Patents Examined by Yolanda Cumbess
  • Patent number: 9738463
    Abstract: Robotic carton unloader has right and left lower arms of robotic arm assembly that are pivotally attached at lower end respectively to mobile body on opposing lateral sides of conveyor system passing there between. Upper arm assembly has rear end pivotally attached at upper end respectively of right and left lower arms to pivotally rotate about upper arm axis perpendicular to longitudinal axis of conveyor system and parallel to lower arm axis. Manipulator head attached to front end of upper arm assembly engages carton/s from carton pile resting on floor for movement to conveyor system. Upper arm axis is maintained at a height that enables carton/s to be conveyed by conveyor system without being impeded by robotic arm assembly as soon as manipulator head is clear. Lift attached between mobile body and front portion of conveyor system reduces spacing underneath carton/s during movement from carton pile to conveyor system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2017
    Inventors: Matthew R. Wicks, John Simons, Michael L. Girtman, Michael J. Roth
  • Patent number: 9731909
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a medicine package inspection apparatus for inspecting whether or not accurate medicines have been packaged in medicine packages. The medicine package inspection apparatus includes: a conveying unit conveying the medicine packages; an image reading unit photographing the medicine packages and reading states of the medicines by the photographed image; an aligning unit uniformly spreading the medicines packaged in the medicine packages unit so as not to be overlapped with each other; and a displaying means pivotably installed on a front surface of the body and displaying a work state simultaneously with controlling a work of inspecting the medicine packages. The displaying means is pivotably installed on the body through a pivoting unit and configures a portion of the body, such that an inner portion of the body is opened when the displaying means pivots.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2017
    Assignee: JVM Co., Ltd
    Inventor: Jun Ho Kim
  • Patent number: 9730394
    Abstract: A method and system for controlling harvesting of mushrooms from a bed during a mushroom graze harvest operation account for both mushroom separation and stagger, thereby providing for automatic and proper selection of which mushrooms in the bed are to be harvested in a given shift.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2017
    Assignee: Vineland Research and Innovations Centre Inc.
    Inventors: John Van De Vegte, Michael Lawson, John Renfrew, Koshy Mathew
  • Patent number: 9731896
    Abstract: Some embodiments provide a system for fully autonomous order fulfillment and inventory management within a distribution site or warehouse. The system operates by autonomous robots directly pulling customer order items from distribution site shelves or pulling individual bins from distribution site shelves and dispensing appropriate quantities of items from the bins until all items of a customer order are retrieved without human involvement. The system further involves the robots autonomously monitoring item quantities within the distribution site, identifying and autonomously responding to shortages, and organizing the items within the distribution site for most efficient order fulfillment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2017
    Assignee: inVia Robotics, Inc.
    Inventors: Lior Elazary, Daniel Frank Parks, II, Randolph Charles Voorhies
  • Patent number: 9727701
    Abstract: A pharmaceutical storage and retrieval system and a method of storing and retrieving pharmaceutical containers from the system. The system includes a pharmaceutical storage and retrieval and a controller operatively coupled to the device to control storage and retrieval functions of the device. The device includes a gantry assembly, a shelving assembly, a user access assembly, and a user authorization system that function in a coordinated manner to carry out the storage and retrieval functions of the device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2017
    Assignee: RX-SAFE, LLC
    Inventors: William K. Holmes, Michael James, Thomas F. Gaasch
  • Patent number: 9718188
    Abstract: Robotic manipulators may be used to manipulate objects. Manipulation data about manipulations performed on objects may be generated and accessed. This data may be analyzed to generate a profile indicating how an object may be manipulated. A portion of the profile may be transmitted to a particular robotic manipulator. For example, the portion may be based on a manipulation capability of the robotic manipulator. In turn, the robotic manipulator may use the portion of the profile to manipulate the object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2017
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew Stubbs, Diane Grieselhuber Mills, John Gregory Longtine, Matthew David Verminski
  • Patent number: 9720414
    Abstract: Methods and systems are provided for providing services to an individual at a transportation terminal. In one method, an item is received with a mobile robot from an individual at a first location at the transportation terminal. The item is autonomously secured with the mobile robot using a component of the mobile robot to thereby prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing the secured item. The secured item is autonomously transported with the mobile robot from the first location to a second location at the transportation terminal. The mobile robot is capable of independent navigation without need for physical or electromechanical guidance devices in an environment within which the mobile robot operates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2017
    Inventor: Daniel Theobald
  • Patent number: 9718617
    Abstract: When an external force applied condition that an external force that causes a decrease in a rotational speed of an electric motor is applied to the contact member moved by the electric motor is satisfied while the actuation controller is performing a first control for continuously performing a process of providing the electric motor with a command value that depends on an error between an actual rotational speed of the electric motor and a first target rotational speed so as to cause the actual rotational speed to approach the first target rotational speed, then the actuation controller, subsequent to the first control, performs a second control for providing the electric motor with a command value that allows the actual rotational speed of the motor to be equal to, and to fall below, the first target rotational speed at a time of the external force applied condition becoming satisfied.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2017
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Hiroyuki Koide
  • Patent number: 9714145
    Abstract: The disclosure describes, in part, a system and method for improving the stacking of containers on or in a transportation unit. In some implementations, a stacking configuration may be planned that identifies containers and a position for those containers in the stacking configuration. The stacking configuration may be planned based on dimension values of the containers such that when stacked the stacking configuration remains stable. In addition, to improve the efficiency at which containers may be stacked, the disclosure describes that containers and/or the picking of items for those containers may be sequenced so that the containers, when packed and routed, arrive in a manner that allows efficient stacking.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2017
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Sebastian Lehmann
  • Patent number: 9715674
    Abstract: Features are disclosed for using location awareness, bin capacity, and environmental cues to provide in context guidance to the associate when stowing items such as at a fulfillment center. In accordance with aspects of the present disclosure, the associate may scan an item he or she may want to stow. In response, lights on the bins in the associate's vicinity are illuminated to indicate bins in which the item can be stowed (e.g., because the item fits in the bin) without breaking stow etiquette. For example, in order to prevent mix up, stow etiquette may indicate that two types of erasers should not be stored in the same bin. As yet another example, stow etiquette may indicate that an item should not be stowed in a bin, even if it fits and there is room, so that a total weight for the bin is not exceeded.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2017
    Inventors: Adrian Christopher Quan, Jamie Marie Holland, Kimberly Anne Lewis, Benjamin Lee Farrow
  • Patent number: 9714099
    Abstract: A processing station for registering a piece of passenger's luggage for a trip, wherein the processing station includes 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. 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. The controller also adjusts the area of the zone to accommodate different sizes of luggage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2017
    Inventors: Richard Dinkelmann, Rainer Dinkelmann
  • Patent number: 9715232
    Abstract: Example implementations may relate to a mobile robotic device that is operable to detect pallets using a distance sensor. According to these implementations, the robotic device causes the distance sensor to scan a horizontal coverage plane in an environment of the robotic device. Then, the robotic device receives from the distance sensor, sensor data indicative of the horizontal coverage plane. The robotic device compares the sensor data to a pallet identification signature. Based on the comparison, the robotic device detects a pallet located in the environment. Further, based on the sensor data, the robotic device determines a location and an orientation of the detected pallet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2017
    Assignee: X Development LLC
    Inventors: Mark Fischer, John Zevenbergen
  • Patent number: 9715895
    Abstract: Embodiments include systems and methods for distribution of power and communications to robotic assemblies in data storage libraries, including enabling instruction signal communications during robot motion on conductive rails of the data storage library. For example, each robot can include at least two distinct sets of brushes, one set (e.g., pair) of power brushes and one set of signal brushes. The power brushes can be optimized for transferring power from the rails to the robot, and the signal brushes can be optimized for communicating instruction signals from the rails to the robot during robot motion. The power brushes can be coupled with power processing circuitry, and the signal brushes can be coupled with signal processing circuitry. Certain embodiments isolate the power and signal circuitry to improve power and/or signal distribution properties. Such techniques can appreciably increase the cartridge exchange rate and/or otherwise improve performance of the data storage library.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2017
    Inventor: Frank Smith
  • Patent number: 9701473
    Abstract: System for storing products, comprising a number of racks extending parallel to each other, wherein each rack is provided with storage positions for products located next to and above each other, a guide system comprising longitudinal guides extending in aisles between adjacent racks, and horizontal transverse guides extending transversely to the longitudinal guides as well as junctions at positions where at least one longitudinal guide and at least one transverse guide connect, carriages capable of autonomously travelling over the longitudinal guides, transverse guides and junctions for placing products in and/or taking products out the storage positions, and a central control unit arranged for digitally locking of longitudinal guides identified with an identification means and for controlling the autonomous carriages solely over the unlocked longitudinal guides.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2017
    Inventors: Marcel Renee Warries, Bruno Van Wijngaarden, Franciscus Maria Van Den Berk
  • Patent number: 9704126
    Abstract: Robotic inventory handlers can include two or more gripping elements connected with a lifting assembly. The gripping elements can be subjected to outward lateral force when in contact with inventory items such that the anisotropically adhesive surface engages an inventory item with an adhesive force. Inventory systems can employ robotic inventory handlers as described to lift and displace inventory items using the adhesive force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2017
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Parris S. Wellman
  • Patent number: 9701476
    Abstract: A location of a first drive in a storage medium library is determined. In response to a determination of the location of the first drive, it is determined whether a first storage medium is located within a first distance from the first drive. In response to a determination that the first storage medium is not located within the first distance from the first drive, it is determined whether the first storage medium is located within a second distance from the first drive. In response to a determination that the first storage medium is located within the first distance or the second distance from the first drive, the first storage medium is made available to be read by or written to by the first drive.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2017
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Tohru Hasegawa, Takamasa Hirata, Naoki Imai, Masanori Kamiya, Yutaka Oishi
  • Patent number: 9697408
    Abstract: A system and method by which mail sorting equipment can correct postal addresses utilizing cloud technology. The real-time address correction system for correcting addresses of mail articles in real-time, comprises sorters, vision systems, controllers, processors, printers, local and remote computers, databases, bins, and a cloud system to tie together the local and remote computers in addition to the sorters and controllers. Corrected postal addresses are stored remotely and locally to the sorter and provided to the sorter as needed by a cloud based system. The system and method accommodates delays in providing the corrected postal addresses to the sorter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2017
    Assignee: National Presort, Inc.
    Inventors: Henry Daboub, Tom Glassman, Jeremy S. McWilliam, Tom Grauberger
  • Patent number: 9694977
    Abstract: A storage fill and retrieval system includes fixed storage locations distributed in a storage space and defining at least one human pick zone having at least one collection tote location, at least one autonomous mobile robot configured for holding and transporting a tote within the storage space and having an end effector arranged for autonomous transfer of the tote between the at least one robot and a tote holding station and a collection tote location, and a storage management system communicably connected to the at least one robot and configured to associate each robot with a human pick zone, wherein the at least one robot is configured to transport the tote to the collection tote location of each associated human pick zone, and wherein each collection tote location is arranged for human picker access and defines an interface between a human picker and the at least one robot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2017
    Inventors: Matthew Aprea, Charles Grinnell, Joe Jones, John Kawola, Mary Ellen Sparrow, Stephen C. Toebes, Clara Vu
  • Patent number: 9682820
    Abstract: A control mechanism for a refuse vehicle includes a first control valve that operates a first hydraulically controlled mechanism and a second control valve that operates a second hydraulically controlled mechanism. The control mechanism also includes a plurality of switches and a pneumatic control mechanism. The plurality of switches generates a valve select signal and a mode signal. The pneumatic control mechanism selectively controls the first control valve and the second control valve based on the valve select signal and the mode signal. An operator of the refuse vehicle actuates the plurality of switches while the operator is operating the pneumatic control mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2017
    Assignee: The Heil Co.
    Inventors: Ralph Waldo Whitfield, Jr., Brian H. Ham, Albert Jiang
  • Patent number: 9682839
    Abstract: Even when descending of a sheet stacking unit is interrupted by an obstacle, sheet stacking operation is resumed in a range in which the sheet stacking unit is movable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2017
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Koichi Ishizuka