Patents by Inventor Robert R. DeWitt

Robert R. DeWitt 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: 10766712
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided for sorting items to a plurality of sort destinations. The items are fed into the apparatus at an input station having a scanning station. The scanning station evaluates one or more characteristics of each item. The items are then loaded onto one of a plurality of independently controlled delivery vehicles. The delivery vehicles are individually driven to sort destinations. Once at the appropriate sort destination, the delivery vehicle ejects the item to the sort destination and returns to receive another item to be delivered. A re-induction conveyor may be provided for receiving select items from the vehicles and conveying the items back to the input station for re-processing. Additionally, a controller is provided to control the movement of the vehicles based on a characteristic of each item being delivered by each vehicle. The system may also include vehicles having an assembly for detecting items being loaded onto or discharged from the vehicles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2020
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2020
    Assignee: OPEX Corporation
    Inventors: Robert R. DeWitt, Alexander Stevens, Monty McVaugh, James Walsh, Gregory Wilson
  • Patent number: 10759601
    Abstract: A method for operating an automated storage and retrieval system includes transferring a first item storage container from an aisle to a first region of a first storage location, positioning a second item storage container in the aisle proximate the first item storage container, interlocking the second item storage container to the first item storage container by engaging a releasable coupling structure extending there between, and applying, in a first direction transverse to the aisle, a force to the second item storage container sufficient in magnitude and duration to cause the first item storage container to occupy the second region of the first storage location and the second item storage container to occupy the first region of the first storage location, whereby the first and second item storage containers remain interlocked while in the first storage location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2020
    Assignee: OPEX Corporation
    Inventors: Joseph Valinsky, Robert R. DeWitt, Alexander Stevens, Dhruva Kumar
  • Patent number: 10703566
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided for sorting or retrieving items to/from a plurality of destinations areas. The items are loaded onto one of a plurality of independently controlled delivery vehicles. The delivery vehicles follow a track that guides the delivery vehicles to/from the destination areas, which are positioned along the track. Once at the appropriate destination area, an item is transferred between the delivery vehicle and the destination area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2020
    Assignee: OPEX Corporation
    Inventors: Robert R. DeWitt, Peter M. Chezik, Joseph Valinsky, S. N. Kartik, Ola Stahl
  • Publication number: 20200172335
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided for storing and retrieving items to/from a plurality of destinations areas. A storage and retrieval system stores and retrieves items as needed and transfer items from storage locations to transfer locations. A separate picking system conveys the items from the transfer locations to a picking station or an input out station so that the item can be selected.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 28, 2019
    Publication date: June 4, 2020
    Inventor: Robert R. DeWitt
  • Publication number: 20200156118
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided for sorting or retrieving items to/from a plurality of destinations areas. The items are loaded onto one of a plurality of independently controlled delivery vehicles. The delivery vehicles follow a track that guides the delivery vehicles to/from the destination areas, which are positioned along the track. Once at the appropriate destination area, an item is transferred between the delivery vehicle and the destination area.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 23, 2020
    Publication date: May 21, 2020
    Inventors: George Hayduchok, Robert R. DeWitt
  • Publication number: 20200148475
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided for sorting or retrieving items to/from a plurality of destinations areas. The items are loaded onto one of a plurality of independently controlled delivery vehicles. The delivery vehicles follow a path to/from the destination areas that are positioned along the path. Along the path, the vehicles are scanned to determine if any item on the vehicles extends beyond a dimensional constraint. If it is determined that an item on a vehicle extends above the pre-determined threshold, the vehicle is controlled, such as by stopping or re-directing the vehicle. Once at the appropriate destination area, an item is transferred between the delivery vehicle and the destination area.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 15, 2020
    Publication date: May 14, 2020
    Inventors: Christopher Lynch, Alexander Stevens, Robert R. DeWitt, William L. Heins, III
  • Publication number: 20200152259
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided for sorting items to a plurality of sort destinations. The items are fed into the apparatus at an input station having a scanning station. The scanning station evaluates one or more characteristics of each item. The items are then loaded onto one of a plurality of independently controlled delivery vehicles. The delivery vehicles are individually driven to sort destinations. Once at the appropriate sort destination, the delivery vehicle ejects the item to the sort destination and returns to receive another item to be delivered. A re-induction conveyor may be provided for receiving select items from the vehicles and conveying the items back to the input station for re-processing. Additionally, a controller is provided to control the movement of the vehicles based on a characteristic of each item being delivered by each vehicle. The system may also include vehicles having an assembly for detecting items being loaded onto or discharged from the vehicles.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 20, 2020
    Publication date: May 14, 2020
    Inventors: Robert R. DeWitt, Alexander Stevens, Monty McVaugh, James Walsh, Gregory Wilson
  • Patent number: 10633186
    Abstract: A method for operating an automated storage and retrieval system includes transferring a first item storage container from an aisle to a first region of a first storage location, positioning a second item storage container in the aisle proximate the first item storage container, interlocking the second item storage container to the first item storage container by engaging a releasable coupling structure extending there between, and applying, in a first direction transverse to the aisle, a force to the second item storage container sufficient in magnitude and duration to cause the first item storage container to occupy the second region of the first storage location and the second item storage container to occupy the first region of the first storage location, whereby the first and second item storage containers remain interlocked while in the first storage location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2020
    Assignee: OPEX Corporation
    Inventors: Joseph Valinsky, Robert R. DeWitt, Alexander Stevens, Dhruva Kumar
  • Patent number: 10589930
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided for sorting or retrieving items to/from a plurality of destinations areas. The items are loaded onto one of a plurality of independently controlled delivery vehicles. The delivery vehicles follow a path to/from the destination areas that are positioned along the path. Along the path, the vehicles are scanned to determine if any item on the vehicles extends beyond a dimensional constraint. If it is determined that an item on a vehicle extends above the pre-determined threshold, the vehicle is controlled, such as by stopping or re-directing the vehicle. Once at the appropriate destination area, an item is transferred between the delivery vehicle and the destination area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2020
    Assignee: OPEX Corporation
    Inventors: Christopher Lynch, Alexander Stevens, Robert R. DeWitt, William L. Heins, III
  • Patent number: 10576505
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided for sorting or retrieving items to/from a plurality of destinations areas. The items are loaded onto one of a plurality of independently controlled delivery vehicles. The delivery vehicles follow a track that guides the delivery vehicles to/from the destination areas, which are positioned along the track. Once at the appropriate destination area, an item is transferred between the delivery vehicle and the destination area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2020
    Assignee: OPEX Corporation
    Inventors: George Hayduchok, Robert R. DeWitt
  • Publication number: 20200062512
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided for sorting items to a plurality of sort destinations. The items are fed into the apparatus at an input station having a scanning station. The scanning station evaluates one or more characteristics of each item. The items are then loaded onto one of a plurality of independently controlled delivery vehicles. The delivery vehicles are individually driven to sort destinations. Once at the appropriate sort destination, the delivery vehicle ejects the item to the sort destination and returns to receive another item to be delivered. A re-induction conveyor may be provided for receiving select items from the vehicles and conveying the items back to the input station for re-processing. Additionally, a controller is provided to control the movement of the vehicles based on a characteristic each item being delivered by each vehicle. The system may also include vehicles having an assembly for detecting items being loaded onto or discharged from the vehicles.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 30, 2019
    Publication date: February 27, 2020
    Inventors: Robert R. DeWitt, Alexander Stevens, Monty McVaugh, James Walsh, Gregory Wilson
  • Publication number: 20190382204
    Abstract: A method for operating an automated storage and retrieval system includes transferring a first item storage container from an aisle to a first region of a first storage location, positioning a second item storage container in the aisle proximate the first item storage container, interlocking the second item storage container to the first item storage container by engaging a releasable coupling structure extending there between, and applying, in a first direction transverse to the aisle, a force to the second item storage container sufficient in magnitude and duration to cause the first item storage container to occupy the second region of the first storage location and the second item storage container to occupy the first region of the first storage location, whereby the first and second item storage containers remain interlocked while in the first storage location.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 30, 2019
    Publication date: December 19, 2019
    Inventors: Joseph Valinsky, Robert R. DeWitt, Alexander Stevens, Dhruva Kumar
  • Patent number: 10494192
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided for sorting items to a plurality of sort destinations. The items are fed into the apparatus at an input station having a scanning station. The scanning station evaluates one or more characteristics of each item. The items are then loaded onto one of a plurality of independently controlled delivery vehicles. The delivery vehicles are individually driven to sort destinations. Once at the appropriate sort destination, the delivery vehicle ejects the item to the sort destination and returns to receive another item to be delivered. A re-induction conveyor may be provided for receiving select items from the vehicles and conveying the items back to the input station for re-processing. Additionally, a controller is provided to control the movement of the vehicles based on a characteristic each item being delivered by each vehicle. The system may also include vehicles having edge-detection assemblies for detecting items being loaded onto or discharged from the vehicles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2019
    Assignee: Opex Corporation
    Inventors: Robert R. DeWitt, Alexander Stevens, Monty McVaugh, James Walsh, Gregory Wilson
  • Patent number: 10457483
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided for storing and retrieving items to/from a plurality of destinations areas. A storage and retrieval system stores and retrieves items as needed and transfer items from storage locations to transfer locations. A separate picking system conveys the items from the transfer locations to a picking station or an input out station so that the item can be selected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2019
    Assignee: OPEX CORPORATION
    Inventor: Robert R. DeWitt
  • Publication number: 20190160493
    Abstract: In an exemplary embodiment, an apparatus (10) and associated method for sorting a plurality of items includes a plurality of sort destinations and a plurality of delivery vehicles (200/400) for delivering items to the sort destinations. Each vehicle (400) includes a surface (406) for supporting items to be delivered and an edge-detection assembly (402,404) for detecting an edge of an item when the item is conveyed onto or discharged from the vehicle. The edge-detection assembly (402,404) includes an emitter for emitting a beam of light toward the surface. The emitter (104) is positioned below the surface so that the beam of light is projected transverse the surface. The emitter edge-detection assembly also includes a plurality of detectors for detecting the beam of light, wherein an object on the surface of the vehicle affects the beam of light received by the detectors.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 11, 2017
    Publication date: May 30, 2019
    Inventors: Samuel Gardner GARRETT, Robert R. DEWITT, Monty MCVAUGH, Alexander STEVENS, James WALSH, Gregory WILSON
  • Publication number: 20180346247
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided for sorting or retrieving items to/from a plurality of destinations areas. The items are loaded onto one of a plurality of independently controlled delivery vehicles. The delivery vehicles follow a track that guides the delivery vehicles to/from the destination areas, which are positioned along the track. Once at the appropriate destination area, an item is transferred between the delivery vehicle and the destination area.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 8, 2018
    Publication date: December 6, 2018
    Inventors: Robert R. DeWitt, Peter M. Chezik, Joseph Valinsky, S. N. Kartik, Ola Stahl
  • Publication number: 20180327204
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for processing documents are provided. The apparatus includes a feeder for receiving a packet of a plurality of documents and separating the documents to serially feed the documents to a scanner. A retard adjacent the feeder is operable in first and second positions. In the first position the retard forms a nip with the feeder so that the retard is operable to impede the progress of one or more documents in the packet while the feeder feeds one of the documents in the packet. In the second position, the retard is spaced apart from the feeder to form a gap between the feeder and the retard. The system further includes a sensor for detecting a characteristic of the documents in a packet indicative of whether the number of documents in the packet exceeds a predetermined threshold.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 4, 2017
    Publication date: November 15, 2018
    Inventors: David Helmlinger, Gary Miller, Peter M. Chezik, Robert R. DeWitt
  • Publication number: 20180318881
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided for sorting or retrieving items to/from a plurality of destinations areas. The items are loaded onto one of a plurality of independently controlled delivery vehicles. The delivery vehicles follow a track that guides the delivery vehicles to/from the destination areas, which are positioned along the track. Once at the appropriate destination area, an item is transferred between the delivery vehicle and the destination area.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 19, 2018
    Publication date: November 8, 2018
    Inventors: George Hayduchok, Robert R. DeWitt
  • Publication number: 20180290830
    Abstract: A method for operating an automated storage and retrieval system includes transferring a first item storage container from an aisle to a first region of a first storage location, positioning a second item storage container in the aisle proximate the first item storage container, interlocking the second item storage container to the first item storage container by engaging a releasable coupling structure extending there between, and applying, in a first direction transverse to the aisle, a force to the second item storage container sufficient in magnitude and duration to cause the first item storage container to occupy the second region of the first storage location and the second item storage container to occupy the first region of the first storage location, whereby the first and second item storage containers remain interlocked while in the first storage location.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 26, 2018
    Publication date: October 11, 2018
    Inventors: Joseph Valinsky, Robert R. DeWitt, Alexander Stevens, Dhruva Kumar
  • Patent number: 10071857
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided for sorting or retrieving items to/from a plurality of destinations areas. The items are loaded onto one of a plurality of independently controlled delivery vehicles. The delivery vehicles follow a track that guides the delivery vehicles to/from the destination areas, which are positioned along the track. Once at the appropriate destination area, an item is transferred between the delivery vehicle and the destination area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2018
    Assignee: Opex Corporation
    Inventors: Robert R. DeWitt, Peter M. Chezik, Joseph Valinsky, S N Kartik, Ola Stahl