With Article Movement From Cell To Cell Patents (Class 221/75)
  • Patent number: 10126035
    Abstract: An ice making module for an appliance includes a conductive ice tray having an ice forming cavity. An electrical circuit is in electrical communication with the conductive ice tray and includes a power source in electrical communication with the conductive ice tray and a switch. The switch releases an electromagnetic pulse through the conductive ice tray. A water dispensing mechanism disposes water into the ice forming cavity and a cooling apparatus cools the water to form at least one ice piece that is in electromagnetic communication with the conductive ice tray. The electromagnetic pulse released through the conductive ice tray generates an induced electrical current through the ice piece and a repelling electromagnetic force between the conductive ice tray and the ice piece, wherein the repelling force biases the ice piece away from the conductive ice tray, thereby ejecting the ice piece from the ice forming cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2018
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Charles R. Cravens, Vincent D. Csapos, Yen-Hsi Lin, Xi Shan
  • Patent number: 9881284
    Abstract: A mini-kiosk for recycling and financial remuneration for submission of an electronic device such as a mobile phone is disclosed herein. The mini-kiosk is designed to be placed on a counter-top. The mini-kiosk includes electrical connectors and an inspection area with at least one camera in order to perform a visual analysis and an electrical analysis of the electronic device for determination of a value of the electronic device. The mini-kiosk also includes a processor and a display for user interaction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2018
    Assignee: ecoATM, Inc.
    Inventor: Mark Vincent Bowles
  • Patent number: 9524368
    Abstract: A system and method for communicating vending information is provided. The system includes a plurality of vending apparatuses, each containing a vending inventory comprised of vendible products, and a control center in communication with the plurality of vending apparatuses configured to receive user information. The user information can include a vending request for a vendible product and a location identifier. The system is further configured to select a vending apparatus from the plurality of vending apparatuses based on the location identifier, determine whether the requested vendible product is in the vending inventory of the selected vending apparatus, and transmit an electronic message to a user-specified electronic mail address upon determining that the requested vendible product is in the vending inventory of the selected vending machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 20, 2016
    Assignee: REDBOX AUTOMATED RETAIL, LLC
    Inventors: Franz Kuehnrich, Gregg Kaplan
  • Patent number: 9330519
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an automatic dispensing machine having an elevator for transporting the products from the tray area to the collection box, which increases the capacity of the products that can be dispensed, in addition to increasing the machine's capacity due to the fact that it can store a larger number of products for being subsequently dispensed, due to the fact that the elevator comprises a rotatable upper lid which allows the rotating shaft of the product collection door to be disposed at a greater height than the upper lid of the elevator, thereby increasing the capacity of the elevator and that of the products that can be dispensed, as well as the number of tray rows.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2016
    Assignee: JOFEMAR, S.A.
    Inventor: Felix Guindulain Busto
  • Patent number: 9253940
    Abstract: A seed delivery device including a frame defining at least one seed chamber. The frame includes a sidewall and an air permeable floor. Seed can be received and deposited on the air permeable floor through an input port. An air input channel is utilized to introduce an air stream into the seed chamber and direct it through the air permeable floor such that seed is lifted from the air permeable floor to an outlet port. An air bypass channel is configured to separate the air stream into a first stream that is directed through the air permeable floor and a second stream that is directed through the bypass channel and recombined with the first stream, at a point prior to the output port, to prevent excess accumulation of seed in the seed chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 9, 2016
    Assignee: Kinze Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventors: Matthew Wilhelmi, Kenneth E. Shoup, Daniel Koop
  • Patent number: 9214054
    Abstract: A driving device in a vending machine includes a pushing member, a securing member, and a driving assembly. The motor of the driving assembly provides a rotating force which acts on the securing member, and the securing member supports and rotates the helical pushing member, to drive goods out of the vending machine. The style of attachment between the pushing member and the securing member is such that the starting angle of the helical pushing member can be adjusted by unclipping the end of the pushing member with fingertip force from the securing member and reclipping it at a different preferred orientation. The driving device is used for adjusting the appropriate rotation angle of the pushing member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 15, 2015
    Assignee: ShenZhen Treasure City Technology Co., LTD.
    Inventors: Yun-Lung Chen, Chung Chai, Da-Long Sun, Wei-Yong Ma
  • Patent number: 9147304
    Abstract: A vending machine gearmotor that can be mounted in a variety of orientations and positions to better operate a variety of different size helix product drives and which permits a single type or design for a gearmotor to be used throughout a vending machine to drive single or dual-spiral selections. In this regard, the gearmotor can be used to rotate helix drives in either clockwise or counter clockwise directions with minimal effort required to change the direction of rotation. Thus, the gearmotors can be used in paired arrangements with two adjacent gearmotors being mounted in reversed directions so that one drives its helix in counter clockwise direction and the adjacent helix is driven in a clockwise direction with a product to be vended being carried by both adjacent helixes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 29, 2015
    Inventors: George Gemberling, Jr., George Gemberling, Sr., Vasiliy Maksimov, Brian L. Steeley, David Campbell
  • Patent number: 9117346
    Abstract: A vending machine includes a goods rack, a restricting piece, and a positioning piece mounted on the goods rack. The goods rack defines a goods accommodating space and an opening. The restricting piece is pivotally mounted on the goods rack to cover the opening. The restricting piece includes a clasp. The positioning piece defines a first engaging hole and a second engaging hole. The restricting piece can rotate on the goods rack between a first securing position and a second securing position. In the first securing position, the clasp engages in the first engaging hole, so that the restricting piece is set at a first height. In the second securing position, the clasp engages in the second engaging hole, so that the restricting piece is set at a second height.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 25, 2015
    Assignee: HON HAI PRECISION INDUSTRY CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Yun-Lung Chen
  • Patent number: 9109422
    Abstract: A ball launching system includes a ball launcher with a removable ball pod and sleeve assembly that retains balls prior to injection. An interchangeable ball pod with a chamber corresponding to the ball diameter, fits into a pod sleeve and comprise the ball pod and sleeve assembly. The ball launcher further includes a housing with a moveably disposed piston that engages with the ball thereby launching it. The housing also includes a thru hole through which the piston may travel to externally indicate its position within the housing. The ball launching system also includes a control system having control inputs, which may be located remote to the ball launcher. By applying a pre-determined sequence of control inputs, the piston may engage with the balls retained in the ball pod and sleeve assembly to force the balls to be launched from the ball launcher.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2015
    Assignee: PERFORMANCE WELLHEAD & FRAC COMPONENTS, INC.
    Inventors: Gerry M. Ferguson, Wilson P. Acosta, Jr.
  • Patent number: 9082254
    Abstract: The present application provides a product vending module for vending a number of products. The product vending module may include a product row, a product gate positioned about the product row, and a product locking system in communication with the product gate. The product locking system may include a latch and a biased base such that releasing the latch allows the product gate to be opened and one of the number of products to be removed therefrom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2015
    Assignee: The Coca-Cola Company
    Inventors: Bart Carpentier, Jurgen Roekens, Antonio Feltrin, Willy Van Esch, Jacobus Petrus Maria Dessing
  • Patent number: 8550293
    Abstract: A replacement shelf for displaying, storing, and vending flat pack gum and candy replaces an existing shelf which was dedicated solely to vending old style five stick gum and roll candy. The replacement shelf includes a plurality of parallel product guides each of which includes a planar bottom surface and a pair of parallel spaced apart product support rails which cooperate to support product to be stored, displayed and vended in a position above the planar bottom surface of the product guides and in a position which ensures that the product is directed to fall downwardly from the product guide into a delivery bin in the vending machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2013
    Assignee: Vendors Exchange International, Inc.
    Inventors: Brent D. Garson, Barry P. May, Roger J. May, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8459496
    Abstract: A machine particularly adapted for dispensing light items (19) packaged in symmetrical, frustum-shaped containers. The items are propelled through a tubular cartridge (3) by compressed air, and in the absence of any solid pushing, pulling or carrying device, then individually dispensed. A flow of compressed air generated by a blower (28) is s fed to the back of the cartridge. The items are dispensed under control of a toggling dual-gate mechanism (26, 27) at the front end of the cartridge. The dual-gate mechanism of a removable magazine (2) grouping a number of cartridges can be selectively addressed and activated by means of a solenoid-driven cross-bar assembly (38).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2013
    Inventors: Anton K. Simson, Henri J. A. Charmasson
  • Patent number: 8381947
    Abstract: A bead feeder serially delivering beads to a downstream location comprises a bead supply wheel connected to rotate about a vertical axis. The bead supply wheel includes a bead supply bowl and a plurality of radially and outwardly extending bead passageway connected to rotate with the bowl and dimensioned to receive a single line of beads. A plurality of openings in the bead supply bowl is spaced around a lower portion thereof with the openings in alignment with the radially and outwardly extending passageways each of which has an outer exit end. A metering plate is connected to rotate about the same vertical axis as the bead supply wheel, and metering plate has a plurality of equally spaced apart openings directly below the outer ends of the passageways for receiving the lowermost beads in the passageways.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2013
    Assignee: Philip Morris USA Inc.
    Inventors: Martin T. Garthaffner, Dwight D. Williams
  • 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: 8215520
    Abstract: Systems for deterring theft of retail products. Systems of this invention provide theft deterrent dispensing modules for dispensing products and may incorporate theft deterrent measures including mechanical deterrents, time delays and sound. The dispensing modules may include one or more pusher assemblies for dispensing product. Certain systems of this invention may also include a lockout feature, so that one only pusher assembly may be activated to dispense a product at one time. In some embodiments, a door assembly may be provided as an additional theft deterrent mechanism so that access to additional product not yet dispensed by the pusher assembly is restricted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2012
    Assignee: Rock-Tenn Shared Services, LLC
    Inventors: Roger K. Miller, Paul Dowd, Patrick Davey Shealey
  • Patent number: 8061555
    Abstract: An automatic product vending machine is provided where the user can withdraw the selected product directly from the machine, the storage area for the products is a rack and the dispensing device of the single product is a frame on which a pusher is mounted which causes the selected product to fall into a tray, which positions the product at an opening which permits its withdrawal by the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2011
    Assignee: Daint S.R.L.
    Inventors: Roberto Guglielmi, Antonio Scapin
  • 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: 7631670
    Abstract: A medicament tablet dispensing system and method dispenses any selected number of tablets, up to a maximum number, with minimal dispensing delays. During fill operations, a preset number of tablets are counted and stored in dedicated storage compartments. Dispensing operations are performed in response to dispense request commands. The fill operations are performed in a manner independent from the quantity of tablets identified by the dispense request commands. During the dispensing operations for a particular dispense request command, the preset number of tablets are emptied from one or more of the dedicated storage compartments, thereby avoiding delays associated with counting all of the dispensed tablets. Moreover, the fill operations and the dispensing operations may be performed in parallel for high-throughput dispensing applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 15, 2009
    Assignee: Kirby Lester, LLC
    Inventors: Aleksandr Geltser, Vladimir Gershman, Michael R. Gomez
  • 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: 7559437
    Abstract: A theft-deterring merchandise dispensing apparatus has a chassis configured to provide limited access to an interior space housing merchandise in a secure manner. A knob is secured to a front panel of the chassis. The knob is secured to one end of an elongate wire coil, the knob and coil rotational about a common axis. An elongate cantilevered rod is mounted on a rear panel of the chassis and extensive therefrom within the coil, the rod terminating at a free end in proximity to the front panel. Units of merchandise are slidingly secured on the rod and positioned between windings of the coil so that rotation of the coil by the knob moves the packages along the rod to exit proximate the front panel. A noise-maker creates a noise when the knob is rotated to alert store personnel that products are being dispensed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2009
    Assignee: Displays Plus, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert P. Colelli, Eric E. Oberg, Johnnie Cruz, Keith Cleland
  • Publication number: 20080251529
    Abstract: A method and system for storing and releasing objects onto a production line are disclosed. The system includes an enclosed space with an opening at a side surface adjacent a top thereof, a central structure of the enclosed space, a helical support disposed about the central structure providing layers of storage to store objects to be released onto a production line, and pusher means for moving stored objects around the central structure from the bottom of the enclosed space by pushing a number of stored objects to the top of the enclosed space and out the opening. The objects may be transfer stabilizing supports that are attached to odd-shaped objects for case of conveyance, containers, or containers attached to transfer stabilizing supports.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 24, 2005
    Publication date: October 16, 2008
    Applicant: Graham Packaging Company L.P.
    Inventors: Philip Sheets, Paul Kelley
  • Patent number: 7401709
    Abstract: An adjustable positioning apparatus for positioning containers on a shelf tray assembly of a vertically accumulating storage and retrieval apparatus has a container abutting portion and engagement structure for securing the container abutting portion on a portion of the shelf tray assembly so as to position the container on the shelf tray. A vertically accumulating storage and retrieval apparatus having adjustable container positioning structure is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2008
    Assignee: Vertique, Inc.
    Inventors: Frederick J. Stingel, Jr., Jeffrey W. Stingel, Frederick J. Stingel, III
  • Patent number: 7367471
    Abstract: A vending apparatus has a housing and at least one rotatable dispensing coil disposed within the housing. The coil is vertically oriented and rotates in a manner such that products placed between the rungs of the coil move progressively downward during rotation until each product is ejected from a bottom end of the coil. There are retaining walls surrounding the coil on opposite sides of the coil. The walls extend an entire length of the coil but do not encompass the entire circumference of the coil, so that two longitudinal portions of the coil located opposite one another are not surrounded by the retaining walls. A product having a length exceeding the diameter of the coil can be placed in the coil for vending so that the ends of the product extend beyond the coil through the two portions not surrounded by the retaining walls. The retaining walls prevent the product from rotating when the coil rotates, and keep the product moving progressively down the coil until it is ejected from the coil.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2008
    Assignee: Genesis Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: Ming Ip
  • Patent number: 7320412
    Abstract: A dispenser comprising a first barrier, and a second barrier that is spaced apart from the first barrier. These two barriers define a first item-receiving space between the barriers, and the second barrier at least partially defines a second item-receiving space behind the second barrier. The first barrier is adapted to move between: (A) a first-barrier-closed position in which the first barrier restricts access to the first item-receiving space, and (B) a first-barrier-open position in which the first barrier permits access to the first item-receiving space. Similarly, the second barrier is adapted to move between: (A) a second-barrier-closed position in which the second barrier restricts access to the second item-receiving space, and (B) a second-barrier-open position in which the second barrier permits access to the second item-receiving space. The dispenser may comprise a third barrier, and the first, second, and third barriers may be positioned in a substantially horizontal array.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2008
    Assignee: Innovative Product Achievements, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert M. Fitzgerald
  • Patent number: 7066348
    Abstract: A vending machine with a cabinet for articles having a long dimension and a short dimension. A multiplicity of shelves are supported in cabinet. Helical feeder coils rest within slots on each shelf. Each helical feeder coil is adapted to receive articles in its convolutions with the articles slidably supported by the shelf along the long dimension. The articles are separated, but unsupported, by the helical feeder coil. Motors, rotatably drive the helical feeder coils for moving the articles to be vended.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2006
    Assignee: Gross-Given Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: James E. Skavnak
  • Patent number: 7007820
    Abstract: A dental hygiene vending machine comprises a housing having multiple dispensing compartments. A dispensing coil is rotatably connected to the housing and is capable of actuation. A cover is hingedly connected to the housing. The cover has multiple cutouts that substantially align with the housing dispensing compartments. An item window is attached to the cover. Multiple dispensing switches are slidably connected to the cover. A change counter is connected to the housing and has a coin slot. The change counter is electrically connected to the dispensing switches and is capable of actuating the dispensing coil when a predetermined value of change is received in the coin slot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2006
    Inventor: Judith A. Cumer
  • Patent number: 6971543
    Abstract: A vend mechanism for transferring articles, or prizes, to a receiving area of a vending machine accessible from outside the machine, including an amusement game machine, has a plurality of conveyors arranged radially on each of a plurality of spaced plates. A first drive mechanism is provided to rotate an assembly of the plates so that a selected column of conveyors is in alignment with the receiving area and, for each plate, a second drive mechanism is provided to operate the conveyor that is in the transferring orientation so that an article, or prize, on the conveyor is transferred to the receiving area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2005
    Assignee: Benchmark Entertainment LLC
    Inventors: Ronald D. Halliburton, Steve Corso
  • Patent number: 6902083
    Abstract: A dispenser (10) for dispensing medical items (68, 70, 72) includes dispenser modules (28, 30) movably mounted thereon. The dispenser modules are selectively operative to dispense medical items therefrom into a path (54) which is connected to a delivery area (20) of the dispenser. The dispenser and the dispenser modules therein are configured to provide security against unauthorized access thereto. However an authorized user is enabled to readily access the dispenser modules and the medical items therein by unlocking a lock (22), opening a door (16) and extending the dispenser modules through an opening (18). With the dispenser modules in the extended position the medical items therein may be replenished. Alternatively, the dispenser modules may be disconnected from the dispenser and replaced with substitute dispenser modules.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2005
    Assignee: Automed Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: James A. Michael, David T. Frederick, H. Thomas Graef
  • Patent number: 6871756
    Abstract: The present invention is a method and apparatus a method and apparatus for the refurbishment of a beverage vending machine to enable a can vending machine to be reconfigured for the dispensing of bottles. In particular, the apparatus and process are directed to the modification of certain components of a can vending machine to enable it to be utilized for dispensing of newer, 16- or 20-ounce beverage bottles. The modification includes a change in the spacing and configuration of the container storage rack and the modification of dispensing mechanisms to allow a can-type system to dispense bottles and thereby avoid the need to completely replace the vending machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2005
    Inventor: Ralph Gallo
  • Patent number: 6860401
    Abstract: A newspaper dispenser includes a housing with forward and rearward walls and a bottom. A cylindrical coil is rotatably mounted in the housing and projects forwardly from the rearward wall, with newspapers positioned between winds of the coil. A knob on the front of the housing is connected to a drive shaft on the coil to selectively rotate the coil and advance a newspaper forwardly along the bottom wall of the housing. A slot under the forward end of the coil receives a dropped newspaper and dispenses it from the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2005
    Inventor: Lyle L. Cattau
  • Publication number: 20040195257
    Abstract: A vend mechanism for transferring articles, or prizes, to a receiving area of a vending machine accessible from outside the machine, including an amusement game machine, has a plurality of conveyors arranged radially on each of a plurality of spaced plates. A first drive mechanism is provided to rotate an assembly of the plates so that a selected column of conveyors is in alignment with the receiving area and, for each plate, a second drive mechanism is provided to operate the conveyor that is in the transferring orientation so that an article, or prize, on the conveyor is transferred to the receiving area.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 23, 2003
    Publication date: October 7, 2004
    Applicant: BENCHMARK ENTERTAINMENT LC
    Inventors: Ronald D. Halliburton, Steve Corso
  • Patent number: 6776306
    Abstract: A dispenser (10) for dispensing medical items (68, 70, 72) includes dispenser modules (28, 30) movably mounted thereon. The dispenser modules are selectively operative to dispense medical items therefrom into a path (54) which is connected to a delivery area (20) of the dispenser. The dispenser and the dispenser modules therein are configured to provide security against unauthorized access thereto. However an authorized user is enabled to readily access the dispenser modules and the medical items therein by unlocking a lock (22), opening a door (16) and extending the dispenser modules through an opening (18). With the dispenser modules in the extended position the medical items therein may be replenished. Alternatively, the dispenser modules may be disconnected from the dispenser and replaced with substitute dispenser modules.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2004
    Assignee: MedSelect Inc.
    Inventors: James A. Michael, David T. Frederick, H. Thomas Graef
  • Patent number: 6712688
    Abstract: A series of staggered, overlapping coin carousels with coin stalls that receive coins, drive motors that operate to rotate the carousels and position the coin stalls so that the coins can be transferred between the carousels, and coin transfer mechanisms with gates that operate to move the coins between the carousels. An electronic controller is programmed to keep track of the positions and values of the coins in the coin stalls, and to determine and operate the appropriate drive motors and transfer gates for transferring coins between the carousels and for returning change.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2004
    Assignee: Qvex, Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph R. McGinty, Steven M. Faes
  • 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: 6564964
    Abstract: A coordinate selectable vending machine assembly for dispensing articles from a plurality of article storage compartments, including horizontally arranged helical coils, comprises a single dispenser, movable between the plurality of storage compartments for vending a selected article. The single dispenser is movable between the plurality storage compartments in response to an electronic signal sent by a micro control panel after a user has inserted money into the machine and used the coordinate section to identify the type of article to be dispensed. The dispenser moves, utilizing a pair of stepping motors, until aligned with the selected storage compartment. Once in position, the dispenser is urged from a normal position out of engagement with the storage compartment to a second position in engagement with the storage compartment for actuation of the vending selected article, which it then actuates resulting in dispensing of the article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2003
    Inventor: David K. Johnson
  • Patent number: 6553703
    Abstract: An information panel that is easily installed on a vending machine spiral in order to identify the product associated with the spiral. The invention comprises a convex channel, that nests with the concave surface at the end of a vending machine spiral, and a graphics surface integral to the convex channel and oriented in the vertical plane for viewing by a consumer of the vending machine. The invention can also incorporate a prior art kicker.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2003
    Assignee: Recot, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas Gee Fowler, Stephen Springfield
  • Patent number: 6540102
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for article dispensing includes an article bay for holding a plurality of articles, and a conveying mechanism below the article bay operable to move an article. The conveying mechanism can repeat such movement for succeeding articles to a dispensing location. Succeeding articles can optionally be placed on top of the articles directly on the conveying mechanism. The succeeding articles are retained until they move by gravity to the conveying mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2003
    Assignee: Inland Finance Company
    Inventors: Anthony M. Gates, Gary L. Walke
  • Patent number: 6520373
    Abstract: The invention is a snack style clear front merchandiser having a horizontal product column with a front opening leading into a vend space. A product mover pushes a product through the front opening and into the vend space. A retaining device, mounted to the merchandiser near the front opening and positioned in a manner such that a top of the product being vended hits the retaining device during vending, prevents the product top from moving or pitching forward during a vending process. Consequently, the vended product falls freely into the delivery hopper without bridging the vending space. A single retaining device may be used for several columns in a single tray or individual retaining devices may be used for each column. The height of the retaining device can be adjusted as required for the type of product being vended in the columns. The retaining device may be rigidly or rotationally mounted to the merchandiser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2003
    Assignee: Automated Merchandising Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: D. Joseph Neely, Richard A. Pollock
  • Publication number: 20030006241
    Abstract: A coordinate selectable vending machine assembly for dispensing articles from a plurality of article storage compartments, including horizontally arranged helical coils, comprises a single dispenser, movable between the plurality of storage compartments for vending a selected article. The single dispenser is movable between the plurality storage compartments in response to an electronic signal sent by a micro control panel after a user has inserted money into the machine and used the coordinate section to identify the type of article to be dispensed. The dispenser moves, utilizing a pair of stepping motors, until aligned with the selected storage compartment. Once in position, the dispenser is urged from a normal position out of engagement with the storage compartment to a second position in engagement with the storage compartment for actuation of the vending selected article, which it then actuates resulting in dispensing of the article.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 4, 2002
    Publication date: January 9, 2003
    Inventor: David K. Johnson
  • Patent number: 6478187
    Abstract: A vending machine is housed in a light, yet sturdy enclosure made of an external sheet metal shell and an internal seamless plastic liner between which a volume of expanded synthetic foam material is injected. One or more good-holding magazines are removably held within the enclosure. A keypad, alpha-numerical display and card reader are packaged in the door closing the front of the enclosure. A driving motor module and a coin acceptor are removably mounted against the inside liner. Due to the absence of complex or delicate structure, the machine can be serviced, cleaned and sanitized within minutes. A pair of vending machine, one holding snack food, the other beverage cans are coupled to work together and dispense combinations of items from a single control panel. Both the beverage and snack food holding magazines are driven from the same type of motor module mounted inside the liner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2002
    Inventors: Anton K. Simson, Frank Ruskin, Henri J. A. Charmasson, Todd A. Simson
  • Patent number: 6474501
    Abstract: Automatic dispenser of natural flowers which is adapted to making bouquets on request by a user comprising a structure for storing and preserving several series of natural flowers. The structure comprises a transparent part which allows the user to view and select the natural flowers, from outside the structure, when the natural flowers are disposed inside the structure. An external control panel is provided. A coin operated meter is provided which is adapted to receive coins from the user. An internal selection mechanism is provided and is controlled by the external control panel. The internal selection mechanism is adapted to enable the user to individually select each of the natural flowers. A unit for packaging and wrapping the flowers into a bouquet is also provided. The unit is adapted to form the bouquet from the natural flowers selected by the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2002
    Inventor: Mireille Volpatti
  • Patent number: 6330958
    Abstract: A light and compact vending machine suitable for use on a table or counter top, uses interchangeable magazines that can be preloaded with goods at a service center and quickly and conveniently installed on or removed from the machine. Each magazine has good-holding stations that differ in numbers and sizes. Each station has an access port on the front of the magazine toward which a spiral rack driven by a mechanism mounted in the machine moves goods. The currency accepted in payment for the goods is automatically dropped into a sealed receptacle at the bottom of the magazine. Each magazine is secured by a door that opens automatically only when the magazine is in place and the machine door has been locked. Personnel servicing the machine by replacing an empty one with a loaded one need not handle the goods or the cash. In some alternate embodiments of the invention, packaged goods and beverage cans slide down along slanted channels toward dispensing gates under their own weight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2001
    Inventors: Frank Ruskin, Anton K. Simson, Peter C. Brusso, Henri J. A. Charmasson, John D. Buchaca
  • Patent number: 6293425
    Abstract: Disclosed is a system capable of automatically dispensing copperplates one by one in sequence to be used in imprinting captions on a film in a caption printer. The system has a casing shaped as a slim tube having an inclined guiding hole. A coil spring is longitudinally inserted in the casing. Each of the copperplates can be received in each of pitches of the casing. A rotation shaft is fixed to a lower end of the coil spring. The copperplates can be inserted through the upper end of the casing and guided into each of the pitches one by one in sequence while the rotation shaft together with the coil spring is rotated. The copperplates can be dispensed out of the casing through the inclined guiding hole one by one in sequence at each rotation of the coil spring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2001
    Inventors: Sung Il Ok, Min Sub Yun
  • Patent number: 6213185
    Abstract: In a device for feeding articles, cylindrical feed screws having left and right hand pitched helical grooves are arranged in parallel and are driven rotationally in opposite directions such that an article deposited in the space between the roots of the grooves at one corresponding end of the grooves will be advanced axially to the opposite ends for exiting from between the feed screws.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2001
    Assignee: Krones, Inc.
    Inventors: Syed Ali Asghar, Mark G. Larson, Bruce L. Heard, Clifford A. Boals
  • Patent number: 6202888
    Abstract: A method and system are provided for performing vend operations on articles selected by a purchaser. Articles to be dispensed are stored in a storage section, and purchased articles are transferred from the storage section to a vend section. A vend mechanism is provided for rapidly moving a given article from a vend-destined section to the vend section. A helical transfer member holds the articles in the storage section and is rotatable in a dispensing direction to transfer the given article from a position adjacent the vend-destined section to the vend-destined section. The helical transfer member is also rotatable in a reverse direction opposite the dispensing direction. A driver is coupled to each helical transfer member, and is actuable to rotate the helical transfer member in either the dispensing direction or the reverse direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2001
    Assignee: Automated Merchandising Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard A. Pollock, Roy S. Steeley, Kyriakos Spentzos
  • Patent number: 6145699
    Abstract: In a packaged article vending machine having a forwardly, projecting motorized helix supported on a horizontally arranged tray in a wide column delimited by side walls which are disposed substantially further apart than the helix is broad in diameter, the helix is prevented from `walking` towards the sidewall towards which it would tend to move as the helix rotates, by securing a chock to the tray so as to tangentially engage at least two turns of the helix during a portion of a 360.degree. rotation of the helix, from externally of the helix, and have its rear end located sufficiently out of the way as to avoid possibly poking contact with from the front lower part of an impounded product package being conveyed forwards to eventually become the leading package, next to be vended.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2000
    Assignee: Automated Merchandising Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Richard A. Pollock
  • Patent number: 6041962
    Abstract: The mounting channel for product price, product identity and/or column identity chips or cards provided across the front of a tray of a glass-front vending machine of the motorized helical mechanism type, is provided with one or more chips or cards which have a tab which protrudes upwards beyond the product support surface of the tray, at a location determined to be appropriate for intersecting a like corner of each package conveyed to the foremost position and off the front edge of that tray, for thereby predetermining the spatial orientation of the package as it begins to fall, for preventing bridging of the package between the tray and the glass front. The tabbed chip or card may also provide typical product price, product identity and/or column identity information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2000
    Assignee: Automated Merchandising Systems
    Inventor: Richard A. Pollock
  • Patent number: 6039208
    Abstract: This invention relates to a substantially circular tablet dispenser component system which may be adapted for a variable day start of a prescribed periodic tablet regimen. Also provided are a tablet dispenser kit, a tablet package adapted for filling the tablet dispenser system, methods of filling the tablet dispenser of the invention and methods of administering a prescribed regimen of medication using the tablet dispenser system of the invention, with both "any day start" (i.e., start of the therapy on any day of the week) and "any therapy package" (i.e., not only contraceptives).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2000
    Assignee: Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation
    Inventor: Lawrence E. Lambelet, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6019249
    Abstract: A dispenser (10) for dispensing medical items (68, 70, 72) includes dispenser modules (28, 30) movably mounted thereon. The dispenser modules are selectively operative to dispense medical items therefrom into a path (54) which is connected to a delivery area (20) of the dispenser. The dispenser and the dispenser modules therein are configured to provide security against unauthorized access thereto. However an authorized user is enabled to readily access the dispenser modules and the medical items therein by unlocking a lock (22), opening a door (16) and extending the dispenser modules through an opening (18). With the dispenser modules in the extended position the medical items therein may be replenished. Alternatively, the dispenser modules may be disconnected from the dispenser and replaced with substitute dispenser modules.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2000
    Assignee: Diebold, Incorporated
    Inventors: James A. Michael, David T. Frederick, H. Thomas Graef
  • Patent number: 5996838
    Abstract: A vending machine including a housing with one or more assembly units and one or more stacking shafts positioned in the housing. The assembly unit include a plurality of product dispensing coils for stacking and dispensing product horizontally. The stacking shaft stacking and dispensing products vertically, especially beverage containers. A support structure extends over a horizontal width of the housing and supports the assembly units and the stacking shafts in horizontally adjacent positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 7, 1999
    Assignee: Sielaff GmbH & Co.
    Inventors: Josef Bayer, Klaus Kracher