Photoelectric Patents (Class 356/53)
  • Patent number: 10502726
    Abstract: A method and system are presented for use in examining an egg by monitoring radiation response from the egg during an incubation period. The monitoring comprises analyzing measured data indicative of the radiation response from the egg being detected at different time intervals of an incubation period, identifying predetermined dynamics in intensity variations of said radiation response during the different time intervals, and identifying in different time intervals presence of an alive embryo in said egg, and development stages and age of the embryo being developed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2019
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2019
    Assignee: LIVEGG (2015) LTD
    Inventors: Yair Or Adar, Gavriel Adar, Eliahu Shalom Hoffman
  • Patent number: 10267780
    Abstract: A method and system are presented for use in examining an egg by monitoring radiation response from the egg during an incubation period. The monitoring comprises analyzing measured data indicative of the radiation response from the egg being detected at different time intervals of an incubation period, identifying predetermined dynamics in intensity variations of said radiation response during the different time intervals, and identifying in different time intervals presence of an alive embryo in said egg, and development stages and age of the embryo being developed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2019
    Assignee: LIVEGG (2015) LTD.
    Inventors: Yair Or Adar, Gavriel Adar, Eliahu Shalom Hoffman
  • Patent number: 10119950
    Abstract: An egg identification system for determining egg viability is provided. Such a system includes an emitter assembly for emitting electromagnetic radiation toward a plurality of eggs positioned proximate thereto. A detector assembly is positioned proximate to the emitter assembly. The detector assembly has a plurality of detectors fixedly positioned with respect to the emitter assembly and configured to detect electromagnetic radiation transmitted through the eggs. An optical shielding assembly is configured to move with respect to the detectors. A processor is in communication with detector assembly and is configured to determine viability of the eggs using the detected electromagnetic radiation. An associated method is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2018
    Assignee: Zoetis Services LLC
    Inventor: John Hilbert Hebrank
  • Patent number: 9560837
    Abstract: Embodiments described herein provide systems and methods for stimulating a desired response, such as ovulation and egg laying, fertility, hunger, growth, mood and sexual maturity in birds or aves, by controlling the pulsing of two or more different wavelength bands and cycle, frequency of photon bursts within a photon signal to a bird, where the photon modulation and duty cycle is based upon the specific needs of the bird.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2017
    Assignee: XIANT TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
    Inventor: Jon Daren Suntych
  • Publication number: 20150138537
    Abstract: A hatching egg inspection apparatus includes a loader unit, an inspection unit for determining the viability or the like as to whether a hatching egg is an unfertilized egg or a growth-stopping egg, a rejection unit for rejecting a hatching egg determined to be an unfertilized egg or the like, and an unloader unit for sending a hatching egg toward the next step. The inspection unit is provided with a light emitting unit for emitting prescribed light toward the hatching egg, a cap attachment unit through which the light having been emitted to the hatching egg and having transmitted through the hatching egg passes, and a light receiving unit for receiving the light that has passed through the cap attachment unit. The cap attachment unit includes a cylindrical cap coming into contact with the hatching egg, and a plate to which the cap is attached.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 18, 2012
    Publication date: May 21, 2015
    Applicants: NABEL CO., LTD., YAMAMOTO CORP.
    Inventors: Mitsuo Yamamoto, Tsuyoshi Yamamoto, Shinichi Fujitani, Takatsugu Tahara, Toyoaki Ohashi
  • Patent number: 8724098
    Abstract: An egg candling method for determining a state of eggs between the 13th and the 17th day of incubation, particularly for identifying with certainty the living or dead state of that egg. The egg is illuminated with a green or blue light to visually show on the shell a shadow of the blood network supplying the embryo of the egg if it is present in the egg. At least one image of the egg is acquired then processed in order to determine a vitality level of the egg, based on the presence or not of this blood network and the size of the veins of said blood network. The method also determines the presence or absence of air cell in the upper portion of the egg and to thus define the inverted or uninverted position of the egg. Finally, the method also makes it possible to detect lesions on an egg shell and particularly cracked shells.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Assignee: Egg-Chick Automated Technologies
    Inventor: Ephrem Adjanohoun
  • Patent number: 8583217
    Abstract: An in vivo drug concentration distribution measuring device for measuring, when a drug having an imaging function is administered, in vivo concentration distribution of the drug is disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2013
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Makoto Katase, Chiyoaki Iijima
  • Patent number: 8400621
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an automatic egg examining device for differentiating between fertilized eggs and unfertilized eggs, comprising emission means (3), which comprise, for each egg to be examined, at least one coherent laser source forming a coherent optical beam (31) directed at an egg (9) to be examined, reception means (4), which receive the light flux passing through the egg, and data processing means (7), which process the light flux received by said reception means in order to determine the state—fertilized or unfertilized—of the egg.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2013
    Assignee: Ceva Sante Animale
    Inventors: Michael Nadreau, Robert Croguennec
  • Publication number: 20130044210
    Abstract: A hyperspectral method for detecting the present condition of an avian egg is disclosed in which a neural network algorithm is used to compare the spectrum of a test egg against a spectral library. The method can detect fertility with greater than 90% reliability on the day of laying and the gender of the chick with greater than 75% reliability on the 12th day after laying.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 27, 2010
    Publication date: February 21, 2013
    Inventors: Israel Rozenboim, Eyal Ben Dor
  • Patent number: 8339587
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus are provided that automatically determine whether or not eggs designated for removal from an egg carrier have been removed by an egg removal apparatus. Light is emitted along a path above and across an egg carrier as an egg picker moves to pick up an egg. The length of time that the light path is blocked when the egg picker is moved is measured and used to determine whether or not the egg has been removed from the carrier. Another apparatus and method is provided for detecting a malfunctioning egg picker. A detection device detects a number of eggs in the egg carrier. A control device monitors the egg picker and the detection device. The control device calculates the number of eggs in the egg carrier for determining when the number of eggs varies a predetermined amount from an egg count number for the egg carrier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2012
    Assignee: AH USA 42 LLC
    Inventor: John H. Hebrank
  • Patent number: 8107060
    Abstract: An apparatus for candling eggs includes a waterproof housing having a free end, a light source configured to emit visible light from the housing free end and illuminate an egg positioned adjacent to the housing free end, and a photodetector that generates an output signal corresponding to intensity of light from the light source leaving the egg. The photodetector is shielded from external light and from direct light from the light source. The light source and photodetector are disposed within the waterproof housing, and a replaceable bumper is removably secured to the housing free end. The bumper is configured to engage an egg in contacting relation therewith, and to shield the photodetector from external light and from direct light from the light source. A processor processes output signals from the photodetector to identify cyclical variations in light intensity and/or non-cyclical variations in light intensity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2012
    Assignee: Embrex, Inc.
    Inventors: John H. Hebrank, Daniel L. Kennedy
  • Patent number: 8098370
    Abstract: Egg candling methods and apparatus are provided wherein the optical path between a light source and light detector is monitored for obscuring debris and/or malfunctions. A method of candling eggs includes illuminating an egg with light from a light source; receiving light passing through the egg at a light detector; generating an output signal that corresponds to light received at the light detector for the egg; and analyzing the output signal to determine whether the optical path between the light source and light detector has been altered. In response to determining that a respective optical path has been altered, the light source and/or light detector is cleaned and/or inspected for malfunctions. Cleaning the light source and/or light detector may include wiping a surface of the light source and/or light detector and/or spraying a surface of the light source and/or light detector with a fluid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 17, 2012
    Assignee: Embrex, Inc.
    Inventors: John H. Hebrank, Thomas Bryan
  • Patent number: 7950349
    Abstract: Following exposure to an external light source, determining: 1) the fertility of an avian egg by measuring the photon intensity (photons per second) of the egg's biophoton and luminescence; and 2) the gender of an avian egg by measuring the photon spectrum of the egg's biophoton emission and luminescence. The external light source is either an incandescent, fluorescent, LED, (pulsed or continuous wave) monochromatic or dichromatic laser light source. The detector of the photon intensity is either a low light sensing photomultiplier tube (PMT), silicon based photon counting sensor, or Geiger-mode avalanche photodiode detector. The detector of the photon spectrum is a spectrometer. Following exposure to the referenced light sources, fertile avian eggs will exhibit a higher intensity of photons than that of unfertilized avian eggs, and avian eggs of the female gender will emit a different spectrum of photons than will avian eggs of the male gender.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2011
    Inventor: Jack Dean Rollins
  • Patent number: 7796241
    Abstract: An avian eggshell egg-check/crack detection system was developed to aide official egg graders. It includes an imaging system and a device to produce negative pressure in an egg chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2010
    Assignee: The United States of America, as represented by the Secretary of Agriculture
    Inventors: Kurt C. Lawrence, Seung C. Yoon, Gerald W. Heitschmidt, Deana Jones, Bosoon Park, Vernon A. Savage
  • Publication number: 20100141933
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an automatic egg examining device for differentiating between fertilized eggs and unfertilized eggs, comprising emission means (3), which comprise, for each egg to be examined, at least one coherent laser source forming a coherent optical beam (31) directed at an egg (9) to be examined, reception means (4), which receive the light flux passing through the egg, and data processing means (7), which process the light flux received by said reception means in order to determine the state—fertilized or unfertilized—of the egg.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 20, 2006
    Publication date: June 10, 2010
    Applicant: CEVA SANTE ANIMALE
    Inventors: Michael Nadreau, Robert Croguennec
  • Publication number: 20100026989
    Abstract: A conveying device for conveying eggs comprises an endless conveyor provided with rollers extending transversely to the direction of conveyance. The rollers are arranged in pairs, and each pair of rollers forms an receiving space, in which an egg is accommodated in such a way that the egg rests on both rollers. The conveying device furthermore comprises a transfer device provided with a plurality of pick-up elements for picking up the eggs from a tray and placing the eggs on the conveyor. The pick-up elements on the transfer device can be moved from a first position in which they are positioned at a distance from each other corresponding to the distance between the individual eggs on the tray, viewed in the direction of conveyance, and a second position corresponding to the centre-to-centre distance between two receiving spaces.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 1, 2007
    Publication date: February 4, 2010
    Inventors: Erik Jan Wildenbeest, Jan Wilem Pennings, Dirk Willem Wikkerink
  • Publication number: 20100002225
    Abstract: Egg candling methods and apparatus are provided wherein the optical path between a light source and light detector is monitored for obscuring debris and/or malfunctions. A method of candling eggs includes illuminating an egg with light from a light source; receiving light passing through the egg at a light detector; generating an output signal that corresponds to light received at the light detector for the egg; and analyzing the output signal to determine whether the optical path between the light source and light detector has been altered. In response to determining that a respective optical path has been altered, the light source and/or light detector is cleaned and/or inspected for malfunctions. Cleaning the light source and/or light detector may include wiping a surface of the light source and/or light detector and/or spraying a surface of the light source and/or light detector with a fluid.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 2, 2009
    Publication date: January 7, 2010
    Inventors: John H. Hebrank, Thomas Bryan
  • Patent number: 7611277
    Abstract: Egg candling methods and apparatus are provided wherein non-live eggs, inverted egg, and side air cell eggs can be quickly identified. A method of candling eggs includes exposing a plurality of incubated eggs to an environment having a temperature different from a temperature at which the eggs were incubated; obtaining a thermal image of the eggs; and analyzing the thermal image to obtain surface temperature information for each egg. The surface temperature information is utilized to designate each egg as live/non-live, inverted, or having a side air cell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2009
    Assignee: Embrex, Inc.
    Inventors: John H. Hebrank, Monika Garrell
  • Publication number: 20090201323
    Abstract: The invention relates to a system applicable to an installation for candling eggs, to determine the presence of fertilized eggs in the cells of the egg crate grid moving on a conveyor. Row by row, the analyzing device synchronously monitors the light emission on the eggs of the row and detection of the attenuated light of emerging beams. The monitoring includes at least two close cycles of light emission. During the first cycle, which is of short duration to avoid causing glare of the detectors of the detecting device, the coordinates of possible empty cells in a row are determined and stored. During the second cycle, which is of longer duration, the coordinates of fertilized eggs of the row are determined and stored. The egg candling installation advantageously also marks the eggs, depending in particular on whether they are fertilized or not.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 11, 2008
    Publication date: August 13, 2009
    Inventors: Pierre Robert, Olivier Somville
  • Patent number: 7573566
    Abstract: Egg candling methods and apparatus are provided wherein the optical path between a light source and light detector is monitored for obscuring debris and/or malfunctions. A method of candling eggs includes illuminating an egg with light from a light source; receiving light passing through the egg at a light detector; generating an output signal that corresponds to light received at the light detector for the egg; and analyzing the output signal to determine whether the optical path between the light source and light detector has been altered. In response to determining that a respective optical path has been altered, the light source and/or light detector is cleaned and/or inspected for malfunctions. Cleaning the light source and/or light detector may include wiping a surface of the light source and/or light detector and/or spraying a surface of the light source and/or light detector with a fluid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2009
    Assignee: Embrex, Inc.
    Inventors: John H. Hebrank, Thomas Bryan
  • Patent number: 7545487
    Abstract: The invention relates to a device for inspecting eggs for the presence of blood. The device comprises a light source in order to pass light at a first wavelength which is not selectively absorbed by blood and light at a second wavelength which is selectively absorbed by blood through an egg to be inspected. Furthermore, the device comprises detection means for converting the light transmission through the egg to be inspected for each of the two wavelengths into corresponding signals, each of the said signals being representative of the light transmission at the relevant wavelength. The device also comprises signal-processing means which are transmission associated with the first wavelength and the light transmission associated with the second wavelength based on the signals emanating from the detection means and to emit a decision signal which is representative of the decision whether or not an egg contains blood on the basis of this ratio.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2009
    Assignee: Staalkat International B.V.
    Inventors: Hugo L. Kok, Jan Hordijk
  • Publication number: 20090091742
    Abstract: An apparatus for candling eggs includes a waterproof housing having a free end, a light source configured to emit light from the housing free end and illuminate an egg positioned adjacent to the housing free end, and a photodetector that generates an output signal corresponding to intensity of light from the light source leaving the egg. The photodetector is shielded from external light and from direct light from the light source. The light source and photodetector are disposed within the waterproof housing, and a replaceable bumper is removably secured to the housing free end. The bumper is configured to engage an egg in contacting relation therewith, and to shield the photodetector from external light and from direct light from the light source. A processor processes output signals from the photodetector to identify cyclical variations in light intensity and/or non-cyclical variations in light intensity.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 5, 2007
    Publication date: April 9, 2009
    Inventors: John H. Hebrank, Daniel L. Kennedy
  • Publication number: 20090091744
    Abstract: An avian eggshell egg-check/crack detection system was developed to aide official egg graders. It includes an imaging system and a device to produce negative pressure in an egg chamber.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 5, 2008
    Publication date: April 9, 2009
    Inventors: Kurt C. Lawrence, Seung C. Yoon, Gerald W. Heitchmidt, Deana Jones, Bosoon Park, Vernon A. Savage
  • Publication number: 20090091743
    Abstract: An apparatus for candling eggs includes a waterproof housing having a free end, a light source configured to emit visible light from the housing free end and illuminate an egg positioned adjacent to the housing free end, and a photodetector that generates an output signal corresponding to intensity of light from the light source leaving the egg. The photodetector is shielded from external light and from direct light from the light source. The light source and photodetector are disposed within the waterproof housing, and a replaceable bumper is removably secured to the housing free end. The bumper is configured to engage an egg in contacting relation therewith, and to shield the photodetector from external light and from direct light from the light source. A processor processes output signals from the photodetector to identify cyclical variations in light intensity and/or non-cyclical variations in light intensity.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 29, 2007
    Publication date: April 9, 2009
    Inventors: John H. Hebrank, Daniel L. Kennedy
  • Publication number: 20080252877
    Abstract: The invention relates to a device for inspecting eggs for the presence of blood. The device comprises a light source in order to pass light at a first wavelength which is not selectively absorbed by blood and light at a second wavelength which is selectively absorbed by blood through an egg to be inspected. Furthermore, the device comprises detection means for converting the light transmission through the egg to be inspected for each of the two wavelengths into corresponding signals, each of the said signals being representative of the light transmission at the relevant wavelength. The device also comprises signal-processing means which are transmission associated with the first wavelength and the light transmission associated with the second wavelength based on the signals emanating from the detection means and to emit a decision signal which is representative of the decision whether or not an egg contains blood on the basis of this ratio.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 5, 2005
    Publication date: October 16, 2008
    Applicant: Staalkat International B.V.
    Inventors: Hugo L. Kok, Jan Hordijk
  • Patent number: 7336348
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) for determining the viability of an egg, which apparatus (10) comprises shielding means (12, 14), emitting means (30) and detecting means (32), the arrangement being such that, in use, the shielding means (12, 14) inhibits exposure of an egg to background infra-red radiation, said emitting means (30) can emit electromagnetic radiation at infra-red wavelength(s) to impinge on the egg, and the detecting means (32) are positioned to detect at least a part of said electromagnetic radiation that has passed through the egg, the apparatus further comprising means for processing an output signal of the detecting means to determine whether there is a cyclical variation in the intensity of the infra-red radiation leaving the egg corresponding to action of a heart, the existence of said cyclical variation indicating that the egg is viable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2008
    Inventors: Sidney James Reeves, Keith Angus Simpson
  • Patent number: 7333187
    Abstract: Identifying live eggs includes: a) illuminating eggs with light; b) receiving light passing through each egg at a light detector; c) generating an output signal that corresponds to light received at a light detector for each respective egg; d) analyzing the output signals to identify an indication of an external disturbance; e) analyzing the output signal for each egg to identify the existence of an embryo heart rate and/or embryo movement; and f) designating an egg as a live egg in response to identifying embryo heart rate and/or embryo movement. Steps a) through d) are repeated if output signals from a predetermined number of eggs contain an indication of an external disturbance to the eggs. Steps a) through f) are repeated if the number of eggs designated as live exceeds an expected number, or if embryo movement occurs at about the same time in a predetermined number of eggs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2008
    Assignee: Embrex, Inc.
    Inventor: John H. Hebrank
  • Patent number: 7289196
    Abstract: Determining the viability of an egg by: (a) causing electromagnetic radiation, having one or more wavelengths in the infra-red part of the spectrum, to impinge upon the egg; (b) receiving at least a part of the infra-red radiation that has passed through the egg and generating an output signal representative of the received infra-red radiation; and (c) processing said output signal to determine whether there is a cyclical variation in the intensity of the infra-red radiation leaving the egg corresponding to action of a heart, the existence of said cyclical variation indicating that the egg is viable; wherein step (a) is performed by directing infra-red radiation so that it passes through the shell for reflection from an outer surface of a vascular structure adjacent an inner surface of said shell, and step (b) is performed by receiving any infra-red radiation so reflected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2007
    Inventors: Sidney James Reeves, Keith Angus Simpson
  • Patent number: 7154594
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) for determining the viability of an egg, which apparatus (10) comprises shielding means (12, 14), emitting means (30) and detecting means (32), the arrangement being such that, in use, the shielding means (12, 14) inhibits exposure of an egg to background infra-red radiation, said emitting means (30) can emit electromagnetic radiation at infra-red wavelength(s) to impinge on the egg, and the detecting means (32) are positioned to detect at least a part of said electromagnetic radiation that has passed through the egg, the apparatus further comprising means for processing an output signal of the detecting means to determine whether there is a cyclical variation in the intensity of the infra-red radiation leaving the egg corresponding to action of a heart, the existence of said cyclical variation indicating that the egg is viable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2006
    Inventors: Sidney James Reeves, Keith Angus Simpson
  • Patent number: 7034926
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for producing vaccine within a plurality of eggs are provided. Each of a plurality of eggs is illuminated with light from one or more LEDs. A detector is positioned adjacent each egg and detects light passing therethrough. Each egg is then identified as containing a live embryo or as being a non-live egg. Each egg that is determined not to contain a live embryo may be removed, either automatically or by hand. A seed virus is injected into each egg identified as containing a live embryo. After a predetermined period of incubation each live embryo is euthanized and amniotic fluid containing a vaccine produced as a result of the presence of a seed virus is harvested from each euthanized egg.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2006
    Assignee: Embrex, Inc.
    Inventor: John H. Hebrank
  • Patent number: 7019821
    Abstract: An egg inspecting apparatus (1) of the present invention includes an optical path switching and projecting assembly (30) for automatically selecting one of a plurality of optical paths through which a white source light (11) emitted from a light source (2) is guided and also for sequentially projecting the white source light (11) from the associated optical paths onto eggs held at respective positions, a spectrum converting assembly for spectrally analyzing light which has been transmitted through each of the eggs and converting it into a spectrum, and a determining circuit (5) for determining whether the egg is a normal egg or a bloody egg by using the spectrum so converted. By way of example, a spectrum of an egg is measured and a secondary differential curve is formulated for classification of the eggs according to egg shell colors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2006
    Assignee: Kyowa Machinery Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Takuo Kageyama, Hayashi Kondo, Masao Uetsuki, Naoki Inamoto
  • Patent number: 6894179
    Abstract: This invention relates to metallocene compositions and their use in the preparation of catalyst systems for olefin polymerization, particularly propylene polymerization.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2005
    Assignee: Exxon Mobil Chemical Patents Inc.
    Inventors: Matthew C. Kuchta, Udo M. Stehling, Robert T. Li, William T. Haygood, Jr., Terry J. Burkhardt
  • Patent number: 6850316
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for producing vaccine within a plurality of eggs are provided. Each of a plurality of eggs is illuminated with light from one or more LEDs. A detector is positioned adjacent each egg and detects light passing therethrough. Each egg is then identified as containing a live embryo or as being a non-live egg. Each egg that is determined not to contain a live embryo may be removed, either automatically or by hand. A seed virus is injected into each egg identified as containing a live embryo. After a predetermined period of incubation each live embryo is euthanized and amniotic fluid containing a vaccine produced as a result of the presence of a seed virus is harvested from each euthanized egg.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2005
    Assignee: Embrex, Inc.
    Inventor: John H. Hebrank
  • Publication number: 20040130703
    Abstract: A fiber optic guide pin is provided that has an end portion that is smooth and continuous. The smooth and continuous portion may be shaped to approximate an ellipse or a parabola. The end portion may also have a generally flat portion that is surrounded by the smooth and continuous portion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 3, 2003
    Publication date: July 8, 2004
    Inventors: Matthew A. Brown, Joseph L. Graham, Narcis Adam
  • Patent number: 6750954
    Abstract: Systems and methods for rapidly identifying live eggs within a stream of eggs with high accuracy, are provided. A stream of eggs are candled via a candling apparatus and each candled egg is designated as being either live, non-live, or “uncertain”. Eggs designated as non-live and uncertain are removed from the stream. Each egg designated as uncertain is “recandled” at a separate station via an additional candling procedure in order to definitively determine if the “uncertain” egg is live or non-live. Uncertain eggs identified as being live via recandling are returned to the egg stream such that the stream contains only live eggs. The uncertain eggs determined to be non-live via recandling are removed and are either discarded or used for other purposes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2004
    Assignee: Embrex, Inc.
    Inventors: John H. Hebrank, Thomas Bryan
  • Patent number: 6535277
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus that can non-invasively identify the present condition of eggs, namely, whether an egg is a live egg, a clear egg, an early dead egg, a middle dead egg, a late dead egg, a rotted egg, a cracked egg, and/or an inverted egg, are provided. An egg is illuminated with both visible and invisible light at wavelengths of between about three hundred nanometers and about eleven hundred nanometers (300 nm-1,100 nm). Light passing through the egg is received at a detector positioned such that a path of the received light does not pass through an aircell within the egg, except in the case of an inverted egg. The intensity of the light is determined at a plurality of the visible and infrared wavelengths, and a spectrum that represents light intensity at selected ones of the visible and infrared wavelengths is generated. The generated spectrum is compared with one or more spectra associated with a respective known egg condition to identify a present condition of the egg.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2003
    Assignee: Embrex, Inc.
    Inventors: B. Alan Chalker, II, James E. Hutchins
  • Patent number: 6504603
    Abstract: Described is a method for determining whether a brown egg contains undesired matter such as blood. In two wavelength ranges the transmission of the egg is examined, one of those wavelength ranges corresponding to an absorption peak of blood. The transmission signal of the other wavelength range is corrected with a fixed fraction &ggr; to correct for the egg being brown.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2003
    Assignee: FPS Food Processing Systems B. V.
    Inventor: Kurt Otto Peter Schouenborg
  • Publication number: 20020075476
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus that can non-invasively identify the present condition of eggs, namely, whether an egg is a live egg, a clear egg, an early dead egg, a middle dead egg, a late dead egg, a rotted egg, a cracked egg, and/or an inverted egg, are provided. An egg is illuminated with both visible and invisible light at wavelengths of between about three hundred nanometers and about eleven hundred nanometers (300 nm-1,100 nm). Light passing through the egg is received at a detector positioned such that a path of the received light does not pass through an aircell within the egg, except in the case of an inverted egg. The intensity of the light is determined at a plurality of the visible and infrared wavelengths, and a spectrum that represents light intensity at selected ones of the visible and infrared wavelengths is generated. The generated spectrum is compared with one or more spectra associated with a respective known egg condition to identify a present condition of the egg.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 20, 2000
    Publication date: June 20, 2002
    Inventors: B. Alan Chalker, James E. Hutchins
  • Patent number: 6373560
    Abstract: An apparatus for candling eggs includes a transmission system of a luminous flux directed towards the egg to be examined and located in its incubation rack a reception device of the luminous flux transmitted after passing through the mass of the egg, and an automatic analyzer of the recorded signals. The transmission system and the reception device are arranged in a vertical plane or a substantially vertical plane, one beneath the eggs to be examined and the other above the latter. A screen protects the transmission system against smears originating from the eggs in the incubation racks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2002
    Assignee: ECMAS
    Inventor: Roland Roux
  • Patent number: 5900929
    Abstract: A method for distinguishing live from dead poultry eggs comprises: (a) providing a light source (preferably an infrared light source) and a light detector in opposite facing relation to one another; (b) passing an egg between the light source and light detector; (c) switching the light source at a frequency greater than 100 cycles per second while passing the egg between the light source and the light detector; and (d) detecting light that passes through the egg from the light source with the light detector. Preferably, the egg is passed between the light source and the light detector without making contact therewith. And the method preferably further comprises the step of electronically filtering the signal detected by the light detector to distinguish light emitted from the light source from ambient light. Steps (b) through (d) may be repeated at a rate of at least one egg per second. Apparatus for carrying out the foregoing method is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 4, 1999
    Assignee: Embrex, Inc.
    Inventors: John H. Hebrank, Daniel T. DePauw
  • Patent number: 5898488
    Abstract: The apparatus of the present invention provides a means for candling eggs and providing trays of eggs filled with candled eggs and includes a provision wherein infertile eggs are removed from trays of fertile eggs and are replaced with fertile eggs in order to supply a complete array of fertile eggs within the tray. The apparatus includes a conveying means removing trays of eggs from an infeed station to an outfeed station. The trays of eggs supplied at the outfeed station preferably are completely filled with fertile eggs only and usually will be supplied to a processing station such as for inoculation. The apparatus includes four stations with candling performed at the first station by a video camera with infertile eggs moved to an exit hopper at a second station thereadjacent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 27, 1999
    Inventor: Jeffrey B. Kuhl
  • Patent number: 5745228
    Abstract: A method for distinguishing live from dead poultry eggs comprises: (a) providing a light source (preferably an infrared light source) and a light detector in opposite facing relation to one another; (b) passing an egg between the light source and light detector; (c) switching the light source at a frequency greater than 100 cycles per second while passing the egg between the light source and the light detector; and (d) detecting light that passes through the egg from the light source with the light detector. Preferably, the egg is passed between the light source and the light detector without making contact therewith. And the method preferably further comprises the step of electronically filtering the signal detected by the light detector to distinguish light emitted from the light source from ambient light. Steps (b) through (d) may be repeated at a rate of at least one egg per second. Apparatus for carrying out the foregoing method is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 28, 1998
    Assignee: Embrex, Inc.
    Inventors: John Hebrank, Daniel De Pauw
  • Patent number: 5646722
    Abstract: An apparatus for candling eggs travelling along a path for the presence of blood, comprising a lightproof drum which is drivable for rotation around a fixed shaft and wherein detection means are accommodated, the drum having a number of light transmission openings which each have a bellows, the drum in operation having a rotational speed so that the ends of the bellows remote from the drum have a speed corresponding to the speed of travel of the eggs, the drum with the bellows being positioned relative to the path of travel so that in operation, each time during a part of the path of travel of the eggs, the bellows connect to an egg to be inspected, while the detection means are positioned in the drum so that they only receive light that falls into the drum via the egg which is to be inspected and to which the bellows connects, and via the light transmission opening associated with that bellows.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 8, 1997
    Assignee: FPS Food Processing Systems B.V.
    Inventor: Jelle van der Schoot
  • Patent number: 5615777
    Abstract: A light beam such a laser beam is used to scan the surface of an egg for flaws such as pin holes, cracks, thinned shell regions, etc. The light beam is vibrated with a rocking/rotating movement to describe a closed curve such as a circle, ellipse or an ellipse so narrow that it is effectively a straight line. The utilization of such a light beam allows identification of types of flaws due to the character of the progression of light emanating from the egg. The invention includes apparatus for rotating the egg about its longitudinal axis in the path of the beam or beams. The apparatus also includes apparatus for forming the vibrating beam such as mirrors vibrated by out of phase electro-magnetic vibration or piezo electric actuators.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 1, 1997
    Assignee: FPS Food Processing Systems
    Inventors: Frank L. Weichman, Jelle van der Schoot, Daniel J. Kenway, Alan J. Hughes, Carl S. Flatman
  • Patent number: 5504572
    Abstract: An electronic imaging apparatus is provided which has means for detecting the presence of internal structure in an opaque or translucent object. The apparatus has a light source directing a beam of light towards the object from one side and a light receiver on another side thereof to convert invisible light passing through the object into a visible image. Means to record the image produced is made available as well as means to produce a three dimensional image or drawing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 2, 1996
    Inventors: Mark A. Taylor, John L. Williams
  • Patent number: 5321491
    Abstract: In the grading of shell eggs passing in a stream through a candling bed, images of the eggs are compared with image data characteristic of eggs of known grade so as to assign a grade to each egg in the stream. Positional information representative of the movement of the eggs is combined with the assigned grade to control a mechanical egg routing device. Images of multiple egg streams may be multiplexed and processed together. The images may be Fourier transformed before comparison.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 1992
    Date of Patent: June 14, 1994
    Assignee: Ovascan Pty. Ltd.
    Inventors: Ian R. Summers, Donald S. Bloser, Blake R. Painter
  • Patent number: 5173737
    Abstract: The present invention provides measurement of avian embryo movement in intact eggs by: directing light into and through at least one intact avian egg, with light of sufficient intensity and duration to stimulate embryo movement, whereby portions of the light exit the at least one intact avian egg; sensing instantaneous intensities of the portions of the light exiting each of the eggs, and; determining a ratio of, range of sensed light intensities (I.sub.R) to average sensed light intensities (I.sub.A), for each of the eggs. The ratio of I.sub.R :I.sub.A is a measure of avian embryo movement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 1991
    Date of Patent: December 22, 1992
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of Agriculture
    Inventors: Bailey W. Mitchell, Michael L. Perdue
  • Patent number: 5030001
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for testing and further processing eggs. According to the invention the eggs upon being supplied are first tested automatically for such major damage as open breaks and/or such dirt as blood stains. Further, each egg is scanned with a beam of light directed at the egg shell and the size of the aperture in the shell or any dirt is measured by a multiple transducer, viz. by counting the number of bright and dark pixels, respectively, and thus establishing the size of the damage or dirt, whereafter through comparison with set values it is automatically determined in what category of damage or contamination the egg in question is to be classified. The invention also relates to apparatus for carrying out this method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 1990
    Date of Patent: July 9, 1991
    Assignee: Staalkat B.V.
    Inventor: Johan E. vande Vis
  • Patent number: 5017003
    Abstract: The automatic sorter ovoscope of the invention is characterized in that it comprises a light box (6) arranged under a candling head (1) which is provided with at least one suction cup (9) intended to take by suction eggs, one by one, and which is provided with vacuum means and with light sensitive means, while a device for controlling the vacuum means allows to apply by suction each suction cup to an egg to be candled and to appreciate its transparency as a function of the light intensity coming from the light box (6) and reaching the light sensitive means, the control device being servo-controlled by the signal from said light sensitive means so that the suction cup may retain by suction the egg when the signal from the light sensitive means indicates that a predetermined transparency of the egg is exceeded.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 1989
    Date of Patent: May 21, 1991
    Assignee: Breuil, S.A.
    Inventors: Bernard Keromnes, Jean-Pierre Breuil
  • Patent number: 4978225
    Abstract: A candling method for detecting anomalies in translucent material (10) e.g. parasites in fish fillets, comprises directing an illumination beam (Io) of light through the material. It has been discovered that improved results in terms of more reliable detection of anomalies, and the ability to locate such anomalies in thicker samples than has previously been possible, can be obtained by using a beam with a radius no greater than 1 mm and preferably no greater than 0.5 mm. For still better results the beam radius can be reduced to a value no greater than 0.1 mm, and even down to 0.05 mm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 1989
    Date of Patent: December 18, 1990
    Assignee: Canpolar East Inc.
    Inventor: Ernest M. Reimer