Patents Examined by Thomas Randazzo
  • Patent number: 10503143
    Abstract: Techniques described herein define a protection system for a multi-zone area where mobile drive units operate autonomously. For example, the protection system may receive sensor data in a particular detection space where the mobile drive units and potentially human operators enter and exit around a robotic arm. The sensor data may identify that an object has entered the detection space around the robotic arm. The sensor data may identify the likelihood of a mobile drive unit entering the area as compared to an operator entering the area. When the object is identified as an operator, any movement of the robotic arm may immediately stop. When the object is identified as the mobile drive unit, protection rules meant to protect the operator may be deactivated so that the mobile drive unit may receive inventory from the robotic arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2019
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Dennis Polic
  • Patent number: 10504764
    Abstract: A substrate production, manufacturing, and processing system includes storages with one or more separations that store substrates, loading stations that include robots, opener systems, and a software management system. The storage separations hold first containers that store carriers and the substrates in stacks. Each robot is able to access and move at least one of: the first container, a second container or carrier, and one of the substrates. The opener systems open the first containers such that the carriers and the substrates are able to be accessed by the robots in the loading station, and the software management system assigns at least one category to each stack of carriers and the substrates. The first containers store the substrates with a higher density than the second container or carrier, and the opener systems each include effectors that each hold an individual one of the substrates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2019
    Assignee: MURATA MACHINERY, LTD.
    Inventors: Gerhard Dovids, Yves Fenner, John Fiddes, Christian Wohanka, Bernd Rahrbach
  • Patent number: 10497050
    Abstract: A system method, and device to provide a delivery service that is convenient for clients and deliverers where information for a pickup/delivery item is input using client terminals, and is registered in databases on the server for each item. For new items registered in the databases, the server receives contract applications for items in which the area of the client's address corresponds to a service area from deliverer terminals that have accessed the databases, registers the applications in the databases, and notifies the client terminal associated with a new item for which applications are being received about the applications. The server receives notification of which of the deliverers that submitted applications has been approved from the client terminal that received notification of the applications, and notifies the terminal of the approved deliverer of this fact, and the approved deliverer picks up/delivers the cargo associated with the new item.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2019
    Assignee: WORLD FORCE INTERNATIONAL CO. LTD.
    Inventor: Osamu Tagami
  • Patent number: 10494239
    Abstract: The present invention concerns an automated storage system and remotely operated vehicle or robot for picking up storage bins from a storage system. The inventive vehicle or robot comprises a vehicle body, which vehicle body further comprises a first section for storing vehicle driving means and a second section for receiving any storage bin stored in a storage column within the storage system, a vehicle lifting device which is at least indirectly connected to the vehicle body in order to lift the storage bin into the second section, a first set of vehicle rolling means connected to the vehicle body in order to allow movement of the vehicle along a first direction (X) within the storage system during use and a second set of vehicle rolling means connected to the vehicle body in order to allow movement of the vehicle along a second direction (Y) in the storage system during use. The second direction (Y) is oriented perpendicular to the first direction (X).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2019
    Assignee: Autostore Technology AS
    Inventor: Ingvar Hognaland
  • Patent number: 10492987
    Abstract: A method includes performing, by a processor: providing a database that contains records corresponding to a plurality of drug product packaging systems, the records in the database being accessible through a common database management system, receiving a packaging order for at least one drug product, evaluating at least one criterion for fulfilling the packaging order, and identifying one of the plurality of drug product packaging systems to package the at least one drug product based on evaluating the at least one criterion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2019
    Assignee: Parata Systems, LLC
    Inventors: Collin D. Blalock, Brian Cristobal, Gary M. Owen, Mark Longley
  • Patent number: 10482120
    Abstract: In certain embodiments, a system may include an interface configured to couple to a network, at least one optical sensor configured to capture optical data associated with packaging of a waste product, and a processor coupled to the interface and to the at least one optical sensor. The processor may be configured to search at least one data source to automatically identify the waste product based on the optical data and, when the waste product is not automatically identified based on its packaging, send an alert including the optical data to a social media website through the network to solicit identifying information from one or more subscribers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2019
    Assignee: Waste Repurposing International, Inc.
    Inventor: Christopher Barnard Ripley
  • Patent number: 10479612
    Abstract: Technology for optimizing carton induction in an order fulfillment picking system is described. In an example embodiment, a method, implemented using one or more computing devices, may include receiving scan data reflecting status of cartons being conveyed by a conveying system, receiving confirmatory input reflecting pick completion for a subset of the cartons being conveyed by the conveying system, and generating an estimated time of arrival for one or more cartons not yet inducted into the conveying system based on the scan data and the confirmatory input. The method may further include generating a load forecast based on the estimated time of arrival and inducting one or more of the one or more cartons into the conveying system based on the load forecast.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2019
    Assignee: Staples, Inc.
    Inventors: Vikranth Gopalakrishnan, Daniel Jarvis, Rodney Gallaway, Michael Bhaskaran
  • Patent number: 10479613
    Abstract: A transport system includes a track, overhead transport vehicles, and a controller. The controller provides a traveling command to travel to a destination point, to a first overhead transport vehicle that is able to receive a transport command to acquire a FOUP from a station and that is less than a first distance from the station. When a second of the overhead transport vehicles that is able to receive the transport command and is less than the first distance from the station, is detected before providing the transport command to the overhead first transport vehicle, the controller provides the traveling command to the second overhead transport vehicle. Then, the controller provides the transport command to the one of the first and second overhead transport vehicles that first passes through the destination point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2019
    Assignee: MURATA MACHINERY, LTD.
    Inventor: Kazumi Harasaki
  • Patent number: 10474140
    Abstract: A remotely operated vehicle suitable for picking up storage bins from an underlying storage system. The vehicle includes driving means situated at or at least partly within rolling means of the vehicle, providing rolling set specific driving force to the vehicle in either the first direction or the second direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2019
    Assignee: Autostore Technology AS
    Inventor: Ingvar Hognaland
  • Patent number: 10474141
    Abstract: A system and method for controlling movement of transporting devices arranged to transport containers stored in stacks arranged in a facility having pathways arranged in a grid-like structure above the stacks, the transporting devices being configured to operate on the grid-like structure. A movement optimization unit is configured to determine a route of a transporting device from one location on a grid-like structure to another location on the grid-like structure for each transporting device. A reservation unit is configured to reserve a path on the grid-like structure for each transporting device based on the determined route. A clearance unit is configured to provide clearance for each transporting device to traverse a portion of the reserved path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2019
    Assignee: OCADO INNOVATION LIMITED
    Inventors: Robert Stadie, Matthew Whelan, Christopher Brett
  • Patent number: 10464212
    Abstract: Described herein is an inventory management system, and corresponding methods, in which robotic units are configured to execute at least a portion of a set of instructions in an automated manner. During execution of the set of instructions, robotic units may encounter tasks that they are unable to complete in an automated manner. The robotic units, upon encountering these tasks, may submit a request for manual operation to a control unit. In some embodiments, the request may be assigned to an available operator, which may take over control of the robotic unit using a remote manipulation device, to complete the task manually. Once the task has been completed manually, automated execution of the instructions may be resumed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2019
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Bhaskar Gupta, Martin Peter Aalund, Jeetendra G. Mirchandani
  • Patent number: 10457483
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided for storing and retrieving items to/from a plurality of destinations areas. A storage and retrieval system stores and retrieves items as needed and transfer items from storage locations to transfer locations. A separate picking system conveys the items from the transfer locations to a picking station or an input out station so that the item can be selected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2019
    Assignee: OPEX CORPORATION
    Inventor: Robert R. DeWitt
  • Patent number: 10460431
    Abstract: According to one embodiment, a method of identifying a part of a conveyance system is provided. The method comprising: capturing an image of a part of a conveyance system using a camera; classifying the part of the conveyance system using supervised learning; and displaying a classification of the part of the part on a mobile computing device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2019
    Assignee: OTIS ELEVATOR COMPANY
    Inventors: Luca F. Bertuccelli, Kishore K. Reddy, Kin Gwn Lore
  • Patent number: 10450139
    Abstract: An order fulfillment system stores any number of items in an item population. The item population includes any number of unique items. The order fulfillment system includes an input system, a storage system, and a packing system. The input system receives items for the population, prepares the received items for storage, and translates the items to the storage system. The storage system stores items in unique storage locations until the items are ordered by a customer of the order fulfillment system. The packing system prepares items orders, packages the items of the order, and sends the orders to the customer which ordered the items. The order fulfillment system also includes storage and fulfillment policies for determining storage locations and packing stations, respectively. Operators of the order fulfillment system can perform actions in the order fulfillment system to facilitate storing and fulfilling orders.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2019
    Assignee: THREDUP INC.
    Inventors: John Friedl, John Voris, Matthew Wolfe, Michael Santhanam, Vivek Daver, Kerrie Yee
  • Patent number: 10450145
    Abstract: Embodiments provide an electric lug loader system. An electric lug loader may include a shaft assembly rotatably mounted to a frame that extends across a flow path. The shaft assembly may have shafts arranged radially around, and parallel to, the rotational axis of the shaft assembly, clamp members arranged along each of the shafts, support members arranged radially around the rotational axis and across the flow path, and electric drives coupled to the shafts. Conveyors may be coupled with the frame and spaced apart across the flow path upstream and/or downstream of the shaft assembly. Additional drives may be coupled with the shaft assembly and the conveyors. A controller may be configured to synchronize the drives to engage successive workpieces between the clamp members and the support members and deposit the workpieces onto a lugged conveyor. Other embodiments provide related methods and systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2019
    Assignee: USNR, LC
    Inventors: Larry Petryshen, James Jackson, David Howes, Thomas Congdon
  • Patent number: 10449572
    Abstract: In certain embodiments, a system includes at least one optical sensor configured to capture one or more optical data associated with packaging of a waste product and a processor coupled to the at least one optical sensor. The processor may be configured to determine information about the waste product based on the optical data and send a signal corresponding to the information to one of a destination device and a controller based on the determined information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2019
    Assignee: Waste Repurposing International, Inc.
    Inventor: Christopher Barnard Ripley
  • Patent number: 10442621
    Abstract: A racking system and components are provided in which multiple storage positions are provided for individual storage boxes and automated guided vehicles are present to carry out automated placement, relocation and retrieval of boxes from storage positions in which they are located. The racking system has horizontally extending storage layers in each of which multiple storage positions are located and alternating vertically juxtaposed transfer layers in which automated guided vehicles are movable in at least two directions that are at right angles to each other to place, relocate and retrieve boxes to and from storage positions by vertical movement of the boxes into and out of storage positions in storage layers located above or below a transfer layer. The storage positions have associated with them storage guides for guiding boxes into and out of the storage positions and support arrangements for supporting the boxes in their storage positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2019
    Assignee: Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
    Inventors: Adriane Michele Bestic, Ashley Mark Naude, Shuldham Shaun Peard, Christopher John Sephton
  • Patent number: 10442633
    Abstract: A robot system including a conveying device; a robot that processes an object being conveyed; a first and second supply unit that supply the object onto the conveying device; a movement amount detection unit that successively detects an amount of movement of the object supplied by the first supply unit; a single vision sensor that successively acquires visual information of the object being conveyed; an object detection unit that processes the acquired visual information to detect position and orientation of the object; an interval detection unit that detects an interval between objects on the conveying device; a control unit that controls the robot based on the amount of movement and the position and orientation; and a production management unit that causes the second supply unit to supply the object at a position of the interval.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2019
    Assignee: FANUC CORPORATION
    Inventor: Masafumi Ooba
  • Patent number: 10442670
    Abstract: A restaurant system includes a work area for cooking and preparing food or beverages and at least one hospitality area; the work area and the hospitality area are connected by means of at least one conveying system designed to convey food from the work area to the hospitality area in dedicated conveying devices; the conveying system having rails, in particular sliding rails, preferably sliding rails having a sliding surface, or tracks or roller conveyors or tubes for conveying the food and/or beverages; in the dedicated conveying device, the food is provided with at least one unique electronically readable identifier created in the work area, and the conveying system includes at least one distribution section which is located downstream of the work area and in which the food is conveyed on the conveying devices onto an additional conveying system by means of an automatic distribution device in a targeted manner on the basis of the identifier in order for the food to be conveyed from the distribution section t
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2019
    Assignee: ROLLERCOASTERRESTAURANT GMBH & CO. KG
    Inventor: Michael Mack
  • Patent number: 10435255
    Abstract: Exemplary systems and methods are disclosed for stacking containers in an automated storage and retrieval system. The system includes a plurality of storage stacks establishing a grid of storage locations and a plurality of buffering stacks. Each buffering stack having a hand-over location for holding containers near a surface of a grid and at least one intermediate holding location for holding the containers to be transported to processing stations or storage locations within the grid. An overhead load handler is configured to lift or lower containers from/to the top of a storage stack or the hand-over location of a buffering stack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2019
    Assignee: OCADO INNOVATION LIMITED
    Inventor: Lars Sverker Ture Lindbo