: first and second portions. The first portion includes a first electrode for contact with a target The second portion includes a second electrode fwcontartwimtlK; target arKi a tedier
20 that maintains eJectricai communication between die first portion and the second portion. The device further includes a signal generator that provides a stimulm signal vutlie first electrode and the second electrode to immobilize the target; and coupling that couples the first portion to the second portion to transport die irnmobiiization device as a umt, awl dwU, after the first portion makes contact wim the target, releases the second portion from the first portion, so that die
25 second portion moves away from the target, to deploy die second electrode a distance away from the first electrode.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING Embodiments of the present invention will now be further described with reference to the 30 drawing, wherein like designations denote like elements, and:
FIG. 1 is a functional block diagram of a system that uses an electrified projectile according to various aspects of the present invention;
FIG. 2A is a cross sectional side view of a projectile in a stowed configuration for use in
the system of FIG. 1;
35 FIG. 2B is a cross sectional view of the projectile of FIG. 2A at the plane A-A identified
FIG. 2C is a rear end view of the projectile of FIG. 2A in an in flight configuration; FIG. 2D is a cross sectional side view of the projectile of FIG. 2C;
5 FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an electrode carried in the projectile of FIG. 2;
FIG4A is a cross sectional view of die projectile of FIG. 2 in contact with a target; FIG. 4B is a cross sectional view of the projectile of FIG. 2 after deployment of electrodes:
FIG. 5A is a cross sectional side view a projectile in a stowed configuration for use in the 10 system of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5B is a plan view of fin mounting hinges of the projectile of FIG. 5A;
FIG. 5C is a rear end view of the projectile of FIG. 5A in an in flight configuration;
FIG. SD is a cross sectional side view of the projectile of FIG. 5D;
FIG- 6A is a cross sectional side view of the projectile of FIG. 5 in contact with a target;
15 FIG. 6B is a cross sectional side view of the projectile of FIG. 5 after deployment of
FIG. 7A is a rear end view of a projectile in an in flight configuration for use in the system of FIG. 1;
FIG. 7B is a cross sectional side view of the projectile of FIG. 7A;
20 FIG. 7Cis a cross sectional view ofthe projectile of FIG 7 A at the plane B-B identified
FIG. 8 is a cross sectional side view of the projectile of FIG. 7 after deployment of electrodes;
FIG. 9A is a plan view of points on a target after impact and deployment of electrodes of 25 a projectile according to various aspects of the present invention; and
FIG. 9B is a plan view of points on a target after impact and deployment of electrodes of a projectile according to various aspects of the present invention.
A person of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that portions of the drawing are shown not to scale for clarity of presentation. 30
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION A system according to various aspects of the present invention delivers a stimulus signal to an animal (e.g., a human) to immobilize the animal. Immobilization is suitably temporary, for example, to remove the animal from danger or to thwart actions by the animal such as for 35 applying more permanent restraints on mobility. Electrodes may come into contact with the animal by the animal's own action (e.g., motion of the animal toward an electrode), by propelling the clecirpde toward the animal (e.g., electrodes being part of an electrified projectile), by deployment mechanisms, and/or by gravity. For example, system 100 of FIGs. I -
5 9 includes launch device 102 and cartridge 104. Launch device 104 includes power supply 112,
' aiming apparatus 114, and propulsion apparatus 116. Propulsion apparatus H6includes
propulsion activator 118 and propellant 120. In an alternate implementation, propellant 120 is part of cartridge 104.
Any conventional materials and technology may be employed in the manufacture and 10 operation of launch device 104. For example, power supply 112 may include one or more
rechargeable batteries, aiming apparatus 114 may include a laser gun sight, propulsion activator 118 may include a mechanical trigger similar in some respects to the trigger of a hand gun, and propellant 120 may include compressed nitrogen gas. In operation, cartridge 104 is mounted on or in launch device 104, manual operation by the user causes a projectile bearing electrodes to be 15 propelled away from launch device 104 and toward a target (e.g., an animal such as a human), and after the electrodes become electrically coupled to the target, u stimulus signal is delivered through a portion of the tissue of the target. In one implementation, launch device is handheld and operable in a manner similar to a conventional handgun.
Cartridge 104 includes projectile 132 having power source 134, wavefonn generator 136, 20 and electrode deployment apparatus 138. Electrode deployment apparatus 138 includes
deployment activator 140 and one or more electrodes 142. Power source 134 may include any
conventional battery selected for relatively mgh energy cap«&y to volume ratio. Waveform
generator 136 receives power from power source 134 and generates a conventional stimulus
signal using conventional circuitry.
25 The stimulus signal is delivered into a circuit that is completed by a path through the
target via electrodes. Power source 134, waveform generatdr 136, electrodes 142 cooperate to form a stimulus signal delivery circuit that may further include one or more additional electrodes not deployed by deployment activator 142 (e.g., placed by impact of projectile 132).
Projectile 132 may include a body having compartments or other structures for mounting 30 power source 134, a circuit assembly for wavefonn generator 136, and electrode deployment apparatus 138. The body may be formed in a conventional shape for ballistics (e.g., a wetted aerodynamic form).
An electrode deployment apparatus includes any mechanism that moves electrodes from a stowed configuration lo a deployed configuration. For example, in an implementation where 35 electrodes 142 are part of a projectile propelled through the atmosphere lo the target, a stowed configuration provides aerodynamic stability tor accurate travel of tHe'projcctilc."'A deployed configuration completes a stimulus signal delivery circuit directly via impaling the tissue or indirectly via an arc into the tissue. A separation of about 7 inches has been found to be more
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5 effective than a separation of about 1.5 inches; and, longer separations may also be suitable such as an electrode in the thigh and another in the hand. When the electrodes are further apart, the Stimulus signal apparently passes through more tissue, creating more effective stimulation. According to various aspects of the present invention, deployment of electrodes is activated after contact is made by projectile ] 32 and the target. Contact may be determined by a
10 change in orientation of the deployment activator; a change in position of the deployment
activator with respect to the projectile body; a change in direction, velocity, or acceleration of the deployment activator, and/or a change in conductivity between electrodes (e.g., 142 or electrodes placed by impact of projectile 132 with the target). A deployment activator 140 that detects impact by mechanical characteristics and deploys electrodes by the release or redirection of
15 mechanical energy is preferred for low cost projectiles-Deployment of electrodes, according to various aspects of the present invention, may be facilitated by behavior of the target. For example, one or more closely spaced electrodes at the front of the projectile may attach to a target to excite a painful reaction in the target One or more electrodes may be exposed and suitably directed (e.g., away from the target). Exposure
20 may be either during flight or after impact Pain in the target may be caused by the barb of the electrode stuck into the target's flesh or. if mere are two closely spaced elecaxxles» delivery of a stimulus signal between the closely spaced electrodes. While these electrodes may be too close together for suitable immobilization, the stimulus signal may create sufficient pain and disorientation. A typical response behavior to pain is to grab at the perceived cause of pain with
25 the hands (or mouth, in the case of an animal) in an attempt to remove the electrodes. This so called "hand trap" approach uses this typical response behavior to implant the one or more exposed electrodes into the hand (or mourn) of the target. By grabbing at the projectile, the one or more exposed electrodes impale the target's hand (or mouth). The exposed electrodes in the hand (or mouth) of the target are generally well spaced apart from other electrodes so that
30 stimulation between an other electrode and an exposed electrode may allow suitable immobilization.
In human testing, it was found that the hands of a target are a particularly effective location for stimulation due to the very high nerve densities within the hand. This nerve density places a large number of nerve fibers close to the maximum charge densities around the exposed
35 electrode, magnifying the total neurostimulation effect..
In an alternate system implementation, lauiv± device 102, cartridge 104, and projectile 132 are omitted; and power source 134, wavefonn generator 136, and electrode deployment apparatus 138 are formed as an immobilization device 150 adapted for other conventional forms
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5 of placement on or in the vicinity of the target. In an alternate implementation deployment apparatus 138 is omitted and electrodes 142 are placed by target behavior and/or gravity Immobilization device 150 may be packaged using conventional technology for personal security (e.g., planting in a human target's clothing or in an animals hide for future activation), facility security (e.g., providing time for surveillance cameras, equipment shutdown, or emergency 10 response), or military purposes (e.g., land mine).
Projectile 132 may be lethal or non-lethal. In alternate implementations, projectile 132 includes any conventional technology for administering deadly force.
Immobilization as discussed herein includes any restraint of voluntary motion by the target, for example, immobilization may include causing pain or interfering with normal muscle 15 function. Immobilization need not include all motion or all muscles of the target. Preferably, involuntary muscle functions (e.g., for circulation and respiration) are not disturbed. In variations where placement of electrodes is regional, loss of function of one or more skeletal muscles accomplishes suitable immobilization. In another implementation, suitable intensity of pain is caused to upset the target's ability to complete a motor task, thereby incapacitating and 20 disabling the target.
Alternate impiementatioas of launch device 102 may include or substitute conventionally available weapons (e.g., firearms, grenade launchers, vehicle mounted artillery). Projectile 132 may be delivered via an explosive charge 120 (&g., gunpowder, black powder). Projectile 132 may alternatively be propelled via a discharge of compressed gas (e.g., nitrogen or carbon 25 dioxide) and/or a rapid release of pressure (e.g., spring force, or force created by a chemical reaction such as a reaction of the type used in automobile air-bag deployment).
Projectile 132 may be tethered to launch device 102 and suitable circuitry in launch device 102 (not shown) using any conventional technology for purposes of providing substitute or auxiliary power to power source 134; triggering, retriggering, or controlling waveform 30 generator 136; activating, reactivating, or controlling deployment; and/or receiving signals at launch device 102 provided from electrodes 142 in cooperation with instrumentation in projectile 132 (not shown).
Projectiles 132 for use in system 100 may be of one or more of several implementations. In each implementation, the deployment activators and electrodes discussed below may be 35 combined in any manner to produce a projectile suitable for one or more purposes of system 100 discussed above. By combining deployment activation techniques and electrode mechanical features of the various implementations discussed below, the likelihood of success is increased for placing two electrodes at a sufficient distance apart from each other for immobilization.
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5 A projectile, according to various aspects of the present invention, deploys an electrode
from the rear of the projectile after impact of the projectile and the target. For example, a projectile 200 of FlGs. 2-4 has four configurations: (1) a stowed configuration (FIG. 2A). where fins and electrodes are in storage locations and orientations; (2) an in flight configuration (FIG. 2C); (3) an impact configuration after contact with the target (FIG. 4A); and (4) an electrode
10 deployed configuration (FIG. 4B). Projectile 200 includes plug 202 attached (e.g., close fitted, formed, crimped, or sealed) to body 204. Forward force against plug 202 propels projectile 200 forward- Body 204 includes casing 206, electrode pod 210, translating element 222, battery 224, and circuit assembly 230.
Plug 202 may include propellant 120 (e.g., 3 to 4 grains of gunpowder for a 30 gram
15 projectile). In another implementation, propellant 120 in launch device 102 or projectile 132 includes a 40mm grenade shell. Projectile 200 may include a mechanical shock absorbing tip (not shown) such as foam rubber or the like. In yet another implementation, plug 202 or launch device 102 includes a self-contained pressurized gas charge that propels projectile 200 when the pressurized gas is released. As discussed below, propellant is omitted from plug 202 and is
20 contained in launch device 102.
Casing 206 provides an aerodynamic housing for components of projectile 200 and cooperates with translating element 222, Owing may support one or more fins 262 for improving its flight characteristics. An alternate implementation omits fins 262 for reduced cost. In one implementation casing 206 is made of a polymer such as NORYL® or ABS plastic and is
25 shaped and/or dimensioned in a suitable fashion to be delivered by the desired launch device. Fins 262 may also be made of plastic and may include copper or steel springs and/or pins for causing movement toward or retaining the deployed position. Fins may provide drag for stabilization of the flight.
Translating element 222 slides within casing 206 to force plug 202 to separate from
30 casing 206 and to fly away from body 204 on impact of projectile 200 with the target.
Translating element 222 on impact may be carried toward the front end of projectile 200; and may bounce back toward the rear end of projectile 200. Either translation may release plug 202, preferably the rearward translation. By separating plug 202 from casing 206, electrode pod 210 is activated for deploying electrode 212.
35 Electrode pod 210 includes electrode 212, tether 214 (e.g., spooled, balled, or packed
insulated wire), and spring 216. Tether 214 electrically connects electrode\2 XI for cooperation in a stimulus signal-delivery circuit as discussed above. During deployment, tether 214 extends from storage in pod 210 to a length (e.g., about 5 to 1R inches) that assures suitable electrode
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5 spacing between dcployabJcelecU-ode(s) 212 and electrode(s) 236. Tether may include elastic
'i material to improve the force of impact between electrode 212 and the target. Spring 216 is
compressed into pod 210 and in mechanical communication with plug 202 on assembly of projectile 200, When plug 202 is separated from cosing 206, spring 216 urges electrode 212 and tether 214 to deploy out of casing 206 to impact the target at a point at a distance from electrodes
Battery 224 provides power source 134 for circuit assembly 230. In alternate implementations, battery 224 is replaced with a capacitor having a charge maintained by power supply 112 in launch device 102 or by a power supply (not shown) in cartridge 104. Battery 224 may include one or more conventional cells. In one implementation battery 224 is a
15 conventional 1.5 volt (nominal) cell in a AAAA standard sized package. Battery 224 may be fixed to case 206 or to translating element 222 in any conventional manner. The mass of battery 224 when fixed to translating element 222 adds to the inertia oftraoslating element 222 for more efficient separating of plug 202 from casing 206.
Circuit assembly 230 may be a flexible ekewt assembly wrapped about battery 224.
20 Circuit assembly 230 mpktnenlswavdbam generator 136 and supped Ciicuit
assembly 230 is connected to battery 224 many conventional manner. Electrodes 236 may be ooastraetod of stainless steel and include barbs for being retained in the tai^afier contact with ihe target Moveamrt of translate ektnent 222 in a fbtwa^ electrodes 236 forward to assure burying electrodes 236 into the target
25 A deployaMe electrode, according to various aspects of tb« present invention, is adapted
for tethered deployment and impact with the target as discussed above. Electrodes 212 may be formed of stainless steel in any conventional manner. For example, electrode 212 of FIG. 3 includes 6 spikes on 3 mutually orthogonal axes. Spikes have sharp tips for penetration of fabric and tissue and rearward facing barbs to deter removal from the target.
30 Projectile 200 maintains its stowed configuration while in cartridge 104. At a suitable
distance from launch device 102. fins 262 move away from casing 206 to put projectile 200 in the in flight configuration. Translating element 222 is forced rearward during flight Impact with the target (FIG. 4A) causes projectile 200 to conform to the impact configuration wherein electrodes 236 are deployed into the target and translating element 222 bounces rearward to
35 dislodge plug 202. After plug 202 separates from casing 206, electrode 212 swings and/or
bounces erratically on tether 214. After electrode 212 contacts the target; projectile 20
Asa second example, a projectile according to various aspects of the present invention attaches at least one electrode by force of impact of the projectile against the target and attaches at least a second electrode by releasing the second electrode accompanied by a substantial portion of the mass of the entire projectile. For example, projectile 500 of FIGs. 5-6 has four configurations: (I) a stowed configuration (FIGs. 5A-5B), where fins and electrodes are in storage locations and orieniatioos; (2) an in flight coufiguratton (FIGs. 5C and 5D); (3) an impact configuration after contact with the target (FIG. 6A); and (4) an electrode deployed configuration (FIG. 6B). Projectile 500 includes casing 502, four rear electrodes 504, four fins 506, battery 508, rear facing electrode 510, circuit assembly 512, front electrodes 514, electrode tether 516, cap release 518, and cap 522.
Casing 502 provides an aerodynamic housing for components of projectile SOO. Casing
502 may support one or more fins 506 for improving its flight characteristics. An alternate
implementation omits fins S06 for reduced cost In one implementation casing 502 is made of a
polymer such as NORYL® or ABS plastic and is shaped and/or dimensioned in a suitable
fashion to be deh^/eted by trie desired launch Fms 506 may also be made of plastic and
may include copper or sled spriags and/or pins for causing nwvement toward «retaitiing the deployed position. Fins may provide drag ixstabilizatioa of the flight.
Rear electrodes S04 age positiooedaw^mjmcasM^ 502 mfligt
Front electrode assembly 530 includes rear facing electrode 510, front electrodes 514, and break-away tabs 520. Front electrode assembly 530 is fixed to casing 502 when projectile 500 is mounted in cartridge 104; and, is released after impact of projectile 500 with the target In one implementation, break-away tabs S20 fix assembly 530 to casing 502. Rear facing electrode 510 is intended to impale a target's hand as the target reaches toward front electrode assembly 530 for instance intending to remove front electrodes 514 from contact with the target.
Circuit assembly 512 performs functions analogous to circuit assembly 230 discussed above.
■■'■ - Electrode tether 516 electrically connects front electrodes 514 and rear feeing electrode 510 for cooperation in a stimulus signal delivery circuit as discussed above. Two or more conductors in tether 516 supply a stimulus signal from waveform generator 136 of circuit
assembly 512 to: (a) front electrodes and/or to (b) rear racing electrode 510. During deployment, lether 516 extends from storage in casing 502 to a length (e.g., about 5 to 18 inches) that assures suitable electrode spacing between deployable rear electrodes 504 and front electrodes 514. Tether 516 may include elastic material to improve the force of impact between rear electrodes 504 and the target.
A cap release is a deformable (e.g., rubber) element that when crushed on impact imparts .a separating force between a front electrode assembly and the remainder of a projectile. For example, on impact, cap release 518 compresses along axis 501 to release casing 502 from front electrode assembly 530. In one implementation, inertia of casing 502 and/or battery 508 work against cap release 518 and/or cap 522 to fracture break-away tabs 520. Cap release 518 and/or cap 522 may store compression energy later released into casing 502 to urge casing 502 away from front electrode assembly 530, deploying tether 516 out of casing 502. At least one rear electrode 504 then makes contact with the target at a point at a distance from front electrodes
An alternate implementation of projectile 500 includes a translating ring. On impact, the translating ring slides inside casing 502 and along axis 501 to force deployment of rear electrodes 504 that remain stowed until after impact Such a translating ring may urge front electrodes into the target
In operation of tethers 214 and 513, the tethered object (212 or 502) may fidl by gravity and/ox move away from the target by rebound energy. As me object reaches the end of the tether, it may fall back toward the target, much like a pendulum. An elastic tether may further enhance the approach of the object to the target An elastic tether stores energy as it stretches, returning this energy into the object as it contracts, accelerating the object toward the target, and increasing the likelihood of an effective penetration of clothing and/or skin of the target. A distance between the front electrodes) and the rear electrodefs) of 12 to 24 inches is preferred. In other implementations of projectile 200 or 500, a secondary propellant or mechanism propels the tethered object erratically until impact with the target. The secondary propellant or mechanism may include a small rocket motor.
As a third example, a projectile according to various aspects of the present invention includes one or more deployable electrode arms each having one or more barbs. In operation, upon impact of the projectile with the target these arms spring away from the projectile body and attach to the target For example, projectile 700 of FIGs. 7-8 has four configurations: (I) a slowed configuration (FIGs. 7B and 7fJ), where fins and electrodes are in storage locations and orientations; (2) an in flight configuration (FIGs. 7A and 7C); (3) an impact configuration after
5 contact with the target (analogous to FIG. 4A); and (4) an electrode deployed configuration (FIG.
8). Projectile 700 includes casing 702, four front electrodes 704, four fins 706, batten- 708,
circuit assembly 712, and release 710.
Casing 702 provides an aerodynamic housing for components of projectile 700. Casing
702 may support one or more fins 706 for improving its flight characteristics. An alternate 10 implementation omits fins 706 for reduced cost. In one implementation casing 702 is made of a
polymer such as NORYL® or ABS plastic and is shaped and/or dimensioned in a suitable
. fashion to be delivered by the desired launch device. Fins 706 may also be made of plastic and
may include copper or steel springs and/or pins for causing movement toward or retaining the
deployed position. Fins may provide drag for stabilization of the flight.
15 Battery 708 and circuit assembly 712 operate in a manner analogous to battery 508 and
circuit assembly 512 discussed above.
Four front electrodes 704 are deployed after impact when released by release 710. After
impact of projectile 700 and tbc target, release 710 releases a tab (riot show) on each electrode
704. fa ore uapleroeatatwn, release 710 i^ 20 forwatd at (he sudden decekntic«cf project^
permit each electrode to follow an arc away from axis 701 to a deployed position at or in front of
die point of contact between projectile 700 and the laiget (depending on tiie shape of 4K surfine
around that point).
Each electrode 704 may be urged along (he arc by a torsion spring in each htnge 713. 25 Electrodes 704 may be stowed to slots 726 fbrntedmcasmg 702 akmg a lengm of projectile 700.
When stowed, each torsion spring is compressed. The potential energy of the compressed
torsion spring provides a propellaut by which the electrodes 704 are forced out of slots 726 and
into the target
Release 710 may include a hook 722 on each electrode and a slotted cylinder 724 that 30 translates along axis 701 inside casing 702. Electrodes are retained when each hook 722 is in
frictional contact with the slotted cylinder, Slotted cylinder 724 is forced rearward by the inertia
of a projectile discharge from launch device 102 assuring frictional contact with hooks 722.
After impact with the target, slotted cylinder 724 slides forward and releases each hook 722,
deploying electrodes 704 as discussed above.
35 to an alternate implementation of projectile 700, two of the four electrodes 704 are
omitted. In a further alternate implementation, more than four electrodes are implemented
symmetrically about axis 701. In addition, front electrodes of the type described above with
5 reference to 236 and 514 are included in alternate projectiles having fixed mounting or spring-loaded mounting in the front of the projectile
A rear facing electrode may be added to uny of projectiles 200, 700, and alternates of each discussed above.
Deployment, according to various aspects of the present invention may use the forward
10 inomentum of the projectile to propel electrodes into contact with the target. For example, in one - implementation a primary projectile carries several secondary projectiles. The forward • momentum of the secondary projectiles after impact with the target may cause the secondary projectiles to deploy into the target. Secondary projectiles may be positioned in the rear portion of the primary projectile and housed in bores at an angle, (e.g., 45 degrees) to the axis of
15 projectile flight. The configuration of the teres and the forward momentum vector forces each secondary projectile to deploy at the angle of the bore toward the target Electrodes deployed in any manner from the secondary projectiles contact me tar^ away from the one ecinore front electrodes of the primary projectile. Each secondary projectile or electrode may be tetheredbya conductive wire to the primary or secondary piojcctik for deUveriog a stinrohis signal.
20 A propeUaot may also be nsed to propel die secondary projectiles or electrodes from
within their respective bores. Foe etown^ toe prmiaryprqicctUentay include a pre^^ or expkmvccliarge which is activated after impact wHfa the target The propeOant ejects each secondary projectile from its stowed location into the target
A method for increasing the effective spread between electrodes in contact with the target
25 radwtedeptoyingmultipfeelectiotera Multiple electrodes
may have closer spacing to the point of projectile impact while still delivering me electrical charge to a greater surface area. For instance, muscular contractions were measured from two different configurations 901 and 911 as shown in FIGs. 9A and 9B. In configuration 901, electrodes. 902 and 906 were spaced four inches apart. Electrode 902 was connected to the
30 positive terminal of a stimulation power supply. Electrode 906 was connected to the negative terminal of the power supply. In configuration 911, four electrodes were used. Electrode 912 was four inches from electrode 916; and electrode 915 was four inches from electrode 917. Electrodes 912,917,916, and 915 formed a square centered about point 914. Points 904 and 914 may approximate the point of impact of a projectile. In other deployments the point of impact of
35 the projectile is not material, lest results indicated configuration 911 was about 5% less
effective (generated about 5% less muscle contraction) than configuration 901. It is believed that the lower effectiveness was the result of lower charge densities. While the greater number of clecUodes delivered die charge to a greater total surface area, the total charge at each electrode
5 was roughly cut in half, lowering the charge densities at the electrodes, and lowering the charge
densities in the various current pathways through the body. This lower charge density resulted in
fewer neurons being stimulated, and a lesser muscular response.
In any of the deployed electrode configurations discussed above, the stimulation signal
may be switched between various electrodes so that not all electrodes are active at any particular 10 time. Accordingly, a method for applying a stimulus signal to a plurality of electrodes includes,
in any order: (a) selecting a pair of electrodes; (b) applying the stimulus signal to the selected
pair; (c) monitoring the charge delivered into the target; (d) if the delivered charge is less than a
limit, conclude that at least one of the selected electrodes is not sufficiently coupled to the target
to form a stimulus signal delivery circuit; and (e) repeating the selecting, applying, and 15 monitoring until a predetermined total charge is delivered. A microprocessor performing such a
method may identify suitable electrodes in less than a millisecond such that the time to select the
electrodes is not perceived by the target.
The term "after impact" is understood to mean any instant of time after initial physical
contact between a projectile and a target The actions to be accomplished after impact arc 20 accomplished so soon after iou^ as to be percdvedty
Unless contrary to physical possibility, the inventor envisions the methods and systems
described herein: (i) may be performed in any sequence and/or combination; and (ii) the
components of respective embodiments combined in any manner.
25 Although there have been described preferred embodiments of this novel invention, many
variations and modifications are possible aud the embodiments described herein are not limited
by the specific disclosure above, but rather should be limited only by the scope of the appended
^-f^-1 K\QQn c\c\f\ir>
1. A device for immobilizing a target, the device comprising:
a first electrode;
a second electrode;
10 means for deploying the second electrode away from the first electrode, comprising:
(1) means tor restraining movement of the second electrode with respect to the first electrode; and
(2) means tor removing restraint of the second electrode with respect to the first electrode after the first electrode makes contact with the target, so that the second electrode
15 initially moves away from the target to make contact with the target a distance away from where the first electrode made contact with the target; and
means for generating a stimulus signal in a circuit comprising the first electrode and the second electrode.
2. The device of claim 1 fuitrier comprising:
20 a fust portion comprising fee fust electrode; and
• second portion comprising the second electrode atxia tether tnatraatotaiits electrical comuiunifcatioo between the first portion and the second portion.
3. Trie device of claim 2 wherein the Means for restraining couples the first portion to the
second portion to transport the itmnobiltzation device as a unit
25 4. Tbe device ofctaim 2 wherein the raeansforenioving comprises a casmg arid a translation member that moves with respect to the casing m response Ur impact of the device and the target to release the second portion from the first portion.
5. The device of claim 2 wherein the means for removing comprises a fastener that is defeated
in response to impact of the device and the target to release the second portion from the first
6. The device of claim 5 wherein the fastener comprises a break-away tab.
7. The device of claim 2 wherein the means for removing comprises a latch that is released in response to impact of the device and the target to release the second portion from the first portion.
35 8. The device of claim 2 wherein the tciher exhibits elasticity to effect a forceful impact of the second electrode and the target.
9. The device of claim 2 wherein the second portion further comprises at least a portion of the means lor generating.
5 10. The device of claim 9 wherein a total mass of the second portion exceeds a total mass of the first portion.
11. The device of claim 9 wherein the portion of the means for generating comprises a power
12. The device of claim 2 wherein the means for removing uses an energy of impact of the
10 device and the target to release the second portion from the first portion.
13. The device of claim 2 wherein the means for removing redirects a momentum of impact of .the device and the target into motion of the second portion away from the first portion.
14. The device of claim 2 wherein the first portion further comprises a third electrode to come into contact with the target as a consequence of movement of the target.
15 15. The device of claim 1 wherein the means for deploying further comprises a propellant that propels the second electrode away from the first electrode.
16. The device of claim 15 wherein the propellant propels the second electrode initially in a
direction away from die target
17. The device of claim 1 wherein the second electrode comprises a first barb directed in a first
20 duecuxm, a sea>od barb directed ra a sccotridire^
18. The device of chum 17 wherein the first dtrectton, second direction, and third direction, are
19. A projectile cotnpfising the immobilization device of claim 1.
21. A system for immobilizing a target comprising a projectile according to claim 19; and means for propelling the projectile toward a target
22. A method for immobilizing a target using a device that includes a first electrode, a second electrode, a signal generator, and an electrode deployment apparatus that deploys the second
30 electrode, the method comprising:
restraining movement of the second electrode with respect to the first electrode; removing restraint of the second electrode with respect to the first electrode after the first electrode makes contact with the target, so that (he second electrode initially moves away from the target to make contact with the target a distance away from where the first electrode 35 made contact with the target; and
providing a stimulus signal via the signal generator, the first electrode, and the second electrode.
23. The method of-claim 22 wherein.
5 the device further comprises a casing and a plug that in a first position restrains the
£ second electrode within the casing from movement with respect to the first electrode; and
removing comprises urging the plug away from the first position.
24. The method of claim 23 wherein providing the deployment apparatus comprises providing a
translating member that translates with respect to the casing to urge the plug away from the first
25. The method of claim 22 wherein releasing comprises defeating a fastener.
■26. The method of claim 25 wherein defeating the fastener comprises defeating a break-away tab.
27. The method of claim 22 wherein:
15 providing the device further comprises a step for providing a casing and a translating
member that translates with respect to the casing; and
removing comprises a step for translating by die translating member.
28. The method of claim 27 wherein translating releases a latch to remove restraint.
29. The method of claim 22 wherein removing coaqwisesptopeJltng die second ekctrode away 20 fiom the first electrode.
30. TIK method of claim 29 wterewproneUiitgp direction away from the target
31. The method of claim 22 wherein providing the device farter contpris«s providing a tether that mechanically couples the second electrode aad the fkstekcto)d^ the temer exhibiting
25 elasticity to effect a forceful impact of the second electrode and the target.
32. The method of claim 22 wherein the second electrode comprises a first barb directed in a first
direction, a second barb directed in a second direction, and a third barb directed in a third
33. The method of claim 32 wherein the first direction, second direction, and third direction, are 30 mutually orthogonal.
34. The method of claim 22 wherein:
restraining movement of the second electrode with respect to the first electrode further restrains movement of the signal generator with respect to the first electrode; and
removing restraint permits the second electrode and at least a portion of the signal 35 generator to move witlt respect to the first electrode.
35. The method of claim 34 wherein a mass of the second electrode and the portion of the signal generator exceeds half ofa total mass of the device.
36. The method of claim 34 wherein the portion of the signal generator comprises a power
37. The method of claim 22 wherein removing uses an energy of impact of the device and the target.
38. The method of claim 22 wherein removing comprises redirecting a momentum of impact of 'the device and the target iuto motion of the second electrode.
A device, a system and a method for immobilizing a target, substantially as herein described with reference to the accompanying drawings. A projectile and a cartridge substantially as herein described with reference to the accompanying drawings.
Dated this 1st Day of May, 2006
G. Deepak Sriniwas
Of K&S Partners
Agent for the Applicants.
|Indian Patent Application Number||511/MUMNP/2006|
|PG Journal Number||01/2012|
|Date of Filing||04-May-2006|
|Name of Patentee||TASER INTERNATIONAL, INC.|
|Applicant Address||17800 N. 85th Street, Scottsdale, Arizona 85255-9603,|
|PCT International Classification Number||H01T23/00,F42B5/24|
|PCT International Application Number||PCT/US2004/032981|
|PCT International Filing date||2004-10-07|