Patents by Inventor John J. O'Brien

John J. O'Brien 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: 10604254
    Abstract: System and methods for managing one or more unmanned aerial vehicles. The system can include an unmanned aerial vehicle, a landing station for the unmanned aerial vehicle, and a loading station for receiving a package and unmanned aerial vehicle. The unmanned aerial vehicle can be configured to: (i) determine a first confidence level for landing on the landing station, (ii) travel, based on the first confidence level, to the landing station, and (iii) determine a second confidence level for delivering the package to a delivery destination. The loading station can be configured to: (i) receive the second confidence level to deliver the package to the delivery destination from the unmanned aerial vehicle, and (ii) confirm, based on the second confidence level, the unmanned aerial vehicle is capable of delivering the package to the delivery destination.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2020
    Assignee: WALMART APOLLO, LLC
    Inventors: John J. O'Brien, Donald R. High, Brian McHale, Samantha M. Mangosing, Justin Schuhardt, Robert Cantrell
  • Patent number: 10600100
    Abstract: Systems, apparatuses, and methods are provided herein for store management. A system for store management comprises: a storage system in a backroom area, a conveyor system, a return sensor system, and a control circuit. The control circuit being configured to: receive an interact request from a customer via a user interface device in a showroom area, cause the conveyor system to retrieve one or more items from the storage system and transport the one or more items to the item interaction area based on the interact request, receive a return request, cause the return sensor system to collect data from the at least one item, determine whether to accept the return request based on the data collected by the return sensor system, and cause the conveyor system to retrieve the at least one item from the customer and make the at least one item available for another customer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2020
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Todd D. Mattingly, Nicholas Ray Antel, Robert J. Taylor, John J. O'Brien
  • Patent number: 10594495
    Abstract: A method for ensuring that a computer readable information is authentic, including: generating a public key associated with the computer readable information, hashing the computer readable information to obtain a hashed computer readable information, encrypting the hashed computer readable information with a private key to create a digital signature, wherein the hashed computer readable information and the digital signature are stored on a block of a blockchain, authenticating the user computing device in response to a request from the user computing device to download the computer readable information, transmitting the public key and the digital signature to an authenticated user computing device, and instructing the authenticated user computing device to decrypt the digital signature using the public key to obtain the hashed computer readable information, and download the hashed computer readable information to the authenticated user computing system to retrieve the computer readable information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2020
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Donald R. High, Bruce Walter Wilkinson, Todd Mattingly, Brian Gerard McHale, John J. O'Brien, V, Robert Cantrell, Joseph Jurich
  • Patent number: 10592964
    Abstract: A system receives an order from a user and evaluates a plurality of potential sources for items of an order as well as delivery options. Combinations of sources and delivery options are assigned a score according to factors such as cost, delivery time, and supply chain factors. A prior-used delivery option for the user is determined and the scores are adjusted to indicate higher desirability for combinations including the prior-used delivery option. A combination is selected and fulfillment of the order is invoked. The source and/or delivery option for an order may be adjusted after fulfillment has begun in response to user instructions or detected disruptions. A user may specify a preferred delivery option that will be used unless a combination not including the preferred delivery option meets a threshold condition. The system may analyze past orders of a user and identify lower cost delivery intervals and/or destinations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2020
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Donald R. High, Chandrashekar Natarajan, John J. O'Brien
  • Patent number: 10592843
    Abstract: A delivery management system comprises a communication device that receives a notification of a communication established between an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that delivers a payload and a delivery box constructed and arranged to receive the payload from the UAV when the UAV is a predetermined distance from the delivery box and moving in a direction toward the delivery box, the communication including an identity of the UAV; a verification device that processes the notification and validates the identity of the UAV; and an instruction generator that generates an instruction to the delivery box to open the delivery box in response to the verification device validating the identity of the UAV and a determination by the communication device that the communication is established between the UAV and the delivery box. The communication device includes an autolocker communication device that outputs the instruction to the delivery box.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2020
    Assignee: WALMART APOLLO, LLC
    Inventors: Chandrashekar Natarajan, Donald R. High, John J. O'Brien, V
  • Patent number: 10586202
    Abstract: In some embodiments, methods and systems are provided that provide for validating products to be delivered to customers via unmanned aerial vehicles. Each UAV includes sensors configured to detect at least one actual physical characteristic and/or actual identifying characteristic of a product being loaded into the UAV and/or being transported by the UAV to a delivery destination. The actual physical characteristic information and/or the actual identifying information detected by the sensors is compared to predefined physical characteristic information and/or predefined identifying information stored in an electronic database in order to validate that the product that is being loaded into the UAV and/or being transported by the UAV is not damaged and corresponds to the order being fulfilled. If validation of one or more products is not successful, the UAV is restricted from delivering such products to the delivery destination.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2020
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: John J. O'Brien, Robert L. Cantrell, David C. Winkle, Donald R. High
  • Patent number: 10579059
    Abstract: A method for utilizing a drone for intermittent flights can include: receiving instructions of a flight mission with a flight route from an original location to a mission destination of the drone, wherein a plurality of stand-by locations are configured for the drone to land on along the flight route; obtaining data of the stand-by locations; scanning a first area between the original location of the drone and a first stand-by location to determine whether the first area is clear; controlling the drone to navigate over the first area along the flight route if the first area is clear; updating a drone position in real time; scanning a second area between an updated drone position and a second stand-by location to determine whether the second area is clear; and controlling the drone to land on the first stand-by location if the second area is not clear.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2020
    Assignee: WALMART APOLLO, LLC
    Inventors: Robert Cantrell, Donald R. High, Brian McHale, John J. O'Brien
  • 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
  • Patent number: 10571225
    Abstract: An unmanned autonomous vehicle is configured to delivery packages in a product delivery network. The vehicle includes an outer housing, a conversion circuit, a battery, and a control circuit. The outer housing includes a first layer that is configured to collect solar radiation, and a second layer that is configured to render a visual display. The conversion circuit is disposed within the outer housing, and is coupled to the first layer. The conversion circuit is configured to convert the collected solar radiation to electrical charge and store the charge in a battery. The control circuit is coupled to the second layer and is configured to independently determine one or more images to render at the second layer, and to cause the one or more images to be rendered at the second layer. The solar radiation is collected at the first layer simultaneously with the images being rendered at the second layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2020
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Donald R. High, John J. O'Brien
  • Patent number: 10562398
    Abstract: An unmanned battery optimization vehicle includes a transceiver, a battery optimization apparatus, and a control circuit. The transceiver is configured to transmit and receive signals. The battery optimization apparatus is configured to interact with a battery disposed at an unmanned autonomous vehicle. The control circuit is coupled to the transceiver and the battery optimization apparatus. The control circuit is configured to cause the unmanned battery optimization vehicle to independently navigate and travel to a present location of the autonomous vehicle based at least in part upon the signals received at the transceiver. When the unmanned battery optimization vehicle reaches the present location of the unmanned autonomous vehicle, the control circuit is further configured to direct the battery optimization apparatus to engage in an interaction with the battery at the unmanned autonomous vehicle. The interaction is effective to optimize battery operation at the unmanned autonomous vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2020
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Donald R. High, John J. O'Brien, Robert L. Cantrell, Nicholas Ray Antel
  • Patent number: 10567917
    Abstract: A system and method for tracking and alerting a drone flying overhead are provided herein. The method includes acquiring a first data associated with a user device position; detecting a path corresponding to movement of the user device; receiving, from a server at the user device, drone data associated with a plurality of drones; filtering the drone data to obtain a second data associated with a drone position and a respective drone route which intersects with the path; predicting an intersection area; determining a distance between the user device position and the drone position based on the first data and the second data; determining whether a determined distance is equal to or less than a preset distance; and instructing a user to change the path or the speed of travel down a path when the determined distance is equal to or less than the preset distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2019
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2020
    Assignee: WALMART APOLLO, LLC
    Inventors: Robert Cantrell, John J. O'Brien, Brian McHale
  • Publication number: 20200043350
    Abstract: In some embodiments, methods and systems are provided that provide for creating and monitoring predefined mission routes along air rails and non-overlapping buffer zones surrounding unmanned vehicles during travel of the unmanned vehicles along the predefined mission routes. The buffer zone may be thought of as a projected movement variation area being associated by the system to the UAV and containing four dimensions, the three positional dimensions, X, Y, and Z, along with a temporal one, time. Generally, the buffer zone will change as ambient conditions, location, and orientation of an unmanned vehicle change during travel of the unmanned vehicle along its predefined mission route.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 9, 2019
    Publication date: February 6, 2020
    Inventors: Robert L. Cantrell, Donald R. High, Samantha M. Mangosing, David C. Winkle, John J. O'Brien
  • Publication number: 20200034551
    Abstract: Systems, apparatuses, and methods are provided herein for providing voice-initiated conversation interface on multiple devices. Some such systems provide a voice-initiated conversation interface on multiple devices and comprise a network connector configured to communicate with one or more other user devices over a network, a user interface device configured to communicate with a user, a memory device storing at least a portion of a distributed conversation database, wherein the distributed conversation database comprises a plurality of conversation records encrypted with public keys associated with each conversation and conversation database is updated based on communications with the one or more other user devices via the network connector, and a control circuit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 26, 2019
    Publication date: January 30, 2020
    Inventors: Robert L. Cantrell, Donald R. High, Bruce W. Wilkinson, Todd D. Mattingly, John J. O'Brien
  • Patent number: 10546505
    Abstract: In some embodiments, methods and systems are provided that provide for controlling unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) experiencing emergency landings and providing emergency alerts to the predicted emergency landing locations of the UAV. Each UAV includes sensors configured to detect at least one status input associated with the UAV during flight along its flight route. Each UAV analyzes the status inputs while in flight in order to predict an emergency landing location where the UAV would land if unable to fly due to an emergency condition. The UAV is configured to transmit an alert signal to electronic devices proximate the predicted emergency landing location to notify users of the electronic devices that the unmanned aerial vehicle is going to experience an emergency landing at the predicted emergency landing location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2019
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2020
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: David C. Winkle, John J. O'Brien, Donald R. High, Todd D. Mattingly
  • Patent number: 10535035
    Abstract: In some embodiments, methods and systems are provided that provided for delivering products ordered by a customer of a retailer to a delivery destination designated by the ordering customer by way of autonomous transport vehicles configured to identify products to be dropped off at their next delivery destinations and to prepare such products for deployment while the ATVs are still en-route to their next delivery destinations, and to automatically deploy such products upon arrival at such delivery destinations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2018
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2020
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventor: John J. O'Brien
  • 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: 10520945
    Abstract: A method for unloading and loading a lock box are provided. An autonomous ground vehicle (AGV) stores a lock box to be delivered. The lock box includes a box body, a first set of stands and a second set of stands, and a first set of wheels and a second set of wheels. The first set of stands can extend of the lock box outwardly to contact the ground. The second set of stands can extend out of the lock box outwardly to contact the ground. It is determined that the package has been removed from the lock box and the lock box is automatically loaded onto the AGV.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2019
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2019
    Assignee: WALMART APOLLO, LLC
    Inventors: Robert Cantrell, Brian McHale, John J. O'Brien
  • 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: 10521806
    Abstract: A blockchain-based method includes: receiving, by a smart label via accessing a block of a blockchain stored on a computer system, a cold chain requirement for a product, wherein the smart label is affixed to a package containing the product, the cold chain requirement for the product is specified and stored by a manufacturer of the product in the block of the blockchain; storing, by the smart label, the cold chain requirement in a memory of the smart label; receiving, by the smart label, from a temperature sensor a temperature of the product, wherein the temperature sensor is affixed to the package containing the product; comparing, by the smart label, the temperature of the product with a temperature range of the product specified in the cold chain requirement; and adding, by the smart label, the temperature of the product and a time at which the temperature of the product is received by the smart label, to the blockchain, if the temperature of the product is outside of the temperature range specified in th
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2019
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2019
    Assignee: WALMART APOLLO, LLC
    Inventors: Robert Cantrell, Daniel W. Young, Brian McHale, John J. O'Brien, Todd Mattingly
  • Publication number: 20190387944
    Abstract: Systems, methods, and computer-readable storage media for a task management and distribution system. Systems configured as disclosed manage task distribution between various robots, drones, and autonomous vehicles. As tasks are identified as not capable of completion by the detecting robot, they are transmitted to a central task-management system which identifies a subset of robots which are capable of completing the task, determines the availability of the robots in the subset, and assigns one of those robots in the subset to complete the task.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 25, 2019
    Publication date: December 26, 2019
    Applicant: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: John J. O'BRIEN, Donald R. HIGH, Brian MCHALE