Patents Examined by Yolanda Cumbess
  • Patent number: 9928474
    Abstract: A mobile base is provided that travels through delivery areas and utilizes associated transportation units (e.g., automated aerial vehicles) for delivering items from the mobile base to user specified delivery locations. The transportation units may be carried on the mobile base, or may be stationed in specific geographic areas, and may travel back and forth to the mobile base when making deliveries. The mobile base may include an automatic storage and retrieval system for automatically presenting items at an extraction point (e.g., on the roof of the mobile base), where items may be engaged by transportation units for delivery.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Ethan Zane Evans, Atishkumar Kalyan
  • Patent number: 9908696
    Abstract: Example pallet-conveyor systems may include a conveyor system configured with a delivery track arranged to move pallets to a delivery area, a recirculation loop, and a diverter mechanism. The system may include a computing system that selects an item for the recirculation loop based on future demand and causes a robotic device to maintain pallets of the selected item in the recirculation loop. The computing system may further receive an item request and determine that a requested item is available from the recirculation loop and responsively cause the diverter mechanism to divert the requested item from the recirculation loop to the delivery track. The computing system may also cause robotic devices to obtain and load pallets of remaining requested items onto the conveyer system for the delivery area, and cause pickers to remove one or more items from pallets at the delivery area in order to fulfill the item request.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2018
    Assignee: X Development LLC
    Inventor: John Zevenbergen
  • Patent number: 9911453
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present invention provide a drive storage system, method, and computer program process for automatically replacing drives. In one embodiment, one or more computer processors receive a request for a new drive. One or more computer processors direct an exchange robot to obtain the new drive from a drive repository and to proceed to a location of a used drive. One or more computer processors then direct the exchange robot to remove the used drive from the location and to insert the new drive into the location of the used drive.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2018
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Uwe Fiebrich-Kandler, Frank Krick, Thorsten Muehge, Erik Rueger
  • Patent number: 9902404
    Abstract: When transporting an article between a transport target location that belongs to, located along, or associated with, a first travel path in which actuating electricity is supplied to transport vehicles and a transport target location that belongs to, located along, or associated with, a second travel path in which actuating electricity is not supplied to transport vehicles, a managing member manages traveling of a first transport vehicle to cause the first transport vehicle to travel only along a first travel path and manages traveling of a second transport vehicle to cause the second transport vehicle to travel along both a first travel path and a second travel path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2018
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Yoshinari Wada
  • Patent number: 9862543
    Abstract: An autonomous transport robot for transporting a payload, the autonomous transport robot includes a payload bed having at least one reference datum surface and at least one payload justification device, the at least one payload justification device being configured to position a payload on the payload bed in substantial contact with the at least one reference datum surface to place the payload in a predetermined position on the payload bed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Assignee: Symbiotic, LLC
    Inventors: Stephen C. Toebes, Robert Sullivan, Forrest Buzan
  • Patent number: 9862096
    Abstract: Automated dynamic manufacturing systems may provide for alignment of multiple components with respect to one another, such as an apparatus, a robot, and a supply of parts. The alignment may initially be performed roughly, using a global metrology device configured to track the apparatus, robot, and supply of parts, each of which may be movable with respect to the others, such as by being positioned on a respective automated guided vehicle. Alignment may then be performed to closer tolerances using a local metrology device coupled to the robot and configured to accurately position an end effector, such that the end effector may perform a manufacturing task on the apparatus, such as a pick-and-place process involving transporting an individual part from the supply of parts, transferring it to the apparatus, and coupling it thereto. Such systems and methods may be used to perform manufacturing processes on large apparatus, such as aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Lorrie Sivich, Thomas K. Williams, Jim E. Gardiner, Farshad Forouhar
  • Patent number: 9862555
    Abstract: A system for providing automatic feedback and adjusting transmittal pulling force for transporting glass fragment, where the system comprises a delivery machine, a glass broken machine and a recycle box. The glass fragment is transmitted by the delivery machine and triturated by the glass broken machine, and the triturated glass fragment is then transported to the recycle box, the delivery machine comprises a driving motor, a conveyer belt and two driving rollers, where the conveyer belt surrounds the two driving rollers, the driving rollers are driven by the driving motor to rotate the conveyer belt, and the glass fragment on the conveyer belt is transported into the glass broken machine for triturating and recycling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Inventor: Huping Jia
  • Patent number: 9857777
    Abstract: Provided is a control system including controller configured to manage ID information comprising a unique number of a carrier on which a goods is mounted from among a plurality of carriers provided to tilt in a second direction or a third direction, such that each of the carriers moves along the first direction on a goods sorter and sorts the goods to at least one of a plurality of sorting openings, a recognizer configured to sense a material of the goods and a falling point at which the goods falls in a sorting opening, and an analyzer configured to generate result data obtained by analyzing a tilting speed and a tilting strength of the carrier, wherein the controller outputs a controls signal such that the at least one of the tilting speed and the tilting strength of the carrier is controlled based on the result data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2018
    Inventors: Yong hoon Choi, Ki Hak Kim
  • Patent number: 9856084
    Abstract: An inventory system includes an inventory holder that may be moved by a mobile drive unit. The inventory holder may hold inventory items. The mobile drive unit may move in a manner for facilitating a shift of position of at least one inventory item relative to the inventory holder. Such movement may be accomplished, for example, by accelerating, decelerating, turning while driving, spinning, dropping the inventory holder, or by causing at least one of the mobile drive unit or the inventory holder to at least one of interact with or engage an obstacle such as a bump over which the mobile drive unit drives, a bar positioned above a floor on which the mobile drive unit drives, a wall, another mobile drive unit, or another inventory holder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2018
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Andriy Palamarchuk, Jeremiah David Brazeau
  • Patent number: 9857486
    Abstract: An apparatus for storing control units comprises a cabinet (10) with a plurality of rails (41) arranged horizontally along inner sidewalls and is configured to receive a plurality of drawers (40) above each other. Each drawer (40) comprises a plurality of docking sockets (1), each docking socket (1) being configured to receive and retain one control unit. The apparatus comprises a robotic elevator device (20) adapted to move an elevator table (30) in a vertical direction to a vertical position corresponding to a pair of rails (41) into which a drawer (40) is to be inserted or from which the drawer (40) is to be withdrawn. The elevator table (30) comprises a linear motor (32, 34) capable of moving the drawer (40) along a pair of rails (41) in a longitudinal direction. A robotic gripper, which may be internal or external to the apparatus, is capable of putting control units into the docking sockets or withdrawing the control units from the docking sockets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2018
    Assignee: MAGSEIS AS
    Inventor: Nils P. Gateman
  • Patent number: 9845194
    Abstract: A method of handling articles in a logistics center uses an unloading zone for unloading the articles arriving at the center and an article stowage zone where the articles are stored in ordered manner, nesting racks coupled to shuttle robot carts, and also trays placed on lift trolleys coupled to the shuttle robot carts, and at least one vertical tray rack for storing the trays loaded with the articles in superposed manner in the stowage zone. If an article is loaded on a nesting rack in the unloading zone, the shuttle robot cart stores the article with the nesting rack in a lower portion of the tray rack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2017
    Assignee: SOLYSTIC
    Inventors: Luc Chirol, Emmanuel Miette
  • Patent number: 9834380
    Abstract: A warehouse automation system adapted to improve warehouse operating productivity includes a plurality of carts for transporting products within a warehouse and a controller. The controller is adapted to associate a first one of the plurality of carts with a first person and to control the first cart to lead the first person around the warehouse. According to one advantage, the time the first person spends restocking, picking, counting, sorting, moving, and packing product into customer orders and shipments, for example, is reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2017
    Assignee: 6 River Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Rylan Hamilton, Jerome Dubois, Christopher Cacioppo, Timothy Higgins
  • Patent number: 9828128
    Abstract: Example methods and systems are disclosed for on-demand packaging of one or more items. According to one example, a method can include receiving an order for the item(s) and determining characteristic-information for the item(s) using a computer system. The characteristic-information includes an indication of at least a size and a shape of the item(s). The method also includes processing the characteristic-information based on design criteria to determine an arrangement of the item(s) within at least one container volume, and a configuration for a protective structure to hold the item(s) in the arrangement within the container volume(s). The method can further include, in response to the processing the characteristic-information, forming the protective structure according to the configuration, placing the item(s) into the protective structure according to the arrangement, and placing the protective structure and the item(s) in the container volume(s).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: X Development LLC
    Inventors: Jeff Linnell, Matthew Bitterman, Tobias Kinnebrew
  • Patent number: 9827680
    Abstract: A pharmacy automation system having a robot having a hardware device and a software for internal mapping to perform simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) is disclosed herein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Inventors: Neil S. Davey, Brendan Boyce Murphy, Sonya R. Davey, Haris Godil
  • Patent number: 9828114
    Abstract: A processing station for registering a piece of passenger's luggage for a trip, wherein the processing station comprises: an injector for receiving the piece of luggage associated with the passenger; at least one sensor associated with the injector, the at least one sensor, in combination with at least the floor of the injector, creating a zone around the piece of luggage; and a controller associated with the sensor being adapted to: monitor, via the at least one sensor, intrusions through the zone to determine one or more of whether a predetermined limit on dimensions of the piece of luggage has been exceeded or whether a foreign object has intruded the zone from outside, and allow further processing of the piece of luggage only if no intrusion of the zone is detected; and wherein the controller adjusts the area of the zone to accommodate different sizes of luggage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Inventors: Richard Dinkelmann, Rainer Rudolf Dinkelmann
  • Patent number: 9826656
    Abstract: The present disclosure describes embodiments of apparatuses and methods related to a moveable server rack in a data center. The server rack may include a chassis with a plurality of servers and a receptacle to couple with a mobile robot. The mobile robot may move the server rack from a first location to a second location in a data center. The server rack may include indices of alignment to provide an indication of docking alignment of the server rack to at least the second docking location, a power connector system to connect a main power source to the plurality of servers at the second location, and an input/output connector to connect a data center network to the plurality of servers at the second location. Other embodiments may be described and/or claimed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2017
    Assignee: Intel Corporation
    Inventors: Patrick Connor, Scott P. Dubal, James R. Hearn
  • Patent number: 9821464
    Abstract: The present application is directed to a robotic system for maintaining product inventory and dispensing products upon request from a customer or other user. Product items are stored in an inventory storage unit (ISU), one item per bin. Controller logic allows items to be stored in, and retrieved from, arbitrarily-assigned storage locations. The bins hang on rails within drawers. Upon a request from a consumer (or other user) in a fulfillment operation, the robot retrieves a bin holding the first item from the ISU. Upon a request from an operator (or other user) in a replenishment operation, the robot transfers an empty bin to an operator station (such as a replenishing unit). The controller logic allows the fulfillment operations to be prioritized over the replenishment operations, in addition to the implementation of other prioritizations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2017
    Assignee: BBY SOLUTIONS, INC.
    Inventors: Chad Stiernagle, Glendon T. Kraetsch, Dean R. LaValle, Cameron P. Sheikholeslami
  • Patent number: 9814168
    Abstract: An automatic feeder exchanging system that automatically exchanges a feeder for which exchange is necessary from multiple feeders set in a feeder setting area of a component mounter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2017
    Assignee: FUJI MACHINE MFG. CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Jun Iisaka, Hidetoshi Ito
  • Patent number: 9809338
    Abstract: A loading device to supply successively with cardboard sheets a station for handling the sheets by folding to form from them boxes for packaging, the handling station having a storage area to receive the successive sheets, optionally grouped in bundles, the device itself having a manipulator that includes: a gripping tool to pick up the sheets; an actuator to move the tool between an inventory of sheets and the receiving storage area of the station; a detection unit for detecting the status of filling of the storage area; and a control unit that directs the action of the device and that receives detection information from the detection unit to do this, the control unit being independent of the control of the handling station and programmable to adapt the operation of the loading device to the type of sheets handled. A corresponding process is also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2017
    Inventor: Anthony Gautheron
  • Patent number: 9809395
    Abstract: A method for controlling a material flow system, wherein the material flow system includes vehicles for transporting goods packages, wherein the vehicles communicate autonomously among one another in the material flow system, wherein the vehicles move by movement steps along a material flow path from a starting node to a target node, and wherein a logical clock is associated with each node. The method includes providing each movement step of a first vehicle with a time stamp, carrying out movement steps such that for the first vehicle, successive movement steps assume monotonically increasing values for the time stamp, and for each node that is traversed, providing an outgoing movement step of the first vehicle with value of a time stamp which is less than or equal to a value of a time stamp for a subsequently incoming movement step of a second vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2017
    Assignee: Karlsruher Institut fuer Technologie
    Inventors: Zaezilia Seibold, Kai Furmans, Marco Gebhardt, Thomas Stoll