Simulations Patents (Class 221/24)
  • Patent number: 9744727
    Abstract: A computer-implemented layout tool includes a mechanical design engine for configuring mechanical design components to be included in a design, an electrical design engine for configuring electrical components to be included in the design, a constraint engine for identifying a 3D printer to be used to print the design and to provide design constraints including feedback for inoperative or impermissible configurations of one or more mechanical components or electrical pathways associated with the design; and a simulation engine for simulating, at least, electrical performance of the design based on one or more electrical components added to the design after printing and proposed electrical pathways.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2017
    Assignee: Autodesk, Inc.
    Inventor: Karl Willis
  • Patent number: 9126742
    Abstract: A novelty dispensing apparatus includes a housing in which novelty items are contained and a receptacle mounted inside the housing and movable from a retracted position within the housing, though an opening in the housing and into an extended position, wherein part of the receptacle member protrudes from the housing. A door is mounted for movement adjacent to the opening from a closed position to an open position that enables the receptacle member to protrude from the opening. A link member is mounted for movement within the housing and is attached to the door and at another end to the receptacle member. The link member has a handle for manipulation, wherein manipulation of the handle moves the link member and attached door and receptacle member. The dispenser includes lost-motion mechanisms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2015
    Assignee: Radz Brands LLC
    Inventors: Todd S. Elliott, Zack Maffie
  • Patent number: 8989893
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for assembling and vending a food or drink product using a machine having a viewing window into the interior thereof. The user selects through a user interface one of a plurality of characters, then selects through the interface the ingredients to include in the product. The ingredients are dispensed into a receptacle that is moved between dispensing locations within the machine by a robotic arm. An animated sequence, soundtrack and lighting pattern is associated with each character. As the robotic arm assembles the product, the animated sequence, soundtrack and lighting for the selected character are run and shown on a display. The user is able to watch the movements of the robotic arm and the animated sequence simultaneously.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Assignee: Robofusion, Inc.
    Inventors: Allan S. Jones, Jack F. Rutledge, James S. Wolf, Jeffrey L. Redington, Scott E. Osborn
  • Patent number: 8960492
    Abstract: A gumball machine includes a gumball container that holds a plurality of gumballs, a neck portion coupled to the gumball container, the neck portion having a coin slot for receiving a coin, and a gumball dispensing assembly that releases a gumball from the gumball container when a coin is inserted into the coin slot. The gumball machine further includes an elongated housing having an upper end coupled to the neck portion, the housing holding coins that have been inserted through the coin slot. A base is coupled to the lower end of the housing and has a bottom portion that is seated on a surface. A spiral ramp has a mouth coupled to the neck portion, the spiral ramp connected around the housing for allowing a dispensed gumball to roll downwardly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Assignee: Sweet N Fun Ltd.
    Inventor: Chi Yin Yeung
  • Patent number: 8936173
    Abstract: A vending machine includes a reservoir for holding bulk goods and multiple reconfigurable distribution path devices to release the goods to a purchaser in entertaining fashion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2015
    Inventor: Brett Fleishman
  • Patent number: 8918206
    Abstract: Synchronization of activities requiring coordinated timing across a bank of vending machines, such as harmonious actuation of illumination elements, is performed by specifying, in an application layer (e.g., Zigbee) of a network protocol, actions to be synchronized to a distributed timing event and distributing notice of the specified timing event using physical and media access control layers of the network protocol.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Assignee: Crane Merchandising Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: James M. Canter, William C. Royal, Jr., Steven Blachman
  • Patent number: 8770436
    Abstract: A vending machine integrated table with a game function attached to automatically dispense product, or to sell product by causing the product to be acquired through manual operations by the user. The vending machine integrated table is provided with at least a top plate, and a vending machine beneath the top plate. The top plate is provided with one of either a displaying and accepting mechanism for displaying products that can be sold by the vending machine, and accepting instructions from users, or a window portion through which a product housing section that houses products can be visually confirmed. A product conveyor conveys product contained in the product housing section to a product dispensing slot provided at the product housing section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2014
    Assignee: BLD Oriental, Ltd.
    Inventor: Yasushi Ochi
  • Patent number: 8651322
    Abstract: An article dispensing apparatus has a housing defining a first chamber and a second chamber that are divided by a dividing wall, a lid covering the second chamber and a cover covering the first chamber, with the first chamber holding a plurality of articles, and an opening provided in the dividing wall to allow an article to pass through to the second chamber. A figure is retained inside the second chamber, the figure having a pair of arms that are normally positioned adjacent the opening in the dividing wall to receive an article that is transferred from the first chamber via the opening in the dividing wall. An actuator is coupled to the figure to push the figure upwardly through the lid so that the figure, and the article held in the arms of the figure, are delivered outside the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2014
    Assignee: Sweet N Fun, Ltd.
    Inventor: Candona Y. S. Fung
  • Patent number: 8651321
    Abstract: A gumball machine includes a gumball container that contains a plurality of gumballs, and a neck portion coupled to the gumball container. The gumball machine has an elongated transparent housing having an upper end coupled to the neck portion, and a base coupled to the lower end of the elongated housing. A speaker is positioned inside the base and is electrically coupled to a switch, a plurality of lighting elements are arranged inside the transparent housing and electrically coupled to the switch, and a power supply is housed inside the base and electrically coupled to the switch, the speaker and the lighting elements. When an actuator is actuated, the actuator turns on the switch to cause the lighting elements to flash, the speaker to broadcast sound and/or music, and a gumball to be dispensed from the gumball container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2014
    Assignee: Sweet N Fun, Ltd.
    Inventor: Hoi Wai Fu
  • Publication number: 20130206786
    Abstract: A confectioneries dispenser including a magazine for carrying a number of the confectioneries for dispensing and a head mounted for movement from a closed position to a dispensing position dispensing the outermost of the confectioneries from the magazine. For returning the head from the dispensing position to the closed position a spring is integrally formed as part of the magazine. To carry spherical confectioneries the magazine is integrally molded with a partially cylindrical enclosure of greater than one hundred and eighty degrees having a semi-cylindrical portion with a pair of straight tangential edge extensions, and a wedge shaped track inside of each extension. An outer case which receives a lower portion of the magazine has an upper projection corresponding and cooperating with a projection on a lower part of the head to simulate the lower and upper parts of a character's mouth.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 10, 2012
    Publication date: August 15, 2013
    Inventors: Sidney Diamond, Dennis Kupperman
  • Patent number: 8505770
    Abstract: An animal waste bag dispenser wherein a roll of waste bags with the leading waste bag protruding from the center is inserted into a holder with an aperture on one end, and the holder is inserted into a plush animal with a second aperture aligned with the first aperture so that waste bags may be dispensed therefrom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2013
    Assignee: Four Paws Products, Ltd.
    Inventor: Barry Askinasi
  • Patent number: 8315733
    Abstract: An apparatus for distributing at least one product to consumers includes a housing and a plurality of belt conveyors for storing a predetermined quantity of such product. A serving tray is positioned externally to the housing for incrementally receiving one of the predetermined quantity of such product. Another belt conveyor is provided for incrementally obtaining such one of such product and for delivering it to the serving tray. A controller for selectively operating storage and delivery conveyors. A manually operable switch activates the controller to operate the delivery conveyor in order to deliver such one of such product. The apparatus is capable of capturing consumer personal data. Various methods contemplate use of these devices for delivering targeted marketing information, distributing product samples and for cross-marketing products.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2012
    Inventors: Walter Hales, Jr., Michael Panson, Leonid Foshansky
  • Patent number: 8240273
    Abstract: In at least one embodiment, an animal treat dispenser includes a treat container having an aperture, an aperture adjustment mechanism that is capable of varying an effective size of the aperture to regulate passage of animal treats through the aperture, and a plush toy at least partially covering the treat container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2012
    Assignee: Triple Crown Dog Academy, Inc.
    Inventor: Harold Keith Benson
  • Patent number: 8235248
    Abstract: Disclosed is an automatic tablet packing apparatus having sliding racks, wherein tablets received in a plurality of tablet cassettes are successively packed on a per dose basis based on a medical prescription. Each of the sliding racks includes a pair of left and right partition walls, a tablet discharge passage to guide the tablets discharged from the tablet cassettes being defined by facing inner surfaces of the left and right partition walls. Cassette pedestals are attached to outer surfaces of the left and right partition walls and in turn, the tablet cassettes are detachably arranged on the cassette pedestals. The left and right partition walls are able to be individually pulled out from a body of the apparatus. As the left or right partition wall is pulled out, the tablet discharge passage is revealed to the outside thus enabling easy cleaning thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: JVM Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Jun-Ho Kim
  • Patent number: 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: 7885724
    Abstract: An automatic vending machine (1) is provided with a vending machine main unit (10), with a play device (20) including a stuffed toy (21) on which a user can ride and a drive mechanism (24) for driving the stuffed toy (21), and with a control device that controls the vending machine main unit (10) and the drive mechanism (24) in the play device (20). The vending machine main unit (10) and the play device (20) are interconnected via the control device. The vending machine main unit (10) includes a product dispensing mechanism ((14a (14)), and payment accepting mechanisms ((13a), (13b) (13)) for accepting payment for the item, wherein the control device activates the product dispensing mechanism ((14a (14)) so as to deliver the item to the outside, as well as activates the drive mechanism (24) in the play device (20).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 8, 2011
    Assignee: BLD Oriental, Ltd.
    Inventor: Yasushi Ochi
  • Patent number: 7818089
    Abstract: Confectionary image design system including a graphical user interface through which a user defines a pattern of confectionary pieces to be arranged on a substrate. A computer processor controls the graphical user interface through which the user defines the pattern, and provides instructions for arranging the confectionary pieces in the defined pattern. A container retains the confectionary pieces used to form the defined pattern. A robot receives from the computer processor the instructions for arranging the confectionary pieces, retrieves the confectionary pieces stored in the container, and arranges the pieces on the substrate in the pattern defined by the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2010
    Assignee: Mars Incorporated
    Inventors: Alex A. Hanna, Bruce W. Keen, Richard J. Barrett
  • Publication number: 20100262280
    Abstract: A vending-machine has one or more displays that inform the customer regarding available vendable selections and that facilitate the purchase of a selected item. By one approach this display can comprise a touchscreen display. Such an approach can support a highly intuitive interaction between the purchasing context and the customer. A display of dynamic content serves to attract a potential customer, provide the customer with a wealth of information regarding available selections, offer the customer a variety of ways to consider and assess available vendable items, support the building of a customer relationship between the customer and one or more marketing brands, and effect the successful conclusion of a vending transaction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 13, 2010
    Publication date: October 14, 2010
    Inventors: Michael A. Miller, Paul Schindelar, Nathaniel J. Hedtke, Frank Guzzone, Malcolm McAlpine, Brian Sobecks
  • Patent number: 7766145
    Abstract: A product transfer assembly includes separate transfer segments mounted in a vending machine such that they are disposed in spaced relationship above one another. Each transfer segment has a ramp of helical shape with an exit end and an entrance end spaced above the exit end such that the ramps of the transfer segments together define a path of travel taken by a product item down and in contact with the ramps which includes spaced apart portions helical in shape and reversing the direction of travel of the product item, relative to a generally vertical reference axis, going from one portion to the next portion of the path. Entrance and exit ends of each ramp are angularly displaced from corresponding ends of an adjacent ramp such that the object free-falls out of contact with any ramp between the exit and entrances ends of adjacent ramps.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2010
    Inventor: Kil Jae Chang
  • Patent number: 7735682
    Abstract: A wipes dispenser includes a generally tubular transparent housing adapted to be worn about a person's wrist with a plurality of wipes contained within the housing. The housing also has an opening through which the wipes are dispensed. In a second embodiment, the opening may be covered with a hinged resealable cap that may cover or uncover the opening as needed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2010
    Inventors: Stacy Cassel, Eileen Longo
  • Patent number: 7682238
    Abstract: A gaming apparatus includes a value output device. The value output device includes a frame, a hopper mounted to the frame having a hopper opening, an outlet spaced from the hopper opening, a first plate moveable relative to the hopper opening between a first position wherein the plate blocks the hopper opening and a second position wherein the plate is spaced from the hopper opening, and a carrier moveable between the outlet and the hopper opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2010
    Assignee: IGT
    Inventors: Russell Chudd, Scott Gowin, Thomas D. Waxman, Joseph R. Hedrick, Daniel J. Waller, John L. Beadell
  • Patent number: 7663977
    Abstract: A timer assembly mounted removably on a personal soap dispenser of a type having a pump operated by a soap dispensing plunger with a handle and spout. The timer assembly has a housing capsule with a timer for measuring a preselected time interval; LEDs and a music generating chip for signaling the time interval to the user, and a pressure switch for starting the timer. The housing capsule is received in a flexible hood/cover mounted on the top of the handle so that pressure switch is actuated to start the time by pressure of the user's hand during depression of the handle to dispense soap.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2010
    Inventor: Mark E. Hartelius
  • Publication number: 20100025418
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus are disclosed relating to the provision of a video display device within an article vending machine, such video display being used to provide one or more of an “entertainment”, “advertising” and/or an “interactive product selection” enhancement to the vending machine.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 15, 2007
    Publication date: February 4, 2010
    Inventor: Munroe Chirnomas
  • Publication number: 20100012676
    Abstract: A dispenser (10) for items (26), such as cans (28) or bottles (30), including a main body (16) including one or more openings (32,34) for item dispensing therethrough; a storage means such as a holder (24) included in the main body to store the items substantially within the main body; and a rotation device (54,66) to rotate substantially within the main body, wherein items are presented by the rotation device to one or more of the openings for dispensing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 31, 2007
    Publication date: January 21, 2010
    Applicant: ADDCO NOMINEES PTY. LTD.
    Inventor: William Freedman
  • 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: 7556174
    Abstract: Disclosed is a candy storage and dispenser device. A multi-compartment dispensing device offers a unique device for storing and dispensing candy. Accordingly, multiple types and/or colors of candy may be contained in a transparent housing to create a very colorful presentation. Any number of candy types, including powdered, beads, pellets and the like, may be stored and dispensed with the multi-compartment device. The compartments are joined by a series of apertures which may, or may not, be regulated by a movable barricade. Then, when desired, the multiple candies are dispensed through the series of compartment apertures and a dispensing aperture. One version comprises a flute-shaped device having an operational mouthpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2009
    Inventor: Frank P. Gatski
  • Patent number: 7523841
    Abstract: A magazine (3) for a tablet dispenser (1) for receiving and sequentially dispensing tablets (T) consists of a housing (4) which is substantially cuboid and is open on the longitudinal side (5), receives a longitudinally guided slider (6) and a helical spring (8) supported between the slider (6) and the housing floor (7) and comprises an output device (10) at the housing head (9) which is opposite of the housing floor (7), with the helical spring (8) engaging with its floor-side end (11) of the winding in a clamping gap (12) in the region of the floor of the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2009
    Assignee: PEZ International AG
    Inventor: Helmuth König
  • Publication number: 20080169303
    Abstract: A facial tissue dispenser includes a first compartment sized to receive a supply of facial tissues, and a lower supporting surface including an opening facilitating a serial dispensing of the facial tissues. A second compartment coupled to the first compartment provides a supply of trash bags. A connector coupled to an exterior surface of one of the first and second compartments supports one of the trash bags in a trash-receiving attitude. A supporting element supports the dispenser and trash bag at a convenient height for use by children.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 16, 2007
    Publication date: July 17, 2008
    Inventor: Anne L. Brookie
  • Publication number: 20070289985
    Abstract: A dispenser for dispensing small items such as pieces of candy is disclosed herein. The dispenser includes a container having a first major side, a second major side, and a storage volume positioned between the first and second major sides. The dispenser includes a dispensing member for carrying the items from the storage volume to a dispensing opening. The dispenser also includes a maze structure within the container. At least one major side of the container includes transparent material to allow a user to view the items within the container as the user tries to move the items through the maze toward the dispensing member for discharging the items from the dispensing opening.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 5, 2006
    Publication date: December 20, 2007
    Inventors: Walter I. Bieger, Thom Sandberg
  • Patent number: 7237690
    Abstract: A product dispenser attached to or associated with one or more articulating members or components, which are user manipulable to provide a novelty object dispenser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2007
    Inventor: Marilyn Stern
  • Patent number: 7213723
    Abstract: A bulk vending machine provides a dispensing conduit having a revolving mouth that floats on top of a heap of articles in the product bin. The mouth is movable between a horizontal orientation, in which the mouth can scoop articles off of the surface of the heap, and a vertical orientation in which a throat of the dispensing conduit opens to allow an article which has been scooped into the mouth to fall through the dispensing chute. Revolution of the dispensing conduit by turning the handle causes the mouth to revolve around the heap of articles, scooping up one or more articles in its path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2007
    Assignee: Beaver Machine Corporation
    Inventor: Josef W. Schwarzli
  • Patent number: 7207462
    Abstract: A dispenser is adjustable to contain beverage container lids of various sizes. A housing has a front element with an opening. Pager assemblies are mounted in slots which extend radially outwardly from the opening. A stack of lids is inserted into the housing through the opening, and the pager assemblies allow a single lid to be extracted from the stack by the pivoting of a door containing two claws which engage the frontmost lid. To reconfigure the dispenser for a different lid size, a template is positioned frontwardly of the housing front element, and the pager assemblies are adjusted to abut the template, thereby configuring the pager assemblies in the proper position. The claws on the lid are then replaced with claws which are configured to the new lid shape.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2007
    Assignee: Acry Fab, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey E. Gunderson, William R. Laupan
  • Patent number: 7051900
    Abstract: The gas operated particle feed apparatus may feed particles to an outlet port. There may be a fixed member having a bottom with a particle aperture centrally disposed therein, an annular wall upstanding from the bottom and a plurality of gas apertures. The fixed member may be attached to a base member that may have a central outlet port. A particle outlet element with a constriction aperture may be disposed between the fixed member and the base member. A rotating member with a disk, an agitator, a feed aperture, and a radial disk groove with a ball therein may be disposed in the fixed member and restrained transversally by the wall. Groove apertures may be formed in the disk. A top member may be disposed on the fixed member and may have a central opening. The agitator may protrude through the central opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2006
    Inventor: Timothy A. Reeves
  • Patent number: 7017777
    Abstract: An automated vending machine is adapted to vend vacation-related goods. The vending machine is constructed as an enlarged reproduction of a conventional traffic control signal. The vending machine includes a rectangular enclosure in which is housed a storage and vending assembly. The enclosure includes a plurality of illuminated, colored lamps. A plurality of circular cavities are provided for visually displaying goods. A coin and bill counter with coin return is provided for receiving a customer's consideration. The vending machine further includes a dispensing chute having a discharge hopper into which goods are delivered. A plurality of push-buttons facilitate communication between a customer and internal circuitry of the storage and vending assembly to facilitate dispensing of a good selected by customer after correct amount of consideration is inserted in coin and bill counter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2006
    Inventor: Carolyn S. Dixon
  • Patent number: 6966451
    Abstract: Provided is a dispensing system, including a container configured with one or more apertures, and configured to house items, a faceplate configured with one or more dispensing apertures, rotationally coupled to the container, such that the items may be dispensed from the container, and one or more novelties coupled to the container, configured to move when the faceplate rotates with respect to the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2005
    Inventors: Gary Weiss, Daniel G. Hart
  • Publication number: 20040094563
    Abstract: A product dispenser attached to or associated with one or more articulating members or components, which are user manipulable to provide a novelty object dispenser.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 12, 2003
    Publication date: May 20, 2004
    Inventor: Marilyn Stern
  • Patent number: 6651797
    Abstract: An in-wall coin bank with novelty face. The bank features a novelty face with an entertainment feature. The entertainment feature responds when a deposit is made, amusing or entertaining the user. The face may be detachable, different types of faces with entertainment features are possible. Methods of using the bank for saving are also disclosed and claimed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2003
    Inventor: Evan Tree
  • Patent number: 6644497
    Abstract: A candy dispenser comprises a head end and a tail end linked by a substantially translucent tube, a spring being contained in and visible through the tube and extending from the head end of the candy dispenser to the tail end of the candy dispenser. The spring contained within the tube impedes the free fall of candy pellets and functions as a track upon which some candy pellets can ride from one end of the candy dispenser to the other, while some other candy pellets fall through the center of the spring, the falling action and movement of the candy pellets creating a fun and interesting visual image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2003
    Assignee: K&A Design, LLC
    Inventor: Kalvin Klundt
  • Patent number: 6637619
    Abstract: A machine for vending products include a housing, an magazine indexing drive mechanism in the housing and drivingly coupled to a product storage and dispensing magazine at spaced apart lower and upper portions of the magazine, a plurality of ball bearings rotatably supporting the magazine on a product separation fixture in the housing, a resiliently yieldable mechanism supported on the separation fixture and having a spring-biased pivotally-movable flap operable to impart a positive downwardly-directed force on the lowermost product that will push it downward toward an opening in the housing, and portions of the housing and the separation fixture defining a path for passage of products to the opening which is located outwardly of and bypasses the drive mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2003
    Inventor: Kil Jae Chang
  • Patent number: 6634520
    Abstract: A mechanically operated product dispenser which has a push button that engages one end of a pivoted arm. The opposite end of the pivoted arm is pivotably connected to a slide gear that drives a drive gear. The drive gear drives a spindle on which a cam and a dispenser cog are secured. The cam has a sloping surface groove which receives an arm of a secondary housing in order to pivot the secondary housing as the cam is rotated. The dispenser cog is rotated by the spindle and forces a product in a product reservoir into a dispensing track in the secondary housing. Therefore, the device easily dispenses a product into a receptacle or into one's hand if desired.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2003
    Inventors: Thomas J. Coleman, William K. Schlotter, IV, Princess Ann Coleman, Ann M. Schlotter
  • Patent number: 6595385
    Abstract: A game apparatus includes a figure having a head supporting a rotating plate and a torso supported upon a base. The torso defines a token dispensing passage in communication with the head and further supports a pivotably moveable arm. The arm is pivotable between a raised position and a lowered position against a return spring which urges it toward its raised position. A gear mechanism is operable in response to downward movement of the arm against the return spring to rotate the plate within the figures head and agitate a plurality of disc-like tokens received within the head chamber. A single token is discharged through the torso and outwardly through the door formed in the figures torso to complete token dispensing. The arm is released and the cycle repeated by each player to dispense game tokens.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2003
    Assignee: Mattel, Inc.
    Inventors: Glen Nakamoto, Jeffery Champ
  • Publication number: 20030071049
    Abstract: An improvement in the design of gumball dispensing mechanisms is described, and, more specifically, resides in the size and shape of the gumball dispensing openings formed through the dispensing wheel. In one embodiment, the openings are generally arcuate shaped, and in another embodiment they are generally “peanut” shaped. In either case, the openings are designed to dispense two large gumballs, relatively jam-free, for each use of the gumball machine by a customer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 17, 2001
    Publication date: April 17, 2003
    Inventor: James Gregory Sutcliffe
  • Patent number: 6543639
    Abstract: An animated candy dispenser for tablet candy pieces including a magazine for storing the candy in a columnar manner, a finger actuated button mechanically linked to a dispensing assembly that includes a movable character with candy gripping extensions to grab and retain a piece of candy and withdraw it from the dispenser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Assignee: A & A Global Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Brian Kovens
  • Publication number: 20030062374
    Abstract: A combined dispensing and amusement device has a reciprocating plunger on a transparent dome for rotating parallel disks. An upper first disk on an internal rotary housing supports articles and has an aperture that can aline with an aperture in a parallel adjacent lower second disk. The upper first disk frictionally drives the lower second disk at a lower speed so that the apertures periodically aline. Alinement of the apertures permits random dispensing of articles. Dispensing is into one of several chutes in the legs of a base support. Due to the random nature of dispensing, with the inclusion of indicia, the legs can be used as part of a game. Carousel arms on the internal rotary housing can act as stops and can variably deflect articles and/or can act as an animated indicia amusement support.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 28, 2001
    Publication date: April 3, 2003
    Inventors: Thomas J. Coleman, William K. Schlotter, Princess Ann Coleman, Ann M. Schlotter
  • Patent number: 6536623
    Abstract: An improvement in the design of gumball dispensing mechanisms is described, and, more specifically, resides in the size and shape of the gumball dispensing openings formed through the dispensing wheel. In one embodiment, the openings are generally arcuate shaped, and in another embodiment they are generally “peanut” shaped. In either case, the openings are designed to dispense two large gumballs, relatively jam-free, for each use of the gumball machine by a customer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2003
    Inventor: James Gregory Sutcliffe
  • Patent number: 6530499
    Abstract: A combined dispensing and amusement device has a reciprocating plunger on a transparent dome for rotating parallel disks. An upper first disk on an internal rotary housing supports articles and has an aperture that can aline with an aperture in a parallel adjacent lower second disk. The upper first disk frictionally drives the lower second disk at a lower speed so that the apertures periodically aline. Alinement of the apertures permits random dispensing of articles. Dispensing is into one of several chutes in the legs of a base support. Due to the random nature of dispensing, with the inclusion of indicia, the legs can be used as part of a game. Carousel arms on the internal rotary housing can act as stops and can variably deflect articles and/or can act as an animated indicia amusement support.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 11, 2003
    Inventors: Thomas J. Coleman, William K. Schlotter, IV, Princess Ann Coleman, Ann M. Schlotter
  • Publication number: 20030042268
    Abstract: A merchandise dispensing system and device are provided. The merchandise dispensing device is positioned in a preselected environment and includes a main body, a rotatable display positioned in the main body, and an outer thematic facade corresponding to the preselected environment and positioned to connect to the main body. The merchandise dispensing system includes a main body and a plurality of outer thematic facades connected thereto. The merchandise dispensing system also includes a server, a communications network positioned in communication with the server, and a plurality of merchandise dispensing devices positioned in communication with the server.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 29, 2001
    Publication date: March 6, 2003
    Inventors: Grandai Srinivasan, Jaya Srinivasan
  • Publication number: 20030024941
    Abstract: A mechanically operated product dispenser which has a push button that engages one end of a pivoted arm. The opposite end of the pivoted arm is pivotably connected to a slide gear that drives a drive gear. The drive gear drives a spindle on which a cam and a dispenser cog are secured. The cam has a sloping surface groove which receives an arm of a secondary housing in order to pivot the secondary housing as the cam is rotated. The dispenser cog is rotated by the spindle and forces a product in a product reservoir into a dispensing track in the secondary housing. Therefore, the device easily dispenses a product into a receptacle or into one's hand if desired.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 2, 2001
    Publication date: February 6, 2003
    Inventors: Thomas J. Coleman, William K. Schlotter, Princess Ann Coleman, Ann M. Schlotter
  • Publication number: 20030024940
    Abstract: A candy racer designed so that a child or any other person can observe one or more pieces of candy racing along a track within a housing. A race track is provided within the housing so that the candy pieces pass from one part of the track to another part in succession until the candy piece or pieces reach a reservoir. Axially aligned housings joined to each other may be used for forming a longer race track. The candy racer could be used as a game by at least two players to see which racing piece reaches the bottom first. The race track may be reversed for racing back to the start receptacle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 2, 2001
    Publication date: February 6, 2003
    Inventors: Thomas J. Coleman, William K. Schlotter, Princess Ann Coleman, Ann M. Schlotter
  • Patent number: 6510963
    Abstract: A novelty dispenser, in particular a novelty dispenser for dispensing small sweets such as jelly beans or chocolate drops. The dispenser comprises a body providing a reservoir for articles to be dispensed through an outlet formed therein. It also comprises an actuator adapted to cause movement of a moveable gate thereby allowing articles to pass through the outlet in response to an action from a user of the dispenser upon the actuator. The gate comprises at least one pivotable blade adjacent the outlet. Typically but not necessarily the blade is within the reservoir.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2003
    Assignee: The Essential Box Company Limited of Fairway House
    Inventors: Ian Walker, Brian Warnke