Automatic Control Patents (Class 221/9)
  • Patent number: 10776775
    Abstract: A contactless card useful for adjusting the operation, configuration, and/or performance of a secondary device is described. The contactless card is equipped with a communication interface which allows the contactless card to transmit information to the secondary device using NFC signals. The contactless card stores accommodation information related to a physical accommodation desired by the user and transmits that information in the form of an accommodation message to the secondary device after being placed in a NFC field generated by the secondary device. In some embodiments, the contactless card requests an authentication certificate in order to determine a degree of trust prior to sending an accommodation message. In some embodiments, the contactless card may adjust what accommodation information is included in the accommodation message based on the authentication certificate received from the secondary device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2020
    Inventors: Jeffrey Rule, Kevin Osborn
  • Patent number: 10762451
    Abstract: A system and method are provided for improving product usage prior to refill of product dispensers in service areas that include a plurality of such dispensers. Via a sensor configured with each of the product dispensers and a control system in communication with the sensors, a product level or amount condition of product in each dispenser is detected. Based on the information from the sensors, a visual or audio message is generated and transmitted to the patron that encourages the patron to use a first product dispenser that has a greater product fill amount as compared to a second product dispenser in the same or a different service area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2020
    Assignee: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.
    Inventors: Babak R. Ghazi, Frederick J. Williams, Stephen Becker
  • Patent number: 10692322
    Abstract: Various systems and methods for providing a vending machine interface system are provided herein. A vending machine interface system installed in a vending machine includes a peripheral interface to receive data from a peripheral payment device connected to the vending machine, the data indicating an amount received; an inventory interface to determine a current price of a product; and a vending machine controller interface to transmit a signal to a legacy vending machine controller, the signal causing the vending machine to dispense the product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2020
    Assignee: Intel Corporation
    Inventors: Paul Hough, Gabriel Lawrence Silva, Eric R. Auzas, Kevin Lowell Hudson
  • Patent number: 10685528
    Abstract: The present invention provides a dispenser interface, associated methods and systems, and dispensers employing the dispenser interface and associated systems and methods. An example embodiment provides a product dispenser assembly for dispensing a product. The dispenser comprises a dispenser controller having a first communication interface; and a communication controller having a second communication interface. The second communication interface is operatively connected to the first communication interface. The communication controller is configured to be in communication with one or more devices. The communication controller is configured to receive a command from one of the one or more devices; and provide the command to the dispenser controller. The dispenser controller and communication controller are configured to cause (a) product to be dispensed, (b) dispenser data to be stored, or (c) dispenser data to be communicated in accordance with the command.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2020
    Inventor: David Warren Murphy
  • Patent number: 10552776
    Abstract: An embodiment includes a method executed by at least one processor comprising: determining inventories for first and second times for a first vending machine (VM); determining inventories for first and second times for a second VM; determining inventories for first and second times for a third VM; and determining a service route to visit the first and second VMs on a specific date, and to specifically avoid visiting the third VM on the specific date, in response to determining the inventories for the second times for the first, second, and third VMs. Other embodiments are described herein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2020
    Assignee: Vendwatch Telematics, LLC
    Inventors: James J. Crow, Alfonso Javier Barragán Treviño
  • Patent number: 10540858
    Abstract: A method of method of managing media replenishment at a media terminal, the method comprising: receiving a media event from a media terminal; retrieving a next scheduled media replenishment event for that media terminal; evaluating if the next scheduled media replenishment event is scheduled to occur within an acceptable delay period; and initiating an unscheduled replenishment event only if the next scheduled media replenishment event is scheduled to occur after the acceptable delay period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2020
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Robin Angus, Michael James Neilan, Edgar Rojas, Timothy Brown
  • Patent number: 10506901
    Abstract: A sheet product dispenser is provided including a housing including a roll holder configured to receive a product roll, a dispensing mechanism configured to dispense a portion of the sheet product from the product roll, a sensor configured to emit a signal toward the product roll and receive a reflection of the signal from a surface of the product roll, and a controller. The controller is configured to receive an indication of replacement of the product roll, determine a time-of-flight of the signal, and determine an expected time-of-flight (or corresponding distance of travel) of a theoretical signal to a theoretical full product roll. The controller is further configured to compare the time-of-flight (or a corresponding distance of travel) of the signal to the product roll to the expected time-of-flight or distance, and adjust a product depletion curve based on the comparison.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2019
    Inventors: Ryan Joseph Schuh, David Warren Murphy
  • Patent number: 10500131
    Abstract: A speed sensor determines the velocity of an object. A first detector detects light emitted by a first emitter. The first detector includes multiple photodetectors connected in series. The photodetectors produce a current that is proportional to the amount of light incident to the photodetector. The first detector additionally includes a current-to-voltage converter and a threshold detector. The current-to-voltage converter converts the current produced by the photodetectors into a voltage and the threshold detector compares the voltage generated by the current-to-voltage converter with a threshold voltage. When an object passes in between the emitter and any of the photodetectors, the light incident to the photodetector is at least partially blocked, reducing the current produced by the photodetector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2019
    Assignee: PerceptiMed, Inc.
    Inventor: Alan Jacobs
  • Patent number: 10475295
    Abstract: A method of method of managing media replenishment at a media terminal, the method comprising: receiving a media event from a media terminal; retrieving a next scheduled media replenishment event for that media terminal; evaluating if the next scheduled media replenishment event is scheduled to occur within an acceptable delay period; and initiating an unscheduled replenishment event only if the next scheduled media replenishment event is scheduled to occur after the acceptable delay period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2019
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Robin Angus, Michael James Neilan, Edgar Rojas, Timothy Brown
  • Patent number: 10373112
    Abstract: Systems and methods for a color chip dispenser are provided and include a card shuffler device that receives color chips, each having a sample area displaying a color and an optical code area displaying a machine-readable optical code associated with the color. An optical code reader is configured to read optical codes and a robotic arm is configured to receive and grip color chips. A controller is configured to receive and decode the machine-readable optical code displayed in the optical code area of each of the color chips, determine whether a particular color chip corresponds to a selected coating color based on the decoded machine-readable optical code of the particular color chip, and control the robotic arm to display the particular color chip in a display area and/or dispense the particular color chip to a dispensing receptacle in response to the particular color chip corresponding to the selected coating color.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2019
    Assignee: Behr Process Corporation
    Inventor: Sarah Joanna Furnari
  • Patent number: 10331988
    Abstract: A method of determining an action associated with an apparatus, the apparatus having a disposable component, the method comprising: obtaining (100), by means of a camera (416), data representing a visual code (301, 303) and a visual symbol (302, 304); comparing (120), by means of a processor (414), the visual code represented by said data with a reference code, the reference code indicating an identity of a disposable component of the apparatus, and comparing (130), by means of said processor, the visual symbol represented by said data with a reference symbol, to obtain comparison results; and determining (140) the action in response to the comparison results.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 11, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2019
    Inventor: Declan Patrick Kelly
  • Patent number: 10327988
    Abstract: An automated medication preparation system for preparing a prescribed dosage of medication in a drug delivery device includes a plurality of stations for receiving, handling and processing the drug delivery device so that the prescribed dosage of medication is delivered to the drug delivery device and a transporting device that receives and holds more than one drug delivery device and moves the drug delivery devices in a controlled manner from one station to another station. The system is configured so that two or more separate drug delivery devices can be acted upon at the same time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2019
    Assignee: Baxter Corporation Englewood
    Inventors: Dennis Tribble, Joel A. Osborne, Abdul Wahid Khan, Edward J. Lefebre
  • Patent number: 10309579
    Abstract: A support device includes a transmission device attached to a housing and having a carrier slidably attached to the housing, a driving device connected to the carrier for driving and moving the carrier up and down relative to the housing, an object attached to the carrier, a sensor element attached to the object for detecting an approaching of a user toward the object, a sensor member disposed close to the housing for detecting the approaching of the user toward the object, and a control device connected to the sensor element and to the sensor member for receiving signals from the sensor element and the sensor member, and the control device is connected to the driving device for driving and moving the carrier and the object relative to the housing to a selected position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2019
    Assignee: Oxti Corporation
    Inventor: Chih Feng Ho
  • Patent number: 10297019
    Abstract: A pill verification system obtains a prescription filled at a pharmacy and gathers information of the pills being dispensed for a remote pharmacist to verify the prescription. As pills are dispensed to a pill vial to fill the prescription, a pill imaging system captures images of the pills, and a pill vial imaging system captures an image of the pill vial. The prescription, pill images, and pill vial image are transmitted to a remote verification system. A pharmacist is presented with the prescription, images of substantially all pills filling the prescription, and the pill vial of the prescription to verify the prescription is correct. The remote verification system may present prescriptions filled from many different pharmacies, permitting increased rate of verification and one pharmacist to support many pharmacies. The pharmacist's verification is transmitted to the pill verification system and displayed for a technician to complete verification of the pills.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2019
    Assignee: PERCEPTIMED, INC.
    Inventors: Alan Jacobs, Jennifer Jacobs, Yana Nikitina
  • Patent number: 10255125
    Abstract: A report creation system according to one embodiment creates a report indicative of a condition of a cooperative service in which a plurality of services are made to cooperate, the plurality of services being provided by a plurality of service providing apparatuses including at least one service providing apparatus in another company. The report creation creates the report, based on the first log information and the error occurrence information collected by each of the information collection apparatuses, and second log information of each of the services collected from each of the service providing apparatuses.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2019
    Assignees: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba, Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation
    Inventors: Yosuke Terashita, Kaori Morishita, Chika Nakazato
  • Patent number: 10223866
    Abstract: Systems, and methods are provided for the electronic purchase of gaming or amusement credits using a transaction device at a patron's location to apply funds from a financial account to the purchase of credits for use with an amusement or gaming device, system, or point of other wagering activity. Such credits are provided at the patron's location in the form of a printed ticket or other physical indicia of equivalent value, credits appearing in the credit meter and on the display of a gaming device, credit issued to a player card confirmed at the patron's location, credit issued to a debit card confirmed at the patron's location, and/or cash or other monetary-equivalents. In addition, physical confirmation of the completed electronic transaction from the patron's financial account may be concurrently provided to the patron in the form of a receipt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2019
    Assignee: Automated Cashless Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen Warner, Michael Sackrison, Michael Daly
  • Patent number: 10181154
    Abstract: A number of enhancements for financial services devices are provided. Financial services devices, as used herein, may include drive-up type financial services devices. These enhancements include user interface improvements as well as increasing functionality of the financial services device. Specific application of the enhancements include drive up financial services devices. The enhancements may include improved ergonomics for customer interaction and multiple display screens, as well as sensors for detection of a customer's vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 15, 2019
    Inventors: William Budde, Giancarlo Miranda, Joseph Bradley Nolan
  • Patent number: 10019865
    Abstract: A system may include a client device. The client device may receive, from a set of vending devices and via a network connecting the set of vending devices with the client device, sensor data relating to a status of the set of vending devices. The client device may generate a user interface associated with providing information identifying the status of the set of vending devices. The client device may provide, for display, the user interface based on generating the user interface. The client device may detect, based on providing the user interface, a selection of an adjustment that is to be performed for a particular vending device of the set of vending devices. The client device may transmit, via the network, an instruction to the particular vending device to cause the adjustment to be performed for the particular vending device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2018
    Assignee: Accenture Global Solutions Limited
    Inventors: Giorgio Torresani, Jeffrey Scott Sawyer, Puneet Sawhney, Austin S. Groves, Drashti Sunit Patel
  • Patent number: 9996972
    Abstract: An augmented reality environment allows interaction between virtual and real objects. By monitoring user actions with the augmented reality environment various functions are provided to users. Users may buy or sell items with a gesture, check inventory of objects in the augmented reality environment, view advertisements, and so forth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2018
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: William Spencer Worley, III, Edward Dietz Crump, Colter E. Cederlof, Christopher Coley, Robert A. Yuan
  • Patent number: 9889069
    Abstract: Interactive medicine management systems and methods comprising integrated elements using a network processor to provide assistance to individuals in order to organize and monitor patient compliance in the administration of one or more medications are provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2018
    Assignee: One World DMG, Ltd.
    Inventors: Matthew Coe, Fred Pether, Sean Ely
  • Patent number: 9740186
    Abstract: A monitoring control system includes a control device that performs a device control process, and a high-order system that monitors the device control process. The control device includes a control CPU that performs the device control process, and an information CPU that is connected to the control CPU via an internal bus. The control CPU includes a device memory that stores therein device data to be used for the device control process, the device data being related to the device. The information CPU includes a built-in database and a data collection unit. The data collection unit performs a data collection process of reading the device data from the device memory via the internal bus, and storing the read device data in the built-in database.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2017
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
    Inventors: Koichi Nakagawa, Kunio Matsumoto, Noriyasu Fukatsu, Hiroshi Ashiya
  • Patent number: 9665688
    Abstract: A system for dispensing product-filled containers in which the containers are filled prior to labeling, so that any container may filled at any dispensing station. The system includes multiple dispensing stations, both manual and automated, disposed adjacent a conveyor. Automated dispensing stations include quantities of products, fillable product containers, and a labeling assembly. Each dispensing station dispenses a predetermined quantity of products into a container and labels the container for transport via an exit conveyor to the main conveyor. Carriers are delivered via the main conveyor into a container carrier queue lane, where a sensor reads the RFID before a filled, labeled container is deposited into the carrier. A sensor reads the label bar code and transmits the bar code and RFID information to the computer database, mating the carrier with the filled container. System software load balances the components of an order by routing them to different dispensing stations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2017
    Assignee: Tension International Inc.
    Inventors: Robert Terzini, Brian Sullivan
  • Patent number: 9613346
    Abstract: An embodiment includes a method executed by at least one processor comprising: determining inventories for first and second times for a first vending machine (VM); determining inventories for first and second times for a second VM; determining inventories for first and second times for a third VM; and determining a service route to visit the first and second VMs on a specific date, and to specifically avoid visiting the third VM on the specific date, in response to determining the inventories for the second times for the first, second, and third VMs. Other embodiments are described herein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2017
    Assignee: Vendwatch Telematics, LLC
    Inventors: James J. Crow, Alfonso Javier Barragán Treviño
  • Patent number: 9598238
    Abstract: Computer program products, methods, systems, apparatus, and computing entities are provided for automated loading and retrieval of items. In various embodiments, items are received at a loading station where identification data may be captured for each item and handling instructions may be generated. In some embodiments, a label having indicia associated with the item may be generated and affixed to the item. The items may then be deposited through an access door into the vehicle identified in the handling instructions. Once the items are loaded into the access door, an automated load/unload device may deposit the item in the appropriate storage location. The automated load/unload device may also retrieve and rearrange items as desired.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2017
    Assignee: United Parcel Service of America, Inc.
    Inventors: Nagesh Kadaba, Erik Peterson, Thomas Ramsager
  • Patent number: 9597575
    Abstract: Systems and methods are disclosed for providing storage at indoor golf driving ranges. In various embodiments, the disclosed systems and methods permit golfers to store their baggage in close proximity to the golfers while the golfers practice their swing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2017
    Inventors: Brendan O'Grady, Sam S. Han
  • Patent number: 9441396
    Abstract: A key safe (10) includes a main container (14) defining an access port (20), an antechamber (16) and a primary hook (22) located within the antechamber (16). The antechamber (16) is movable between a first position in which a user is permitted access thereto and to the primary hook (22) from outside the main container (14) via the access port (20), and a second position in which the user is not permitted access to either the antechamber (16) or the primary hook (22) from outside the main container (14). The key safe (10) further includes a plurality of secondary hooks (26) located within the main container (14), which secondary hooks (26) are not directly accessible to a user. In use, transport means (18) transport keys between the primary hook (22) and a secondary hook (26) when the antechamber (16) is in the second position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2016
    Inventors: Gideon Gerhardus Buchner, Louis Botha
  • Patent number: 9332076
    Abstract: A method, non-transitory computer readable medium, and apparatus for setting a language of a remote device are disclosed. For example, the method determines connectivity information for interacting with the remote device, assesses a language setting of the mobile endpoint device, and sets the language of the remote device by sending the language setting of the mobile endpoint device to the remote device using the connectivity information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2016
    Assignee: Xerox Corporation
    Inventors: Yelena Migdalovich, Giuseppe Pandolfo, Jason McGoff, Paul Roberts Conlon, Timothy Luke Dioguardi
  • Patent number: 9155681
    Abstract: A medicine feeding device is configured by providing a first rotor 23 that rotates around a first shaft 24, a second rotor 35 that rotates around a second shaft, a partition wall 18 extending from the second rotor 35 towards the first rotor 23, a medicine discharge port 73 provided on the outside of the second rotor 35, a medicine guide section 65 located in the downstream of a movement section 37 in the medicine transport direction, and a height regulator 41 disposed between the movement section 37 and medicine guide section 65. In addition, the width regulator 52 that is disposed between the medicine guide section 65 and the height regulator 41 is further provided. Also, the medicine counting device is further provided with a medicine detection means 70 for detecting a medicine that is supplied from the medicine discharge port 73, and a counting means (central control unit 83) for counting the medicines based on the detection by the medicine detection means 70.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2015
    Assignee: YUYAMA MFG. CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Hiroyuki Yuyama, Naoki Koike, Mitsuhiro Mitani, Masao Fukada
  • Patent number: 9043019
    Abstract: In a preferred embodiment, an Automated Pharmacy Admixture System (APAS) may include a manipulator system to transport medical containers such as bags, vials, or syringes in a compounding chamber regulated to a pressure below atmospheric pressure. In a preferred implementation, the manipulator system is configured to grasp and convey syringes, IV bags, and vials of varying shapes and sizes from a storage system in an adjacent chamber regulated at a pressure above atmospheric pressure. Various embodiments may include a controller adapted to actuate the manipulator system to bring a fill port of an IV bag, vial, or syringe into register with a filling port at a fluid transfer station in the chamber. A preferred implementation includes a sanitization system that can substantially sanitize a bung on a fill port of a vial or IV bag in preparation for transport to the fluid transfer station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: Intelligent Hospital Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Walter W. Eliuk, Ronald H. Rob, Lance R. Mlodzinski, Alex H. Reinhardt, Thom Doherty
  • Patent number: 9038852
    Abstract: An automatic vending machine for vending a product selected by a user includes: an automatic vending machine cabinet having an opening that is opened and closed by a door: a plurality of product racks that is provided in the automatic vending machine cabinet, each product rack including a plurality of product storage columns each storing products ordered in a line; and a product storage device that allows a user to take out one product at a time by holding a body of the product, when the door is opened to open the opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: FUJI ELECTRIC CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Yoshio Yasaka
  • Patent number: 9027787
    Abstract: A medicine dispensing device includes a shell-like base unit, a shell-like cassette with a number of compartments for storage of medicines which is rotatable relative to the base unit, a unit for rotating the cassette relative to the base unit at predetermined times, a lid firmly connected to the base unit, and an aperture situated in the lid in such a way as to be movable to become central to any desired compartment of the cassette when the cassette is rotated relative to the base unit and the lid. A hatch is provided close to the aperture and can assume a position in which the aperture is closed and a position in which the aperture is exposed. The hatch is pivotable relative to a pivot axis. The hatch has a rear edge which has an extent in the circumferential direction of the device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2015
    Inventors: Mats Eriksson, Ingemar Hagerbro
  • Publication number: 20150102049
    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: Application
    Filed: December 18, 2014
    Publication date: April 16, 2015
    Inventor: Brett FLEISHMAN
  • Patent number: 8976031
    Abstract: A portable personal dispenser assembly comprising a combination of a dispenser and a communication enabled, portable handheld pocket-sized, personal computer in which the pocket-sized personal computer performs compliance monitoring of use of the dispenser and preferably controls and powers the use of the dispenser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2015
    Assignee: Inc.
    Inventor: Heiner Ophardt
  • Patent number: 8963707
    Abstract: System for an event alert signal and verifying the completion of event is disclosed. The system may include at least one alert device for generating alert for certain events. The system may also include at least one destination device that may be configured to be communicating with the alert device and may be associated with the event. The system may verify completion of the event when the alert device may be deactivated upon the user's completion of the event.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Inventor: Douglas Bevel
  • Publication number: 20150048101
    Abstract: Embodiments generally relate to a pill box adapted for dispensing medication. In one embodiment, the pill box includes a base member, a carousel coupled to the base member and configured to rotate about the base member, one or more compartments, each compartment formed within the carousel and configured to store a single dose of medication with a lid configured to enclose the base and the carousel. The pill box ratchet advancement mechanism includes a resilient member and a stop member configured to facilitate motion of the carousel in a first direction and to restrict motion in a second direction, and a locking component configured to permit a pre-determined displacement of the carousel in the first direction and to limit further displacement in the first direction by locking the carousel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 8, 2013
    Publication date: February 19, 2015
    Applicant: Abiogenix Inc.
    Inventors: Goutam Reddy, Sara Cinnamon
  • Publication number: 20150014343
    Abstract: The invention addresses the problem of providing a medication cassette, which in addition to being capable of smooth automated dispensing according to the remaining amount of stored medication despite being capable of storing large amounts of medication, allows accurate ascertainment of whether the medication has run out or is jammed. This medication cassette is provided with: a cylindrical body (110) in which the medication is stored; a first rotating body (111) capable of reciprocating movement inside the cylindrical body (110) in the direction of the shaft center thereof; a second rotating body (112) disposed on the outer circumference of the cylindrical body (110); a conveyed medication-detecting means (179) for detecting medication that has been conveyed by the second rotating body (112); and a control means (80) for moving the first rotating body (111) upward when a medication detection signal is not output from the conveyed medication-detecting means (179).
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 7, 2013
    Publication date: January 15, 2015
    Inventor: Naoki Koike
  • Publication number: 20150008236
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides systems and methods for the dispensing and collection of objects in urban environments. More particularly, the disclosure provides systems and methods for dispensing and collecting helmets. The disclosure provides a self-sufficient, high-capacity, helmet dispensing system. In some embodiments, the system includes solar panels that provide the system with the requisite power needed to power the system. In some implementations, the system includes a vandal resistant return mechanism for the helmets. The system may also include communication modules, which may transmit system information to a backend server.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 2, 2014
    Publication date: January 8, 2015
    Inventors: Charles Mills, Jessica Artilles, Jose Avedillo, Kathryn Barnes, Ignacious Chen, Danielle Hicks, Shen Huang, Ron Perez, Laura Ware, Stephanie Whalen, Breanna Berry, Arni Lehto, Angela Chu, Manas Menon
  • Publication number: 20140367402
    Abstract: An automatic food and beverage vending machine includes: a case; an ordering and billing system; an electronic control system; and an output system; wherein the output system comprises a food provider and a food outlet, the food provider is mounted in a food storage area of the case; the food provider comprises a tray holder, a food box transporter, and a sliding device; the tray holder and the food box transporter are mounted on the sliding device; the sliding device comprises an up-down sliding mechanism, a left-right sliding mechanism, and a front-rear sliding mechanism; the food outlet is provided on a door of the case. The machine provides a small volume, a small land occupation space, convenience of moving, a short time before obtaining the food, a proper food temperature for eating immediately, and a quick manner of dining for people in a hurry.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 28, 2012
    Publication date: December 18, 2014
    Inventor: Xukai Jin
  • Publication number: 20140326744
    Abstract: A smart medicine container is provided to secure accesses to a bulk supply of pills stored therein and pills dispensed therein. The medicine container comprises a control unit, a memory, a communication interface unit, a pill-supply housing configured to store a bulk supply of pills, a pill-supply locking means configured to lock access to the pill-supply housing, a dispensing assembly configured to dispense pills from among the bulk supply of pills, and a dispensed-pill housing configured to receive and store dispensed pills, a dispensed-pill locking means configured to lock access to the dispensed-pill housing. The control unit is programmed to irreversibly cause the pill-supply locking means to lock access to the pill-supply housing and irreversibly cause the dispensed-pill locking means to lock access to the dispensed-pill housing when receiving information indicating that the bulk supply of pills should permanently discontinue to be taken by a patient.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 22, 2014
    Publication date: November 6, 2014
    Inventor: Nitesh Ratnakar
  • Patent number: 8868245
    Abstract: A dispensing device includes an actuating device that actuates first and second containers, respectively, and a sensor for detecting an environmental condition. In a first period the actuating device is inactive, in a second period the actuating device actuates the first container at a first frequency, and in a third period the actuating device actuates the second container at a second frequency. If the sensor has detected the environmental condition, the actuating device actuates the first and/or second containers, respectively, during a fourth period at a third frequency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Assignee: S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.
    Inventors: Tai P. Luc, Kenneth W. Michaels, Megan L. Polzin, Bhavesh Shah
  • Patent number: 8840851
    Abstract: The present invention is a pipette tip supplying apparatus which comprises: a storing section configured to store a plurality of pipette tips; a supplying section configured to supply at least one of the plurality of pipette tips stored in the storing section outside the storing section; a detector configured to detect a pipette tip assembly in which one pipette tip and another pipette tip are piled up with a distal end of the one pipette tip inserted into the another pipette tip; and a discharging section configured to discharge the pipette tip assembly from the storing section, when the detector has detected the pipette tip assembly in the storing section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2014
    Assignee: Sysmex Corporation
    Inventors: Takeo Kowari, Makoto Ueda
  • Patent number: 8820574
    Abstract: A vending machine for dispensing a number of products. The vending machine may include a transparent panel, a number of visible product columns, a number of non-visible product columns, and a product delivery system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2014
    Assignee: The Coca-Cola Company
    Inventors: Thomas P. Howell, Gerard E. Insolia, Michael Alan Masters, Ryan Lee West
  • Patent number: 8816860
    Abstract: In combination a fluid dispenser for dispensing fluid and a sound sensing mechanism remote from the fluid dispenser, the fluid dispenser dispensing fluid when activated, the fluid dispenser including a sound generator which generates a sound when the fluid dispenser is activated, the sound sensing mechanism separate from and spaced from the fluid dispenser, the sound sensing mechanism including a sound sensor to sense the sound generated by the sound generator, the sound sensing mechanism including a communication system to transmit data representative of the sound sensed by the sound generator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2014
    Assignee: Inc.
    Inventors: Heiner Ophardt, Tony Kortleve-Snider
  • Patent number: 8777103
    Abstract: A dispensing machine, and related operating method, includes a device for dispensing packaged and/or unpackaged edible goods or beverages, a control unit connected to one or more electrically-activated parts of the machine, a user interface to show information to the user and retrieve input commands from the user to be sent to the control unit. The user interface is a graphic user interface GUI comprising a touch-panel integrated in a graphic screen to display multimedia content. The content or form of the information shown on the screen is changed by the control unit based on at least one parameter related to any of the operative status of the machine, the location wherein the machine is running, the calendar date and/or the daily time, statistics indicative of previous selections made by user(s), or the signal provided by at least one sensor of the machine detecting proximity of the user(s).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: Tuttoespresso S.R.L.
    Inventor: Luca Doglioni Majer
  • Patent number: 8770437
    Abstract: An apparatus for dispensing solid articles includes a housing and at least one vacuum source. The housing defines a hopper chamber to hold the articles and a dispensing channel fluidly connected to the hopper chamber. The dispensing channel has an inlet and an outlet defining a dispensing flow path therebetween. The vacuum source is adapted to provide a vacuum pressure and induce a gas flow in the housing. The apparatus is configured to generate a forward drive gas flow from the vacuum pressure and induced gas flow, and the forward drive gas flow conveys articles through the dispensing channel along the dispensing flow path in a direction from the inlet to the outlet to dispense the articles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2014
    Assignee: Parata Systems, LLC
    Inventor: Richard D. Michelli
  • Patent number: 8756998
    Abstract: Solid contents verification systems and methods are provided. The system includes a contents sensor unit, a container-carrying unit and a control unit. The contents sensor unit has at least one contents sensor configured to send and receive sonic pulses to determine a state of contents in a container. The contents sensor unit is configured to send a signal communicating a state of the contents in a container. The container-carrying unit is configured to hold a container in substantial alignment with the contents sensors to expose the contents to the sonic pulses. The control unit is operatively connected to the contents sensor unit. The control unit is configured to receive the signal communicating the state of the contents and to compare the state of the contents with a desired state of the contents.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2014
    Assignee: Express Scripts, Inc.
    Inventor: Jonathan W. Joplin
  • Patent number: 8694153
    Abstract: A method and laboratory system for handling sample tube racks are disclosed. The laboratory system includes a storage section (14) with a plurality of shelves (110) for storing a plurality of storage racks (SR), a disposal unit (18) for disposing sample tubes from the storage racks (SR), a robotic transfer system (510) for loading storage racks (SR) into the storage section (14), for retrieving storage racks (SR) from the storing section (14) and for bringing storage rack to the disposal unit (18) after a given storage time has elapsed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2014
    Assignee: Roche Diagnostics Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Bruno Koch, Markus Kurmann, Marcel Lustenberger
  • Publication number: 20140084018
    Abstract: An annular seal is provided. The annular seal is configured to be lubricated, allowing for automatic dispensing in dispensers, without the risk of clogging the dispensers or of building up with other seals. The annular seal has a determined thickness, made of an elastically deformable material, having a seal plane at mid-thickness and an axis of revolution perpendicular to the seal plane, and having: a so-called “inner” surface, turned toward the axis of revolution, and extending over a height of between ? and 22/50 of the thickness on either side of the seal plane, and a so-called “contact” surface extending over the rest of the seal. The seal includes, on the contact surface, at least one spot protuberance.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 20, 2013
    Publication date: March 27, 2014
    Inventors: Mickael Onillon, Christophe Lemiere, Joseph Cheynet, Etienne Giffard
  • Patent number: 8626338
    Abstract: Implementations of a public use tag marking kiosk. Aspects associated with particular implementations of a tag marking kiosk comprise, among others, automatically marking two sides of a tag within the kiosk, receiving the tag to be marked from the customer, providing a closeable door between the marking implement and the customer while the tag is being marked, ejecting the tag from a tag holder after the tag is marked, and aligning the tag so that a desired tag side is required to be initially facing up on the tag holder. Housing for the kiosk may surround all of the system parts or may be split into a housing shell and a marking unit that fits inside the shell. Marking implements may be laser, mechanical stylus, paint, or others. Tags may be suspended in a cantilevered manner during marking.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2014
    Assignee: The Hillman Group, Inc.
    Inventors: George Lynn Hagen, Beth Cooperrider, Ronald E. Mundt, Darren L. Kessner, Steven J. Gardner, Adrian Spucces, Kenneth C. Booth
  • Publication number: 20130326867
    Abstract: A parts feeding device which is equipped in a surface mounting machine body includes a drive unit for feeding a parts feeding tape which houses parts, and a control unit for controlling the drive unit. The control unit includes a detection unit for detecting execution of work for removing the parts feeding device from the surface mounting machine body, and a pullback execution unit for causing the drive unit to execute a process of pulling back the parts feeding tape, which has become empty as a result of feeding the parts, when the execution of work for removing the parts feeding device is detected by the detection unit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 13, 2013
    Publication date: December 12, 2013
    Inventors: Akinobu UESUGI, Naoki HANAMURA, Kenichi INDO, Toshimichi SATOU, Toshiyuki KUSUNOKI, Tomoharu KURAYAMA