Patents Assigned to Automated Merchandising Systems, Inc.
  • Patent number: 10068408
    Abstract: A vending machine is provided with an internal product holding assembly where product to be vended is held or stacked within each of a plurality of product holding compartments formed by a plurality of spaced apart stacking walls. Compartment depth is variable, so as to dispense varying length products, by a movable rear wall movably mounted to one side of a stacking wall so as to be incrementally adjustable within the compartment between a plurality of selected fore and aft positions. The stacking walls have a hollow interior housing an adjusting mechanism for incrementally moving the depth controlling rear wall, with the adjusting mechanism being operable from the front of the product holding assembly and retainable at a selected position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2018
    Assignee: Automated Merchandising Systems Inc.
    Inventor: Paul Mason
  • Publication number: 20160240033
    Abstract: A product retrieval mechanism for vending machines that permits collection of varying size products at a first level yet presents such products for collection at a raised height to make retrieval more convenient. The retrieval mechanism utilizes a movable floor within the hopper that movable between a lowered position and a higher position for presenting the product at a higher retrieval point relative to the floor upon opening of the hopper.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 17, 2015
    Publication date: August 18, 2016
    Applicant: AUTOMATED MERCHANDISING SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Kenneth B. Tenney, David Mark Campbell, Michael Vincent Smith, Daniel W. Ahl, SR.
  • Patent number: 9147303
    Abstract: A product retrieval system for vending machines that permits collection of varying size products at a first level yet presents such products for collection at a raised height to make retrieval more convenient. The retrieval system utilizes a rotary hopper that includes an actual bottom as well as a technical or false bottom that does not lower the depth of the rotary hopper in its ability to receive dispensed product on the actual bottom, with the technical bottom presenting the product to a higher retrieval point relative to the floor upon rotation of the rotary hopper to an open condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 29, 2015
    Assignee: Automated Merchandising Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Marcus Loignon, David Campbell
  • Patent number: 8140187
    Abstract: A multi-drawer and doored vending system in which each drawer has one or a plurality of compartments each holding an items to be vended, and each doored compartment contains at least one item for vending. Drawer control is provided by a drawer opening and position control system comprising an array of spaced apart control tabs on each drawer, a drawer lock and release assembly, and a progressively movable drawer position control bar to control drawer opening in conjunction with the control tabs. Each doored compartment also employs a lock and release assembly. A control system is provided to control user interface, to maintain product inventory counts and to control the vending process. This involves verifying the identity of a user seeking to obtain a vended item, verifying any other system or pre-vend requirements, and permits limited access to a drawer and compartment corresponding to an approved vend selection. An item return compartment is also included.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2012
    Assignee: Automated Merchandising Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: David M. Campbell, Marcus A. Loignon, Michael V. Smith, Yaron Bukchin
  • Patent number: 7988015
    Abstract: A vending machine includes at least one width-adjustable storage rack, the storage rack having a fixed wall and a movable wall connected to the fixed wall by at least one connecting link; and an adjustment mechanism constructed and adapted to position the movable wall relative to the fixed wall and to thereby vary an interior width between the fixed and movable walls. Two movable walls can be connected to a single fixed wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2011
    Assignee: Automated Merchandising Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Paul L. Mason, II, David A. Sprankle
  • Patent number: 7742837
    Abstract: For ensuring that a vending machine motor will continue to operate until a product has descended through a vending space or an established time interval has elapsed, an optical beam is established across the vend space through which a product must drop. A change in beam intensity is detected. By preference infra red light is emitted at one focal point of an elliptical reflector, and detected at the other focal point. The light is emitted in pulses in the preferred embodiment, and the optical sensing system has automated calibration and error detecting functions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2010
    Assignee: Automated Merchandising Systems Inc.
    Inventors: James M. Hair, III, Kyriakos P. Spentzos
  • Publication number: 20100106291
    Abstract: A multi-drawer and doored vending system in which each drawer has one or a plurality of compartments each holding an items to be vended, and each doored compartment contains at least one item for vending. Drawer control is provided by a drawer opening and position control system comprising an array of spaced apart control tabs on each drawer, a drawer lock and release assembly, and a progressively movable drawer position control bar to control drawer opening in conjunction with the control tabs. Each doored compartment also employs a lock and release assembly. A control system is provided to control user interface, to maintain product inventory counts and to control the vending process. This involves verifying the identity of a user seeking to obtain a vended item, verifying any other system or pre-vend requirements, and permits limited access to a drawer and compartment corresponding to an approved vend selection.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 23, 2008
    Publication date: April 29, 2010
    Applicant: Automated Merchandising Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: David M. Campbell, Marcus A. Loignon, Michael V. Smith, Yaron Bukchin
  • Publication number: 20090261236
    Abstract: A transparent-front vending machine includes an optical vend-sensing system with an article sensing subsystem arranged athwart a vend space. The article sensing subsystem has two emitter/detector arrays, each having at least one emitter and a plurality of detectors. The emitter/detector arrays are arranged so that at least some electromagnetic radiation emitted by an emitter of the first array can be detected by at least two active detectors of the second array, and at least some electromagnetic radiation emitted by an emitter of the second array can be detected by at least two active detectors of the first array so that articles falling through the vend space will interrupt electromagnetic radiation between an emitter and at least one detector. At least two emitters are active at one time.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 31, 2008
    Publication date: October 22, 2009
    Applicant: Automated Merchandising Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Paul L. Mason, David A. Sprankle
  • Patent number: 7446302
    Abstract: A transparent-front vending machine includes an optical vend-sensing system with an article sensing subsystem arranged athwart a vend space. The article sensing subsystem has two emitter/detector arrays, each having at least one emitter and a plurality of detectors. The emitter/detector arrays are arranged so that at least some electromagnetic radiation emitted by an emitter of the first array can be detected by at least two active detectors of the second array, and at least some electromagnetic radiation emitted by an emitter of the second array can be detected by at least two active detectors of the first array so that articles falling through the vend space will interrupt electromagnetic radiation between an emitter and at least one detector. At least two emitters are active at one time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2008
    Assignee: Automated Merchandising Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul L. Mason, David A. Sprankle
  • Publication number: 20080121648
    Abstract: For ensuring that a vending machine motor will continue to operate until a product has descended through a vending space or an established time interval has elapsed, an optical beam is established across the vend space through which a product must drop. A change in beam intensity is detected. By preference infra red light is emitted at one focal point of an elliptical reflector, and detected at the other focal point. The light is emitted in pulses in the preferred embodiment, and the optical sensing system has automated calibration and error detecting functions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 22, 2008
    Publication date: May 29, 2008
    Applicant: AUTOMATED MERCHANDISING SYSTEMS INC.
    Inventors: James M. Hair, Kyriakos P. Spentzos
  • Patent number: 7343220
    Abstract: For ensuring that a vending machine motor will continue to operate until a product has descended through a vending space or an established time interval has elapsed, an optical beam is established across the vend space through which a product must drop. A change in beam intensity is detected. By preference infra red light is emitted at one focal point of an elliptical reflector, and detected at the other focal point. The light is emitted in pulses in the preferred embodiment, and the optical sensing system has automated calibration and error detecting functions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 11, 2008
    Assignee: Automated Merchandising Systems Inc.
    Inventors: James M. Hair, III, Kyriakos P. Spentzos
  • Patent number: 7246719
    Abstract: A vending machine includes at least one width-adjustable storage rack, the storage rack having a fixed wall and a movable wall connected to the fixed wall by at least one connecting link; and an adjustment mechanism constructed and adapted to position the movable wall relative to the fixed wall and to thereby vary an interior width between the fixed and movable walls. Two movable walls can be connected to a single fixed wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2007
    Assignee: Automated Merchandising Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Paul L. Mason, II, David A. Sprankle
  • Publication number: 20070158358
    Abstract: A vending machine includes at least one width-adjustable storage rack, the storage rack having a fixed wall and a movable wall connected to the fixed wall by at least one connecting link; and an adjustment mechanism constructed and adapted to position the movable wall relative to the fixed wall and to thereby vary an interior width between the fixed and movable walls. Two movable walls can be connected to a single fixed wall.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 27, 2007
    Publication date: July 12, 2007
    Applicant: AUTOMATED MERCHANDISING SYSTEMS INC.
    Inventors: Paul Mason, David Sprankle
  • Publication number: 20070084872
    Abstract: For ensuring that a vending machine motor will continue to operate until a product has descended through a vending space or an established time interval has elapsed, an optical beam is established across the vend space through which a product must drop. A change in beam intensity is detected. By preference infra red light is emitted at one focal point of an elliptical reflector, and detected at the other focal point. The light is emitted in pulses in the preferred embodiment, and the optical sensing system has automated calibration and error detecting functions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 15, 2006
    Publication date: April 19, 2007
    Applicant: AUTOMATED MERCHANDISING SYSTEMS INC.
    Inventors: James Hair, Kyriakos Spentzos
  • Patent number: 7191915
    Abstract: For ensuring that a vending machine motor will continue to operate until a product has descended through a vending space or an established time interval has elapsed, an optical beam is established across the vend space through which a product must drop. A change in beam intensity is detected. By preference infra red light is emitted at one focal point of an elliptical reflector, and detected at the other focal point. The light is emitted in pulses in the preferred embodiment, and the optical sensing system has automated calibration and error detecting functions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2007
    Assignee: Automated Merchandising Systems Inc.
    Inventors: James M. Hair, III, Kyriakos P. Spentzos
  • Publication number: 20060011642
    Abstract: A light curtain device for use in a vending machine which has at least one mechanism arranged for initiating operation upon selection by a customer for vending an article into a vend space through which the article falls into a customer-accessible hopper. The light curtain device has first and second emitter/detector arrays, each comprising at least one emitter and a plurality of detectors, said arrays being positionable and arrangeable within said vending machine so that electromagnetic radiation emitted by said at least one emitter of said first array may be detected by at least some of said plurality of detectors of said second array, and so that electromagnetic radiation emitted by said at least one emitter of said second array may be detected by at least some of said plurality of detectors of said first array, and so that articles falling through the vend space of the vending machine will interrupt electromagnetic radiation between at least one emitter and at least one detector.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 8, 2005
    Publication date: January 19, 2006
    Applicant: Automated Merchandising Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul Mason, David Sprankle
  • Patent number: 6794634
    Abstract: For ensuring that a vending machine motor will continue to operate until a product has descended through a vending space or an established time interval has elapsed, an optical beam is established across the vend space through which a product must drop. A change in beam intensity is detected. By preference infra red light is emitted at one focal point of an elliptical reflector, and detected at the other focal point. The light is emitted in pulses in the preferred embodiment, and the optical sensing system has automated calibration and error detecting functions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2004
    Assignee: Automated Merchandising Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: James M. Hair, III, Kyriakos P. Spentzos
  • Patent number: 6520373
    Abstract: The invention is a snack style clear front merchandiser having a horizontal product column with a front opening leading into a vend space. A product mover pushes a product through the front opening and into the vend space. A retaining device, mounted to the merchandiser near the front opening and positioned in a manner such that a top of the product being vended hits the retaining device during vending, prevents the product top from moving or pitching forward during a vending process. Consequently, the vended product falls freely into the delivery hopper without bridging the vending space. A single retaining device may be used for several columns in a single tray or individual retaining devices may be used for each column. The height of the retaining device can be adjusted as required for the type of product being vended in the columns. The retaining device may be rigidly or rotationally mounted to the merchandiser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2003
    Assignee: Automated Merchandising Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: D. Joseph Neely, Richard A. Pollock
  • Patent number: 6202888
    Abstract: A method and system are provided for performing vend operations on articles selected by a purchaser. Articles to be dispensed are stored in a storage section, and purchased articles are transferred from the storage section to a vend section. A vend mechanism is provided for rapidly moving a given article from a vend-destined section to the vend section. A helical transfer member holds the articles in the storage section and is rotatable in a dispensing direction to transfer the given article from a position adjacent the vend-destined section to the vend-destined section. The helical transfer member is also rotatable in a reverse direction opposite the dispensing direction. A driver is coupled to each helical transfer member, and is actuable to rotate the helical transfer member in either the dispensing direction or the reverse direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2001
    Assignee: Automated Merchandising Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard A. Pollock, Roy S. Steeley, Kyriakos Spentzos
  • Patent number: 6145699
    Abstract: In a packaged article vending machine having a forwardly, projecting motorized helix supported on a horizontally arranged tray in a wide column delimited by side walls which are disposed substantially further apart than the helix is broad in diameter, the helix is prevented from `walking` towards the sidewall towards which it would tend to move as the helix rotates, by securing a chock to the tray so as to tangentially engage at least two turns of the helix during a portion of a 360.degree. rotation of the helix, from externally of the helix, and have its rear end located sufficiently out of the way as to avoid possibly poking contact with from the front lower part of an impounded product package being conveyed forwards to eventually become the leading package, next to be vended.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2000
    Assignee: Automated Merchandising Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Richard A. Pollock