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Robert William Kearns
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Bob Kearns has spent most of his life fighting for inventors right to exclude others from using the inventor's invention.

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1994 - November - Elected to a five year term as a member of the Board of Directors of the Veterans of the Office of Strategic Services ("O.S.S.") and (O.S.S. General) William J. Donovan Memorial Fund

1995 - Elected to six year term as a member of the Board of Directors —
Historical Society of Queen Anne's County, Maryland.

1977 - Present
Litigant: Kearns v. [Auto Industry]
ITT/SWF v. Kearns
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan - Southern Division

1975 - 1977
Litigant: Kearns v. Tann Company
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan - Southern Division

1963 - 1976
Professional Engineer: Kearns Engineers

I developed a series of products for my own manufacture:

Intermittent Windshield Wiper Systems with driver-adjusted pause time between successive wiping cycles.

"Safety-skip" Intermittent Windshield Wiper Systems with driver-adjusted pause time between successive wiping cycles, weather conditions safely permitting, otherwise, the pause time was automatically skipped between wiping cycles when the moisture accumulating in the viewing area of the windshield during a fixed sample-time exceeded a threshold degree-of-dryness. [Note: No moisture sensor is used in the system.] {Demonstrated to Ford in 1965.}

"Safety-skip" Intermittent Windshield Wiper Systems with the improvement that the pause time is automatically adjusted, proportional to the degree-of dryness, when the moisture accumulating was below the "safety-skip" threshold value. When the viewing area sample is dry, the pause time is a long-time maximum. When the viewing area sample is moderate, the pause time is moderate. When the viewing area sample is nearly obstructing vision, the pause time is short, and, when the sample is obstructing vision, the pause time is skipped altogether. [Note: No moisture sensor is used in the system.] {Demonstrated to Ford in early 1966.}

An active Highway Safety Sign that is adjustable to particular sections of pavement. It automatically flashes alerts to a driver of the reduced degree-of-pavement-skid-resistance then present on that particular section of pavement due to the present wet-weather conditions.

An active Highway Safety Sign that is adjustable to a particular bridge section. It automatically flashes alerts to a driver of the freezing conditions on that particular bridge before and after the pavement on the approach to the bridge is icing, frozen and/or slippery.

A series of D-C Motor Speed Controls.

A series of unique control components named, Digital Difference to Analog Converters, [they maintain a resolution of one part in ten million] that facilitate the closed-loop control of automatic analog-drive control systems following digital controlled-variable commands.

A Digital Parallel Adder - of, for example, two ten-bit numbers, that utilizes no internal "carries", and forms a sum and output carry in three pieces of time. [For comparison, two ten-bit numbers require, at least, ten pieces of time for the carries to be formed and transferred from column to column to form the sum and output carry in a serial adder.]

Gating Circuitry for implementing Boolean expressions which is much faster, and utilizes less power than conventional And, Or and Not gate digital circuitry.

[Note: With the addition of Memory, the Gating Circuitry plus Parallel Adder form the basic requirements of an unique computer.]

I developed, manufactured and then sold, through national advertising, under my other company name and U.S. trademark Computer Central, the products described below until I suffered an emotional breakdown over the infringement of my Intermittent Windshield Wiper U.S. Patents.

1965 - 1976
Manufacturer: Computer Central* (U.S. Trademark)
Manufactured a series of control components:

Linear Range Comparator
Sign or Equality Binary Comparator
Identity Comparator
Dual Brush V-Scan Encoder Electronics
Gray Code to Binary Code Encoder Electronics
Digital Difference to Analog Converters

A partial list of customers for these products includes:
[See Kearns v. Wood Motors, Inc.: Response to Int. No. 6]
Beckman Instruments, Inc.
Case-Western Reserve University
Cross Company - Entrekin Computers Division
Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Lincoln Labs.
3M Company
National Bureau of Standards
National Cash Register Company
United Technology - Hamilton Standard Division
Chitose Corporation, Japan

1971 - 1976
Mechanical Engineer-Principal Investigator-Skid Resistance
Measurement of Pavements under Wet-Weather Conditions
National Bureau of Standards
Department of Engineering Mechanics
(now the National Institute of Science and Technology)
Gaithersburg, Maryland

As principal investigator, I implemented a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) desire to establish a hierarchial program for standardization of the skid resistance measurement of pavements under simulated wet weather conditions. The activity was part of the FHWA skid accident reduction program.

A National Reference System (NRS) (similar in appearance to Exhibit E) was developed by identifying sources of error in the measurements then being made by FHWA; designing sub-systems to measure the quantities involved, or, improving the test procedures to control the appropriate variables. The NRS test measurements were made automatically, converted to digital code and stored on-board in an integrated circuit transistorized memory. These data were then transferred to a mini-computer ground station thru an umbilical cable where these data were reduced and plotted automatically. The ground station results exhibited greater resolution than achieved heretofore and minimized the differences due to the judgment required by different data analysts.

The NRS is maintained and operated by the National Bureau of Standards. Area reference systems (ARS) are now (1976) operated at three regional FHWA field test centers. The skid resistance measurements systems operated by the states are adjusted and correlated with the ARS at the field test centers in the hierarchial program.

I designed the improved digital instrumentation of the NRS as well as the test equipment required by the test procedures. John F. Ward and I developed the test procedures to measure, adjust and intercompare the performance of the sub-systems and the test program to correlate the overall measurement results between the ARS and the NRS.

Certain of these test procedures are now (1976) standard methods of test in the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) procedures.

1967 - 1971
Department of Buildings & Safety Engineering
City of Detroit

As Commissioner, I served under two Mayors and lead 460 persons including 22 professional engineers and 300 journeyman inspectors in carrying out the duties of the attached chart. [See Exhibit F.] In addition, I participated in the "negotiations" concerning salary and benefits with seven journeyman unions.

The annual budget was $5,000,000. The value of construction supervised approached $200,000,000 annually.

My stewardship entailed efficient administration, professional engineering activities and innovative planning.

When I took office (shortly after the Detroit race-riots), the departments budget was $2.7 million and required 23% of the budget, ($621,000), to come from tax funds although the City Charter required the Department to be revenue supported. While services were increased and the annual budget increased 85%, the funds required from taxes were reduced to 8% ($400,000) a 35% reduction of tax revenue requirements. This reduction required identifying the financial leaks, making appropriate changes in the operations, and converting non-revenue complaint inspections into systematic revenue producing activities which obviated the need for many complaints.

I suggested to Mayor Cavanagh that the Department absorb the activities of the Police General License Bureau. Thirty officers were released for patrol work with the licensing activity being done by 13 civil servants. The difference in fringe benefits alone amounts to $3,000 per officer per year, ($90,000), for a savings of $250,000 each year into the future.

In the professional engineering category, I introduced (through a Professor of Civil Engineering at Wayne State University) the use of simultaneous structural engineering equations, solved by computer, into the Department's analyses of proposed, new buildings. The Blue Cross building (24 stories, $32 million) and the new addition to the Trade Center (18 stories) were the first structures analyzed by Department personnel using a computer.

In the innovative planning category, upon taking office I learned the Department inspections in only 6,000 of the city's 350,000 buildings. I established the Bureau of Maintenance which helped to increase our inspections to 13,000 multiple dwellings, which reduced the load of complaint calls, while still conducting systematic concentrated inspections in selected areas of the city under the Federal workable program.

Further, I launched a very successful program of special inspections of used homes made at mortgage closing time for the FHA & VA. Our traditional inspectors functioned within their respective specialties yet contributed to the preservation of the cities existing housing stock ... and on a revenue supported bases. Income, in 1971, was at a $280,000 annual rate for the 19,000 additional inspections being made under this program.

I enforced a Council resolution against "cracker-box" designs and achieved single family detached housing which was compatible in design with its proposed neighborhood. [Now (1990) I see a resolution may not have been sufficient authority.] Under this program Detroit built its first two-story brick homes in many years while increasing our annual production by a factor of three.

Supervisors: Mayors: Jerome P. Cavanagh; and Roman S. Gribbs.

I was appointed by Governor George Romney in 1968 & Governor William Milliken in 1970 to the Governor's Special Commission on Housing Law Revision. [See Exhibit F.]

1967 - 1969
Wayne County Supervisor

I was a Supervisor on the Board of Supervisors of Wayne County Michigan. We were responsible for all the legislative activities of the County government.

1965 - 1967 Kearns Engineers
"Analysis of the Driveline System" (clutch chatter)
P.O. 47-X-78229-FP to Kearns Engineers
The men who authorized the work are:

Mr. B.T. Howes, Manager
Advanced Climate Control and
Power Trains Installation

Mr. C.L. Knighton, Manager
Power Trains Installation

Mr. O.D. Dillmaan, Executive Engineer
Chassis Design
Car Product Engineering Office

1963 - 1967
Associate Professor of Engineering - Wayne State Univ.

1957 - 1963
Assistant Professor of Engineering - Wayne State Univ.
Department of Engineering Mechanics

Professor Lissner, the Department Chairman, had supervised my Master's Thesis (U.S. Patent 2,959,347), liked what I had done, knew of my desire to start an engineering design & build facility and invited me to "choose your own hours"; "look upon Wayne as your first client"; and, join the Department as an Assistant Professor -- which I did.

I usually took the 8 & 9 a.m. classes to teach undergraduates and returned to Wayne in the evening, 6:20 to 9:00 p.m. to teach graduate students. Since I liked to build, and would pick up a soldering-iron, I was on many Master's and Ph.D. candidates committees. I believe my instrumentation, control and electrical background was very helpful to these mechanics students. I was granted tenure, at the age of 33, by the University Board of Governors in Sept., 1960. [See Exhibit G.]

Courses Taught:

Course Number Title

E.M. 0310 Statics
E.M. 0320 Dynamics
E.M. 0330 Fluid Mechanics
E.M. 0340 Mechanics of Materials
E.M. 0341 Materials Testing Laboratory
E.M. 0522 Advanced Dynamics
E.M. 0530 Intermediate Fluid Mechanics
E.M. 0581 Industrial Applications of Industrial Isotopes
E.M. 0583 Reactor Theory and Operation I
E.M. 0720 Advanced Dynamics II
E.M. 0785 Control & Kinetics of Nuclear Reactors

Supervisor: Herbert R. Lissner, Chairman
Department of Engineering Mechanics

1957 - 1962
Partner, Kearns & Law

When an engineering office was established, I was joined by Kenneth J. Law who also became an Assistant Professor at Wayne State University. With money to support our families assured from our salaries at Wayne, any engineering office income could be used to support our employees. We became a Michigan partnership, Kearns & Law, in 1957.

Examples of our design and build contracts [See Exhibit H] include:

A power supply unit for a Bendix instrumentation system for a satellite launched by Chrysler Missile. The power supply system Kearns & Law designed and built passed the environmental tests conducted by Chrysler.

Kearns and Law assembled the instrumentation control console for the University of Michigan nuclear reactor.

Kearns & Law, built Wuerth Surgistors for the inventor and shipped them directly to a variety of television manufacturers in lots of 25,000 and 100,000. The Surgistors were installed in TV sets, so the heating elements of vacuum tubes would be initially powered at half rating to extend the life of the vacuum tubes.

For Curtiss-Wright and the U.S. Marine Corps, Kearns & Law designed and built improved power supplies for the radios used by Marines in the Arctic regions. We were told that Marines would die, within as little as forty feet of safe havens, when their radio power supplies would fail in blinding weather. Kearns & Law power supplies passed the environmental tests required.

Kearns & Law designed fixtures and instrumentation to detect, at high production rates, flaws present inside drill bits without touching the bits.

We began in an office on Seven Mile Road in Detroit, expanded to an office with shop in Livonia, and, in a later expansion in 1961, returned to Detroit on Eight Mile Road.

After I accepted the National Science Fellowship in 1961, I traveled to the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor to study each day, and kept up my work at Kearns & Law each day as well. My classmates were majors and lieutenant colonels who established an exam class average of 93 percent. I couldn't do well at both. So, I left my money and facilities in the business with Ken, accepted $1 per hour for all my effort over the previous four years, to be paid by Ken at a small amount each month, and moved my family to Cleveland, Ohio where I began studying in 1962 at Case Institute of Technology.

Upon completing my studies for the Ph.D. degree, I returned to Wayne State University to teach for three more years as I had promised, and until, Mayor Cavanagh said it was my duty to accept the position of Commissioner of the Department of Buildings & Safety Engineering for the City of Detroit.

1953 - 1957
Bendix Aviation Corporation
Research Laboratories Division
Southfield, Michigan

The duties of this position included the supervision and direction of a group of engineers responsible for the design of computer components, servomechanisms, control systems and related devices. Other duties included planning, liaison with other Bendix divisions, establishing test equipment requirements, as well as technical specifications and reports.

In February, 1955, I became engineering group leader responsible for the supervision of the design and development of telemetry conversion equipment for a series of research and development missile flight tests. This activity was one phase of a project which included the research, design, development, and flight analysis of a flight control system Bendix incorporated in the Crossbow Missile, a major weapons system. The telemetry engineering group leaders duties included establishing the control ranges of measurement, the sensitivity to be utilized, in addition to selection of the continuous sub-carrier frequencies and commutation sampling rates to provide satisfactory information capacity and channel frequency response.

The primary function of the telemetry conversion equipment was to convert missile flight control system signal and power supply voltages into proportional d-c signals for inputs to a standard Bendix FM/FM telemetry system which would be suitable for missile flight performance and failure analyses. The secondary function of this equipment was to provide a means of conveying converted system signal and power voltages to the Crossbow missile carrier aircraft prior to missile launch, or, during captive flight, to monitoring and/or recording facilities aboard the missile carrier aircraft.

In January, 1953, I was one of three engineers assigned the development of a production prototype shipboard wind computer as part of a shipboard integrated meteorological system. It was designed to operate under all conditions associated with Navy ships, and was tested on an aircraft carrier operating in the Caribbean Sea. It is capable of supplying information concerning the absolute speed, direction, altitude and time since launch of a balloon being tracked by radar and propelled by winds aloft. It is an analog computer, which performs automatically the trigonometry involved by means of servomechanisms with electronic circuitry. We were responsible for the design, construction, laboratory testing and environmental testing of the computer. A publications engineer and I wrote the operations manual.

Supervisor: Mr. Charles M. Edwards
Head, Computer Department
July, 1952 to
January, 1953
Junior Engineer
Burroughs Research Laboratories
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Initially, I wrote a library research paper concerning the design of read-write heads for magnetic drum memories of digital computers. Later, I performed experiments concerning the application of iron-oxide coatings on these drums.
Supervisor: Mr. Alex Bielski
Electromechanical Department

March, 1952 to
July, 1952
Designer (Draftsman)
Peerless Design Company
Detroit, Michigan

I designed tools & dies and supervised the detailing of each part of the design.

1949 - 1952
National Bureau of Standards
Department of Engineering Mechanics
Washington, D.C.
Under the University of Detroit Cooperative Program

Initially, I was responsible for executing a variety of standardized tests on engineering materials. Later, I participated in the testing of larger and more complex structures, some requiring the use of as many as 200 electrical strain gages. Still later, I designed test equipment and conducted research, under direction, concerning the dynamic strain properties of materials.

Supervisors: William Campbell
& Sam Levy

Sept. 1946 to
Sept. 1947
Detailer (Draftsman)
H & A Tool and Die Company
Detroit, Michigan

Initially, I prepared complete engineering shop drawings for the manufacture of the individual parts of special machinery and dies. Later, my duties included ordering material, suggesting shop scheduling and follow-up for the manufacture of the individual parts of the special machines, and, maintaining simplified payroll and cost accounting records for the firm.
Supervisor: Mr. Albert Burke, Chief Engineer

6/43 to 9/43
6/44 to 9/44
6/45 to 7/45
and other vacation periods thru 1951
Mercury Engineering Company
Detroit, Michigan
Detailer (Draftsman)
I prepared complete engineering shop drawings for the manufacture of the individual parts comprising tools, jigs, fixtures and dies.

Supervisors: John Leutchmann
& Larry Klosterman

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