By Discharge Assistant Patents (Class 221/195)
  • Patent number: 10111540
    Abstract: A product-dispensing device includes a housing, an actuator, and a time delay mechanism. The actuator is supported by the housing for rotation about a first axis. The time delay mechanism is operably coupled to the actuator and includes a first gear, a second gear, a damper, and a biasing member. The first gear is fixed for rotation with the actuator. The second gear is supported by the housing for rotation about a second axis and configured to engage the first gear. The first gear is operable to rotate the second gear in a first direction about the second axis. The biasing member is operable to rotate the second gear in a second direction about the second axis. The damper is operable to control a rate of rotation of the second gear in the second direction about the second axis. The second direction is opposite the first direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2018
    Assignee: Fasteners for Retail, Inc.
    Inventor: Thaddeus Brej
  • Patent number: 9717652
    Abstract: An add-on unit for a handheld container, preferably a medication container, for storing medication objects, e.g. pills, to be dispensed, includes an open channel with dimensions enabling a free passage of an object to leave the container under influence of a gravity force without using a dispensing mechanism. Shaking the medication container while it is held in a slanting upside down position causes that objects are moved to the channel and will fall through the channel to leave the container. A detector detects the object which passes the channel. Electronic circuitry derives and stores information related to one or more detected passages of objects. The add-on unit is provided with an interface for communication with the outside world for outputting the information derived. Preferably the add-on unit has the form of an insert unit which fits in the neck of a standard container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2017
    Assignee: MISSIO B.V.
    Inventor: Josephus Joannes Antonius Geboers
  • Patent number: 9498131
    Abstract: Monitoring administration of medication to a user by receiving an identification of at least a medication and a time of administration of the medication to the user from the first sensor and storing the identification in the repository. The identification of the medication is compared to prescribed medication for the user. A time required for the medication to travel from the first location to the second location is determined. An electronic tag at the second location is monitored until the determined time has passed or the electronic tag is identified. When the determined time has passed and an electronic tag has not been identified, a notification is sent to at least one user; and when the electronic tag is identified, the ingestion of the medication is confirmed by the user and the time and electronic tag identification is stored in the repository.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2016
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Ira L. Allen, Gregory J. Boss, Andrew R. Jones, Kevin C. McConnell, John E. Moore, Jr.
  • Publication number: 20150048108
    Abstract: A stack of disposable cutlery. The stack can include a plurality of disposable cutlery utensils disposed adjacent one another to provide a stack of the cutlery utensils. At least one elongated retaining mechanism can be adhered to the stack. The at least one elongated retaining mechanism can include at least one tail freely protruding beyond the stack.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 19, 2013
    Publication date: February 19, 2015
    Inventor: Brian Scott Borke
  • Patent number: 8851302
    Abstract: A product dispensing system including a dispenser having a front end longitudinally opposed from a rear end, the dispenser including a container support deck extending at least partially between the front and rear ends, and a lower support deck positioned below the container support deck, the lower support deck defining a product display area, a container positioned on the container support deck, the container defining an internal volume and including an interference member extending into the internal volume, and a number of products received in the internal volume and arranged in at least a first row and a second row, the second row being positioned above the first row, wherein the interference member is positioned to restrict longitudinal movement at least one product in the second row.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2014
    Assignee: MeadWestvaco Corporation
    Inventors: Steven W. Burton, Bipin Raman Patil
  • Publication number: 20140291345
    Abstract: A dispensing device includes a cabinet and a dispensing module. The cabinet includes a bottom plate for holding a number of products and defines a product channel. The dispensing module includes a first blocking plate rotatably mounted to the cabinet. An obtuse angle is defined between the bottom plate and a direction of gravity. The first blocking plate is rotatable relative to the cabinet between an initial position and a dispensing position. When the first blocking plate is in the initial position, the first blocking plate blocks the products from sliding out of the product channel. When the first blocking plate is in the dispensing position, the product channel is open to allow the products to slide out of the product channel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 23, 2013
    Publication date: October 2, 2014
    Inventors: CHAO LIU, ZHI-PING WU
  • Publication number: 20140203034
    Abstract: There is provided a cartridge for a medication dispensing apparatus having an auto locking function, the cartridge including a cartridge case; a drum; a cartridge base; and a driving means, wherein a hollow cylinder having a coupling groove drilled therein is formed at a center of a bottom of the drum, a lifting body having an elastic protrusion elastically coupled to the coupling groove is inserted into the cylinder, wherein, when a rotation shaft of the driving means is inserted into the cylinder, the lifting body moves upward and then the elastic protrusion is separated from the coupling groove, whereas, when the rotation shaft of the driving means is separated from the cylinder, the lifting body moves downward and then the elastic protrusion is coupled to the coupling groove.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 23, 2013
    Publication date: July 24, 2014
    Applicant: INFOPIA CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Byeong-Woo BAE, Keun-Young KIM
  • Patent number: 8762209
    Abstract: According to an embodiment of the invention, products and processes are disclosed for receiving, via a point-of-sale terminal that is not a vending machine, an indication of a set of products which a customer desires to purchase. At least one product is offered to the customer via the point-of-sale terminal, and an acceptance of the offer is received. Thereafter a request to receive the product is received. A unit of the product is dispensed via the vending machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2014
    Assignee: Inventor Holdings, LLC
    Inventors: Jay S. Walker, Jonathan Otto, Daniel E. Tedesco
  • Patent number: 8727180
    Abstract: A medicine container cap for use with a bottle containing a plurality of pills includes a casing having a pill dispensing opening. A pill dispensing track assembly is removably coupled to the casing and includes a pill ramp for delivering pills to the pill dispensing opening and an insert that includes a pill dispenser slot that receives pills from the pill ramp and is open to the pill dispensing opening. The insert is detachably from the pill ramp and is insertable through an opening in the casing for being attached to the pill ramp. The pill ramp includes an adjustable member that modifies a characteristic of the pill ramp based on at least one characteristic of the insert that is selected, inserted through the opening in the casing and coupled to the pill ramp.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2014
    Assignee: Compliance Meds Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Moses Zonana, Ben Way, Daniel Garcia, Rodrigo Ferreira, Werner Blumenthal
  • Patent number: 8701932
    Abstract: A utensil dispensing tray that cooperates with a dispenser. The tray includes at least one feature that causes the utensil, such as a knife, fork, spork, or spoon, to rotate from a first orientation to a second orientation for presentation as the utensil drops into the tray. The tray also includes one or more features that result in the utensil being consistently positioned in its second orientation within a dispensing area of the tray.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2014
    Assignee: Dixie Consumer Products LLC
    Inventors: Christopher M. Reinsel, Jamison J. Float, Jay F. Perkins, Eric M. Krouse, Michael T. Kopczewski, Shawn A. Oakes
  • Patent number: 8610574
    Abstract: An item storage facility that includes a resident programmable subcontroller, at least one stand, a one circuit board having a plurality of elongated openings therein supported on the stand, and a plurality of connectors resident on the circuit board and in communication with the subcontroller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2013
    Inventor: Gerald Isaac Kestenbaum
  • Publication number: 20130200096
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for positioning, holding and moving formed adhesive elements (40) to a heated bonding part (42) are disclosed. The apparatus includes a hopper (12) movably positioned over a matrix plate (14). The matrix plate includes a nesting matrix (18) defined by formed adhesive element-receiving apertures (22). An ejector system (20) is fitted beneath the matrix plate and includes a body (24) having a vacuum chamber (26) with an air inlet (28) and an air exhaust (30). The chamber is fluidly continuous with the apertures formed in the matrix plate (14). The ejector system includes a lifting body to which ejector stamps (34,34?) and an inlet shut off shaft are attached. Channels for the ejector stamps are formed in the body of the ejector system. The ejector stamps are movably fitted in the apertures and the channels. In operation, the hopper (12) slides over the matrix and deposits formed adhesive elements into the apertures (22) then slides away.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 3, 2011
    Publication date: August 8, 2013
    Applicant: A. RAYMOND ET CIE
    Inventors: Mathias Hansel, Herbert Le Pabic, Emilien Koelbert
  • Patent number: 8469230
    Abstract: A vending machine includes a cabinet having a product storage zone and a product delivery mechanism that transports a selected product to a consumer. The vending machine includes a door assembly pivotally mounted relative to the cabinet for selectively providing access to the product storage zone. The door assembly includes an outer, exposed surface and an inner surface that are spaced to define an inner door zone including a vertical drop zone that terminates in a delivery area. A portal is formed in the inner surface of the door assembly and leads from the product storage zone into the door zone. A discharge element is provided on the inner surface of the door assembly and cooperates with the product delivery mechanism to dispense the selected product through the portal as the product delivery mechanism moves past the portal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2013
    Assignee: Crane Merchandising Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Jay F. Perkins, Michael T. Kopczewski, Jeffrey T. DeBord, Douglas G. Schaefer, Rainer B. Teufel, Charles W. Percy
  • Patent number: 8365950
    Abstract: A medicine dispensing device has a device body (1), shelf members (2) arranged in the vertical directions in the device body (1), and a medicine conveyance member (3) for conveying medicines (D), received in the shelf members (2), on one by one basis from the front face side of the device body (1). A shelf member (2) has cassettes (26) in which medicines (D) are received in line, a pusher (31) for pushing the medicines in the cassettes (26) toward the front face side of the device body (10), and a constant load spring (32) for applying a constant load to the medicines (D) received in the cassettes (26) through the pusher (31). To fill the cassettes (26) with the medicines (D), the shelf member (2) can be pulled out from the front face side of the device body (1) and then positioned by pivoting the shelf member (2) so as to face obliquely downward.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2013
    Assignee: Yuyama Mfg. Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Shoji Yuyama, Hiroyuki Kanda
  • Patent number: 8360274
    Abstract: A medication delivering device includes a delivering unit and a negative pressure unit. The delivering unit includes a cylinder, a retractable part and a tip element. The cylinder has a first opening and a second opening. The retractable part connects the cylinder with the tip element. The tip element has a first end, a second end and a channel. The first end passes through the first opening and is received within the cylinder. The second end is located at an outlet of a pill container. The channel penetrates from the first end to the second end to link with the interior of the cylinder. The negative pressure unit connects to the second opening for providing negative pressure to the interior of the cylinder and the channel of the tip element, so that the tip element sucks up a pill on the outlet of the pill container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2013
    Assignee: Industrial Technology Research Institute
    Inventors: Te-Yang Shen, Chung-Chu Chen
  • Patent number: 8272533
    Abstract: A device for dispensing cutlery utensils individually, having a housing containing a quantity of utensils with the housing having sides and product guides within. The front wall contains an opposing leaf escapement mechanism connected to it, to hold and singulate the utensils such that they dispense seriatim, without a user being required to physically touch or interface with any part of dispenser other than the actual desired utensil.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2012
    Inventors: Anthony D'Amelia, Mark V. Pierson
  • Publication number: 20120145736
    Abstract: A dispenser for dispensing cutlery may include a housing configured to contain a plurality of utensils for dispensing, a dispensing mechanism comprising at least one pair of indexing members configured to separate a utensil from a stack of utensils, and a receptacle configured to receive the utensil separated from the stack of utensils. A dispensing mechanism may alternatively include a plurality of linked members configured to separate a utensil from a stack of utensils.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 9, 2011
    Publication date: June 14, 2012
    Inventors: Richard S. Walters, Morgan J. Lowery
  • Patent number: 8061559
    Abstract: A vending machine housing assembly includes a housing body having plural sides assembled one to the next in an end-to-end angular relationship so as to provide the housing body with a polygonal cross-sectional configuration. Each side define a wall portion and a corner portion in a one-piece construction in which the corner portion is rigidly and integrally connected to the wall portion and has an arcuate cross-sectional configuration determining the angular relationship between the sides of the housing body. The housing assembly also has an upper collar and a lower base respectively disposed above and below the housing body and having polygonal cross-sectional configurations like that of the housing body, and elements interconnecting and fixedly clamping the housing body between the upper collar and lower base to provide the housing assembly as a rigid construction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2011
    Inventor: Kil Jae Chang
  • Patent number: 7971749
    Abstract: Apparatus for releasing tablets from a blister pack (3) having a plurality of tablets (41) contained in corresponding blisters (40), the apparatus comprising abutment means (30), receiving means (10, 26) for receiving a blister pack with any selected one of a plurality of blisters of the pack in registry with the abutment means, either one of the abutment means (30) and the receiving means (10, 26) being moveable to cause a collapsing force to be exerted on a selecting blister thereby to release a tablet from the blister, wherein the apparatus includes biasing means (14, 20) for urging the receiving means into engagement with the blister pack, and that the receiving means is so arranged that said engagement releasably retains, and locates, the blister pack in position relative to the abutment means prior to the release of the tablet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2011
    Assignee: Gruenenthal GmbH
    Inventors: Nicholas Andrew Murray Drought, Stephen Blatcher, Michael Daines Gaylor, Mark Stacey Rowbotham
  • Patent number: 7823750
    Abstract: This invention is a vending machine and components parts that include a sophisticated product retrieval and delivery system. Following product selection, the positioning system quickly transports a retrieval device to the front of a tray queue where a product container is retrieved. The positioning system transports the gripper carrying the product container to a delivery port. The product is released and slides down a specially designed chute into a specially designed delivery bucket that is then tilted outward for customer pick up. Sensors associated with the bucket detect the delivery and removal of the product container. Related methods are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2010
    Inventors: Daniel S. Carter, Christopher R. Craven, Walid H. El-Aouar, Craig R Greiner, Larry E Hieb, Dean W James, Sandra L Southard, Rolando S. Williams
  • Patent number: 7823748
    Abstract: A drug filling apparatus capable of preventing drugs from being bridged to each other and reducing troubles. The drug filling apparatus functions to select specific tablets from various types of tablet groups and fill the selected tablets into a vial, and includes a storage cabinet, a drug supplying section, a drug halting section, a drug conveying section, a drug filling section, a vial storing section, and a vial carrying section. A drug dispenser is installed in the drug halting section. A receptacle of the drug dispenser is constituted by an outer receptacle portion and an inner receptacle portion. When a time for filling of tablets in the drug dispenser into the vial comes, a motor of a drive section rotates according to specified signals to rotate the inner receptacle portion; that is, the rotational orientation of the inner receptacle portion is changed to reverse the inner receptacle portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2010
    Assignee: Yuyama Mfg. Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Shoji Yuyama, Hiroyuki Yuyama, Hiroshi Hashimoto, Katsunori Yoshina
  • Patent number: 7819282
    Abstract: A newspaper vending machine includes a dispensing sled and an elevator supported by a frame within a housing. The elevator includes a base slidable between a rearward position, for loading a stack of newspapers, and a forward position. The dispensing sled engages the newspaper stack and is translatable between upper and lower positions to dispense the periodicals from an exit area. An actuation arm projects outwardly from a front panel for engagement by a user and is translated along a substantially vertical pathway as the dispensing sled is moved between its upper and lower positions. The frame of the vending machine is translatably supported on rails for movement between a retracted condition in which the frame is located within the interior and an extended condition in which the frame extends beyond a front end of the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 11, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2010
    Inventor: Benjamin Israel
  • Patent number: 7802700
    Abstract: A product discharge and delivery system for a vending machine includes a product delivery cup including a carriage portion and a shroud portion having an open bottom section and a discharge element. After receiving a selected product, the product delivery cup is shifted toward a dispensing chamber causing the discharge element to engage with a discharge member mounted within the vending machine. Engagement of the discharge element and discharge member causes the shroud portion to pivot relative to the carrier portion exposing the open bottom section allowing a selected product to release into a dispensing chamber. A delivery port is mounted in the dispensing chamber that rotated between a product receiving position and a product delivery position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 28, 2010
    Assignee: Crane Merchandising Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: John P. Ardern, Dan Bowen, Paul Miller, Charles Wayne Percy, Kevin A. Poyck, Denise Schmidt
  • Patent number: 7787988
    Abstract: The present invention provides for a vending system wherein a monitoring system verifies that a product ordered by a vending customer is actually delivered through a delivery area to the customer. If the product ordered is unavailable either because of an out of stock situation or a blockage of the deliver path for that product, the present invention allows the customer to request a refund or order a second product. Additionally, the present invention helps to prevent theft of product from the vending system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2010
    Assignee: Crane Merchandising Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: David B. Whitten, William Edwin Booth, Paul Kevin Griner, Brian Lee Duncan
  • Patent number: 7770753
    Abstract: In combination, a vending machine for newspapers which includes a storage area for newspapers, a dispensing device, and an output device through and from which the newspapers fall downwards and an output chute including a lower newspaper-receiving support slot having a rearwardly angled lower wall, an upper wall extending generally parallel with the lower wall and spaced thereabove, a base wall and side walls which together form the generally rectangular box shape of said lower newspaper-receiving support slot. The lower and upper walls extend at an angle between 10° and 40° from vertical, and the lower wall has a height of between one-half inch and three inches less then the height of the newspaper such that upon the newspaper being dropped therein, a graspable portion of the newspaper protrudes whereby the newspaper is easily removable from said lower newspaper-receiving support slot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2010
    Inventor: Gerald Blankenau
  • Patent number: 7726514
    Abstract: Disclosed is a system for collecting, sorting, counting and consolidating an unorganized pool of solid or semi-solid articles such as pills for dispensation. Specifically, the articles are extracted from inside a bin using attraction points on a transport substrate and sorted into containers in finite quantities. The system consists of several components, preferably including a torque source, a counter and a vacuum source, which are uniquely integrated onto a single end-effector to reduce cost and redundancy by servicing several bins. Further, the system presents a method of attracting and carrying pills using negative vacuum pressure, gravity and centrifugal force. This centrifugal force holds articles to the local attraction points and is provided by the spinning of the transport substrate. Pills are collected from the bin or plenum at the local attraction points, counted, cleaved from the local attraction points and guided to a container or vial.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2010
    Assignee: RxMedic Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Jason A. Janet, David Reinfeld
  • Patent number: 7556176
    Abstract: A vending machine with adjustable merchandise receiving hole comprises a body; a tank and a rotary disk; a stop plate being installed between the tank and the rotary disk; the stop plate having a notch corresponding to and above the output hole of the tank; a lifting unit being formed by a base and a lifting seat; the base being locked to a bottom of the tank; the base being installed with a buckle; a spring being installed between the buckle and the base; the lifting seat having at least one supporting rod; the supporting rod being formed with a recess for buckling with the buckle; an upper end of the supporting rod extending into the tank to be pivoted to a bottom of the stop plate; at least one reduced hole seat capable of being installed upon the receiving hole of the rotary disk.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2009
    Inventor: Shen-Hao Yao
  • Patent number: 7447605
    Abstract: A system and method for calibrating a vending apparatus is provided. A vertical base reference position of a selector arm is stored, wherein the vertical base reference position corresponds to one of a plurality of rows in a cylindrical storage device. A horizontal base reference position is stored, wherein the horizontal base reference position corresponds to a compartment identifier identifying a compartment within each of the plurality of rows. A position of the selector arm corresponding to a media storage compartment is also stored, wherein the position comprises a vertical position and a horizontal position. A motor is initiated to move the selector arm along a vertical axis, wherein a movement of the selector arm results in one of an increment and/or a decrement to the vertical position of the selector arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2008
    Assignee: Redbox Automated Retail, LLC
    Inventor: Franz Kuehnrich
  • Patent number: 7422127
    Abstract: A dispensing apparatus for dispensing a lid from a stack of lids each having a lid periphery includes a load platform having a main floor on which to place a stack of lids, the main floor sloping downward from an apex in a rearward direction, the load platform having a forward slope inclined downward from the apex in a forward direction. A parallelogram mechanism is mounted to move in a linear direction forward to a dispense position and rearward to a home position. A hinge is coupled to the parallelogram mechanism and has a handle with a distal end oriented upward and forward to contact an inner surface of a lid periphery of a bottommost lid of the stack of lids when the parallelogram mechanism moves forward from the home position toward the dispense position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2008
    Assignee: Redi-Lid LP
    Inventors: Steve Christoffersen, Thomas R. Hecht, Scott Thompson, Michael E. Simi
  • Patent number: 7284678
    Abstract: A capsule dispensing apparatus includes an elongate tube for containing a plurality of capsules and a housing remote from the elongate tube. The elongate tube may be releasably coupled to the housing, and a dispensing arm connected to the housing may control the release of the capsules from the elongate tube. The dispensing arm is preferably a solenoid plunger having an end encircled by a solenoid coil, and the solenoid coil is electrically connected to a power supply and a button for moving the solenoid plunger from an extended configuration to a seated configuration, whereby dispensing a capsule. A refrigeration unit has a cooling coil mounted in an interior space defined by the housing and a heat dissipation coil mounted outside the housing interior space for cooling the capsules, and a counter/alarm system provide notice that a certain number of capsules have been dispensed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2007
    Inventors: Barry L. Bloom, Pearl M. Mead
  • Patent number: 7264138
    Abstract: A vending machine includes a storage/display region, a dispensing chamber including a product access opening, and an anti-pilfer device that prevents unauthorized removal of products from the storage/display region through the product access opening. A delivery door is provided which can be shifted from a closed position to an open position to enable the removal of products from the dispensing chamber. The anti-pilfer device includes a plate coupled to a lower portion of the delivery door. When the delivery door is moved from the closed position, the anti-pilfer plate shifts, over a guide element, into a position that prevents products from being withdrawn from the storage/display area. Preferably, the storage/display region and dispensing chamber are separated by a product door, with the anti-pilfer plate preventing the product door from opening when the delivery door is shifted from the closed position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2007
    Assignee: Dixie-Narco, Inc.
    Inventors: Bryan Alan Collins, Charles Wayne Percy, Kevin A. Poyck, Gregory Scott Sullivan
  • Patent number: 6832694
    Abstract: The present invention provides a utensil dispenser for dispensing a utensil. The dispenser includes a base, which defines at least one dispensing opening. At least one utensil is positioned on or adjacent to a top surface of the base. The dispenser includes a dispensing mechanism capable of moving the at least one utensil. The utensil is dispensed by the dispensing mechanism moving the utensil to fall through the dispensing opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 21, 2004
    Assignee: Fort James Corporation
    Inventors: Harold J. Goeking, Ismael Gonzalez
  • Patent number: 6832695
    Abstract: A vending machine drives a vibrating device when a goods selection signal is inputted. A vibration is generated in a receiving plate by the driving of the vibrating device. When a vibration sensor detects the vibration of the receiving plate, a microcomputer judges that the vibration sensor is normal. On the other hand, when the vibration sensor does not detect the vibration, the microcomputer judges that the vibration sensor is abnormal. When it is judged that the vibration sensor is normal, driving of a goods carrying-out device is started. On the other hand, when it is judged that the vibration sensor is abnormal, the driving of the goods carrying-out device is prohibited.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 21, 2004
    Assignee: Sanden Corporation
    Inventor: Tomomi Yamaguchi
  • Patent number: 6811053
    Abstract: An apparatus for dispensing flat articles, which is entirely mechanical, resistant to theft and vandalism and consistently dispenses the correct volume of merchandize. A dispensing mechanism locks out a patron as the last article or item of merchandize is dispensed from the merchandize magazine by arresting rotation of the coin mechanism at a point where a coin cannot be inserted. A novel locking mechanism for the door covering the secure compartment in which collected coins are stored and a novel protective flap for the dispensing slot are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2004
    Assignee: Beaver Machine Corporation
    Inventor: Josef W. Schwarzli
  • Patent number: 6794634
    Abstract: For ensuring that a vending machine motor will continue to operate until a product has descended through a vending space or an established time interval has elapsed, an optical beam is established across the vend space through which a product must drop. A change in beam intensity is detected. By preference infra red light is emitted at one focal point of an elliptical reflector, and detected at the other focal point. The light is emitted in pulses in the preferred embodiment, and the optical sensing system has automated calibration and error detecting functions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2004
    Assignee: Automated Merchandising Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: James M. Hair, III, Kyriakos P. Spentzos
  • Publication number: 20040108328
    Abstract: A customer access module is provided for a media dispenser. The customer access module includes an accumulation box or receptacle used to accumulate media in the customer access module. The accumulation box or receptacle is rotatably installed to rotate through 360 degrees and includes first and second accumulation surfaces as well as an accumulation space. The accumulation space is in communication with the outside through an opening. The second accumulation surface has a width w smaller than a width of the media and is disposed adjacent to an edge of one side of the opening. The accumulation box or receptacle is rotated about an axis passing through centers of both side ends thereof and receives a driving force from a motor through a driving belt. A collector box or receptacle is installed below the accumulation box so as to collect the media that have not been taken by a customer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 25, 2003
    Publication date: June 10, 2004
    Applicant: LG N-Sys Inc.
    Inventor: Ki-Cho Youn
  • Publication number: 20040026941
    Abstract: A combination golf ball retriever and dispenser comprises a shag bag and two tubes. The first tube is a conventional golf ball retrieving tube which may be screwed into a collar at the base of the bag. Golf balls retrieved through the tube may be stored in the bag by inverting the retrieving tube. Stored golf balls may be dispensed by removing the retrieving tube and screwing into its place a dispensing tube on an extending collar which surrounds a hole at the bottom of the bag. A selective dispenser is secured to the end of the second leg and comprises a pivotally mounted spring loaded bar having two prongs. A pivotally secured lever arm may press down on the arm thereby compressing the spring and moving one prong out of the interior of the second leg and the second prong through the slot and into the interior of the second leg.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 21, 2003
    Publication date: February 12, 2004
    Inventor: Eric I. Deininger
  • Patent number: 6682289
    Abstract: A vending machine for vending articles, most notably beverage or food containers. More particularly, the present invention relates to a vending machine having a cabinet with a plurality of vertically spaced shelves, and an “X-Y” picker assembly for receiving a packaged beverage from a shelf and for delivering the packaged beverage to a delivery port in a front face of the cabinet, or to another location as desired.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2004
    Assignee: The Coca-Cola Company
    Inventor: William S. Credle, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6547097
    Abstract: Dispensing apparatus is provided for dispensing items. The dispensing apparatus includes a dispensing outlet and an item holder having item holding areas and being movably disposed to position the item holding areas one at a time in sequence over the dispensing outlet so that when one of the item holding areas is positioned over the dispensing outlet, the other item holding areas are not disposed over the dispensing outlet. The dispensing apparatus further includes a blocker disposed over the item holder opposite the dispensing outlet, the blocker blocking access to the dispensing outlet from directly above the item holder when the item holder positions one of the item holding areas over the dispensing outlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2003
    Assignee: The Knight Group LLC
    Inventors: William Anthony Cavallaro, William M. Kocsis, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6520374
    Abstract: A curvy slide delivery chute for use in a machine for vending products includes an elongated body having a central hole formed therein, a pair of recessed channels formed in the body and provided in a wavy longitudinal configuration in the body on opposite sides of the central hole such that the channels are substantially mirror images of one another and protrude below a remainder of the body and extend from an upper end to an opposite lower end of the body such that a product can slide along either one of the channels in being transferred from the upper end to the lower end of the body, and a pair of side rails each formed on the body and protruding thereabove along one of opposite outer sides of the recessed channels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2003
    Inventor: Kil Jae Chang
  • Patent number: 6499627
    Abstract: To provide an automatic vending machine capable of preventing, at the time of carrying out a commodity from a commodity column to a commodity receptor, the commodity from falling down due to a change in posture of the commodity, and mitigating falling shock of the commodity. When the commodity is carried out of the commodity column to the commodity receptor, the commodity is caused to abut on a commodity supporting member located on one side of the commodity receptor, and the commodity is moved toward the other end side of the commodity receptor with the commodity supporting member abutted thereon, whereby the commodity is received by the commodity receptor while the commodity is being supported by the commodity supporting member. Therefore, it is possible to reliably prevent the contents from being damaged due to falling down or falling shock caused by a change in posture of the commodity during carrying-out.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2002
    Assignee: Sanden Corp.
    Inventor: Toru Arai
  • Patent number: 6467649
    Abstract: A newspaper vending machines for vending a single copy of a periodical. The newspaper vending machine includes a generally rectangular cabinet with a separate periodical loading door and periodical dispensing opening having a door. A coin controlled latching mechanism controls the operation of the door of the dispensing opening. The periodicals rest on a moveable platform, which can move upward as the periodicals are dispense through the dispensing opening. A carriage assembly, the carriage assembly in operative engagement with the dispensing handle, includes a multiplicity of fingers depending vertically downward from a rearward member on the carriage assembly. The fingers engage the trailing edge of the top periodical and, when the dispensing door is opened, the carriage assembly moves the top periodical to the dispensing opening for receipt by a consumer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2002
    Assignee: Kaspar Wire Works, Inc.
    Inventors: Ralph H. Ullman, Frank Paulas
  • Patent number: 6464104
    Abstract: A vending system has at least one storage compartment with at least one shelf for holding various food packets. A computer system, which may be linked to a remote sight, stores information about each food packet within the system, which information is made available to a user via a video display device and appropriate controls. Once a user selects food packets for purchase, the vending system accepts and verifies payment and thereafter causes a delivery system to deliver the food packets to a heating compartment which provides appropriate heat to properly heat the food packet. Multiple food packets can be heated simultaneously with heating of each terminating nearly simultaneously. Thereafter, the user is free to retrieve the purchased food packets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2002
    Inventor: Gregory Waddell
  • Publication number: 20020108835
    Abstract: A snack dispenser and coin bank is disclosed. The assembly includes a housing and a shaft member making up a portion of the housing. A first storage area is located in the housing for storing associated snacks and a dispenser is movably mounted in the shaft for selectively dispensing the associated snack. A depositing member is movably mounted in the housing for selectively allowing the deposit of associated coins in the housing, the depositing member being operatively connected to the dispenser. An actuator is mounted on the dispenser, and when the actuator is moved to one position, it actuates the dispenser and the depositing member. A method of saving coins and receiving a snack is also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 9, 2001
    Publication date: August 15, 2002
    Inventors: William J. Knox, Paul Tamulewicz
  • Patent number: 6422417
    Abstract: A cigarette package vending machine for selectively dispensing cigarette packages on actuation by a user includes at least one cigarette package storage and dispensing container. The container includes a storage region for storing a plurality of cigarette packages, a holding region communicating with a storage region to receive the first cigarette package from the plurality in the storage region and an output region communicating with the holding region to receive the first cigarette package from the holding region for dispensing the first cigarette package from the output region to the user. A dispenser is provided which is moveable between a rest position and an open position. The dispenser holds the first cigarette package in the holding region when the dispenser is in the rest position on actuation by a user the dispenser first moves to its open position from its rest position to cause the first cigarette package to move from the holding region to the output region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2002
    Assignee: Slim Line Designs Ltd.
    Inventor: Mark Wayne Rawlins
  • Publication number: 20020092861
    Abstract: A magazine vending machine provides a plurality of vending mechanisms in a series of rows and columns in a glass front cabinet. Each vending mechanism includes a magazine dispensing mechanism for individually dispensing customer selected magazines and a pusher plate assembly that can be locked in a rear most loading position to allow the operator to fill each vending mechanism with magazines. The magazine dispensing mechanism includes a microprocessor and sensor arrangement which determines the height of magazine dispensed from the magazine vending mechanism and makes adjustments to the magazine dispensing mechanism operation according to the height of the magazine.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 12, 2001
    Publication date: July 18, 2002
    Inventors: Harry J. Zerwig, Gary N. Birk, David W. Duncan, Leonard A. Ficken, Paul K. Griner, Gregory S. Ivey, Charles W. Percy, Frank L. Walter
  • Patent number: 6412654
    Abstract: A vending machine for vending articles such as cassettes or boxes is disclosed which has a touch screen (18) for receiving user input commands, a key pad (26) and credit card or coin payment devices (22, 24). A control system (FIGS. 11 to 13 and 23) controls operation of the machine. A vending unit (14) has a carriage (70) mounted for movement below a storage compartment (46) which is divided into a plurality of sections (74). The compartment (46) stores cassettes or boxes which can be stacked one above the other and released into the carriage (70) so that the carriage (70) can move to dispense the article through an outlet (58). A latch (80) controls movements of the cassettes or boxes (75) into the carriage (70). The latch (80) is pivotally mounted and movable from a position where abutment (196) engages a cassette or box (75) or releases the cassette or box.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2002
    Assignee: Australian Central Finance Pty Ltd
    Inventor: Keith Francis Cleeve
  • Patent number: 6234345
    Abstract: A transportation vending machine, and more generally a vending machine and cooling dispenser especially suited to environments in which there is limited space available. A serpentine path in the dispenser is formed from two-pieces of rotary-molded plastic having complimentary, serpentine surfaces which form a serpentine path when positioned against one another. Vending, without the need for selection buttons, is achieved by way of the cradles and an interlock system. Efficient cooling is provided by a thermoelectric cooling system that also consumes very little space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2001
    Assignee: The Coca-Cola Company
    Inventors: Tran Q. Minh, Paul Albert Carlson, Alejandro Reynal, Stephan A. Osborne, Rex M. Baker, III
  • Patent number: 6227407
    Abstract: A system for dispensing articles such as candy, lollipops, or other oddly shaped objects is provided. A helix, turned by an electric motor or the purchaser of the article, delivers a single unit from a loading area to one basket in a chain of baskets. The baskets are mounted on a belt that is part of a chute assembly, carried to the top of the chute, and rotated to dump the article onto a dispensing shelf from where gravity delivers it to the purchaser. By introduction of a coin, the lollipop machine will start, and, by way of the belt mechanism a product is carried up and over the top of the chute.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2001
    Inventors: Patrick J. Simeri, John Carl Walden
  • Patent number: 6206234
    Abstract: A cigar vending machine for selectively dispensing cigars of varying sizes on selection by a user includes a plurality of cigar storage and dispensing containers each of which includes a base plate having an extension portion extending in a first direction, a restraining plate having an edge oriented in the first direction, the restraining plate in spaced, substantially parallel relationship with the base plate, the extension portion extending substantially in the first direction beyond the edge of the restraining plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2001
    Assignee: Slim Line Designs Ltd.
    Inventor: Mark Wayne Rawlins