Patents by Inventor Peter K. Mansfield

Peter K. Mansfield 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: 10328836
    Abstract: An inventory system includes an inventory holder and an actively balanced mobile drive unit. A control module of the mobile drive unit can receive sensing information about the inventory holder and/or the mobile drive unit and use the sensing information to control a drive module of the mobile drive unit so as to maintain the inventory holder and/or the mobile drive unit within a predetermined deviation amount from an equilibrium state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2019
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Oliver Christoph Purwin, Dragan Pajevic, David William Guerin, Robert Michael Shydo, Jr., Mark Anthony Messina, Parris S. Wellman, Kevin John Trenholme, Peter Thomas Colantonio, Peter K. Mansfield
  • Patent number: 10289111
    Abstract: Robots or other machines may be used for retrieving errant objects from the floor of an automated warehouse. A system can include one or more reporting methods to alert a central control to the existence and location of an object on the warehouse floor. The central control can establish a safety zone around the object to avoid contact with normal warehouse traffic (e.g., standard warehouse robots). The system can route a cleanup robot to the location to retrieve the object. The system can include a cleanup pod comprising a convertible shelving unit with a robotic arm. The cleanup pod can have a similar form factor as shelving units used for storing inventory in the warehouse, thereby enabling standard warehouse robots to lift and transport the cleanup pod to retrieve an object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2019
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph Romano, Peter R. Wurman, Dennis Polic, Peter K. Mansfield, Peter Martin Hess
  • Patent number: 10112771
    Abstract: A system for transporting inventory items includes an inventory holder capable of storing inventory items and a mobile drive unit. The mobile drive unit is capable of moving to a first point with the inventory holder at least one of coupled to and supported by the mobile drive unit. The mobile drive unit is additionally capable of determining a location of the inventory holder and calculating a difference between the location of the inventory holder and the first point. The mobile drive unit is then capable of determining whether the difference is greater than a predetermined tolerance. In response to determining that the difference is greater than the predetermined tolerance, the mobile drive unit is also capable of moving to a second point based on the location of the inventory holder, docking with the inventory holder, and moving the mobile drive unit and the inventory holder to the first point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2018
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Raffaello D'Andrea, Peter K. Mansfield, Michael Cordell Mountz, Dennis Polic, Patrick R. Dingle
  • Publication number: 20180181104
    Abstract: Techniques for controlling mobile drive units (e.g., robots) in proximity to humans in a physical area are described. A management device may send an activity message to the mobile drive units instructing the mobile drive units to perform a set of activities. If a human is detected in the physical area, the management device or another mobile drive unit may send an activity command instructing a mobile drive unit to stop, reduce the speed at which it is traveling, to change its path of travel, or to continue performing its set of activities. If the mobile drive units do not receive the activity command, the mobile drive units may stop performing the set of activities. After the management device determines that the human has left the physical area, the management device may resume sending the activity message.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 21, 2018
    Publication date: June 28, 2018
    Inventors: Andrew Stubbs, Matthew David Verminski, Michael T. Barbehenn, Andrew Brenden Tinka, Peter K. Mansfield, Peter R. Wurman
  • Patent number: 9927797
    Abstract: Techniques for making a physical area safe for a human to enter when mobile drive units (e.g., robots) are operating in the physical area are described. A management device may send an activity message to the mobile drive units instructing the mobile drive units to perform a set of activities. If a human is detected in the physical area, the management device may stop sending the activity command. If the mobile drive units do not receive the activity command, the mobile drive units may stop performing the set of activities. After the management device determines that the human has left the physical area, the management device may resume sending the activity message.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew Stubbs, Matthew David Verminski, Michael T. Barbehenn, Andrew Brenden Tinka, Peter K. Mansfield, Peter R. Wurman
  • Publication number: 20180068261
    Abstract: Inventory systems may include one or more sensors capable of detecting spatial positioning of inventory holders and an arm of a worker interacting with the inventory holder. Data can be received from a sensor, a gesture of the arm can be determined from the data, and a bin location or other information can be determined based on the gesture.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 31, 2017
    Publication date: March 8, 2018
    Inventors: Ned Lecky, Peter K. Mansfield, Peter R. Wurman, Dennis Polic
  • Patent number: 9824328
    Abstract: Inventory systems may include one or more sensors capable of detecting spatial positioning of inventory holders and an arm of a worker interacting with the inventory holder. Data can be received from a sensor, a gesture of the arm can be determined from the data, and a bin location or other information can be determined based on the gesture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2017
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Ned Lecky, Peter K. Mansfield, Peter R. Wurman, Dennis Polic
  • Patent number: 9682483
    Abstract: Robots or other machines may be used for retrieving errant objects from the floor of an automated warehouse. A system can include one or more reporting methods to alert a central control to the existence and location of an object on the warehouse floor. The central control can establish a safety zone around the object to avoid contact with normal warehouse traffic (e.g., standard warehouse robots). The system can route a cleanup robot to the location to retrieve the object. The system can include a cleanup pod comprising a convertible shelving unit with a robotic arm. The cleanup pod can have a similar form factor as shelving units used for storing inventory in the warehouse, thereby enabling standard warehouse robots to lift and transport the cleanup pod to retrieve an object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2017
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph Romano, Peter R. Wurman, Dennis Polic, Peter K. Mansfield
  • Patent number: 9663296
    Abstract: Some examples include charging an onboard power source of a mobile drive unit (MDU) of an inventory system while the MDU is operating in the inventory system, rather than removing the MDU from service for recharging. As an example, the MDU may receive instructions to retrieve an inventory holder, and an onboard power source of the MDU may be charged while the MDU and the inventory holder are located at the charging station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2017
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Patrick Ryan Dingle, Matthew David Verminski, Peter K. Mansfield, Andrew Stubbs, Sean Hugh Breheny, Peter R. Wurman
  • Patent number: 9665095
    Abstract: Robots or other machines may be used for retrieving errant objects from the floor of an automated warehouse. A system can include one or more reporting methods to alert a central control to the existence and location of an object on the warehouse floor. The central control can establish a safety zone around the object to avoid contact with normal warehouse traffic (e.g., standard warehouse robots). The system can route a cleanup robot to the location to retrieve the object. The system can include a cleanup pod comprising a convertible shelving unit with a robotic arm. The cleanup pod can have a similar form factor as shelving units used for storing inventory in the warehouse, thereby enabling standard warehouse robots to lift and transport the cleanup pod to retrieve an object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2017
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph Romano, Peter R. Wurman, Dennis Polic, Peter K. Mansfield
  • Publication number: 20170083020
    Abstract: An inventory system includes an inventory holder and an actively balanced mobile drive unit. A control module of the mobile drive unit can receive sensing information about the inventory holder and/or the mobile drive unit and use the sensing information to control a drive module of the mobile drive unit so as to maintain the inventory holder and/or the mobile drive unit within a predetermined deviation amount from an equilibrium state.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 23, 2015
    Publication date: March 23, 2017
    Inventors: Oliver Christoph Purwin, Dragan Pajevic, David William Guerin, Robert Michael Shydo, JR., Mark Anthony Messina, Parris S. Wellman, Kevin John Trenholme, Peter Thomas Colantonio, Peter K. Mansfield
  • Patent number: 9588519
    Abstract: Short range transmissions are used to identify potential interactions between warehouse workers and warehouse robots in automated warehouses. The robot can be equipped with one or more short range transmission tags, such as radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, while the warehouse worker can be equipped with a short range transmission reader, such as an RFID reader. The robot can detect a warehouse worker that is within range when the RFID tags on the robot are written to by the RFID reader. The warehouse robots and warehouse workers can also be equipped with one or more cameras to identify fiducials in the automated warehouse and to report their positions. A central control or interaction server can ensure that warehouse robots and warehouse workers are routed appropriately to avoid incidents.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2017
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew Stubbs, Matthew David Verminski, Stephen Caldara, Robert Michael Shydo, Jr., Gregory Edward Tierney, Peter K. Mansfield
  • Patent number: 9580245
    Abstract: Inventory systems may include one or more sensors capable of detecting spatial positioning of inventory holders and associated inventory items. Data can be received from a sensor, a boundary corresponding to a face of the inventory holder can be determined from the data, and items projecting across the boundary can be determined as items protruding from the inventory holder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2017
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Peter K. Mansfield, Ned Lecky, Peter R. Wurman, Dennis Polic, David Levy
  • Publication number: 20170022010
    Abstract: A system for transporting inventory items includes an inventory holder capable of storing inventory items and a mobile drive unit. The mobile drive unit is capable of moving to a first point with the inventory holder at least one of coupled to and supported by the mobile drive unit. The mobile drive unit is additionally capable of determining a location of the inventory holder and calculating a difference between the location of the inventory holder and the first point. The mobile drive unit is then capable of determining whether the difference is greater than a predetermined tolerance. In response to determining that the difference is greater than the predetermined tolerance, the mobile drive unit is also capable of moving to a second point based on the location of the inventory holder, docking with the inventory holder, and moving the mobile drive unit and the inventory holder to the first point.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 7, 2016
    Publication date: January 26, 2017
    Inventors: Raffaello D'Andrea, Peter K. Mansfield, Michael Cordell Mountz, Dennis Polic, Patrick R. Dingle
  • Publication number: 20160334799
    Abstract: A system for transporting inventory items includes an inventory holder capable of storing inventory items and a mobile drive unit. The mobile drive unit is capable of moving to a first point with the inventory holder at least one of coupled to and supported by the mobile drive unit. The mobile drive unit is additionally capable of determining a location of the inventory holder and calculating a difference between the location of the inventory holder and the first point. The mobile drive unit is then capable of determining whether the difference is greater than a predetermined tolerance. In response to determining that the difference is greater than the predetermined tolerance, the mobile drive unit is also capable of moving to a second point based on the location of the inventory holder, docking with the inventory holder, and moving the mobile drive unit and the inventory holder to the first point.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 27, 2016
    Publication date: November 17, 2016
    Inventors: Raffaello D'Andrea, Peter K. Mansfield, Michael C. Mountz, Dennis Polic, Patrick R. Dingle
  • Publication number: 20160274586
    Abstract: Short range transmissions are used to identify potential interactions between warehouse workers and warehouse robots in automated warehouses. The robot can be equipped with one or more short range transmission tags, such as radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, while the warehouse worker can be equipped with a short range transmission reader, such as an RFID reader. The robot can detect a warehouse worker that is within range when the RFID tags on the robot are written to by the RFID reader. The warehouse robots and warehouse workers can also be equipped with one or more cameras to identify fiducials in the automated warehouse and to report their positions. A central control or interaction server can ensure that warehouse robots and warehouse workers are routed appropriately to avoid incidents.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 17, 2015
    Publication date: September 22, 2016
    Inventors: Andrew Stubbs, Matthew David Verminski, Stephen Caldara, Robert Michael Shydo, JR., Gregory Edward Tierney, Peter K. Mansfield
  • Patent number: 9436184
    Abstract: A system for transporting inventory items includes an inventory holder capable of storing inventory items and a mobile drive unit. The mobile drive unit is capable of moving to a first point with the inventory holder at least one of coupled to and supported by the mobile drive unit. The mobile drive unit is additionally capable of determining a location of the inventory holder and calculating a difference between the location of the inventory holder and the first point. The mobile drive unit is then capable of determining whether the difference is greater than a predetermined tolerance. In response to determining that the difference is greater than the predetermined tolerance, the mobile drive unit is also capable of moving to a second point based on the location of the inventory holder, docking with the inventory holder, and moving the mobile drive unit and the inventory holder to the first point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2016
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Raffaello D'Andrea, Peter K. Mansfield, Michael Cordell Mountz, Dennis Polic, Patrick R. Dingle
  • Patent number: 9371184
    Abstract: Some examples include charging an onboard power source of a mobile drive unit (MDU) of an inventory system while the MDU is operating in the inventory system, rather than removing the MDU from service for recharging. As an example, the MDU may receive instructions to retrieve an inventory holder, and an onboard power source of the MDU may be charged while the MDU and the inventory holder are located at the charging station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2016
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Patrick Ryan Dingle, Matthew David Verminski, Peter K. Mansfield, Andrew Stubbs, Sean Hugh Breheny, Peter R. Wurman
  • Publication number: 20160062345
    Abstract: Techniques for making a physical area safe for a human to enter when mobile drive units (e.g., robots) are operating in the physical area are described. A management device may send an activity message to the mobile drive units instructing the mobile drive units to perform a set of activities. If a human is detected in the physical area, the management device may stop sending the activity command. If the mobile drive units do not receive the activity command, the mobile drive units may stop performing the set of activities. After the management device determines that the human has left the physical area, the management device may resume sending the activity message.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 29, 2014
    Publication date: March 3, 2016
    Inventors: Andrew Stubbs, Matthew David Verminski, Michael T. Barbehenn, Andrew Brenden Tinka, Peter K. Mansfield, Peter R. Wurman
  • Publication number: 20150354949
    Abstract: Inventory systems may include one or more sensors capable of detecting spatial positioning of inventory holders and an arm of a worker interacting with the inventory holder. Data can be received from a sensor, a gesture of the arm can be determined from the data, and a bin location or other information can be determined based on the gesture.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 10, 2014
    Publication date: December 10, 2015
    Inventors: Ned Lecky, Peter K. Mansfield, Peter R. Wurman, Dennis Polic