Patents by Inventor Brian G. McHale

Brian G. McHale has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 11046562
    Abstract: Apparatuses, components and methods are provided herein useful to provide assistance to customers and/or workers in a shopping facility. In some embodiments, a shopping facility personal assistance system comprises: a plurality of motorized transport units located in and configured to move through a shopping facility space; a plurality of user interface units, each corresponding to a respective motorized transport unit during use of the respective motorized transport unit; and a central computer system having a network interface such that the central computer system wirelessly communicates with one or both of the plurality of motorized transport units and the plurality of user interface units, wherein the central computer system is configured to control movement of the plurality of motorized transport units through the shopping facility space based at least on inputs from the plurality of user interface units.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2021
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Donald R. High, Michael D. Atchley, Shuvro Chakrobartty, Karl Kay, Brian G. McHale, Robert C. Taylor, John P. Thompson, Eric E. Welch, David C. Winkle
  • Publication number: 20200270106
    Abstract: Systems and methods are provided to address incorrectly placed items. Some systems comprise: a plurality of motorized transport units that are each configured to perform multiple different tasks at a retail shopping facility; and a central computer system configured to instruct various ones of the plurality of motorized transport units to implement at least one of the multiple different tasks relative to the retail shopping facility, receive and analyze input data detected and provided by the motorized transport units while the motorized transport units perform the at least one of the tasks, and detect and categorize each item of multiple items that are incorrectly placed within the retail shopping facility according to one of multiple different predefined categories.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 24, 2020
    Publication date: August 27, 2020
    Inventors: Donald R. High, David C. Winkle, Brian G. McHale, Michael D. Atchley
  • Publication number: 20200189891
    Abstract: Apparatuses, components and methods are provided herein useful to provide assistance to customers and/or workers in a shopping facility. In some embodiments, a shopping facility personal assistance system comprises: a plurality of motorized transport units located in and configured to move through a shopping facility space; a plurality of user interface units, each corresponding to a respective motorized transport unit during use of the respective motorized transport unit; and a central computer system having a network interface such that the central computer system wirelessly communicates with one or both of the plurality of motorized transport units and the plurality of user interface units, wherein the central computer system is configured to control movement of the plurality of motorized transport units through the shopping facility space based at least on inputs from the plurality of user interface units.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 21, 2019
    Publication date: June 18, 2020
    Inventors: Donald R. High, Michael D. Atchley, Shuvro Chakrobartty, Karl Kay, Brian G. McHale, Robert C. Taylor, John P. Thompson, Eric E. Welch, David C. Winkle
  • Patent number: 10669140
    Abstract: Systems and methods are provided to address incorrectly placed items. Some systems comprise: a plurality of motorized transport units that are each configured to perform multiple different tasks at a retail shopping facility; and a central computer system configured to instruct various ones of the plurality of motorized transport units to implement at least one of the multiple different tasks relative to the retail shopping facility, receive and analyze input data detected and provided by the motorized transport units while the motorized transport units perform the at least one of the tasks, and detect and categorize each item of multiple items that are incorrectly placed within the retail shopping facility according to one of multiple different predefined categories.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2020
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Donald R. High, David C. Winkle, Brian G. McHale, Michael D. Atchley
  • Patent number: 10635801
    Abstract: In some embodiments, apparatuses and methods are provided herein useful to secure access. In some embodiments, there is provided a system for securing access using decentralized biometric authentication data through a blockchain network including: a user interface product operable on a user device and configured to: receive a first one or more biometric data; receive near real-time location data associated with the first one or more biometric data; receive a token comprising a second one or more biometric data; determine whether the first one or more biometric data matches within a threshold with the second one or more biometric data; determine whether the first one or more biometric data and the second one or more biometric data are associated with the user device; determine whether the near real-time location data is within a threshold distance from a storage and retrieval system (SRS); and provide data associated with unlocking the SRS.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2020
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: David G. Tovey, John J. O'Brien, Bruce W. Wilkinson, Brian G. McHale, Robert L. Cantrell, Donald R. High
  • Patent number: 10614504
    Abstract: Systems, apparatuses, and methods are provided herein for content-based product recommendations. A system for content-based product recommendations comprises a content monitoring device configured to monitor video content viewed by a user, a customer vectors database, a product vectors database; and a control circuit being configured to: detect, via the content monitoring device, a video content being viewed by the user, identify an item associated with a current segment of the video content viewed by the user, determine a product category associated with the item, determine alignments between the customer value vectors and the product characteristic vectors for each of the plurality of products in the product category, select a recommended product from the plurality of products based on the alignments between the customer value vectors and the product characteristic vectors for each of the plurality of products, and initiate an offer of the recommended product to the customer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2020
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Bruce W. Wilkinson, Brian G. McHale, Todd D. Mattingly
  • Patent number: 10577103
    Abstract: In some embodiments, methods and systems of dispensing an insecticide to defend a crop-containing area against crop-damaging pests include an unmanned vehicle having a sensor that detects a crop-damaging pest in the crop-containing area and captures pest detection data, and an insecticide output device including at least one insecticide directed at the pest. The unmanned vehicle transmits the captured pest detection data via the network to the computing device and, in response to receipt of the captured pest detection data via the network from the unmanned vehicle, the computing device accesses an electronic database to determine an identity of the at least one pest. Based on the determined identity of the crop-damaging pest, the computing device transmits a control signal to the unmanned vehicle to cause the insecticide output device of the unmanned vehicle to dispense one or more insecticides specific to the identified crop-damaging pest.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2020
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Robert L. Cantrell, John P. Thompson, David C. Winkle, Michael D. Atchley, Donald R. High, Todd D. Mattingly, Brian G. McHale, John J. O'Brien, John F. Simon
  • Publication number: 20200057989
    Abstract: In some embodiments, systems and methods are provided that limit the change in temperature and/or control a temperature of products during delivery.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 17, 2017
    Publication date: February 20, 2020
    Inventors: David C. Winkle, Brian G. McHale, Donald R. High, Sadaf Ali, Todd D. Mattingly
  • Publication number: 20200039373
    Abstract: Systems, apparatuses, and methods are provided herein for charging an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in flight. A method comprises controlling motions of a UAV via a locomotion system, wherein the UAV comprises a charging antenna coupled to and extending away from a body of the UAV, the charging antenna comprises a wireless charge receiver positioned along a length of the charging antenna and a contact charge tip positioned at an end of the charging antenna away from the body. The UAV is configured to hover near the wireless charger of the host vehicle to charge a power storage device of the UAV via the charging antenna of the charging antenna and cause the contact charge tip of the charging antenna to contact the contact charge surface of the host vehicle to charge the power storage device while hovering.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 2, 2019
    Publication date: February 6, 2020
    Inventors: Robert L. Cantrell, Donald R. High, Brian G. McHale, David J. Schuhardt
  • Patent number: 10520938
    Abstract: In some embodiments, unmanned aerial task systems are provided that comprise multiple unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) each comprising: a UAV control circuit; a motor; and a propulsion system coupled with the motor and configured to enable the respective UAVs to move themselves; and wherein a first UAV control circuit of a first UAV of the multiple UAVs is configured to identify a second UAV carrying a first tool system configured to perform a first function, cause a notification to be communicated to the second UAV directing the second UAV to transfer the first tool system to the first UAV, and direct a first propulsion system of the first UAV to couple with the first tool system being transferred from the second UAV.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2019
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2019
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Robert L. Cantrell, John P. Thompson, David C. Winkle, Michael D. Atchley, Donald R. High, Todd D. Mattingly, Brian G. McHale, John J. O'Brien, John F. Simon, Nathan G. Jones, Robert C. Taylor
  • Patent number: 10520953
    Abstract: In some embodiments, unmanned aerial task systems are provided that comprise multiple unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) each comprising: a UAV control circuit; a motor; and a propulsion system coupled with the motor and configured to enable the respective UAVs to move themselves; and wherein a first UAV control circuit of a first UAV of the multiple UAVs is configured to access power level data corresponding to each of the multiple UAVs, and select a second UAV of the multiple UAVs based at least in part on a power level of the second UAV relative to a threshold power level corresponding to a first task to be performed and a predicted power usage by the second UAV while utilizing a first tool system temporarily cooperated with the second UAV in performing the first task.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2019
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Robert L. Cantrell, John P. Thompson, David C. Winkle, Michael D. Atchley, Donald R. High, Todd D. Mattingly, Brian G. McHale, John J. O'Brien, John F. Simon, Nathan G. Jones, Robert C. Taylor
  • Patent number: 10515505
    Abstract: Systems, apparatuses, and methods are provided herein for mobile vending. A system for mobile vending comprises a mobile vending machine comprising: an item dispenser configured to display a plurality of items for purchase, a set of motorized wheels, a navigation sensor device, a communication device, and, a control circuit configured to navigate the mobile vending machine based on navigation instructions; and a central computer system configured to communicate with the mobile vending machine via the communication device, the central computer system being configured to: determine a destination for the mobile vending machine, provide the navigation instructions to the mobile vending machine to cause the mobile vending machine to travel to the destination using the set of motorized wheels and the navigation sensor device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2019
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2019
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Donald R. High, Brian G. McHale, Michael D. Atchley
  • Patent number: 10514691
    Abstract: In some embodiments, unmanned task systems are provided that comprise multiple unmanned vehicles each comprising: a control circuit; a motor; and a propulsion system coupled with the motor and configured to enable the respective unmanned vehicles to move themselves; and wherein a first control circuit of a first unmanned vehicle of the multiple unmanned vehicles is configured to identify a second unmanned vehicle carrying a first tool system configured to perform a first function, cause a notification to be communicated to the second unmanned vehicle directing the second unmanned vehicle to transfer the first tool system to the first unmanned vehicle, and direct a first propulsion system of the first unmanned vehicle to couple with the first tool system being transferred from the second unmanned vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2019
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2019
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Robert L. Cantrell, John P. Thompson, David C. Winkle, Michael D. Atchley, Donald R. High, Todd D. Mattingly, Brian G. McHale, John J. O'Brien, John F. Simon, Nathan G. Jones, Robert C. Taylor
  • Publication number: 20190386986
    Abstract: An analysis of the delivery characteristics of an automated vehicle and a comparison of received security credentials of the vehicle to acceptable credentials are performed. Based upon the results of the analysis and the comparison, a confidence score is determined. The confidence score is a numerical measure of trust in an authentic identity of the automated vehicle. The determined confidence score is compared to the confidence threshold and when the score exceeds the confidence threshold, a message is transmitted to the automated vehicle allowing the vehicle to deliver a package to a delivery location.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 10, 2019
    Publication date: December 19, 2019
    Inventors: John J. O'Brien, Donald R. High, Brian G. McHale, David C. Winkle, Samantha M. Mangosing
  • Patent number: 10507918
    Abstract: In some embodiments, unmanned aerial task systems are provided that include a plurality of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) each comprising: a UAV control circuit; a motor; propulsion system; and a universal coupler configured to interchangeably couple with and decouple from one of multiple different tool systems each having different functions to be put into use while carried by a UAV, wherein a coupling system of the universal coupler is configured to secure a tool system with the UAV and enable a communication connection between a communication bus and the tool system, and wherein the multiple different tool systems comprise at least a package securing tool system configured to retain and enable transport of a package while being delivered, and a sensor tool system configured to sense a condition and communicate sensor data of the sensed condition to the UAV control circuit over the communication bus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2019
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2019
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Robert L. Cantrell, John P. Thompson, David C. Winkle, Michael D. Atchley, Donald R. High, Todd D. Mattingly, Brian G. McHale, John J. O'Brien, John F. Simon, Nathan G. Jones, Robert C. Taylor
  • Patent number: 10508010
    Abstract: Systems, apparatuses, and methods are provided herein for sorting items discarded in a shopping facility. A system for sorting discarded items comprises a motorized transport unit configured to travel around discarded items placed in a sorting area in the shopping facility, the motorized transport unit comprises a sensor device and an item mover device, an item characterization database storing characteristics corresponding to a plurality of items likely to be found in the shopping facility, and a central computer system. The central computer system is configured to receive data from the sensor device on the motorized transport unit, determine an item characteristic of an item among the discarded items in the sorting area, determine a sorting category of the item from a plurality of predefined categories, and cause the motorized transport unit to move the item, with the item mover device, from the sorting area into a category area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2019
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Donald R. High, David C. Winkle, Brian G. McHale, Michael D. Atchley
  • Patent number: 10488095
    Abstract: In some embodiments, systems and methods are provided that limit the change in temperature and/or control a temperature of a product during delivery. Some embodiments provide systems to limit temperature changes, comprising: an evaporative product cooling system comprising: a product cavity that supports a product while the product is transported to a delivery location, wherein the product cooling system comprises an interior wall defining the product cavity, an exterior wall, an evaporative cavity between the interior and exterior walls, a coolant dispensing system, at least one evaporative opening, and a temperature sensor; and a temperature control circuit configured to receive temperature data from the temperature sensor while the product is in transit, determine that a temperature of the product is greater than a transport temperature threshold, and autonomously activate the coolant dispensing system to release evaporative coolant into the evaporative cavity while the product is transported.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2019
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: David C. Winkle, Brian G. McHale, Donald R. High, Todd D. Mattingly
  • Patent number: 10474982
    Abstract: In some embodiments, systems and methods are provided that limit the change in temperature and/or control a temperature of a product during delivery. Some embodiments provide systems comprising an unmanned delivery vehicle (UDV) comprising: a body comprising a nanotechnology insulation material, wherein the nanotechnology insulation material comprises material having been manipulated at a molecular level during the macroscale fabrication of the nanotechnology insulation material to enhance insulation effectiveness; at least one propulsion system; a control circuit coupled with the at least one propulsion system to control the operation of the at least one propulsion system and control a direction of travel of the UDV, wherein the body physically supports the propulsion system and the control circuit; and a product cavity defined within the body and configured to receive at least one product while the at least one product is transported by the UDV to a delivery location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2019
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: David C. Winkle, Brian G. McHale, Donald R. High, Todd D. Mattingly
  • Publication number: 20190337722
    Abstract: Generally speaking, pursuant to various embodiments, systems, apparatuses, and methods are provided herein useful for autonomously delivering lockers. In some embodiments, a system comprises a carrier vehicle, the carrier vehicle comprising a storage area, a docking station including a plurality of storage docks, each of the plurality of storage docks configured to secure at least one locker, wherein the docking station is located within the storage area, and a retrieval point, a plurality of lockers each configured to house at least one product, a delivery vehicle, the delivery vehicle comprising a delivery dock, wherein the delivery dock is configured to receive, at the retrieval point, at least one locker, and a propulsion mechanism, wherein the propulsion mechanism propels the delivery vehicle, and a control circuit, the control circuit configured to identify, from the plurality of lockers, a selected locker, and cause the selected locker to move to the retrieval point.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 17, 2019
    Publication date: November 7, 2019
    Inventors: Donald R. High, David C. Winkle, Michael D. Atchley, Brian G. McHale, Nicholas Ray Antel, John J. O'Brien, Todd D. Mattingly, Bruce W. Wilkinson
  • Patent number: 10445686
    Abstract: In some embodiments, systems and methods are provided herein useful to enable delivery of commercial products to customers. In some embodiments, the system comprises an autonomous ground vehicle on a delivery route to deliver commercial products to a person of interest. The AGV comprises control circuits communicatively coupled to sensors. The control circuits, using sensor data, determines whether a person positioned within a threshold distance relative to the AGV is the PoI; allow the PoI to designate an intention of a second person positioned within the threshold distance as being friendly or adverse relative to the PoI; determine the intention of the second person; receive a command from the PoI overriding the determination that the second person's intention is adverse to the PoI; and allow the PoI to take possession of the commercial products when the designated intention is friendly relative to the PoI and the command is received.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 2019
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2019
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Todd D. Mattingly, Bruce W. Wilkinson, Donald R. High, Brian G. McHale