Transport Position Identification Patents (Class 700/229)
  • Patent number: 10030336
    Abstract: A conveyor system for transporting articles, comprising a rail system that comprises a plurality of track sections and at least one switch point, by which, via a switch point drive, a first track section can be connected to a second track section or to a third track section of the rail system. At least one drivable transport trolley can be driven along a path of movement on the rail system. A communications system with comprises at least one communications line that extends along the path of movement of the at least one transport trolley. A trolley communications unit disposed on the at least one transport trolley interacts with the communications line. The switch point drive can be controlled by means of a switch point control system, which is connected to the at least one communications line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2018
    Assignee: EISENMANN SE
    Inventor: Juergen Roeckle
  • Patent number: 9658316
    Abstract: In accordance with some embodiments, a positioning calibration device arranged within a transfer buffer is provided. The positioning calibration device includes at least one target element and at least three positioning modules. The at least one target element is arranged on a wafer transportation apparatus within the transfer buffer. The transportation apparatus is utilized to transfer a wafer. The at least three positioning modules are utilized to detect the positions of the at least one target element by wireless communications for generating position information of the wafer transportation apparatus. The heights which each of the at least three positioning modules arranged at are not the same.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2017
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Chi-Wei Chang, Woo-Guan Chiong
  • Patent number: 9287808
    Abstract: There is obtained a configuration capable of rapidly decelerating a motor even if a failure occurs in the communication between a controller and a motor control unit in a motor controller in which a speed command is input from the controller to the motor control unit. A motor controller 1 is provided with a main controller 2, and a motor control unit 3 configured to be communicable with the main controller 2 to drive a motor M according to a torque command output from the main controller 2. The motor control unit 3 includes a speed control unit 31 for outputting a torque command, so as to decelerate the motor M, if any failure occurs in communication with the main controller 2 while the motor M is being driven.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2016
    Assignees: SINFONIA TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD., KOBELCO CONSTRUCTION MACHINERY CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Takeo Ito, Hideaki Moriya, Takeshi Tomizaki, Akira Nakazumi, Yusuke Kamimura
  • Patent number: 9135481
    Abstract: One or more RFID-tag readers are operably coupled to one or more RFID-tag reader antennas that are installed to primarily read RFID tags in a given hallway. Accordingly, at least a majority of the area within storage spaces that border the given hallway are without sufficient reader energy to power those RFID tags. Accordingly, many, most, or even all of the items that are stored in the storage space will receive insufficient reader energy to power their corresponding RFID tags.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2015
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventor: Bruce W. Wilkinson
  • Patent number: 9043030
    Abstract: A manipulator and a method of generating the shortest path along which the manipulator moves to grip an object without collision with the object models a target object and a gripper into a spherical shape, measures a current position of the gripper and a position of the target object and a target position of the gripper, calculates an arc-shaped path in a two-dimensional plane along which the gripper needs to move by calculating an included angle of a triangle consisting of the position of the object and the current position and target position of the gripper, transforms the arc-shaped path in the two-dimensional plane into an arc-shaped path in a three-dimensional space using a transform matrix consisting of the position of the object and the current position and target position of the gripper, thereby automatically generating the shortest path of the manipulator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Jong Do Choi, Kyung Shik Roh, Young Bo Shim
  • 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: 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: 9026244
    Abstract: Embodiments of the invention include apparatuses and systems for determining the position of a carrier ring assembly supported by an end effector. In an embodiment, the position of the carrier ring assembly is determined by passing the carrier ring assembly through a plurality of through beam sensors. As the carrier ring passes through the sensors, a plurality of sensor transitions along points on the carrier ring assembly are detected. Each sensor transition indicates that one of the through beam sensors changed from an unblocked state to a blocked state, or changed from an blocked state to an unblocked state. The position of the end effector is recorded at each sensor transition and is associated with the sensor transition that caused the end effector position to be recorded. A position of the carrier ring assembly is then calculated from the plurality of sensor transitions and their associated end effector positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2015
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: John Mazzocco, Daniel Greenberg
  • Publication number: 20150120038
    Abstract: A system and method are disclosed, which can detect and process a position of at least one storage space device moving a bulk material. A first storage space device can have a gantry having two gantry legs, each of the two gantry legs supported on a linearly displaceable foot element. The system can include at least one first non-contact distance sensor, which is fitted on one of the two foot elements to measure a first relative distance between the one foot element and a first fixed reference point. A second non-contact distance sensor is fitted to the other of the two foot elements in order to measure a second relative distance between the other foot element and a second fixed reference point, and an evaluation unit is configured to determine rotation of the first storage space device about a central vertical axis and control the movement of the foot elements.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 5, 2015
    Publication date: April 30, 2015
    Applicants: ABB AG, MITTELDEUTSCHE BRAUNKOHLENGESELLSCHAFT MBH
    Inventors: Bernd GRALOW, Klaus Holzbecher, Dietmar Müller
  • 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: 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: 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: 8996161
    Abstract: Control architecture for use with transport systems, such as linear drive systems, rotary drive systems, or a combination thereof, comprising a computer system having a controller for operating control system software for receiving input commands and protocols for creating a motion profile for each transport element, and a gateway for receiving the motion profile from the control system software and for operating gateway drive software that functions to select the appropriate drives to move each transport element along one or more tracks in accordance with their motion profiles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Rockwell Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Glen C. Wernersbach, Keith G. Jacobs
  • Patent number: 8996157
    Abstract: There is proposed a unit including a station for preparing orders, controlled by a control system. The station has a first circuit that includes a first outward conveyor, which receives containers for storing products, and an accumulator for accumulating a predetermined quantity of storage containers received on the first outward conveyor. The accumulator includes: at least one first shaft comprising superposed mobile positions that can each receive and downwardly move at least one storage container, the at least one first shaft vertically accumulating and sequentially dispensing storage containers previously placed in the positions; and at least one first elevator moving vertically along the at least one first chute up to each of the locations of the at least one first chute.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Savoye
    Inventor: Jean-Michel Collin
  • Patent number: 8996159
    Abstract: A handling system for containers includes an automated zone in which floor-bound, rubber-tired and driverless container transport vehicles are used which transport containers between container bridges and a container storage facility. A non-automated zone is provided in which floor-bound, rubber-tired and manned container transport vehicles are used, the container transport vehicles being optionally operable in a driverless or manned mode and thus being optionally transportable in the automated zone or the non-automated zone. A corresponding container transport vehicle which can be connected to an auxiliary device for control in the manned mode is characterized in that the auxiliary device comprises a driver's cab that is equipped with a control system for steering, motion control and braking in the manned mode, the container transport vehicle having a detachable fastening possibility for the driver's cab at the front face of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Terex MHPS GmbH
    Inventors: Hermann Franzen, Armin Wieschemann, Jannis Moutsokapas
  • Patent number: 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: 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: 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: 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
  • Publication number: 20150058247
    Abstract: A system is described for determining a relative location of a plurality of items upon a plurality of platforms. The system may include a memory, an interface, and a processor. The memory may store a first item, a second item, a first period of time and a second period of time. The interface may be operative to communicate with a user and an antenna. The antenna may be able to detect an item for a period of time. The processor may be operative to receive from the antenna, via the interface, the first item, the first period of time, the second item and the second period of time. The processor may determine whether the periods of time overlap. If the periods of time overlap the processor may communicate to the user that the items are upon the same platform, otherwise that the items are on consecutive platforms.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 8, 2014
    Publication date: February 26, 2015
    Inventors: Oliver Krener, Loic J. Feinbier, Lars Schittko
  • Patent number: 8965566
    Abstract: Objects are sorted according to predetermined groups of sorting feature values. In particular, postal items are sorted according to groups of delivery addresses. A sorting system sorts the objects into a sequence so that all objects with sorting feature values belonging to the same predetermined value group are situated one directly behind another in this sequence. The sorting system has x1 storage subregions, x2 sorting subregions and a sorting plan. The objects are apportioned to the x1 storage subregions. For each storage subregion, an apportionment step is then carried out, in which the objects from this storage subregion are apportioned to the x2 sorting subregions. The apportionment steps are performed one after the other. Each apportionment step, is followed by a sorting and output step for each sorting subregion, in which the objects from this sorting subregion are brought into a sequence in accordance with the sorting feature values and this sequence is output.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiegesellschaft
    Inventor: Peter Berdelle-Hilge
  • Patent number: 8965572
    Abstract: In recent years, frames have gotten larger in size and thinner, and warping of the frames has posed a problem. If a warp of a frame is large, there is a high possibility that fetching the frame may fail. If fetching the frame fails, that is, if the frame cannot be fetched, the lead time of mounting gets longer. Further, the frame that cannot be fetched has to be manually removed by an operator. Therefore, a man-hour increases. According to the present invention, before a loader feeder fetches a frame from a frame magazine, a loader lifter is moved in a Y direction. Thereafter, the loader feeder fetches the frame from the frame magazine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Assignee: Hitachi High-Tech Instruments Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Tatsuyuki Ohkubo, Mitsuo Yoda
  • 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: 8948911
    Abstract: A control device (50) and a conveying method for conveying carriers (40 to 49) in a machine (1) are provided. The control device (50) comprises a determining unit (51) for determining the velocity of a carrier (40 to 49) in a first conveying device (10) in which carriers (40 to 49) are conveyed with magnetic force and with variable velocity for each carrier (40 to 49) from a first position to a second position different from the first position, and an evaluating unit (52) for evaluating the velocity of carriers (40 to 49) in a second conveying device (20) in which carriers (40 to 49) are conveyed from a second position to a third position different from the second position, wherein the determining unit (51) is arranged to determine the velocity of each carrier (40 to 49) in the first conveying device (10) on the basis of the evaluation result of the evaluating unit (52) so that the carriers (40 to 49) move continuously between the first and second conveying devices (10, 20).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2015
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventor: Menno Haring
  • Patent number: 8948904
    Abstract: A work picking system according to embodiments includes a three-dimensional measuring unit, a hand, a calculating unit, a determining unit, and an instructing unit. The three-dimensional measuring unit measures a three-dimensional shape of a work that is a gripping target. The hand is provided on a terminal movable unit of a multi-axis robot and includes a mechanism that changes a distance between gripping claws and a mechanism that changes a tip end direction of the gripping claws. The determining unit determines a tip end direction of the gripping claws based on the attitude of the work calculated by the calculating unit and a direction of a rotation axis of the terminal movable unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2015
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Yaskawa Denki
    Inventors: Takuya Murayama, Jun Goto, Shinji Ogasawara
  • Patent number: 8948905
    Abstract: An apparatus and a method for positioning electronic components to be transferred in relation to a discharging device. The discharging device includes a slide for at least one electronic component and a housing surrounding the slide. The electronic components are provided by a first carrier, which comprises a first side facing the discharging device and a second side facing away from the discharging device. An image data acquisition device captures image data of a region in which the slide is set up. A control determines positional data of the electronic component to be transferred and for generating control commands from the positional data. An actuator moves the first carrier and the discharging device in relation to each other in response to the control commands to change an offset between a longitudinal axis of the slide and a center axis of the electronic component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2015
    Assignee: Muehlbauer GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Uladimir Prakapenka, Rainer Miehlich
  • Patent number: 8942897
    Abstract: A system and method for determining a location of an unloaded unit of agricultural product and locating a desired unit of agricultural product or identifying a candidate unit of agricultural product as a function of sensing system information indicating contact of the unit with the ground or other surface onto which the unit is unloaded, global positioning system or other location system information identifying the contact or related location, and heading information, which information can then be used to discern the unit from others at the location for desired loading.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2015
    Assignee: CNH Industrial America LLC
    Inventors: Christopher A. Foster, Justin R. Ringwald
  • Publication number: 20150025676
    Abstract: A carrying device includes a rack and a platform. The platform that loads goods, is moveably arranged on a handle of the rack. The carrying device further includes a sensor that detects the goods loaded on the platform, a motor that is connected to the platform, and a controlling unit that controls the motor drive the platform to move relative to the handle with a predetermined distance, according to whether the sensor detects the goods loaded on the platform.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 28, 2014
    Publication date: January 22, 2015
    Applicant: HON HAI PRECISION INDUSTRY CO., LTD.
    Inventor: HSUEH-TSEN TSAI
  • Patent number: 8935001
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a system and method for establishing and/or maintaining proper alignment of a transfer mechanism. More specifically, the present invention is directed to an alignment system and method having one or more of: (a) a laser alignment device operable to providing precise locational coordinates for alignment of a robotic transfer mechanism relative to a holding structure; (b) an alignment tool for aligning a laser alignment device relative to robotic transfer mechanism; (c) lead in ramps to properly guide an individual specimen container into a holding well; and/or (d) a belt tensioning device for maintaining proper tension on one or more timing belts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2015
    Assignee: bioMeriéux, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark S. Wilson, Richard Trigg, Walter Clynes
  • Publication number: 20150005928
    Abstract: In STEP 1, a mapping operation is carried out by a mapping device. In STEP 2, based on position information for the wafer (W) detected by the mapping operation, it is determined whether or not a wafer (W) position is in an abnormal state or not. When the wafer position is determined to be in the abnormal state (Yes), a closing/opening operation, in which a FOUP door (19c) is temporarily closed and then opened, is carried out in STEP 3. In STEP 4, the number of times the FOUP door (19c) is closed/opened (in other words, the number of times a port door (62) is closed/opened) is counted, and in STEP 5, it is determined whether or not this count value is less than a preset value. If the count value is less than the preset value (Yes), the processing in STEP 1-STEP 5 is repeated once again.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 8, 2013
    Publication date: January 1, 2015
    Inventors: Kozo Kai, Takamasa Chikuma, Keiji Osada, Chunmui Li
  • Patent number: 8924006
    Abstract: A system for picking and placing glass articles from a first location to a second location, the second location including a thermal reforming apparatus for transforming the glass articles from 2D glass articles to 3D glass articles includes a robot having an end effector, the end effector including a compliance assembly having at least six degrees of freedom. The compliance assembly is in fluid communication with both an open pneumatic system and a closed pneumatic system, the open pneumatic system providing a partial vacuum to a portion of the compliance assembly for grabbing the glass article, and the closed pneumatic system for activating a centering function for a portion of the compliance assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2014
    Assignee: Corning Incorporated
    Inventors: Jeffrey Michael Amsden, Michael J Anderson, Gail Dyer, Scott Michael Kabel, Stephen Kuo-Rui Liu, Kevin Lee Wasson
  • Patent number: 8924007
    Abstract: One embodiment is a three dimensional load method for simulating loading of items into at least one container to be transported to at least one destination. The method includes receiving a list of items to be transported, determining at least one container as an optimal number and type of container to be used for transporting the items, and initializing an empty space list to include one space equal to a size of the at least one container. The method also includes initializing a placed item list and an unplaced item list, such that the placed item list includes a list of items already loaded on the at least one container and the unplaced item list includes a list of items to be loaded on the at least one container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2014
    Assignee: Oracle International Corporation
    Inventors: Sundararajan Arunapuram, Sairajesh Mahabhashyam, Albert Drummond
  • Patent number: 8918202
    Abstract: A method of controlling a mobile drive unit includes detecting, by a mobile drive unit at a first location, an active marker at the first location. The mobile drive unit is a self-powered robotic device configured to move independently in a workspace in response to instructions received from the active marker. A management module transmits an instruction to the active marker. The active marker emits a signal detectable by the mobile drive unit, the signal comprising the instruction. The mobile drive unit receives the instruction from the active marker for the mobile drive unit to perform a task.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Yasushi Kawano
  • Patent number: 8914145
    Abstract: A method includes receiving a request for the use of a first storage medium located in a first library unit in a storage medium library. It is determined that the first storage medium is to be moved by a transportation component. In response to determining that the first storage medium is to be moved by the transportation component, it is determined that the transportation component is located at a second library unit. In response to determining that the transportation component is located at the second library unit, it is determined that a second storage medium, which is in the second library unit, can be transported to the first library unit. In response to a determination that the second storage medium can be transported to the first library unit, the second storage medium is transported to the first library unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2014
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Tohru Hasegawa, Takamasa Hirata, Naoki Imai, Masanori Kamiya, Yutaka Oishi
  • Patent number: 8903539
    Abstract: An apparatus includes a network interface, a processor and a computer readable storage medium. The processor is coupled with the computer readable storage medium. The computer readable storage medium has computer readable program code embodied therewith. The computer readable program code, when executed by the processor, causes the processor to determine the state of a storage medium library and determine distribution for a plurality of distributable components within the storage medium library based, at least in part, on the state of the storage medium library. The computer readable program code also causes the processor to, responsive to a determination of the distribution for the plurality of distributable components within the storage medium library, issue commands distributing the plurality of distributable components within the storage medium library in accordance with the distribution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2014
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Tohru Hasegawa, Takamasa Hirata, Naoki Imai, Masanori Kamiya, Yutaka Oishi
  • Patent number: 8903538
    Abstract: An apparatus comprises a network interface, a processor and a computer readable storage medium coupled with the processor. The computer readable storage medium includes computer usable program code. The computer usable program code, when executed by the processor, causes the processor to receive a request for a first storage medium located in a first library unit in a storage medium library. The processor is caused to determine that the first storage medium is to be moved by a transportation component. The processor is caused to, responsive to said determination, determine that the transportation component is located in a second library unit. The processor is caused to, responsive to said determination, determine that a second storage medium located in the second library unit can be transported to the first library unit. Responsive to said determination, the processor is caused to transport the second storage medium to the first library unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2014
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Tohru Hasegawa, Takamasa Hirata, Naoki Imai, Masanori Kamiya, Yutaka Oishi
  • Patent number: 8897912
    Abstract: There is provided a loading and unloading apparatus for performing loading and unloading of workpieces with respect to access positions on a pallet, including a plurality of hands which sequentially access the access positions on the pallet, the plurality of hands including a first and a second hand. Further, the loading and unloading apparatus includes a managing unit which maintains an access position of the first hand, and a determining unit which determines a movement path of the second hand based on the access position of the first hand.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2014
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Yaskawa Denki
    Inventor: Shigeki Masutomi
  • Patent number: 8896421
    Abstract: A wide area radio frequency identification (RFID) system includes: a first RFID cell and a second RFID cell. The first RFID cell and the second RFID cell each include a reader and tags. The readers access the tags using ultra-wide band signaling. The RFID cells each include: a communications interface operable to communicate with a network operations center, and a communications gateway which supports direct communications between RFID cells. The method includes accessing the second RFID cell from the first RFID cell, and the accessing is performed using the communications gateway that can cover a range of at least five hundred meters.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2014
    Assignee: Zebra Enterprise Solutions Corp.
    Inventor: Gideon Kaplan
  • Publication number: 20140343721
    Abstract: A transport apparatus includes a bearing assembly for transporting an article. The bearing assembly includes a support structure for receiving the article, and a plenum housing for receiving the support structure. The plenum housing and the support structure define a plenum cavity, the plenum cavity being configured to receive and direct a flowing gas for floatingly supporting the article above the support structure. The bearing assembly further includes at least one sensor assembly, which includes a sensor for transmitting and receiving energy emissions for determining a location of the article relative to the support structure. The sensor assembly may determine the location of the article relative to the support structure substantially through at least one aperture located on the bearing assembly. The article location determined by the sensor assembly may be communicated to a display panel or a control unit for adjusting the location if necessary.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 4, 2014
    Publication date: November 20, 2014
    Inventors: John Christian Duroe, Shawn Michael Huyler, Julie Marie Koski, Kevin Lee Wasson
  • Patent number: 8892246
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for processing items such as pieces of meat, comprising the steps of providing a stream of items 10 by means of a primary conveyor means 4, allocating at least partly by means of a computer system 8, 20 one or more of said items 10 to one of at least two workstations 1 where said items 10 are processed, e.g. cut and/or trimmed, resulting in one or more processed items 11, registering in said computer system 8, 20 information about a return of at least one of said one or more processed items 11 to said primary conveyor means 4, and returning said at least one of said one or more processed items 11 to said primary conveyor means 4 in accordance with said information about a return. The invention further relates to a system for processing items such as pieces of meat, said system comprising the means essential to carry out the above-mentioned method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2014
    Assignee: Marel HF
    Inventors: Brynjolfur Thorsson, Stefan Axelsson
  • Patent number: 8892241
    Abstract: A robot-enabled method of picking cases in a warehouse is provided. A robotic vehicle includes a processor configured to access a memory, a user input device, an output device, and a load platform, and has access to an electronically stored representation of a warehouse. The representation includes a map that defines aisles for storing items arranged as pick faces within the warehouse. A pick list is generated from an order; the pick list provides identifications of items to be picked to fulfill the order. Determined from the pick list is a plurality of stops at pick faces associated with the items. A route within the map is generated that includes the plurality of stops. The robotic vehicle iteratively guides itself along the route and automatically stops at each of the plurality of stops to enable loading of the items from the pick list onto the load platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2014
    Assignee: Seegrid Corporation
    Inventor: Mitchell Weiss
  • Patent number: 8892247
    Abstract: A system is described for determining a relative location of a plurality of items upon a plurality of platforms. The system may include a memory, an interface, and a processor. The memory may store a first item, a second item, a first period of time and a second period of time. The interface may be operative to communicate with a user and an antenna. The antenna may be able to detect an item for a period of time. The processor may be operative to receive from the antenna, via the interface, the first item, the first period of time, the second item and the second period of time. The processor may determine whether the periods of time overlap. If the periods of time overlap the processor may communicate to the user that the items are upon the same platform, otherwise that the items are on consecutive platforms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2014
    Assignee: Accenture Global Services Limited
    Inventors: Oliver Krener, Loic J Feinbier, Lars Schittko
  • Patent number: 8886356
    Abstract: Methods, devices, non-transitory storage media, and systems that utilize operations including configuring each feed conveyor in the plurality of feed conveyors to operate in a slug-building merge mode, monitoring to identify a first predefined condition, configuring each feed conveyor in the plurality of feed conveyors to operate in a zippering merge mode in response to identifying the first predefined condition, monitoring to identify a second predefined condition, and configuring a first set of the feed conveyors in the plurality of feed conveyors to operate in the slug-building merge mode and a second set of the feed conveyors in the plurality of feed conveyors to simultaneously operate in the zippering merge mode in response to identifying the second predefined condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2014
    Assignee: Intelligrated Headquarters LLC
    Inventors: William A. Magato, Douglas A. Charlton, Brian J. Resnick
  • Patent number: 8874259
    Abstract: During a carrying operation, the position, transportation origin, and transportation destination of a carrier or a boat can be easily checked. A carrying system is configured to carry a substrate, a manipulation unit is configured to display an operation state of the carrying system on a manipulation screen, and a control unit is configured to control an operation of the carrying system. The manipulation unit displays a carrying system icon indicating the carrying system which is a carrying target object and a carrying-out icon at predetermined positions of the manipulation screen corresponding to a transportation origin of the carrying system, and a carrying-in icon at a predetermined position of the manipulation screen corresponding to the transportation destination of the carrying system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2014
    Assignee: Hitachi Kokusai Electric, Inc.
    Inventor: Junichi Kawasaki
  • Patent number: 8868233
    Abstract: A control apparatus in a substrate treating system with a substrate treating apparatus having a physical load port for receiving pods for storing substrates, and a carrier transport system for transporting the pods to and from the physical load port. The control apparatus includes a virtual load port control device for allotting a virtual load port to the physical load port, and instructing the carrier transport system to perform a transporting operation to and from the virtual load port on an assumption that the virtual load port really exists.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Assignee: Dainippon Screen Mfg. Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Hideki Shibata
  • Publication number: 20140297025
    Abstract: A device for launching products into a feeding path, including a launcher; a detection sensor to detect the passage of products launched by the launcher; a launcher central control unit; conveyors to move forward the products in the feeding path, associated with a drive member; and at least one movement sensor to detect the position of the products moved by the conveyors. The central control unit is programmed to control the start position taken by each group of products, downstream of the detection sensor, and to impose on each group of products a forward movement according to the length of the group of products and to an adjustment factor determined by the error, if any, between the detected start position and a desired start position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 3, 2012
    Publication date: October 2, 2014
    Applicant: FABIO PERINI PACKAGING S.P.A.
    Inventors: Luca Cavalieri Foschini, Gabriele Canini, Valter Di Nardo
  • Patent number: 8850009
    Abstract: A network device comprises a storage device storing an application program for a secure communications service; and at least one processor configured to execute the application program enabling the network device to: (a) send a request to look up a network address of a second network device based on an identifier; (b) receive an indication that the second network device is available for the secure communications service, the indication including the requested network address of the second network device and provisioning information for a secure communication link; (c) connect to the second network device over the secure communication link, using the received network address of the second network device and the provisioning information for the secure communication link; and (d) communicate at least one of video data and audio data with the second network device using the secure communications service via the secure communication link.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2014
    Assignee: VirnetX, Inc.
    Inventors: Victor Larson, Robert Dunham Short, III, Edmund Colby Munger, Michael Williamson
  • Patent number: 8838267
    Abstract: In a computer-controlled conveying system (3), virtual markers (K1-K10) are generated and are stored in association with a conveying element (31, 32, 33, 34). The virtual markers (K1-K10) each comprise a marker position which is based on the current position of the conveying element (31, 32, 33, 34) at the time of generation. A search is carried out for stored virtual markers (K1, K5, K6, K9) which have a relative position with respect to the associated conveying element (31, 32, 33, 34) that lies within a defined sector (T1, T2, T3) at the search time. Actuators of the conveying system (3) are driven depending on whether virtual markers (K1, K5, K6, K9) were found in the defined sector (T1, T2, T3) during searching. The virtual markers (K1-K10) may be applied to the conveying elements (31, 32, 33, 34) with dynamically changing distances, for example, and make it possible to drive actuators in a flexible manner independently of a fixedly defined clock rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2014
    Assignee: Ferag AG
    Inventor: Rudolf Gallati
  • Publication number: 20140257554
    Abstract: A linear conveyor is provided with a linear motor stator including electromagnets and operable to individually undergo electric current supply control with respect to each zone; a conveyor carriage provided with a linear motor rotor and a unique information storing device; motor control devices configured to perform electric current supply control for the electromagnets with respect to each zone; and a reading device configured to read position correction data of the conveyor carriage stored in the unique information storing device. Each of the motor control devices is configured to correct a target stop position of the conveyor carriage, with use of the position correction data read by the reading device for performing electric current supply control based on the corrected target stop position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 9, 2012
    Publication date: September 11, 2014
    Applicant: YAMAHA HATSUDOKI KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Katsuyuki Takagi