With Dispenser Malfunctioning Responsive Means Patents (Class 221/21)
  • Patent number: 9999325
    Abstract: A separation unit for separating a web material along preformed lines of weakness. The separation unit has a width direction and includes a first roller having a rotational axis extending in the width direction and a web width extending in the width direction, and a second roller having a rotational axis extending parallel with the rotational axis of the first roller and a web width extending in the width direction. The second roller is positioned at a distance from the first roller. Each of the first and the second rollers is provided with a plurality of protrusion elements being spaced along the rotational axes and protruding perpendicular from the axes. Each of the protrusion elements has a maximum width in the width direction, a maximum radial extension from the rotational axes, an inner portion adjacent to the rotational axes, and an outer portion remote from the rotational axes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2018
    Assignee: SCA HYGIENE PRODUCTS AB
    Inventors: Bjorn Larsson, Per Moller, Lars Thoren, Jari Haukirauma, Stig Pommer, Joonas Jokitalo
  • Patent number: 9916871
    Abstract: A data storage library includes at least a first library portion and at least a second library portion, wherein the second library portion is configured to store and receive media associated with data storage cartridges and comprises an environmental conditioning unit configured to control environmental conditions within the second library portion to be different than environmental conditions external to the second library portion. The data storage library also includes at least one acclimation chamber formed by the first library portion, wherein the at least one acclimation chamber permits gradual transition of environmental condition(s) within the at least one acclimation chamber toward at least one of the corresponding environmental condition(s) external and internal to the second library portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2018
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Jose G. Miranda Gavillan, Brian G. Goodman, Kenny Nian Gan Qiu
  • Patent number: 9888615
    Abstract: A data center may include a tape library rack module along with rack computer systems. The rack computer systems may be configured to provide computing capacity within a data center environment. In some embodiments, the tape library rack module may include an enclosure encompassing an interior of the tape library rack module, a rack within the interior, and a tape library unit mounted on the rack. The tape library rack unit may include tape cartridges configured to store data within a tape environment that is different than the data center environment. The tape library rack unit may be within a portion of the interior that is enclosed such that it is environmentally isolated from the data center environment. In some examples, the tape library rack module may include a cooling unit and/or a humidifier unit, which may provide the tape environment to the environmentally isolated portion of the interior of the tape library rack module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2018
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Darin Lee Frink, Kevin Bailey, Peter George Ross, Bryan James Donlan, James Caleb Kirschner, Mary Crys Calansingin, Paul David Franklin, Masataka Kubo
  • Patent number: 9756937
    Abstract: An illustrative embodiment of a storage and retrieval system may include a storage assembly supported by a plurality of frame members. The storage assembly may include a plurality of storage members that may be engaged with one another such that each storage member may selectively move along a predetermined path. The exterior of the storage and retrieval system may include a front exterior panel that may be configured with an access port therein for interacting with items positioned on the storage members. The exterior may also include a first and/or second display, scanner, and one or more door flaps to allow/prevent access to the interior of the storage and retrieval system through the access port.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2017
    Inventor: John Smith
  • Publication number: 20150134106
    Abstract: A control system for and methods of controlling a product delivery system are provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 2, 2014
    Publication date: May 14, 2015
    Inventors: JEFF BOYER, JOSEPH TODD PIATNIK, FERNANDO A. UBIDIA, AARON M. STEIN, JOHN F. LEWIS
  • Publication number: 20150101291
    Abstract: A medicine supply apparatus which comprises, in a case accommodating section 8, a plurality of tablet cases 3 for accommodating medicine and charges or supplies medicine into a bag 72, which medicine has been discharged from each tablet case 3 based on a prescription. An identification code 26 is provided for each of the tablet cases 3 and read by an optical sensor 33 provided inside the case accommodating section 8, whereby discharge of medicine is controlled. A motor 14 for driving a discharge drum for the tablet case 3 is checked for disconnection by being regularly energized. The operating time and the frequency of operation of parts that wear out, such as the motors, are stored for use in failure prediction. Time slots in which medicine should be taken are printed, each in a different color, by a color printing mechanism 73 on the bag 72 into which medicine is charged.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 13, 2014
    Publication date: April 16, 2015
    Inventors: Hitoshi ISHIWATARI, Shinya UEMA, Manabu HARAGUCHI, Koichi KOBAYASHI, Shigeyuki NAKAMURA
  • Patent number: 8418881
    Abstract: The present invention aims to provide a dispensing apparatus for dispensing individual tissue cassettes from a stack of cassettes, the apparatus includes a hopper for receiving a stack of tissue cassettes, the hopper having an aperture through which cassettes are dispensable; ejection means for ejecting a cassette through the aperture; and retention means for retaining all but one of the cassettes in the stack as an individual cassette is ejected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2013
    Assignee: Thermo Shandon Ltd.
    Inventors: Ian Kerrod, Richard Clarkson, Basil Gaynor
  • 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: 7980418
    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 delivery 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 23, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2011
    Assignee: Crane Merchandising Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: David B. Whitten, William Edwin Booth, Paul Kevin Griner, Brian Lee Duncan
  • Patent number: 7980420
    Abstract: A card dispensing apparatus having a compact configuration has a housing to support a stack of cards on a fixed base. Openings in the base member can permit surfaces from a conveying member to extend into the housing and contact a surface of the lowest card. The conveyer member can move horizontal to a release point and retract beneath the base member to return to an initial position. A movement unit provides a cyclic looping movement of the conveyer member into and out of the housing for transporting cards. A feed unit positioned at the dispensing point of the cards can grasp and release the cards from the card dispensing apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2011
    Assignee: Asahi Seiko Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Takahito Yamamiya
  • Patent number: 7819239
    Abstract: An feeder for an auto mounting device includes a main frame, a blocking mean, an intake assembly, a transmission assembly, an input assembly and a sensor. By the sensor detecting the movement of the auto mounting device and transmitting a signal to activate the transmission assembly, the feeder could be in a normal operation without having an intimate contacting with the auto mounting device. Therefore, the feeder can favorably prevent from tremor and attrition while operating in response to the auto mounting device, conducing to a prompt and regular action of the auto mounting device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2010
    Assignee: Schenson Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Qi-Hong Wu
  • Patent number: 7686185
    Abstract: A tray for a product vending machine including a flat base upon which product to be vended may be placed. A plurality of walls are attached to the base which define rows into which product is organized. A channel within the flat base houses a threaded shaft. The threaded shaft threadingly attaches to a product drive member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2010
    Assignee: Coin Acceptors, Inc.
    Inventor: Steven M. Zychinski
  • Patent number: 7637078
    Abstract: A medicine supply apparatus which comprises, in a case accommodating section 8, a plurality of tablet cases 3 for accommodating medicine and charges or supplies medicine into a bag 72, which medicine has been discharged from each tablet case 3 based on a prescription. An identification code 26 is provided for each of the tablet cases 3 and read by an optical sensor 33 provided inside the case accommodating section 8, whereby discharge of medicine is controlled. A motor 14 for driving a discharge drum for the tablet case 3 is checked for disconnection by being regularly energized. The operating time and the frequency of operation of parts that wear out, such as the motors, are stored for use in failure prediction. Time slots in which medicine should be taken are printed, each in a different color, by a color printing mechanism 73 on the bag 72 into which medicine is charged.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2009
    Assignees: Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd., Sanyo Electric Biomedical Co. Ltd.
    Inventors: Hitoshi Ishiwatari, Shinya Uema, Manabu Haraguchi, Koichi Kobayashi, Shigeyuki Nakamura
  • Patent number: 7565222
    Abstract: A monitor and method for reasonable confirmation of a vend from a vending machine includes a set of optical emitters positionable on one side of a dispensing area and a set of optical detectors, adapted to sense the optical energy of the emitters, positioned on an opposite side of the dispensing area. The emitters are spaced apart from each other and mounted on a supporting structure that can be installed on the one side of the dispensing area in a vending machine. The detectors similarly are spaced from one another on a supporting structure that can be installed on an opposite side of the dispensing area. A controller operates the emitters to individually turn on and off in a predetermined sequence. The controller checks for falsing of any detector during the off periods and monitors if any detector is blocked during the on periods. Upon sensed falsing or blockage, the controller generates an output signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2009
    Assignee: Fawn Engineering Corporation
    Inventor: James F. Popelka
  • 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
  • Publication number: 20080128449
    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: Application
    Filed: October 31, 2007
    Publication date: June 5, 2008
    Inventors: David B. Whitten, William Edwin Booth, Paul Kevin Griner, Brian Lee Duncan
  • Patent number: 7258247
    Abstract: An automated system for dispensing condiment packets includes a magazine for storing a stack of condiment packets and a dispenser for metering out those condiment packets. Multiple magazines and dispensers can be combined in a single condiment delivery assembly, thereby providing the means for dispensing a variety of condiment flavors. The delivery assembly can be incorporated into a fast food vending machine or can be designed as a standalone unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2007
    Assignee: Expense Management, Inc.
    Inventor: Al H. Marquez
  • Patent number: 7191915
    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: May 5, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2007
    Assignee: Automated Merchandising Systems Inc.
    Inventors: James M. Hair, III, Kyriakos P. Spentzos
  • Patent number: 7073683
    Abstract: A sensor for detecting and signaling whether a requested product is successfully vended is placed in a vending machine. The sensor determines whether a requested product passes through a defined “vend area” within a predetermined time interval after the customer's request for the product. If the product does pass through the vend area within the time interval, a successful transaction is signaled and the sensor is reset. However, if no signal is received within the time interval, a procedure to remedy the failed transaction is executed. This procedure includes refunding the customer's money, crediting the customer's next transaction, or vending a similar product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2006
    Inventors: Lawrence Quinnell, Andrew T. Fausak
  • Patent number: 6840400
    Abstract: A media dispenser module includes: a casing mounted in a mounting unit of a media dispenser apparatus and having an opening accessible from outside and a door for opening and closing the opening; a media mounting unit installed inside the casing so that media is dropped from a first position where the media is maintained in a mounting state and rotated to a second position where the media is retrieved into a media retrieval box coupled to the casing; a driving unit installed at a side wall of the casing and moving the media mounting unit; a media sensing unit for sensing whether there is media on the media mounting unit; and a controller for controlling opening and closing of the door and the driving unit according to a signal of the media sensing unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2005
    Assignee: LG N-Sys Inc.
    Inventor: Eung-Min Park
  • 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
  • Patent number: 6772906
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for increasing assurance a product has been vended upon an authorized product selection. The method comprises monitoring if a product has been vended during a first vend cycle and if not, commencing a second vend cycle, and stopping a second vend cycle immediately if a product is sensed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2004
    Assignee: Inland Finance Company
    Inventors: Francis A. Wittern, Jr., Roger L. Wilson, Gary L. Walke
  • Patent number: 6732884
    Abstract: A medication dispensing system comprising an on-site medication dispensing unit and a central monitoring facility. The on-site medication dispensing unit holds bulk amounts of medication in a plurality of separate receptacles from which it selects a desired medication dosage according to an entered and stored prescription regimen and then notifies the patient by an audible or other sensory signal. If the patient presses a button within a prescribed time, the unit dispenses the dosage. If the patient does not press the button within the prescribed time, or if the unit detects a failure to dispense the selected canister, the unit makes the receptacle inaccessible and contacts a predetermined list of caregivers and the central monitoring facility.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2004
    Inventors: Douglas A. Topliffe, Roger O. Topliffe, Anil Sahai
  • Patent number: 6732014
    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 delivery 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: August 23, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2004
    Assignee: Crane Co.
    Inventors: David Boyd Whitten, William Edwin Booth, Paul Kevin Griner, Brian Lee Duncan
  • Patent number: 6708079
    Abstract: An optical vend-sensing system for reliably detecting the dispensing of an article, is presented. The system includes two parallel reflecting surfaces, each mounted at opposite sides of a vend space through which the article falls upon selection by a consumer. An emitter generates an optical beam which is reflected off each of the reflecting surfaces such that the reflected beam traverses across the vend space. A detector senses the reflected beam and communicates with a machine control unit. In response to the detector sensing that the reflected beam has been interrupted, the machine control unit terminates the vending operations of a mechanism controlling the dispensing of the article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2004
    Assignee: Automated Merchandising Systems
    Inventor: Paul L. Mason, II
  • Patent number: 6629625
    Abstract: A dispensed product detection system and method for use in a refrigerated vending machine utilizing an optical light beam crossing the path through which a dispensed product travels. An optical emitter transmits a light beam through at least one layer of substantially transparent anti-fog film to reduce moisture condensation and across the product path to an optical detector wherein signal intensity is measured. As a dispensed product passes through the light beam between the emitter and the detector, the beam is momentarily broken, resulting in a change in signal intensity at the infrared detector which is registered as the vend of a product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2003
    Assignee: Coin Acceptors, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas S. Paczkowski, John E. Dundon
  • Patent number: 6604652
    Abstract: The invention relates to a cigarette vending machine, especially for installing in the checkout area of a market or the like, comprising a housing (12) wherein several shafts (16) are located (16). Said shafts accommodate columns of cigarette packs (18) which are oriented upright with their broad sides resting against each other. A discharge outlet for individual cigarette packs is located at the front of the shafts (16). The aim of the invention is to provide a simple means of discharging a cigarette pack whilst ensuring that the packs are suitably presented to the customer. The pack should not however be removed directly from the supply shaft. To this end, an optionally controllable drive mechanism (36, 38, 40) is allocated to each shaft (16). Each drive mechanism has a pressure piece (42) which exerts pressure acting on the back side of the rearmost cigarette pack (18) of the column of packs, urging frontwards.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2003
    Assignee: Hans-Hermann Trautwein SB-Technik GmbH
    Inventor: Hans-Hermann Trautwein
  • Publication number: 20030111478
    Abstract: A media dispenser module includes: a casing mounted in a mounting unit of a media dispenser apparatus and having an opening accessible from outside and a door for opening and closing the opening; a media mounting unit installed inside the casing so that media is dropped from a first position where the media is maintained in a mounting state and rotated to a second position where the media is retrieved into a media retrieval box coupled to the casing; a driving unit installed at a side wall of the casing and moving the media mounting unit; a media sensing unit for sensing whether there is media on the media mounting unit; and a controller for controlling opening and closing of the door and the driving unit according to a signal of the media sensing unit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 16, 2002
    Publication date: June 19, 2003
    Inventor: Eung-Min Park
  • Patent number: 6550760
    Abstract: Spring nail (32, 34, 72, 96) for a sheet feeding device (10). The spring nail (32, 34, 72, 96) has a mounting end (36, 74) for attaching to the sheet feeding device (10) and a free end (38, 78) opposite the mounting end (36, 74), the free end (38, 78) being disposed to engage a top sheet (16) of a stack of sheets (14) to be fed and exert a resilient biasing force thereagainst to form a loop or bow in the top sheet (16) for separating the top sheet (16) from the stack (14) when the top sheet (16) is to be removed from the stack (14). The spring nails (32, 34, 72, 96) are preferably positioned for engaging the respective leading corners (28, 30) of the top sheet (16) and each has a spring arm portion (40, 80) between the mounting end (36, 74) and the free end (38, 78) having properties of a spring for resiliently biasing the free end (38, 78) against the top sheet (16).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2003
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventor: Terrence L. Fisher, Sr.
  • Publication number: 20030057220
    Abstract: A bank note dispensing device includes a storage unit which can store bank notes that can be dispensed to a user through a discharge opening. A monitor unit can be operatively positioned relative to a passageway for transporting the bank notes in order to determine any abnormal conditions, such as accidental discharge of duplicate bank notes. A diverting unit can be operatively connected to the monitoring unit to remove a bank note from the passageway when the monitoring unit indicates an abnormal condition. A second diverting unit can be activated to position a removed bank note in a reject storage container. A recycle unit can receive an abnormal designated bank note and provide a second passageway to return the abnormal designated bank note to a position for subsequent transportation by the transporting unit through the discharge opening.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 4, 2002
    Publication date: March 27, 2003
    Inventors: Hiroshi Abe, Joji Iida
  • 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
  • Publication number: 20020134790
    Abstract: The convenience of a medication supplying apparatus is improved. The medication supplying apparatus is equipped with a tablet case (1) having a dispensing drum for dispensing medications from an accommodating container that accommodates medications, a motor for driving the dispensing drum, a controlling means for controlling the operation of the motor, and a dispensing detection means for detecting the dispensing of a medication from the tablet case (1), wherein the controlling means reverses the motor if the dispensing detection means does not detect normal dispensing of a medication when the motor is rotated to dispense a medication.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 15, 2002
    Publication date: September 26, 2002
    Inventor: Yuichi Tamaoki
  • Patent number: 6349848
    Abstract: There is disclosed a medicine supply apparatus which can improve the dispensing operation efficiency. The medicine supply apparatus is constituted by storing a plurality of tablet cases in a main body case storage part, each tablet case comprising a container for containing a medicine and a discharge drum for discharging the medicine from the container, comprises a motor for driving the discharge drum and a controller for controlling the operation of the motor, and the controller comprises means for rotating forward the motor to discharge the medicine and for detecting medicine sticking, so that when the medicine sticking occurs, the motor is rotated backward and then rotated forward.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2002
    Assignee: Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Shinya Uema, Atsuo Inamura
  • Publication number: 20010050288
    Abstract: A secure dispensing magazine for an article dispenser capable of dispensing a plurality of stacked articles includes a housing member having a lid that is operable to permit access to an internal cavity. The lid can be secured to the housing member and an internal gate member can be movable mounted within the housing member to permit the dispensing of articles. A gate operating mechanism can permit the gate to be opened and the magazine to be secured to a dispensing apparatus, while a gate locking assembly can lock the gate member after it has cycled through an open and closed position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 11, 2001
    Publication date: December 13, 2001
    Inventor: Donald Lee Seagle
  • Patent number: 6273413
    Abstract: An automated banking machine (10) includes a user interface (12) including an opening (20) for users to deliver and receive individual sheets and stacks of sheets to and from the machine. The machine includes a sheet handling mechanism therein including a first transport path (46) and a second transport path (42). Various devices for dispensing and receiving sheets (30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40) are positioned adjacent to the second transport path and dispense and/or receive sheets therefrom. The second transport path meets the first transport path at an intersection (60). The machine includes control circuitry (44) which controls the dispensing and movement of sheets along the sheet paths in response to inputs by customers. A sheet directing apparatus (110) is positioned adjacent to the intersection (60). The sheet directing apparatus (110) is selectively operative as a stack of sheets moves through the intersection to either add a sheet to the stack or to separate a sheet from the stack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2001
    Assignee: Diebold, Incorporated
    Inventor: H. Thomas Graef
  • Patent number: 6170929
    Abstract: An automated medication-dispensing cart includes a closed cart housing and a plurality of medication-containing bins which extend for substantially the length of the cart and which are supported within the cart housing. The support structure includes two spaced sets of sprockets positioned at both ends of the cart and endless chains which extend around the sprockets, with one of the sprockets being motor-driven. The bins are connected at opposing ends thereof to the spaced chains. The movement of the bins is controlled such that the bins can be stopped at a preselected position within the cart, in the vicinity of the top front edge of the cart. A plurality of doors is located in the top of the cart, such that when one or more of the doors is opened, a preselected portion of the bin in the preselected position and the medications therein are exposed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2001
    Inventors: Ronald H. Wilson, Michael A. Stoy
  • Patent number: 6056150
    Abstract: An apparatus for dispensing articles such as tickets and cards includes a cabinet. A plurality of article dispensing assemblies are disposed inside the cabinet. Each article dispensing assembly includes a base and a frame for enclosing the articles to be dispensed in a stack. The bases are mounted on a pair of vertical support plates. A gate is disposed behind each frame for receiving articles from its associated frame and allowing only one article at a time to pass through. A toothed blade is disposed underneath each frame and a motor driven rack and pinion is coupled to the toothed blade for bringing the toothed blade into engagement with the lowermost article in the stack, moving said toothed blade so that the lowermost article is transported from the stack into the gate, bringing the toothed blade out of engagement with the article and then moving the toothed blade back to engage the next article in the stack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2000
    Assignee: Algonquin Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Kazmier J. Kasper
  • Patent number: 6029971
    Abstract: A belt displacement operation is periodically carried by the pick mechanism 11 of a sheet feeding apparatus, when the number of sheets fed has reaches a predetermined value. The motor 34 is driven in reverse for a predetermined time, so as to cause rotation of the belt 28 in the opposite direction to that during feeding. Since the pick pulley 26 is supported on the shaft 38 by means of a one-way clutch 40 so that it does not rotate during the reverse rotation of the belt 28, displacement of the belt 28 occurs relative to the pick pulley 26, so that in subsequent pick operations, a different portion of the belt 28 engages the stack 18 so as to pick a sheet, than had displacement of the belt 28 not occurred. This reduces the risk of localized portions of the belt 28 becoming more worn than others, due to more frequent engagement with the stack 18.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 29, 2000
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Andrew Lynch, David J. McMillan, Derek S. Bell
  • Patent number: 5923262
    Abstract: Computer implemented methods for determining blocked and partially blocked conditions in the flow of particulate matter in an agricultural air seeding system are disclosed which automatically adapt for changes in seed type, seed density, fan rate or seed rate. In a first embodiment, the number of samples that are taken before making a determination of the blockage condition is varied depending on the number of seed events that have been detected in a given time interval. In a second embodiment, one or more criteria such as the maximum number of samples to wait for an event, the value a sensor filter must reach before the method determines a blockage sensor to be BLOCKED, or the value a sensor filter must reach when in the blocked state before the method determines the sensor is no longer blocked is varied depending on a smoothed value of the number of seed events that are detected per sampling period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 13, 1999
    Assignee: Deere & Company
    Inventors: Trevor D. Fuss, Paul R. Bramel, Jason J. Wanner
  • Patent number: 5913399
    Abstract: A gaming facility having a plurality of coin game machines (100) and a coin handling mechanism (200) for supplying coins to the coin game machines and collecting coins therefrom is disclosed. The coin handling mechanism comprises a coin collection transporter (210) for collecting coins input for playing games, a coin replenishment transporter (230) for transporting coins with which the coin game machines are replenished, a replenishment coin supply unit (240) for supplying coins to the coin replenishment transporter, coin branch units (250) for making coins transported by the coin replenishment transporter branch therefrom into the corresponding coin game machines, and a controller (300) for at least controlling coin replenishment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 22, 1999
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Ace Denken
    Inventors: Takatoshi Takemoto, Hideyuki Kadomatsu, Yukio Manzaki
  • Patent number: 5553696
    Abstract: A security device for a bill changer that greatly reduces the risk of the coinage within the changer from being robbed. The security device includes a support having a bill insertion slot therethrough. The support is adapted to be securely attached to a front surface of a bill reader with the insertion slot aligned with a corresponding slot of the bill reader. A moveable blade is mounted on the support and detaches foreign objects extending from an inserted bill. An actuator member, preferably comprising two solenoids, is connected to the blade for moving the blade across the insertion slot in response to validation of an inserted bill by the bill reader to detach any foreign objects therefrom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 10, 1996
    Inventor: Benard Burson, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5449229
    Abstract: A Customer Access Port (CAP) for an automated storage library subsystem which comprises two sliding doors to control operator access to the library. A magazine adapted to hold several storage media cartridges is positioned inside the storage library accessible to both an operator and the robotic mechanism for exchanging storage media cartridges between the operator and the storage library. Both sliding doors are slid between two positions by manual movement of a single knob. In one position, a first door closes to prevent any operator access to the magazine as well as other components inside the library while the second door opens to permit robotic mechanisms inside the library to manipulate storage media cartridges in the magazine. In the second position, the first door opens to permit operator access to the magazine while the second door closes to restrict the operator from accessing other components such as the robotic mechanisms or inventoried storage media cartridges within the library.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 12, 1995
    Assignee: Storage Technology Corporation
    Inventors: Mike A. Aschenbrenner, John S. Todor
  • Patent number: 5412521
    Abstract: Gate mechanism for a data cartridge library system including an upstanding lever arm having a laterally extending tab formed at its upper end and a generally Z-shaped member extending from its lower end, the distal end segment of the Z-shaped member forming a light-breaking flag disposed between an optical switch. The lever arm is pivotally attached proximate its lower end to a pivot member that allows the lever arm and its appendages to be rotated about orthogonal axes. An actuator is attached to the lower end of the arm so as to rotate it about one of the axes, and a spring is attached to the lower end of the lever arm to return the arm to a neutral position following its rotation about either axis. The gate mechanism is useful in blocking entry to a drive unit, limiting ejection distance of a cartridge ejected from the drive unit, and indicating when a cartridge extends out of the drive unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 2, 1995
    Assignee: Applied Kinetics Corporation
    Inventor: Warren L. Dalziel
  • Patent number: 5366110
    Abstract: A game token dispenser is equipped with a token hopper for dispensing, to a token receiving port, a predetermined number of tokens supplied from a token reservoir. The token hopper is divided into a sequentially operating preliminary hopper and a dispensing hopper. The preliminary hopper has a sensor for detecting whether or not there are any tokens received from the reservoir, and a conveying mechanism for conveying the tokens forwardly. The dispensing hopper has a sensor for detecting whether or not there are any tokens received from the preliminary hopper. A discharging mechanism is provided for discharging the tokens one by one to the token receiving port. The dispenser preferably includes a display, on a front surface of a housing, for displaying whether or not it is possible to dispense the tokens and the number of the tokens dispensed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 1992
    Date of Patent: November 22, 1994
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Ace Denken
    Inventors: Takatoshi Takemoto, Yoshihide Kurihara, Koshiro Nakai, Sakuji Yaegashi, Hiroyasu Obara, Mitsuhiro Tada
  • Patent number: 5360134
    Abstract: A multiple-product merchandising machine having a cylindrical drum mounted within a cabinet. The drum is divided into a plurality of horizontal shelves each of which is divided by a plurality of vertical walls into separate compartments from which the product can be dispensed. These compartments can be brought into alignment with access doors associated with each level and the doors, which are normally maintained locked, can be opened upon the insertion of adequate currancy in the machine to remove the product. The access door locking system prevents more than one door from being opened at one time. The drum is rotatable in either direction by a reversible motor. A viewing area is provided in the front of the machine which allows a prospective customer to see the product as it passes by. The drum is divided into sections with opaque walls which prevent viewing from the viewing area of more than half of the compartments on a shelf when the drum is in its rest position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 1, 1994
    Assignee: Unidynamics Corporation
    Inventors: Leonard P. Falk, Paul K. Griner
  • Patent number: 5335816
    Abstract: A dispensing device has a storage compartment for holding one or more of the medication containers. The compartment has an opening. A push member moves in a path aligned with the opening between a first position, spaced from the opening, and a second position, adjacent the opening. A first mechanism moves one container held within the compartment into the path as the push member is moved from its second position toward its first position. The push member, when subsequently moved from its first position toward its second position, ejects the one container in the path from the compartment through the opening. The first mechanism also serves to move another container held within the compartment into the path after the one container is ejected and the push member is moved from its second position back toward its first position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 9, 1994
    Assignee: HealthTech Services Corporation
    Inventors: Stephen B. Kaufman, Aleandro DiGianfilippo, Tamara L. Sager, Clark F. Bow, Ralph J. DeVito
  • Patent number: 5285926
    Abstract: A multiple-product merchandising machine having a cylindrical drum mounted within a cabinet. The drum is divided into a plurality of horizontal shelves each of which is divided by a plurality of vertical walls into separate compartments from which the product can be dispensed. These compartments can be brought into allignment with access doors associated with each level and the doors, which are normally maintained locked, can be opened upon the insertion of adequate currancy in the machine to remove the product. The access door locking system prevents more than one door from being opened at one time. The drum is rotatable in either direction by a reversible motor. A viewing area is provided in the front of the machine which allows a prospective customer to see the product as it passes by. The drum is divided into sections with opaque walls which prevent viewing from the viewing area of more than half of the compartments on a shelf when the drum is in its rest position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 1992
    Date of Patent: February 15, 1994
    Assignee: Unidynamics Corporation
    Inventors: Leonard P. Falk, Paul K. Griner
  • Patent number: 5282454
    Abstract: An essentially jam-free bulk loader for a semi-automatic paintball gun includes a storage housing positionable above the gun infeed opening and adapted to hold a quantity of paintballs to be gravity fed to and fired by the gun. Extending downwardly from a bottom outlet opening in the housing is a feed tube having a bottom end portion connectable to outer end of the gun infeed elbow. During normal operation of the loader, a series of paintballs fall into the tube and infeed elbow and are vertically stacked therein for sequential downward delivery to the gu through the inner end of the infeed elbow. If a paintball jam occurs within the storage housing above its outlet opening during firing of the gun, a void is created in a top end portion of the feed tube above the downwardly moving paintball stack. An optical sensor detects the void and responsively actuates a motor driven agitator member within the storage housing adjacent its bottom outlet opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 1992
    Date of Patent: February 1, 1994
    Assignee: CM Support, Inc.
    Inventors: Roderick L. Bell, David W. Bell
  • Patent number: 5238143
    Abstract: An envelope dispensing module (10) for use in an ATM includes feed belts (26) for feeding the lowermost envelope (18') of a stack of envelopes (18) along a feed path (49) towards an exit slot (50). Pulse generating apparatus (54) includes a roller (62) which is urged into engagement with the underside of the lowermost envelope (18') as this envelope (18') is fed along the feed path (49). During such feeding movement, a sensor (68) associated with a timing disc (64) mounted for rotation with the roller (62) generates a series of timing pulses in response to rotation of the roller (62) due to its engagement with the lowermost envelope (18'). Electronic control circuitry is arranged to stop the feed belts (26) with the lowermost envelope (18') in its correctly presented position at the exit slot (50) in response to the control circuitry counting a predetermined number of timing pulses subsequent to the sensing of the leading edge of this envelope (18') by an exit sensor (78) positioned behind the exit slot (50).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 24, 1993
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventor: Adam J. Crighton
  • Patent number: 5177470
    Abstract: The blockage module is designed to be mounted on air seeder seeding equipment. Piezoelectric sensors extending into the flow tubes monitor flow by producing high frequency ringing signals when struck by seeds. During a calibration step, the module will monitor each sensor and adjust the gain of the signal until the number of seed hits per second above a fixed voltage threshold is near a predetermined value. Each sensor connected to the module will be similarly calibrated, and the calibrated gain and hit rate will be stored. It has been found that if a blockage or partial blockage occurs under these calibrated conditions, the number of hits above the fixed voltage threshold will be sharply reduced. The reduced hit rate is compared to the calibrated hit rate, and an alarm is generated if the reduction is great enough. Because the reduced hit rate is immediately detectable, the response time to report a blockage is very short.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 1990
    Date of Patent: January 5, 1993
    Assignee: Vansco Electronic Ltd.
    Inventor: Lorne Repas