Patents by Inventor Karl Kay

Karl Kay 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).

  • Publication number: 20210039930
    Abstract: Some embodiments include apparatuses providing control over movement of motorized transport units at a retail facility, comprising: multiple self-propelled motorized transport units; a wireless communication network; and a central computer system, wherein the central computer system comprises: a transceiver; a control circuit; and a memory storing computer instructions that when executed cause the control circuit to: receive an override command, from a worker associated with the retail facility, to cause a first motorized transport unit of the multiple motorized transport units to implement one or more actions; confirm a valid authorization of the worker to override one or more operating limits of the first motorized transport unit; and override the one or more operating limits and communicate one or more instructions to the first motorized transport unit configured to cause the first motorized transport unit to implement the one or more actions in accordance with the override command.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 27, 2020
    Publication date: February 11, 2021
    Inventors: Donald R. High, Michael D. Atchley, Karl Kay, David C. Winkle
  • 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: 10570000
    Abstract: Some embodiments provide apparatuses and methods useful to providing control over movement of motorized transport units. In some embodiments, an apparatus providing control over movement of motorized transport units at a shopping facility comprises: a central computer system 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: obtain, from one or more of the communications received from the motorized transport unit, route condition information comprising information corresponding to an intended route of travel; obtain additional route condition information detected by one or more detectors external to the motorized transport unit; detect an object affecting the intended route of travel; identify an action to be taken by the motorized transport unit with respect to the detected object; and communicate one or more instructions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2020
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Donald R. High, Michael D. Atchley, Karl Kay, Robert C. Taylor, David C. Winkle
  • Publication number: 20190292030
    Abstract: Some embodiments include apparatuses to fulfill customer orders comprising a motorized transport unit; a product pick unit (PPU) that cooperate with the motorized transport unit; a wireless communication network; and a central computer system configured to communicate with the multiple motorized transport units and the plurality of product pick units, and comprises a control circuit and memory storing instructions executed to cause the control circuit to: communicate an instruction to the motorized transport unit and direct the motorized transport unit to transport the product pick unit to a determined first location within the shopping facility proximate to where a first product having been ordered is located; and communicate an instruction to the product pick unit cooperated with the motorized transport unit and direct the product pick unit to retrieve the first product.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 14, 2019
    Publication date: September 26, 2019
    Inventors: Donald R. High, Shuvro Chakrobartty, David C. Winkle, Robert C. Taylor, Michael D. Atchley, Karl Kay, Brian G. McHale, John P. Thompson
  • Publication number: 20190210849
    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: July 11, 2019
    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: 10280054
    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 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2019
    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: 20180282139
    Abstract: Some embodiments include apparatuses providing control over movement of motorized transport units at a shopping facility, comprising: multiple self-propelled motorized transport units; a wireless communication network; and a central computer system, wherein the central computer system comprises: a transceiver; a control circuit; and a memory storing computer instructions that when executed cause the control circuit to: receive an override command, from a worker associated with the shopping facility, to cause a first motorized transport unit of the multiple motorized transport units to implement one or more actions; confirm a valid authorization of the worker to override one or more operating limits of the first motorized transport unit; and override the one or more operating limits and communicate one or more instructions to the first motorized transport unit configured to cause the first motorized transport unit to implement the one or more actions in accordance with the override command.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 6, 2018
    Publication date: October 4, 2018
    Inventors: Donald R. High, Michael D. Atchley, Karl Kay, David C. Winkle
  • Patent number: 9994434
    Abstract: Some embodiments include apparatuses providing control over movement of motorized transport units at a shopping facility, comprising: multiple self-propelled motorized transport units; a wireless communication network; and a central computer system, wherein the central computer system comprises: a transceiver; a control circuit; and a memory storing computer instructions that when executed cause the control circuit to: receive an override command, from a worker associated with the shopping facility, to cause a first motorized transport unit of the multiple motorized transport units to implement one or more actions; confirm a valid authorization of the worker to override one or more operating limits of the first motorized transport unit; and override the one or more operating limits and communicate one or more instructions to the first motorized transport unit configured to cause the first motorized transport unit to implement the one or more actions in accordance with the override command.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2018
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Donald R. High, Michael D. Atchley, Karl Kay, David C. Winkle
  • Publication number: 20180020896
    Abstract: Some embodiments provide apparatuses and methods useful to providing control over movement of motorized transport units. In some embodiments, an apparatus providing control over movement of motorized transport units at a shopping facility comprises: a central computer system 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: obtain, from one or more of the communications received from the motorized transport unit, route condition information comprising information corresponding to an intended route of travel; obtain additional route condition information detected by one or more detectors external to the motorized transport unit; detect an object affecting the intended route of travel; identify an action to be taken by the motorized transport unit with respect to the detected object; and communicate one or more instructions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 31, 2017
    Publication date: January 25, 2018
    Inventors: Donald R. High, Michael D. Atchley, Karl Kay, Robert C. Taylor, David C. Winkle
  • Patent number: 9875502
    Abstract: A central computer system is configured to simultaneously task various ones of a plurality of motorized transport units to temporarily attach to a corresponding mobile item container and to move the temporarily-attached mobile item container in a retail shopping facility in correspondence to the movement of an authorized consumer while also receiving and analyzing video input provided by video cameras that are included with at least some of the motorized transport units to identify security and safety anomalies in the retail shopping facility. By one approach, the central computer system identifies security and safety anomalies in the retail shopping center by characterizing contents of images as being either expected or unexpected and as being either potentially harmful or not potentially harmful. So configured the central computer system is able to not only identify anomalies but assess a degree of threat posed by a given anomaly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 23, 2018
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Karl Kay, Donald R. High, Michael D. Atchley
  • Patent number: 9801517
    Abstract: Some embodiments provide apparatuses and methods useful to providing control over movement of motorized transport units. In some embodiments, an apparatus providing control over movement of motorized transport units at a shopping facility comprises: a central computer system 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: obtain, from one or more of the communications received from the motorized transport unit, route condition information comprising information corresponding to an intended route of travel; obtain additional route condition information detected by one or more detectors external to the motorized transport unit; detect an object affecting the intended route of travel; identify an action to be taken by the motorized transport unit with respect to the detected object; and communicate one or more instructions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Donald R. High, Michael D. Atchley, Karl Kay, Robert C. Taylor, David C. Winkle
  • Publication number: 20170242427
    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 4, 2016
    Publication date: August 24, 2017
    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: 20170193418
    Abstract: Upon receiving a standard unit of items at a distribution center these teachings provide for automatically determining whether to retain that standard unit of items as staple stock at the district center or to forward that unit to a retail shopping facility without first retaining that unit as staple stock at the distribution center. Such a determination can include determining whether there is a present need at the retail shopping facility for at least the standard unit of items. By one approach, these teachings will support forwarding the standard unit of items to a particular retail shopping facility that may have a present need for some of the items but less than the complete standard unit of items.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 4, 2017
    Publication date: July 6, 2017
    Inventors: Donald R. High, Karl Kay, Michael D. Atchley
  • Publication number: 20160259342
    Abstract: Some embodiments include apparatuses providing control over movement of motorized transport units at a shopping facility, comprising: multiple self-propelled motorized transport units; a wireless communication network; and a central computer system, wherein the central computer system comprises: a transceiver; a control circuit; and a memory storing computer instructions that when executed cause the control circuit to: receive an override command, from a worker associated with the shopping facility, to cause a first motorized transport unit of the multiple motorized transport units to implement one or more actions; confirm a valid authorization of the worker to override one or more operating limits of the first motorized transport unit; and override the one or more operating limits and communicate one or more instructions to the first motorized transport unit configured to cause the first motorized transport unit to implement the one or more actions in accordance with the override command.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 4, 2016
    Publication date: September 8, 2016
    Inventors: Donald R. High, Michael D. Atchley, Karl Kay, David C. Winkle
  • Publication number: 20160259329
    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 witlessly 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 4, 2016
    Publication date: September 8, 2016
    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: 20160259339
    Abstract: Some embodiments provide apparatuses and methods useful to providing control over movement of motorized transport units. In some embodiments, an apparatus providing control over movement of motorized transport units at a shopping facility comprises: a central computer system 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: obtain, from one or more of the communications received from the motorized transport unit, route condition information comprising information corresponding to an intended route of travel; obtain additional route condition information detected by one or more detectors external to the motorized transport unit; detect an object affecting the intended route of travel; identify an action to be taken by the motorized transport unit with respect to the detected object; and communicate one or more instructions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 4, 2016
    Publication date: September 8, 2016
    Inventors: Donald R. High, Michael D. Atchley, Karl Kay, Robert C. Taylor, David C. Winkle
  • Publication number: 20160259340
    Abstract: A central computer system is configured to simultaneously task various ones of a plurality of motorized transport units to temporarily attach to a corresponding mobile item container and to move the temporarily-attached mobile item container in a retail shopping facility in correspondence to the movement of an authorized consumer while also receiving and analyzing video input provided by video cameras that are included with at least some of the motorized transport units to identify security and safety anomalies in the retail shopping facility. By one approach, the central computer system identifies security and safety anomalies in the retail shopping center by characterizing contents of images as being either expected or unexpected and as being either potentially harmful or not potentially harmful. So configured the central computer system is able to not only identify anomalies but assess a degree of threat posed by a given anomaly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 4, 2016
    Publication date: September 8, 2016
    Inventors: Karl Kay, Donald R. High, Michael D. Atchley