Article Handling Patents (Class 700/213)
  • Patent number: 8996161
    Abstract: Control architecture for use with transport systems, such as linear drive systems, rotary drive systems, or a combination thereof, comprising a computer system having a controller for operating control system software for receiving input commands and protocols for creating a motion profile for each transport element, and a gateway for receiving the motion profile from the control system software and for operating gateway drive software that functions to select the appropriate drives to move each transport element along one or more tracks in accordance with their motion profiles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Rockwell Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Glen C. Wernersbach, Keith G. Jacobs
  • Patent number: 8996157
    Abstract: There is proposed a unit including a station for preparing orders, controlled by a control system. The station has a first circuit that includes a first outward conveyor, which receives containers for storing products, and an accumulator for accumulating a predetermined quantity of storage containers received on the first outward conveyor. The accumulator includes: at least one first shaft comprising superposed mobile positions that can each receive and downwardly move at least one storage container, the at least one first shaft vertically accumulating and sequentially dispensing storage containers previously placed in the positions; and at least one first elevator moving vertically along the at least one first chute up to each of the locations of the at least one first chute.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Savoye
    Inventor: Jean-Michel Collin
  • Patent number: 8996159
    Abstract: A handling system for containers includes an automated zone in which floor-bound, rubber-tired and driverless container transport vehicles are used which transport containers between container bridges and a container storage facility. A non-automated zone is provided in which floor-bound, rubber-tired and manned container transport vehicles are used, the container transport vehicles being optionally operable in a driverless or manned mode and thus being optionally transportable in the automated zone or the non-automated zone. A corresponding container transport vehicle which can be connected to an auxiliary device for control in the manned mode is characterized in that the auxiliary device comprises a driver's cab that is equipped with a control system for steering, motion control and braking in the manned mode, the container transport vehicle having a detachable fastening possibility for the driver's cab at the front face of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Terex MHPS GmbH
    Inventors: Hermann Franzen, Armin Wieschemann, Jannis Moutsokapas
  • Patent number: 8989892
    Abstract: Apparatus and method for the defined intermediate storage of produced articles of the same type but different size and for the simultaneous composition of consignments of said articles, having the following features: a) a delivery path (3) for the continuous conveying of the produced products into the region of stacking robots (7), b) a multiplicity of transport vehicles (9) for transporting stacking pallets and order-picking pallets (6), c) a multiplicity of storing positions (10) for stacking pallets, d) one or more stacking robots (5) for filling order-picking pallets (6), e) a plurality of induction lines (8) for power supply and control of the transport vehicles (9).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 29, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Assignee: Grenzebach Maschinenbau GmbH
    Inventor: Hans-Peter Hill
  • Publication number: 20150076043
    Abstract: A system and method for providing intelligent mail recovery are provided. A cart for receiving a bucket containing mail items provide a camera and scale on a frame for detecting movement of mail items and determining destination as well as an associated weight of the mail item. An indicator is provided to an operator of the system as to the destination of the mail item. The mail item can then be sorted to the appropriate sort location. The system provides the ability to efficiently sort mail in addition to being portable within a sorting facility.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 17, 2014
    Publication date: March 19, 2015
    Inventors: Kirk Serjeantson, Adam Stevenson, David Short, Jim McLellan
  • Patent number: 8983648
    Abstract: Two types of objects are sorted in multiple sorting passes, for instance flat mail items are precisely sorted into a delivery sequence. Objects of a first object type are fed to a sorting system from a first feeding device. Objects of a second object type are fed from a second feeding device. The sorting system sorts the objects in at least two successive sorting passes. A first sorting plan and a second sorting plan are used in each sorting pass except in the last sorting pass, where a sorting plan is used. Each first sorting plan assigns a sorting end location of a first sorting end-location region and each second sorting plan assigns a sorting end location of a second sorting end-location region. A sorting end location is selected for each object using a sorting plan in each sorting pass, and the object is transferred into the selected sorting end location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Franz Kreitmeier, Wolf-Stephan Wilke
  • Patent number: 8983659
    Abstract: A robot system according to the embodiments includes a robot that includes a hand including a gripping mechanism that grips a thin plate-shaped work and an arm that moves the hand, and a robot control apparatus that controls the robot. The robot control apparatus, when causing the robot to transfer the work at a predetermined work transfer position by controlling the robot, performs a presence/absence confirmation of the work by operating the gripping mechanism while causing the hand to retract after the hand reaches the work transfer position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Yaskawa Denki
    Inventor: Yoshiki Kimura
  • Patent number: 8983652
    Abstract: A transporting apparatus includes a motor, a transporting mechanism which receives a power from the motor and transports the sheet, and a control section which controls the motor in accordance with a predetermined control sequence to make the transporting mechanism transport the sheet up to a target position, and detects an occurrence of an electric-current saturation phenomenon in the motor. When the control section detects the occurrence of the electric-current saturation phenomenon, the control section performs correction of the predetermined control sequence including correction in which a target transporting velocity of the sheet is lowered from a predetermined value determined in the predetermined control sequence, and controls the motor in accordance with the corrected control sequence to make the transporting mechanism transport the sheet so that the sheet is stopped at the target position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Mitsuhiro Nozaki
  • Patent number: 8983649
    Abstract: An automated storage system for vehicles or the like is provided with a guidance system that interacts with a remote-controlled transport system that transports a vehicle between an access location, such a drive-up location, and a storage location. More particularly, in one embodiment, an omni-directional, battery-powered, wirelessly-controlled, transport system or so-called automated guided vehicle (“AGV”) is designed to follow magnetic field generating wires and RFID chips on the floors of the parking facility to move forward, backward and side to side underneath cars that are parked on a flat surface. In one embodiment, the AGV automatically contracts and expands its body to slide its arms under the wheelbase of a car, lift the car, and roll with speed and precision in any direction on to a waiting lift, that will then raise and lower the AGV and its automobile payload toward its ultimate destination.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: Boomerang Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Stanley J. Checketts, Stott Barwick, Merin Swasey
  • Patent number: 8977386
    Abstract: Method and systems for sorting are described. In one embodiment, a container is released into a pocket section, with the pocket section being at a first alignment stage. The pocket section is rotated with the container away from the first alignment stage to a second alignment stage. Attributes of the container are acquired at the second alignment stage. An order to which the container belongs is identified with the acquired attributes. The pocket section with the container is rotated to a third alignment stage. The location of the third alignment stage is selected based on the identified order. The container is received to group with one or more containers in the identified order. Additional methods and systems are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2015
    Assignee: Express Scripts, Inc.
    Inventors: Jonathan W. Joplin, Steve Hanlon
  • Patent number: 8977387
    Abstract: A system for managing semiconductor production includes a conveyor to convey a wafer carrier to or from an overhead hoist transfer system. The system also includes a cross-system transport apparatus to transfer the wafer carrier between the conveyor and an overhead shuttle system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2015
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Wei-Cheng Wang, Feng-Ning Lee
  • Publication number: 20150063976
    Abstract: Method and apparatus for the flush transfer of large-surface-area panels of different types of construction to a transporting vehicle, having the following features. At least one conveyor for supplying panels of at least one type of construction. At least one pivoting-stack apparatus, having a gripper frame and having adhesion elements fastened thereon. At least one stack framework on a mobile carriage, wherein the latter is connected to at least one transporting vehicle by a switchable coupling. The transporting vehicle is supplied with power, and controlled electronically and/or electrically, by a multiplicity of lines installed in the floor region. An electrically controlled parking brake on each transporting vehicle, for arresting purposes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 17, 2013
    Publication date: March 5, 2015
    Applicant: Grenzebach Maschinenbau GmbH
    Inventors: Egbert Wenninger, Roland Jenning, Franz Krommer
  • Publication number: 20150066197
    Abstract: Systems, methods and apparatus are provided through which in some multisensory implementations, a patient-lifting-device is controlled by voice recognition, keyboard text input, synaptic control and/or tongue tactile input commands.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 10, 2014
    Publication date: March 5, 2015
    Inventor: Bradford A. Clough
  • Patent number: 8972041
    Abstract: Described herein is a package delivery kiosk (PDK) including an integrated robotic package lifting assembly and shelving system. The system includes a PDK, associated front end and back end package delivery management systems, including portals for the consumer, retailer, common carrier, sender, and recipient, a package inventory management system, integrated retailer access, and a real and automated retailer bidding system. The shelving system has shelves with receiving apertures and dividers configured to fit into the receiving apertures, where the dividers each have a receiving slot. A package retrieving apparatus includes a base, a vertical support interconnected with the base, and a package picker module. The package picker module is oriented to move up and down on the vertical support. The package picker module includes grippers configured to surround and grip the object. A kiosk includes a kiosk body having a package delivery slot and an interface slot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2015
    Assignee: Flextronics AP, LLC
    Inventors: Stephen H. Hancock, Norman B. Desrosiers, Eric Fiest, John Rupert
  • Patent number: 8970864
    Abstract: A system and method for enabling automatic electronic, telephonic, and Internet transactions through print media, as well as providing value that flows to a supplier for the service of enabling such transactions. The transactions can utilize print media that can include electronic recording media and counterfeit protection, where the electronic recording media can identify suppliers of the media, providers of the service promoted by the electronic media, and can set a value for a supplier, such as a print media supplier or facilitator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2015
    Inventor: Avery Levy
  • Patent number: 8972042
    Abstract: The present example of transferring and organizing articles from a shelf into a container, (or “controlled transfer and packing”) also allows a warehouse distribution system to be provided that receives items from a manufacturer or distributor, and boxes or packages the items to produce a shipment to another reseller, or customer, according to a received order in a way that may be efficient than current methods. In particular, the system makes use of a specialized floor plan and equipment that aids in processing the order according to the pricing methods described. The processing also provides an example of transferring and organizing articles from a shelf into a container that controls article tumble when loading the article into a container that tends to increase packing efficiency. Loading of items to be packed into magazines to aid transferring of articles from a shelf into a container is also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2015
    Inventor: Juan Uribe
  • Patent number: 8972045
    Abstract: In an infrastructure that uses a mobile order fulfillment system, robotic drive units may be dispatched and instructed to bring inventory holders to a workstation where at least one of the inventory holders is packed and prepared for shipment. The robotic drive units are then instructed to move the prepared inventory holder to a transport vehicle such as a truck. Fiducial marks may be removably placed within the transport vehicle to aid navigation of the robotic drive units. At a destination facility, additional robotic drive units may be instructed to move the inventory holders from the truck and place the inventory holders at appropriate storage locations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2015
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Cordell Mountz, Oleksandr Glazkov, Timothy Aaron Bragg, Matthew David Verminski, Jeremiah David Brazeau, Peter R. Wurman, John W. Cullen, Michael T. Barbehenn
  • Patent number: 8965559
    Abstract: An automated palletizer includes an automated package pick device capable of moving packages from a package deposit section to a pallet to form a pallet load from packages. A controller is operably connected to the automated pick device, the controller having a pallet load generator configured to determine a pallet load structure of mixed packages. The pallet load generator is programmed so that it determines the load structure from mixed package layers overlaid over each other at least one of the mixed package layers being formed of stacks of mixed packages. Top and bottom surfaces of the stacks corresponding to the at least one mixed package layer respectively form top and bottom surfaces of the at least one mixed package layer that are substantially flat. The controller generates commands for the pick device to build the pallet load from the load structure determined by the pallet load generator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Assignee: Symbotic, LLC
    Inventors: Kirill K. Pankratov, David Ehrenberg, Larry M. Sweet
  • Patent number: 8965566
    Abstract: Objects are sorted according to predetermined groups of sorting feature values. In particular, postal items are sorted according to groups of delivery addresses. A sorting system sorts the objects into a sequence so that all objects with sorting feature values belonging to the same predetermined value group are situated one directly behind another in this sequence. The sorting system has x1 storage subregions, x2 sorting subregions and a sorting plan. The objects are apportioned to the x1 storage subregions. For each storage subregion, an apportionment step is then carried out, in which the objects from this storage subregion are apportioned to the x2 sorting subregions. The apportionment steps are performed one after the other. Each apportionment step, is followed by a sorting and output step for each sorting subregion, in which the objects from this sorting subregion are brought into a sequence in accordance with the sorting feature values and this sequence is output.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiegesellschaft
    Inventor: Peter Berdelle-Hilge
  • Patent number: 8965558
    Abstract: A reconfigurable automated system is provided. The system comprises a backbone including a plurality of docking ports, at least one module including a connector for releasably coupling the module to the backbone, and a motion unit, connected to the backbone, for providing an object to the module when the module is coupled to the backbone. The module connector and one of the docking ports form a connection interface, including a mechanical alignment device and an electrical connection, when the module is operationally coupled to the backbone.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Assignee: Thermo CRS Ltd.
    Inventors: Hansjoerg Werner Haas, Trevor Gordon Jones, Daniel Curtis McCrackin, Edgar Allison Outhouse, Thomas Ian Hatherley, Michael Paul Riff, Gregory Earl Lowe, Richard Alexander Huber, Jonathan David Wittchen, Bradley Kenneth Klinck, Michael Macalister Peck, Susan Hertz
  • Patent number: 8965560
    Abstract: A method for order picking products in an order picking facility having at least one rack for storing products and an assigned warehouse transport system for collecting and storing the products and for transferring the collected products to a transport system, by means of which the collected products are transported to a good-to-picker order picking station, at which the quantity of the collected products that is determined in a picking order is order-picked manually or automatically by a robot, into one order transport unit for each picking order. Product types corresponding to the picking order are collected, order-picked at the good-to-picker order picking station, one after the other, and the remaining products of the product type are stored via the transport system again in the rack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Assignee: Knapp AG
    Inventors: Franz Mathi, Klaus Uller
  • Patent number: 8965565
    Abstract: A sorting method for plastics, including: sorting a predetermined plastic piece from a mixed plastic piece group including plastic pieces of a plurality of types; identifying the plurality of types of the plastic pieces; and calculating mixing rates of the plurality of types in the mixed plastic piece group based on a result obtained in the identifying, the identifying is performed on the mixed plastic piece group prior to the sorting, a sorting condition of the sorting is set based on an identification result obtained in the identifying, the identifying includes identifying the plurality of types of the plastic pieces with a beam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
    Inventors: Sonoko Umemura, Junji Tanimura, Masaru Kinugawa
  • Patent number: 8964361
    Abstract: A storage device transfer station is provided for transferring storage devices from a human operator to automated machinery for testing. The storage device transfer station includes a plurality of slots each capable of holding a storage device. The plurality of slots is arranged in at least one field, and the field is arranged between two parallel planes. Each slot has a first open end and a second open end, such that each open end is accessible for loading and unloading a storage device. The first open ends are accessible at a first plane of the two parallel planes and the second open ends are accessible at a second plane of the two parallel planes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Assignee: Teradyne, Inc.
    Inventor: Eric L. Truebenbach
  • Patent number: 8958903
    Abstract: Various embodiments of a system and method for managing reassignment of units among shipments in a materials handling facility are described. Embodiments may include a system configured to identify a first unit of a particular item that has been picked from inventory of a materials handling facility and assigned to a first shipment. The system may also, from multiple candidate shipments, identify a second shipment that requires a given unit of the particular item in order to become a complete shipment. For each candidate shipment, at least one unit of that shipment may be stored within a defined storage area of a materials handling facility. The system may, in response to identifying both shipments, generate an instruction to reassign the first unit of the particular item from the first shipment to the second shipment in order to transform the second shipment from an incomplete shipment to a complete shipment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2015
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher David Rotella, Cherie G. Wong, Joseph M. Alyea
  • Patent number: 8957970
    Abstract: The present disclosure involves the receipt of inventory items in a materials handling facility. In one embodiment, a listing of inventory items associated with an inventory is maintained in a memory accessible to a computing device. An attempt is made to identify a match between a first image of a receivable item and a second image of one of the inventory items. If a match is successfully identified, an identifier associated with the one of the inventory items is rendered, where the identifier is to be associated with the receivable item.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2015
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Eric C. Young, Sriram M. Krishnan
  • Patent number: 8958906
    Abstract: In an example embodiment, a router that is configured to pass a pneumatic carrier therethrough and comprises a solid continuous curved tube, a tube rotational support, and a drive. The tube includes a first open end and a second open end opposed of the first open end. The tube rotational support is in operative supporting connection with the tube and enables the tube to rotate about an axis. The first open end is generally aligned with the first opening. In a first rotational position of the tube, the second open end is generally aligned with a first of the plurality of second openings. In a second rotational position of the tube, the second open end is generally aligned with a second of the plurality of second openings. The drive is operative to cause the tube to move between the first and second rotational positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2015
    Assignee: Diebold Self-Service Systems division of Diebold, Incorporated
    Inventors: Mark DePietro, Michael Suteu, Neil Gromley, Daniel McIntyre, Steven Davis
  • Patent number: 8954189
    Abstract: Sonic embodiments provide an agricultural commodity distribution system that provides secure distribution of an agricultural commodity to an authorized person. In some embodiments, the system comprises a server computing device, a data storage associated with the computing device, and a controller that activates the distribution to the authorized person. In some embodiments, the server is communicably connected to a mobile communication device of a person such that the person can send the distribution request to the server via the mobile communication device. The server of some embodiments is associated with the data storage such that the server can validate the distribution request against data stored in the data storage. The server of some embodiments is also communicably connected to the controller such that the server transmits an activation code to the controller when the distribution request is validated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2015
    Inventor: Aaron Jay Zimmerman
  • Patent number: 8948909
    Abstract: An article loading system for loading and carrying out, in one of a plurality of containers each having identification information, articles of plural types which correspond to the container, includes a holding shelf which temporarily holds the containers that are carried in, container placement units on each of which the container into which an article is to be loaded by a worker is placed, a transporting unit which transports an arbitrary container between the holding shelf and an arbitrary container placement unit, and a control unit programmed to control the transporting unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2015
    Assignee: Murata Machinery, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kazuhiko Ogawa, Takeshi Omae
  • Patent number: 8948905
    Abstract: An apparatus and a method for positioning electronic components to be transferred in relation to a discharging device. The discharging device includes a slide for at least one electronic component and a housing surrounding the slide. The electronic components are provided by a first carrier, which comprises a first side facing the discharging device and a second side facing away from the discharging device. An image data acquisition device captures image data of a region in which the slide is set up. A control determines positional data of the electronic component to be transferred and for generating control commands from the positional data. An actuator moves the first carrier and the discharging device in relation to each other in response to the control commands to change an offset between a longitudinal axis of the slide and a center axis of the electronic component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2015
    Assignee: Muehlbauer GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Uladimir Prakapenka, Rainer Miehlich
  • Patent number: 8948911
    Abstract: A control device (50) and a conveying method for conveying carriers (40 to 49) in a machine (1) are provided. The control device (50) comprises a determining unit (51) for determining the velocity of a carrier (40 to 49) in a first conveying device (10) in which carriers (40 to 49) are conveyed with magnetic force and with variable velocity for each carrier (40 to 49) from a first position to a second position different from the first position, and an evaluating unit (52) for evaluating the velocity of carriers (40 to 49) in a second conveying device (20) in which carriers (40 to 49) are conveyed from a second position to a third position different from the second position, wherein the determining unit (51) is arranged to determine the velocity of each carrier (40 to 49) in the first conveying device (10) on the basis of the evaluation result of the evaluating unit (52) so that the carriers (40 to 49) move continuously between the first and second conveying devices (10, 20).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2015
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventor: Menno Haring
  • Patent number: 8948904
    Abstract: A work picking system according to embodiments includes a three-dimensional measuring unit, a hand, a calculating unit, a determining unit, and an instructing unit. The three-dimensional measuring unit measures a three-dimensional shape of a work that is a gripping target. The hand is provided on a terminal movable unit of a multi-axis robot and includes a mechanism that changes a distance between gripping claws and a mechanism that changes a tip end direction of the gripping claws. The determining unit determines a tip end direction of the gripping claws based on the attitude of the work calculated by the calculating unit and a direction of a rotation axis of the terminal movable unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2015
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Yaskawa Denki
    Inventors: Takuya Murayama, Jun Goto, Shinji Ogasawara
  • Patent number: 8943892
    Abstract: A computer-controlled robotic platform with a collapsible lifting arm that positions a non-destructive inspection (NDI) sensor for scanning inside tunnel regions of a composite structure such as an integrally stiffened wing box. The lifting arm of a modified scissor lift mechanism can be collapsed to a very low height to pass through narrow sections of the integrally stiffened wing box, and also extended by more than a factor of three to reach the maximum height of the wing box tunnels. The system performs a vertical position sensing and control process that uses inverse kinematics to enable position control using data from a standard rotational encoder on the motor to determine vertical position. The system produces simulated encoder pulses that represent unit vertical displacements of a distal portion of a modified scissor lift mechanism using a forward kinematics equation in which the rotation angle of a lead screw is an input variable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2015
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Jeffry J. Garvey, James C. Kennedy, James J. Troy
  • Patent number: 8942844
    Abstract: An article storage facility includes a transport device for transporting the transporting containers to the plurality of storage units, a controller, and a supply state detecting device for detecting a supply state of the inactive gas to the plurality of storage units. The controller makes a determination based on detected information from the supply state detecting device as to whether the inactive gas is properly supplied, and manages the plurality of storage units by distinguishing the disallowed storage units for which it is determined that the inactive gas is not properly supplied from the allowed storage units that are the storage units that are not the disallowed storage units. The controller performs a retreating transport operation in which a transporting container, that is stored in the storage unit that is changed from the allowed storage unit to the disallowed storage unit, is transported to an allowed storage unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2015
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Masahiro Takahara, Toshihito Ueda
  • Patent number: 8942480
    Abstract: A system is provided to correlate a medication package with a prescribed medication for a patient. The medication package accommodates an intended patient medication. The system includes an optical imager adapted to read an encoded symbol character comprising encoded patient information and further adapted to image an attribute of the medication package. The optical imager comprises a two-dimensional image sensor array and an imaging lens for focusing an image on the two-dimensional image sensor array. The two-dimensional image sensor array has a plurality of pixels formed in a plurality of rows and columns of pixels. The optical imager further includes a digital link to transmit a segment of data. The segment of data includes the patient information encoded in the encoded symbol character and the attribute of the medication package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2015
    Assignee: Metrologic Instruments, Inc.
    Inventor: Duane Ellis
  • Patent number: 8938314
    Abstract: A method for optimizing energy efficiency in a manufacturing process includes monitoring power consumption of each of a plurality of manufacturing entities of the manufacturing process using a power metering device assigned thereto; collecting, from the power metering devices, a first data stream that includes information about the power consumption; collecting a second data stream that includes information about the manufacturing entity and process; determining an optimized product routing of products to be manufactured by the manufacturing process from one manufacturing entity to another manufacturing entity, based on the collected first and second data streams, by simulating different product routings and determining the optimal product routing with respect to the overall energy consumption of the manufacturing process; and adjusting, via a manufacturing control system, the manufacturing process based on the optimized product routing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2015
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Rainer K. Krause
  • Patent number: 8935001
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a system and method for establishing and/or maintaining proper alignment of a transfer mechanism. More specifically, the present invention is directed to an alignment system and method having one or more of: (a) a laser alignment device operable to providing precise locational coordinates for alignment of a robotic transfer mechanism relative to a holding structure; (b) an alignment tool for aligning a laser alignment device relative to robotic transfer mechanism; (c) lead in ramps to properly guide an individual specimen container into a holding well; and/or (d) a belt tensioning device for maintaining proper tension on one or more timing belts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2015
    Assignee: bioMeriéux, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark S. Wilson, Richard Trigg, Walter Clynes
  • Patent number: 8930016
    Abstract: Method for arranging rod-like elements including cigarette parts such as filter and tobacco parts, in which elements are delivered to a conveyor having successive sectors which arrange the elements in separate rows along the conveyor. The type, number and location of element transported on the conveyor are determined by at least a single scanning of each successive element on the conveyor. The scanned results are transmitted to a control unit which assigns each sector of the conveyor information according to its contents. The elements are subsequently sorted based on the information received by the control unit according to the type and the number of parts each element is composed of, the orientation of these parts in relation to the direction of movement of the conveyor. Each of the successive elements is transferred to a predetermined receiving area based on the information received from the control unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2015
    Assignee: International Tobacco Machinery Poland Sp. z o.o.
    Inventors: Andrzej Stanikowski, Robert Chmielewski, Wojciech Jerzy Chojnacki, Andrzej Sulkowski, Marek Sieredzinski, Krzysztof Stolarski
  • Patent number: 8930015
    Abstract: A sorting system having a plurality of sorting assemblies where each sorting assembly has an image device that transmits an image of product to a controller that then actuates a robotic sorting device to remove damaged product through a suction tube based upon the transmitted image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2015
    Assignee: Bratney Companies
    Inventors: Thomas R. Johnston, Curt Mathew Davis
  • Patent number: 8924005
    Abstract: A method of sampling includes receiving, by a portable bio-fluid sampling apparatus, a bio-fluid sample on a sample collection receptacle. The bio-fluid sample is associated with a timestamp that is indicative of a time at which the bio-fluid sample is received. The bio-fluid sample is stored in a bio-fluid chamber of the portable bio-fluid sampling apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2014
    Assignee: University of Utah Research Foundation
    Inventor: Steven Edward Kern
  • Patent number: 8924006
    Abstract: A system for picking and placing glass articles from a first location to a second location, the second location including a thermal reforming apparatus for transforming the glass articles from 2D glass articles to 3D glass articles includes a robot having an end effector, the end effector including a compliance assembly having at least six degrees of freedom. The compliance assembly is in fluid communication with both an open pneumatic system and a closed pneumatic system, the open pneumatic system providing a partial vacuum to a portion of the compliance assembly for grabbing the glass article, and the closed pneumatic system for activating a centering function for a portion of the compliance assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2014
    Assignee: Corning Incorporated
    Inventors: Jeffrey Michael Amsden, Michael J Anderson, Gail Dyer, Scott Michael Kabel, Stephen Kuo-Rui Liu, Kevin Lee Wasson
  • Patent number: 8918200
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for determining the position and type of food located in a food compartment wherein the food compartment may contain or hold solids or liquids. For example, the method includes a sensor to determine the type of the solid or liquids located in the food compartment or container. The sensor may also be used to determine the position or location of the food. The method contemplates having at least one and may include multiple containers or food compartments wherein a container holds liquids and a food compartment holds solids or semi-solids. By determining the type and location of the food in the food compartment an individual may select a certain type of food from a specific food compartment. In addition, transmitting the location or position of the food to the feed arm results in a more efficient delivery system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Assignee: Desin, LLC
    Inventor: Jonathan P. Dekar
  • Patent number: 8918202
    Abstract: A method of controlling a mobile drive unit includes detecting, by a mobile drive unit at a first location, an active marker at the first location. The mobile drive unit is a self-powered robotic device configured to move independently in a workspace in response to instructions received from the active marker. A management module transmits an instruction to the active marker. The active marker emits a signal detectable by the mobile drive unit, the signal comprising the instruction. The mobile drive unit receives the instruction from the active marker for the mobile drive unit to perform a task.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Yasushi Kawano
  • Patent number: 8918201
    Abstract: Method and system for arranging rod-like elements, in which an unordered portion of rod-like elements, composed each of at least one part selected from cigarette parts being filter parts and tobacco parts, is delivered to a conveyor which arranges the elements on the conveyor in a plurality of compartments, longitudinally in each compartment and transversely to the direction of movement of the conveyor. The compartments have a length which receives at least one filter part and at least one tobacco part of a cigarette. The type, number and location of parts of the element received in each compartment is defined by at least a single scanning of each successive compartment of the conveyor. The result of the scanning is transmitted to a control unit and the elements are subsequently sorted based on information received from the control unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Assignee: International Tobacco Machinery Poland Sp. z o.o.
    Inventors: Andrzej Stanikowski, Robert Chmielewski, Wojciech Jerzy Chojnacki, Andrzej Sulkowski, Marek Sieredzinski, Krzysztof Stolarski
  • Patent number: 8914145
    Abstract: A method includes receiving a request for the use of a first storage medium located in a first library unit in a storage medium library. It is determined that the first storage medium is to be moved by a transportation component. In response to determining that the first storage medium is to be moved by the transportation component, it is determined that the transportation component is located at a second library unit. In response to determining that the transportation component is located at the second library unit, it is determined that a second storage medium, which is in the second library unit, can be transported to the first library unit. In response to a determination that the second storage medium can be transported to the first library unit, the second storage medium is transported to the first library unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2014
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Tohru Hasegawa, Takamasa Hirata, Naoki Imai, Masanori Kamiya, Yutaka Oishi
  • 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
  • Patent number: 8914146
    Abstract: Methods for filling packagings with at least one medication include producing filling instructions, operating a packaging station to fill packagings, and verifying that each of the packagings is filled correctly. The production of filling instructions includes an allocation of medications to separated compartments in the packagings. Each packaging receives a single medication pass for a specified time on a specified day, or a medicine pass for administration on an as needed basis. The packaging station may include a manual packaging station at which an operator follows prompts to move canisters of medications, pills from the canisters, and trays of packagings to fill the packagings. The manual packaging station includes a shutter assembly with shutters configured to selectively provide access to only one compartment in each packaging at a time, thereby reducing the likelihood of filling errors. Apparatus for filling packagings may include the same manual packaging station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2014
    Assignee: Omnicare, Inc.
    Inventors: Bradley Carson, Darin L. Danelski, Joseph T. DeDeo, Jack M. Friday, Mitchell Mosbacher
  • Patent number: 8909369
    Abstract: A transport device is configured to transport different kinds of articles which have different lengths from the held portion or a position corresponding to the held portion to one end portion along the fore and aft direction. There are provided an article detection device for detecting an article, end detection device for detecting the one end portion, along the fore and aft direction, of the article detected by the article detecting device, and a determination device for determining the kind of the article based on detected information from the article detecting device and detected information from the end detection device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2014
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Shinsuke Kawamura, Takahiro Horii
  • Patent number: 8903538
    Abstract: An apparatus comprises a network interface, a processor and a computer readable storage medium coupled with the processor. The computer readable storage medium includes computer usable program code. The computer usable program code, when executed by the processor, causes the processor to receive a request for a first storage medium located in a first library unit in a storage medium library. The processor is caused to determine that the first storage medium is to be moved by a transportation component. The processor is caused to, responsive to said determination, determine that the transportation component is located in a second library unit. The processor is caused to, responsive to said determination, determine that a second storage medium located in the second library unit can be transported to the first library unit. Responsive to said determination, the processor is caused to transport the second storage medium to the first library unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2014
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Tohru Hasegawa, Takamasa Hirata, Naoki Imai, Masanori Kamiya, Yutaka Oishi
  • Patent number: 8903544
    Abstract: A sheet handling apparatus includes pickup unit which picks up a plurality of sheets loaded in a loading unit, a first determining unit which determines a type or a state of the sheet picked up by the pickup unit, a data collecting unit which collects handling amount data for respective types of the sheets or respective states of the sheets, a second determining unit which determines a distribution destination of the sheet based on the handling amount data for the respective types or the respective states of the sheets which are determined by the first determining unit, a distributing unit which distributes the sheet based on a determination result of the distribution destination of the sheet by the second determining unit, and a stacking unit composed of a plurality of cassettes to stack the distributed sheets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2014
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Satoko Uezono, Takahito Shinfuku
  • Patent number: 8903542
    Abstract: A method of processing mailpieces for sorting mailpieces into sequence in a sorting machine depending on delivery points of delivery rounds, in which method the mailpieces are grouped together into batches associated with delivery rounds and are sorted as a function of various sorting plans each associated with a respective batch of mailpieces and defining a list of delivery points of delivery rounds, which method includes the following steps, assessing the batches of mailpieces before the machine sorting to detect those that will under-use the sorting capacities; aggregating the batches of mailpieces detected as under-using the capacity so as to constitute aggregated batches of mailpieces; computing an associated sorting plan resulting from the aggregating; feeding each aggregated batch of mailpieces into the postal sorting machine and controlling the sorting of the mailpieces as a function of the sorting plan computed for said aggregated batch of mailpieces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2014
    Assignee: Solystic
    Inventors: Didier Tresse, Christophe Lhomme