Patents by Inventor John P. Thompson

John P. Thompson 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: 11117663
    Abstract: Systems, apparatuses, and methods are provided herein for unmanned flight optimization. A system for unmanned flight comprises a set of motors configured to provide locomotion to an unmanned aerial vehicle, a set of wings coupled to a body of the unmanned aerial vehicle via an actuator and configured to move relative to the body of the unmanned aerial vehicle, a sensor system on the unmanned aerial vehicle, and a control circuit. The control circuit being configured to: control the unmanned aerial vehicle, cause the set of motors to lift the unmanned aerial vehicle, detect condition parameters based on the sensor system, determine a position for the set of wings based on the condition parameters, and cause the actuator to move the set of wings to the wing position while the unmanned aerial vehicle is in flight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2021
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Robert L. Cantrell, John P. Thompson, David C. Winkle, Michael D. Atchley, Donald R. High, Todd D. Mattingly, John J. O'Brien, John F. Simon
  • Patent number: 11062612
    Abstract: In some embodiments, apparatuses and methods are provided herein useful to allocate unmanned aircraft system (UAS). Some embodiments, provide UAS allocation systems, comprising: a UAS database that stores for each registered UAS an identifier and corresponding operational capabilities; an allocation control circuit configured to: obtain a first set of multiple task parameters specified by a first customer and corresponding to a requested first predefined task that the customer is requesting a UAS be allocated to perform; identify, from the UAS database, a first UAS having operational capabilities to perform the first set of task parameters while implementing the first task; and cause an allocation notification to be communicated to a first UAS provider, of the multiple UAS providers, associated with the first UAS requesting the first UAS provider to allocate the identified first UAS to implement the first task.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2019
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2021
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Donald R. High, Robert C. Taylor, David C. Winkle, John P. Thompson
  • 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: 20210009391
    Abstract: Methods and apparatuses are provided for use in monitor power levels at a shopping facility, comprising: central control system separate and distinct from a plurality of self-propelled motorized transport units, wherein the central control system comprises: a transceiver configured to wirelessly receive communications from the plurality of motorized transport units; a control circuit coupled with the transceiver; and a memory coupled to the control circuit and storing computer instructions that cause the control circuit to: identify available stored power levels at each of the plurality of motorized transport units; identify an available recharge station, of a plurality of recharge stations distributed throughout the shopping facility, at least relative to a location of the first motorized transport unit intended to be subjected to recharging; and wirelessly communicate one or more instructions to cause the first motorized transport unit to cooperate with an available recharge station.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 24, 2020
    Publication date: January 14, 2021
    Inventors: John P. Thompson, Michael D. Atchley, Donald R. High
  • Patent number: 10815104
    Abstract: Methods and apparatuses are provided for use in monitor power levels at a shopping facility, comprising: central control system separate and distinct from a plurality of self-propelled motorized transport units, wherein the central control system comprises: a transceiver configured to wirelessly receive communications from the plurality of motorized transport units; a control circuit coupled with the transceiver; and a memory coupled to the control circuit and storing computer instructions that cause the control circuit to: identify available stored power levels at each of the plurality of motorized transport units; identify an available recharge station, of a plurality of recharge stations distributed throughout the shopping facility, at least relative to a location of the first motorized transport unit intended to be subjected to recharging; and wirelessly communicate one or more instructions to cause the first motorized transport unit to cooperate with an available recharge station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2020
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: John P. Thompson, Michael D. Atchley, Donald R. High
  • Patent number: 10807714
    Abstract: In some embodiments, systems, apparatuses and methods are provided herein that enable delivery of retail products. Some embodiments provide delivery systems comprising: a package support frame comprising first and second package supports, and a pivot coupler pivotably securing the first package support with the second package support; and a first release plate positioned across a separation between the first and second package supports, and comprising: a set of at least one angled locking grooves; a set of at least one groove pins slidably positioned within a respective one of the locking grooves; and a release tab configured to contact a surface and cause an unlocking of the first release plate such that the release plate moves with the locking grooves sliding along respective groove pins such that the base of the package support pivots away from the base of the second package support enlarging a package release aperture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2020
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Michael D. Atchley, John P. Thompson, Eric A. Letson, Robert C. Taylor, Nathan G. Jones
  • 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: 10638629
    Abstract: A hold down member can be surface mounted to a substrate, such that a post of the hold down member extends at least into an interposer. Accordingly, when an on board transceiver is placed in electrical communication with the interposer, a fastener can be inserted at least into the on board transceiver so as to attach to the post, thereby securing the on board transceiver to the interposer and the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2020
    Assignee: FCI USA LLC
    Inventor: John P. Thompson
  • Patent number: 10625899
    Abstract: In some embodiments, systems, apparatuses and methods are provided herein that enable delivery of retail products. Some embodiments provide retail product delivery transport packages, comprising: a base; a first set of tapered walls comprising at least two side walls that are separated by a length of the base and extend from the base at an angle such that a distance between the first tapered wall and the second tapered wall at the opening is greater than a distance between the first tapered wall and the second tapered wall at the base, and wherein the first and second tapered walls are configured to frictionally engage first and second tapered package support walls, respectively, of a delivery package carrier system; and a second set of at least one wall comprising at least a first vertical wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2020
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Michael D. Atchley, Robert C. Taylor, John P. Thompson, Eric A. Letson
  • 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: 10535037
    Abstract: In some embodiments, systems, apparatuses and methods are provided herein useful to delivery packages using unmanned delivery aircrafts. Some embodiments include product delivery systems, comprising: a transceiver; a control circuit; a memory coupled to the control circuit and storing computer instructions that when executed by the control circuit cause the control circuit to perform the steps of: receive, from a customer, an authorization to deliver a product by an unmanned delivery aircraft; receive, from a portable user interface unit associated with the customer, global location information of a current location of the user interface unit and that designates a delivery location where the customer would like the product delivered; and initiate a delivery, by an unmanned delivery aircraft, of the product to the delivery location defined by the global location information received from the user interface unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2020
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Donald R. High, Nathan G. Jones, Chandrashekar Natarajan, John P. Thompson, Gregory A. Hicks
  • 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: 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
  • Patent number: 10507917
    Abstract: Systems, apparatuses, and methods are provided herein for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) control. A system for UAV control comprises a flight control system of a UAV, an image sensor on the UAV, an aircraft marshaling signal database, and a control circuit coupled to the flight control system, the image sensor, and the aircraft marshaling signal database. The control circuit being configured to: detect, with the image sensor, a gesture from a ground crew member, verify that the ground crew member is an authorized controller of the UAV, compare the gesture with marshaling signals in the aircraft marshaling signal database to determine a corresponding marshaling signal, determine a flight command based on the corresponding marshaling signal, and execute the flight command with the flight control system of the UAV.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2019
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Robert C. Taylor, Donald R. High, John P. Thompson
  • 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: 10486831
    Abstract: An airborne drone training track includes both a ground track and a ceiling track. The ceiling track can be disposed above and be at least essentially aligned with the ground track. Airborne drone attachment tethers movably attach an airborne drone to each of these tracks. A lower airborne drone attachment tether movably attaches to the ground track and to a bottom portion of the airborne drone. A plurality of upper airborne drone attachment tethers movably attach to the ceiling track and to upper portions of the airborne drone. By one approach there is only one lower airborne drone attachment tether and four upper airborne drone attachment tethers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2019
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Donald R. High, Chandrashekar Natarajan, John P. Thompson, Michael D. Atchley
  • Patent number: 10474983
    Abstract: A control circuit dispatches towards a delivery zone a terrestrial vehicle that carries at least one airborne drone and at least one item to be delivered to a customer. When the terrestrial vehicle is in the delivery zone, the drone is dispatched to carry the item to the customer. By one approach the drone exits the terrestrial vehicle without bearing the item. The item can be automatically moved from within the terrestrial vehicle to a position such that the item is at least partially exposed external to the terrestrial vehicle. The airborne drone, subsequent to exiting the terrestrial vehicle, can engage the item in order to then deliver that item to the customer. By one approach the terrestrial vehicle includes one or more platforms that support one or more airborne drones and that can be moved from within the terrestrial vehicle to a deployed position external to the terrestrial vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2019
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Donald R. High, John P. Thompson, Michael D. Atchley, Chandrashekar Natarajan
  • Patent number: 10472051
    Abstract: Systems, apparatuses, and methods are provided herein for stabilizing an unmanned aerial system. An apparatus for stabilizing an unmanned aerial system comprises a ring member and a pair of attachment members each having a first end and a second end, the first end being configured to attach to a multicopter and a second end being coupled to the ring member. Wherein the pair of attachment members holds the ring member such that a plane of a circumference of the ring member is generally parallel to blades of the multicopter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2019
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Donald R. High, Michael D. Atchley, John P. Thompson, Chandrashekar Natarajan
  • Patent number: 10467376
    Abstract: Some embodiments provide a system to design an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) based on an intended task, comprising: UAS component database and a design control circuit configured to: obtain a first set of multiple task parameters corresponding to a requested task that the UAS is being designed to perform; identify at least one primary type of UAS component to be included in the UAS being designed; identify a first set of one or more secondary types of UAS components to support the primary type of UAS component while implementing the task; and provide a design plan of the designed UAS designed to be utilized to implement the task.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2019
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: John P. Thompson, Donald R. High, Nathan G. Jones