Selective Delivery Patents (Class 104/88.01)
  • Patent number: 9616905
    Abstract: A navigation system for a train having at least one locomotive or control car and, optionally, at least one railroad car, operating in a track network, wherein an on-board computer determines or receives location data and communicates or causes the communication of the location data and/or railway data to another locomotive or control car, another train, a remote server, or the like. A train navigation method is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2017
    Assignee: Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Jeffrey D. Kernwein, Kendrick W. Gawne
  • Patent number: 9440791
    Abstract: An assembly for arranging hanging goods in a space-saving manner, in particular for forming a block of hanging goods to be stored in a high bay warehouse, comprises a feeding unit for feeding the hanging goods along a transport direction and an arrangement unit for arranging the hanging goods, wherein the arrangement unit is provided with at least two transport rails arranged adjacent to one another when seen in the transport direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2016
    Assignee: DÜRKOPP FÖRDERTECHNIK GMBH
    Inventor: Michael Wend
  • Patent number: 9205772
    Abstract: A moving carriage that moves an overhead travelling vehicle that has been unloaded to the ground, includes a frame including travelling wheels, elevating mechanisms provided at a plurality of locations on the frame along a longitudinal direction of the frame, a track for an overhead travelling vehicle, the track being supported by the elevating mechanisms so as to be lifted and lowered and being configured to allow the overhead travelling vehicle to be transferred to and from another track, and a synchronizing mechanism that synchronizes the elevating mechanisms to lift and lower the track by the same or substantially the same amount.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2015
    Assignee: MURATA MACHINERY, LTD.
    Inventors: Hideki Kato, Tatsuo Tsubaki
  • Patent number: 9171459
    Abstract: A traffic monitoring and notification system for vehicles includes road devices to be spaced apart along a road, and a traffic management controller. A portion of the vehicles may carry an electronic device that transmits an electronic address associated therewith. Each road device detects vehicles traveling on the road, determines if each detected vehicle is carrying an electronic device, and if so, then detects the electronic address associated therewith. A vehicle detection signal is transmitted based on each detected vehicle, and an electronic address signal is transmitted based on each detected electronic address. The traffic management controller receives the vehicle detection signals and the electronic address signals, determines a traffic pattern of the vehicles on the road based on the vehicle detection signals, and transmits a respective travel notification signal to each electronic device transmitting the electronic address associated therewith to provide travel information to a driver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2015
    Assignee: Blue-Band LLC
    Inventors: Kevin Yorke, Roberto Adair, William Waers, Kendal Yorke
  • Patent number: 9085375
    Abstract: One embodiment of an automated system for carrying passengers between airport terminal or concourse facilities and parked aircraft is shown. The embodiment comprises PRT guideways (13, 14, 15, 23, 27), vehicles (21) and stations (22). Some PRT stations are linked to parked aircraft (11) or aircraft parking positions by means of conventional loading bridges (12), while others are linked to terminal or concourse buildings (15). No PRT station is linked to more than one aircraft. Other embodiments are described and shown. The embodiments provide a high level of service while reducing the need to construct terminal or concourse buildings adjacent to each aircraft parking position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2015
    Inventors: Steven Barrie Cornell, Peter John Muller
  • Patent number: 8825205
    Abstract: A method for controlling movement of travelling carriers includes providing, to a rear travelling carrier approaching a work area at a high speed, current location information corresponding to distances from a measurement starting point to the rear travelling carrier and a front travelling carrier, the rear travelling carrier calculating a following distance between the front and rear travelling carriers based on the current location information, and the rear travelling carrier performing deceleration control to the operating speed based on decremental changes of the following distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2014
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Toshiaki Yokota, Kazuhiko Miyoshi, Masatsugu Kamei, Atsunobu Iseki
  • Patent number: 8639380
    Abstract: Each load-carrier of a system is always controlled by one of a series of MCUs (monitoring and control units) that are assigned to contiguous regions along guideways. Each carrier is slowed down to maintain a safe distance behind a carrier ahead, or to avoid collision with another carrier when approaching a merge point of a convergent Y-junction or when otherwise desirable. Distance measurements take into account the lengths of carriers and of assigned regions and the counts of speed pulses sent to MCUs since entry of carriers into their respective regions. For merge control, arrival data are developed that include the times and speeds to and at arrival of two carriers at a merge point. Through repeated comparisons of arrival data developed from one carrier with arrival data previously developed and stored as to the other carrier, the one carrier is gradually slowed down as necessary to avoid a collision.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2014
    Assignee: Autran Corp.
    Inventor: Van Metre Lund
  • Patent number: 8494695
    Abstract: A rail vehicle includes of one or more locomotives and may further include one or more rail cars, and the rail vehicle further includes a locator element, a communications device and a control module located on the rail vehicle. The locator elements provide a location information of the rail vehicle to a control module. The control module is coupled to the communications device and the locator element. The control module determines control settings for controlling the operations of the communications device based on the location of the rail vehicle. The communications device sends and/or receives data, including communications data, off-board the rail vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2013
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Jared Klineman Cooper, John William Brand, Nick David Nagrodsky, Keith Gilbertson
  • Patent number: 8448579
    Abstract: An article transport facility in which electricity can be supplied properly from an electricity supply line to a power receiving portion even in a curved portion of a predetermined travel path without providing the power receiving portion to a connecting shaft. An article transport vehicle includes a travel portion having a guide wheel and a travel wheel that contacts the travel rail and is driven. The travel portion is connected to the vehicle main body by a connecting shaft. The power receiving portion is supported by the vehicle main body such that the power receiving portion can be moved in the lateral direction of the article transport vehicle. The article transport vehicle includes means for moving the power receiving portion outwardly of the curved portion of the article transport vehicle in association with the rotation of the connecting shaft when the travel portion rotates while traveling in the curved portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2013
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Yoshitaka Inui
  • Patent number: 8428770
    Abstract: Each load-carrier of a system is always controlled by one of a series of MCUs (monitoring and control units) that are assigned to contiguous regions along guideways. Each carrier is slowed down to maintain a safe distance behind a carrier ahead, or to avoid collision with another carrier when approaching a merge point of a convergent Y-junction or when otherwise desirable. Distance measurements take into account the lengths of carriers and of assigned regions and the counts of speed pulses sent to MCUs since entry of carriers into their respective regions. For merge control, arrival data are developed that include the times and speeds to and at arrival of two carriers at a merge point. Through repeated comparisons of arrival data developed from one carrier with arrival data previously developed and stored as to the other carrier, the one carrier is gradually slowed down as necessary to avoid a collision.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2013
    Assignee: Autran Corp
    Inventor: Van Metre Lund
  • Patent number: 8408140
    Abstract: A device for entering an object into a cell comprises mainly a track for guiding the object and a lifting pod extending the track. It is then possible to use robots and lower them on the floor of the cell to carry out inspection work.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2013
    Assignee: Commissariat A l'Energie Atomique Et Aux Energies Alternatives
    Inventors: Herve Vialle, Pascal Gire
  • Patent number: 8375865
    Abstract: A personal transportation and freight delivery system that can be operated as a fully automated driverless land transportation system consisting of vehicles that move on their own propulsion on a pair of overhead parallel steel rails that form a single track and allows people to go anywhere the tracks can take them and delivery of freight anywhere along the tracks. Passengers and freight are transported inside a module that hangs from a propulsion dolly with in-line wheels to roll along such tracks. Electric motors are used for propulsion with power supplied at the tracks assembly; however, the system is also suited for internal combustion engines. There's no need for track switches to route vehicles to its destination as each vehicle has a steering mechanism. Rubber bumpers at each end of the propulsion dollies allow the vehicles to fit bumper-to-bumper along the tracks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2013
    Inventor: Jose Alberto Zayas
  • Patent number: 8322287
    Abstract: The article transport facility includes a plurality of article transport vehicles which can travel on a travel path defined by rails installed in the ceiling. The travel path includes a loop-shaped primary path, and secondary paths each arranged to extend along and by at least one article transport location, a first connecting path that connects the primary path and the secondary path, and a second connecting path, provided independently from the first connecting path, with one end portion connected to the secondary path located on one side of the primary path, and the other end portion connected to the secondary path located on the other side of the primary path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2012
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Keisuke Oguro, Motohiro Fujita, Yuuya Takemoto
  • Patent number: 8272331
    Abstract: A single main steel wheel rides on a single main steel rail of a guideway to support and drive a carrier and to facilitate steering and provide a simplified, more compact and less costly construction. The carrier can support a car through a platform having elements and chocks for locking contact with a front bumper and front wheels of the car Auxiliary wheels and rails cooperate to cause nearly all weight to be carried through the single main wheel. Traction is increased when necessary through application of increased upward forces to undersides of auxiliary rails and/or through developing magnetic forces between the steel wheel and steel rail. An AC induction motor is a main source of drive power. Acceleration and braking are assisted through epicyclic gearing, braking means and a DC motor/generator that is connected to a battery and that drives the carrier if supply of AC fails.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2012
    Assignee: Autran Corp.
    Inventor: Van Metre Lund
  • Patent number: 8256353
    Abstract: A system and method for optimally managing the inventory of railroad freight cars and for transporting and processing the unladen cars to reloading points. The system provides a means for returning unladen cars at one or more strategically located yards or aggregation facilities where the cars are cleaned, inspected, repaired/maintained, stored and blocked for ultimate delivery. After such processes the cars may be treated as generic, and used for the transport of any materials within the constraints of the car type, rather than being dedicated to specific products and returned to a specific production facilities as in current practice. As well, the method provides a means by which multiple car operators may pool their collective rail car assets to further optimize the rail car supply chain.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2012
    Inventor: Bradley N. Howell
  • Patent number: 8250989
    Abstract: A system and method for optimally managing the inventory of railroad freight cars and for transporting and processing the unladen cars to reloading points. The system provides a means for returning unladen cars at one or more strategically located yards or aggregation facilities where the cars are cleaned, inspected, repaired/maintained, stored and blocked for ultimate delivery. After such processes the cars may be treated as generic, and used for the transport of any materials within the constraints of the car type, rather than being dedicated to specific products and returned to a specific production facilities as in current practice. As well, the method provides a means by which multiple car operators may pool their collective rail car assets to further optimize the rail car supply chain.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2012
    Inventor: Bradley N. Howell
  • Patent number: 8146506
    Abstract: An active rail transport system for the automated transport of persons or goods on conventional rails includes a car having an autonomous drive unit, brake and steering mechanism. The car may be directed away from a running through car, decelerated unloaded and/or loaded and thereafter redirected to the running through car after the speed of the car is adjusted to the speed of the running through car. A first conducting system which includes a first scanning system provides continuous traction. The first scanning system can be adjusted to account for different rail gauges during travel. A second conducting system includes scanning systems and associated guide rails for determining the direction of the car when going over diverge points and crossings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2012
    Inventor: Uwe Stahn
  • Publication number: 20120055367
    Abstract: A personal transportation and freight delivery system that can be operated as a fully automated driverless land transportation system consisting of vehicles that move on their own propulsion on a pair of overhead parallel steel rails that form a single track and allows people to go anywhere the tracks can take them and delivery of freight anywhere along the tracks. Passengers and freight are transported inside a module that hangs from a propulsion dolly with in-line wheels to roll along such tracks. Electric motors are used for propulsion with power supplied at the tracks assembly; however, the system is also suited for internal combustion engines. There's no need for track switches to route vehicles to its destination as each vehicle has a steering mechanism. Rubber bumpers at each end of the propulsion dollies allow the vehicles to fit bumper-to-bumper along the tracks.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 25, 2011
    Publication date: March 8, 2012
    Inventor: Jose Alberto Zayas
  • Patent number: 8090490
    Abstract: An automatic recovery and transport system includes a manufacture execution system, a path planning system electrically connected with the manufacture execution system, a vehicle control system electrically connected with the path planning system, a plurality of vehicles electrically connected with the vehicle control system; and an alarm system electrically connected with the path planning system and the vehicle control system. The alarm system will command the path planning system to command the vehicle control system to drive the vehicle about to stop to enter the maintenance area immediately. Accordingly, the stability and the work efficiency of the whole system are improved. The present invention also provides a method for executing an automatic recovery and transport system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2012
    Assignee: Inotera Memories, Inc.
    Inventors: Yu-Kun Chen, Chin-Hsiao Chuang
  • Patent number: 7987795
    Abstract: A mink/fox transportation system (2) for individual transport in connection with the production of mink/fox furs, for example, the transport of upright-standing expansion pelt boards (4), with or without tanned, or tanned and dried pelts, to one or more relevant receiving stations (170, 172), has at least one, preferably a plurality, of self-driven traction units/carriages (10) driven along a predetermined transport path in the form of a track (6) which is formed of track elements (8,8?,8?,8??) that have been assembled together configured to the arrangement of the particular production facility. The traction units/carriages (10) have a housing (12) with an upwardly-facing side (20) in which an opening (14) is formed for receiving a blunt part (18) extending from the foot end (16) of the pelt board, or surrounds a smaller part of the whole of the foot end of a pelt board.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2011
    Assignee: Dansk Mink Papir A/S
    Inventor: Jens Hedegaard
  • Patent number: 7966943
    Abstract: A transport system for providing increased capacity to move individuals and freight while still accommodating the individual needs of passengers and freight movers to travel to unique destinations. The transit system including a car including a set of switching wheels that are designed to engage with a set of switching rails, the switching wheels being moveable to selectively engage with the switching rails to either maintain the car on the track or switch the car off to another track. The car has the capability to travel on the relatively high-speed track and on a conventional surface street.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2011
    Inventor: Georges Brigham
  • Patent number: 7765936
    Abstract: A transporting system with a fire door (100) is provided with: a rail (1) installed within a facility; a transporting carriage (3), whose wheel (4) is set so as to roll over a surface for rolling of the rail; a fire door plate (7) for segmenting a space within the facility in a direction intersecting the rail at a predetermined position of the rail; and a door plate moving device (8) capable of moving the fire door plate from an open position for the transporting carriage to pass through the predetermined position, to a close position for the fire door plate to segment the space. A first cut (1a) is formed obliquely with respect to a width direction of the rail when planarly seen on the surface for rolling, in the rail at the predetermined position. The fire door plate has a shape capable of passing through the first cut when being moved to the close position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2010
    Assignee: Muratec Automation Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Masanao Murata, Senzou Kyutoku, Toshio Takasu
  • Patent number: 7757608
    Abstract: A rail non-contact vehicle includes wheels, a vehicle main body supported by the wheels, and a steering control system. The steering control system includes a control section configured to control a steering of the wheels in a non-mechanical manner, and a drive section configured to mechanically drive the steering of the wheels. The control section includes a first detector configured to detect 1-dimensional coordinate data of a target route, a steering angle holding section configured to hold a target steering angle corresponding to the 1-dimensional coordinate data, a second detector configured to detect a current deviation between the target route and a current position of the vehicle main body, and a control steering angle calculating section configured to generate a control steering angle corresponding to the current deviation and the target steering angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 20, 2010
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroyuki Kono, Masahiro Yamaguchi, Hiroshi Yamashita, Masahisa Masukawa, Shunji Morhichika, Hiroyuki Mochidome, Koki Fukuda
  • Publication number: 20100043665
    Abstract: A transport system for providing increased capacity to move individuals and freight while still accommodating the individual needs of passengers and freight movers to travel to unique destinations. The transit system including a car including a set of switching wheels that are designed to engage with a set of switching rails, the switching wheels being moveable to selectively engage with the switching rails to either maintain the car on the track or switch the car off to another track. The car has the capability to travel on the relatively high-speed track and on a conventional surface street.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 5, 2009
    Publication date: February 25, 2010
    Inventor: Georges Brigham
  • Patent number: 7600478
    Abstract: A plurality of intra-bay routes and an inter-bay route between the intra-bay routes are defined as a logic bay, and the minimum number of allocated transportation vehicles is determined based on the unit of each logic bay.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2009
    Assignee: Murata Machinery, Ltd.
    Inventors: Ikuharu Shimamura, Toyokazu Kobayashi
  • Publication number: 20090235839
    Abstract: The invention relates to a public transport system for individually transporting persons or goods in an automated manner on conventional rails without using a conductor. In said transport system, automatically controlled conducting systems are arranged such that individual cars that have an autonomous drive unit, brake, and steering mechanism can be directed away from the rolling convoy (train), be decelerated, unloaded and/or loaded by merely changing the conducting system that mechanically influences the steering mechanism, lowering and lifting an associated scanning system, and can then be redirected into a rolling convoy (train) at a different point after the speed of the individual cars has been adjusted to the speed of the convoy. The first conducting system, which encompasses a first scanning system (1) on each car and the conventional rails, is used for providing continuous traction as well as for changing the track gauge along with the second conducting system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 29, 2007
    Publication date: September 24, 2009
    Inventor: Uwe Stahn
  • Patent number: 7578240
    Abstract: Buffers 6, 8 are provided on both sides of a travel rail 10. An overhead traveling vehicle 4 has a SCARA arm movable back and forth to both of the left and right so that a rotation unit 22 and an elevation drive unit 4 can move to a position above either of the buffers 6, 8.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 25, 2009
    Assignee: Murata Kikai Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Tamotsu Shiwaku
  • Patent number: 7497167
    Abstract: The integrated conveyor system has a number of independent powered modules (11), each having a pair of rails (2, 3), and powered belt (4) stretched in the transverse space defined between the pair of rails and forming a continuous support and guide structure and along which run a number of trucks are moved by the belt of each module along the rails. The conveyor system also includes a number of modules having no powered belt, a push module (116) having a powered belt and a brake module (11c) having a nonpowered belt; the trucks having stop means for forming, a train of mutually contacting trucks between the push module and the brake module, and pushed by the powered belt of the push module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2009
    Assignee: CPM S.p.A.
    Inventor: Massimo Bellezza
  • Patent number: 7461598
    Abstract: A loop-shaped maintenance bay route 6 directly connected to an inter-bay route 4 is provided for the maintenance of an overhead traveling vehicle 8. An operation check traveling line 16 and an operation check station 18 are provided along the maintenance bay route 6 for fully carrying out tests for traveling operation and transfer operation of the overhead traveling vehicle 8. In an adjustment/repair area 14, adjustment, configuration, repair, reconfiguration, or the like of the overhead traveling vehicle 8 are performed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2008
    Assignee: Murata Kikai Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Tamotsu Shiwaku
  • Patent number: 7325497
    Abstract: An airport terminal (100) has a department area (200) which includes at least one, and preferably a plurality of check-in counters (202), at least one, and preferably a plurality of airplane-loading zones (204), and a track system (110), arranged for the movement of wagons (10). Wagon (10) is for automatically transporting and sorting luggage, responsive to commands from a computerized management system (80). The wagon (10) includes a rigid frame for containing the luggage. The frame includes four sides and a double bottom having an upper plate, a lower plate, and an internal compartment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2008
    Inventor: Elishah Ben-Ezra
  • Patent number: 7137342
    Abstract: A carrier moving system for a painting process of a vehicle includes a loaded section, an unloaded section, and a plurality of multi-joint type carriers. The multi-joint carriers include a driving part and a driven part. A guiding monorail is disposed through both the loaded section and the unloaded section so as to guide each multi-joint type carrier through both sections. A storing monorail disposed in the unloaded section and arranged in parallel with the guiding monorail and a switching unit for switching a position of the driven part of the multi-joint type carrier between the guiding monorail and the storing monorail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2006
    Assignee: Hyundai Motor Company
    Inventor: Hyun Chul Cho
  • Patent number: 7082879
    Abstract: The invention is a method of coordinating the movement of a plurality of oppositely directed tramcars operating along a single guidelane. This includes positioning a plurality of fixed stop-boarding areas along the guidelane. By-pass lanes enabling oppositely moving tramcars to pass each other are located in association with at least some of the stop-boarding areas. A predetermined arrival time for each tramcar at each stop-boarding area is calculated such that oppositely moving pairs of tramcars approaching a common stop-boarding area will arrive at approximately the same time. A processor onboard each tramcar calculates the distance and time remaining to the next stop-boarding area. With a known time and distance remaining to the next stop-boarding area, each on-board processor adjusts the speed of the tramcar such that it arrives at approximately the predetermined arrival time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2006
    Inventor: John D. Alt
  • Patent number: 6892649
    Abstract: Transportation system comprising a large number of platforms which can be displaced along guides and a smaller number of displacement devices which can be coupled to and uncoupled from the said platforms. Each displacement device comprises a linear actuator comprising a moving part and a stationary part. The stationary part comprises a laminated plate assembly with coils, and the moving part comprises a structure with permanent magnets, such as neodymium magnets. On the linear actuator, there may be a further linear actuator, so that movement in two directions is possible. A transportation system of this type can be used in a parking garage for positioning vehicles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2005
    Inventor: Berend Tent
  • Patent number: 6877438
    Abstract: A device that is usable to change the direction of a transport assembly, on which feed roller may be transported, includes a lower section and an upper section. The upper section is pivotally mounted on the lower section. The transport assembly is arranged on the side or on the top of the upper section and the upper section can be pivoted by an angular amount, relative to the lower section, by use of a drive unit. A drive motor of the drive unit has its output transmitted to the upper section by a drive belt. A positive drive exists between the motor and belt and a friction drive exists between the belt and the upper section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2005
    Assignee: Koenig & Bauer Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Josef Herbert Olbort
  • Patent number: 6834595
    Abstract: A transport system has a pair of laterally spaced apart guideways, each of the guideways having an upward facing track. A vehicle has supports on each side that engage the tracks. A pair of conductor rails are mounted to a shroud extending over the track. Each of the conductor rails has an engaging surface that faces generally laterally from the other. A follower assembly mounted to the vehicle raises into engagement with the rails. The follower assembly has brushes that engage the rails in sliding contact to receive power for the vehicle. The follower assembly is also connected to the steering mechanism of the device for steering the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 28, 2004
    Inventor: J. Kirston Henderson
  • Patent number: 6827021
    Abstract: A specimen conveying system according to the present invention selectively supplies specimens, which are carried in by a specimen carry-in line having conveyor-belt type conveying lane, to a plurality of specimen processing lines each having a conveyor-belt type conveying lane which perform respective specific processes for the specimens. The supply of the specimens to the specimen processing lines is performed using a motor vehicle whose running is controlled by running control means including means for transmitting a command given from a host computer. The configuration of the whole system is simplified to lower the costs, and an operating passage, which crosses the conveying line, is secured to improve the efficiency of the entire specimen processing operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 7, 2004
    Inventor: Teruaki Itoh
  • Patent number: 6799521
    Abstract: The present invention provides an automated guided vehicle system that can transfer an article between an automated guided vehicle and an automatic warehouse on the basis of easy control. In an automated guided vehicle system 1, the vehicle 10A running on a running path is provided with a roller conveyor 8 used to transfer an article. Further, automatic warehouses 5 are each provided with an article storage and retrieval roller conveyor 51. The transfer roller conveyor 8, which runs with the vehicle 10A, and the storage and retrieval roller conveyor 51 are arranged in series and in proximity to each other in a carrying direction. An article 9 can be transferred between the vehicle 10A and the automatic warehouse 5. The bottom surface of the article 9 is formed as planar portions 9c, 9c at its laterally opposite ends in the carrying direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2004
    Assignee: Murata Kikai Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Akito Tai, Hideji Sakata
  • Patent number: 6745102
    Abstract: An automatic transporting system and a method for operating the same. The automatic transporting system includes a main track, a plurality of transport vehicles, a loading and unloading track, a stocker, a rapid track and an emergency track. The plurality of transport vehicles move on the main track. The loading and unloading track has a first entrance and a first exit. The first entrance and first exit are connected to the main track. The stocker is disposed beside the loading and unloading track. The transport vehicles enter the loading and unloading track and stop at the stocker to load and unload a material. The rapid track has a second entrance and a second exit. The second entrance and second exit are connected to the main track. The emergency track is connected to the main track. The transport vehicles leave the main track via the emergency track.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2004
    Assignee: Powerchip Semiconductor Corp.
    Inventor: Kuo-Tai Liu
  • Patent number: 6721627
    Abstract: A conveyance system which performs conveying action operating carrier vehicles, including a loop track, carrier vehicles which run on the track, a station where each carrier vehicle performs loading and unloading of a cargo, and a standby station for storing the carrier vehicles in a standby state. The number of the carrier vehicles to be used is determined from a conveyance command number, and can be automatically determined in correspondence with the load in the conveyance system. Accordingly, even if the load is not uniform but significantly varied, the conveying action can be conducted readily and efficiently.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2004
    Assignees: Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha, Ryoden Semiconductor System Engineering Corporation
    Inventors: Syoji Udou, Hirofumi Ohtsuka
  • Patent number: 6687568
    Abstract: A transportation system includes lifts for inter-floor carriage, a carrier cart for intra-floor carriage, and a transit stocker for loading/unloading an article to/from the lift. For each of the lifts, operation status, that is, operating or not, is recorded in a database. The operating rate of each lift, carriage queue for each lift, and an inventory of each transit stocker might also be recorded in the database. When carriage of an article is required, a lift optimum for the carriage is selected from among the lifts based on the information recorded on the database.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2004
    Assignees: Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha, Ryoden Semiconductor System Engineering Corporation
    Inventors: Hirofumi Ohtsuka, Ryoji Ogata, Taichi Yanaru
  • Patent number: 6622635
    Abstract: A system is provided that includes guideways having tracks for supporting a type of vehicle which moves within the guideways and tracks for a type of vehicle which moves on top of the guideways. Guide tracks are provided within the guideways for guiding vehicles of either type and controlling movement through Y junctions. The type of vehicle that moves on top of the guideway includes auxiliary wheels which cooperate with auxiliary tracks in Y junctions to insure reliable support. Each type of vehicle includes automatic load tilting mechanisms and also a special four wheel drive arrangement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2003
    Assignee: Autran Corp.
    Inventor: Van Metre Lund
  • Patent number: 6418754
    Abstract: A method for heated mold changing at a forming station (24) is performed by apparatus (32) in a heated chamber (22) where heated glass sheets are cyclically formed. A switching station (318) is located adjacent the forming station (24). An unloading station (320) and a mold preheating station (322) are each located adjacent the switching station. An unloading cart (324) is initially movable from the loading station (320) to the switching station (318) and then to the forming station (24) to receive one or more heated molds from the forming station and is subsequently moved from the forming station back through the switching station to the unloading station to permit unloading of each heated mold. A loading cart supports a second mold or a pair of molds for heating within the mold preheating station (322) and is movable from the mold preheating station to the switching station (318) and then to the forming station for mold loading.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2002
    Assignee: Glasstech, Inc.
    Inventors: Dean M. Nitschke, Robert D. Caswall, Eustace Harold Mumford, David B. Nitschke
  • Patent number: 6363857
    Abstract: A novel transportation system enables passengers to travel at high speeds relative to automobile traffic, while permitting each passenger to individually select his destination, commence travel whenever a transporter is available, and travel with or without his own automobile. The transportation system includes a system of guideways connecting various stations, so that a passenger can travel from an origination station, across guideways, to a destination station of choice. Each guideway consists of parallel tracks supporting support magnets. Each transporter is capable of holding one or more passengers or a single vehicle, with or without passengers. The transporters have horizontally extending supports with transporter support magnets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2002
    Inventor: John Kauffman
  • Patent number: 6360143
    Abstract: A method of controlling a dispensing system, having a robot that moves along a motion segment and applies a material to a workpiece, automatically determines a backup distance for the robot after an error has occurred during the dispensing of a first portion of the material. The backup distance is based on an operational speed of the robot. The robot is relocated to a backup position based on this backup distance to ensure that the robot reaches the operational speed at least by a time that the robot reaches a re-application position. The re-application position is at or near where the application of the first portion of the material ended. Therefore, gaps, overlaps, and puddles in the material on the workpiece are prevented.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2002
    Assignee: Fanuc Robotics North America
    Inventor: Akihiro Yanagita
  • Patent number: 6263799
    Abstract: A transportation system, generically known as Personal Rapid Transit, employs conventional electric or hybrid automobiles (18) underwhich are mounted electro-mechanical adaptors (24) which permits them to operate autonomously on an elevated guideway (16) which is part of the PRT system. An electronic guidance sensor system (45), and other functional components built into the adaptors, permits the vehicles to track unique rf signals emitted from a guidance wire (36) centrally embedded in the guideway, and to exit and enter the guideway to and from off-line stations (10), and to select various platforms and storage areas within these stations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2001
    Inventor: Herman I. Pardes
  • Patent number: 6237500
    Abstract: A system is provided that uses small carrier vehicles that operate along electrified guideways and use standardized connections to automatically carry load-carriers to desired destinations. The load-carriers may be passenger cabins, freight loads or automobile platforms and in each case are loaded and unloaded at separate loading and loading regions. Loading regions are preceded by queue portions of branch paths and may include a group of regions which may be a series of cabin loading regions along a branch path or may be automobile loading regions in side-by-side lanes. Passenger station arrangements are provided for rapid and efficient movement of passengers and for transfer operations when desired. Platform constructions and loading arrangements are provided for rapid loading and unloading and safe transport of automobiles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2001
    Assignee: Autran Corp.
    Inventor: VanMetre Lund
  • Patent number: 6182577
    Abstract: This invention is a transportation system and method of transport the provides a way for transport of vehicles in which the vehicles are loaded onto self-propelled pallets that are coupled to self-propelled apparatus that is in turn coupled to a fixed and predetermined guide.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2001
    Inventor: Calvin Billings