Patents by Inventor Robert L. Cantrell

Robert L. Cantrell 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
  • Publication number: 20210278862
    Abstract: In some embodiments, methods and systems are provided that provide for monitoring and controlling communication capabilities of unmanned transport vehicles that via one or more intermediate communication devices that provide relay communications between the unmanned transport vehicles and a control station device when the unmanned transport vehicles travel through areas where the network quality does not permit direct communication between the unmanned transport vehicles and the control station device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 24, 2021
    Publication date: September 9, 2021
    Inventors: David C. Winkle, John J. O'Brien, Robert L. Cantrell
  • Patent number: 11100462
    Abstract: In some embodiments, methods and systems are provided for facilitating delivery of products purchased over the internet by the customers to the customers from a selected product stocking facility of the retailer. The products can be delivered to the customer from the selected product stocking facility of the retailer via a worker of the product stocking facility or an unmanned delivery vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2021
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Donald R. High, Robert L. Cantrell, Michael D. Atchley, Todd D. Mattingly
  • Patent number: 11079242
    Abstract: Systems, methods, and computer-readable storage media for determining autonomous vehicle location using incremental image analysis. An exemplary method can include identifying an expected position of an autonomous vehicle which is moving, and identifying, an actual position of the autonomous vehicle. The identifying of the actual position occurs by obtaining images of the autonomous vehicle's surroundings, initiating an iterative image comparison of those images to previously stored images within a given geographic radius of the autonomous vehicle, and iteratively extending the radius (and the pictures being compared) until a match is found or until the maximum radius is reached.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2021
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Robert L. Cantrell, David C. Winkle, John J. O'Brien
  • Patent number: 11004345
    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: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2021
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Robert L. Cantrell, Donald R. High, Samantha M. Mangosing, David C. Winkle, John J. O'Brien
  • Publication number: 20200372455
    Abstract: In some embodiments, methods and systems are provided for facilitating delivery of products purchased over the internet by the customers to the customers from a selected product stocking facility of the retailer. The products can be delivered to the customer from the selected product stocking facility of the retailer via a worker of the product stocking facility or an unmanned delivery vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 11, 2020
    Publication date: November 26, 2020
    Inventors: Donald R. High, Robert L. Cantrell, Michael D. Atchley, Todd D. Mattingly
  • 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: 10631169
    Abstract: Some embodiments provide systems and methods of enhancing protection of unmanned retail delivery vehicles. Some of these embodiments comprise: a plurality of unmanned delivery vehicles (UDV); a plurality of lure unmanned vehicles; and a procedure randomization system configured to randomly select a protection procedure that is not to be implemented by a first lure unmanned vehicle to enhance an attack vulnerability; and wherein a first lure vehicle control circuit of the first lure unmanned vehicle is configured to obtain a first lure route and control the first lure unmanned vehicle to travel along the first lure route while preventing the selected first protection procedure from being applied while applying at least a sub-set of the set of the plurality of protection procedures to a full capacity while the first lure unmanned vehicle travels along the first lure route.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2020
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Donald R. High, David C. Winkle, John J. O'Brien, Robert L. Cantrell, Todd D. Mattingly
  • 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: 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: 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
  • 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: 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
  • 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: 10535036
    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 having another customer pick up the ordered products at the store location of the retailer and then hand off the picked up products to an autonomous transport vehicle that delivers the handed off products to a delivery destination designated by the ordering customer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2018
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2020
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventor: Robert L. Cantrell
  • 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: 10515335
    Abstract: Apparatuses and methods are provided herein useful for receiving and storing delivered items. In some embodiments, a secured delivery locker is described herein that can communicate with delivery vehicles and/or users. In several embodiments, an autonomous delivery vehicle can communicate with a secured delivery locker to authenticate itself. The secured delivery locker can then grant access to the delivery vehicle, such as by opening a door to an interior thereof, so that the delivery vehicle can deposit a package therein. The locker can then confirm receipt of the package and close the door. Thereafter, the locker and/or the delivery vehicle can update a system to indicate that the package was delivered.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2019
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2019
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: David C. Winkle, Robert C. Taylor, Todd D. Mattingly, Michael D. Atchley, Robert L. Cantrell, John J. O'Brien
  • 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: 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