Patents Assigned to Kiva Systems, Inc.
  • Publication number: 20130302132
    Abstract: A mobile drive unit is provided for transporting an inventory holder. The mobile drive unit is operable to dock with the inventory holder, move the inventory holder in a first translational direction, and while docked with the inventory holder, selectively rotate the inventory holder while continuing to move in the first translational direction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 14, 2012
    Publication date: November 14, 2013
    Applicant: Kiva Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Raffaello D'Andrea
  • Publication number: 20130173049
    Abstract: A system includes a first mobile drive unit and a second mobile drive unit. The system also includes a first inventory holder, a second inventory holder, and a third inventory holder. An inventory station includes a first location and a second location and the inventory station operable to receive a first inventory item from the first inventory holder at the first location. The first inventory holder transported by the first mobile drive unit. The inventory station also operable to receive a second inventory item from the second inventory holder at the first location. The second inventory holder transported by the second mobile drive unit. The inventory station also operable to receive a third inventory item from the third inventory holder at the second location. The third inventory holder is fixed at the second location while the inventory station receives the first and second inventory item.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 4, 2012
    Publication date: July 4, 2013
    Applicant: Kiva Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel T. Brunner, Michael C. Mountz, Michael T. Barbehenn, Peter R. Wurman, William J. Watt, Eryk B. Nice
  • Publication number: 20130103552
    Abstract: A method for inventory management includes deploying a first mobile drive unit having first dimensions and deploying a second mobile drive unit having second dimensions, the first and second dimensions being different. The first and second mobile drive units are operable to transport inventory items to a plurality of inventory stations in the same workspace.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 19, 2011
    Publication date: April 25, 2013
    Applicant: Kiva Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew E. Hoffman, Michael C. Mountz, Michael T. Barbehenn, James R. Allard, Matthew E. Kimmel, Fabrizio Santini, Michael H. Decker, Raffaello D'Andrea, Peter R. Wurman
  • Publication number: 20130054005
    Abstract: A method for managing an inventory system includes receiving an operation request that identifies an inventory item and selecting, from a plurality of workstations, a workstation at which to fulfill the operation request. The method also includes moving an inventory holder storing the identified inventory item to the selected workstation and moving a supply holder storing a supply item associated with the received operation request to the selected workstation. The method additionally includes fulfilling the operation request, at least in part, at the workstation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 24, 2011
    Publication date: February 28, 2013
    Applicant: Kiva Systems, Inc
    Inventors: Rob Stevens, William J. Watt, Timothy Bragg, Nicholas Cravalho
  • Patent number: 8280546
    Abstract: A system for transporting inventory items includes an inventory holder capable of storing inventory items and a mobile drive unit. The mobile drive unit is capable of moving to a first point with the inventory holder at least one of coupled to and supported by the mobile drive unit. The mobile drive unit is additionally capable of determining a location of the inventory holder and calculating a difference between the location of the inventory holder and the first point. The mobile drive unit is then capable of determining whether the difference is greater than a predetermined tolerance. In response to determining that the difference is greater than the predetermined tolerance, the mobile drive unit is also capable of moving to a second point based on the location of the inventory holder, docking with the inventory holder, and moving the mobile drive unit and the inventory holder to the first point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2012
    Assignee: Kiva Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Raffaello D'Andrea, Peter K. Mansfield, Michael C. Mountz, Dennis Polle, Patrick R. Dingle
  • Patent number: 8280547
    Abstract: A system for transporting inventory items includes an inventory holder capable of storing inventory items and a mobile drive unit. The mobile drive unit is capable of moving to a first point with the inventory holder at least one of coupled to and supported by the mobile drive unit. The mobile drive unit is additionally capable of determining a location of the inventory holder and calculating a difference between the location of the inventory holder and the first point. The mobile drive unit is then capable of determining whether the difference is greater than a predetermined tolerance. In response to determining that the difference is greater than the predetermined tolerance, the mobile drive unit is also capable of moving to a second point based on the location of the inventory holder, docking with the inventory holder, and moving the mobile drive unit and the inventory holder to the first point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2012
    Assignee: Kiva Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Raffaello D'Andrea, Peter K. Mansfield, Michael C. Mountz, Dennis Polic, Patrick R. Dingle
  • Patent number: 8265873
    Abstract: A method for moving a mobile drive unit within a workspace includes receiving a path. The path includes at least an initial segment and one or more additional segments. The initial segment includes a portion of the path adjacent to the first point; and at least one of the additional segments includes a portion of the path adjacent to the second point. The method further includes storing the path, reserving the initial segment of the path, and moving away from the first point along the initial segment. After initiating movement along the initial segment, the method includes reserving each of the additional segments of the path and moving toward the second point along each of the additional segments while that segment is reserved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2012
    Assignee: Kiva Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Raffaello D'Andrea, Peter R. Wurman, Michael T. Barbehenn, Andrew E. Hoffman, Michael C. Mountz
  • Patent number: 8239291
    Abstract: A method for communicating information pertaining to a task includes receiving wirelessly first status information. The first status information specifies a first status associated with a task. The method also includes indicating the first status to a user and receiving input from the user indicating a second status associated with the task. Additionally, the method includes transmitting wirelessly second status information to a remote device in response to receiving the input from the user. The second status information specifies the second status.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: Kiva Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew E. Hoffman, Sean H. Breheny, Matthew D. Verminski, Michael C. Mountz
  • Patent number: 8220710
    Abstract: A method for transporting inventory items includes determining an assignment state of a mobile drive unit. The method also includes selecting a location for the mobile drive unit based on the assignment state of the mobile drive unit, in response to determining that the mobile drive unit is not currently completing a task. The method further includes transmitting information to the mobile drive unit identifying the selected location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2012
    Assignee: Kiva Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew E. Hoffman, Michael T. Barbehenn, Michael C. Mountz, Peter R. Wurman, Raffaello D'Andrea
  • Publication number: 20120143427
    Abstract: A method for transporting inventory items includes determining an assignment state of a mobile drive unit. The method also includes selecting a location for the mobile drive unit based on the assignment state of the mobile drive unit, in response to determining that the mobile drive unit is not currently completing a task. The method further includes transmitting information to the mobile drive unit identifying the selected location.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 23, 2012
    Publication date: June 7, 2012
    Applicant: Kiva Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew E. Hoffman, Michael T. Barbehenn, Michael C. Mountz, Peter R. Wurman, Raffaello D'Andrea
  • Patent number: 8170711
    Abstract: A system for transporting inventory items includes an inventory holder capable of storing inventory items and a mobile drive unit. The mobile drive unit is capable of moving to a first point with the inventory holder at least one of coupled to and supported by the mobile drive unit. The mobile drive unit is additionally capable of determining a location of the inventory holder and calculating a difference between the location of the inventory holder and the first point. The mobile drive unit is then capable of determining whether the difference is greater than a predetermined tolerance. In response to determining that the difference is greater than the predetermined tolerance, the mobile drive unit is also capable of moving to a second point based on the location of the inventory holder, docking with the inventory holder, and moving the mobile drive unit and the inventory holder to the first point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2012
    Assignee: Kiva Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Raffaello D'Andrea, Peter K. Mansfield, Michael C. Mountz, Dennis Polic, Patrick R. Dingle
  • Publication number: 20120041677
    Abstract: A method for moving a mobile drive unit within a workspace includes receiving a path. The path includes at least an initial segment and one or more additional segments. The initial segment includes a portion of the path adjacent to the first point; and at least one of the additional segments includes a portion of the path adjacent to the second point. The method further includes storing the path, reserving the initial segment of the path, and moving away from the first point along the initial segment. After initiating movement along the initial segment, the method includes reserving each of the additional segments of the path and moving toward the second point along each of the additional segments while that segment is reserved.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 26, 2011
    Publication date: February 16, 2012
    Applicant: Kiva Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Raffaello D'Andrea, Peter R. Wurman, Michael T. Barbehenn, Andrew E. Hoffman, Michael C. Mountz
  • Patent number: 8068978
    Abstract: A method for moving a mobile drive unit within a workspace includes receiving a path. The path includes at least an initial segment and one or more additional segments. The initial segment includes a portion of the path adjacent to the first point; and at least one of the additional segments includes a portion of the path adjacent to the second point. The method further includes storing the path, reserving the initial segment of the path, and moving away from the first point along the initial segment. After initiating movement along the initial segment, the method includes reserving each of the additional segments of the path and moving toward the second point along each of the additional segments while that segment is reserved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2011
    Assignee: Kiva Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Raffaello D'Andrea, Peter R. Wurman, Michael T. Barbehenn, Andrew E. Hoffman, Michael C. Mountz
  • Publication number: 20110153063
    Abstract: A method for processing waste in a material handling system includes detecting an occurrence of a trigger event associated with a waste holder located at a first location and, in response to detecting the trigger event, moving a mobile drive unit to the first location. The method also includes loading waste material onto the mobile drive unit at the first location and transporting the waste material to a waste station using the mobile drive unit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 23, 2010
    Publication date: June 23, 2011
    Applicant: Kiva Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Peter R. Wurman, Michael Barbehenn, Aron Klair Insinga, Eric Leventhal Arthen, Joshua B. Chaitin-Pollak
  • Publication number: 20110130954
    Abstract: A method for moving one or more mobile drive units within a workspace includes receiving, from a first mobile drive unit, a reservation request requesting use of a first path segment to move in a first direction. The method further includes determining that a second mobile drive unit is currently located on the first path segment and determining whether the second mobile drive unit is moving in the first direction. Additionally, the method includes transmitting a reservation response indicating that the reservation request is denied, in response to determining that the second mobile drive unit is not moving in the first direction. The method also includes transmitting a reservation response indicating that the reservation request is granted, in response to determining that the second mobile drive unit is moving in the first direction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 7, 2011
    Publication date: June 2, 2011
    Applicant: Kiva Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Raffaello D'Andrea, Peter R. Wurman, Michael T. Barbehenn, Andrew E. Hoffman, Michael C. Mountz
  • Publication number: 20110130866
    Abstract: A system for transporting inventory items includes an inventory holder capable of storing inventory items and a mobile drive unit. The mobile drive unit is capable of moving to a first point with the inventory holder at least one of coupled to and supported by the mobile drive unit. The mobile drive unit is additionally capable of determining a location of the inventory holder and calculating a difference between the location of the inventory holder and the first point. The mobile drive unit is then capable of determining whether the difference is greater than a predetermined tolerance. In response to determining that the difference is greater than the predetermined tolerance, the mobile drive unit is also capable of moving to a second point based on the location of the inventory holder, docking with the inventory holder, and moving the mobile drive unit and the inventory holder to the first point.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 28, 2011
    Publication date: June 2, 2011
    Applicant: Kiva Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Raffaello D'Andrea, Peter K. Mansfield, Michael C. Mountz, Dennis Polic, Patrick R. Dingle
  • Publication number: 20110125312
    Abstract: A system for transporting inventory items includes an inventory holder capable of storing inventory items and a mobile drive unit. The mobile drive unit is capable of moving to a first point with the inventory holder at least one of coupled to and supported by the mobile drive unit. The mobile drive unit is additionally capable of determining a location of the inventory holder and calculating a difference between the location of the inventory holder and the first point. The mobile drive unit is then capable of determining whether the difference is greater than a predetermined tolerance. In response to determining that the difference is greater than the predetermined tolerance, the mobile drive unit is also capable of moving to a second point based on the location of the inventory holder, docking with the inventory holder, and moving the mobile drive unit and the inventory holder to the first point.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 28, 2011
    Publication date: May 26, 2011
    Applicant: Kiva Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Raffaello D'Andrea, Peter K. Mansfield, Michael C. Mountz, Dennis Polic, Patrick R. Dingle
  • Publication number: 20110112758
    Abstract: A method for moving a mobile drive unit within a workspace includes receiving a path. The path includes at least an initial segment and one or more additional segments. The initial segment includes a portion of the path adjacent to the first point; and at least one of the additional segments includes a portion of the path adjacent to the second point. The method further includes storing the path, reserving the initial segment of the path, and moving away from the first point along the initial segment. After initiating movement along the initial segment, the method includes reserving each of the additional segments of the path and moving toward the second point along each of the additional segments while that segment is reserved.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 17, 2011
    Publication date: May 12, 2011
    Applicant: Kiva Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Raffaello D'Andrea, Peter R. Wurman, Michael T. Barbehenn, Andrew E. Hoffman, Michael C. Mountz
  • Publication number: 20110103924
    Abstract: A method for unloading inventory items includes storing an inventory item on an inventory holder and moving the inventory holder toward an unloading station with a mobile drive unit. Additionally, the method includes moving the inventory holder past a barrier of the unloading station. The method further includes preventing the inventory item from moving past the barrier as the mobile drive unit moves the inventory holder past the barrier.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 30, 2009
    Publication date: May 5, 2011
    Applicant: Kiva Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: William James Watt, Timothy Bragg, Andrew Stubbs, Matthew D. Verminski, John P. Dugan
  • Patent number: 7920962
    Abstract: A method for moving one or more mobile drive units within a workspace includes receiving, from a first mobile drive unit, a reservation request requesting use of a first path segment to move in a first direction. The method further includes determining that a second mobile drive unit is currently located on the first path segment and determining whether the second mobile drive unit is moving in the first direction. Additionally, the method includes transmitting a reservation response indicating that the reservation request is denied, in response to determining that the second mobile drive unit is not moving in the first direction. The method also includes transmitting a reservation response indicating that the reservation request is granted, in response to determining that the second mobile drive unit is moving in the first direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2011
    Assignee: Kiva Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Raffaello D'Andrea, Peter R. Wurman, Michael T. Barbehenn, Andrew E. Hoffman, Michael C. Mountz