With Empty Supply Source Responsive Means Patents (Class 221/17)
  • Patent number: 8820574
    Abstract: A vending machine for dispensing a number of products. The vending machine may include a transparent panel, a number of visible product columns, a number of non-visible product columns, and a product delivery system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2014
    Assignee: The Coca-Cola Company
    Inventors: Thomas P. Howell, Gerard E. Insolia, Michael Alan Masters, Ryan Lee West
  • Patent number: 8626338
    Abstract: Implementations of a public use tag marking kiosk. Aspects associated with particular implementations of a tag marking kiosk comprise, among others, automatically marking two sides of a tag within the kiosk, receiving the tag to be marked from the customer, providing a closeable door between the marking implement and the customer while the tag is being marked, ejecting the tag from a tag holder after the tag is marked, and aligning the tag so that a desired tag side is required to be initially facing up on the tag holder. Housing for the kiosk may surround all of the system parts or may be split into a housing shell and a marking unit that fits inside the shell. Marking implements may be laser, mechanical stylus, paint, or others. Tags may be suspended in a cantilevered manner during marking.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2014
    Assignee: The Hillman Group, Inc.
    Inventors: George Lynn Hagen, Beth Cooperrider, Ronald E. Mundt, Darren L. Kessner, Steven J. Gardner, Adrian Spucces, Kenneth C. Booth
  • Publication number: 20130240555
    Abstract: A tablet cassette of a medicine packing apparatus capable of sensing the tablet congestion occurred inside the tablet cassette and settling the congestion and a method for operating the same are provided. The tablet cassette includes a cartridge having space for containing tablets and an outlet for discharging the tablets, a tablet installation unit, and an oscillator vibrating the cartridge when tablets may not be discharged even if they are remained inside the cartridge.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 24, 2011
    Publication date: September 19, 2013
    Inventor: Ho Yeon Kim
  • Publication number: 20130099924
    Abstract: A dispenser for dispensing flexible sheet material includes a roll of material, the roll of material having a core. One end portion of the flexible sheet material is adhered to the core by a pickup glue. The dispenser includes a sensor for sensing the pickup glue of the roll of material and a control unit for triggering at least one action of the dispenser in response to the detection of the pickup glue.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 2, 2010
    Publication date: April 25, 2013
    Applicant: SCA HYGIENE PRODUCTS AB
    Inventors: Björn Larsson, Robert Kling
  • Patent number: 8235248
    Abstract: Disclosed is an automatic tablet packing apparatus having sliding racks, wherein tablets received in a plurality of tablet cassettes are successively packed on a per dose basis based on a medical prescription. Each of the sliding racks includes a pair of left and right partition walls, a tablet discharge passage to guide the tablets discharged from the tablet cassettes being defined by facing inner surfaces of the left and right partition walls. Cassette pedestals are attached to outer surfaces of the left and right partition walls and in turn, the tablet cassettes are detachably arranged on the cassette pedestals. The left and right partition walls are able to be individually pulled out from a body of the apparatus. As the left or right partition wall is pulled out, the tablet discharge passage is revealed to the outside thus enabling easy cleaning thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: JVM Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Jun-Ho Kim
  • Patent number: 8061556
    Abstract: An automated freezer stores food items stacked in a removable cartridge. The food items are dispensed from the automated freezer in response to a request for the food items. The food items are loaded into the cartridge outside of the automated freezer. When the cartridge is inserted into the automated freezer, the upper end of the cartridge is inserted into a buffer, pushing a plurality of arms in the buffer upwardly to allow food items to pass through the buffer. When the cartridge is removed from the freezer for reloading of food items, a resilient member biases the arms downwardly to retain any food items in the buffer and to prevent any food items in the buffer from falling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2011
    Assignee: Restaurant Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey L. Sands, Ronald J. Glavan, Andrew Paul Franklin, Randy L. Ginner, Henry Thomas Ewald
  • Patent number: 7954668
    Abstract: A system and method detect when a product container from which a product is dispensed is empty or nearly empty, and provides a notification of the product status. The system includes a load cell that deflects at a first rate of distance per unit load when a load less than a critical load is positioned to be weighed by the load cell, and a load cell bracket positioned such that the free end of the load cell contacts the load cell bracket when a load substantially equal to or greater than the critical load is positioned to be weighed by the load cell. The load cell bracket may prevent the load cell from further deflection, or it may permit deflection of the load cell at a second rate of distance per unit load when the load cell is in contact with the load cell bracket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2011
    Assignee: Ecolab Inc.
    Inventors: Richard J. Mehus, Bruce W. Weber, Ben J. Wiltsie
  • Patent number: 7922072
    Abstract: A self-service checkout system which continues operation when cash transaction options are not available. The self-service checkout system includes a cash dispenser, a display for displaying payment options, an input device for recording selection of payment options, including cash and non-cash transaction options, and a processor for disabling the cash transaction options when an amount of cash in the cash dispenser falls below a predetermined limit, but for otherwise continuing operation by allowing the non-cash transaction options.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2011
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventor: Steven L. Hassenzahl
  • Patent number: 7793769
    Abstract: The present invention provides a vending machine that converts a force applied from a manual operation means into an electric power, and operates by utilizing the electric power as a source of power. A drive force generation/transmission mechanism includes a generator (45) that generates the electric power by utilizing the force applied from the manual operation means (9) and motors (49-55) driven by the electric power generated by the generator (45). Article moving mechanisms (63-69) are constructed to operate by utilizing the output of the motors (49-55) as the operation source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2010
    Assignee: Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Takashi Kumabe, Minoru Honjo
  • Patent number: 7392111
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for efficient dispensing of desiccant canisters into containers is disclosed. The apparatus includes a microprocessor that monitors a plurality of sensors, and applies control signals to a servomotor that controls a rotary disc that transports desiccant canisters from a drop chute to containers. The containers pass through the apparatus via a conveyor system. Control signals determine the position and presence of desiccant canisters and containers to ensure proper operation. Error detection and recovery features are provided to handle the case of a missing desiccant canister, and halt the apparatus upon detection of an unrecoverable error.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2008
    Assignee: Omega Design Corporation
    Inventor: Devendra Win Shendege
  • Publication number: 20080121649
    Abstract: In a double dispenser for dispensing disposable paper sheets comprising two supply units arranged on top of one another, each supply unit includes a stacking magazine containing a folded paper web, an advancing unit for moving the paper web from the stacking magazine to a dispensing unit and a cutting unit for cutting disposable paper sheets from the paper web to be dispensed by the dispensing unit, the dispensing units being arranged closely adjacent each other between the two supply units.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 27, 2007
    Publication date: May 29, 2008
    Inventor: Mario Kistner
  • Patent number: 7366586
    Abstract: A system and method for communicating vending information for a vendible media product having entertainment content therein is provided. The system comprises a transaction network, and a database in communication with the transaction network, wherein the database stores a plurality of digital video disc titles and a plurality of locations corresponding to the digital video disc titles. A first vending controller at a first location receives a user request signal for a digital video disc, and determines whether the digital video disc is in a vending inventory at the first vending location. A central controller receives a first signal from the first vending controller, wherein the first signal comprises a request for a location of the digital video disc. The central controller transmits a second signal to the first vending controller, wherein the second signal comprises the location of the digital video disc.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2008
    Assignee: Redbox Automated Retail LLC.
    Inventors: Gregg Kaplan, Greg Waring
  • Patent number: 7289879
    Abstract: A pill dispensing system includes a shelving unit in array form that holds a number of bulk containers, each holding a bulk amount of a pill to be dispensed. A computer controlled robot removes a selected bulk container and places it on a counter that also dispenses pills. The robot has an arm with a free end portion that can grip a bulk container or a single pill bottle to be filled. The robot is computer controlled to retrieve an empty pill bottle, place it on a label printing and applying unit, then place it next to the counter/dispenser to receive the selected number of selected prescription pills, then place the filled, labeled bottle on a conveyor. In an alternate embodiment, pill bottles are dispensed from a dispenser that holds bottles on inclined plates and feeds them to a vertical dispensing channel. Gates prevent the flow of bottles from an inclined position until the plate above has been emptied.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2007
    Assignee: Parata Systems, LLC
    Inventors: Jeffrey P. William, Galina Potepalov, Allan Dolores, Michael Bergeron
  • Patent number: 6478185
    Abstract: The present invention provides a tablet vessel feed apparatus comprising a stock container for storing a plurality of tablet vessels, a vessel takeout section for taking out the tablet vessels from the stock container, and a conveyor for conveying the tablet vessels taken out from the stock container. The apparatus further comprises an auxiliary conveyor for conveying the tablet vessel taken out from the stock container toward the conveyor; a delivery table for receiving the tablet vessel conveyed by the auxiliary conveyor to retain and then deliver the tablet vessel to the conveyor; a tablet vessel sensor for detecting the tablet vessel on at least any one of the auxiliary conveyor and the delivery table; and a controller. The controller allows the vessel takeout section to stop taking out the tablet vessels from the stock container while the tablet vessel sensor detects the tablet vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2002
    Assignee: Yuyama Mfg. Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Tsuyoshi Kodama, Shinichi Honda, Takafumi Imai, Hidenori Murakami, Yasushi Okubo
  • Patent number: 6443451
    Abstract: The present invention is an apparatus for randomly dispensing objects, such as chocolate candies, a kit of parts, and a method for playing games, or educational exercises. that utilizes the random dispenser apparatus. The apparatus includes a housing having a substantially hollow interior portion for holding a plurality of the objects and a dispensing opening dimensioned to allow a single object to be dispensed. An object sorter is provided for aligning the objects for individual dispensing through the dispensing opening of the housing. Finally, an actuator is provided for individually dispensing the single object from the object sorter through the dispensing opening of the housing. In operation, the objects are held within the housing and are randomly aligned within the object sorter such that a user will not know which of the objects will be dispensed when the actuator is actuated. The objects are then dispensed through the dispensing opening in the housing when the actuator is actuated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2002
    Inventor: Richard C. Cheever
  • Patent number: 6415202
    Abstract: A portable electrically operable and tamper resistant medication dispenser for supplying multiple daily medications to a patient on a predetermined schedule and which includes a programmable assembly for indexing a plurality of containers which are filled with the medications to a dispenser outlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2002
    Inventor: Van Halfacre
  • Patent number: 6199720
    Abstract: A vending machine is provided with a cabinet having a plurality of inclined, vertically spaced shelves. The shelves are able to selectively feed a beverage container to an elevator which is located adjacent an interior, right side wall of the cabinet of vending machine. A beverage container is dispensed by an escapement block of a shelf onto the elevator. The elevator vertically moves the beverage container, and then dispenses the beverage container to a delivery mechanism which gently lowers the beverage container to a delivery port which communicates with the exterior of the vending machine. The shelves in the cabinet are readily reconfigurable such that their vertical spacing within the cabinet can be easily altered. The escapement blocks of the shelves are mechanically activated to dispense a beverage container by an activation device on the elevator. Thus, electrical power and control signals for the individual shelves are not necessary.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2001
    Assignee: The Coca-Cola Company
    Inventors: Arthur G. Rudick, Paul Carlson, Tom P. Howell
  • Patent number: 6189728
    Abstract: An ampule feeder which can store a necessary number of ampules at the outlet so that ampules can be instantly discharged one by one in response to a discharge signal from the ampule feeder in which are randomly stored many ampules. The ampule feeder has a detachably mounted ampule container having a bottom plate inclinable in one direction. Ampules raised by an ampule receiver are fed by an endless belt of a dispenser and a predetermined number of them are stored in grooves formed in a rotor of a discharge means provided at the outlet. In response to a discharge signal, a necessary number of ampules are discharged.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2001
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Yuyama Seisakusho
    Inventors: Shoji Yuyama, Kunihiko Kano, Yasuhiro Shigeyama, Tsuyoshi Kodama, Shinya Yasuda
  • Patent number: 6163736
    Abstract: A portable electrically operable and tamper resistant medication dispenser for supplying multiple daily medications to a patient on a predetermined schedule and which includes a programmable assembly for indexing a plurality of containers which are filled with the medications to a dispenser outlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2000
    Inventor: Van Halfacre
  • Patent number: 6152321
    Abstract: An identification system for articles in manual free automatic vending apparatus for hotel rooms is provided. Electric or electronic sensors detect the presence or absence of a stored article in an individual location. Means are provided to detect the presence or absence of a ferromagnetic metal wire that holds a cork in place on a valuable article, especially a champagne bottle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2000
    Assignee: Staar North-South Co.
    Inventor: Marcel Jules Staar
  • Patent number: 6089400
    Abstract: An automatic toll-ticket issuing apparatus enables toll-tickets to be continuously issued. Plural ticket containers are provided in a housing, and the ticket issuing route between a current ticket container and a ticket issuance slot is changed to an alternative ticket issuing route between an alternative ticket container and the ticket issuance slot when the current ticket container tuns out of ticket, and thus termination of ticket issuance is avoided and tickets are issued continuously. Further, new tickets are resupplied into a nearly empty ticket container without termination of the ticket issuing operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2000
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Yong-Sung Park
  • Patent number: 5964374
    Abstract: A method of supplying ampules, stored in a container, to any of a plurality of feeders of an ampule dispenser which has run out or is short of ampules in stock. The ampules are supplied only after confirming that the ampules in the storage container are the kind to be supplied into the intended feeder. When any feeder of the ampule dispenser runs out or is short of ampules, a bar code on the ampule storage container is read by a bar code reader and compared with an identification code provided on the intended feeder. If they coincide with each other, the ampules in the container are supplied into the intended feeder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 12, 1999
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Yuyama Seisakusho
    Inventors: Shoji Yuyama, Keita Yasuoka
  • Patent number: 5947327
    Abstract: The present invention is disclosed to provide a power saving apparatus and a method for reducing an electric power of the automatic vending machine when goods stored or provided at an inner part of the automatic vending machine is maintained at a goods sold out state or when an error occurs due to some trouble at a predetermined load(s) of the inner part of the automatic vending machine. In the automatic vending machine, with an operating time of a heater and a compressor being reduced power consumption to be used at the sales stop state of the automatic vending machine can be reduced according to reduced operating time of the inner load at a predetermined ratio.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Assignee: Kwangju Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Hee-Soo Lee
  • Patent number: 5927542
    Abstract: A dispensing apparatus comprises a try-like housing having recesses in an upper surface each for accommodating an item to be dispense. A non-return mechanism is located in the housing adjacent to each recess and has a member movable between a first position wherein the member is retracted to a position substantially flush with the recess sidewall and a second position (as seen in the figure) wherein the member projects into the recess to prevent re-insertion of an item. The movable member is retained in the first position by an item accommodated in the recess and is spring-biased to assume the second position when the item is removed. A microswitch is responsive to the movement of the member to signal when the member moves from the first to the second position and thus when an item is removed from the recess.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 27, 1999
    Assignee: Johnston Research & Development
    Inventors: Craig Johnston, Niall O'Sullivan, Oliver Hood
  • Patent number: 5852911
    Abstract: A tablet dispenser having a control unit which can eliminate the possibility of erroneously putting tablets in a wrong tablet storage space. The tablet dispenser has a tablet storage unit and a packing unit. Tablets designated by drug information are dropped from the tablet storage unit. When tablets in any of a plurality of tablet storage cells in the tablet storage unit run short, tablets are manually supplied into this cell by opening its cover. Before supplying tablets, the control unit reads a code on the tablet container with a bar code reader, compares this code with a code that represents tablets to be supplied into the above particular cell, and indicates on a display if these codes coincide. An operator checks the display to see if the codes coincide, and if they do, the operator then supplies tablets in the tablet container into the particular cell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 29, 1998
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Yuyama Seisakusho
    Inventors: Shoji Yuyama, Keita Yasuoka
  • Patent number: 5832693
    Abstract: A system for collecting prescribed injection ampules. In this system, it is possible to collect any ampules that cannot be collected from an automatic ampule dispenser with high efficiency. An ampule collecting apparatus has a tray supply unit for supplying trays. The trays supplied from the tray supply unit are sent into an ampule dispenser by an elevator unit and a conveyor unit, and moved downward in the dispenser by the downward conveyor unit. While the trays are being fed in the dispenser, ampules are put in the respective trays. The trays then exit the dispenser and stacked by the tray stacker. A drug name list is put in each tray. Of the ampules that are specified in a prescription, those which have not been collected from the ampule dispenser are highlighted on the list. Thus, a pharmacist can instantly see which ampules are not in the tray and can collect the missing ampules from a separate shelf.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 10, 1998
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Yuyama Seisakusho
    Inventors: Shoji Yuyama, Hiroshi Nose
  • Patent number: 5813568
    Abstract: The invention relates to vending machines for dispensing of a single copy of a printed publication, such as a newspaper or a magazine. The vending machine is self-contained, enclosing a power source, a driving motor and a control unit for operation of the dispensing mechanism. A stack of folded newspapers, or magazines, is placed in an upright position on a platform bearing plate and is retained in an upright orientation by a support plate which slides along the top surface of the platform bearing plate, moving the newspapers closer to a dispensing chute formed in a front part of the vending machine housing. One or more metering breaks are mounted on a top surface of the platform plate adjacent to the dispensing edge of the platform bearing plate to facilitate separation of a single copy of the newspaper prior to dispensing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 29, 1998
    Assignee: DPC International, Inc.
    Inventor: C. Rankin Lowing
  • Patent number: 5805455
    Abstract: The invention provides methods and apparatus for dispensing items from a dispensing unit. According to the invention, the dispensing unit comprises a plurality of locations in which the items are held, a processor in which records corresponding to the items on the unit are stored, and a plurality of item switches corresponding to the locations in which the items are held. The item switches are connected to the processor so that a user of the dispensing unit can input records of items removed from the unit into the processor. The apparatus described is particularly suited for dispensing medical supplies although the apparatus will be usable for other types of items as well. Preferred embodiments will include a plurality of visual indicators, typically in the form of light emitting diodes, corresponding to the locations in which the items are held.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1998
    Assignee: Omincell Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Randall A. Lipps
  • Patent number: 5791511
    Abstract: The invention relates to vending machines for dispensing of a single copy of a printed publication one-at-a-time. The vending machine is self contained, is provided with a power source, a driving motor and a control unit for operation of the vending machine. An inclined platform plate mounted within the vending machine carries a plurality of media units, while a push plate forces the media units toward a dispensing channel located adjacent a forward edge of the platform plate. When a single copy of the media unit moves through the dispensing channel, a light sensor sends a signal to the control unit which causes reversal of movement of the push plate, thereby preventing accidental dispensing of the next copy of the media unit by gravity. After an entire inventory of the media units resting on a platform plate has been dispensed, a limit switch sends a signal to the control unit allowing vending of a display copy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 11, 1998
    Assignee: DPC International, Inc.
    Inventor: C. Rankin Lowing
  • Patent number: 5605249
    Abstract: A miniature, battery operated vending machine for dispensing products includes a rotating carousel for holding stacks of products and a plunger assembly for dispensing products from the carousel into a dispensing area. A plurality of columns are disposed along a circumference of the carousel. A carousel rotation device aligns a column with the plunger mechanism. The plunger mechanism dispenses product from a column until the column is depleted of products. A controller senses product depletion and rotates the carousel to align another column with the plunger assembly. After all products have been dispensed, the controller blocks a coin insertion slot, displays a "sold-out" sign, and shuts the machine off. The vending machine also includes a device for allowing refilling of the carousel and a device for resetting the coin slot and "sold-out" sign. The vending machine also incluces a separate currency slot for accepting donations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 1994
    Date of Patent: February 25, 1997
    Inventor: Gerald Gonyea
  • Patent number: 5579951
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) for orienting and loading solid compact medicaments, such as solid compact medicaments (A), into a carrier device (C) comprises a feeder (12) having a plurality of elongated first channels (20) through which the solid compact medicaments travel with an acute angle relative to a predetermined orientation of the carrier device (C). An orienting member (32) cooperating with the feeder (12) reorients the solid compact medicaments to the predetermined orientation as they exit the feeder (12). In an alternative embodiment, a pitch changing means (42) in fluid communications with the orienting means (32) provides for final orientation of the solid compact medicaments prior to loading in the carrier device (C).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 1994
    Date of Patent: December 3, 1996
    Assignee: Bayer Corporated
    Inventors: David J. Revelle, Peter A. Pastecki, Thomas C. Reiter
  • Patent number: 5476362
    Abstract: A dual downstacker apparatus has adjacent can lid feed chutes for advancing lids one at a time into alternate ones of the pockets or recesses on a starwheel which is continuously rotated beneath the chutes; and the delivery of lids can be interrupted through one of the chutes without interrupting advancement through the other of the chutes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 19, 1995
    Assignee: Preferred Machining Corp.
    Inventors: Roger L. Kobak, Clinton W. Rutledge
  • Patent number: 5405048
    Abstract: A vacuum operated system for individually dispensing items of oral solid medicine from bulk storage to a user, where the medicine is dispensed under computer control, and the quantity and type of medicine is selected in advance by the user. The invention includes medicine dispensing equipment and a computer that provides a user interface. A plurality of storage containers arranged in a rotatable carousel or a rectilinear array may contain various pharmaceutical articles, or various types, dosages, ages, and lot numbers of medicines. The storage containers may be easily refilled by inserting modular refill cartridges into the storage containers. After a user enters certain data into the computer, the invention aligns a universal vacuum probe with the storage container that contains the desired items. The universal vacuum probe is lowered to the desired storage container and engaged with a container probe that is exclusive to that storage container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 1993
    Date of Patent: April 11, 1995
    Assignee: KVM Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Lisa W. Rogers, Thomas L. Kraft, John F. Berry, Scott A. Kelley, John A. Thompson, III, Clifford D. Ober, Michael C. Kuchar, Robert R. Mayer, Jr., Van W. Hoskins, Vincent C. Weido, Mark G. Henckel
  • Patent number: 5373963
    Abstract: A newspaper vending machine includes a newspaper let-off mechanism which is triggered to turn on a toothed on-way gyrostate causing it to send out one copy of the newspaper through a newspaper outlet when a coin is dropped in, and a sample copy release control mechanism which is triggered to release the sample copy when a coin is dropped in after the copies of the newspaper have been sold out.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 1994
    Date of Patent: December 20, 1994
    Inventor: Tsang-Hung Hsu
  • Patent number: 5370265
    Abstract: A display device has a display surface defined by support members which support various types of display modules including a card dispenser which supports a vertical stack of cards in a large capacity holder which is inclined rearwardly and upwardly behind the display surface. Cards are dispensed through a slot in a face plate onto a projecting inclined surface of a tongue which causes the card to flex ensuring that only one card is dispensed at a time. The stack of cards in the holder is urged forwardly by a lightweight pusher mounted on a track in the holder in a nonreturn manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 6, 1994
    Assignee: Retail Holdings Limited
    Inventors: Roy A. Mackay, Christopher J. T. Drake, Kevin N. Hodges, Colin D. Parkinson
  • Patent number: 5172828
    Abstract: A cup dispenser for dispensing cups from a stack of nested cups each of which has a rim wherein the stack being dispensed is held up in dispensing position in a dispensing opening, the lowermost cup of the stack being released to drop down and the next cup being held up to hold up the remainder of the stack, first and second reverse stacks being held adjacent the opening, one or the other of these reserve stacks being moved into dispensing position in the dispensing opening in response to depletion of the stack in dispensing position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 1991
    Date of Patent: December 22, 1992
    Assignee: UniDynamics Corporation
    Inventors: Leonard A. Ficken, Gerald J. Podgorny
  • Patent number: 5167345
    Abstract: A dual dispenser for dispensing a first type of article from first and second stacks of the first articles and a second type of article from a stack of the second articles. The dispenser includes a housing having first and second magazines for holding the stacks of the first articles and a third magazine for holding the stack of the second articles, with a single article discharge slot in the housing and with means within the housing for movement of articles from each of the stacks to the discharge slot. The dispenser also includes means for moving the first type of articles from the bottom of the first stack and then from the bottom of the second stack, and from moving articles of the second type from the bottom of the third magazine. The dispensing may be controlled by coin mechanisms for each type of article or may be free, no-coin operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 1991
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1992
    Assignee: Bobrick Washroom Equipment, Inc.
    Inventor: Raymond A. Bleeker
  • Patent number: 5044517
    Abstract: The invention is directed to a cup dispenser having an auxiliary cup loading rack for an automatic vending machine. A control circuit enables selective feeding of different drink cup types from said auxiliary loading rack. The disclosed invention is capable of feeding more hot or cold drink cups according to seasonal demands, for example, thereby avoiding lost sales due to a shortage of a more frequently used cup type.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 1989
    Date of Patent: September 3, 1991
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Kwon U Park
  • Patent number: 4791411
    Abstract: The status corresponding to the presence or absence of articles at their reserved locations is detected by means of an optical switch comprising an emitter which sends infra-red rays toward a receiver. The article obstructs these rays and hence its presence is detected. The information obtained from the optical switches is processed and used for servicing or billing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 1987
    Date of Patent: December 13, 1988
    Assignee: Staar Development Co., S.A.
    Inventor: Marcel J. H. Staar
  • Patent number: 4653665
    Abstract: Electrical connectors are slidably received in side-by-side serial array in elongated, hollow tubular cassettes. The cassettes are shaped to receive the connectors only in a single orientation, and protect terminals which partly extend from the connector housings in an intermediate assembly stage. Cassettes are vertically stacked in a feed system, and when the bottom cassette is emptied of connectors, it is released from the stack and replaced with a full cassette.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 1984
    Date of Patent: March 31, 1987
    Assignee: Molex Incorporated
    Inventors: Douglas L. Heisner, Wayne A. Zahlit
  • Patent number: 4506800
    Abstract: A machine for vending flat articles, such as newspapers, magazines and the like comprises an enclosed cabinet having a merchandise storage magazine with an inclined bottom wall and an inclined outlet chute substantially aligned with the magazine bottom wall and having a discharge opening communicating with the exterior of the cabinet, a series of connected vertically movable telescoping members forming a bar between the storage magazine and the outlet chute, endless chains extending vertically at both sides of the storage magazine and mounted at their opposite ends on sprockets mounted on shafts journaled in the magazine side walls, the uppermost of said telescoping members being connected at its sides to the respective chains, motor drivingly connected to one of said shafts for lowering the uppermost telescoping member to release individual articles from the storage magazine and permit them to slide over the uppermost telescoping member and onto the outlet chute, coin-actuated command module for energizing t
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 1983
    Date of Patent: March 26, 1985
    Assignee: Hennessy Products, Incorporated
    Inventor: W. Jack Wingate
  • Patent number: 4505091
    Abstract: A control device for re-starting a cigarette packing machine, while it is slowing down after having cleared itself of a cigarette starvation condition in a flow channel (2), comprises: a triggering circuit (A2, I1) pulsed by a stroboscopic switch (S1) at machine speed, and controlling two flip-flop counters (F1 and F2); a fault emission circuit (R1, C1, R2, C2 and A1) fed from the starvation detector switch (40); a main shut-down circuit (I2, S2) connected from the output of one flip-flop (F1); and a re-start circuit (C3, R3, S3) connected from the output of the other flip-flop (F2).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 1982
    Date of Patent: March 19, 1985
    Assignee: Molins PLC
    Inventors: Dennis Hinchcliffe, Anthony P. Wright
  • Patent number: 4448328
    Abstract: A machine for vending flat articles such as newspapers, magazines and the like comprises an enclosed cabinet having a merchandise storage magazine with an inclined bottom wall and an inclined outlet chute substantially aligned with the magazine bottom wall and having a discharge opening communicating with the exterior of the cabinet, an upright vertically movable bar between the storage magazine and the outlet chute, power actuated means for lowering the bar to release individual articles from the magazine and permit them to slide over the bar onto the outlet chute, coin actuated means for energizing the power means, and means responsive to movement of a released article across the top of the bar for de-energizing the power means and interrupting downward movement of the bar after each article has passed from the magazine onto the outlet chute.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 1982
    Date of Patent: May 15, 1984
    Assignee: Hennessy Products, Incorporated
    Inventor: W. Jack Wingate
  • Patent number: 4342384
    Abstract: Coin ruminant slot machine games comprising a plurality of slot machines, back feeders, blockaders and a belt conveyer, the slot machines being respectively coupled with the back feeders, the back feeders being respectively coupled with the blockaders, the slot machines being located above the belt conveyer and the back feeders below the belt conveyer. The blockaders are located above a lower section of the conveyer belt and the slot machines discharge the coins to an upper section of the conveyer belt. The back feeders feed the coins back up to the slot machines and the belts of the conveyer, and the blockaders take the coins off of the lower belt to drop them into the back feeders.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 1980
    Date of Patent: August 3, 1982
    Assignee: Sayama Precision Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Motonobu Fukase, Toshikazu Yokota, Masahisa Oura
  • Patent number: 4221376
    Abstract: A portable cartridge and mounting apparatus includes, within the cartridge, a document separator, a stack follower, a double document restraint, and a three position lock and latch mechanism for selectively locking the cartridge cover and the issue slot. The mounting includes first and second drives for operating the separator and restraint mechanisms to issue individual documents through the issue slot. The mounting and cartridge are keyed to detect that a cartridge containing a predetermined denomination is properly mounted with the issue slot open to enable the drive mechanisms. A sensor is provided to detect a cash out condition to inhibit operation of the drives.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 1978
    Date of Patent: September 9, 1980
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Carl Handen, Don S. Minami, John D. Treder
  • Patent number: 4195751
    Abstract: Cup selection apparatus in a vending machine of the "in-cup" type consisting of a plurality of cup-storage tubes, in each of which, in use, a stack of cups nested one in another is placed, a selectively-operable cup-dispensing device associated with each cup-storage tube to separate the bottom cup from a stack of nested cups in that cup-storage tube, at least one cup-delivery tube connected to the outlet end of each of at least two of the cup-storage tubes, a cup-guiding chute leading from the or each cup-delivery tube to a cup-filling station at which water is to be added to the dry ingredients in a cup, the cup-storage tubes, the cup-delivery tube or tubes and the cup-guiding chute being positioned so that a cup after release by the cup-dispensing device from a stack of nested cups in a cup-storage tube will travel by gravity to the cup-filling station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 1978
    Date of Patent: April 1, 1980
    Assignee: Brooke Bond Vending Systems Limited
    Inventor: David B. Smith
  • Patent number: 4037702
    Abstract: A coin operated dispensing machine is specially adapted for dispensing relatively large, thin tickets, usualy requiring a plurality of coins in payment therefor. The effective thickness of the tickets is increased by enclosing them in individual wallets or packets, the slide is fitted with a tongue and groove arrangement, a lock out arm rejects coins when the machine is sold out, and the coins are accurately counted to permit operation with only the proper count.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 1976
    Date of Patent: July 26, 1977
    Assignee: American Lottery Equipment, Inc.
    Inventor: Jack Albert