Particular Charging Or Discharging Apparatus Patents (Class 700/218)
  • Patent number: 10994039
    Abstract: An apparatus and method are disclosed for identifying the position of an object that is, or will be, used in a sterilization process. The apparatus comprises at least two containers and each container has a cavity configured to receive the object. At least one visual indicator corresponds to each container. A programmable hardware device is configured to receive an identifier. Responsive to receipt of the identifier, the programmable hardware device is configured to indicate a position of at least one of the containers that corresponds to the identifier utilizing the visual indicator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2021
    Assignee: ASP GLOBAL MANUFACTURING GMBH
    Inventors: Yan Fang, Nick N. Nguyen, Mohammad Khair
  • Patent number: 10961054
    Abstract: Orchestrated delivery of retrieved storage units from a three-dimensional gridded storage structure to an entrance or intake point of a working station in a sequenced manner is performed entirely within the footprint of the gridded three-dimensional storage structure by the same fleet of robotic storage/retrieval vehicles operable to retrieve the storage units from storage locations within that gridded structure, thereby enabling omission of large sortation conveyors or other external sortation equipment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2021
    Assignee: Attabotics Inc.
    Inventors: Scott Gravelle, Winston Hope, Darin Rousseau
  • Patent number: 10899542
    Abstract: Platform assembly for use with sorting articles comprises platforms connected to each other to form at least one level surface for transit thereabout by a plurality of vehicles. Each platform defines a first orientation in which the platform is in a retracted position and a second orientation in which the platform is in an extended position with a horizontal disposition. Each platform includes a first panel comprising a plurality of markers thereon, the markers forming a grid on the first panel for transit thereabout by the plurality of vehicles. Each marker includes a magnetic signature for determining an orientation of the marker. A container is positioned about at least one of the plurality of markers. In operation, the vehicle is directed by a control system to deposit an article carried thereon into a container associated with a marker based on the location and orientation of the marker.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2019
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2021
    Assignee: Tompkins International
    Inventors: Michael C. Futch, James M. Serstad, Ryan Fehrenbacher, Milan Patel, Ray Wells, Steven Wu, Richard C. Kaminska, III, James Edouard, Denny McKnight, John C. Spain
  • Patent number: 10803420
    Abstract: A hybrid modular storage fetching system is described. In an example implementation, the system may include a warehouse execution system adapted to generate a picking schedule for picking pick-to-cart and high-density storage items, and an AGV dispatching system adapted to dispatch a cart automated guided vehicle and a modular storage fetching automated guided vehicle based on the picking schedule. The cart automated guided vehicle may be adapted autonomously transport a carton through a pick-to-cart area and to a pick-cell station. The modular storage fetching automated guided vehicle may be adapted to synchronously autonomously transport a modular storage unit containing items to be placed in the cartons from a high-density storage area to the pick-cell station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2020
    Assignee: Staples, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel Jarvis, Paolo Gerli Amador, Michael Bhaskaran, Vikranth Gopalakrishnan, Rodney Gallaway
  • Patent number: 10776949
    Abstract: A machine vision-based method and system for measuring 3D pose of a part or subassembly of parts having an unknown pose are disclosed. A number of different applications of the method and system are disclosed including applications which utilize a reprogrammable industrial automation machine such as a robot. The method includes providing a reference cloud of 3D voxels which represent a reference surface of a reference part or subassembly having a known reference pose. Using at least one 2D/3D hybrid sensor, a sample cloud of 3D voxels which represent a corresponding surface of a sample part or subassembly of the same type as the reference part or subassembly is acquired. The sample part or subassembly has an actual pose different from the reference pose. The voxels of the sample and reference clouds are processed utilizing a matching algorithm to determine the pose of the sample part or subassembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2020
    Assignee: Liberty Reach Inc.
    Inventors: G. Neil Haven, Gary William Bartos, Michael Kallay, Fansheng Meng
  • Patent number: 10730696
    Abstract: An order picking system includes an automated guided trolley with at least two rolling wheels for taking objects of an order from at least one rack and two posts. The automated guided trolley includes climbing elements, which are adapted to cooperate with the posts so as to enable the trolley to rise along the post and prevent the tilting of the trolley, and which includes at least one counter-wheel intended to roll on one of the posts, mounted on a movable bracket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2020
    Assignee: EXOTEC SOLUTIONS
    Inventors: Romain Moulin, Renaud Heitz
  • Patent number: 10691109
    Abstract: A system using one or more robots to assist a human in order fulfillment includes: a server configured to receive an order comprising an order item; inventory storage operationally connected to the server, the inventory storage comprising inventory items; an order robot operationally connected to the server, the order robot configured to assist a human to pick an order item from the inventory items; and a human-operated device operably connected to one or more of the server, the inventory storage, and the order robot, the human-operated device configured to assist the human to pick the order item.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2020
    Assignee: Fetch Robotics, Inc.
    Inventors: Melonee Wise, Michael Ferguson
  • Patent number: 10656874
    Abstract: The present application relates to a storage device operation control method, a storage device, and a management node. The method includes: receiving at least one request sent by at least one management node; and when one of the at least one request is a permission application request, determining, according to a current permission status, whether to assign operation permission to a management node that sends the permission application request; or when one of the at least one request is an operation request, determining, according to a current permission status, whether a management node that sends the operation request has operation permission, and performing an operation according to the operation request when the management node that sends the operation request has the operation permission. This avoids a conflict caused by simultaneously performing an operation on a storage device by multiple management nodes, and prevents successive serial operations from being interrupted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2020
    Assignee: Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Xin Qiu, Dengben Wu, Ligang Chen
  • Patent number: 10593142
    Abstract: According to one embodiment, a paper sheet processing system includes a paper sheet processing apparatus which includes an inspection device, a reject device, and a first communication module, and a robot device which includes a robot arm and a second communication module. The reject device rejects a rejected paper sheet and a batch card to a rejecting port. When the batch card is detected, the first communication module transmits a predetermined signal to the robot device. Upon receiving the predetermined signal, the robot device takes the rejected paper sheet and the batch card out of the rejecting port by the robot arm, moves them to another storage section, and transmits a move completion signal to the paper sheet processing apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2020
    Assignees: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba, Toshiba Infrastructure Systems & Solutions Corporation
    Inventors: Ayaka Nakanishi, Ayaka Hoshi
  • Patent number: 10515503
    Abstract: A sheet processing system A includes a sheet processing apparatus 1 that transports and stores a sheet in one of short-edge leading orientation and long-edge leading orientation; a sheet housing section 3 that stores the sheet in the other of the short-edge leading orientation and the long-edge leading orientation; and an orientation changing section 4 that transports the sheet between the sheet processing apparatus 1 and the sheet housing section 3, changes transport orientation of the sheets which is being transported between the short-edge leading orientation and the long-edge leading orientation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2019
    Assignee: GLORY LTD.
    Inventors: Takuro Hamada, Takeshi Yokawa
  • Patent number: 10424335
    Abstract: An information reproduction apparatus includes plural magazines in which optical discs are set, plural drives for performing recording and reproduction on an optical disc set therein, a changer mechanism that transports a magazine between its setting position and one or more drives and mounts and remove a prescribed optical disc or discs in and from the one or more drives by performing either one of a single move process and a multi-move process, and a controller. The controller judges whether to conduct the single move process or the multi-move process based on a reading data list and use statuses of the respective drives.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 24, 2019
    Assignee: PANASONIC INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Yoshihisa Takahashi, Daisuke Shimoda, Masaru Kaida, Motoshi Ito
  • Patent number: 10416231
    Abstract: An electronic component transport apparatus includes: an openable and closable first opening and closing portion; a first rotation support portion which supports the first opening and closing portion to be rotatable; a second opening and closing portion provided to be openable and closable in the first opening and closing portion; and a second rotation support portion which supports the second opening and closing portion to be rotatable. An area of the first opening and closing portion is greater than an area of the second opening and closing portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2019
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Daisuke Kirihara, Masami Maeda, Toshioki Shimojima, Takashi Yamazaki
  • Patent number: 10414587
    Abstract: A single-level rack serving apparatus for transporting load units, which comprises two chassis halves each having a pair of rollers and each having an extendible arm, a storage region between the chassis halves and a connection structure, wherein the chassis halves are connected to one another by the connection structure and travel on running rails by the rollers. The arms serve to pull up or push down load units onto or from the storage region which comprises at least two first and second lateral supporting plates for supportingly carrying the load units. The size of the storage region can be varied by varying the spacing between the arms together with the lateral supporting plates. A further third supporting plate is arranged between the first and second lateral supporting plates such that it supports a load unit centrally from below in the storage region irrespective of the size of the storage region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2019
    Assignee: Dematic GmbH
    Inventors: Matthias Wehner, Michael Becker, Hartwig Reckemeier, Pascal Rehm
  • Patent number: 10399775
    Abstract: Generally speaking, pursuant to various embodiments, systems, apparatuses, and methods are provided herein useful for autonomously delivering lockers. In some embodiments, a system comprises a carrier vehicle, the carrier vehicle comprising a storage area, a docking station including a plurality of storage docks, each of the plurality of storage docks configured to secure at least one locker, wherein the docking station is located within the storage area, and a retrieval point, a plurality of lockers each configured to house at least one product, a delivery vehicle, the delivery vehicle comprising a delivery dock, wherein the delivery dock is configured to receive, at the retrieval point, at least one locker, and a propulsion mechanism, wherein the propulsion mechanism propels the delivery vehicle, and a control circuit, the control circuit configured to identify, from the plurality of lockers, a selected locker, and cause the selected locker to move to the retrieval point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2019
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Donald R. High, David C. Winkle, Michael D. Atchley, Brian G. McHale, Nicholas Ray Antel, John J. O'Brien, Todd D. Mattingly, Bruce W. Wilkinson
  • Patent number: 10351399
    Abstract: Some embodiments include apparatuses to fulfill customer orders comprising a motorized transport unit; a product pick unit (PPU) that cooperate with the motorized transport unit; a wireless communication network; and a central computer system configured to communicate with the multiple motorized transport units and the plurality of product pick units, and comprises a control circuit and memory storing instructions executed to cause the control circuit to: communicate an instruction to the motorized transport unit and direct the motorized transport unit to transport the product pick unit to a determined first location within the shopping facility proximate to where a first product having been ordered is located; and communicate an instruction to the product pick unit cooperated with the motorized transport unit and direct the product pick unit to retrieve the first product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2019
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Donald R. High, Shuvro Chakrobartty, David C. Winkle, Robert C. Taylor
  • Patent number: 10335947
    Abstract: A method for operating a robotic system that includes calculating a base motion plan, wherein the base motion plan includes a sequence of commands or settings, or a combination thereof, that operates a robotic arm and a gripper to transfer a target object from a start location to a task location; receiving a contact measure while executing the base motion plan, wherein the contact measure represents an amount of grip of the gripper on the target object; and generating one or more actuator commands/settings that deviate from the base motion plan when the contact measure fails to satisfy a threshold, wherein the one or more actuator commands/settings thereof are configured to operate the robotic arm, the gripper, or a combination thereof to execute one or more response actions not included in the base motion plan.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 2019
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2019
    Assignee: MUJIN, Inc.
    Inventors: Rosen Diankov, Huan Liu, Denys Kanunikov
  • Patent number: 10312120
    Abstract: Apparatus and methods of measuring and controlling the gap between a susceptor assembly and a gas distribution assembly are described. Apparatus and methods for positional control and temperature control for wafer transfer purposes are also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2019
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Abraham Ravid, Kevin Griffin, Joseph Yudovsky, Kaushal Gangakhedkar, Dmitry A. Dzilno, Alex Minkovich
  • Patent number: 10296012
    Abstract: A computing device can determine a roadmap having a path for a robotic device in an environment associated with starting and ending poses. The computing device can generate a plurality of trajectories from the starting pose, where each trajectory can include a steering position and a traction velocity directing the robotic device during a planning time interval. For each trajectory of the plurality of trajectories, the computing device can determine a score for the trajectory indicative of advancement from the starting pose toward the ending pose after simulating the steering position and the traction velocity for the planning time interval. The computing device can select, and then store, a nominal trajectory from among the scored plurality of trajectories. The computing device can receive a first request to provide a route though the environment and can send a first response that includes the stored nominal trajectory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2019
    Assignee: X Development LLC
    Inventors: Geoffrey Lalonde, Peter Anderson-Sprecher
  • Patent number: 10265871
    Abstract: An example method is carried out in a warehouse environment having a plurality of inventory items located therein, each having a corresponding on-item identifier. The method involves determining a target inventory item having a target on-item identifier. The method also involves determining that a first inventory item having a first on-item identifier is loaded onto a first robotic device. The method further involves transmitting a request to verify the first on-item identifier. The method still further involves receiving data captured by a sensor of the second robotic device. The method yet further involves (i) analyzing the received data to determine the first on-item identifier, (ii) comparing the first on-item identifier and the target on-item identifier, and (iii) responsive to comparing the first on-item identifier and the target on-item identifier, performing an action.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2019
    Assignee: X Development LLC
    Inventors: Christopher Hance, Daniel Shaffer
  • Patent number: 10227177
    Abstract: An autonomous transport vehicle including a transfer arm including at least one finger and a movable finger support member, at least one sensor configured to detect movement of the at least one finger, the at least one sensor having a registration member and a detection member where one of the registration member and detection member is mounted to each of the at least one finger so as to be movable with a respective one of the at least one finger and the other one of the registration member and detection member is stationary relative to the at least one finger, and a controller in communication with the at least one sensor, the controller being configured to determine a position of the at least one finger along the second direction based on a proximity of the registration member relative to the detection member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2019
    Assignee: Symbotic, LLC
    Inventors: Robert Sullivan, Stephen C. Toebes
  • Patent number: 10227178
    Abstract: Various systems, apparatuses, and methods are provided herein that are useful for autonomously delivering lockers. In some embodiments, a system comprises a carrier vehicle, the carrier vehicle comprising a storage area, a docking station including a plurality of storage docks, each of the plurality of storage docks configured to secure at least one locker, wherein the docking station is located within the storage area, and a retrieval point, a plurality of lockers each configured to house at least one product, a delivery vehicle, the delivery vehicle comprising a delivery dock, wherein the delivery dock is configured to receive, at the retrieval point, at least one locker, and a propulsion mechanism, wherein the propulsion mechanism propels the delivery vehicle, and a control circuit, the control circuit configured to identify, from the plurality of lockers, a selected locker, and cause the selected locker to move to the retrieval point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2019
    Assignee: Walmart Apollo, LLC
    Inventors: Donald R. High, David C. Winkle, Michael D. Atchley, Brian G. McHale, Nicholas Ray Antel, John J. O'Brien, Todd D. Mattingly, Bruce W. Wilkinson
  • Patent number: 9990658
    Abstract: A robotic retail wall is presented allowing for the dispensing of merchandise within a retail location. The robotic wall includes commodity products and robotics that pick and deliver products to consumers in response to input at a kiosk. The robotics and products are separated from a retail space by a transparent barrier, allowing consumers in the retail space to view the actions of the robotics in retrieving a product. Behind the robotic wall is a product stocking area, where commodity products can be added to the robotic wall with assistance from the robotics.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2018
    Assignee: BBY SOLUTIONS, INC.
    Inventor: Chad Stiernagle
  • Patent number: 9881464
    Abstract: A core module for an Automated Transaction Machine (ATM) includes a housing including a plurality of cassette bays, a first document delivery system, and a second document delivery system. The first document delivery system is capable of transporting a document between the cassette and the second document delivery system via a first transport path. The second document delivery system is capable of transporting a document between the first document delivery system and an other ATM location via a second transport path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2018
    Assignee: Diebold Nixdorf, Incorporated
    Inventors: Brian Jones, Michael J. Harty, Thomas A. VanKirk, William D. Beskitt, Jeffrey M. Eastman, David A. Peters, Clinton L. Boley
  • Patent number: 9741388
    Abstract: A tape appliance with selectably always-leading head assemblies. The tape appliance includes a first tape head module, a second tape head module, and a tape guide assembly for guiding a tape past the first and second tape head modules such that the first tape head module is the leading module for both first and the reverse directions of longitudinal tape travel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2017
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Robert G. Biskeborn
  • Patent number: 9656806
    Abstract: A system to provide additional functionality to robots in automated warehouse systems is disclosed. The system can include a number of additional components that can be attached to existing components of the warehouse system to improve safety, functionality, and decrease costs. The system can provide modular tools to enable robots to perform additional tasks without having equipment permanently installed on the robots. The bases or shelves for the automated warehouse system can be equipped with robotic arms, lights, cameras, sensors, actuators and other components to enable a robot to utilize a particular tool for a particular job. The robot and the bases or shelving units can also comprise complementary electronic connections to provide power and/or data communications between the robot, the bases or shelving units, and/or a management module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2017
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeremiah David Brazeau, Morris Choun Chung, Eric James Fitting, Vikas Reddy Enti Ranga Reddy, Lisa Michelle Goldman, Gavin Cotter
  • Patent number: 9604358
    Abstract: Inventory management systems and related methods employ a catching member to selectively catch items dropped by a robotic manipulator. A related method includes controlling a robotic manipulator to move an inventory item from a first location to a second location. A catching member is selectively positioned to catch the inventory item if dropped by the robotic manipulator prior to the item reaching the second location. The catching member is moved to a suitable location for subsequent processing of one or more items dropped by the first robotic manipulator into the catching member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Jeremiah David Brazeau
  • Patent number: 9519882
    Abstract: A method and system for piece-picking or piece put-away within a logistics facility. The system includes a central server and at least one mobile manipulation robot. The central server is configured to communicate with the robots to send and receive piece-picking data which includes a unique identification for each piece to be picked, a location within the logistics facility of the pieces to be picked, and a route for the robot to take within the logistics facility. The robots can then autonomously navigate and position themselves within the logistics facility by recognition of landmarks by at least one of a plurality of sensors. The sensors also provide signals related to detection, identification, and location of a piece to be picked or put-away, and processors on the robots analyze the sensor information to generate movements of a unique articulated arm and end effector on the robot to pick or put-away the piece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2016
    Assignee: IAM Robotics, LLC
    Inventors: Thomas Galluzzo, Vladimir Altman, Ricky Houghton
  • Patent number: 9507349
    Abstract: A substrate transfer apparatus to transfer a circular substrate provided with a cutout at an edge portion thereof, includes: a sensor part including three light source parts applying light to positions different from one another at the edge portion, and three light receiving parts paired with the light source parts; and a drive part for moving the substrate holding part, wherein the three light source parts apply light to the light receiving parts so that whether or not a detection range of the sensor part overlaps with the cutout of the substrate is determined on the basis of an amount of received light by each light receiving part, and when it is determined that there is an overlap at any position, positions of the edge portion of the substrate are further detected with the position of the substrate displaced with respect to the sensor part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2016
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Tokutarou Hayashi, Yuichi Douki, Hiromitsu Maejima
  • Patent number: 9442795
    Abstract: Systems, methods and apparatus for archive verification including the verification of media in a library, are disclosed. More specifically, a method of archive verification may include performing an initial verification on a first media in a first drive and performing a subsequent verification on the first media in a second drive not used for the initial verification, and comparing the results of the initial verification and the subsequent verification. Embodiments may further perform an initial verification of the readability of a second tape media and subsequent verification of the readability for the second tape media, and compare the results of the initial verification to the results of the subsequent verification to determine the tape drive health, the efficacy of the first tape media or the second tape media, the efficacy of the first tape drive or the second tape drive, or whether to replace a tape media.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2016
    Assignee: KIP CR P1 LP
    Inventors: Jeffrey Ricks Stripling, Robert C. Sims
  • Patent number: 9397275
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing an aggregation of semiconductor devices comprising the steps of providing a first layer; sequentially addressing and adhering a plurality of semiconductor devices to the first layer to form a shape having a curve; providing a second layer; and adhering the second layer to the first layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2016
    Assignee: EPISTAR CORPORATION
    Inventors: Hsu-Cheng Lin, Ching-Yi Chiu, Pei-Shan Fang, Chun-Chang Chen
  • Patent number: 9390949
    Abstract: This description relates to a wafer debonding and cleaning apparatus including an automatic wafer handling module. The automatic wafer handling module loads a semiconductor wafer into a wafer debonding module for a debonding process. The automatic wafer handling module removes the semiconductor wafer from the debonding module and loads the semiconductor wafer into a wafer cleaning module for a cleaning process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2016
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Wen-Chih Chiou, Yu-Liang Lin, Hung-Jung Tu
  • Patent number: 9335621
    Abstract: A support structure for positioning an exchangeable object in a lithographic apparatus. The support structure has a chuck to support and clamp the object and an actuating structure. The actuating structure may have a first actuating structure (e.g., spring) and a second actuating structure (e.g., linear actuator). The first actuating structure is moveable relative to the chuck and is configured to move the second actuating structure between a first position in contact with a side of the object and a second position out of contact with the side of the object. The second actuating structure is configured to move at least a portion thereof relative to the first actuating structure between a first position in contact with the side of the object and a second position out of contact with the side of the object and to apply a pushing force to the side of the object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2016
    Assignee: ASML HOLDING N.V.
    Inventor: Enrico Zordan
  • Patent number: 9263082
    Abstract: A system includes a linear storage media tier; a second storage tier having higher performance than the linear storage media tier; a data controller for moving data between the tiers; and a host interface responsive to disk and/or network storage commands. The linear storage media tier includes: a rest area for storing reels having linear media thereon, at least one linear media drive configured for reading and/or writing the linear media, and at least one robot for transporting the linear storage media between the rest area and the at least one linear media drive. The robot moves along a first surface via contact with the surface. A system according to another embodiment includes a linear storage media tier characterized by having a read access time to any block of data stored on any reel in the rest area in less than 10 seconds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2016
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Steven R. Hetzler, Gary M. McClelland, Robert M. Rees
  • Patent number: 9159598
    Abstract: A workpiece is unloaded from a wafer-receiving container. A first discriminating sensor detects a front surface of the workpiece, and determines either a semiconductor wafer or a spacer is the workpiece. Where the workpiece is a wafer, the first discriminating sensor also determines whether or not a protective tape is on the front surface of the workpiece. Where it is determined that a protective tape is not on the front surface, a second discriminating sensor detects a back surface of the wafer for discriminating the presence or absence of the protective tape.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2015
    Assignee: NITTO DENKO CORPORATION
    Inventors: Masayuki Yamamoto, Chouhei Okuno
  • Patent number: 9146551
    Abstract: A semiconductor processing system that includes a controller is disclosed. The controller may be configured to schedule the operation of the system. The controller may be programmed to determine a current state of the system. The current state may be defined at least by a location of one or more substrates and a processing status of the one or more substrates. The controller may be further programmed to generate a search tree having one or more branches. Each branch may identify one or more subsequent actions or branch pathways capable of being performed by the system in the current state. Further, the controller may be programmed to score each branch pathway of the generated search tree. The controller may be programmed to select a branch pathway and provide instructions to perform the actions in that branch pathway based at least in part on the score of the branch pathway.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 29, 2015
    Assignee: ASM IP HOLDING B.V.
    Inventors: Maarten Brak, Tom A. van Kesteren
  • Patent number: 9139381
    Abstract: A transport apparatus that supports and moves a substrate by using a robot hand between a plurality of chambers includes a first detection unit that detects the substrate, in a first stop position of the robot hand, using a first detection position set on one surface of the substrate supported by the robot hand, and a second detection unit that detects the substrate, in a second stop position of the robot hand, using a second detection position set on the one surface of the substrate supported by the robot hand.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2015
    Assignee: ULVAC, INC.
    Inventor: Yoshinori Fujii
  • Patent number: 9070727
    Abstract: A substrate processing system 10 includes a multiple number of substrate processing units 40A and 40B having substrate processing modules 40a and 40b, respectively; substrate buffers 30a and 30b which respectively correspond to the substrate processing units 40A and 40B; and a first substrate transfer device 50 configured to take out substrates W from substrate receptacles 20 on substrate mounting tables 25 into substrate buffers 30a and 30b. When a second substrate transfer device 60b of the substrate processing unit 40B is broken down, a substrate W remaining in the substrate buffer 30b corresponding to the substrate processing unit 40B is delivered into the substrate buffer 30a corresponding to the substrate processing unit 40A by a substrate delivery device 35.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2015
    Assignee: TOKYO ELECTRON LIMITED
    Inventor: Tomohiro Kaneko
  • Publication number: 20150148940
    Abstract: System and methods of treating or handling cardboard sheets.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 2, 2014
    Publication date: May 28, 2015
    Inventors: David BEN-DAVID, Yaki STERN, Yaron SMIRNOV, Tal HARMON
  • Patent number: 9040860
    Abstract: A sorting machine at least for flat postal items comprises a stacking module having a plurality of stacking stations, which define respective channels along which the postal products are carried and a first plurality of rollers for handling the postal products along the stacking stations, a first carrying assembly defining a second channel configured for carrying the postal products towards the stacking module and comprising a second plurality of rollers for carrying the postal products, a plurality of deviating assemblies, each of which comprises a first device selectively mobile for deviating a flat into the channel of the desired stacking station, and a second carrying assembly delimiting an outlet channel communicating with the plurality of stacking stations, wherein at least one of the first and second rollers is mobile transversely with respect to the direction of conveyance of the postal products on the machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: ELSAG DATAMAT SPA
    Inventors: Guido Teodoro De Leo, Cristiano Franzone
  • Publication number: 20150134106
    Abstract: A control system for and methods of controlling a product delivery system are provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 2, 2014
    Publication date: May 14, 2015
    Inventors: JEFF BOYER, JOSEPH TODD PIATNIK, FERNANDO A. UBIDIA, AARON M. STEIN, JOHN F. LEWIS
  • Patent number: 9028754
    Abstract: A rack robot lifts and transfers sample tube storage racks or plates with a refrigerated enclosure maintained, e.g., at ?20° C. The samples are normally held in ultra-low temperature, e.g., ?80° C., or cryogenic freezers. From time to time, the racks or plates need to be roved from the ultra-low temperature or cryogenic freezers for processing and the rack robot transfers the racks or plates to the various processing stations within the refrigerated enclosure, such as tube picking, barcode reading, or frost removal stations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2015
    Assignee: Hamilton Storage Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Fabian Winter, Halvard Solberg, Julian Warhurst, Frank Hunt, Behrouz Zandi
  • Publication number: 20150127143
    Abstract: A system and method suitable for storing multiple product lines in an automated warehouse environment are disclosed. The storage system includes a frame containing a plurality of stacks of containers, a first handling device capable of lifting a plurality of containers from a stack in a single operation, and a second independently moveable handling device capable of lifting a single container and moving the container laterally. The first and second handling devices can work together to remove a target container quickly and with minimum use of resources.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 10, 2013
    Publication date: May 7, 2015
    Applicant: OCADO LIMITED
    Inventors: Lars Sverker Ture Lindbo, Robert Rolf Stadie, Christopher Richard James Brett, Matthew Robert Whelan
  • 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: 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
  • Patent number: 9008831
    Abstract: A packaging system and method for receiving articles from a first location, such as a product delivery system, transporting the articles to a second location for unloading the articles such that they are placed in a desired orientation and number of columns, rows, and stacks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Assignee: Rockwell Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Keith G. Jacobs, Glen C. Wernersbach, Mark F. Smith
  • Patent number: 9008832
    Abstract: A diamond sorting system comprising a diamond source for supplying one or more diamonds to be graded by a vision system having one or more cameras arranged to take one or more images of the diamond, and a processor arranged to receive the image data and execute an algorithm on the data to grade the diamond. The sorting system further comprising a diamond collection unit arranged to receive a graded diamond from the vision system and an electromechanical diamond transporter arranged to transport a diamond to be graded from the diamond source to the vision system, and further arranged to transport a graded diamond from the vision system to the diamond collection unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Assignee: Eternity Manufacturing Limited
    Inventor: Chung Fai Lo
  • Patent number: 9008825
    Abstract: A container unloading system that is adapted to automatically unload containers from carts while the containers and carts reside in an unloading station. The containers may be off-loaded onto a conveyor. The system includes a frame that is movable along the path of ingress/egress of the carts, and a vertically and horizontally movable lifting device that is supported on the frame and adapted to engage and lift the containers. A number of sensors may be present to gather information about the carts and/or containers and to send corresponding signals to a controller that is programmed to automatically operate the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Assignee: Honda Logistics North America, Inc.
    Inventors: Eric Gregg Benjamin, Masahiko Minamikawa
  • Patent number: 9008829
    Abstract: A system includes a first mobile drive unit and a second mobile drive unit. The first mobile drive unit is operable to dock with a first item holder at a first end of a column of connected item holders. The second mobile drive unit is operable to dock with a second item holder at a second end of the column of connected item holders. The system also includes a management module that is operable to instruct the first mobile drive unit and the second mobile drive units to transport the column of connected item holders from a first location to a second location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Timothy Craig Worsley