SIPROC 2: The Canfield Joint

US Patent Number 5,699,695
Inventors: Stephen L. Canfield, Charles F. Reinholtz, Robert J. Salerno, and Anthony J. Ganino.
Assignee: Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc.
Status: Expired.

In May 1997, Dr. Stephen Canfield submitted his PhD thesis entitled “Development of the Carpal Wrist; a Symmetric, Parallel-Architecture Robotic Wrist.” A patent application was also filed on this novel joint, better known in aerospace circles as the Canfield Joint, resulting in US patent number 5,699,695, issued December 23, 1997. This awesome little joint allows complete hemispherical movement for attached devices. Constellation’s CEV might have used Canfield joint-based solar panels and RCS thrusters, had it not been cancelled. Real-world prototypes of Canfield joint-based RCS thrusters have even been built! Continue reading