Abstract: The present invention relates to a method and apparatus for providing a multi-panel cover component for a multi-panel body component nested within the cover component. The cover component is moveable with respect to the body component, so as to provide an image or functional change in the component being presented to a user of the apparatus, when the user moves the cover component, so as to cover or uncover the body component.
Abstract: A parachute-like safety device for use with an exercise resistance band. The parachute-like device can attach to the ends of the band to act as handles, and furthermore, such a device can be used at the center portion of a typical exercise resistance band. The benefit of either use, is that in the event of the accidental release (snap back) of any part of the device, the parachute-like device will “catch-air” and function as an air-brake as it is forced to rapidly move through the air, so as to slow down movement of the resistance band and therefore diminish or prevent injury caused by the snap-back effect.
Abstract: An elastic resistance band for use in an exercise device. The resistance band comprising a center portion having opposed ends and having a shape and comprised of a material which presents a substantial friction against air, so to create a wind resistance effect which slows down movement of the center portion when the center portion is forced to move through air, and an elastic band portion attached to each of the opposed ends of the center portion. The elastic band portions having at their free ends means for attaching the elastic resistance band to an exercise device.
Abstract: A vending machine apparatus comprising a housing defining an internal cavity and an article storage compartment positioned inside the cavity. An air barrier arrangement having a plurality of moveable barriers separates the article storage compartment from an article extracting device.
Abstract: A vending machine apparatus includes a housing which defines an internal cavity and an article storage area where predetermined groups of stored articles are located at predetermined positions within the housing. An article retrieval device associated with the housing moves articles to be vended from the storage area to a dispensing area. A user interface and control apparatus allows a user of the dispensing apparatus to initiate an article dispensing operation, and generates control signals for causing controlled movement of the article retrieval device so that a user selected article is retrieved from a predetermined location in the article storage area and moved to the dispensing area. The user interface and control apparatus includes a memory for storing therein at least two different groups of position data, each group of position data corresponding to the positions of a plurality of different article storage locations in the article storage area.
Abstract: A body adapter for a stringed musical instrument, comprising: a bottom portion and a varying thickness perimeter sidewall portion, where a space bounded by the bottom portion and an inside portion of the perimeter sidewall portion, forms a receiving compartment. The receiving compartment has a shape adapted to releasably receive the body of a stringed musical instrument and thereby change the shape of the instrument as it is held by a user for playing, from that of the outside shape of the musical instrument, to the outside shape of the body adapter.
Abstract: A monitoring system for developing information data, for use in association with an opening that provides access for removal by a customer of articles stored in an article storage area. In one embodiment, the monitoring system includes a beam forming device adapted to be arranged about the perimeter of the opening so as to form at least one radiation beam that spans the opening. The radiation beam has a position with respect to the opening that is sufficient to detect manual removal by the customer of one or more of the articles from inside the article storage area, by the article and hand of the customer causing a temporary blockage of at least a portion of the radiation beam as the article and hand of the customer pass through the opening. A processing circuit coupled to the beam forming device senses the blockage of the radiation beam, and in response to the sensing, develops the information data.
Abstract: In accordance with one aspect of the invention, a material, such as a plastic film, is used to separate independent food elements. The independent food elements and the separation material are packaged together using a unifying outer package. At a point in time when the customer decides to eat the food, the outer package is opened and the film that separates the different food elements is removed, either manually or automatically. This marks the first point in time that the separate elements come into contact with each other. Therefore, the food product is maintained at the highest level of integrity until the time of usage by the customer. Methods and a machine for layering the contents of the packages so as to form a completed assembly for the packaged elements is also described.
Abstract: A machine for vending articles, the machine including a housing, a storage area disposed within the housing and having a thermal barrier which separates the storage area from the remainder of the interior of the housing, a dispensing area having an access port disposed within the housing which allows a user of the machine to retrieve a dispensed article, a vertically oriented opening in the thermal barrier of the storage area, the opening dimensioned for allowing articles stored in the storage area to pass from the storage area to the dispensing area, and an article retrieval device nominally located in the storage area for moving articles from the storage area to the dispensing area via said opening. A door aligned with the opening is displaceable in response to movement of articles toward the opening by the article retrieval device.
Abstract: A control device for controlling a display of a computer system for use with a video game includes a coordinate control unit for providing information related to a vertical and horizontal tilt of the control device, a mouse control unit for inputting conventional mouse input information, a game control unit for inputting game control information and a controller for processing the information provided by the coordinate control unit, mouse control unit and game control unit. The vertical and horizontal point of view of the user in the video game and/or the vertical and horizontal position of a cursor on the display is determined based on the information related to the vertical and horizontal tilt of the control device. The control device is preferably shaped like a firearm to enhance the realism of the video game, but may be shaped like a conventional game pad.
Abstract: A vending machine apparatus comprising a housing defining an internal cavity and an article storage compartment positioned inside the cavity. The article storage compartment may have a cooling unit associated therewith for cooling the article storage compartment. The article storage compartment is subdivided into a plurality of article storage sub-compartments, each sub-compartment having an opening at a dispensing end thereof for passage therethrough during a dispensing operation of articles stored therein. An air barrier arrangement is positioned so as to be in common with the dispensing end of a plurality of said sub-compartments, for separating the interior of the sub-compartments from the remainder of the interior of the internal cavity, the air barrier arrangement having flaps that operate individually with respective ones of said sub-compartments, so as to allow articles stored in the sub-compartments to pass therethrough during the dispensing operation.
Abstract: The present invention relates to a method and apparatus for providing an image in conjunction with a protective cover panel for a device, which device includes a component which can benefit from protection by the cover panel. The cover panel is moveable with respect to the component so as to provide an image change in an area positioned adjacent the cover panel when a user of the device moves the cover panel so as to uncover the component.
Abstract: An article storage container for use in an article handler which uses a suction-type gripping device. The container comprises a bin having wall portions and a bottom portion, for storing in a columnar manner, articles to be retrieved by the gripping device. The gripping device enters a dispensing end of the bin which is opposite the bottom portion of the bin. An airflow path providing device at the bottom portion of the bin prevents the gripping device from developing enough suction force to grip to the bottom of the bin.
Abstract: A method and apparatus relating to the renting, leasing and/or loaning of electronic equipment operable and/or controllable by a computer, wherein one entity not in physical possession and/or control of the equipment desires control over another entity which has physical possession and/or control of the equipment. Such equipment may comprise a washing machine, medical, office or industrial equipment, a vending machine, etc. A central computer system includes software which enables management and execution of financial transactions between the entities, such as debiting or crediting of accounts held by these or other entities, or creating an invoice for one entity to present to another entity. Information used in making these financial transactions can be determined by analysis of information which may be communicated to the central computer system from at least one other source. Such source may include the control system of the controlled equipment, e.g.
Abstract: An article handling apparatus having an article storage area (215) includes a movable storage structure (219). The movable storage structure (219) has a bin segment guidance structure to form a plurality of axially aligned article storage columns (216). The guidance structure includes a receiving device providing individual coupling to article storage bin segments (1202) so as to allow grouping of bin segments into the plurality of aligned article storage columns.
June 13, 2003
Date of Patent:
February 26, 2008
Munroe Chirnomas, David K. Giegerich, Raymond B. Leski
Abstract: A multi-exercise rotary device, comprising: at least one elongate body-supported member, the body-supported member having a first end adapted to be supported by the body of the user, and a second end opposite the first end, at least one rotating member having a longitudinal axis that is at least semi-rigid, and which axis has a weight-biased distribution toward a distal end thereof; and a rotary mechanism for coupling the rotating member to a point on the body-supported member which is near the second end thereof. The rotary mechanism allows rotational movement of the rotating member about the longitudinal axis of the body-supported member.