Device Includes Self-powered, Track-guided Car Patents (Class 414/279)
  • Patent number: 11286112
    Abstract: A warehouse has a rack with an aisle and rails fastened to the rack extend along the aisle. The rails are made of rail segments that have a first profile section with a top side running surface. A distribution vehicle is movable along the aisle on the top side running surfaces and transports goods to be stored or retrieved from the rack. A pressure distribution bar is arranged where a first rail segment abuts a second rail segment. The pressure distribution bar has first and second length portions. The first length portion is supported against the first profile section of the first rail segment, the second length portion is supported against the first profile section of the second rail segment. A pressure transmission element has a first end supported from below against the pressure distribution bar and a second end supported against a counter bearing arranged at the rack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2022
    Assignee: NEDCON B.V.
    Inventor: Jan Willem Frederiks
  • Patent number: 11254504
    Abstract: A system may include a vehicle for delivering items and a moveable track that cooperates with the vehicle. The moveable track may cooperate with a storage system having storage locations for storing items. The vehicle may drive into the moveable track and lift the track using a vertical drive mechanism. The vehicle may include a horizontal drive system operable to drive the vehicle horizontally along the ground to carry the moveable track to a position adjacent the storage location. The vehicle may operate the vertical drive system to drop the moveable track adjacent the storage system. Additionally, the vehicle may operate the vertical drive to drive up the moveable track to an elevated position adjacent one of the storage locations in the storage system. The vehicle may include a transfer mechanism for transferring items between the vehicle and the storage location while the vehicle is in the elevated position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2020
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2022
    Assignee: OPEX Corporation
    Inventors: Alexander Stevens, Joseph Valinsky
  • Patent number: 11142924
    Abstract: A vehicle connection system of a multi-story building, may include a building having a plurality of floors, provided with an elevator moving between the plurality of floors, and having at least one station provided inside or outside of the building so that the vehicle is configured to be docked to the at least a station; an elevator board provided at a bottom portion of the elevator to allow the vehicle to be loaded to the elevator or unloaded from the elevator and moving between floors of the building when the elevator is driven; a parking robot which is placed in a standby state on the elevator board, and when the vehicle enters the elevator board, allows the vehicle to be loaded on the elevator board and moved to a docking point; and a server communicatively connected to the building, the elevator board, and the parking robot, to manage statuses of the stations, and designate the docking point when the vehicle enters the elevator, and transmit the same to the elevator board and the parking robot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2020
    Date of Patent: October 12, 2021
    Assignees: Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Corporation
    Inventors: Dong Eun Cha, Jin Ho Hwang, Sang Heon Lee
  • Patent number: 11130633
    Abstract: An automated warehouse system includes a revolving transport device configured to revolve a holding table to transport the article, a plurality of racks arranged across a forward path and a return path extending from a reference point to a turning point of the revolving transport device, a transport vehicle disposed adjacent to a side of each of the racks and configured to transport the article across the forward path and the return path of the revolving transport device, the transport vehicle including a transferring and placing device configured to transfer and place the article with respect to the rack, a lift transport device configured to lift and lower the article to a position corresponding to each level of each of the racks, and a transfer device configured to transfer the article between the revolving transport device and the lift transport device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 28, 2021
    Assignee: Murata Machinery, Ltd.
    Inventor: Tsuyoshi Kakinuki
  • Patent number: 11104515
    Abstract: A sequencing system and a robotic storage and picking system include a plurality of containers disposed in stacks beneath a grid having a first set of tracks and second set of tracks, the first and second sets of tracks being disposed substantially perpendicular to each other. Plural load handling devices are operable on the grid, the load handling devices lifting and depositing containers from and to the stacks. The load handling devices can deposit containers on to conveyor belts into predetermined positions, the positions being fillable in any random order and multiple positions being fillable at any one time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2021
    Assignee: OCADO INNOVATION LIMITED
    Inventors: Robert Rolf Stadie, Andrew John Ingram-Tedd
  • Patent number: 11084666
    Abstract: Hybrid sortation systems and methods may include a floor having a plurality of transfer locations, a plurality of container drive units or pods that may be positioned at respective transfer locations to receive packages, and a plurality of overdrive units that may travel over and sort packages to respective transfer locations. The overdrive units may be configured to travel over container drive units or pods, such that operations or movements of container drive units or pods may be substantially decoupled or independent from operations or movements of overdrive units. In this manner, sort density and throughput of such hybrid sortation systems may be increased, while also reducing congestion associated with operations or movements of robotic drive units.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2021
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Victoria Eddy, Brandon William Porter, Stephen T. Campbell
  • Patent number: 10899591
    Abstract: In a transporting system for transporting a container, and a method for operating a production installation having a transporting system, the transporting system has a vehicle and a transport vehicle, on whose frame two wheel drives are disposed, which are set apart from each other and have a wheel in each case, in particular, the two wheels are disposed so as to touch a floor in order to generate traction force for the transport vehicle, in particular, the wheel axles of the two wheels are aligned parallel to each other. A first and a second shoulder part are situated and/or provided on the frame, and the first shoulder part is situated at a distance from the second shoulder part, and a space region is situated between the wheel drives and between the shoulder parts, into which the vehicle together with the container it accommodates is able to be driven and out of which the vehicle together with the container may be driven.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2021
    Assignee: SEW-EURODRIVE GMBH & CO. KG
    Inventor: Johann Soder
  • Patent number: 10781043
    Abstract: In one embodiment, an inventory storage system has a vertical stack of storage modules. Each storage module has first and second conveyor segments that carry storage containers along a longitudinal direction between first and second modules ends, and third and fourth conveyor segments that carry the containers between the first and second conveyor segments at the first and second module ends, respectively. The conveyor segments define a movement path having a closed shape, and the storage module translates the containers around the movement path until a desired one of the containers is presented at one of the first and second module ends. The system also has a multi-directional elevator having a platform. The elevator moves the platform over the vertical stack along at least one of the longitudinal direction and a lateral direction, and lowers the platform into an interior of the vertical stack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2020
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: William Kalm, Peter Grant, Robert T. Brown
  • Patent number: 10759598
    Abstract: A self-contained guide track is formed by first guide tracks and second guide tracks of a rack level and each track section of the closed guide track is determined from an intersection point of one of the first guide tracks with one of the second guide tracks to the next intersection point of one of the first guide tracks with one of the second guide tracks and the at least one rail vehicle is configured to be controlled on the track sections of the closed guide track during storing and removing the items in a main direction in the form of a roundabout such that the track section of the closed guide track, on which more than one rail vehicle is located, is used by the rail vehicles only in the main direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2020
    Assignee: KNAPP AG
    Inventors: Franz Mathi, Heiko Süss, Christoph Lafer, Wolfgang Puntigam
  • Patent number: 10684613
    Abstract: A data communication method for reducing a working time of an automated material handling system between a master communication device installed in an unmanned transfer device and a slave communication device installed in a manufacturing facility in the automated material handling system which transfers a carrier between manufacturing facilities through the unmanned transfer device where the method is to reduce a working time for a carrier by transmitting and receiving data to and from a manufacturing facility while an unmanned transfer device is stopped before performing a carrier work or while it is moving after performing a carrier work, when the unmanned transfer device and the manufacturing facility transmit and receive data for transferring the carrier by using a wireless data communicating device in an automated material handling system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2020
    Assignee: CANTOPS CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Hak Seo Oh
  • Patent number: 10589929
    Abstract: A pallet cart including a mechanism to help secure the cart to a forklift. The cart can move through a warehouse with racks of goods and receive signals and store information about the inventory on the racks. The unit can be moved to another location with a forklift. The security mechanism can comprise one or more magnets, retractable structures or other structures to secure the cart to the steel fork of a forklift during transport.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2020
    Assignee: Frazier Industrial Company
    Inventor: Domenick Iellimo
  • Patent number: 10518974
    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: May 23, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2019
    Assignees: Tera Autotech Corporation, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, National Changhua University of Education
    Inventors: Yi-Lung Lee, Tsair-Rong Chen, Yi-Chun Lin, Shu-Ming Chen
  • Patent number: 10486902
    Abstract: Provided is an article storage apparatus capable of effectively utilizing the capacity of a building. The article storage apparatus includes an article moving device 3. The article moving device 3 includes an X-direction travel wheel 38, a Y-direction travel wheel 48, a travel wheel lifting and lowering unit that lifts and lowers the travel wheels, and an article lifting and lowering unit that lifts and lowers an article. It is possible to lower the X-direction travel wheel 38 or the Y-direction travel wheel 48 so as to be set down on a travel passage by the travel wheel lifting and lowering unit and rotate the set-down travel wheel to cause the article moving device to travel in an X direction or a Y direction. It is possible to lift the article lifting and lowering unit to pick up an article on an article supporting member or lower the article lifting and lowering unit to transfer the article previously lifted by the article lifting and lowering unit onto the article supporting member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2019
    Assignee: Itoh Denki Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kazuo Itoh, Tatsuhiko Nakamura, Kazuwo Miki
  • Patent number: 10479621
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a container search system comprising: a radiation irradiation unit for irradiating radiation to a container to be inspected; a detection unit installed opposite to the radiation irradiation unit to detect radiation having passed through a container; a transfer cart for loading an automobile thereon, on which a container to be inspected is loaded, and travelling along a search path formed between the radiation irradiation unit and the detection unit; and a circulation orbit unit formed to allow the transfer cart to circulate along the search path, wherein a primary side of a linear induction motor for generating a moving magnetic field is formed on either side among the transfer cart and the search path and a secondary-side reaction plate for inducing a secondary eddy current due to the moving magnetic field and generating a linear driving force is formed on the other side thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2019
    Assignee: KOREA INSTITUTE OF OCEAN SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
    Inventors: Jong Won Park, So Young Sung, Jung Hee Lee, Yong Kon Lim
  • Patent number: 10093525
    Abstract: The present invention concerns a remotely operated vehicle or robot for picking up storage bins from a storage system. The inventive vehicle or robot comprises a vehicle body, which vehicle body further comprises a first section for storing vehicle driving means and a second section for receiving any storage bin stored in a storage column within the storage system, a vehicle lifting device which is at least indirectly connected to the vehicle body in order to lift the storage bin into the second section, a first set of vehicle rolling means connected to the vehicle body in order to allow movement of the vehicle along a first direction (X) within the storage system during use and a second set of vehicle rolling means connected to the vehicle body in order to allow movement of the vehicle along a second direction (Y) in the storage system during use. The second direction (Y) is oriented perpendicular to the first direction (X).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2018
    Assignee: Autostore Technology AS
    Inventor: Ingvar Hognaland
  • Patent number: 10081491
    Abstract: In an article storage facility, a door pivotable about a door pivot axis extending in a second direction is provided in an opening which is formed in a path-dividing wall portion that divides a traveling path and through which a transport movable body can pass. The door is configured such that its position is switchable between a closed position in which the door extends along the path-dividing wall portion and blocks the opening and an open position in which the door is located on an internal space side and opens the opening so that the transport movable body can pass through the opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2018
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Takeshi Abe, Toshihito Ueda
  • Patent number: 9862579
    Abstract: The present invention concerns a remotely operated vehicle or robot for picking up storage bins from a storage system. The inventive vehicle or robot comprises a vehicle body, which vehicle body further comprises a first section for storing vehicle driving means and a second section for receiving any storage bin stored in a storage column within the storage system, a vehicle lifting device which is at least indirectly connected to the vehicle body in order to lift the storage bin into the second section, a first set of vehicle rolling means connected to the vehicle body in order to allow movement of the vehicle along a first direction (X) within the storage system during use and a second set of vehicle rolling means connected to the vehicle body in order to allow movement of the vehicle along a second direction (Y) in the storage system during use. The second direction (Y) is oriented perpendicular to the first direction (X).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Assignee: Autostore Technology AS
    Inventor: Ingvar Hognaland
  • Patent number: 9856082
    Abstract: A storage system includes a remotely operated vehicle, a vehicle support, a bin storing structure and a bin lift device. The vehicle support is configured to guide movements of the remotely operated vehicle in first and second directions. The bin storing structure supports the vehicle support and includes storage columns, arranged to accommodate a vertical stack of storage bins. The bin lift device is arranged to convey a vehicle delivered storage bin in a direction perpendicular to the lateral plane of the vehicle support between the vehicle support and a delivery station. The remotely operated vehicle includes a vehicle body including a first section for storing vehicle driving means and a second section for receiving a storage bin, a vehicle lifting device for lifting the storage bin into the second section, and sets of vehicle rolling means allowing movement of the vehicle in the first and second directions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2018
    Assignee: Autostore Technology AS
    Inventor: Ingvar Hognaland
  • Patent number: 9738448
    Abstract: A multitasking crane includes a travelling device, load tables that are lifted and lowered independently of each other and disposed in two columns arranged in a travelling direction and at least one transfer device that is provided on each of the load tables and is configured to deliver the merchandise trays. The transfer device of the load table for picking is actuated to pick at least one of the merchandise trays that has been specified, and at the same time, at least one of the merchandise trays that is previously placed on the transfer device of the load table for storage is moved to empty one of the storage shelves of the automated warehouse and stored.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2017
    Assignee: JB-Create, Inc.
    Inventor: Juro Yamagishi
  • Patent number: 9656802
    Abstract: A bin storage system includes a bin storage structure and robot vehicles for retrieving storage bins from the bin storage structure. The bin storage structure includes pillars that define storage columns for the storage bins, supporting rails, arranged on top of the pillars to provide a vehicle support for the plurality of robot vehicles allowing each robot vehicle to travel across the bin storage structure, a storage bin delivery station, and a bin lift device, arranged to receive storage bins from the plurality of robot vehicles and transport the storage bins from a top level of the bin storage structure to the delivery station. Each robot vehicle includes sets of rolling means for moving the robot vehicle along the supporting rails, a cavity for receiving a storage bin, and a lifting device for retrieving a storage bin from a storage column and storing the storage bin in the cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2017
    Assignee: Jakob Hatteland Logistics AS
    Inventor: Ingvar Hognaland
  • Patent number: 9643781
    Abstract: A storage system includes a rack with a plurality of layers, each layer including an aisle and a plurality of rows extending from the aisle defining storage locations for items. A shuttle usable with the rack includes a first cart movable along the aisle and a second cart configured to be carriable by the first cart and to be movable along a row. The second cart is configured to carry an item between the first cart and the storage locations. A conveyor is located on one of the first or second carts to move the item onto or off the first cart. Related methods of storing and/or retrieving items from a rack are also disclosed. A rack system is disclosed and is readily assembled without welding, transferring loading so that the weight of the rack and any item stored therein is supported by the upright elements via support brackets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2017
    Assignee: Illinois Tool Works Inc.
    Inventors: Rafael Salichs, Juan Carlos Tamayo
  • Patent number: 9555967
    Abstract: An automated warehouse system and method of storing articles to and retrieving articles from an automated warehouse system includes at least two stacked longitudinally extending racks that are laterally separated by an aisle, each of said racks having a plurality of levels, with storage locations on each of the levels. An automated carriage at each of said levels travels longitudinally along the associated aisle and is adapted to store articles to and retrieve articles from each of the racks at that level. A lift arrangement for delivering articles to and retrieving articles from the levels of the stacked racks includes more than one lift assembly for at least one of the racks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2017
    Assignee: DEMATIC CORP.
    Inventor: Criston S. Stevens
  • Patent number: 9520313
    Abstract: In a transport system, a track for a local carriage is provided directly below a track for overhead traveling vehicles, and the overhead traveling vehicles and the local carriage both transfer an article to and from the same transfer destination. A buffer is connected to the track for the transport local carriage to deliver and receive the article to and from the local carriage and includes a transport in/out cell below the track for the overhead traveling vehicles to deliver and receive the article to and from the overhead traveling vehicles, the buffer being provided in a location not directly below the track of the local carriage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2016
    Assignee: Murata Machinery, Ltd.
    Inventor: Tatsuji Ota
  • Patent number: 9499339
    Abstract: An automated warehouse shuttle has a frame and an upper surface, which is adapted to support a loading unit, and is actuated by an actuating device to be lifted/lowered with respect to the frame; the frame supports a first set of wheels consisting of wheels defining resting points at a first level and are configured so as to roll along a first and a second directions, which are horizontal and orthogonal to each other; furthermore, the frame supports a second set of wheels constituted by wheels which define resting points at a second level, higher than the first, and are configured so as to roll along the first direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2016
    Assignee: ICAM S.R.L.
    Inventor: Bianco Roberto
  • Patent number: 9441388
    Abstract: A system of shuttle cars for transporting a vehicle in an automated parking facility. Each shuttle car includes an x-shuttle that supports two z-shuttles. The z-shuttles move from the x-shuttle and under the vehicle for transport. The z-shuttles locate and engage the front and rear tires of a vehicle to lift the vehicle from the floor. Once the z-shuttles have engage the vehicle tires, the z-shuttles return to the x-shuttle so that the x-shuttle can transport the vehicle (and the z-shuttles) to and from the appropriate parking space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2016
    Assignee: UNITRONICS AUTOMATED SOLUTIONS LTD
    Inventor: Haim Shani
  • Patent number: 9429951
    Abstract: A controller (1) includes: a transfer area setting unit (11) which, when transferring a transported object from a transfer source vehicle of respective transport vehicles to a transfer destination vehicle of the respective transport vehicles, decides a transfer area at a destination to which the transported object is transported by the transfer source vehicle; a transfer vehicle setting unit (12) which decides the transport vehicle that is the transfer destination vehicle on the basis of position information of the transfer area and the position information of the respective transport vehicles; and an instruction unit (14) which instructs the transfer source vehicle to carry out a task of transporting the transported object to the transfer area, and instructs the transfer destination vehicle to carry out a task of transporting the transported object from the transfer area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2016
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoriko Kazama, Junichi Kimura
  • Patent number: 9422108
    Abstract: A remotely operated vehicle or robot for picking up storage bins from a storage system includes a vehicle body, which includes a first section for storing vehicle driving means and a second section for receiving any storage bin stored in a storage column within the storage system, a vehicle lifting device in order to lift the storage bin into the second section, a first and a second set of vehicle rolling means allowing movement of the vehicle along a first and a second direction perpendicular to the first direction, respectively, within the storage system. The second section includes a cavity arranged centrally within the vehicle body. This cavity has at least one bin receiving opening facing towards the underlying storage columns At least one of the two sets of vehicle rolling means is arranged fully within the vehicle body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2016
    Assignee: Jakob Hatteland Logistics AS
    Inventor: Ingvar Hognaland
  • Patent number: 9378484
    Abstract: In some examples, a reader system is provided for managing inventory items in an inventory system. The reader system may be configured to read tags associated with items stowed in an inventory holder. The inventory holder may be detachably coupled to a mobile drive unit. The mobile drive unit may move the inventory holder to a first position near an antenna of the reader system and the tags may begin to be read. While reading or at other times in the reading process, the mobile drive unit may move the inventory holder relative to the antenna. The identified tags may be compared to a manifest list of items expected to be stowed in the inventory holder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2016
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Ryan Scott Russell, Thomas Matthew Ryle, Wesley Scott Lauka, Jonathan David Phillips, James Hollis Wood
  • Patent number: 9255896
    Abstract: The present invention provides a glass panel stocking system and a stocking method. The stocking system includes a loading and unloading port and a crane. The loading and unloading port functions to receive a cassette that contains glass panels to position thereon. The crane functions to move a cassette that contains glass panels. The crane includes a chassis, a carrying fork mounted on the chassis and movable for extension and retraction with respect to the chassis, and a mapping bar mounted on the chassis and located above the carrying fork. The carrying fork functions to carry the cassette that contains the glass panels and move the cassette that contains the glass panels to the mapping bar so that the mapping bar is allowed to carry out inspection and counting of the glass panels received in the cassette that contains the glass panels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 9, 2016
    Assignee: Shenzhen China Star Optoelectronics Technology Co., Ltd
    Inventors: Minghu Qi, Chunhao Wu, Kunhsien Lin, Yongqiang Wang, Guokun Yang, Weibing Yang, Zenghong Chen, Yunshao Jiang, Zhiyou Shu, Chenyangzi Li
  • Patent number: 9102469
    Abstract: A stacker crane includes a lower frame having running wheels running along a rail at both front and rear end portions thereof. The lower frame has a connecting frame that connects front and rear wheel support frames for supporting the running wheels to each other. The front support rod is held by a flange at its lower end surface, which is formed at the lower end portion of the front side wheel support frame. The side surface of the front support rod is connected and supported by the front side wheel support frame. The rear support rod is held by a flange, which is formed at the lower end portion of the rear side wheel support frame at its lower end surface and the side surface of the rear support rod is connected and supported by the rear side wheel support frame 24.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2015
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Masashige Iwata
  • Patent number: 9096375
    Abstract: A storage and retrieval system including a vertical array of storage levels, each storage level having, picking aisles, storage locations, disposed within the picking aisles, and at least one transfer deck providing access to the picking aisles, a multilevel vertical conveyor system configured to transport the uncontained case units to and from the vertical array of storage levels, each storage level being configured to receive uncontained case units from the multilevel vertical conveyor system, at least one autonomous transport located on each storage level for transporting the uncontained case units between respective storage locations and the multilevel vertical conveyor system, and a controller configured to create a primary access path through the transfer decks and picking aisles to a predetermined one of the storage locations and at least one secondary access path to the predetermined one of the storage locations when the primary path is impassible.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2015
    Assignee: Symbotic, LLC
    Inventors: John Lert, Stephen Toebes, Robert Sullivan, Foster D Hinshaw, Nathan Ulrich
  • Patent number: 9037286
    Abstract: A warehousing system for storing and retrieving goods disposed in containers is provided. The system includes a multilevel storage array including an array of storage shelves for holding containers thereon, at least one substantially continuous lift for transporting containers to and from at least one level of the storage array, at least one transport vehicle located on the at least one level and configured to traverse a transport area transporting containers between the at least one continuous lift and container storage locations so that the at least one continuous lift communicates non-deterministically, via the transport vehicle, with storage locations of each of the storage shelves on the at least one level, an infeed transport system linked to the at least one continuous lift, and an order fulfillment station for generating order containers corresponding to customer orders where the order containers are entered onto the storage shelves of the storage array.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: Symbotic LLC
    Inventor: John Lert
  • Patent number: 9011069
    Abstract: A glass substrate transporting apparatus aims to load or unload a quartz bracket into or from multiple reactors. It includes a track, a carriage, a rotary element and a telescopic fetching rack. The reactors are located at two sides of the track. The carriage has four track wheels movable on the track and multiple motors to synchronously drive the four track wheels. The rotary element is located on the carriage. The telescopic fetching rack is located on the rotary element. Through movement of the carriage on the track and rotation of the rotary element, the telescopic fetching rack can sequentially align and enter the reactors to load or unload the quartz bracket, thus amount of the reactors to be utilized is increased and utilization efficiency of the glass substrate transporting apparatus is improved. Moreover, as the carriage can move quickly on the track, production is also increased.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Assignee: Tera Autotech Corporation
    Inventor: Yi-Lung Lee
  • Patent number: 8992154
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a storage system for glass substrate and also a method for storing a glass substrate. The storage system includes a rail system, a plurality of stockers, and a trolley. The rail system is configured with first and second interconnected loops of monorails. And a plurality of stockers is arranged adjacent to the rail system. A trolley is moveably arranged to travel along the first and second monorails of the rail system for transporting glass substrates between the stockers. Accordingly, the yield of the liquid crystal display panel can be increased, while the maintenance costs of the overhead shuttle can be lowered.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Shenzhen China Star Optoelectronics Technology Co., Ltd
    Inventors: Zenghong Chen, Chunhao Wu, Kunhsien Lin, Xiande Li, Yongqiang Wang, Weibing Yang, Minghu Qi, Zhenhua Guo, Yunshao Jiang
  • Patent number: 8974168
    Abstract: An automated storage/retrieval system has two pairs of multi-tier racks that are arranged in series. An elevator is disposed between the two pairs of multi-tier racks. The elevator enables a load to be delivered to and received from the two pairs of multi-tier racks. The automated storage/retrieval system having such a tandem structure not only can provide the same storage capacity as that of a conventional configuration in which two pairs of multi-tier racks are arranged in parallel, but also can be applied to a building with a limited height since the system does not need to have an extended height. Since only one elevator is needed, the number of units is less than that of a conventional system, reducing manufacturing cost and an installation space for the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2015
    Assignee: Dematic Systems GmbH
    Inventor: Shin Yamashita
  • Patent number: 8961095
    Abstract: A traveling body of a stacker crane is separable into a lower traveling portion and an upper traveling portion by separating a post into a lower post portion and an upper post portion, in which the lower traveling portion in a separated state separated from the upper traveling portion and supporting a lift body is moved in a width direction with its traveling posture being maintained to be taken in or out between a moving space and a take-in/out space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Fumio Takahara, Shinsuke Kawamura
  • Patent number: 8915690
    Abstract: A transport system includes a first track that passes above loading ports of the processing devices, and an overhead travelling vehicle that travels along the first track and includes a hoist. A second track is below the first track, passes above the loading ports, and is disposed in parallel or substantially in parallel with the first track. A buffer is provided below the second track at a position higher than the loading ports, and is arranged such that the articles can pass in a vertical direction over the loading ports. The buffer is disposed such that the articles can pass through the height position of the buffer in a vertical direction over the loading ports. A local vehicle travels along the second track and includes a hoist to perform delivery and receipt of the articles between the buffer and the loading ports.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Assignee: Murata Machinery, Ltd.
    Inventor: Tatsuji Ota
  • Patent number: 8851818
    Abstract: An automatic warehouse includes a rack including vertically arranged shelves and traveling vehicles each of which is provided to a corresponding one of the shelves. The automatic warehouse includes stations receiving an article to be stored on and an article unloaded from the rack, elevators each mediating traffic of articles between the corresponding station and at least one of the traveling vehicles, and a shelf assigning unit assigning, to each of the stations, one or more of the shelves to which the station has priority of use over the rest of the stations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2014
    Assignee: Murata Machinery, Ltd.
    Inventor: Kazuhiko Ogawa
  • Patent number: 8814490
    Abstract: An article storage facility is provided, which can reduce required space for installation in the rack fore and aft direction while preventing the configuration to become more complex. An article storage rack 2 having a plurality of storage units 1 arranged in a vertical direction and in a lateral direction, and an article transport device 4 which can transport articles 3 to each storage unit 1 in the article storage rack 2 are provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2014
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Yoshitaka Inui
  • Patent number: 8752618
    Abstract: The invention relates to apparatus (10) for handling bulky articles (such as a PLET or ILT (12)) on a deck (14) of a vessel at sea. The apparatus (10) includes a cradle (16) which supports the bulky article (12?), first translational movement means (32 42, 46) provided between the deck (14) and the cradle (16) and second translational movement means (20, 31, 35, 37) moveable along the deck (14). The first translational movement means allows the bulky article (12) to be moved from a storage area and transferred to the second translational movement means, and the second translational movement means allows the bulky article (12) on its cradle (16) to be moved toward an operational location (F). An actuator (26) is also provided between the deck (14) and the cradle (16), in order to adjust the orientation of the bulky article (12) relative to the deck (14), when in the operational position. A method of handling bulky articles on a deck of a vessel at sea is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2014
    Assignee: Sunsea 7 Contracting (UK) Limited
    Inventor: Jean-Baptiste Pose
  • Patent number: 8740538
    Abstract: A storage and retrieval system including a vertical array of storage levels, each storage level having storage locations, a multilevel vertical conveyor system configured to transport the uncontained case units to and from the vertical array of storage levels, each storage level being configured to receive uncontained case units from the multilevel vertical conveyor system, at least one autonomous transport confined to each storage level, the at least one autonomous transport being configured to transport the uncontained case units between respective storage locations and the multilevel vertical conveyor system, and a controller configured to effect operation of the multilevel vertical conveyor system and at least one autonomous transport for assembling orders of uncontained case units of different types without moving bundles of the same uncontained case unit type throughout the storage and retrieval system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2014
    Assignee: Symbotic, LLC
    Inventors: John Lert, Stephen Toebes, Robert Sullivan, Foster D. Hinshaw
  • Patent number: 8721250
    Abstract: A robotic device movable in first, second and third mutually perpendicular directions along rails arranged in multiple rows, where the rails in a row are arranged along the first and second mutually perpendicular directions, and the multiple rows are arranged along the third direction perpendicular to the first and second directions. The robotic device has a frame, wheels coupled to the frame for moving the frame along the rails in the first and second directions, and support handles for lifting the frame in the third direction from first rails arranged in a first row of the rails to second rails arranged in a second row of the rails. The support handles are configured for providing engagement with the second rails so as to lift the robotic device in the third direction from the first rails to the second rails.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Inventor: Sergey N. Razumov
  • Patent number: 8721251
    Abstract: A robotic device for carrying loads is movable in a vertical direction between rails arranged in multiple rows at various levels with respect to ground. The robotic device has a frame, wheels coupled to the frame for moving the frame along the rails, and a platform provided on the frame to carry a first load when the frame is moved in a vertical direction between first rails and second rails arranged above the first rails. Movable carriages are configured for being moved in the vertical direction at distance greater than a distance between the first rails and the second rails. A lifting mechanism moves the carriages in the vertical direction with respect to the frame. Support handles are arranged on the movable carriages and configured for providing engagement with the first or second rails to raise the frame above the respective rails to a level sufficient to disengage the wheels from the respective rails.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Inventor: Sergey N. Razumov
  • Patent number: 8712580
    Abstract: A method of transferring storage devices within a storage device testing system includes actuating an automated transporter to retrieve multiple storage devices presented for testing, and actuating the automated transporter to deliver each retrieved storage device to a respective test slot of the storage device testing system and insert each storage device in the respective test slot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2014
    Assignee: Teradyne, Inc.
    Inventors: Evgeny Polyakov, Edward Garcia, Eric L. Truebenbach, Brian S. Merrow, Brian J. Whitaker
  • Patent number: 8694155
    Abstract: A system for automatically exchanging a battery of an electric vehicle, including a horizontal frame of a predetermined area formed at a location higher than the electric vehicle; a plurality of battery stands formed on a bottom surface of the horizontal frame at a predetermined interval; a pair of fixed guide rails arranged and installed on front and rear sides or left and right sides of the horizontal frame, respectively; a variable guide rail adapted to move horizontally along X-axis or Y-axis along the fixed guide rails; a movable rail adapted to move horizontally along Y-axis or X-axis along the variable guide rail and ascend/descend vertically; and a grasping part installed on a lower end of the movable rail and adapted to pick up a battery of the electric vehicle or a battery seated on the battery stand and exchange each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2014
    Assignees: Motex Products Co., Ltd., Kookmin Univ. Industry Academy Cooperation Foundation, Industry-Univ. Cooperation Foundation of Korea Aerospace Univ.
    Inventor: Chi-Man Yu
  • Patent number: 8690510
    Abstract: A robotic device movable in a vertical direction and in prescribed horizontal directions along rails arranged in the prescribed horizontal directions in multiple rows provided at various levels with respect to ground. The robotic device has a frame, wheels coupled to the frame and configured for moving the frame along the rails, and support handles for lifting the frame in the vertical direction from first rails arranged in a first row of the rails to second rails arranged in a second row of the rails. The support handles are configured for providing engagement with the second rails to lift the robotic device in the vertical direction, and for turning the frame into a desired horizontal direction by pushing against the second rails on an intersection between the second rails and third rails arranged in the same row as the second rails.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2014
    Inventor: Sergey N. Razumov
  • Patent number: 8684651
    Abstract: An autonomous mobile robot includes a housing mounted on a track and controllable to move along the track and to stop at each selected location, two side covers pivotally mounted on the left and right sides of the housing and movable by a respective driving motor to close/open the left or right side of the housing, and a mechanism controllable to move a material carrier horizontally leftwards or rightwards to the outside of the housing after opening of the left-sided or right-sided side cover.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2014
    Inventor: Chin-Hsiung Wang
  • Patent number: 8678734
    Abstract: A substrate processing apparatus is provided. The apparatus has a casing, a low port interface and a carrier holding station. The casing has processing devices within for processing substrates. The load port interface is connected to the casing for loading substrates into the processing device. The carrier holding station is connected to the casing. The carrier holding station is adapted for holding at least one substrate transport carrier so the at least one substrate transport carrier is capable of being coupled to the load port interface without lifting the at least one substrate transport carrier off the carrier holding station. The carrier holding station is arranged to provide a substantially simultaneous swap section for substantially simultaneous replacement of the substrate transport carrier from the carrier holding station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Gerald M. Friedman, Michael L. Bufano, Christopher Hofmeister, Ulysses Gilchrist, William Fosnight
  • Publication number: 20130302132
    Abstract: A mobile drive unit is provided for transporting an inventory holder. The mobile drive unit is operable to dock with the inventory holder, move the inventory holder in a first translational direction, and while docked with the inventory holder, selectively rotate the inventory holder while continuing to move in the first translational direction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 14, 2012
    Publication date: November 14, 2013
    Applicant: Kiva Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Raffaello D'Andrea
  • Patent number: 8554643
    Abstract: A method and equipment to stack palletless and as to their size variable packages (1) on warehouse rack (15) and to retrieve them from the rack and to control the logistics of packages, in which the warehouse rack is furnished with an automatic packages stacking and retrieving robot, and in which the control of warehouse data and logistics takes place by a data system. Equipment (5) receives package (1), for instance, onto conveyor belt (2), equipment (5) carries out weighing of package (1), determination for the necessary space requirement, reading of remote code connected to package (1), as RFID code (20) in order to choose the rack space determined for it on basis of previous functions, and package (1) is retrieved from the rack steered either by the order of the user or of the data system, and the data from above mentioned stacking and retrieving functions are transmitted to the data system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2013
    Assignee: Suomen Teollisuusosa Oy
    Inventor: Sami Kortelainen