Having Particular Transport Between Article Handling Stations Patents (Class 700/228)
  • Patent number: 10766141
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to operation of a robotic system to transfer an object from a source to a destination. The robotic system may implement one or more motion plans or portions thereof to operate a picking robot to grip and lift the object and place a transfer tray under the lifted object. The robotic system may further implement the one or more motion plans or portions thereof to place the object on the transfer tray and laterally displace the transfer tray and the object thereon toward the destination. The robotic system may operate a placement mechanism to transfer the object from the transfer tray to the destination.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2020
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2020
    Assignee: MUJIN, Inc.
    Inventors: Rosen Nikolaev Diankov, Shintaro Matsuoka, Yoshiki Kanemoto, Hironori Mizoguchi
  • Patent number: 10269605
    Abstract: A processing system includes a setting unit and a selection control unit. The setting unit is configured to set as a recipe a sequence of processing a plurality of target objects, which is unloaded from a load port, through a same transfer route and returning processed target objects to the load port. The selection control unit is configured to select, when the processing includes a recursive processing in which a target object is loaded multiples times into at least one of a plurality of process modules, an unloading start timing of a next target object from the load port based on at least one of a processing state and a transfer state of a rate-limiting process module among the respective process modules.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2019
    Assignee: TOKYO ELECTRON LIMITED
    Inventor: Gaku Ikeda
  • Patent number: 9913240
    Abstract: Methods, systems, and node-enabled autonomous transport vehicles are described for automating a logistics transaction using a plurality of nodes and a server in a wireless node network. A first node is associated with a shipping courier and downloads shipment information from the server. The shipment information identifies a package for the logistics transaction, a transaction location, and an identification of a second node associated with the package. The first node provides the shipment information to a third node, which is part of an autonomous vehicle. The third node causes the autonomous vehicle to move from a first location to the transaction location, and conducts the logistics transaction related to the package if the third node on the autonomous vehicle completes a node association with the second node associated with the package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2018
    Assignee: FEDEX CORPORATE SERVICES, INC.
    Inventor: Ole-Petter Skaaksrud
  • Patent number: 9849473
    Abstract: The invention is directed at systems and methods which provide for effective cleaning and drying of vehicles of different shapes and sizes. The invention in one example includes a vehicle washing apparatus comprising a conveyor system to move a vehicle along a path, and a bridge assembly supported above a vehicle and moveable along the length thereof. At least one trolley assembly is operatively supported by the bridge assembly and is moveable in a direction generally transverse to the movement of the bridge assembly. At least one cleaning arm assembly for delivering cleaning fluid to or for brushing the surface of a vehicle is operatively supported by the at least one trolley assembly or bridge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2017
    Assignee: PETIT AUTO WASH, INC.
    Inventor: Thomas J. Petit
  • Patent number: 9674669
    Abstract: Methods and systems for detecting the location of a target, such as an event or another device, and navigating a device to the target are described herein. The device may be located inside of a building, and the target may be located inside the same building (or a nearby building). The location of the device and/or the location of the target may be determined using, for example, short-range wireless sensors, such as Bluetooth (e.g., Bluetooth Low Energy) sensors, Near Field Communication sensors, or other indoor location sensors. The device may navigate a user of the device to the target location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2017
    Assignee: Citrix Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Navaneetha Subramanian, Timmi Thomas, Shaunak Mistry, Suresh Mathew John
  • Patent number: 9659802
    Abstract: A method comprises transferring a wafer carrier to or from an overhead hoist transfer (OHT) system using a conveyor. The method also comprises transferring the wafer carrier between the conveyor and an overhead shuttle (OHS) system using a cross-system transport apparatus. The method further comprises generating control signals using a controller to control at least one of the cross-system transport apparatus, the conveyor, or the loading or unloading of the wafer carrier at the OHT or the OHS. The cross-system transport apparatus comprises a lifting device configured to raise or lower the wafer carrier. The transferring of the wafer carrier between the conveyor and the OHS system comprises one or more of lifting or lowering the wafer carrier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2017
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Wei-Cheng Wang, Feng-Ning Lee
  • Patent number: 9505556
    Abstract: A storage system having multiple storage sections, each configured for storing containers in storage cells arranged in multiple rows at various horizontal levels with respect to ground. Multiple sets of lifting transportation devices are configured for moving in a first horizontal direction along pairs of rails arranged at respective first predetermined horizontal levels in passages between adjacent storage sections. Multiple container carriages corresponding to respective sets of the lifting transportation devices are configured for moving in a second horizontal direction substantially perpendicular to the first horizontal direction. A lifting sequencer is configured for moving in a vertical direction to receive containers from the multiple container carriages and provide a sequence of containers arranged in a predetermined order.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2016
    Assignee: OTTOS CONSULTANTS LTD.
    Inventor: Sergey N. Razumov
  • Patent number: 9491111
    Abstract: Techniques for securely instantiating control plane components of provider services, at least a portion of which are instantiated within secure execution environments, are described herein. A request to instantiate the control plane of a service provided by a computing resource service provider is fulfilled by selecting a target computer system. The target computer system is selected based at least in part on the hardware capabilities of the target computer system. The control plane is then instantiated within a secure execution environment operating on the target computer system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2016
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Gregory Branchek Roth, Aaron Douglas Dokey, Eric Jason Brandwine, Nathan Bartholomew Thomas
  • Patent number: 9415934
    Abstract: In a transport system, overhead travelling vehicles each including a hoist travel along an overhead travelling vehicle travelling route. A local vehicle travelling route is disposed under the overhead travelling vehicle travelling route and over load ports at a position higher than the load ports. Local vehicles each including hoist travel along the local vehicle travelling route. Buffers are disposed along the local vehicle travelling route. The local vehicle travelling route includes a plurality of local vehicle travelling routes that are provided in parallel, and the local vehicles are configured to diverge and merge from one local vehicle travelling route to another local vehicle travelling route. The local vehicles transport articles between a load port and a buffer under control of a controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2016
    Assignee: MURATA MACHINERY, LTD.
    Inventors: Masahiro Ikeda, Masazumi Fukushima, Yasuhisa Ito
  • Patent number: 9195289
    Abstract: Apparatuses and methods relating to interfacing and controlling external batteries are described. In one embodiment, an external battery is integrated with a touch screen display. In one embodiment, the external battery provides an infrared communication link with a detachable device or system controller. In one embodiment, the external battery touch screen interface provides data received from a detachable device or system controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2015
    Assignee: Thoratec Corporation
    Inventors: Eric Lee, Ethan Petersen, Joseph Stark, Ian McCutcheon, Steve Reichenbach
  • Patent number: 9126337
    Abstract: A robot system includes a three-dimensional measuring device for obtaining positional information of a workpiece, a robot having a tool capable of holding a workpiece, and a control device for controlling the robot. The control device stores association data which associate the positional information of the workpiece with a center-of-gravity position of the workpiece. A center-of-gravity position of the workpiece to be picked out is estimated, based on the positional information obtained by the three-dimensional measuring device and on to the association data. The control device determines at least one of the holding position of the workpiece, the picking-out direction and the position and posture of the tool, based on the estimated center-of-gravity position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2015
    Assignee: FANUC CORPORATION
    Inventor: Takahiro Iwatake
  • Patent number: 9043234
    Abstract: A system for locating goods stored in a storage area includes a computer, radio frequency transceivers and modular hangers. Ordered goods are placed in storage units that each have addresses at a central filling center. The filled storage units are shipped to local storage areas where they are coupled to hook units to form modular hangers and stored on rails. The identifications of the goods and the electronic addresses for corresponding hangers are stored on a local computer database. When a user wants to pick up goods stored in the containers, the user inputs the identification or order information for the goods and the computer will cause the radio frequency transmitter to emit a data packet that includes a search address and illumination data. The hangers compare the search address to the electronic address. If there is a match, the hanger is illuminated so the ordered goods can be found.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: Maxor National Pharmacy Services Corp.
    Inventors: Kevin C Delaney, Kendrick S Lim, Robert G Guillermo
  • Patent number: 9043013
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present invention provide systems and methods for assisting sort operators in identifying the appropriate location to sort an item. In accordance with one aspect of the invention, a system for identifying a particular bin from a plurality of bins for sorting a package is provided. The system includes a plurality of bins configured to receive sorted packages; an optical reader positioned to capture destination indicia associated with the package; a keypad comprising a plurality of keys, where in at least some of the keys are associated with individual bins of the plurality of bins and at least some of the keys include lights; and a control system. The control system is configured to: receive data from the optical reader relating to the destination indicia; identify a particular bin within the plurality of bins associated with the received data; and trigger illumination of one or more lights on the keypad.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Inventors: Louis Ragusa, James Cossey
  • Patent number: 9043012
    Abstract: A pharmacy automation system having a robot having a hardware device and a software for internal mapping is configured to carry out at least the following different interactions: the robot communicates autonomously with a physician or an assistant directly or via an intermediary; the robot interacts with an inventory of goods and browses the inventory of goods to determine if a prescribed medication is available in the pharmacy; if the prescribed medication is available in the pharmacy, the robot interacts with a medication dispenser, using the internal mapping to fill a container with the prescribed medication, and store the container; when a patient or a proxy arrives to pick up the prescribed medication, the robot checks and approves an identification of the patient or the proxy; and hands the container with the prescribed medication over to the patient or proxy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Inventors: Neil S. Davey, Brendan Boyce Murphy, Sonya R. Davey, Haris Godil
  • Publication number: 20150142168
    Abstract: Systems, methods, and devices of the various embodiments enable graph based routing of containers and adjustments of container routing based on one or more current material handling system state. The various embodiments enable examination and evaluation of the material handling systems using graphs to find an optimal route from a starting node in the material handling system to an ending node in the material handling system. In an embodiment, the graph may be a directed graph of edges and nodes of a material handling system. In an embodiment, the directed graph may include edge weights and the edge weights may be used to determine the optimal route for the container. In an embodiment, the edge weights may be updated as events occur in the material handling system which may result in dynamic routing of containers through the material handling system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 21, 2013
    Publication date: May 21, 2015
    Applicant: INTELLIGRATED HEADQUARTERS LLC
    Inventors: Mark C. Holland, Joshua P. Hays
  • Patent number: 9037288
    Abstract: A method of processing mailpieces, in which they are fed in series into a sorting machine comprising a sorting conveyor and sorting outlets, an image of each mailpiece is formed in the machine, processing is applied to the image for automatically recognizing address information for the purpose of automatically directing the mailpiece towards a determined sorting outlet, a digital model of running mailpieces or a “run” is built in a database prior to feeding the mailpieces into the machine, the model being built on the basis of an image of a mailpiece, and being defined by data characterizing the graphical appearance of the mailpiece in the image formed from an interactive acquisition terminal located remote from the machine, and the run model is associated in said database with indications usable by the recognition processing, which indications are also input from said interactive acquisition terminal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: SOLYSTIC
    Inventors: Jean-Marc Pszatka, Belkacem Benyoub, Emmanuel Piegay
  • Patent number: 9031682
    Abstract: An eyeglass lens supplying system for supplying an eyeglass lens to a plurality of eyeglass lens processing apparatus includes: a plurality of conveyer line units, each of which includes: at least one conveyer line conveying a tray; a tray moving unit separating at least two trays from the conveyer line to move the trays to standby positions, and put the tray on the conveyer line; and a control unit obtaining processing information from a host computer; a carrying-in conveyer line connected to the conveyer line of the conveyer line unit; a carrying-out conveyer line connected to the conveyer line of the conveyer line unit; a main control unit communicating with each of the control units, and determines the processing apparatus to process the lens in the tray on the carrying-in conveyer unit, or determines the conveyer line unit to convey the tray on the carrying-in conveyer unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2015
    Assignee: Nidek Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Motoshi Tanaka, Yuya Nakako
  • 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: 9022208
    Abstract: The application relates to freight loading systems for transporting freight items. Corresponding freight loading system comprises a freight deck having a plurality of freight handling devices, a control device which is communicatively connected to the freight handling devices in order to handle at least one freight item on the freight deck, and a remote control, which is communicatively connected to the control device in order to output control signals to the control device. The control device is intended to comprise a position determination unit for determining a remote control position on the freight deck and/or the orientation of the remote control, wherein the control unit is designed to select a number of freight handling devices and drive same depending on the control signals received and the remote control position and/or orientation of the remote control. This allows easier control of the freight items on the freight deck.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2015
    Assignee: Telair International GmbH
    Inventor: Thomas Huber
  • Patent number: 9020631
    Abstract: Disclosed are various embodiments for consolidating multiple pickings of an item to fulfill multiple shipments into a single picking of the multiple items. A determination is first made whether a metric representing a plurality of shipments exceeds a threshold, wherein individual ones of the plurality of shipments are mapped to corresponding ones of a plurality of item locations in a fulfillment center. The plurality of shipments are then remapped to an individual one of the plurality of item locations in response to a determination that the metric exceeds the threshold. Finally, a picking of the items is initiated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2015
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Denis Bellavance, Michael Cy Wu, Robert James Wilson, Bryan Michael Psimas, Mona Mehrandish, Jacob Marshall Austin, Salman Hamid Ali, Nishant Singh, Fnu Arun Singhal
  • Patent number: 9014844
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for stacking receptacles in materials handling facilities. An automated receptacle stacker may be integrated into a materials handling system to receive empty receptacles from upstream stations via an input conveyance mechanism, add the receptacles to a stack in a stack hopper, detect when the stack is complete, and output the stack onto an output conveyance mechanism. The output conveyance mechanism may convey the stack to a palletization station, and the stacker may begin another stack. This process may continue to build and output stacks of empty receptacles. In some implementations the receptacles may be stackable only when oriented correctly; in these implementations, orientation of the receptacles may be detected prior to stacking and incorrectly oriented receptacles may be either rotated to the correct orientation or diverted to a second receptacle stacker.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Jackie W. Casey, Zachary Shane Morgan
  • 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: 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
  • Patent number: 9008827
    Abstract: A system includes a climate-controlled inventory holder, a mobile drive unit, and a management module. The climate-controlled inventory holder is configured to control a climate of one or more inventory items stored by the inventory holder. The mobile drive unit is operable to transport the climate-controlled inventory holder from a first location to a second location based at least in part upon one or more instructions received from a management module. The management module is operable to receive an order for an inventory item, determine that the inventory holder stores the inventory item, and instruct the mobile drive unit to transport the climate-controlled inventory holder from the first location to the second location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Samvid Hariram Dwarakanath, Sean William Blakey, Bryant Richard Casteel, Bruce John Cooper
  • Patent number: 9008833
    Abstract: Systems, methods, and apparatus are provided for operating a cluster tool including receiving recipe time data; receiving transfer time data; receiving process programs and associated substrate lots wherein the process programs include a plurality of sequences; determining cluster tool chambers associated with sequences that are bottleneck sequences; setting equipment constant values for components of the cluster tool to implement transfer priorities wherein the chambers associated with bottleneck sequences are given highest priority; executing a next sequence based on the transfer priorities; and repeating the determining, setting and executing for each remaining sequence. Numerous additional aspects are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: James Hoffman, Hong Soon Kim, Atsushi Kitani
  • 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: 9002507
    Abstract: An apparatus for the automated detection and removal of workpieces comprising an object recognition device for detecting the workpieces and a gripper for picking the workpieces; and a gripper for picking the workpieces; and a control for evaluating the data of the object recognition device, for track planning and for controlling the gripper, wherein the object recognition device is arranged at a travel arrangement by which it can be traveled from a position of rest into at least one measuring position and back.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: Liebherr-Verzahntechnik GmbH
    Inventors: Thomas Mattern, David Haenschke, Bernhard Riedmiller, Alois Mundt
  • Patent number: 9002508
    Abstract: A radio frequency identification (RFID) tower crane load locator is disclosed. One example includes at least four RFID components to provide RFID range measurements between the at least four RFID components. In addition, a load position determiner utilizes the RFID range measurements to determine a location of the load. A load information generator provides the location of the load information suitable for subsequent access by a user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: Trimble Navigation Limited
    Inventors: John F. Cameron, Kurt Maynard, Curt Conquest, Gregory C. Best
  • Patent number: 9002504
    Abstract: The present disclosure is directed to methods and systems for evaluating wafer size handling capabilities of wafer handling robots and wafer stations in a wafer processing environment. In one embodiment, a method is provided in which size parameters for each of one or more wafer stations and one or more robot hands of a wafer handling robot are set based on user input. A user command identifying a desired robot hand and a desired wafer station is received. A first size parameter of the desired robot hand is compared to a second size parameter of the desired wafer station. If the first size parameter is equal to the second size parameter, or if the second size parameter is an all-size parameter, the user command is executed. If the first size parameter is not equal to the second size parameter, an error is generated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: Kawasaki Robotics (USA) Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas Miu, Shinya Kitano, Simon Jeyapalan, Ming Zeng, Avish A. Bharwani
  • Patent number: 9002505
    Abstract: An apparatus for handling containers, with at least one handling device which handles the containers in a pre-set manner, a conveying device which conveys the containers along a pre-set conveying path, with a control device for controlling the apparatus, with an input unit, by way of which information is capable of being entered in the apparatus by a user. The apparatus has an information output unit for delivering information to the user, wherein this information unit is made portable and is capable of being brought into at least indirect communication connection with the input unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: Krones AG
    Inventors: Wolfgang Hahn, Markus Zoelfl
  • 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: 8996158
    Abstract: An apparatus for handling containers, with at least one handling device which handles the containers in a pre-set manner, a conveying device which conveys the containers along a pre-set conveying path, with a control device for controlling the apparatus, with an input unit, by way of which information is capable of being entered in the apparatus by a user. The apparatus has an information output unit for delivering information to the user, wherein this information unit is made portable and is capable of being brought into at least indirect communication connection with the input unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Krones AG
    Inventors: Wolfgang Hahn, Markus Zoelfl
  • 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: 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
  • 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: 8983650
    Abstract: A work hanging apparatus includes a hanger line continuously conveying hangers each having a hook, a robot that has a hand with which a work having a hole is held and transfers the held work to a hanging location set in the hanger line, a controller controlling a movement of the hand to catch the hook of one of the hangers with the hole of the held work at the hanging location, a hole deviation detector that detects a positional deviation of the hole of the work, an attitude deviation detector that detects an attitudinal deviation of the hanger, and a corrector that corrects the movement of the hand according to the positional and attitudinal deviations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: NHK Spring Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kotaro Nukui, Takashi Yajima
  • 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: 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: 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
  • Patent number: 8977388
    Abstract: A method for compensating for a perturbation external to a platform having a plurality of mechanical arms in accordance with an embodiment of the technology includes detecting a normal positional and/or orientational measurement of the platform using a sensor. A perturbed positional and/or orientational measurement of the platform can also be detected using the sensor. The normal positional and/or orientational measurement and the perturbed positional and/or orientational measurement can be compared to determine a positional and/or orientational difference. A position and/or orientation of a mechanical arm can be adjusted to compensate for the perturbation based on the positional and/or orientational difference.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2015
    Assignee: Sarcos LC
    Inventors: Stephen C. Jacobsen, John McCullough, Fraser M. Smith, Marc X. Olivier
  • 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: 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: 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: 8972046
    Abstract: A feed station feeds a flow of items along a transport path, in which a path, a path point W2 is orthogonal to the position of a first transport roller, a path point W3 is orthogonal to the position of a sensor, and a path point W4 is orthogonal to a second transport roller. A distance between W3 and W4 is smaller than the minimum length of the flat items and is greater than or equal to a distance between W4 and a path end point Wend. A distance between Wend and an intake point W4-Wend of the subsequent goods processing apparatus is much smaller than the W4-Wend distance. A transport velocity distance between the separated flat items at the start of the transport path is controlled to a minimum distance and is always the same size when the items leave the feed station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2015
    Assignee: Francotyp-Postalia GmbH
    Inventors: Ralf Mueller, Volker Baum
  • Patent number: 8965561
    Abstract: A system for automated inventory management and material handling removes the requirement to operate fully automatically or all-manual using conventional vertical storage and retrieval (S&R) machines. Inventory requests to place palletized material into storage at a specified lot location or retrieve palletized material from a specified lot are resolved into missions for autonomous fork trucks, equivalent mobile platforms, or manual fork truck drivers (and their equipment) that are autonomously or manually executed to effect the request. Automated trucks plan their own movements to execute the mission over the warehouse aisles or roadways sharing this space with manually driven trucks. Automated units drive to planned speed limits, manage their loads (stability control), stop, go, and merge at intersections according human driving rules, use on-board sensors to identify static and dynamic obstacles, and human traffic, and either avoid them or stop until potential collision risk is removed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Assignee: Cybernet Systems Corporation
    Inventors: Charles J. Jacobus, Glenn J. Beach, Steve Rowe
  • 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: 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