Device Includes Push-pull Mechanism Patents (Class 414/280)
  • Patent number: 10280001
    Abstract: A bin-module based automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) includes a plurality of storage shelves, each removably supporting a plurality of bin modules. Each bin module includes multiple bins. The system also includes a collection shelf configured to removably support bin modules. The system further includes a dolly including: (a) a dolly frame, (b) a drive module configured to propel the dolly, and (c) an actuator configured to move a coupler to couple to the bin module supported in one of the plurality of storage shelves when the dolly is positioned adjacent to said storage shelf, the actuator being further configured to remove said bin module from said storage shelf to the dolly frame, and to move said bin module from the dolly frame to the collection shelf when the dolly is positioned adjacent to the collection shelf.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2019
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Nobuaki Oki, Masayuki Ataka, Chie Sato
  • Patent number: 10232517
    Abstract: A robot includes a robot arm having a first member rotatably provided on a base, a second member rotatably provided on the first member, a third member rotatably provided on the second member, and a fourth member rotatably provided on the third member. The fourth member has an arm rotatable about a rotation axis in an axis direction different from an axis direction of a rotation axis of the first member with respect to the base. In a first state, the first member, the second member, and the third member overlap. In a second state, at least one of a distal end of the robot arm and an end effector provided on the distal end of the robot arm overlaps with the second member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2019
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Kazushige Akaha, Kazuto Yoshimura, Hiroaki Fujimori, Akio Niu
  • Patent number: 10179698
    Abstract: A transfer device includes a first engaging member to be inserted between a first engagement receiving portion, which is spaced away from a first surface portion of an article toward an outside in a transfer direction by a predetermined distance, and the first surface portion, due to rotation of the first engaging member about a first axis of rotation along the transfer direction. The first engaging member includes a first push-up portion which lifts the first surface portion by making contact with a first jaw portion in a state in which the first jaw portion protrudes toward the outside from the first surface portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 15, 2019
    Assignee: MURATA MACHINERY, LTD.
    Inventor: Masayoshi Torazawa
  • Patent number: 10102706
    Abstract: A dispensing station comprises beneficial products for patients of a health care provider. An inventory database tracks inventory available in the dispensing station. A patient is associated with a prescription record, which specifies a prescribed beneficial product. The patient may provide patient identifying information to the dispensing station, such as credentialed payment information, which may be used to identify a prescription record, authenticate the patient, transfer a payment, and/or dispense the prescribed beneficial product to the patient. The prescription record may be valid for a limited time period, may be restricted to fulfillment within a particular location, and/or may be restricted to one or more specified dispensing stations. The dispensing station may validate the beneficial products before dispensing the products to the patient.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2018
    Assignee: VENDRX, INC.
    Inventors: Trent Jefferies, David Frey, Galen Earl Murdock, Mary Schwartz, Samantha Jefferies
  • Patent number: 10006894
    Abstract: A flow measuring device includes an intake portion configured to be connected to an ejecting portion, one or more gas lines each of which is connected to the intake portion and in which gas ejected from the ejecting portion flows, one or more flow meters each of which is configured to measure a flow rate of gas that flows through corresponding one of the one or more gas lines, at least one resisting member configured to provide resistance to flow of gas in at least one of the one or more gas lines, a main body portion which includes one or more supported portions each configured to be supported by the support member, the main body portion being configured to support the intake portion, the one or more gas lines, the one or more flow meters, and the at least one resisting member. The magnitude of the resistance provided by the at least one resisting member is adjustable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2018
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Takeshi Abe, Tadahiro Yoshimoto
  • Patent number: 9933823
    Abstract: A retractable component tray holder includes: an outer tray having first and second outer tray sidewalls, and a bottom; an inner tray configured to retract into and extend from the outer tray, the inner tray having a first inner tray sidewall and a bottom; a fan chassis configured to receive at least one fan, the fan chassis being adjacent a rear of the inner tray; a bottom support assembly comprising a first bottom support slideably mounted on the bottom of the outer tray, a second bottom support slideably mounted on the first bottom support, and the inner tray being slideably mounted on the second bottom support; and a second side support assembly comprising a side support slideably mounted on the second sidewall, a bracket slideably mounted on the side support, and the fan chassis mounted on the bracket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2018
    Assignee: QUANTA COMPUTER INC.
    Inventors: Chao-Jung Chen, Yaw-Tzorng Tsorng, Kun-Pei Liu, Yi-Te Chang
  • Patent number: 9919870
    Abstract: There is provided a vertical lift storage system (101), comprising a storage rack (105) configured to store load units and a lift system with an upwardly and downwardly movable carrier structure (108), where the carrier structure (108) is configured to carry multiple load units at respective sections and with first transportation means configured to insert and withdraw respective load units into and from the storage rack. The system is characterized in that the carrier structure is configured with second transportation means to shift load units sideways on the carrier structure between its sections. In some embodiments the first transportation means comprises telescopic arms and the second transportation means comprises rollers. There is also provided a method of operating such a carrier structure in a vertical lift storage system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2018
    Assignee: EFFIMAT STORAGE TECHNOLOGY APS
    Inventor: Tommy Langhoff
  • Patent number: 9741009
    Abstract: A material-handling system and method includes at least one first processing station, each having an input and an output. A linear transfer system made up of a plurality of transfer units that travel in unison in a linear motion past the input and output of the first processing station(s) either receives articles from the output and discharges articles to the input or transfers articles between the first processing station and a second processing station. A control sequences articles between the transfer units and the first input and output or between the first processing station and a second processing station in a manner that enhances operation of the processing station(s).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2017
    Assignee: Dematic Corp.
    Inventors: David M. Berghorn, Michael S. Khodl, Nolan R. Pilarz
  • Patent number: 9541534
    Abstract: An inspection apparatus used for an article storage facility includes an inactive gas supply portion provided with a supply nozzle provided in a placement support portion. A transport container having a supply port for an inactive gas is formed at a bottom portion thereof for accommodating substrates in a sealed state. The nozzle is joined to the supply port by a self weight of the transport container supported on the placement support portion so as to inject the inactive gas to an interior of the transport container. An inspection supply port is joined to the supply nozzle by a self weight of the inspection apparatus supported on the placement support portion, and is configured such that a gravity center position is supported on the placement support portion and coincides with a gravity center position of the transport container, the supply port inspects a state of supply of the inactive gas in the state of being supported on the placement support portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2017
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroshi Otsuka, Shinsuke Kawamura, Tadahiro Yoshimoto
  • Patent number: 9522781
    Abstract: A warehouse shuttle includes a chassis made up of first and second chassis portions and an article-carrying area between the chassis portions. Pairs of first and second running wheels are provided on the chassis to travel along the runway. One of a pair of arms is mounted to the first chassis portion and the other of the arms is mounted to the second chassis portion and are extendable and retractable to transfer an article between one of the shelves and the article-carrying area. A connector assembly connects the first and second chassis portions and can vary the spacing between the first and second chassis portions thereby varying the spacing between the arms to engage articles of different widths.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 20, 2016
    Assignee: Dematic Systems GmbH
    Inventors: Philipp J. Hortig, Steven M. DeMan, Shin Yamashita, Lars Hallberg, Clemens Hummel, Pascal Rehm
  • Patent number: 9272848
    Abstract: A carrying device includes a rack and a platform. The platform that loads goods, is moveably arranged on a handle of the rack. The carrying device further includes a sensor that detects the goods loaded on the platform, a motor that is connected to the platform, and a controlling unit that controls the motor drive the platform to move relative to the handle with a predetermined distance, according to whether the sensor detects the goods loaded on the platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2016
    Assignee: HON HAI PRECISION INDUSTRY CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Hsueh-Tsen Tsai
  • Patent number: 9266675
    Abstract: An automated warehouse includes first and second stacked racks parallel to each other; first and second shipping-and-receiving stations placed at the same end of the stacked racks; transfer shuttles located between the stacked racks and between the shipping-and-receiving stations; elevator mechanisms equipped with first and second elevator platforms for receiving or transferring the packages to stand-by conveyors; and means for transferring the packages to and from the first and the second elevator platforms. The direction of motion of the stand-by conveyor of the first shipping-and-receiving station and the direction of the motion of the stand-by conveyor of the second shipping-and-receiving station, on the same level of stack, may be opposite; and the direction of motion of some of the stand-by conveyors pertaining to the first shipping-and-receiving station may be opposite to that of the rest of the stand-by conveyors of the first shipping-and-receiving station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2016
    Assignee: Dematic Systems GmbH
    Inventor: Shin Yamashita
  • Patent number: 9227226
    Abstract: A cart (2) for assisting in transferring mailpieces (100) for a sorting machine (1) having a row of sorting outlets (10) for the mailpieces (100) stacked on a work surface (11), said cart (2) for assisting in transferring mailpieces including a support (23) supporting a tray (101) to be filled, a back plate (20) carrying guide means (24) co-operating with a longitudinal runner (14) on said sorting machine (1), said back plate (20) being extended by a transfer ramp (26) inclined relative to said back plate (20) with which it forms an acute angle and designed to bridge over the edge of the work surface (11) to come flush with said work surface (11) from above. A postal sorting installation including a sorting machine (1) and a cart (2) as described for assisting in transferring mailpieces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2016
    Assignee: SOLYSTIC
    Inventors: Frederic Mestrallet, Pierre Jourdan, Olivier Schott
  • Patent number: 9102055
    Abstract: Methods and systems for detecting and reconstructing environments to facilitate robotic interaction with such environments are described. An example method may involve determining a three-dimensional (3D) virtual environment representative of a physical environment of the robotic manipulator including a plurality of 3D virtual objects corresponding to respective physical objects in the physical environment. The method may then involve determining two-dimensional (2D) images of the virtual environment including 2D depth maps. The method may then involve determining portions of the 2D images that correspond to a given one or more physical objects. The method may then involve determining, based on the portions and the 2D depth maps, 3D models corresponding to the portions. The method may then involve, based on the 3D models, selecting a physical object from the given one or more physical objects. The method may then involve providing an instruction to the robotic manipulator to move that object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2015
    Assignee: Industrial Perception, Inc.
    Inventors: Kurt Konolige, Ethan Rublee, Stefan Hinterstoisser, Troy Straszheim, Gary Bradski, Hauke Strasdat
  • 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
  • Publication number: 20150117992
    Abstract: A library device includes cell units which include a plurality of cells each configured to hold a cartridge, the cell units being loaded in a rack in a state where the cell units are arranged at least along a width direction of the rack to be capable of sliding out of the rack, and a robot adjacent to the rack holding the cell units. The robot includes a first mechanism of moving the robot at least along the width direction, a second mechanism of pulling out or loading the cell units from or into the rack, and a third mechanism of unloading or loading the cartridge from or into one of the cells while the cell unit is pulled out, and loading or unloading the cartridge into or from a drive operating the cartridge.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 27, 2014
    Publication date: April 30, 2015
    Inventor: MAKOTO NAGASAWA
  • Patent number: 8956099
    Abstract: A rack-serving unit for storing boxes having an open box bottom, including a load pick-up device and at least one substantially horizontally telescopic article transport gripper including at least one rest for the articles for gripping under an article, is provided with a single telescopic gripper pin serving as article transport gripper and having a rest for the articles for gripping under the article in a just unstable position and at least one telescopic flank and/or a telescopic hold-down device for setting a stable transport position of the gripped article. In an order-picking warehouse equipped with said rack-serving unit having storing boxes with bottoms which are open in the center thereof, the telescopic gripper pin includes a rest for the articles of a width which is transverse to the telescoping direction for supporting the article in a just unstable position on the rest for the articles and the box bottom opening being just slightly broader than the width.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2015
    Assignee: Krones AG
    Inventors: Tilo Olszak, Peter Tiebel
  • Patent number: 8920098
    Abstract: A storage rack includes a plurality of rack units with container supports spaced one above the other, the supports being disposed in pairs on opposite side walls of the rack units to form storage locations for containers. The containers can be placed in or removed from the storage locations by means of a controllable transport device. The transport device has at least one first transport means and one second transport means, the first transport means is able to move in the vertical direction (Z), and the second transport means is supported on the first transport means and is able to move in a first horizontal direction (X) relative to the first transport means. A transfer device for handling a number of containers is arranged on the second transport means and includes a number of transfer units for placing the containers into and removing them from stock, each transfer unit can be associated with one container and each transfer unit can be controlled and moved separately.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2014
    Assignee: Hänel & Co.
    Inventor: Joachim Hänel
  • Patent number: 8914139
    Abstract: A Robot includes a main body, a Portable device and a supporting structure. The supporting structure is disposed at the main body for detachably connecting the Portable device. The Portable device reads digital media data from the main body or the Portable device itself, and plays the digital media data as video. After the Portable device is detached from the supporting structure, the main body and the Portable device operate independently.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2014
    Assignee: Asustek Computer Inc.
    Inventors: Nilay C Badavne, Ming-Lu Lai, Tai-Ming Parng
  • Publication number: 20140301812
    Abstract: A cable processing apparatus includes a first pulley, a second pulley, and a cable. The first pulley is configured to rotate about a rotational axis. The second pulley is configured to rotate about the rotational axis together with the first pulley. The cable includes a fixation region to be fixed to the first pulley and the second pulley. The first pulley is configured to rotate about the rotational axis, to thereby perform one of winding of the cable from the fixation region to one end portion and unwinding of the wound cable. The cable includes a predetermined-length portion from the fixation region to the other end portion, which is wound around the second pulley. The second pulley is configured to rotate about the rotational axis together with the first pulley, to thereby perform one of rewinding and tightening of the wound predetermined-length portion of the cable.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 28, 2014
    Publication date: October 9, 2014
    Applicant: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Wataru Nonaka, Hideaki Noguchi, Shunji Yamaguchi
  • Publication number: 20140271064
    Abstract: An example system may include the following features: slots configured to receive devices to be tested; a device transport mechanism to move devices between a shuttle mechanism and slots; a feeder to provide devices untested devices and to receive tested devices; and a shuttle mechanism to receive an untested device from the feeder and to provide the untested device to the device transport mechanism, and to receive a tested device from the device transport mechanism and to provide the tested device to the feeder.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Inventors: Brian S. Merrow, Philip Campbell, Eric L. Truebenbach, Adna Khalid, John P. Toscano, Nathan James Blosser, Jianfa Pei, Marc LeSueur Smith
  • Patent number: 8790061
    Abstract: A transferring shuttle, which transfers package(s) between a pair of layered stacked racks in a three dimensional automated warehouse, includes a mobile platform which runs between the stacked racks; elastic mechanisms, which include telescoping rails that extend into the stacked racks and surround a package; and terminal fingers placed at the ends of the rails, which can move between an extended position, which allows the package to be engaged and a contracted position. The rails also contain inner fingers between the terminal fingers. The inner fingers can push the package further into the stacked rack than previously possible.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2014
    Assignee: Dematic Accounting Services GmbH
    Inventor: Shin Yamashita
  • Publication number: 20140193227
    Abstract: An automatic system for replenishing display shelves in retail businesses. The display shelves each including a shelf board having a conveyor belt circulating around the respective shelf board. Each of the display shelves further including a stop bar and a removable fall-off guard at respective front and rear sides of the display shelves to prevent goods from falling off the display shelves and, wherein, the display shelf is designed to cooperate with a shelf-stocking vehicle such that the fall-off guard is automatically opened when the display shelves are refilled by the shelf-stocking vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 31, 2013
    Publication date: July 10, 2014
    Inventor: Walter Winkler
  • Publication number: 20140182242
    Abstract: An automatic system for replenishing display shelves in retail businesses. The display shelves each including a shelf board having a conveyor belt circulating around the respective shelf board. Each of the display shelves further including a stop bar and a removable fall-off guard at respective front and rear sides of the display shelves to prevent goods from falling off the display shelves and, wherein, the display shelf is designed to cooperate with a shelf-stocking vehicle such that the fall-off guard is automatically opened when the display shelves are refilled by the shelf-stocking vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 31, 2013
    Publication date: July 3, 2014
    Inventor: Walter Winkler
  • 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: 8753060
    Abstract: An article transfer device with a simpler structure is provided which can transfer an article to a proper position. Operation of a first projecting and retracting motor is stopped when torque that is greater than or equal to a first preset value occurs in the first projecting and retracting motor when a first article holder is being projected toward a projected position by operation of the first projecting and retracting motor. And operation of a second projecting and retracting motor is stopped when torque that is greater than or equal to a first preset value occurs in the second projecting and retracting motor when a second article holder is being projected toward a projected position by operation of the second projecting and retracting motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2014
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yuichi Ueda, Masashige Iwata, Tsutomu Okazaki, Takashi Nishihara, Kazuhiko Kodera
  • Patent number: 8740542
    Abstract: In a method for introducing loading auxiliary structures with a transport device into a shelf compartment with storage spaces arranged one behind the other, a loading auxiliary structure is conveyed by the transport device into the shelf compartment to the front storage space in the direction of introduction, after which a further loading structure is moved by the transport device into the shelf compartment to the front storage space and in this way the preceding loading auxiliary structure is moved to the storage space that is behind and the additional loading auxiliary structure is moved into the front storage space. The transport device includes a removing unit with a stop device adjustable at its front end in the introduction direction into the movement path of the loading auxiliary structure and a drive member on a side facing the loading auxiliary structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2014
    Assignee: TGW Mechanics GmbH
    Inventor: Christoph Wolkerstorfer
  • Patent number: 8713899
    Abstract: A goods-to-person picking station and method of picking goods from a product container and placing the goods in at least one order container includes a product container-handling mechanism and at least one order container-handling mechanism juxtaposed with the product container-handling mechanism. The product container-handling mechanism supplies a product container to a pick area. The at least one order container-handling mechanism supplies at least one order container to the pick area. In this manner, an operator can pick goods from a product container at the pick area and place the goods selectively to the at least one order container at the pick area. The product container-handling mechanism includes a product container elevator assembly and a product container extractor assembly. The elevator assembly elevates a product container from the feed area to the pick area. The extractor assembly transfers a product container from the pick area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2014
    Assignee: Dematic Corp.
    Inventors: Philipp J. Hortig, Matthew A. Steenwyk, Aaron J. Hayden, Raffaele Destro, Beat Losenegger
  • Patent number: 8696293
    Abstract: A component transfer device includes a holding mechanism (20) that positions and holds a component on a carrying surface (S) located at a predetermined height and a pull-out unit (40) that pulls out the component held on the carrying surface by the holding mechanism in a horizontal direction. The pull-out unit includes a grasping member (43, 44) that can separably grasp the component from a vertical direction, a cam member (42) that causes the grasping member to perform a component grasping operation and a component releasing operation at predetermined timings by exercising a cam function to the grasping member, a driving mechanism (41, 46, 47) that drives the cam member and the grasping member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: Hirata Corporation
    Inventors: Katsuyoshi Tachibana, Soichi Tateno, Toshihito Seki
  • Publication number: 20140064888
    Abstract: A handling device may include a frame and a carriage movably mounted on the frame. A clip assembly may be attached to the carriage and be adapted to frictionally engage a portion of an electronic device. The handling device may include at least one slot guide member attached to the frame. The slot guide member is adapted to engage within one of a plurality of slots of a magazine for holding electronic devices.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 6, 2012
    Publication date: March 6, 2014
    Applicant: TEXAS INSTRUMENTS INCORPORATED
    Inventor: Vico Chen
  • Patent number: 8641353
    Abstract: The system for storing and retrieving shoes includes a cabinet defining a housing enclosing storage units. The housing defines a central shaft for raising and lowering shoe trays, and defines two columns of storage rack units for the shoe trays on opposite sides of the central shaft. A portal at the base of the central shaft provides access for placing shoes on a shoe tray and retrieving the shoes from the cabinet. A long support arm is movable horizontally to align a shoe tray in either the left or the right column of rack units. A short support arm is movable vertically on the long arm to align the shoe tray vertically, and has clips for grasping and releasing the shoe trays. An electronic control system controls movement of the two arms, and issues a card or claim check identifying the storage rack unit for later retrieval of the shoes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2014
    Assignee: King Saud University
    Inventor: Mohammad Alissan Alghamdi
  • Patent number: 8636459
    Abstract: Within a storage compartment, closely spaced rows of adjacent stacks are supported on a plurality of parallel sliding rails. A pair of coordinated robots is positioned with one robot on one side of the stacks to push the stacks within a selected row toward the other robot. The pushing robot on one side of the row starts off with a starting stack supported in its support arms. The pushing robot pushes the starting stack into one end of the selected row, causing the row to shift toward the waiting receiving robot, which receives the stack at the opposite end of the row from the starting stack. A series of pushes between the two robots moves a stack containing a desired sample into alignment with an access port in the storage compartment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2014
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert K. Neeper
  • Patent number: 8596952
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method and a transport device (207) for positioning loading aids (208) prior to the transfer thereof into a shelf compartment (209) on storage spaces (211a to 211d) arranged behind one another using a transport device (207). The loading aids (208) are positioned against one another, behind one another against a first stop device (243 to 247) of the transport device (207) in the transfer direction (210), then a separating device (256, 257) is adjusted in the movement path (251) between the loading aids (208) and the front loading aid (208) in the transfer direction (210) is positioned against the separating device (256, 257) and the rear loading aid (208) in the transfer direction (210) is positioned against a second stop device (243 to 247) of the transport (207) in the transfer direction (210). Afterwards a third stop device (243 to 247) is adjusted between the separated loading aids (208).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2013
    Assignee: TGW Mechanics GmbH
    Inventor: Christoph Wolkerstorfer
  • Patent number: 8594835
    Abstract: A warehouse storage and retrieval system including an array of multilevel storage racks having at least one transfer deck, picking isles and storage areas disposed along picking isles, the storage areas being configured to hold differing loads, and a controller including a management module configured to variably size the storage areas of the array of multilevel storage rack modules and assign each of the variably sized storage areas to a corresponding one of the differing loads, wherein the storage and retrieval system is arranged to transport the differing loads for placement in the variably sized storage areas assigned by the controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2013
    Assignee: Symbotic, LLC
    Inventors: John Lert, Stephen Toebes, Robert Sullivan, Foster D Hinshaw, Nathan Ulrich, Eric Peters
  • Publication number: 20130294872
    Abstract: A library apparatus includes: a storage rack configured to be capable of storing a plurality of recording media; a recording-and-reproducing device configured to perform a recording operation and a reproducing operation on the recording media; a robot configured to deliver the recording media between the storage rack and the recording-and-reproducing device using a hand mechanism; an elevator platform configured to carry the hand mechanism; a pair of toothed belts, provided between a driving pulley and a driven pulley, configured to move the elevator platform vertically; a pair of belt-connecting portions configured to couple one of ends of the elevator platform to one of the pair of toothed belts respectively; and a disconnecting mechanism configured to release at least one of connections at the pair of belt connecting portions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 22, 2013
    Publication date: November 7, 2013
    Applicant: FUJITSU LIMITED
    Inventor: Daisuke HORI
  • Patent number: 8559129
    Abstract: A pass-through accessor comprising a fixturing apparatus that can store a plurality of portable data storage cassettes. The pass-through accessor comprises a moveable gripper assembly comprising a plurality of gripping members. The gripper assembly releaseably attaches to a portable data storage cassette disposed in a storage slot, pulls that portable data storage cassette outwardly from the storage slot, and releaseably attaches that portable data storage cassette to one of a plurality of fixturing assemblies disposed on the fixturing apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2013
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Matthew Charles Compton, Louis Daniel Echevarria, Stefan Lehmann, Richard Albert Welp
  • 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
  • Patent number: 8550006
    Abstract: A side buffer includes a bottom portion on which a FOUP may be placed, a restriction portion, an article receiving portion, and a link portion. The restriction portion is movable between a restricting position and a retracted position. At the restricting position, the restriction portion restricts an inclination of the FOUP on the bottom portion. At the retracted position, the restriction portion allows the FOUP to move between the bottom portion and a position directly above the bottom portion. The article receiving portion is disposed so as to receive a force from the FOUP placed on the bottom portion. The link portion moves the restriction portion from the retracted position to the restricting position with the received force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2013
    Assignee: Murata Machinery, Ltd.
    Inventor: Eiji Wada
  • Patent number: 8457780
    Abstract: The invention relates to a system of enabling automated receiving/retrieving of stocks of cargo for storing purposes. The system uses at least one service level and one or more storage levels. The service level is operated and organized in such a way that it is able to receive, interchange cargo, and extract cargo simultaneously and batch way. The system is redundant and allows continued operation even if some of its components malfunction. The service area comprising (a) a plurality of pallets for conveying said cargo; (b) a matrix of blocks of predetermined shape upon which said cargo and said pallets located; (c) at least one elevator block for transporting said pallet to different areas of said system; (d) at least one box; (e) at least two buffer for allowing transport of said pallets in at least two orthogonal directions in each of said areas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2013
    Inventor: Ilia Kharkover
  • Patent number: 8425173
    Abstract: An autonomous transport vehicle for transferring case units to and from predefined storage areas in an automated case unit storage system, the automated case unit storage system including an array of multilevel storage racks with picking aisles passing therebetween and at least one multilevel vertical conveyor having movable shelves, the autonomous transport vehicle including a frame configured to traverse the picking aisles and a transfer deck connecting the picking aisles to the at least one multilevel vertical conveyor for transferring case units between the predefined storage areas and the at least one multilevel vertical conveyor, and a controller connected to the frame, the controller being configured to effect movement of the autonomous transport vehicle through the picking aisles for accessing each storage area within a respective level of the array of multilevel storage racks and each shelf of the at least one multilevel vertical conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2013
    Assignee: Symbotic LLC
    Inventors: John Lert, Stephen Toebes, Robert Sullivan, Foster D Hinshaw, Nathan Ulrich
  • Patent number: 8374719
    Abstract: An article processing facility includes an article carrier movable along a track and having an article gripper, and a pair of article racks for temporarily supporting articles. Each of the article racks is configured to be shiftable between an extended position and a retracted position. When an article for loading gripped by the article gripper is to be delivered to an article loading and unloading station but an article for unloading is present at the article loading and unloading station, the article for loading is stored temporarily on one of the article racks, and thereafter the article for unloading at the article loading and unloading station is temporarily stored on the other article rack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2013
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Yoshitaka Inui
  • Patent number: 8326452
    Abstract: System and method for sortation of picked inventory into individual orders in an order fulfillment process, for example order fulfillment processes in materials handling facilities. Collections of items picked from inventory for multiple orders are stowed to locations at a stow and sortation station. The items for a particular order may be stowed to two or more different locations, and items for two or more orders may be stowed to one location; no particular location is assigned to or reserved for each order. Thus, no space is allocated or reserved for incomplete orders at the station. When all items for a particular order are stowed to locations at the station, the order may be picked from the various locations at the station and placed into order receptacles. The order receptacles may be shipping containers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2012
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Irina M. Somin, Eric Young
  • Patent number: 8231324
    Abstract: The article storage facility comprises an article transporter configured to move along a path via an article transfer location with respect to an article storage rack; an article loader for bringing articles into and taking articles out of the article storage rack, provided to the article storage rack so as to project and retract between a protruding position for article receipt that projects to an outside of the article storage rack, and a retracted position for retracting toward the article storage rack; and a protrusion and retraction operating device provided to the article transporter, for causing the article loader to protrude and retract between the protruding position and the retracted position when the article transporter is at the article transfer location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2012
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Mitsuru Yoshida, Yoshitaka Inui
  • Publication number: 20120189412
    Abstract: The invention relates to a coverslipping module for mounting coverslips onto specimen slides (12) for microscopic investigations, having a transport apparatus (9) for transporting a specimen slide (12) out of a rack (3) or a specimen slide holder to a coverslipping position (13) in which the specimen slide (12) is equipped with a coverslip, and having alignment means for aligning the specimen slide (12) in the coverslipping position (13) for mounting the coverslip. In order to allow the specimen slide (12) to be reliably and quickly aligned for mounting of the coverslips, thereby ensuring a high level of process dependability with a short processing time, the alignment means are constituted by multiple movable orientation jaws (18) which are arranged so that by closure of the orientation jaws (18), the specimen slide (12) becomes aligned in the coverslipping position (13).
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 20, 2012
    Publication date: July 26, 2012
    Applicant: LEICA BIOSYSTEMS NUSSLOCH GMBH
    Inventors: Joachim HOFFMANN, Bernhard NEEF, Simon KEIMER, Karl-Heinz WESTERHOFF
  • Publication number: 20120027546
    Abstract: The invention relates to an arrangement for storage, which includes a warehouse rack containing shelves (14) located on columns, a handling machine movable to the designated shelf of the warehouse rack, and a handling device capable of placing goods or a storing device (30) for storing goods on the shelves (14) or taking them down from the shelves (14) and moving them to a designated location. A passive lifting device (240) is associated with the warehouse rack (10) and the handling machine (100) is formed as a locomotive handling machine capable of moving on a designated path, and the handling device (130) is located on the handling machine (100), and on the handling machine (100), there is an active lifting device (200), which can be coupled with the passive lifting device (240) and forward the handling machine (100) to the designated shelf in cooperation with the passive lifting device (240).
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 2, 2010
    Publication date: February 2, 2012
    Inventor: Antal Zombori
  • Patent number: 7991506
    Abstract: An automated order-picking system for conveying article units towards a workstation, including at least one storage rack having a plurality of storage locations for receiving load supports, on which or in which article units are stored, preferably by one sort only, wherein the storage rack is divided into rack regions, wherein each of the rack region comprises a plurality of rack planes which respectively comprise a plurality of storage locations being arranged side-by-side, one endlessly rotating central conveyor, particularly a conveyor belt, being arranged along a longitudinal side of the storage rack and preferably between two storage racks, and which is divided into a plurality of windows, a number of vertical elevators being arranged one behind the other along the longitudinal side of the storage rack, and which respectively comprise one load suspension device for receiving and delivering of at least one of the storage units.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2011
    Assignee: SSI Schaefer Noel GmbH Lager-und Systemtechnik
    Inventor: Gerhard Schäfer
  • Publication number: 20110014018
    Abstract: A storage apparatus has an rack of storage bins, a a pick head drive unit to drive a pick head to an access location for a selected bin, and a platform drive unit to drive a platform forming part of the pick head into and out of the rack to pick or load packages at a selected bin of the rack. The platform has a cam formation which, in the course of entry of the platform into the rack acting to lift a desired package until the platform reaches a clearance position at which the cam formation clears the package. Subsequent withdrawal of the platform from the rack acts to drag the desired package from the selected bin.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 16, 2009
    Publication date: January 20, 2011
    Inventors: Wes van Ooyen, Todd Willick, Derek Bessette
  • Patent number: 7871232
    Abstract: A line feed system of the invention comprises a framework having a first end and a second end. At least one conveyor is carried on the framework. The conveyor comprises a drive system and a cart configured to engage the drive system. In one embodiment, the cart has a base that engages the drive system and a carriage that is movable, e.g., extensible and retractable, with respect to the base. In another embodiment, the drive system is extensible and retractable. The cart can also include one or more lift devices that can be raised and lowered with respect to the carriage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 18, 2011
    Inventor: David W. Lutz
  • Publication number: 20100290874
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for introducing loading auxiliary means (8) with a transport device (7) into a shelf compartment (9) with storage spaces (11a to 11d) arranged one behind the other. The loading auxiliary means (8) is conveyed by the transport device (7) into the shelf compartment (9) to the front storage space (11a to 11d) in the direction of introduction (10), after which a further loading means (8) is moved by the transport device (7) into the shelf compartment (9) to the front storage space (11a to 11d) and in this way the preceding loading auxiliary means (8) conveyed to the front storage space (11a to 11d) in introduction direction (10) is moved to the storage space (11a to 11d) that is behind and the additional loading auxiliary means (8) is moved into the front storage space (11a to 11d).
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 19, 2008
    Publication date: November 18, 2010
    Applicant: TGW MECHANICS GMBH
    Inventor: Christoph Wolkerstorfer
  • Publication number: 20100268374
    Abstract: A stocker system and a method of managing a stocker, the stocker system including a stocker, a rack master, and a sensor to easily examine a shelf of the stocker. The stocker includes the shelf on which a product is loaded. The rack master includes a body part and an arm part connected to the body part to move the product toward or away from the stocker. The sensor unit faces the shelf when the arm part is moved above or below the shelf and the sensor unit is disposed on the arm part. The sensor unit includes a facing surface that is not in contact with the arm part. A plurality of displacement sensors is disposed on the facing surface of the sensor unit to measure relative positions between the sensor unit and the shelf at a plurality of positions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 2, 2009
    Publication date: October 21, 2010
    Applicant: Samsung Mobile Display Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Ki-Chae JUNG