Counting Animate Or Inanimate Entities Patents (Class 377/6)
  • Patent number: 9992977
    Abstract: Aspects of this disclosure include a system for providing non-contact, computer-vision based monitoring of the health and pollination activity of a beehive. The system may include camera positioned proximate to a beehive. The camera may include an onboard processor that analyzes video of the beehive captured by the camera and calculates an activity value that estimates a number of bees moving about the beehive. The video calculated activity values may be uploaded to a server where they can be accessed via a user device. The user device may allow the user to display interactive plots of the activity values over a variety of time bases. The disclosed beehive monitoring system relies on relatively lost-cost hardware and requires neither modification to the hive nor special constraints on the placement of the camera.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2018
    Assignee: KELTRONIX, INC.
    Inventors: Kelton Temby, Jonathan Simpson
  • Patent number: 9915709
    Abstract: A motor system includes a motor including two Hall sensors configured to output binary values, and a controller configured to control the motor. The two Hall sensors are placed 120 or 60 electrical degrees apart. The controller is operable to monitor output signals of the two Hall sensors and to determine a third Hall sensor output binary value. The controller is operable to fulfill the commanded requirements to operate in a servo system, by controlling commutation of a drive current into the motor, and by keeping track of the motor rotor position based on the third generated signal and the outputs of the two Hall sensors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2018
    Assignee: Woodward, Inc.
    Inventors: Raymond Liu, Estella Chung
  • Patent number: 9693535
    Abstract: The system for uniquely identifying subjects from a target population operates to acquire, process and analyze images to create data which contains indicia sufficient to uniquely identify an individual in a population of interest. This system implements an automated, image-based process that captures data indicative of a selected set of external characteristics for subjects that are members of a target population of a predetermined species.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2017
    Assignee: Biopar, LLC
    Inventor: Paul A. Skvorc, II
  • Patent number: 9295227
    Abstract: The system for uniquely identifying subjects from a target population operates to acquire, process and analyze images to create data which contains indicia sufficient to uniquely identify an individual in a population of interest. This system implements an automated, image-based process that captures data indicative of a selected set of external characteristics for subjects that are members of a target population of a predetermined species.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2016
    Assignee: Biopar, LLC
    Inventor: Paul A. Skvorc, II
  • Patent number: 9125338
    Abstract: An agricultural product distribution system is presented that includes an inductor box configured to receive agricultural product and conveyed air to combine the agricultural product and the conveyed air. The agricultural product distribution system also includes a removable baffle configured to control an amount of the conveyed air that flows into each port of the plurality of ports. Furthermore, the inductor box is configured to enable the removable baffle to be slidingly inserted into the inductor box, and the removable baffle comprises a tang configured to at least partially block insertion of the removable baffle into the inductor box while the removable baffle is oriented at an undesirable orientation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2015
    Assignee: CNH Industrial America LLC
    Inventors: Chad M. Johnson, Michael J. Connors
  • Publication number: 20150124923
    Abstract: An apparatus configured to count people in a target area includes a wireless transceiver and a controller. The wireless transceiver is configured to radiate an impulse electromagnetic wave to the target area and receive a reflection signal from the target area, and the controller is configured to obtain a signal strength of the reflection signal over a reception time period during which the reflection signal is received and count people according to the signal strength, considering that the signal strength is weakened in proportion to the reception time period.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 11, 2014
    Publication date: May 7, 2015
    Applicant: Samsung Techwin Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Ki Yong JEON, Jong Kyoung LEE
  • Publication number: 20150023462
    Abstract: A handheld cup counter is disclosed. The cup counter may have a mechanical or optical sensor used to count the number of brim portions within a stack of cups. In order to properly position the optical or mechanical sensor, the sensor is disposed in relation to a ridge plate that helps the user to properly align the sensor to the stack of cups so that the sensor may accurately sense the number of brim portions within the stack of cups. The cup sensor may also have additional calculator functionality that works in conjunction with the sensed number of cups in order to more efficiently add and subtract the sensed number of cups of a plurality of stack of cups.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 18, 2013
    Publication date: January 22, 2015
    Inventor: Joseph Marquez
  • Patent number: 8638902
    Abstract: A method executed by a circuit for counting electrons in storage cells in an array of at least two storage cells is provided. The method includes providing a storage array of at least two storage cells, and each of said at least two storage cells containing an unknown amount of electrons. A receiving array of at least two receiving cells is provided, where said at least two receiving cells initially contain no electrons. Then, extracting a layer of said electrons from said storage array of cells and inserting said layer into corresponding locations in said receiving array. The method then repeats said steps of extracting and inserting while at least one of said at least two storage cells is not empty. The method counts, for each said storage cell in said storage array, a productive-extraction amount.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2014
    Assignee: SanDisk IL Ltd.
    Inventors: Dov Moran, Avi Klein, Itzhak Pomerantz, Menahem Lasser, Eyal Bychkov, Eran Leibinger, Avraham Meir
  • Patent number: 8618465
    Abstract: A seed sensor system determines the position of the seed relative to the seed tube as the seed passes the sensor. The position of the seed as well as the speed of the planter and the position of the seed tube above the planting furrow are used to calculate trajectory of the seed into the furrow from which the seed spacing is predicated. By sensing the seed in both X and Y directions in the seed tube, the sensor is better able to determine multiple seeds as well providing more precision to the seed population.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2013
    Assignee: Deere & Company
    Inventors: Nikolai R. Tevs, James Z. Liu, Noel W. Anderson
  • Patent number: 8390461
    Abstract: A device for counting and determining the direction of passage of living beings. A first cell delivers an electrical signal representing the passage of a living being. A second pryoelectric cell delivers a second electrical signal. A processing unit analyzes the signals and determines the number of living beings moving past and their direction of movement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2013
    Assignee: Eco Computeur
    Inventors: Jean-Claude Dubois, Christophe Milon
  • Publication number: 20120243654
    Abstract: A method executed by a circuit for counting electrons in storage cells in an array of at least two storage cells is provided. The method includes providing a storage array of at least two storage cells, and each of said at least two storage cells containing an unknown amount of electrons. A receiving array of at least two receiving cells is provided, where said at least two receiving cells initially contain no electrons. Then, extracting a layer of said electrons from said storage array of cells and inserting said layer into corresponding locations in said receiving array. The method then repeats said steps of extracting and inserting while at least one of said at least two storage cells is not empty. The method counts, for each said storage cell in said storage array, a productive-extraction amount.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 4, 2012
    Publication date: September 27, 2012
    Applicant: SanDisk IL Ltd.
    Inventors: Dov Moran, Avi Klein, Itzhak Pomerantz, Menahem Lasser, Eyal Bychkov, Eran Leibinger, Avraham Meir
  • Patent number: 8218710
    Abstract: A seed counting device where accuracy is maintained at higher counting rates. The seed counting device has a hopper in communication with a tray. An activator is connected to the tray to vibrate the tray. Connected to one end of the tray is a separator having sensors. Below the tray and in partial alignment with the separator is a projecting device. The projecting device projects seeds that fall from the tray past the sensors and into a seed chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2012
    Assignee: Gary W. Clem, Inc.
    Inventors: Brian W. Carr, Andrew G. Jenkins, Curtis R. Hammer, Scott A. Sporrer, Adam R. Koesters, Edward J. Plizga, Peter B. Moore
  • Patent number: 8204169
    Abstract: Methods and systems for counting items in storage containers in an array of at least two storage containers, the method including the steps of: providing a storage array of at least two storage containers, each of the storage containers containing an unknown amount of items; providing a receiving array of at least two receiving containers, wherein the receiving containers initially contain no items; extracting a layer of the items from the storage array; inserting the layer into corresponding locations in the receiving array; repeating the steps of extracting and inserting while at least one of the storage containers is not empty; counting, for each storage container in the storage array, a productive-extraction amount; and reporting, for at least some of the storage containers, the productive-extraction amount from each storage container. Preferably, the method further includes recovering a storage identity upon recovery from a system failure that erases the productive-extraction amount.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2012
    Assignee: SanDisk IL Ltd.
    Inventors: Dov Moran, Avi Klein, Itzhak Pomerantz, Menahem Lasser, Eyal Bychkov, Eran Leibinger, Avraham Meir
  • Patent number: 8180015
    Abstract: A counting device for counting rimmed articles arranged in a nested configuration to define a series of stacked rims defining a stacked direction is disclosed. The counting device has a gear with a plurality of teeth adapted to engage the article rims such that advancement of the articles along the stacked direction adjacent the gear rotates the gear. An indicator wheel is provided configured to rotate with rotation of the gear. The indicator wheel has a plurality of indicia thereon for monitoring rotation of the gear. At least one sensor is positioned to detect the indicia and to generate an output signal as the indicator wheel rotates to bring the indicia into alignment with a detection axis. The sensor is in communication with a counter which produces in response to the output signal of the sensor a usable output representing a quantity of articles having engaged the gear.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2012
    Inventors: Thomas A. Nalle, III, Donathan Brown
  • Patent number: 8175212
    Abstract: A seed counting device where accuracy is maintained at higher counting rates. The seed counting device has a hopper in communication with a tray. An activator is connected to the tray to vibrate the tray. Connected to one end of the tray is a separator having sensors. Below the tray and in partial alignment with the separator is a projecting device. The projecting device projects seeds that fall from the tray past the sensors and into a seed chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2012
    Assignee: Gary W. Clem, Inc.
    Inventors: Brian W. Carr, Andrew G. Jenkins, Curtis R. Hammer, Scott A. Sporrer, Adam R. Koesters, Edward J. Plizga, Peter B. Moore
  • Publication number: 20120063563
    Abstract: A screw counter includes a first interface, a second interface, and a processing unit. The first interface connected to a screwdriver, the screwdriver is adapted for screwing a predetermined total number of screws into a workpiece to perform a screwing operation on the workpiece. The second interface is connected to a detecting unit. The detecting unit detects a start time and a finish time of the screwing operation. The processing unit counts a variable, each time when the processing unit is changed from a first state to a second state, the variable adds one; a total added value of the variable is calculated during a time interval between the start time and the finish time to acquire a total number of screws which are completely screwed into the workpiece.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 29, 2011
    Publication date: March 15, 2012
    Applicants: HON HAI PRECISION INDUSTRY CO., LTD., HONG FU JIN PRECISION INDUSTRY (Shenzhen) CO., LTD.
    Inventors: YUAN-FA HUANG, WEN-JUAN NING, CHANG-DONG XIANG, DE-KE MA, JIA CHEN, YU-ZHE GENG, PENG-WEI GU
  • Publication number: 20120014497
    Abstract: A door cycle tracker for a door with at least an open position and a closed position mounted on a track having at least one spring. The door cycle tracker includes a counter mounted to the door having an actuator for incrementing the counter; a trip lever pivotally mounted adjacent to the counter and moveable to a position in which the trip lever actuates the counter actuator; and a plate assembly mounted adjacent to the track in a location such that when the door approaches a selected position, the trip lever contacts the plate assembly. When the door slides on the track and the trip lever contacts the plate assembly, the trip lever pivots, contacts the counter actuator and increments the counter.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 14, 2010
    Publication date: January 19, 2012
    Inventor: Jeff Longyear
  • Publication number: 20110317801
    Abstract: A counting device for counting rimmed articles arranged in a nested configuration to define a series of stacked rims defining a stacked direction is disclosed. The counting device has a gear with a plurality of teeth adapted to engage the article rims such that advancement of the articles along the stacked direction adjacent the gear rotates the gear. An indicator wheel is provided configured to rotate with rotation of the gear. The indicator wheel has a plurality of indicia thereon for monitoring rotation of the gear. At least one sensor is positioned to detect the indicia and to generate an output signal as the indicator wheel rotates to bring the indicia into alignment with a detection axis. The sensor is in communication with a counter which produces in response to the output signal of the sensor a usable output representing a quantity of articles having engaged the gear.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 29, 2010
    Publication date: December 29, 2011
    Inventors: Thomas A. Nalle, III, Donathan J. Brown
  • Patent number: 8073235
    Abstract: A method of evaluating one or more kernels of an ear of maize using digital imagery includes acquiring a digital image of the one or more kernels of the ear of maize, processing the digital image to estimate at least one physical property of the one or more kernels of the ear of maize from the digital image, and evaluating the at least one kernel of maize using the estimate of the at least one physical property of the at least one kernel of maize.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2011
    Assignee: Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.
    Inventors: Neil Jonathan Hausmann, Tabare E. Abadie, Mark Cooper, Honor Renee Lafitte, Jeffrey R. Schussler
  • Patent number: 8044337
    Abstract: A device for electronically and optically counting objects, such as fish, animals, vegetation or other materials, as they are placed into a container. The device surrounds a defined opening on a container. As objects are placed into the container, they fall through the frame of the opening. A light source, such as a laser or LED, is directed toward a light detector in such a way as to be disrupted as the animal falls into the container. A light detector detects said disruption of the light and signals the electronic circuit to add to the number previously counted. Various methods of communicating the count are provided. The preferred method of communicating the count is via an integrated visual display. The preferred method of powering the device is by the use of one or more electric battery. Various methods of electrically powering the device are provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2011
    Inventor: Gary J. Duszynski
  • Publication number: 20110231010
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method and apparatus for dispensing varying quantities of pills quickly, conveniently, securely, accurately operable to incorporate one or more sensors and at least two data sets for the purpose of monitoring the activity of transferring pills from a pill singulation to a bottle. For example, a counting means may be operable, in real-time or near-real time, to count the pills transferred to a bottle. A sensor array data-acquisition means may be utilized to facilitate the collection and monitoring of data relating to transfer of pills to a bottle. The counting means and sensor array data-acquisition means may be applied in a cooperative manner so as to facilitate examinations for the purpose of identifying pill events, such as overlapping pill dispensing, that have the potential to invalidate the counting means results.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 20, 2010
    Publication date: September 22, 2011
    Inventors: Richard Panetta, Derek Bessette
  • Publication number: 20110182397
    Abstract: A seed counting device where accuracy is maintained at higher counting rates. The seed counting device has a hopper in communication with a tray. An activator is connected to the tray to vibrate the tray. Connected to one end of the tray is a separator having sensors. Below the tray and in partial alignment with the separator is a projecting device. The projecting device projects seeds that fall from the tray past the sensors and into a seed chamber.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 25, 2010
    Publication date: July 28, 2011
    Applicant: GARY W. CLEM, INC.
    Inventors: Brian W. Carr, Andrew G. Jenkins, Curtis R. Hammer, Scott A. Sporrer, Adam R. Koesters, Edward J. Plizga, Peter B. Moore
  • Publication number: 20110170655
    Abstract: A tablet T is divided without moving a cutter and divided tablets T1, T2 are fed one by one. A rotor 24 is installed in a container 21 receiving the tablets T. A rotor receiving part of the container has a barrel shape with a bottom section formed with a discharge port 27, and a fixing blade 33 is installed outside the rotor receiving part. Recesses 25 are formed on an entire lateral side of the rotor at a regular interval to receive a tablet. A peripheral groove is formed on the entire lateral side of the rotor and a fixing blade and a support plate are inserted into the peripheral groove. The fixing blade divides the tablet, which is accommodated in the recess and move while being guided along an inner wall of the rotor receiving part as the rotor rotates. A lower divided tablet T1 is discharged to the discharge port 27 and an upper divided tablet T2 is kept on the fixing blade. The upper divided tablet is discharged as the rotor further rotates.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 14, 2009
    Publication date: July 14, 2011
    Applicant: YUYAMA MFG. CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Shoji Yuyama, Naoki Koike, Mitsuhiro Mitani, Masao Fukada
  • Publication number: 20110114029
    Abstract: An aquatic-animal counting system is provided. The system includes a channel, a linear photographing device, and an operation processing device. A channel is used for a plurality of aquatic animals to pass through. The linear photographing device is used for photographing the aquatic animals passing through the channel to generate at least one image. The operation processing device is electrically connected to the linear photographing device and the operation processing device includes an image processing module. The image processing module utilizes at least one operation rule to analyze the at least one image, so as to calculate a number of the aquatic animals in the at least one image. An aquatic-animal counting method and a recording medium are also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 10, 2009
    Publication date: May 19, 2011
    Inventor: Chien-Hung CHU
  • Patent number: 7944358
    Abstract: A traffic and population counting device system and method is provided. The traffic and population counting device may be executable by a computing device and may include an entry selector configured to be selected to indicate that a shopper has entered a shopping zone and to keep a running count of a number of shoppers who enter the shopping zone. An exit selector may be configured to be selected to indicate that a shopper has exited a shopping zone and to keep a running count of a number of shoppers who exit the shopping zone. Further, a display may be configured to display a running population count of shoppers within the shopping zone. The running population count may be determined by a running difference between the running count of the number of shoppers who enter the shopping zone and the running count of the number of shoppers who exit the shopping zone.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2011
    Assignee: Shopper Scientist, LLC
    Inventors: Herb Sorensen, David Albers
  • Patent number: 7643603
    Abstract: The present invention provides an automatic process counter that detects electrical signals from fasteners and attachments fastened to devices in a hard disk drive manufacturing line and uses the signals to increment the count of the fastens. Count signals are then transmitted to a plurality of display units for visual display to monitoring operators in the manufacturing line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2010
    Assignee: Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Michael Angelo P. Miranda, Marvin C. Tenio
  • Patent number: 7583776
    Abstract: A portable multiplicity counter has signal input circuitry, processing circuitry and a user/computer interface disposed in a housing. The processing circuitry, which can comprise a microcontroller integrated circuit operably coupled to shift register circuitry implemented in a field programmable gate array, is configured to be operable via the user/computer interface to count input signal pluses receivable at said signal input circuitry and record time correlations thereof in a total counting mode, coincidence counting mode and/or a multiplicity counting mode. The user/computer interface can be for example an LCD display/keypad and/or a USB interface. The counter can include a battery pack for powering the counter and low/high voltage power supplies for biasing external detectors so that the counter can be configured as a hand-held device for counting neutron events.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2009
    Assignee: Los Alamos National Security, LLC
    Inventors: Matthew R. Newell, David Carl Jones
  • Patent number: 7573567
    Abstract: An egg counter for counting eggs conveyed on an egg collection conveyor, includes first and second light emitting element arrays, a light receiving element array between the first and second light emitting element arrays, and a controller for processing light reflected from the respective eggs and received by the light receiving element array. The arrangement is such that light emitted from the light emitting elements of the arrays is reflected from the surface of the egg passing just under the light receiving element array, and received by the light receiving element array. The controller measures the light intensity of the reflected light, detects the peak value of the light intensity, and counts the egg on the basis of the two peak values of the light intensity with respect to that of the light emitted by the light emitting element arrays.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2009
    Assignee: Agro System Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Johanan Hershtik
  • Publication number: 20090180583
    Abstract: A block-based object counting apparatus and a block-based object counting that improves the counting of objects by using a camera. The object counting apparatus includes: a camera acquiring an image; a storage unit for storing average sizes and error data of an object in units of image blocks; and a control unit having a data inputter for receiving the acquired image for input, an object size determinator for determining appearance of the object by comparing a current image with a previous image and then determining the size of the object, a block determinator for determining a block where the object is located, and a counter for counting the object and fixing the counting of the object by comparing the size and location data of the object with data stored in a storage unit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 14, 2009
    Publication date: July 16, 2009
    Inventors: Hyun Hee PARK, Sung Dae Cho, Min Kyu Park
  • Patent number: 7555362
    Abstract: One embodiment of the present invention includes a system comprising a housing having an upper end and a lower end. The housing carries a plurality of movable blades defining an entry aperture proximate to the upper end, an exit aperture proximate to the lower end, and a chamber there between. An adapter may be provided for connection to the housing and for receiving an article storage container. The upper end of the housing carries a sensor responsive to the presence and absence of the article storage container. A memory device carries information about the presence and absence of the article storage container. An article determining and actuating station has electronics for interrogating the memory device, for controlling the plurality of blades and for determining the number of items dispensed. A receptacle collects articles that have been dispensed. Methods of associating a flow control device with an article storage container and of dispensing items are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2009
    Assignee: Parata Systems, LLC
    Inventors: Brian Broussard, Monroe Milton, Michael Bergeron, Joseph Popovich, John Volkar
  • Publication number: 20090039238
    Abstract: A device for electronically and optically counting objects, such as fish, animals, vegetation or other materials, as they are placed into a container. The device surrounds a defined opening on a container. As objects are placed into the container, they fall through the frame of the opening. A light source, such as a laser or LED, is directed toward a light detector in such a way as to be disrupted as the animal falls into the container. A light detector detects said disruption of the light and signals the electronic circuit to add to the number previously counted. Various methods of communicating the count are provided. The preferred method of communicating the count is via an integrated visual display. The preferred method of powering the device is by the use of one or more electric battery. Various methods of electrically powering the device are provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 10, 2007
    Publication date: February 12, 2009
    Inventor: Gary J Duszynski
  • Publication number: 20080205580
    Abstract: A neutron multi-detector array feeds pulses in parallel to individual inputs that are tied to individual bits in a digital word. Data is collected by loading a word at the individual bit level in parallel. The word is read at regular intervals, all bits simultaneously, to minimize latency. The electronics then pass the word to a number of storage locations for subsequent processing, thereby removing the front-end problem of pulse pileup.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 12, 2008
    Publication date: August 28, 2008
    Inventors: Mark S. Rowland, Raymond A. Alvarez
  • Patent number: 7386237
    Abstract: A battery powered transmitter circuit has a LED of a continuously cycling microcomputer transmit a beam of a predetermined number of infrared pulses at predetermined time periods to a sensor of a battery powered receiver circuit. Only a clock circuit of each circuit of the same frequency is continuously powered. The two clock circuits are synchronized each time that the sensor senses the predetermined number of infrared pulses. When an object breaks the beam, the sensor causes a count of the object by a microcomputer of the receiver circuit. The receiver microcomputer is inactivated when the sensor does not sense the predetermined number of infrared pulses during one or more cycles of operation of the receiver microcomputer. There is only one count incremented on a count display after the beam is interrupted until the sensor again senses the predetermined number of infrared pulses.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2008
    Assignee: Point Six Wireless, LLC
    Inventor: John I. Compton
  • Patent number: 7224762
    Abstract: A counting device that can be employed in calculating the number of objects, such as cigarette packs. In particular, the counting device can include a handle portion and a counting portion. The handle portion includes a display for showing the number of objects counted. The counting portion includes means for delineating the boundaries of the objects being counted and means for counting the objects that overlaps or abuts to the delineating means. Further, the counting device includes a control for turning the device on or off, and for clearing previous counting steps.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2007
    Inventor: Marion M. Koger
  • Patent number: 7206514
    Abstract: A battery powered transmitter circuit has a LED of a continuously cycling microcomputer transmit a beam of a predetermined number of infrared pulses at predetermined time periods to a sensor of a battery powered receiver circuit. Only a clock circuit of each circuit of the same frequency is continuously powered. The two clock circuits are synchronized each time that the sensor senses the predetermined number of infrared pulses. When an object breaks the beam, the sensor causes a count of the object by a microcomputer of the receiver circuit. The receiver microcomputer is inactivated when the sensor does not sense the predetermined number of infrared pulses during one or more cycles of operation of the receiver microcomputer. There is only one count incremented on a count display after the beam is interrupted until the sensor again senses the predetermined number of infrared pulses.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2007
    Assignee: Point Six Wireless, LLC
    Inventor: John I. Compton
  • Patent number: 7139639
    Abstract: One embodiment of the present invention includes a system comprising a housing having an upper end and a lower end. The housing carries a plurality of movable blades defining an entry aperture proximate to the upper end, an exit aperture proximate to the lower end, and a chamber there between. An adapter may be provided for connection to the housing and for receiving an article storage container. The upper end of the housing carries a sensor responsive to the presence and absence of the article storage container. A memory device carries information about the presence and absence of the article storage container. An article determining and actuating station has electronics for interrogating the memory device, for controlling the plurality of blades and for determining the number of items dispensed. A receptacle collects articles that have been dispensed. Methods of associating a flow control device with an article storage container and of dispensing items are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2006
    Assignee: McKesson Automation Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Brian Broussard, Monroe Milton, Michael Bergeron, Steven J. Remis, Joseph Popovich
  • Patent number: 6983033
    Abstract: A device for automatic identification and counting of tagged articles massed together in a prescribed size bundles during linen cleaning and sorting processes. A three dimensional scanning of the bundles by multiple passes of a directional RF antenna oriented in different axial planes during each scan within a predescribed vertical path around the bundle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2006
    Inventor: Howard Jenkins
  • Patent number: 6904114
    Abstract: A ones counter that accepts a binary input word of ones and zeros and provides a binary output word indicative of the number of ones within the input word. A two-dimensional array is built with a plurality of like cells connected in a regular manner with the first row of the array determining the least significant bit of the output word and each subsequent row determining the output word's next most significant bit. The first row of the array contains approximately one-half the number of cells as bits in the input word with each subsequent row of the array containing approximately one-half the number of cells of the preceding row with the final row containing a single cell that determines the most significant bit of the binary output word. The ones-count output word is computed asynchronously without clocking circuits or data storage elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2005
    Inventors: J. Barry Shackleford, David Kent Cullers
  • Patent number: 6836527
    Abstract: An improved method for counting irregular or unsymmetrical shaped articles that allows greater precision and provides enhanced features over current counting devices and methods. The method improves upon current devices and methods by providing a more precise volume for each article by using actual cross sectional areas of articles. The improved method also allows the user to count broken or incomplete articles as “partial” volumes. These partial volumes may be added to one another to give a precise total batch volume. The actual cross sectional areas may also be used to allow the user to display three dimensional adaptations of each article counted. Because this information is stored, the articles may be displayed at any time after the articles are scanned. The improved method also allows a user to determine the distance between articles, by using the counting device, and, using this information, adjust the feed rate of the device to an optimum feed rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2004
    Date of Patent: December 28, 2004
    Assignee: Batching Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Donald R. Wooldridge, Mark Richard, Scott B. Yoder
  • Publication number: 20040109525
    Abstract: The invention is a process of counting poker chips or similar tokens used in casino games or similar games and entertainment, which counts the chips in the columns of standard poker-chip trays by sending an ultrasonic (or other measurable energy) wave-front down the given column and measuring the time until an echo is received. If the length of the column is known, and the thickness of the standard poker chip is known, and the speed of sound is known, then the number of chips in the given column is determined by subtracting the current actually measured wave-front echo time from the empty column wave-front echo time and dividing by the amount of time the ultrasonic wave-front takes to traverse one chip-thickness.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 9, 2002
    Publication date: June 10, 2004
    Inventor: Koc Vai Chieng aka Michael Chieng
  • Patent number: 6690760
    Abstract: A counting device with control system includes a housing with a rotating wheel therein. The wheel includes a plurality of seats for each item to be counted. Upon deposit of the items into the housing, each item is seated for discharge through a housing aperture, past a sensor operating a counter and onto a conveyor line. A baffle adjacent the housing aperture directs the counted items to one or the other longitudinal side of the conveyor line. A control system controls the baffle position according to a preselected item count. An air pressure system assures a proper seating of each items and discharge through the housing aperture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2004
    Inventor: Emmett Kolster
  • Patent number: 6683321
    Abstract: The present invention provides a portable counter and corresponding method for counting articles arranged in a stack, like compact discs and dvds. The portable nature of the counter enables the counter to be brought and placed adjacent to the stack of discs, which are often times relatively much heavier than the counter, for providing an accurate count of the discs. The counter further employs several error checking type functions, which serves to insure and enhance the accuracy of the count, as well as alert the user of potential problems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2004
    Assignee: Record Products of America, Inc.
    Inventors: Rod Livingston, Robert Roczynski
  • Patent number: 6667473
    Abstract: A monitoring system for adjusting a light source for a counting cell signal in a counting and dispensing system, which light deteriorates over time as a result of dust accumulation from the handling of pills, capsules, and tablets. The monitoring system uses electronics to adjust the light relative to the dust accumulation, thus maintaining an accurate counting cell signal, so that the system can continue to function. In this respect, the monitoring system provides for longer intervals between required maintenance operations, and therefore reduces the cost of operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2003
    Assignee: Innovation Associates, Inc.
    Inventors: James Worthington, James Boyer, Joseph H. Boyer
  • Publication number: 20030185335
    Abstract: A counting device with control system includes a housing with a rotating wheel therein. The wheel includes a plurality of seats for each item to be counted. Upon deposit of the items into the housing, each item is seated for discharge through a housing aperture, past a sensor operating a counter and onto a conveyor line. A baffle adjacent the housing aperture directs the counted items to one or the other longitudinal side of the conveyor line. A control system controls the baffle position according to a preselected item count. An air pressure system assures a proper seating of each items and discharge through the housing aperture.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 26, 2002
    Publication date: October 2, 2003
    Inventor: Emmett Kolster
  • Patent number: 6563901
    Abstract: A counter unit counts discrete articles that are within a predetermined size range into lots having a predetermined number of articles. The counter unit includes (1) a first conveyor that delivers a flow of articles separated at discrete intervals; and (2) at least one bin positioned to receive articles from the conveyor. The at least one bin has at least first and second outlet gates for emptying articles into separate respective first and second locations. A detector unit detects and maintains a count of articles that are received in the at least one bin and fall within said predetermined size range. The detector unit generates an out-of-size signal when an article received in the at least one bin falls outside said predetermined size range. A control unit causes the first outlet gate to open when the count of articles is equal to said predetermined number and causes the second outlet gate to open in response to receipt of an out-of-size signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2003
    Inventor: Donald R. Wooldridge
  • Patent number: 6480804
    Abstract: A characteristic extraction apparatus relates location data about a location which a moving object, such as a human being, etc., visits, to situation data representing a situation at a time when the moving object visits the location and records the data. Then, it analyzes the recorded data, extracts the characteristic, such as a preference, a movement pattern, etc., of the moving object, and presents it to a user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2002
    Assignee: Fujitsu Limited
    Inventors: Yoshiharu Maeda, Minoru Sekiguchi, Hirohisa Naito
  • Patent number: 6418180
    Abstract: A method for counting substantially uniformly sized objects includes the steps of obtaining an image of substantially uniformly sized objects; analyzing the image to determine total object area in the image and average object size of the objects; and determining a count of the objects from the total object area and the average object size.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2002
    Inventor: Marvin Weiss
  • Patent number: 6381294
    Abstract: A disc sorting apparatus and method is provided for sorting discs of different identities. When discs are received they are conveyed to a sorting arrangement for sorting the discs into respective stacks determined by their identities. The speed of conveyance and thus sorting of the discs is determined by the detected number of discs being identified.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2002
    Assignee: Technical Casino Services Ltd.
    Inventor: Martin Robert Britton
  • Patent number: 6377648
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a pill-counting machine and method of counting pills that uses a rotatable first pill rotor having a plurality of holes, a second pill rotor having a single orifice and a rotatable third pill rotor having a plurality of chambers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2002
    Inventor: Carolyn Seals Culbert
  • Patent number: 6370215
    Abstract: An object feeding, counting, and dispensing device is provided which includes a feeding funnel having a pathway having an entrance into which discrete objects are provided and an exit, an object sensing system at the exit of the pathway, a dispensing funnel having an upper opening into which the objects are gravity fed after passing through the object sensing system and a relatively smaller lower opening, a vibration system which substantially silently vibrates the dispensing funnel in a horizontal plane, and preferably not a vertical plane, and a display indicating the number of object counted. According to a preferred aspect of the invention, the vibration system includes a weight, a motor coupled to the dispensing funnel which eccentrically rotates the weight through XY plane such that rotation of the weight creates forces in X and Y directions, and a system which cancels the force in one of the X and Y directions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2002
    Assignee: Kirby-Lester, Inc.
    Inventors: Itzhak Pinto, Rodney Lester