With Remote Item Dispensing Patents (Class 186/55)
  • Patent number: 10354476
    Abstract: A system and method for delivering a desired product or products to a remote consumer using a product vending and tube delivery system capable of delivering selected products from a business to the remote consumer. A selector coupled to the product vending machine removes the selected products from designated compartments inside the vending machine and deposits the product either into a pneumatic tube or a canister inside a non-pneumatic tube. The product is then delivered through the tube to a remote consumer. The system is capable of delivering multiple products to multiple consumers in a short period of time with little to no human intervention.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2019
    Inventor: Jayce Jones
  • Patent number: 10074084
    Abstract: In a method for advanced identification of a customer of a pharmacy, identification information of the customer is received at a first pharmacy computing device after an arrival of the customer at a pharmacy location and before an arrival of the customer at a pharmacy pick-up area of the pharmacy location. An identification of the customer is generated based on the received identification information. The identification of the customer is sent to a second pharmacy computing device. Using the second pharmacy computing device, and based on the second pharmacy computing device receiving the identification, an indication is provided to a pharmacy employee that the customer has arrived at the pharmacy location to pick up a previously prepared pharmacy order and that the pharmacy employee is to obtain the previously prepared pharmacy order for pick-up by the customer before the arrival of the customer at the pharmacy pick-up area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2018
    Assignee: WALGREEN CO.
    Inventors: Nimesh S. Jhaveri, Archana Dhruve, Heather K. Hill, Dejan Kozic, Laura Jean Tebbe, Susan G. Heald, Warit Tulyathorn, Mark A. Jones, Sara B. Frisk, Jennifer M. Levin, Jennifer A. Comiskey, David T. Blanchard
  • Patent number: 9830572
    Abstract: A pickup location that includes a control station and one or more storage compartment modules provides the ability for items to be ordered and delivered for pickup by a user without having to pack those items in a shipping package prior to shipping from a materials handling facility. Delivering items for pickup by a user without having to package the items prior to shipping, may provide a better experience for the customer, reduce waste in packaging material and a lower cost of delivering the ordered items to the customer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Lin Wan, Girish Lakshman, Eric T. Ferguson, Michael Mahesh Bhaskaran
  • Patent number: 9533837
    Abstract: The present subject matter relates to article carriers for use in grading apparatus and in particular, but not exclusively, for use in grading fruit. The present subject matter provides an article carrying apparatus comprising a plurality of carrier lanes each for receiving and conveying a number of articles; one or more diverters arranged to control the distribution of received articles into the lanes; a sensor arranged to determine a capacity use parameter for each lane; and a controller arranged to control the position of each diverter dependent on a difference between combined determined capacity use parameters and combined target capacity use parameters for lanes to one side of said diverter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2017
    Assignee: Compac Technologies Limited
    Inventors: Andrew Stitt, Lee Adrian Cook, Jonathon Patrick Jackson
  • Patent number: 9505559
    Abstract: A dedicated network delivery system may avoid congestion experienced by traditional transportation networks and enable the delivery of objects from an origin to a destination using one or subterranean or aboveground elements. The network delivery system may be specifically configured to transport a particular type of object, such as an item, or a parcel or container having one or more items therein, in both vertical and horizontal directions along one or more of such elements, and in one or more item carriers such as carts, bags or boxes. The elements may be driven by or along one or more conveyors or rails, and may comprise one or more pressure-controlled carriers within a vacuum environment or among any type of fluid, including liquids or gases. A path between the origin and destination may be defined based on any factor, including travel time or cost, and any actual or predicted congestion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2016
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Xiaoshan Cai
  • Patent number: 9457966
    Abstract: A tray-handling station for manually loading or unloading piece goods on or from a tray, comprising a tray-conveyor system including a handling position for buffering at least one tray; a working area including at least partially a packing station, or a piece-good conveyor system; and a sliding-surface unit defining a handling plane together with the to-be-handled tray, the handling plane being arranged adjacent to the tray-conveyor system and the packing station, or the piece-good conveyor system; wherein the working area includes the handling position, at least partially, and is dimensioned such that a person moves, during removal of one of the piece goods from the tray located at the handling position, which serves as removal position, the piece good from the tray to a discharging area, which is located within the working area and which, at least partially, overlaps the packing station, or the piece-good-conveyor system, only by moving his/her upper body without a lift.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2016
    Assignee: SSI Schäfer Noell GmbH Lager—und Systemtechnik
    Inventor: Elmar Issing
  • Patent number: 9443262
    Abstract: Systems, methods, and apparatus are disclosed for reserving items of merchandise for in store pickup and/or inspection. In some embodiments, a reservation method for a store includes receiving, from a first computing device associated with a customer, a request to reserve a requested item for the customer. The reservation method may further include identifying, based on the requested item, an additional item to reserve for the customer. The reservation method may also include sending, to a second computing device associated with an employee of the store, a notification that instructs the employee to gather the requested item and the additional item and place the gathered items in a reserved merchandise area of the store.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2016
    Assignee: SEARS BRANDS, L.L.C.
    Inventors: Prerna Mamgain, Kartik Swamy, Srinivasa Vanukuri, Amar Sharma
  • Patent number: 9334126
    Abstract: An apparatus and a method for dispensing vehicle balancing weights are disclosed. The dispenser comprises a plurality of transport units arranged below cartridges for storing and transporting balancing weights. The transport units move balancing weights from a selected section of the cartridges to two belt conveyors for further transporting the balancing weights to a handling device. Each transport unit comprises a feeder, whereas the feeders push selected balancing weights towards belt conveyors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2016
    Inventor: Hans-Ulrich Bürgel
  • Patent number: 9238554
    Abstract: Method of pairing accessories includes obtaining coordinates of outline points of first accessories and second accessories of a product. The outline points of the first accessories and the second accessories are assigned numbers. Each of the first accessories and each of the second accessories are transported to a corresponding location according to the assigned numbers. A second accessory is determined to pair with each of the first accessories according to the coordinates of the outline points of the first accessories and the second accessories. Paired first and second accessories are transported from corresponding locations into a first box for assembly, and unpaired first and second accessories are transported into a second box by a the transport system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 19, 2016
    Assignees: Fu Tai Hua Industry (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd., HON HAI PRECISION INDUSTRY CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Chih-Kuang Chang, Xin-Yuan Wu, Lu Yang
  • Publication number: 20140100769
    Abstract: A system includes storage shelves and display shelves at a retail facility. The system also includes a management module operable to determine to replenish a display shelf with an inventory item stored by a storage shelf. The management module is also operable to coordinate movement of mobile drive units to replenish the display shelf with the inventory item at an inventory restocking station. The system also includes a first mobile drive unit and a second mobile drive unit. The first mobile drive unit is operable to receive first instructions from the management module to transport the display shelf to the inventory restocking station. The second mobile drive unit is operable to receive second instructions from the management module to transport the storage shelf to the inventory restocking station. At the inventory restocking station, the display shelf receives the inventory item.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 8, 2012
    Publication date: April 10, 2014
    Applicant: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
  • Patent number: 8583495
    Abstract: A system includes a device and software with a touchscreen, cash drawer, bar code scanner, and other point-of-sale peripherals. The device processes payments according to a method and can process a payment from multiple payment sources to multiple credit-card merchant accounts. Likewise, the system processes returns according to a method from multiple-merchant accounts. A scheduler is included with an appointment builder and manager that are especially useful in a beauty salon environment and other schedule-intensive service businesses.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2013
    Assignee: Invenstar, LLC
    Inventors: Terry L. Glatt, Sam M. Zietz, Philip A. Betts, Damon T. Young, Carolyn Bruscino
  • Patent number: 8428771
    Abstract: The invention relates to a commissioning area comprising a buffers for order containers in which items can be commissioned, the buffer comprising a plurality of adjacent buffer regions for receiving order containers. A beam field is provided above the buffer in order to monitor the commissioning of items.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2013
    Assignee: SSI Schaefer Peem GmbH
    Inventor: Gerhard Schaefer
  • Patent number: 8195326
    Abstract: The invention relates to a commissioning area (10) comprising a buffer (12) for order containers (14) in which items can be commissioned, said buffer (12) comprising a plurality of adjacent buffer regions for respectively receiving an order container (14). According to the invention, a beam field (16) is provided above the buffer (12) in order to monitor the commissioning of items (28).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2012
    Assignee: SSI Schaefer Peem GmbH
    Inventor: Gerhard Schaefer
  • Publication number: 20080105495
    Abstract: The invention concerns a device for automatic product distribution. The invention concerns the technical field of installations provided in small, medium and large surface distribution shops and permitting a user to order and pay remotely or on the spot selected products and to collect them with his vehicle. The inventive device for automatic product distribution is fitted in a location where the products (6) of a distribution shop are available, comprises (1) means for remotely ordering a list of products, a management computer terminal (2), and one or several delivery tracks (5) for motor vehicles (10). An automatic delivery system (3) enabling boxes of orders (8) wherein are arranged ordered products to be routed from said location where the products are available to said delivery tracks, is provided with at least one automatic device for storing (4) said boxes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 15, 2005
    Publication date: May 8, 2008
    Inventors: Alain Mazzoni, Jean Noel Ellies
  • Patent number: 7024378
    Abstract: A novel retail system is provided with an advance ordering system that enables a customer to order a purchase in advance. At least one storage facility is arranged for storing goods available for ordering. Multiple retail facilities remote with respect to the storage facility enable a customer to obtain the ordered purchase after a time period sufficient to deliver the ordered purchase from the storage facility to a retail facility selected by the customer. At least one of the retail facilities has a drive-through check-out arrangement that enables a customer sitting in a vehicle to pick up the ordered purchase without leaving the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2006
    Inventor: Sergey N. Razumov
  • Patent number: 6688435
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for the order and delivery of goods in which the goods are transported to one or more storage containers that are maintained in a drive-up storage, retrieval, and dispensing mechanism. Goods are ordered via the Internet, telephone, or other electronic method, retrieved from a warehouse or store, and transported to the storage container by truck or by a regional train system designed for passenger use. The storage container accepts packages, which are placed into a plastic storage box and moved by an elevator assembly to a particular storage bin located in a matrix of bins arranged in columns and rows. When a customer arrives to pick up a package, he or she drives up to the device and communicates with the system via a keypad and display screen to identify the order and present appropriate identification of the person or other means of maintaining security.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2004
    Inventors: Craig Alexander Will, Michael Stephen Will
  • Patent number: 6439345
    Abstract: An item processing kiosk is located in or near a pickup area and (i) displays selections allowing a customer to choose whether the customer is picking up or dropping off an item (ii) in response to the customer selecting one of the displayed selections, displays a request for the customer to enter a customer and item identification, and (iii) in response to the customer entering the customer and item identification, electronically transmits a message to a remote stock room terminal. The message designates whether an it is to be picked up or dropped off. The message is arranged to cause the stock room terminal to identify the customer and the item. A stock room attendant picks up the item from, or delivers the item to, the customer, as appropriate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2002
    Assignee: Sears, Roebuck and Co.
    Inventors: Patricia A. Recktenwald, James M. Brabson, Michael E. LeRoy, Frank J. Lopuszynski, Anthony J. Fernandes, Terrance L. McGinnis, Paul J. Wasson, Philip L. Thacher
  • Patent number: 5918764
    Abstract: An existing product vending machine, such as a refrigerated vending machine provided by a bottled soft drink manufacturer or distributer, is adapted to serve as a storage and loading device for use in a pneumatic vending and delivery system by installing an interface unit in place of the vending machine door. The interface unit may be configured to mount on hinges or other pre-existing panel supporting structure of the vending machine and to lock to pre-existing latching structure on the vending machine. Alternatively, the dispensing mechanism and product storage supply from one or more product vending machines may be installed in a vault and equipped with one or more of the interfaces. The interface is provided with a loading tube that connects to the upstream end of the tube of a pneumatic conveyor of the vending and delivery system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 6, 1999
    Assignee: L&P Property Management Company
    Inventors: Rafael T. Bustos, William S. Spamer
  • Patent number: 5890136
    Abstract: A quick-stop mass retail system for ordering and purchasing articles from a remote location for pickup at an article pickup area at an automated store, comprising an interactive system for communicating a customer's purchase order for at least one article; a host computer adapted for receiving the customer's purchase order, processing the customer's purchase order, and storing the customer's purchase order in a database; a system for rapidly retrieving the article ordered by the customer from a storage location for the article at the automated store in response to customer purchase order information received from the host computer; and a system for retrieving identification information from the customer and communicating the same to the host computer; whereby the host computer enables the system for retrieving the article to provide the article to the article pickup area upon obtaining the identification information and comparing the identification information with the stored information in the customer's pur
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 30, 1999
    Inventor: Ludwig Kipp
  • Patent number: 5816443
    Abstract: A system is provided for vending products such as beverage and other food products, preferably individually packaged, from a storage unit to a customer terminal at a remote location through a pneumatic tube conveyor to move the product from storage to a dispensing unit at the remote location in response to product selection made by a customer at the remote location. Preferably, a vending system is provided for marketing products to customers of a facility at which they are engaged in a transaction for the purchase of another product or service of a diverse vending system. In such an embodiment, payment for the purchase price of the product is accounted for through the payment subsystem that accounts for the transaction with the diverse vending system. For example, an ancillary system may sell food, beverages or vehicle care products to gasoline customers by charging to a gasoline charge system having a credit card reader associated with a self-service gasoline pump to process the gasoline purchase charge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 6, 1998
    Assignee: L&P Property Management Company
    Inventor: Rafael T. Bustos
  • Patent number: 5720363
    Abstract: The present invention provides a system and method for computer-controlled, automated shopping which enables an authorized customer to order an article from a central processing center and have the article automatically delivered via an underground tunnel network.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 1995
    Date of Patent: February 24, 1998
    Inventor: Ludwig Kipp
  • Patent number: 5595263
    Abstract: Merchandising apparatus and method wherein there is provided an upstanding hollow structure which is multi-sided and has grid walls defining a series of compartments. The structure has vertical columns surrounding it and guiding robot carriages carrying robots which can reach into the compartments, withdraw articles and place them onto a descent conveyor. The descent conveyor lowers the articles onto a transfer conveyor which transfers them to a packing station. The requirements of a customer are determined at an order station by examination of a visual display unit. The order station can be operated from within a vehicle and the customer need not leave his vehicle until the order has been packed at the packing station. Loading of the compartments of the structure is effected from a storage basement by an elevator moving through a floor opening and upwardly within the hollow structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 1995
    Date of Patent: January 21, 1997
    Inventor: Anthony Pignataro
  • Patent number: 5586686
    Abstract: A system is provided for vending food products such as individually packaged beverages from a temperature maintained storage unit to a remote location such as a service counter or the service island of a gasoline service facility. Preferably, a pneumatic tube conveyor moves the product from storage to a dispensing unit at the remote location in response to product selection made by a customer at the remote location. Preferably, payment for the sale of the product item is coordinated with information from another vending or accounting system such as a gasoline charge system that includes a credit card reader associated with a fully automated self-service gasoline pump. The product is moved through the conveyor in a reusable carrier or in its own product packaging container that serves as a carrier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 24, 1996
    Assignee: L&P Property Management Company
    Inventors: Rafael T. Bustos, George LaPolice
  • Patent number: 5431250
    Abstract: The invention relates to a sales system for the sale and delivery of products. In connection therewith, a sample shop is located at a first location. A product distribution station is located at a second location, at a distance from the first location, and which is linked to the sample shop via a line for the purpose of data exchange. Single specimens of products are offered in the sample shop in the form of visual copies with information which can be queried. In the sample shop, each client receives a query device together with a data entry device. The client queries the information which corresponds to the visual copy by means of the query device and enters the number of items desired by him of the products which correspond to the visual copy using the data entry device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 11, 1995
    Assignee: Accumulata Verwaltungsgesellschaft
    Inventor: Hans Schlamp
  • Patent number: 5429430
    Abstract: A display system and method for its use including a narrow rectangular cabinet arranged for mounting onto an end of a retail store display that includes, across a top section, a number of spaced apart identical horizontal shelves of a depth to support a single item, such as a pack of trading cards, thereon. The shelves each support a number of items at spaced intervals, behind a transparent rail that extends at a right angle upwardly from the shelf face. The transparent rails include sequential number or letter identifiers fixed therealong, and may include bar codes next to which identifiers, for identifying the particular item fitted on the shelf centered immediately behind which identifier. The cabinet top section is covered by a transparent door that can be locked thereover, and the cabinet lower section can include a peg board with hanger arrangement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 4, 1995
    Inventor: Joseph V. Johnson
  • Patent number: 5271703
    Abstract: An order selection system is disclosed having a downwardly sloped plate, and stationary and movable dispensing means both of which are responsive to a system controller of the system. The system controller has an electronic, device such as a microprocessor preprogrammed with operating routines, which are responsive to a selected order request issued by an external device. The system controller correlates the control of both type dispensers so that each of the products in the selected order request is retrieved from its storage location and placed on the moving gathering belt within a dynamically assigned order space. The operation of both type dispensers is controlled by the system controller so that the controller dynamically assigns space on the moving gathering belt, allowing the controller to service simultaneous order selection requests that may occur from one or more external devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 1992
    Date of Patent: December 21, 1993
    Assignee: SI Handling System, Inc.
    Inventors: Per-Erik Lindqvist, Jeffry H. Wetherell
  • Patent number: 5215213
    Abstract: Apparatus for disengaging items from storage compartments and distributing them to the proper delivery locations. An associated system serves to control the storage and dispensing apparatus and, additionally, provides data relative to the operation of the device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1989
    Date of Patent: June 1, 1993
    Assignee: Richard F. Nestler & Associates, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard F. Nestler, Theodore K. Milbaugh, Kurt M. Olsen, Jerry Christensen
  • Patent number: 5188020
    Abstract: A food shelving and cycling system for wrapped food items includes an elongated shelf for storing wrapped food items and unwrapping apparatus for separating each food item from its wrapping. Sensors mounted within the floor of the shelf and a controller monitor the time that a wrapped food item is positioned within the shelf and initiates its removal from the shelf if the food item is positioned within the shelf in excess of a desired period of time. The system includes heating components for heating the food items until removed from the shelf, and the unwrapping apparatus facilitates the division of a food item and its wrapping into edible and non-edible refuse.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 1991
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1993
    Inventor: Kamal M. Buchnag
  • Patent number: 5186281
    Abstract: A method and system for article selection and purchase in a retail establishment utilizes customer selection of articles from a plurality of display panels displaying samples of the articles. Information including customer identity, article selection and article quantity is provided to the system by entry devices on the display panels. A record of customer selections is generated at a precheck terminal using this information, which is also used to transport the selected articles from a product stocking area to an order accumulation area, where a record is made of the accumulated articles. The two records are compared at a finalizing terminal, where customer payment is received and the purchased articles are delivered to the customer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 1991
    Date of Patent: February 16, 1993
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventor: Alfred D. Jenkins
  • Patent number: 5158155
    Abstract: A Vendors' Structural Complex that provides products and services to consumers in an efficient and cost effective manner comprises a central warehouse having facilities for several separate vendors to store their goods, prepare their goods and perform their services, customer order stations separate and remote from the central warehouse and accessible to consumers in their vehicles enabling the consumers to order the goods and services of the vendors housed in the central warehouse, and several pick-up station locations separate and remote from the central warehouse and accessible to consumers in their vehicles enabling the consumers to receive their ordered goods at the pick-up stations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 1990
    Date of Patent: October 27, 1992
    Assignee: VendorsGROUP, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas G. Domain, Philip L. Hogan, III, Michael M. Saigh
  • Patent number: 5154260
    Abstract: A system and method for automated processing of articles include a plurality of storage units separated by aisles through which customers can pass to select articles for processing. The selected articles are identified by tags applied thereto from identification record members provided to the customers, and are placed on conveyors located adjacent to the storage units for transportation to a checkout station where they are collected, their prices are totalled, and payment is made. The articles are then further transported to a plurality of bagger stations where they are bagged and released to the customer after verification that payment has been made.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 1991
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1992
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventor: Ramesh U. Patel
  • Patent number: 4874281
    Abstract: The installation comprises a delivery conveyor (4) for delivering unit items in buckets (5). A station (3) injects unit items onto the delivery conveyor. A sorting conveyor (6) carries packs (8) corresponding to respective batches to be made up. The sorting conveyor is disposed relative to the delivery conveyor so as to establish at least one item transfer zone therebetween. A central control unit (10) ensure that desired coincidences occur between item-containing buckets (5) and packs (8) for receiving the items, with the control units controlling the transfer of items form the buckets to the packs. The invention is particularly applicable to making up batches of items in response to orders therefor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 1987
    Date of Patent: October 17, 1989
    Assignee: Societe Anonyme dite: Compagnie Generale D'Automatisme CGA-HBS
    Inventors: Jean-Marcel Bergerioux, Claude Pavie, Christian Plent
  • Patent number: 4850783
    Abstract: A palletizing method for articles by a robot wherein a final stacking pallet is moved as a hand portion of the robot moves, and when an article is loaded on the pallet, the final stacking pallet is made to assume a position in the neighborhood of a position where the article is gripped up by the robot hand to transfer the article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 1985
    Date of Patent: July 25, 1989
    Assignee: Murata Kikai Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Hiroshi Maekawa
  • Patent number: 4805738
    Abstract: A single stop shopping facility that comprises a plurality of customer stations, each including a vehicle parking space, which are arranged around the exterior of a circular building containing goods for sale. The customer stations and building rotate relative to one another. The building includes a loading station for delivering selected goods ordered at the customer stations. Fuel dispensing stations located around the exterior of the building permit a customer, located in a vehicle parking space, to receive a selected quantity of fuel as the relative rotation proceeds. The walls of the building support merchandise display sections which are viewable by persons located at the customer stations, the displays being cyclically exposed to the parked vehicles as a result of the relative rotation, permitting the selection and payment for merchandise as the relative rotation continues.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 1987
    Date of Patent: February 21, 1989
    Inventor: Mark Vayda
  • Patent number: 4645036
    Abstract: A product dispenser is provided which discourages theft of the products contained by the dispenser by the consuming public yet quickly and easily delivers the product to a salesclerk to make a sale to a consumer. The compartment unit of the dispenser which stores the products cooperates with the shell of the dispenser to prevent direct access to the product. The compartment unit can be extended from the shell to make the compartments of the compartment unit accessible to a store clerk to stack products in or remove products from the compartments. Apparatus is provided to permit a store clerk to make an entry on a console which causes apparatus within the dispenser to eject the desired product and deliver it to the store clerk. Electronic controls can be provided to store information relating to the dispensing of products by the dispenser to aid in the control of inventory by the store owner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 1983
    Date of Patent: February 24, 1987
    Inventor: Richard F. Nestler
  • Patent number: 4244448
    Abstract: A consolidation system for articles including a continuous track with a continuous chain supported from the track and movable in a horizontal direction around the track. Horizontally spaced and vertically extending baskets are suspended from the chain with each basket having vertically spaced compartments. A drive mechanism is provided for driving the chain around the track. An operator work station is located at a fixed position on the outside of the track. A conveyor is provided to move the articles adjacent the work station and pans are provided to deliver preselected articles from the conveyor to the operator work station. The chain can be moved a predetermined degree to align a preselected basket with the work station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 1978
    Date of Patent: January 13, 1981
    Assignee: Clay Bernard Systems International Ltd.
    Inventors: William F. Matheny, III, Clay Bernard, II, William M. Angell