Article Handling Patents (Class 700/213)
  • Patent number: 9811796
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for delivering a shipment by an unmanned transport device to a receiving container for said shipment, the method comprising the following and additional steps: moving the unmanned transport device into a destination area associated with the receiving container, on the basis of geographical co-ordinates; once the unmanned transport device has reached the destination area, pairing of the transport device with the receiving container and exchanging electronic authorization information between the receiving container and the unmanned transport device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2017
    Assignee: Deutsche Post AG
    Inventors: Thomas Ogilvie, Matthäus Pruski, Ramin Benz
  • Patent number: 9796083
    Abstract: A simulation apparatus includes: a robot model arranging unit that arranges a robot model on a virtual space; a configuration information storage unit that stores configuration information of a robot system; a transport device arrangement position calculating unit that calculates a transport device arrangement position based on a follow-up operation reference coordinate system related to a follow-up operation of a robot, included in the configuration information; and a detection unit arrangement position calculating unit that calculates a detection unit arrangement position based on the follow-up operation reference coordinate system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: FANUC CORPORATION
    Inventors: Hiroyuki Atohira, Yoshiharu Nagatsuka
  • Patent number: 9783371
    Abstract: An article alignment apparatus includes an interval setting unit configured to specify a distance between articles aligned along a movement direction of a conveyor, a movement amount acquisition unit configured to acquire a movement amount of a placement portion of the conveyor from a detector, a virtual target generation unit configured to generate a virtual target which serves as a reference in positioning the article on the placement portion, before a robot executes a placement operation of the article, and a placement operation execution unit configured to place the article within the virtual target by tracking the virtual target moving together with the conveyor based on information detected by the detector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2017
    Assignee: Fanuc Corporation
    Inventor: Masafumi Ooba
  • Patent number: 9757080
    Abstract: A radiographic system includes a photographic unit; an operating panel including a button configured to be pressed to indicate that a movement direction of the photographic unit is to be limited to a specific movement direction; a measurement unit provided between the operating panel and the photographic unit and configured to measure a magnitude and a direction of an external force applied to the operating panel; and a drive unit configured to move the photographic unit only in the specific movement direction based on the magnitude and the direction of the external force measured by the measurement unit in response to the button being pressed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2017
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Dong Jae Lee, Soo Sang Yang, Hyeon Min Lee, Jeong Pil Lee, Woo Sup Han, Hyun Woong Hwang, Seung Hoon Shin, Do Hyeong Hwang, Jong Beom Her
  • Patent number: 9699420
    Abstract: A door regulation apparatus positions a door mounted in a freely rotatably state in a vehicle body at a reference position in a gap/step measuring process, makes a step of a preset portion of the door to zero, and includes: i) a frame installed outside of a vehicle body transfer line; ii) a moving member reciprocating in the frame through a driving unit; iii) a clamping unit installed in the moving member vacuum adsorbs a skin surface of the door; iv) a sensor installed in the clamping unit senses a vacuum pressure operating at the skin surface; v) a vision photographing unit installed in the moving member photographs a preset portion of the door; and iv) a control unit analyzes and processes a sensing signal from the sensor and vision data that acquires from the vision photographing unit to control the driving unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2017
    Assignee: Hyundai Motor Company
    Inventor: Sangkyu Park
  • Patent number: 9676560
    Abstract: A conveyor arrangement for conveying containers in a container treatment system, including a conveyor track, at least one conveyor element movably arranged on the conveyor track and used for conveying one or a plurality of containers, a conveyor element servicing device connected to the conveyor track, and an open-loop and/or closed-loop control unit, where the conveyor track and the conveyor element are configured such that the conveyor element can be guided along the conveyor track in an individually controllable manner by means of the open-loop and/or closed-loop control unit, and where the open-loop and/or closed-loop control unit is configured to supply the conveyor element to the servicing device depending on at least one state parameter of the conveyor element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2017
    Assignee: KRONES AG
    Inventors: Konrad Senn, Ralf Walter
  • Patent number: 9633329
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present invention address deficiencies of the art in respect to staging manufactured items and provide a method, system and computer program product for staging items in a manufacturing environment. In an embodiment of the invention, a method for staging items in a manufacturing environment can be provided. The method can include defining attributes of staging locations in a distribution area of the manufacturing environment, defining a set of staging strategies for use in the distribution area of the manufacturing environment, receiving a manufactured item in the distribution area and obtaining characteristics of the manufactured item, and comparing the obtained characteristics of the manufactured item to the set of staging strategies to select the staging strategy to apply to the manufactured item.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2017
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Jason S. Lee, Ivory W. Knipfer, Antoine Sater, Manivannan Thavasi, Yajun Tu
  • Patent number: 9621856
    Abstract: A structure is provided which reduces erroneous estimation when a state of a work is estimated. An image processing apparatus includes: a camera which inputs an image of a work; a work state estimation unit which estimates a state of the work from the image which has been input by the camera; an occurrence probability storage unit which stores an occurrence probability that is previously associated with each state of the work; and a reliability calculation unit which calculates reliability for the estimated state of the work, based on the state of the work estimated by the work state estimation unit and the occurrence probability which corresponds to the state of the work.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2017
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Takahisa Yamamoto
  • Patent number: 9557733
    Abstract: A Packaging System having a Packaging Line designed to produce Packaged Consumer Products; a Marking System designed to mark individual or packs of Packaged Consumer Products with graphical information, and a Line Controller designed to control the Packaging Line and the Marking System. The Marking System includes: Marking Equipment and a Marking Server. The Marking Server is designed to receive Production Batch Data and associated Template Identifier(s); and a Marking Device Controller. The Line Controller is designed to: receive Production Batch Data and generate Marking Instruction(s) for associated Marking Device Controller(s). The Marking Device Controller is designed to: receive Marking Instruction(s) from the Line Controller, fetch out from a Repository in the Marking Server stored Mark Layout Template(s) and Production Batch Data, and generate Marking Command(s) for Marking Device(s) controlled by the Marking Device Controller based on fetched Mark Layout Template(s) and Production Batch Data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2017
    Assignee: TETRA LAVAL HOLDINGS & FINANCE S.A.
    Inventors: Paolo Zanichelli, Filippo Serafini, Claudio Donati, Lorenzo Tacconi
  • Patent number: 9536766
    Abstract: An article transport carriage includes a carriage main body configured to travel along a travel path, a support portion configured to support a bottom surface of an article from below, a projecting and retracting actuator for projecting and retracting the support portion between a projected position and a retracted position, a pressure applying portion located directly above the article supported by the support portion in the retracted position, and a distance changing actuator for changing the distance in the vertical direction between the support portion and the pressure applying portion between a pressure applying distance and a spaced apart distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2017
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Tomotaka Kinugawa
  • Patent number: 9531928
    Abstract: A gimbal assembly may include an imbalance compensation system having a driver operatively connected to a movable weight. A controller may determine a compensating position for the movable weight to counterbalance an effective moment imparted on the gimbal assembly by one or more movable components therein. The controller may command the driver to relocate the movable weight to the compensating position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2016
    Assignee: FLIR Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Bruce Ellison, Kevin E. Jones
  • Patent number: 9508583
    Abstract: An article transport carriage includes a carriage main body configured to travel along a travel path, a support portion configured to support a bottom surface of an article from below, a projecting and retracting actuator for projecting and retracting the support portion between a projected position and a retracted position, a pressure applying portion located directly above the article supported by the support portion in the retracted position, and a distance changing actuator for changing the distance in the vertical direction between the support portion and the pressure applying portion between a pressure applying distance and a spaced apart distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2016
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Tomotaka Kinugawa
  • Patent number: 9469476
    Abstract: A method, system, and/or computer program product dynamically configures a delivery system for delivering products to smart mats. A delivery coordination server determines a location of multiple smart mats. Each of the smart mats includes a positioning system and a transmitter that transmits a message describing the real-time geophysical location of the smart mats. The delivery coordination server receives a message describing a location of a first delivery vehicle that is transporting a first package addressed for delivery to a first smart mat. The delivery coordination server determines that the first smart mat has moved to a location that is within a predetermined distance of a second smart mat, to which a second delivery vehicle is scheduled to deliver a second package. The delivery coordination server directs the first delivery vehicle to transfer the first package to the second delivery vehicle for delivery to the first smart mat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2016
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Maryam Ashoori, Sara H. Basson, Minkyong Kim, James R. Kozloski, Clifford A. Pickover, Maja Vukovic
  • Patent number: 9452854
    Abstract: Computer-based systems and method for managing and tracking controlled material movements receive significant movement information items at a controlled material movement control server and allow a plurality of users to readily access all or portions of the information items. The systems and methods apply predetermined rules to the movement information items to flag features of interest and facilitate the employment of limited real-world time and resources.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2016
    Assignee: Intellifuel Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven C. Godfrey, Richard B. Evans
  • Patent number: 9448063
    Abstract: In a method for detecting a position of a substrate transfer device including a substrate supporting unit, the light-transmitting optical sensor is moved with respect to a detection target provided at a predetermined relative position with respect to a position where a substrate is to be transferred by the substrate transfer device, and a vertical dimension of the detection target that blocks the optical axis is measured by setting the substrate supporting unit in a first orientation and relatively moving up or down the optical sensor with respect to the detection target. A vertical dimension of the detection target that blocks the optical axis is measured by setting the substrate supporting unit in a second orientation and relatively moving the optical sensor with respect to the detection target. Horizontal coordinates of a reference position of the detection target are obtained based on the measured vertical dimensions in the respective orientations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2016
    Assignee: TOYKO ELECTRON LIMITED
    Inventor: Keisuke Kondoh
  • Patent number: 9436913
    Abstract: An adaptive probabilistic computer-controlled method and system determines computer-controlled actions that are expected to reduce uncertainties that are embodied as probabilities and then updates the probabilities in accordance with the results of the computer-controlled actions. The updated probabilities inform the determination of subsequent computer-controlled actions. Expected values of information may also be applied in determining the subsequent computer-controlled actions. The computer-controlled actions may comprise analysis of content and generating recommendations that are delivered to users, and inferences from the analysis of content and usage behaviors may inform the updating of the probabilities. Statistical learning functions and/or neural networks may be applied in determining the computer-controlled actions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2016
    Assignee: ManyWorlds, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven Dennis Flinn, Naomi Felina Moneypenny
  • Patent number: 9432855
    Abstract: A method, system, and medium are provided for connecting Machine-to-Machine (M2M) components of trucks. The system includes at least one base station, a central computer, and trucks that are part of a wireless network. Each M2M component calculates metrics. The metrics are transmitted to a central computer that identifies M2M components that are suitable for communicating to a base station over the wireless network. The identified M2M components that are suitable are configured to send package delivery information stored by the M2M component on each truck over a wireless network to the central computer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2016
    Assignee: Sprint Communications Company L.P.
    Inventors: Geoffrey Scott Martin, Michael Philip Dougan
  • Patent number: 9404904
    Abstract: Disclosed non-destructive inspection methods comprise non-contact determination of the location of a non-destructive inspection probe and identification of the location on a test structure where test data is acquired by the probe. Determination may include capturing the positions of the probe and the test structure with one or more electronic cameras. Identification may include associating the acquired test data with the location of the probe relative to the test structure. Further, methods may comprise visualization of the test data relative to the identified location. Disclosed non-destructive inspection systems comprise a probe, one or more electronic cameras, a computer, and a display, together configured to determine the location of the probe, to acquire test data with the probe, to identify a location on a test structure associated with the test data, and to visualize the test data in relation to the test structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2016
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Edward L. Puckett, Andrej M. Savol
  • Patent number: 9366975
    Abstract: A stage transferring device invention includes: a transferring stage upon which an object is mounted and which transfers the object in an x-y plane; and a stage position measuring device. The stage position measuring device includes a one-dimensional scale on the transferring stage; a one-dimensional scale reading head which is configured to overlap the one-dimensional scale, irradiate a measuring beam to the overlapped one-dimensional scale and measure a 1D y-axis coordinate of the transferring stage; a two-dimensional encoder on the transferring stage; and a two-dimensional encoder reading head which is configured to overlap the two-dimensional encoder, irradiate a measuring beam to the overlapped two-dimensional encoder and measure a 2D x-axis coordinate and a 2D y-axis coordinate of the transferring stage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2016
    Assignee: SAMSUNG DISPLAY CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Hi Kuk Lee, Sang Don Jang, Jae Hyuk Chang, Hyang-Shik Kong, Cha-Dong Kim, Chang Hoon Kim, Jung-In Park, Sang Hyun Yun
  • Patent number: 9367827
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a cross-dock management system comprises: a plurality of movable platforms configured to hold one or more pallets or parcels; at least one barcode or RFID tag positioned on each of said movable platforms, pallets, or parcels, wherein the barcode readers are configured to read the barcodes and RFID readers are configured to read the RFID tags. The data scanned by the barcode readers and RFID readers is stored in a local warehouse database and is used to determine an optimized placement and load for each movable platform in the warehouse.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2016
    Assignee: Innovative Logistics, Inc.
    Inventors: Gary Shannon Lively, Mark Bradley, Patrick Sullivan
  • Patent number: 9334113
    Abstract: A material handling systems provides efficient storage, retrieval and sortation of articles, utilizing a plurality of carts capable of traveling under storage areas with a three dimensional warehouse system and on multiple levels. The carts may convey items from storage to a goods to operator user interface. The carts may function as decoupled sortation units capable of providing sortation at multiple mobile sortation locations, providing vertical sortation. Carts may include conveying surfaces, and sort articles from between carts. Carts may transport more than one article and a plurality of carts may transport a single article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2016
    Inventor: John R. Naylor
  • Patent number: 9304140
    Abstract: A sample analyzer comprising: a sample dispenser for dispensing a sample into a reaction container; a sample transporter for sequentially transports a plurality of reaction containers along a transporting path; a processing station including a plurality of processing sections and a transferring section that transfers a reaction container between the sample transporter and the processing sections; and a controller is disclosed. The sample dispenser sequentially dispenses samples at intervals. The controller alternates the interval when problem occurred at any of the processing sections.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2016
    Assignee: SYSMEX CORPORATION
    Inventor: Yuji Wakamiya
  • Patent number: 9282688
    Abstract: A computer-implemented method and a control system are described for controlling operations involving residue. The method includes executing a first operation on a field with an implement resulting in residue on the field. A first image is captured with a camera assembly of an area of the field that is ahead of or behind the implement. The first image is analyzed to determine an indicator of residue coverage on the field. A subsequent operation on the field is executed, one or more aspects of which are controlled based upon the determined indicator of residue coverage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2016
    Assignee: Deere & Company
    Inventors: Robert T. Casper, Ricky B. Theilen, John M. Schweitzer
  • Patent number: 9268211
    Abstract: The invention relates to a lithographic apparatus including an illumination system configured to condition a radiation beam, a patterning device support constructed to support a patterning device, the patterning device being capable of imparting the radiation beam with a pattern in its cross-section to form a patterned radiation beam, a substrate support constructed to hold a substrate; a projection system configured to project the patterned radiation beam onto a target portion of the substrate, and an encoder-type measurement system configured to at least during projection of the patterned radiation beam onto a target portion of the substrate continuously determine a position quantity of a patterning device supported on the patterning device support using a grid or grating provided on the patterning device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2016
    Assignee: ASML NETHERLANDS B.V.
    Inventors: Jan Van Eijk, Engelbertus Antonius Fransiscus Van Der Pasch, Johannes Petrus Martinus Bernardus Vermeulen
  • Patent number: 9264297
    Abstract: A method includes processing an event data associated with an item in transit between a source location and a destination location based on a scan data of a logistical node between the source location and the destination location. The server determines if the event data associated with the item in transit between the source location and the destination location based on the scan data of the logistical node between the source location and the destination location associated with a response action defined in a matching table by the multimodal communication server using a processor and a memory. The server automatically initiates the response action when the event data associated with the item in transit between the source location and the destination location based on the scan data of the logistical node between the source location and the destination location is defined in the matching table on the multimodal communication server.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2016
    Assignee: ACCUZIP, INC.
    Inventor: Steve Belmonte
  • Patent number: 9248973
    Abstract: An inventory system has mobile drive units that freely and independently move about a facility to transport inventory holders. The mobile drive units may operate through communications with other drive units, or under a more centralized control of a management module. For various operating scenarios, the mobile drive units are directed to shuffle the inventory holders in a manner that minimizes travel of the mobile drive units, thereby improving overall system efficiency. One or more single mobile drive units may be used to transport inventory holders to and from a region, and one or more other mobile drive units may be used to reposition or slide each of the inventory holders back and forth within the region to efficiently place inventory holders before an operator on an as-needed basis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 2, 2016
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Jeremiah David Brazeau
  • Patent number: 9244591
    Abstract: System and method for developing a motion application. A motion manager component implementing a supervisory control function and at least one trajectory generation algorithm is stored on a motion controller. A first application programming interface (API) for interfacing the motion manager component to a user developed motion control application is displayed. A second API for interfacing the motion manager component to a user developed communication interface component is displayed. A user application executable for sequencing motion operations in the motion system is created using the first API is created in response to user input. A first communication interface component is created using the second API in response to user input, where the communication interface component is operable to interface with the motion manager component using the second API, and where the user developed communication interface component is executable to communicate with a motion element, e.g., a drive or simulation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2016
    Assignee: National Instruments Corporation
    Inventor: Sundeep Chandhoke
  • Patent number: 9242798
    Abstract: Methods, systems and apparatus for determining stowability based on item-size categories are described. Embodiments may select a storage module for a stow operation based on accessing stowability information. Stowability information, in various embodiments may include stowability information for each storage module in a materials handling system. Stowability information may indicate a capacity to hold additional items in a storage module. The capacity may be determined according an item-size category descriptor, describing the quantity of items in each category of a storage module, and a storage module capacity module characterizing item descriptors of fully-stowed storage modules. In some embodiments the storage module capacity model is a function fitted to data points representing the values of item-size descriptors of fully-stowed storage modules. Embodiments may update the stowability information for a storage module in response to the removal of an item from the storage module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2016
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Danny Guan
  • Patent number: 9235817
    Abstract: Systems and methods of vehicle freight/load distribution are provided to assist in determining optimal freight distribution. Although it is standard practice to fill each vehicle to its maximum limit, due to the non-linear nature of engine fueling maps (that is, fueling maps vary non-linearly as a function of torque and speed), the optimal distribution may not be obtained by the standard practice. Finding a solution for the optimal freight distribution may also need to account for the cost of fueling and operator costs, particularly if the situation involves multiple vehicles not filled to capacity. The benefit is increased freight efficiency in transporting cargo from source to destination amongst a fleet of vehicles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 12, 2016
    Assignee: CUMMINS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, INC.
    Inventors: Vivek A. Sujan, Phani Vajapeyazula, Kenneth Follen, An Wu, Barty L. Moffett
  • Patent number: 9171250
    Abstract: The method of determining back-feed paths is capable of efficiently solving multi-layer restoration problems by minimizing a fitness function using an iterative genetic algorithm. The method optimizes back-feeding of out-of-service areas by minimizing power loss, switching, unserved loads and voltage/current violations. The efficiency of the algorithm is further increased through the use of a reactive Tabu search to prevent duplicate candidate systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2015
    Assignee: ABB Research Ltd.
    Inventors: Zhenyuan Wang, Vaibhav D. Donde, James Stoupis, Wenping Li, William Peterson
  • Patent number: 9157812
    Abstract: A temperature monitoring and display system for use in data centers includes a magnetic layer that attaches to a server cabinet of a data center, and a flexible printed circuit board (FPCB). A plurality of lighting units and temperature sensors are mounted to the FPCB. An integrated controller of the temperature monitoring and display system receives temperature signals from the temperature sensors and, based on those signals, controls the lighting units to output predetermined colors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2015
    Assignee: DCIM Solutions, LLC
    Inventor: Anthony W. Gennello
  • Patent number: 9150389
    Abstract: The invention relates to a system capable of determining in which lane a container handling machine is present below a quay crane or the like crane and/or capable of determining the correct location of a container handling machine in its driving direction (y) with respect to a quay crane or the like crane as containers are delivered to the crane or containers are retrieved from the crane by the container handling machine. The crane is fitted with at least one scanning laser distance sensor or the like range finder, and the container handling machines are fitted with one or more reflectors whose height profile is used for the determination of a correct location and/or for the identification of a container handling machine and for the distinction thereof from other container handling machines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2015
    Assignee: Konecranes Plc
    Inventors: Kari Rintanen, Mikko Sampo
  • Patent number: 9153469
    Abstract: A calculating apparatus includes an acquiring portion and a calculating portion. The acquiring portion acquires a center position of a wafer placed on an alignment apparatus, and a wafer angle corresponding to a marker such as an orientation flat. The calculating portion calculates by using the wafer center position and the wafer angle, a rotational angle of the wafer on the alignment apparatus, an approach angle, which is an angle of a direction in which a transfer robot approaches the wafer, and a distance between the wafer after the rotation and the transfer robot. Then, the alignment apparatus rotates the wafer by the rotational angle. The transfer robot turns by the approach angle. Subsequently, the transfer robot extends its arm according to the distance, thereby approaching the wafer, and retrieves the wafer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2015
    Assignee: DAIHEN CORPORATION
    Inventor: Takumi Kobayashi
  • Patent number: 9139383
    Abstract: A system and method provides for controlling a pneumatic carrier system based on identification information read from a carrier or a payload of the carrier. Each carrier or payload which is to be employed within the system includes an identification device such as a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip which has stored thereon information for the carrier or payload. Positioned throughout the system are communications devices such as antennas and readers which are employed to read and/or write identification information on the identification device. Based on reading the identification device at locations within the system, the operation of the system is altered.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2015
    Assignee: TRANSLOGIC CORPORATION
    Inventor: Kenneth Michael Hoganson
  • Patent number: 9092752
    Abstract: A targeted product distribution system is described herein with respect to an exemplary management of product flow through a distribution center. Specifically, the system and method described herein is directed to the management and display of direct and easily-understood instructions, such that average individuals, as well as those with mental disabilities, will be able to contribute equally to the overall process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2015
    Assignee: Walgreen Co.
    Inventors: Vinayak Pandit, Brian Amend, Louie Chin, Jeffrey Elliott, Kathy Emery, Gaurav Hasija, Maureen Isidoro, Lionel Ng, Doug Peterson, Todd Steffen, Patrick Sullivan
  • Patent number: 9082802
    Abstract: An apparatus, system, or method for positioning a wafer on a support of a rotatable chuck may improve the accuracy and precision of various wafer edge cuts and wafer profiling at a variety of stages of wafer manufacturing. The apparatus, system, or and/or method may employ one or more of a wafer position calculator to calculate a desired wafer position and to provide desired wafer position information to a wafer arm controller; and a wafer arm controller in communication with the wafer position calculator to provide instructions to adjust a wafer arm to position the wafer on the support according to the desired wafer position. Various sensor detectors and sensor lights or other mechanisms for sensing the position of a wafer may also be used.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2015
    Assignee: MACRONIX INTERNATIONAL CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Chin Cheng Yang
  • Patent number: 9079223
    Abstract: A method is provided for allocating a first item from a group of items to a receiver selected from a group of receivers. The method includes obtaining characteristic property information for the group of items and obtaining capacity information for the group of receivers. According to the method, a characteristic property of the first item which is to be allocated and a characteristic property of a selected second item within the group of items are used in consideration of possible options for allocating said first and second items to the group of receivers. Taking into account the respective capacities of receivers in the group of receivers, it is then determined which receiver should be selected for allocation of the first item thereto.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2015
    Assignee: VALKA EHF and REYKJAVIK UNIVERSITY
    Inventors: Yngvi Bjornsson, Einar Bjorn Jonsson, Helgi Hjalmarsson
  • Patent number: 9061843
    Abstract: A system and method for automatically planning and controlling container flow operations in a large-scale container terminal shipping container transportation and storage terminals such as those at ports is disclosed. The system and method automatically scheduling operations of the container terminal in a holistic manner in multiple different time windows in advance in which operations are scheduled in a far-ahead horizon time window, in a candidate horizon time window, and in an imminent horizon time window.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2015
    Assignee: Navis LLC
    Inventors: Andrew Torson, Oscar Pernia Fernandez, John Philip Scattergood, Joseph Louis Weiner
  • Patent number: 9056336
    Abstract: Methods, apparatus, software and systems are disclosed for improved processing of mailpieces in order to reduce expensive manual steps. Shiny mail, i.e., mailpieces having glossy surfaces that sometimes interfere with printing of barcodes and or ID Tags may lead to rejects. In some embodiments, shiny mailpieces are identified, and at least one new (non-shiny) label is over-labeled in the POSTNET clear zone (108), the ID Tag zone (202), or both. In one embodiment, a specially-configured Reject Encoding Machine (REM) (1142) is employed to label or over-label a POSTNET clear zone (1110), resolve the destination address (1112) if possible, and print the barcode (1114) in a single operation. Thereafter, the mailpiece may be transferred from the REM into a downstream DBCS (1144), thereby re-introducing the mailpiece into the automated mail stream rather than being relegated to a manual stream.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2015
    Assignee: RAF Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: William R. Brandt
  • Patent number: 9052187
    Abstract: An apparatus relating to the manufacture of stacked semiconductor devices includes, for example, a first holding section configured to hold a first semiconductor device and a second holding section configured to hold a second semiconductor device. Additionally, a measuring section including an imaging device for acquiring images of the first and second semiconductor devices and a control section configured to control the holding sections to correct misalignment between the semiconductor devices. The control section is further configured to determine misalignment using the images of the first and second semiconductor devices when the images include a first alignment mark disposed proximate to an edge of the first semiconductor device and a second alignment mark disposed proximate to an edge of the second semiconductor device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2015
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Naoyuki Komuta, Masatoshi Fukuda
  • Patent number: 9043234
    Abstract: A system for locating goods stored in a storage area includes a computer, radio frequency transceivers and modular hangers. Ordered goods are placed in storage units that each have addresses at a central filling center. The filled storage units are shipped to local storage areas where they are coupled to hook units to form modular hangers and stored on rails. The identifications of the goods and the electronic addresses for corresponding hangers are stored on a local computer database. When a user wants to pick up goods stored in the containers, the user inputs the identification or order information for the goods and the computer will cause the radio frequency transmitter to emit a data packet that includes a search address and illumination data. The hangers compare the search address to the electronic address. If there is a match, the hanger is illuminated so the ordered goods can be found.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: Maxor National Pharmacy Services Corp.
    Inventors: Kevin C Delaney, Kendrick S Lim, Robert G Guillermo
  • Patent number: 9043019
    Abstract: In a preferred embodiment, an Automated Pharmacy Admixture System (APAS) may include a manipulator system to transport medical containers such as bags, vials, or syringes in a compounding chamber regulated to a pressure below atmospheric pressure. In a preferred implementation, the manipulator system is configured to grasp and convey syringes, IV bags, and vials of varying shapes and sizes from a storage system in an adjacent chamber regulated at a pressure above atmospheric pressure. Various embodiments may include a controller adapted to actuate the manipulator system to bring a fill port of an IV bag, vial, or syringe into register with a filling port at a fluid transfer station in the chamber. A preferred implementation includes a sanitization system that can substantially sanitize a bung on a fill port of a vial or IV bag in preparation for transport to the fluid transfer station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: Intelligent Hospital Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Walter W. Eliuk, Ronald H. Rob, Lance R. Mlodzinski, Alex H. Reinhardt, Thom Doherty
  • Patent number: 9043012
    Abstract: A pharmacy automation system having a robot having a hardware device and a software for internal mapping is configured to carry out at least the following different interactions: the robot communicates autonomously with a physician or an assistant directly or via an intermediary; the robot interacts with an inventory of goods and browses the inventory of goods to determine if a prescribed medication is available in the pharmacy; if the prescribed medication is available in the pharmacy, the robot interacts with a medication dispenser, using the internal mapping to fill a container with the prescribed medication, and store the container; when a patient or a proxy arrives to pick up the prescribed medication, the robot checks and approves an identification of the patient or the proxy; and hands the container with the prescribed medication over to the patient or proxy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Inventors: Neil S. Davey, Brendan Boyce Murphy, Sonya R. Davey, Haris Godil
  • Patent number: 9037290
    Abstract: Systems, methods, devices, and non-transitory processor readable media of the various embodiments enable control of a conveyor having a plurality of zones each having a control module configured to control a selectable speed of the zone. The various embodiments are disclosed in connection with, but not necessarily limited to, accumulation conveyors with control systems which selectively set the speeds of zones based on conditions of upstream and downstream zones. The various embodiments are directed to improving efficiency of accumulation systems by controlling zones based upon consideration of conditions of neighboring zones. The various embodiment also enable the generation and use of translation tables correlating zones with network addresses of their respective control modules.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: INTELLIGRATED HEADQUARTERS LLC
    Inventors: Raymond R. Neiser, Jason A. Johnson, Brian J. Resnick, Christopher Scott Anderson, Kevin L. Klueber, Matthew Ross Wicks, Richard L. Kerns
  • Patent number: 9026249
    Abstract: A robot calibration method which aligns the coordinate system of a gantry module with the coordinate system of a camera system is disclosed. The method includes using an alignment tool, which allows the operator to place workpieces in locations known by the gantry module. An image is then captured of these workpieces by the camera system. A controller uses the information from the gantry module and the camera system to determine the relationship between the two coordinate systems. It then determines a transformation equation to convert from one coordinate system to the other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2015
    Assignee: Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates, Inc.
    Inventors: Jason M. Schaller, Robert Brent Vopat, James R. McLane
  • Patent number: 9026243
    Abstract: The invention relates to an order picking station (48) and a method of picking articles from loading aids (2) by an order picker, adjoined by automated conveyor systems (20, 41) disposed on different height levels, loading aids (2) being conveyed to the order picking station (48) on a first conveyor system (20) and loading aids (2) being conveyed away from the order picking station (48) by a second conveyor system (41), and comprising a loading aid supply apparatus (61), an automated first loading aid transport apparatus for transporting loading aids (2) to the loading aid supply apparatus (61) and an automated second loading aid transport apparatus for transporting loading aids (2) away from the loading aid supply apparatus (61), and the first loading aid transport apparatus has a first carrying unit (62) for a loading aid (2) and the second loading aid transport apparatus has a second carrying unit (63) for a loading aid (2).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2015
    Assignee: TGW Mechanics GmbH
    Inventors: Guenther Radwallner, Christoph Wolkerstorfer
  • Patent number: 9020633
    Abstract: In some embodiments, an automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) for storing workpieces includes a main body, a robotic arm mechanism and at least one first station. The workpiece comprises a first container configured to hold at least one article. The main body includes at least one side wall configured to confine a storage space for the workpieces in at least one first direction parallel to a floor. The robotic arm mechanism is configured to reach the storage space, the storage space being further confined by the robotic arm mechanism in at least one second direction opposite to the at least one first direction. The at least one first station is configured with at least one first accessing port located within the storage space, and configured for the ASRS to perform a routine for a process flow.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2015
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd.
    Inventors: Yung-Ho Chen, Chun-Jung Huang
  • Patent number: 9020631
    Abstract: Disclosed are various embodiments for consolidating multiple pickings of an item to fulfill multiple shipments into a single picking of the multiple items. A determination is first made whether a metric representing a plurality of shipments exceeds a threshold, wherein individual ones of the plurality of shipments are mapped to corresponding ones of a plurality of item locations in a fulfillment center. The plurality of shipments are then remapped to an individual one of the plurality of item locations in response to a determination that the metric exceeds the threshold. Finally, a picking of the items is initiated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2015
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Denis Bellavance, Michael Cy Wu, Robert James Wilson, Bryan Michael Psimas, Mona Mehrandish, Jacob Marshall Austin, Salman Hamid Ali, Nishant Singh, Fnu Arun Singhal
  • Patent number: 9020632
    Abstract: A material handling systems provides efficient storage, retrieval and sortation of articles, utilizing a plurality of carts capable of traveling under storage areas with a three dimensional warehouse system and on multiple levels. The carts may convey items from storage to a goods to operator user interface. The carts may function as decoupled sortation units capable of providing sortation at multiple mobile sortation locations, providing vertical sortation. Carts may include conveying surfaces, and sort articles from between carts. Carts may transport more than one article and a plurality of carts may transport a single article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2015
    Assignee: Intelligrated Headquarters, LLC
    Inventor: John R. Naylor
  • Patent number: 9014841
    Abstract: A device for removing tested semiconductor components from a clamping carrier having fixed stop elements and movable clamping elements, pre-tensioned by spring elements includes an actuation device arranged above the clamping carrier, which moves the clamping elements into an opening position enabling the clamping carrier to be discharged, and then moves the clamping elements into a rest position after discharge, an intermediate carrier, positioned under the clamping carrier during discharge, onto which the clamping carrier is emptied, a data memory in which data about each semiconductor component are stored, and a removal device, which removes the semiconductor components from the intermediate carrier and sorts them into at least two different categories in accordance with the data stored in the data memory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Assignee: Multitest Elektronishche Systeme GmbH
    Inventors: Thomas Hofmann, Klaas Akkermann, Stefan Kurz, Andreas Nagy, Johann Pötzinger, Bernhard Lorenz