With Control System Responsive To Changeable Operating Instructions Patents (Class 414/273)
  • Patent number: 10324455
    Abstract: A synchronization primitive provides robots with locks, monitors, semaphores, or other mechanisms for reserving temporary access to a shared limited set of resources required by the robots in performing different tasks. Through non-conflicting establishment of the synchronization primitives across the set of resources, robots can prioritize the order with which assigned tasks are completed and minimize wait times for resources needed to complete each of the assigned tasks, thereby maximizing the number of tasks simultaneously executed by the robots and optimizing task completion. The synchronization primitives and resulting resource allocation can be implemented with a centralized coordinator or with peer-to-peer robotic messaging, whereby private keys and blockchains secure the precedence and establishment of synchronization primitives by different robots.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2019
    Assignee: inVia Robotics, Inc.
    Inventors: Lior Elazary, Randolph Charles Voorhies, Daniel Frank Parks, II
  • Patent number: 10322875
    Abstract: Device for keeping articles in temporary storage, including a frame having series storage sections provided with supports for series of holders, at least one first and at least one second platform configured for receiving at least one holder, wherein the platforms can be moved by a first movement unit from a position in which both are aligned with one of the storage sections to a position in which both are aligned with another one of the storage sections, wherein the device has been provided with a second movement unit for, in a first direction, horizontally moving one or more holders from the platform at a first frame side to the holder supports of a selected storage section, while moving the series of holders supported thereon over the selected storage section and moving one or more holders from the storage section to the platform at a second frame side.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2019
    Assignee: I-COLLECTOR HOLDING B.V.
    Inventor: Hugo Victor De Vries
  • Patent number: 10327366
    Abstract: A conveyance robot apparatus includes modules positioned in a row; a robot for conveying each of the modules and loading and unloading a magazine tray from one of the modules; a pinion mounted on the robot; racks that are slidably supported on the modules and can mesh with the pinion; and a rack connecting mechanism for connecting adjacent racks to each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2019
    Assignee: PANASONIC INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Takuto Yamazaki, Eiji Fujita
  • Patent number: 10294026
    Abstract: An automated warehouse storage and retrieval system may comprise at least an aisle, and each of two sides of the aisle has a shelf. A rail is laid along the aisle to enable at least an automated vehicle to move thereon. The automated vehicle has a platform, and a top surface thereof comprises at least a working station and at least a pick-and-place unit. Each of two lateral sides of the platform has two openings separated by a desired distance, and each of the openings has a climbing unit installed therein. The climbing units are configured to synchronously protrude from or move back in the openings. A side of the shelf faced to the rail has a plurality of vertical supporting members arranged in parallel, and each two adjacent supporting members are separated by the distance same as the two climbing units on the same lateral side of the platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2019
    Assignees: Tera Autotech Corporation, Department of Electrical Engineering, National Changhua Univ. of Education
    Inventors: Yi-Lung Lee, Tsair-Rong Chen, Chiung-Ying Huang, Shu-Ming Chen, Po-Hsuan Chen
  • Patent number: 10289118
    Abstract: A method and system for automatically aligning an industrial truck in a warehouse, comprising the steps of determining a relative position of an operator with respect to an industrial truck by a positioning unit of the industrial truck, aligning the industrial truck in first predetermined side orientation with respect to a first object located on the left side of the industrial truck in the drive direction of the industrial truck when the relative position of the operator lies on the left side of the industrial truck, and aligning the industrial truck in a second predetermined side orientation with respect to a second object located on the right side of the industrial truck in the drive direction of the industrial truck when the relative position of the operator lies on the right side of the industrial truck.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2019
    Assignee: Jungheinrich Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Oliver Göpner
  • Patent number: 10259648
    Abstract: This document generally describes warehousing systems that can, in certain instances, improve the efficiency of warehousing operations and improve utilization of available space in a warehousing facility. The warehousing system may be implemented in an automated warehouse, such as an automated cold-storage facility, that uses programmable equipment to automate tasks associated with warehousing operations, such as transporting inbound storage items to specified storage positions of storage racks in the warehouse and removing outbound storage items from storage so that they may be loaded onto trucks for delivery away from the warehouse.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2019
    Assignee: Lineage Logistics, LLC
    Inventors: Elliott Gerard Wolf, Christopher Eckman, Brian Gutschow
  • Patent number: 10221013
    Abstract: An automated storage and retrieval system including at least one autonomous rover for transferring payload within the system and including a communicator, a multilevel storage structure, each level allowing traversal of the at least one autonomous rover, at least one registration station disposed at predetermined locations on each level and being configured to communicate with the communicator to at least receive rover identification information, and a controller in communication with the at least one registration station and configured to receive the at least rover identification information and at least one of register the at least one autonomous rover as being on a level corresponding to a respective one of the at least one registration station or deregister the at least one autonomous rover from the system, where the controller effects induction of the at least one autonomous rover into a predetermined rover space on the level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2019
    Assignee: Symbotic, LLC
    Inventors: Forrest Buzan, Edward A. MacDonald, Taylor A. Apgar, Thomas A. Schaefer, Melanie Ziegler, Russell G. Barbour
  • Patent number: 10207871
    Abstract: It is disclosed a method (70) for operating a storage and order-picking system (10) in which a plurality of manipulators (40) process a plurality of picking/storing orders in accordance with a manipulator-to-handling-unit principle, wherein the system (10) comprises a provision zone (12), a picking zone (14), a plurality of provision units (42, 62) in the provision zone, a plurality of, particularly stationary arranged, transfer locations (46) in the picking zone (14), a DTS (18) including a plurality of DTVs (20), and a controlling device (32), and wherein the method (70) comprises the following steps of: analyzing (S10) the plurality of picking/storing orders by the controlling device (32) for determining retrieval/delivery locations in the provision zone (12); setting (S12) of transfer actions (48) by selecting for each of the retrieval/delivery locations one or more of the transfer locations (46) in the picking zone (14) as delivery/retrieval location and by assigning the same thereto, wherein the deliver
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2019
    Assignee: SSI Schäfer Automation GmbH (DE)
    Inventor: Elmar Issing
  • Patent number: 10196115
    Abstract: There is provided a storage system for storing and retrieving watercraft or other items to or from a storage position in a storage area as part of an enclosure having a plurality of storage areas. The storage system may include at least one carrier to support the item during movement to or from a storage position, and a positioning system to move the carrier system. An elevator system is usable to move the positioning system and carrier system to and from a storage area, and a control system is usable to control the positioning system to move the carrier system and item into and out of its storage position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2019
    Assignee: THE RICHARD C. LYDLE REVOCABLE TRUST
    Inventor: Richard C. Lydle
  • Patent number: 10183852
    Abstract: A hydraulic control system that uses system pressure information and a rescaled operator input to command valve spool area to control actuator speed. The system uses soft sealing and/or soft pressure compensation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2019
    Assignee: Danfoss Power Solutions GMBH & CO OHG
    Inventors: Abhijit Das, Lee Mahlum, Luke Wadsley, Richard Hitchcock, Jeffrey A. Sipila, Larry Joachim
  • Patent number: 10179700
    Abstract: An automated warehouse storage system including a multilevel storage array is provided. Each aisle has a set of storage levels and each level has storage locations distributed along the aisle. The guideway network extending through the multilevel storage array is configured for autonomous vehicles to move along the guideway network within the multilevel storage array. The guideway network including an inter-aisle guideway spanning at least two of the multiple aisles and a set of guideway levels extending in an aisle of the multiple aisles and disposed so that each guideway level is at a different one of the storage levels and the vehicles on the guideway level can access the storage locations distributed along the aisle. Each set of guideway levels is connected to the inter-aisle guideway forming a common guideway path so that a vehicle can move between inter-aisle guideway and each guideway level along the common guideway path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 2018
    Date of Patent: January 15, 2019
    Assignee: Alert Innovation Inc.
    Inventor: John Lert, Jr.
  • Patent number: 10147070
    Abstract: Embodiments herein describe a configurable lighting system that can be used to redefine the size of the storage areas holding items. When changing the dimensions of the storage areas, an associate may also want to change the assignment of lights disposed near the storage areas. To do so, the configurable lighting system includes a series of lights disposed along a first axis and a set of confirmation devices corresponding to the series of lights. The lighting system can receiving first and second input signals from the set of confirmation devices and identify a first subset of the series of lights corresponding to the first input signal and a second subset of the series of lights corresponding to the second input signal. The first and second subsets can define respective lengths of first and second storage areas when illuminated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2018
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Keith C. Tate, Steven Scott Altvater, Jaemi Cheri Tiangco Bermudez, Kevin W. Keck, Benjamin Christopher Zink
  • Patent number: 10131451
    Abstract: In one embodiment, a controller instructs an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) docked to a landing perch to perform a pre-flight test operation of a pre-flight test routine. The controller receives sensor data associated with the pre-flight test operation from one or more force sensors of the landing perch, in response to the UAV performing the pre-flight test operation. The controller determines whether the sensor data associated with the pre-flight test operation is within an acceptable range. The controller causes the UAV to launch from the landing perch based in part on a determination that UAV has passed the pre-flight test routine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2018
    Assignee: Cisco Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Gonzalo Salgueiro, Charles Calvin Byers
  • Patent number: 10071858
    Abstract: A method for collecting products listed in an order in a product collecting system having a plurality of modules, the method including: assigning the order to a module, allocating a product listed in the order to the order if the product is already available in the module, allocating a product to the order from another module if the product of the “slow-moving” type is not already available in the module whereas it is available in the other module, allocating a product to the order from a pallet warehouse if the product of the “slow-moving” type is not already available in the module nor in another module, and releasing the order and loading the products onto a collecting carrier when all the products listed in the order have been collected in the module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2018
    Assignee: VANDERLANDE INDUSTRIES B.V.
    Inventor: Wilco Johannes Adrianus Anthonius Van De Veerdonk
  • Patent number: 10065798
    Abstract: A system for automated management of a high density storage facility which contains shelves having multiple containers with products stored within the containers. The system comprises an autonomous mobile robot and a moveable frame. The moveable frame includes supports, horizontal and vertical members, and storage platforms. The moveable frame includes a gantry, an articulated arm with an end of arm tool, and a lifting device. Some storage shelves within the high-density storage facility include an overhead rail and the moveable frame reversibly connects to the rail and guides the moveable frame, as well as provides power to the moveable frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2018
    Assignee: HDS Mercury, Inc.
    Inventors: Louis H. Borders, Aravind Durai
  • Patent number: 10053286
    Abstract: A storage and retrieval system including a storage structure having storage shelves, each storage shelf having slats for supporting stored items where the slats are spaced apart from each other by a predetermined distance, an autonomous transport vehicle including at least one sensor configured to sense each of the slats and output a signal indicating when a slat is sensed, and a controller for verifying a location of the autonomous transport vehicle within the storage structure based on at least the output signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2018
    Assignee: Symbotic, LLC
    Inventors: Robert Sullivan, Michael Cyrulik, Stephen C. Toebes
  • Patent number: 10052661
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided for sorting or retrieving items to/from a plurality of destinations areas. The items are loaded onto one of a plurality of independently controlled delivery vehicles. The delivery vehicles follow a track that guides the delivery vehicles to/from the destination areas, which are positioned along the track. Once at the appropriate destination area, an item is transferred between the delivery vehicle and the destination area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2018
    Assignee: OPEX CORPORATION
    Inventors: George Hayduchok, Robert R. DeWitt
  • Patent number: 10035650
    Abstract: An automated storage and retrieval system includes a first independently operable section having a first number of predetermined storage and retrieval transactions, and a second independently operable section in communication with the first independently operable section and having a second number of predetermined storage and retrieval transactions. The first and second independently operable sections are configured to provide a respective number of predetermined storage and retrieval transactions so that the first number of predetermined storage and retrieval transactions substantially matches the second number of predetermined storage and retrieval transactions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2018
    Assignee: Symbotic LLC
    Inventors: Larry Sweet, Kil D. Kwak, Kirill Pankratov, Russell G. Barbour, William Johnson, Juergen D. Conrad, Juergen Baumbach, Ronald Kyslinger
  • Patent number: 10035651
    Abstract: A system and method suitable for storing multiple product lines in an automated warehouse environment are disclosed. The storage system includes a frame containing a plurality of stacks of containers, a first handling device capable of lifting a plurality of containers from a stack in a single operation, and a second independently moveable handling device capable of lifting a single container and moving the container laterally. The first and second handling devices can work together to remove a target container quickly and with minimum use of resources.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2018
    Assignee: OCADO INNOVATION LIMITED
    Inventors: Lars Sverker Ture Lindbo, Robert Rolf Stadie, Christopher Richard James Brett, Matthew Robert Whelan
  • Patent number: 10025455
    Abstract: A computer-implemented method of positioning a set of objects for display on a user interface, the user interface being generated on a surface of a three-dimensional structure, each member of the set of the objects having a size in at least two dimensions, at least some of which dimensions vary between the objects, is provided. The method includes assigning the set of objects to a two-dimensional portion having a predetermined size, for each as yet unpositioned object in the set of objects, performing a positioning process, the positioning process comprising identifying object occupancy in the portion and allocating the object to a position within the portion on the basis of a largest dimension of the object and unoccupied space in the portion, and mapping the allocated positions to a corresponding coordinate on the surface of the three-dimensional structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2018
    Assignee: SPHERE TECHNOLOGY LIMITED
    Inventors: Oliver Treadway, Michael Kruger
  • Patent number: 10007827
    Abstract: A robotic system is disclosed that include an articulated arm and a first perception system for inspecting an object, as well as a plurality of additional perception systems, each of which is arranged to be directed toward a common area in which an object may be positioned by the robotic arm such that a plurality of views within the common area may be obtained by the plurality of additional perception systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2018
    Assignee: Berkshire Grey, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas Wagner, Kevin Ahearn, Benjamin Cohen, Michael Dawson-Haggerty, Christopher Geyer, Thomas Koletschka, Kyle Maroney, Matthew T. Mason, Gene Temple Price, Joseph Romano, Daniel Smith, Siddhartha Srinivasa, Prasanna Velagapudi, Thomas Allen
  • Patent number: 9988213
    Abstract: An autonomous rover including a frame having a first end and a second end longitudinally spaced from the first end and forming a payload bay, the payload bay being sized to support a pickface, a common active registration surface configured to engage the pickface, and a drive section connected to the common active registration surface, the drive section being configured to variably position the common active registration surface relative to at least one storage shelf of an automated storage and retrieval system to effect placement of the pickface on the storage shelf so that pickfaces are substantially continuously arranged along the at least one storage shelf with a predetermined storage spacing between the pickfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2018
    Assignee: Symbotic, LLC
    Inventors: Forrest Buzan, Michael Cyrulik, Aria Reynolds, Jason S. Sirois, Larry Sweet, Edward A. MacDonald, Taylor A. Apgar, Timothy Perrault, Stephen C. Toebes
  • Patent number: 9975698
    Abstract: A commissioning device having a first shelf row with horizontal shelf surfaces and at least one second shelf row with multiple shelf surfaces disposed one above the other and forming storage shafts. A lane formed between the first and the second shelf rows includes an operating unit movably disposed in the lane. The commissioning device also includes an input device, an output device and an auxiliary output device. The operating unit includes a gripping device for inputting and/or outputting piece goods onto or from the horizontal shelf surfaces and for filling the goods into the storage shafts. A control unit coupled to the operating unit is configured to output identical piece goods in a row from the horizontal shelf surfaces, to input the piece goods into the storage shafts and to output and transfer one or more piece goods located on the horizontal shelf surfaces to the auxiliary output device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2018
    Assignee: Carefusion Germany 326 GmbH
    Inventor: Christoph Hellenbrand
  • Patent number: 9944464
    Abstract: A stacker crane is provided with: a travelling carriage that is configured to be able to travel along the rack width direction; a first mast that is provided so as to stand on the travelling carriage; a second mast that is provided so as to stand on the same travelling carriage on which the first mast is provided; a first elevator body that is configured to be guided along the first mast; a second elevator body that is configured to be guided along the second mast so as to be able to move up/down independently of the first elevator body, and that is aligned with the first elevator body in the rack width direction in plan view; a first transferring device that is supported by the first elevator body; and a second transferring device that is supported by the second elevator body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2018
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yuichi Ueda, Masashige Iwata, Kazunori Makimura
  • Patent number: 9919869
    Abstract: A power supply and a controller are arranged at positions different from a stacker crane and deviated from an extended line of a travelling route, and are connected to the stacker crane via a cable. The moving mechanism, the travelling motor, the transfer mechanism and the lifting motor are each arranged at the same position as an one-side end portion of the mast or arranged on the other side from the end portion in the extending direction of the travelling route.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2018
    Assignee: MURATA MACHINERY, LTD.
    Inventor: Hiroshi Tanaka
  • Patent number: 9864962
    Abstract: A pick rate planning system is utilized to determine pick rates needed for the picking of items in a materials handling facility. Critical pull times (“CPTs”) are determined which indicate times by which items must be picked from inventory. Multiple pick rates that overlap in time are made to have an overall total pick rate that is relatively constant, so as to avoid spikes or other undesirable fluctuations in the overall total pick rate, which improves labor planning. Pick rates for later CPTs are designated as being for that CPT or any earlier CPTs, and all of the pick rates are designated as minimum suggested pick rates. These designations provide the picking scheduler with greater flexibility that results in higher pick density and productivity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Sebastian Lehmann, Udit Madan
  • Patent number: 9827669
    Abstract: A robotic torso sensing system and method includes: a robotic torso comprising a mobile torso, the robotic torso further comprising a fixed torso; a motor configured to move the mobile torso; a torso encoder configured to provide information to the motor; a master controller operably connected to the motor, the master controller configured to control the motor, the master controller operably connected to the torso encoder, the master controller further configured to control the mobile torso; and a sensor configured to measure a position of the mobile torso, the sensor further configured to transmit the measurement to the master controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: Fetch Robotics, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Ferguson, Melonee Wise, Derek King
  • Patent number: 9828225
    Abstract: An apparatus for controlling a load handling device of an industrial vehicle is provided. The load handling device includes a mast assembly and a load handling attachment attached to the mast assembly. The apparatus includes a tilt angle detector that detects a tilt angle of the mast assembly, a controller that regulates a lifting speed of the load handling attachment, and a determination device that determines whether or not the load handling attachment is being lifted off the ground. When the determination device determines that the load handling attachment is being lifted off the ground, the controller permits the load handling attachment to be lifted at a speed faster than the regulated lifting speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: KABUSHIKI KAISHA TOYOTA JIDOSHOKKI
    Inventors: Yasuhiro Taki, Tadashi Yamada, Takashi Nishiwaki, Junichi Kuwayama, Hidenori Oka, Kimihide Hasegawa, Hiroshi Murata
  • Patent number: 9802762
    Abstract: A container exchange station is provided in connection with a workspace of an inventory system. At the container exchange station, containers are exchanged between container holders and container shuttles. The container holders are configured to hold one or more containers having consolidated inventory items in high density storage. The container shuttles are also configured to hold one or more containers for performing other operations with respect to inventory items in the one or more containers. The containers are configured to hold inventory items while the inventory items move for various operations throughout the workspace and while the inventory items are stowed in high density storage in the workspace.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Tamas Pikler, Fei Hoai Lee, Jeremiah Brazeau, Jon Stuart Battles, Martin Peter Aalund, Jayson Michael Jochim, Gregory Karl Lisso, Samuel Christopher Uhlman
  • Patent number: 9757002
    Abstract: A central computer system receive a voice input comprising a motorized transport unit command from a system user via a particular user interface unit that is associated with a particular motorized transport unit at a shopping facility. In response the central computer system transmits to the user interface unit a motorized transport unit instruction that corresponds to the motorized transport unit command, such that the user interface unit can then provide that motorized transport unit instruction to the motorized transport unit for execution by the motorized transport unit. By one approach these components can interact with one another to facilitate a verbally-based authentication procedure by which the system user is associated with the motorized transport unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2017
    Inventors: John P. Thompson, Donald R. High, Michael D. Atchley
  • Patent number: 9725241
    Abstract: It is disclosed a storage and picking system for storing and picking of articles in accordance with a picking order into order containers comprising: a storage zone; a working zone; at least one picking-work station; and a plurality of storage and retrieval devices, wherein each of the storage and retrieval devices comprises: a load-handling device; a vertical mast along which the load-handling device is supported vertically movable, preferably exclusively; and a ground-near travelling unit, wherein the travelling unit is connected to the mast; and a controlling device being integrated into the travelling unit; wherein the travelling unit is dimensioned such that and wherein the mast is arranged such that the storage and retrieval device can travel, for purpose of storing or retrieving, in the travelling direction beneath one of the racks while an other storage and retrieval device can pass the storage and retrieval device in the rack aisle; an wherein the storage and retrieval device can travel autonomously
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2017
    Assignees: SSI Schäfer Noell GmbH Lager- und Systemtechnik, MOTUM
    Inventors: Henricus Swinkels, Pieter van Caesbroeck
  • Patent number: 9715671
    Abstract: A system for managing medications facilitates documentation of medication returned from remote dispensing units to a central storage location such as a pharmacy vault. The system may be especially useful in facilitating the tracking of controlled substances. The system receives an indication that a medication previously removed from the remote dispensing units has been designated for return to the medication management system. The system computes an estimated return amount of the medication, and causes a queued return list to be displayed at the central storage location. The system can accommodate multiple remote dispensing devices and multiple medications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2017
    Assignee: Omnicell, Inc.
    Inventors: John Vahlberg, Mike Dougan
  • Patent number: 9676551
    Abstract: An autonomous transport robot for transporting a payload, the autonomous transport robot includes a payload bed having at least one reference datum surface and at least one payload justification device, the at least one payload justification device being configured to position a payload on the payload bed in substantial contact with the at least one reference datum surface to place the payload in a predetermined position on the payload bed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2017
    Assignee: Symbotic, LLC
    Inventors: Stephen C. Toebes, Robert Sullivan, Forrest Buzan
  • Patent number: 9643779
    Abstract: An article management system includes a transport robot and a rack robot. The transport robot has an input interface that receives a transport request from a user, the transport request having a first request to transport a first article stored in the rack robot to the user, a first communication circuit that transmits the first request to the rack robot, and a movement that causes the transport robot to move toward the rack robot. The rack robot has a second communication circuit that receives the first request, and a conveyor that moves the first article on the first request between the rack robot and the transport robot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2017
    Assignee: PANASONIC INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY CORPORATION OF AMERICA
    Inventor: Kazunori Yamada
  • Patent number: 9600798
    Abstract: Disclosed are systems and methods for an automated materials handling facility. The automated materials handling facility uses a series of automated devices, such as automated guidance vehicles, mobile drive units, robotic arms, automated sorters, etc., to facilitate item receive, stow, pick, shipping and other aspects of materials handling. The automated devices are controlled by a materials handling control system that sends instructions to the various devices to coordinate operation of those devices and to coordinate flow of items through the materials handling system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2017
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Jon Stuart Battles, Jayson Michael Jochim, Martin Peter Aalund, Ned Lecky, Samuel Gardner Garrett, Paul Roy Raines, Jr., Kaushik Mani, Yan Yan, David Henry Clark, John Tan
  • Patent number: 9577765
    Abstract: A main controller controls carry in operations and carry out operations of articles to or from an article storage rack using article transport devices by causing a control command to be transmitted from a first optical communication device that is associated with each article transport device to a second optical communication device provided to each article transport device. The main controller is configured to perform a temporally-divided light-emission control in which a plurality of the first optical communication devices are caused to emit light in a temporally divided manner such that there is only one first optical communication device that emits light in any one time period among the first optical communication devices that are located close to one another in the vertical direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2017
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroyuki Koide, Yasuhiro Yamazaki
  • Patent number: 9561905
    Abstract: An autonomous transport vehicle including a frame having a longitudinal axis extending from a front of the frame to a back of the frame, at least one first guide member mounted on one side of the frame and having a first guide member frame of reference, and at least one second guide member mounted to an opposite side of the frame than the at least one first guide member and having a second guide member frame of reference, wherein the first and second guide members are asymmetrically compliant guide members so that a stiffness of the at least one first guide member in response to a force in a predetermined direction relative to the first guide member frame of reference is different than a stiffness of the at least second guide member in response to the force in the predetermined direction relative to the second guide member frame of reference.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2017
    Assignee: SYMBOTIC, LLC
    Inventors: Stephen C. Toebes, Justin Holwell
  • Patent number: 9536767
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a material handling method of performing by means of an automatic mechanical material handling equipment controlled by a control system at least a first and a second access task for accessing respectively at least a first and at least a second article stored in a material handling storage system, the first and second access tasks having been assigned a first and a second execution priority respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2017
    Assignee: SAP SE
    Inventors: Tobias Adler, Oliver Radmann
  • Patent number: 9495656
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a material handling method of performing by means of an automatic mechanical material handling equipment controlled by a control system at least a first and a second access task for accessing respectively at least a first and at least a second article stored in a material handling storage system, the first and second access tasks having been assigned a first and a second execution priority respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2016
    Assignee: SAP SE
    Inventors: Tobias Adler, Oliver Radmann
  • Patent number: 9486926
    Abstract: Systems and computer-implemented methods are provided for automatically picking up items or products in a materials handling facility. In one embodiment, a system includes a first sensor; a conveyor; a robotic hand including multiple digits, each digit having one or more suction cups attached thereto; a memory; and one or more processors, which are all coupled together. The memory includes program instructions executable by the one or more processors to implement a pick process component configured to: (i) receive sensed information of an item or product delivered on the conveyor from the first sensor; (ii) generate a pick plan comprising processor-executable instructions to control the robotic hand to pick up the item or product; and (iii) control the robotic hand to pick up the item or product from the conveyor by executing the generated pick plan, while selectively activating the one or more suction cups.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2016
    Assignee: AMAZON TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
    Inventor: Yasushi Kawano
  • Patent number: 9481517
    Abstract: An automated storage and retrieval system includes a first independently operable section having a first number of predetermined storage and retrieval transactions, and a second independently operable section in communication with the first independently operable section and having a second number of predetermined storage and retrieval transactions. The first and second independently operable sections are configured to provide a respective number of predetermined storage and retrieval transactions so that the first number of predetermined storage and retrieval transactions substantially matches the second number of predetermined storage and retrieval transactions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2016
    Assignee: Symbotic, LLC
    Inventors: Larry Sweet, Kil D. Kwak, Kirill Pankratov, Russell G. Barbour, William Johnson, Juergen D. Conrad, Juergen Baumbach, Ronald Kyslinger
  • Patent number: 9483790
    Abstract: A robobox may automate all of the functions of a retail store, combining the best of online and traditional retail in a platform that costs significantly less to operate than a brick and mortar store while providing greater availability, a more predictable experience, and instant gratification to the shopper. Customers may use a touch screen interface to choose products from an inventory of the robobox. They may also place orders in advance through the web or with mobile devices. As soon as an order is completed and the payment has been collected electronically, the inner workings of the robobox pick the items in the order and may deliver it to the customer on-site.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2016
    Inventors: Vincent Lincoln Marshall, Eric Shepard Gocke, Michael William Tieff, II
  • Patent number: 9472043
    Abstract: Systems and methods for users of an automated retail store, vending unit, digital signage or interactive retail display (self-service units) to interact with such display/unit, collectively referred to in this text as a machine, directly and/or simultaneously using a one or more mobile devices. In addition, system and methods are provided that can recognize registered users within a set proximity to the machine and broadcast messages and notifications such as machine information, inventory information, rewards, discounts and free products, all of which could be tailored to the specific user based on understanding gathered through analysis of prior interactions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2016
    Assignee: UTIQUE, INC.
    Inventors: Darrell Scott Mockus, Mara Clair Segal
  • Patent number: 9457967
    Abstract: An improved pharmaceutical vial processing system and method groups vials on an automated dispensing line according to diverting needs. The improved pharmaceutical vial processing system and method allows vials to travel in close groups. A diversion algorithm determines when gaps between vials are needed to reduce the likelihood that a mechanical diverting device engages the wrong vial to a new location on the dispensing line. The diversion algorithm identifies each vial that needs to be diverted to a target location and employs a “neighbor analysis” to determine whether a gap between neighboring vials is needed before a vial destined for the target station encounters a diverter. Vials that are destined for locations beyond the target station remain grouped. Vials that are behind a vial destined for the target station are held to introduce a gap between the vial destined for the target station and the remaining vials.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2016
    Assignee: Humana Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Mahar, Atin Kapadia
  • Patent number: 9452886
    Abstract: Method for providing transport units from a storage facility on at least one removal line, wherein the transport units are stored in a plurality of storage racks and storage rack levels, wherein interior storage racks are arranged in pairs adjoining one another and have a storage aisle on each side of the pair. At least one storage line and at least one removal line is provided. The transport units are placed into storage in, and removed from storage from, the storage rack via a storage and removal apparatus for each access aisle. For each access aisle, a storage and removal apparatus is provided. At least one removal lift is used to transfer the transport units to the removal line connected downstream thereof. A direct exchange of transport units takes place between two adjoining storage racks from one access aisle to an adjacent access aisle via transverse conveyance locations in the storage racks. The storage and removal apparatus moves the transport units in the transverse conveyance locations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2016
    Assignee: DEMATIC SYSTEMS GMBH
    Inventor: Shin Yamashita
  • Patent number: 9446899
    Abstract: A transferring apparatus includes a plurality of side-arm transfer units each provided with a pair of side arms each of which is capable of stretching toward and retracting from both sides of an object to be conveyed. The side-arm transfer units are arranged side by side in a left-and-right direction that is orthogonal to a stretching-and-retracting direction of the side arms. The side arms each include pinion gears, a rack gear, and a motor that drives the pinion gears. The motors positioned between the side-arm transfer units are connected to the pinion gears whose positions in the stretching-and-retracting direction are different from each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2016
    Assignee: MURATA MACHINERY, LTD.
    Inventor: Fumie Yamada
  • Patent number: 9429930
    Abstract: An order-picking station for manual picking of articles from storage containers into at least one order container in accordance with a picking order is disclosed, which may consist of a plurality of different articles, comprising: a rack having a first longitudinal side and a second longitudinal side being arranged oppositely to the first longitudinal rack side; a plurality of channels comprising feeding channels and at least one discharging channel, wherein each of the feeding channels comprises a transfer end and a provision end; a supply device configured for transporting the storage containers from a warehouse to the transfer ends of the feeding channels, and for transferring the storage containers to the transfer ends, wherein each of the transfer ends is arranged and configured such that the storage containers are transferable in an automated manner by the supply device; a material-flow control device, wherein the material-flow control device is configured to control a material flow of the storage conta
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2016
    Assignee: SSI SCHÄFER PEEM GMBH
    Inventor: Max Winkler
  • Patent number: 9409709
    Abstract: An automated storage and retrieval system includes an autonomous rover and a multilevel rack structure. The multilevel rack structure includes columns connected by rail beams transversely spanning between the columns. The rail beams define storage and transport levels and provide riding surfaces for the autonomous rover. The rail beams include integral fatigue resistant rover location apertures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2016
    Assignee: Symbotic, LLC
    Inventors: John F. Keating, Lawrence A. Margagliano, Thomas G. Perry, William Johnson, Jr., Todd E. Kepple
  • Patent number: 9340355
    Abstract: Storage device for storing and/or retrieving articles from storage, includes a frame having a first series of mutually parallel elongated storage sections, preferably positioned in a column set-up, that extend between a first end and a second end of the frame; a number of holders for the articles; storage sections being provided with holder supports, wherein at the first and second ends of the frame, first and second platforms, respectively, have been arranged for accommodating at least one holder; and first movement elements for moving the platforms, from one storage section to another; second movement elements for horizontally moving at least one holder from the first platform at the first end of the frame to the holder supports of a selected storage section while moving one or more holders from the selected storage section to the second platform at the second end of the frame, and vice versa.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2016
    Assignee: I-COLLECTOR HOLDING B.V.
    Inventor: Hugo Victor De Vries
  • Patent number: 9315323
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for fulfilling orders with a system having an automated warehouse that is adapted to store a plurality of inventory receptacles. The automated warehouse includes a plurality of vehicles that are adapted to storing inventory receptacles and retrieving inventory receptacles and an outbound device that is adapted to exchanging inventory receptacles between a pick station and the vehicles. Orders of items are received with an order queue. Orders are disbursed from the order queue to a vehicle queue associated with each vehicle. Inventory receptacles are retrieved with the vehicles having items for at least one of the orders. The inventory receptacles are retrieved according to the vehicle queue for that vehicle. Inventory receptacles are deposited by the vehicles to an outbound queue associated with the outbound device and forwarded from the outbound device to the pick station according to the requirements of the pick station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2016
    Assignee: Dematic Corp.
    Inventor: Martin E. Schubilske