Particular Supply Arrangement (e.g., Plural Sources Or Compartments) Patents (Class 700/242)
  • Patent number: 8527089
    Abstract: A dispensing machine for dispensing items to customers comprising a cabinet having at least one window, a plurality of supports for supporting a plurality of different items to be dispensed to customers, a pointing device for selecting a desired item from the plurality of items, an indicator associated with the pointing device and operable to provide an indication, visible through the window, of which item is being selected by the pointing device without dispensing said selected item, and a dispensing mechanism for dispensing the selected item in response to a dispensing instruction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2013
    Assignee: Mars, Inc.
    Inventors: David Meacock, Neil Harrington
  • Patent number: 8527090
    Abstract: A method for facilitating storage and/or retrieval of unit dose medications may include receiving an indication that a medication receptacle is positioned proximate to an alignment pin, determining a position of the alignment pin relative to an alignment guide disposed in the medication receptacle, and providing an output indicative of an alignment state of the medication receptacle based on the position determined. A corresponding computer program product and apparatus is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2013
    Assignee: McKesson Automation Inc.
    Inventors: David Monto, Ben Tylenda, Anandhi Sarangan, Mark Leng, Shawn Greyshock
  • Patent number: 8521325
    Abstract: A drug delivery device (1) delivers a stored drug to a conveyance receptacle (T) adapted to be attached with a card (RC) that displays desired information. The drug delivery device (1) includes card processor (10), a label printer (6), and a controller (5). The card processor (10) enters patient identification information on the card (RC) and attaches the card (RC) to the conveyance receptacle (T). The label printer (6) prints a first label that displays the patient identification information and that is inserted into the conveyance receptacle (T). The controller (5) causes the label printer (6) to print the first label according to a state of the card processor (10). With the drug delivery device (1), identification information is applied more reliably and quickly to the conveyance receptacle by which the drug is delivered, and the efficiency of drug delivery is improved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2013
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventor: Shoji Shibata
  • Patent number: 8521327
    Abstract: The present invention provides a random access and random load dispensing unit including a housing, at least one support located in the housing and defining a first axis, a plurality of platforms movable along the support along the first axis, a plurality of bins supported on the platforms, the bins being movable with the platforms, and a shuttle assembly movable along the first axis and further movable along a second axis substantially perpendicular to the first axis between the plurality of platforms to access and retrieve products stored in the bins.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2013
    Assignee: Asteres, Inc.
    Inventors: Linda J. Pinney, John A. Beane, Angus R. Colson, David R. Williams, Keith Kopitzke, Keith W. Reynolds, Erik Howard Barnes
  • Patent number: 8521326
    Abstract: A canister arrangement for refilling a pharmaceutical dispenser. The dispenser can hold a predetermined number of pills, tablets, or capsules at one time. Since the canister arrangement can hold considerably more than the dispenser can, the canister is able to fill the dispenser to capacity multiple times before the canister must be refilled. The canister has a housing and one or more chambers in the housing. When a plurality of chambers is present, at least one of the chambers has a sloping floor at the bottom of the housing. A swinging door is disposed between each pair of adjacent chambers. The swinging door(s) are automatically activated when the dispensing apparatus senses that the dispenser and the previous chamber are both empty. An opening is also provided at the bottom of the housing. A sliding door covers the opening to prevent pills, tablets and capsules from exiting the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2013
    Assignee: Innovation Associates, Inc.
    Inventor: Bruce E. Holtje
  • Patent number: 8515575
    Abstract: A mobile fulfillment device, system, and method for retrieving at least one article stored in one of a plurality of predetermined storage locations are disclosed. The device, system and method includes a wireless transceiver for communicating with a remote system controller, including transmission of at least one instruction from the remote system controller to provide instruction to the control system, a retriever for retrieving the at least one article in response to instruction received from the control system, a sensor for detecting inventory levels of articles in at least one predetermined storage location, a mobile frame supporting the fulfillment device and at least three wheels coupled to the mobile frame and providing mobility to the fulfillment device based on at least one of the at least three wheels being a lockable wheel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2013
    Assignee: Paragon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Jeffrey Pfeiffer
  • Patent number: 8483872
    Abstract: Present invention discloses a dispenser having means to dispense desired number of pills from a bulk supply of pills contained in the dispenser. The dispenser comprises of storage compartment having bulk supply of pills and having a discharge port emptying into counting compartment. The counting compartment contains first and second conveyors moving at first and second speed; wherein the second speed is greater than the first speed thereby enabling pill separation; the second conveyor discharges pills into dispensing compartment. Sensors are strategically placed along the conveyors to count pills discharged into dispensing compartment. A pill recovery system and apparatus is disposed inside the dispenser having means to recover pills remaining on conveyors upon completion of a dispensation cycle and deposit recovered pills back into the storage compartment for use in future dispensation cycles. A docking station having receptacles to accommodate dispenser is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2013
    Inventor: Nitesh Ratnakar
  • Patent number: 8478441
    Abstract: A method and automated apparatus (1) for dispensing pharmaceutical products in unit doses or administration units wherein the unit doses (2) suitably arranged and/or separated within the apparatus (1) can be dispensed into the compartments (5) of an associated cart (4), to fill patient-specific medication prescriptions for patients of a ward. A telescopic manipulator unit (6, 106, 206) has elements (16) adapted to select and pick up the doses required to fill patient-specific medication prescriptions from a matrix (10) of unit doses (2) and elements (7, 107) for coupled interaction with the compartments (5) to directly release the picked up doses (2) therein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2013
    Assignee: Ingegneria Biomedica Santa Lucia S.p.A.
    Inventors: Pierangelo Liguori, Giorgio Pavesi, Fulvio Rudello
  • Patent number: 8473098
    Abstract: An apparatus for dispensing and/or vending a bulk product. The apparatus comprises one or more bins for holding a bulk product, a dispensing mechanism operatively coupled to each of the bins, a controller operatively coupled to the dispensing mechanisms, and an interface for receiving a request for one of the bulk products. The controller is operatively coupled to the interface and configured to generate one or more control signals in response to a request for controlling the dispensing mechanism to dispense one of the bulk products.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2013
    Assignee: 646840 Alberta Ltd.
    Inventors: Christopher Roy Lock, Andras Gyorffy, Graham Russell Nelson
  • Publication number: 20130158706
    Abstract: Item-management systems, apparatus, and methods are described , preferably for management of items such as medicaments. In embodiments, an item-management system comprises a holder defining plural cells, a docking station configured to receive the holder, at least one indicator selectively-operable to indicate the holder cell into which an item is to be loaded, and at least one controller operable to selectively operate each at least one indicator to indicate the cell into which the item is to be received. In embodiments, indicators are provided on the holder. In other embodiments, the indicators may by on a guide associated with the docking station to assist the user in loading the holder. The contents of the loaded holder may be easily loaded, for example, into an automated dispensing machine for packaging and subsequent administration to a patient or for another use.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 13, 2013
    Publication date: June 20, 2013
    Applicant: Chudy Group, LLC
    Inventor: Chudy Group, LLC
  • Patent number: 8463432
    Abstract: A self-service entertainment media rental terminal comprises a first customer interface for enabling a first customer to interact with the terminal to rent a media item on which entertainment data is stored from the terminal, a second customer interface for enabling a second customer to interact with the terminal to return a media item on which entertainment data is stored to the terminal, a media storage bin for (i) storing media items to be dispensed when a customer rents a media item, and (ii) storing media items which have been returned from a customer, a media transport mechanism arranged to (i) support movement of media items between the media storage bin and the first customer interface, and (ii) support movement of media items between the media storage bin and the second customer interface, and a controller arranged to (i) receive customer input data through the first customer interface, (ii) receive customer input data through the second customer interface while customer input data is being received
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2013
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventor: Bradley E. Weinshenker
  • Patent number: 8463430
    Abstract: Vending machines, automated retail stores, and retail displays with a computer controlled, activation system that senses either the gesture of a customer proximate product display tubes or a touch-screen selection on a computer screen. Item-based lighting produces variable visual effects in conjunction with actual or potential vends to provide an enhanced vending experience. Offered products are stored within display tubes that are arranged in orderly geometric arrays. RGB lighting through a plurality of LED banks associated with each display tube are controlled by the activation system Combinations of differently colored LED's are computer controlled on a per product basis to artistically illuminate available products and assist customers. Pre-programmed lighting sequences can switch LEDs off and on, vary their intensity, and alter resultant colors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2013
    Assignees: Utique, Inc
    Inventors: Mara Clair Segal, Darrell Scott Mockus, Russell Jon Greenberg
  • Patent number: 8457784
    Abstract: A container for use in a dispensing system is disclosed. The container comprises a body, a linkage element movably attached to the body, a control module, and an actuator comprising a memory wire having a length and a terminator that is attached to the memory wire. The linkage element has a first position and a second position, and the actuator is mechanically coupled to the linkage element. The control module is attached to the body and comprises a contact element. The terminator is attached to the body and electrically coupled to the contact element, wherein the electrical coupling between the memory wire and the contact element is mechanically compliant such that the position of the terminator relative to the body is invariant when the position of the control module relative to the body varies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2013
    Assignee: CareFusion 303, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Rahilly, Frank Dean Weber
  • Patent number: 8453874
    Abstract: A dispenser (200) and method for dispensing pills to patients from cartridges (224) featuring downloadable remotely programmable timer (1B) and network communications links (504), alerting timer, databasing, printer, and battery (60).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2013
    Inventors: Edwin C. Simpson, Mary Carson
  • Patent number: 8452446
    Abstract: A pill dispensing device includes a base with a top surface and a bottom surface, a transfer tray assembly coupled to the top surface of the base, a controller, and a plurality of vibrating tray assemblies. Each vibrating tray assembly couples to the top surface of the base and includes a pill tray, at least one spring support, a pill tray electric motor, and at least one optical sensor. The pill tray has an open end which is positioned above the transfer tray assembly. The at least one spring support is coupled between the top surface of the base and the pill tray. The pill tray electric motor couples to the pill tray and an offset weight. Each pill tray electric motor electrically couples to the controller. An optical sensor couples to the pill tray.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2013
    Assignee: Innovative Dispensing, LLC
    Inventors: Russell Madris, Travis Cochran, Bert Centala
  • Publication number: 20130123977
    Abstract: Systems and methods for managing canisters used to automatically dispense medication are provided. Canisters are configurable via a design process and a build process to accurately dispense a variety of medications. Design profiles are created and stored by a canister management system, and are federated to workstations used to build and fill the canisters, and to workstations used to dispense the medication. Information related to the build process, the fill process, and the dispense process is also federated by the system. The system also enables the transmission of other types of messages between client applications on the workstations and the canister management system. The system is useful to federate data regardless of a structure of a supply chain used to design, build, distribute, and use the canisters.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 16, 2011
    Publication date: May 16, 2013
    Applicant: TALYST INC.
    Inventors: Ron Sanders, Harpreet Singh, Frank Mckeown, Paul Richardson, John M. Manning, Darcy O. Clarke
  • Publication number: 20130123978
    Abstract: An automated retail system according to embodiments of the present invention includes a front and/or rear product rack, each rack having a plurality of bins, each of which has a product door, the system further including a basket moveable along an x-y plane on a rail system to selectively open a product door of a product bin to permit the product within the bin to fall into the basket, the basket movable to a product delivery position to release the product from the basket. Such a system may include sensors and/or scanners to determine contents of each bin, such that any product may be placed in any bin, and inventory of each bin or all bins may be determined at any time. The basket may be configured to move in x and y but not z directions, and may also serve as the sole actuation mechanism for opening the doors.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 3, 2012
    Publication date: May 16, 2013
    Inventors: Donald W. STARK, Richard L. MALONE, Jason Gary WEIHE, Roger H. GROW
  • Patent number: 8442676
    Abstract: A medication storage for storing medications while cooling down them is constituted so as to allow a medication based on prescription data to be certainly taken out. The medication storage cools down inside a storeroom for storing the medications to a predetermined temperature by a cooling unit. The medication storage, includes: a plurality of shelves rotatably provided in the storeroom; a plurality of storage partitions which are respectively constituted on each shelf and store the medications; a motor for rotating the shelves; a plurality of openings provided respectively for being arranged to correspond to each of the shelves thereby allowing only medication in any one of the storage partitions to be taken out; a plurality of doors for openably closing each opening, respectively; a plurality of lock solenoids for locking each door, respectively; and a control unit for controlling the motor and the lock solenoid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2013
    Assignee: Panasonic Healthcare Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Koichi Kobayashi, Manabu Haraguchi, Akinori Hatsuno
  • Patent number: 8442675
    Abstract: An apparatus and method is provided for coordinating automated package and bulk dispensing at a remote site. A hopper apparatus includes a series of storage compartments and access doors. The compartments and doors are linked to a PLC that is further linked to an inventory provider. The inventory provider takes product orders from an end-user. The end-user is provided an end-user access code. The inventory provider communicates with the PLC and reserves for the ordered product(s) a vacant storage compartment(s). The inventory provider delivers the product(s) ordered by the end-user to the hopper apparatus. Upon delivery, the inventory provider enters the appropriate end-user access code(s), causing the PLC to open the storage compartment(s) previously reserved by the inventory provider for the products ordered by the end-user. The inventory provider loads the appropriate storage compartment(s) with the end-user product(s).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2013
    Assignee: Syngenta Participations AG
    Inventor: Gary W. Wietgrefe
  • Patent number: 8428775
    Abstract: Products are dispensed from a dispensing apparatus in which products marked with transaction information are received in a two-dimensional array of moveable bins. In response to control information synthesized from transaction information on the products in the bins and a dispense request, the array is operated to place a bin at a dispensing station on the dispensing apparatus. At the dispensing station, a mechanism is operated in response to the control information to provide access to the bin. A product in the bin may then be retrieved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2013
    Assignee: Parata Systems, LLC
    Inventors: Stuart C. Baker, Daniel C. Finn, Thomas F. Gaasch, William K. Holmes
  • Patent number: 8423180
    Abstract: The system for monitoring and dispensing medical items which are dispensed for administration to patients includes a data terminal (76, 338) which is connected through a network (82, 328) to at least one remote computer (84, 324) having a processor and a data store. The system also includes a reading device (348) which is connected to the network. A user of the data terminal or the reading device is enabled to select a patient for whom medical items will be used, and responsive to a request to dispense items the requested items are dispensed from dispensing devices (96, 100, 344, 346, 450, 527) connected to the data terminal. A report generating device (384) generates reports (388) which include machine readable indicia corresponding to patients and/or medical items. Users may select patients and dispense medications by reading the indicia from the reports using the reading device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2013
    Assignee: AutoMed Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: David T. Frederick, W. Michael Wright, Richard T. Vangenewitt, William D. Yost, R. Michael McGrady, R. Barrie Slaymaker, Jr., Eser Sukan, Greg Kroah-Hartman
  • Publication number: 20130090759
    Abstract: A vending machine includes a reservoir for holding bulk goods and multiple reconfigurable distribution path devices to release the goods to a purchaser in entertaining fashion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 19, 2012
    Publication date: April 11, 2013
    Inventor: Brett Fleishman
  • Patent number: 8417380
    Abstract: A system and method for communicating vending information for a digital video disc is provided. A plurality of vending transaction data is received, wherein each of the plurality of data comprises a transaction timestamp and corresponds to a rental transaction for a digital video disc. The plurality of vending transaction data is stored in a memory of a vending apparatus, and is encrypted. It is determined whether a predetermined period of time has elapsed since a first transmission of transaction data from the vending apparatus, and a communication request is transmitted upon such determination to a remote control center. A signal is received at the vending apparatus from a control center in response to the communications request, and a plurality of vending transaction data is transmitted to the remote control center in response to receiving the signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2013
    Assignee: Redbox Automated Retail, LLC
    Inventors: Franz Kuehnrich, Eric Hoersten
  • Patent number: 8417378
    Abstract: A portable, medication dispensing device which dispenses prepackaged pill strands of medication from a secure, storage compartment through a mechanism which physically limits the quantity dispensed per a pre-programmed protocol. The device has a detachable storage component which can be filled by trained clinical or pharmacy staff, which can be locked. The device has a dispensing mechanism, which employs a user-powered, hub to advance a pill strand of pre-packaged medications, when appropriate. This advancing hub is secured from advancing inappropriately by a locking mechanism where a sturdy piston is moved into and out of recesses in the rounded surface of the hub. The device also contains standard electronic components, including a power source, central processing unit (CPU), visual and auditory outputs, and communications ports.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2013
    Inventor: Matthew I. Joslyn
  • Patent number: 8413843
    Abstract: A dispenser for packets comprises a plurality of horizontal rows comprising a plurality of side by said dispenser compartments. Each compartment defines a channel for receiving a horizontal stack of packets and comprises a front edge. A movement imparting assembly is mounted within each compartment and comprises a pusher member for engaging the horizontal stack of packets. The movement imparting assembly provides for the pusher member to selectively push forward the horizontal stack of packets so as to push at least one of the packets in the compartment off the edge thereof for retrieval. Sensor are mounted to the dispenser so as to detect dispensing of packets and to communicate this information to a controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2013
    Inventor: Antonio Vardaro
  • Patent number: 8412375
    Abstract: A medication dispenser provides automation to the steps of locating and acquiring medications or supplies to be administered to a patient. The medication dispenser includes one or more modules housing one or more compartmentalized drawers. Access to each drawer is controlled by a lockable door, and each the drawer may only be slid from the module housing the drawer in response to a signal. A series of lights direct the user to the appropriate drawer and the appropriate compartment of the relevant drawer to remove the appropriate medication or supply.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2013
    Assignee: Cerner Innovation, Inc.
    Inventors: Edward J. Schifman, Matthew J. Beck
  • Publication number: 20130079927
    Abstract: A dispensing system has a cartridge with a body having a plurality of bins and a plurality of attached lids that cover the respective bins when the lids are closed. The body has an external connector and the lids are opened by receipt of a command signal through the connector. The system also includes a cabinet with a docking location configured to accept a cartridge. The cabinet has a docking connector that connects to the cartridge connector when the cartridge is placed on the docking location. The cabinet also has a controller that sends the command signal through the docking connector to the cartridge to open one or more of the lids.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 16, 2012
    Publication date: March 28, 2013
    Applicant: CareFusion 303, Inc.
    Inventor: CareFusion 303, Inc.
  • Publication number: 20130079924
    Abstract: Methods, apparatuses and computer program products are provided for facilitating the expedited dispensing of medications from an automated medication storage device. In this regard, a method may cooperate with the first device to facilitate the presentation of various displays that include features to reduce number of user interactions to dispense medications safely and effectively.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 23, 2011
    Publication date: March 28, 2013
    Applicant: MCKESSON AUTOMATION INC.
    Inventors: Laurie Garda, Wendy Armstrong, Jyotsna Rao, Amy Blew, Ryan Thomas, James Kolodziej, Patrick J. Braun, Benjamin H. Tylenda, Shawn T. Greyshock
  • Patent number: 8392020
    Abstract: A small object dispenser adapted to receive a canister of objects such as pills, the canister being coupled atop it through a secure, bar-code matched gate operated by a central controller. A hopper below the gate directs smaller quantities of objects into a charge block adapted to measure out a select number of objects into an angularly disposed, circular counter where they accumulate atop a movable plate forming the bottom of the counter. The plate bears slots around its perimeter adjacent the cylindrical walls of the counter. As the central controller operates a servo motor to rotate the plate in measured increments, it urges a precise count of objects from the bottom of the counter to a port through which they fall one at a time into a receptacle such as a prescription bottle. Orientation means on the interior of the walls orient objects so that only a single object may fall into each slot, thereby preventing overfilling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2013
    Assignee: Tension International, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert Terzini
  • Patent number: 8392019
    Abstract: A vending arrangement for computerized vending machines, retail displays, automated retail stores, utilizes a centralized, robotic gantry associated with companion modules for vending a plurality of selectable products. The modularized design enables deployment of half-sized or larger, full sized machines. The robotic gantry is deployed in a centralized module disposed adjacent display and inventory modules. Inventory modules can be fitted to both gantry sides, and doors can be fitted to the gantry front or rear. The gantry comprises an internal, vertically displaceable elevator utilizing a central conveyor for laterally, horizontally moving selected items from associated display and inventory positions to a vending position. Computerized software enables the display and vending functions, and controls elevator movement to dispense products from twin sides of the gantry by appropriately controlling the conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2013
    Assignee: Utique, Inc.
    Inventors: Mara Clair Segal, Darrell Scott Mockus, Russell Jon Greenberg
  • Patent number: 8384545
    Abstract: An automatic data collection system tracks articles by providing a robust electromagnetic (EM) field within an enclosure in which the articles are stored. Respective data carriers, such as RFID tags, attached to each article respond to the electromagnetic field by transmitting unique data identified with each article. Where the frequency of the EM field coupled to the enclosure differs from the natural resonance frequency of the enclosure, the placement of a probe to couple energy to the enclosure is selected to have the reflected phase of the EM energy from walls equal at the probe location thereby producing a robust EM field to activate and/or detect data carriers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2013
    Assignee: MEPS Real-Time, Inc.
    Inventors: Shariq Hussain, Jeffrey Shamblin
  • Patent number: 8386073
    Abstract: Disclosed are a quantity regulating module of an automatic tablet dispenser, and a tablet dispensing method thereof, which are capable of automatically packing various-shaped tablets, and accurately, rapidly and cleanly controlling supplying of tablets without missing any.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2013
    Assignee: Cretem Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Ho-yeon Kim
  • Publication number: 20130042943
    Abstract: A vibration tray assembly for use in a container filling machine, the vibration tray assembly comprising a tray for transporting discrete articles from a receiving end of the tray towards a drop-off end of the tray, the tray providing a slope along which the discrete articles travel from the receiving end of the tray to the drop-off end of the tray, wherein the tray is adjustable for changing the slope along which the discrete articles travel. The vibration tray assembly further comprises a vibration imparting device for imparting vibrational motion to the tray.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 18, 2011
    Publication date: February 21, 2013
    Applicant: COUNTLAB, INC.
    Inventor: Loris BASSANI
  • Patent number: 8378827
    Abstract: In one embodiment, an antenna configuration for locating RFID tags has two sets of (mutually orthogonal) elongated reader coils, where each elongated reader coil corresponds to two or more different possible locations of RFID tags, and each possible location is associated with one reader coil in each of the two sets. The identities and locations of RFID tags can be determined by (sequentially) energizing the different sets of reader coils and correlating the recorded responses from RFID tags. In one application, the antenna configuration is used at the box level of a cold storage system for biological samples having one or more freezers, each freezer having one or racks, each rack receiving one or more boxes, each box receiving one or more sample containers, where, in addition to the biological sample, each sample container has a unique passive RFID tag.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2013
    Assignee: BioTillion, LLC
    Inventors: Hananel Davidowitz, Thomas Coradetti, Theodore Altman, Ilya Kovnatsky
  • Patent number: 8380347
    Abstract: During operation of a vending machine, visual images of the next product to be dispensed from product dispensing locations are obtained. Features of the visual images are compared to a data base of features to determine the identity of the next product to be dispensed from each of the dispensing locations. After a product has been dispensed from a dispensing location, a visual image is obtained of the next product at the dispensing location. Features of the visual image of the next product at the dispensing location are compared to a data base of features to determine the identity of the next product to be dispensed. A displayed price of a product is compared with product prices in the data base. If necessary, the displayed price is adjusted to agree with the data base.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2013
    Inventors: Brent D. Garson, Aviel Dafna, Alessandro Ratti, Ezio Cesare Ratti
  • Patent number: 8380346
    Abstract: Item-management systems, apparatus, and methods are described, preferably for management of items such as medicaments. In embodiments, an item-management system comprises a holder defining plural cells, a docking station configured to receive the holder, at least one indicator selectively-operable to indicate the holder cell into which an item is to be loaded, and at least one controller operable to selectively operate each at least one indicator to indicate the cell into which the item is to be received. In embodiments, indicators are provided on the holder. In other embodiments, the indicators may by on a guide associated with the docking station to assist the user in loading the holder. The contents of the loaded holder may be easily loaded, for example, into an automated dispensing machine for packaging and subsequent administration to a patient or for another use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2013
    Assignee: Chundy Group, LLC
    Inventors: Duane S. Chudy, Larry Montgomery, James T. Spernow
  • Patent number: 8362914
    Abstract: A method and system for administering a consumable composition may comprise one or more of the following (a) dispensing a dose of a consumable composition according to a programmed dosing schedule; and (b) communicating an aspect of the consumable composition to a system associated with a monitoring entity. The method may comprise one or more of the following steps: (a) dispensing a dose of a consumable composition according to a programmed dosing schedule; and (b) controlling the functionality of a device according to an aspect of the consumable composition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2013
    Assignee: The Invention Science Fund I, LLC
    Inventors: Roderick A. Hyde, Eric C. Leuthardt, Robert W. Lord, Clarence T. Tegreene, Lowell L. Wood, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8342400
    Abstract: A registering and counting system operated in response to information included on data bearing records is used for maintaining inventory records related to narcotics items. Data corresponding to users is read through record reading devices (448, 452). Authorized users are allowed access to a narcotics vault (402). Narcotics holding containers (422) are removable from storage locations in drawers (416). Wireless transmitters on the containers operate in conjunction with wireless readers in the storage locations to enable a computer (458) to track the use of the narcotics items and operating parameters of the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Assignee: Diebold, Incorporated
    Inventor: Rodney J. Reese
  • Patent number: 8335588
    Abstract: A cartridge for use in a dispensing system is disclosed. The cartridge includes a body having an exterior and a plurality of bins. A plurality of lids are movably attached to the body and are configured to cover a bin. A release mechanism is movable along an axis. A plurality of latches are movably attached to the body. Each latch is configured to secure the respective lid when in a first position and to release the respective lid when in a second position. The release mechanism will not cause a latch to move to the second position when the release mechanism is moving along the axis in a first direction. The release mechanism will cause a single latch to move to the second position while leaving the remaining latches in the first position when the release mechanism is moving along the axis in a second direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2012
    Assignee: CareFusion 303, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Rahilly, Frank Dean Weber
  • Patent number: 8332066
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for controlling removal of one or more receptacles from a receptacle tray are described herein, in which a removal indicator indicates which of the one or more receptacles to remove. Thereafter, the indicated one or more receptacles may be manually removed from the receptacle tray using a gripping mechanism. The receptacles are secured in the tray with two or more tangs protruding from a front face of the receptacle closest to a connector interface. The two or more tangs fit into respective mating units in the receptacle tray, and one or more protrusions toward the rear of the receptacle, with respect to the two or more tangs, mate with respective mating units in the receptacle tray.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: CareFusion 303, Inc.
    Inventor: Frank Weber
  • Patent number: 8321052
    Abstract: A self-service kiosk apparatus is presented that has a plurality of secure service areas. Access to the plurality of secure service areas and the components of the kiosk system contained within each area is controlled. Authorization to access each secure service area is based on a person's level of training and security level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2012
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Rafael Yepez, Jason A. Mastry
  • Patent number: 8315733
    Abstract: An apparatus for distributing at least one product to consumers includes a housing and a plurality of belt conveyors for storing a predetermined quantity of such product. A serving tray is positioned externally to the housing for incrementally receiving one of the predetermined quantity of such product. Another belt conveyor is provided for incrementally obtaining such one of such product and for delivering it to the serving tray. A controller for selectively operating storage and delivery conveyors. A manually operable switch activates the controller to operate the delivery conveyor in order to deliver such one of such product. The apparatus is capable of capturing consumer personal data. Various methods contemplate use of these devices for delivering targeted marketing information, distributing product samples and for cross-marketing products.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2012
    Inventors: Walter Hales, Jr., Michael Panson, Leonid Foshansky
  • Publication number: 20120290128
    Abstract: A system for storing a plurality of solid objects and dispensing the solid objects into a plurality of containers. The system comprises non-automated dispensing cells, physically actuated to dispense solid objects one at a time into one of the containers, and automated dispensing cells, electrically actuated to dispense solid objects from a holding tank simultaneously in bulk into one of the containers. The automated dispensing cells may independently dispense objects into the holding tank one at a time while a manipulator arm of the system simultaneously brings a container to one of the non-automated or automated dispensing cells. Then, when the manipulator arm brings a container to one of the automated dispensing cells, the solid objects may be dispensed into the container in bulk by simply opening a gate mechanism.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 30, 2012
    Publication date: November 15, 2012
    Applicant: SCRIPTPRO LLC
    Inventors: Michael E. Coughlin, Shane P. Coughlin, Timothy A. Giebler, Lawrence Guerra
  • Patent number: 8308414
    Abstract: A medication dispenser provides automation to the steps of locating and acquiring medications to be administered to a patient. The medication dispenser includes an enclosure providing a secure environment for storing medications in multiple sized medication storage bins. The medication storage bins are hung in storage racks located within the enclosure. A robot system is also provided within the enclosure for moving bins between the storage racks and a medication dispensing area. The medication dispensing area includes doors configured to open to define an opening for passing a selected bin through the enclosure. The medication storage bin includes a bulk bin loading drawing for loading medication storage bins into the medication dispensing apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2012
    Assignee: Cerner Innovation, Inc.
    Inventors: Edward J. Schifman, William A. Bedore
  • Patent number: 8311669
    Abstract: A system for managing liquid supply suitable for a process equipment with a liquid tank is disclosed. The system includes a host, a data-reading tool, a system controller and a tank-locking device. The host stores a built-in liquid database. The data-reading tool used for reading data related to the liquid tank is electrically connected to the host. The host receives the data related to the liquid tank from the data-reading tool, and the received data mapped with the liquid database. The system controller drives the tank-locking device according to the signal from the host to whether or not allow replacement of the liquid tank.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2012
    Assignee: Powerchip Technology Corporation
    Inventors: Yen-Liang Chen, Yuh-Shyang Su, Sou-Yung Hsieh
  • Patent number: 8301301
    Abstract: Systems and techniques for distributed dispenser management are provided. A list of item selections is received, the list including at least one item with an item type. A collection of one or more dispenser groups may be identified, where each dispenser group in the collection includes a unique combination of one or more item dispensers with a combined unreserved inventory sufficient to dispense each item in the list. An item dispenser group may then be selected from the collection based on even depletion. The items in the list may be reserved from the selected dispenser group.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2012
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventor: Thomas V. Edwards
  • Patent number: 8301295
    Abstract: A system and method for processing mailpieces within a mail transportation and distribution system includes first and second distribution centers, and an electronic parcel compartment facility located near the second center. Data, about the mailpiece and recipient, is acquired from the mailpiece. Destination information for a compartment facility is associated with the mailpiece. The information is compared with a registered customer database. A re-routing instruction is ascertained from the customer data. The second center is ascertained. The mailpiece is sorted in the first center based on the destination. Data about the mailpiece and destination is transmitted to a second data processor of the second center. The mailpiece is transported to the second center. Information identifying the mailpiece is acquired with a reading device. The destination is determined based on information identifying the mailpiece, which is sorted based on the destination. The information is transmitted to a mobile device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2012
    Assignee: Deutsche Post AG
    Inventors: Steffen Frankenberg, Flavio Alario, Rebekka Alario
  • Patent number: 8295977
    Abstract: (Object) To enable, in an operation of supplying a medicine to a medicine cassette, in which it is typical that the medicine once put in a vial bottle is recovered to a medicine cassette (medicine receiving container), an operation of specifying the medicine cassette to which the medicine is to be supplied to be performed more accurately and more efficiently. (Solving Means) Information used for specifying the medicine is read by reading a prescription code (d31) recorded as a bar code on a vial bottle (S202) or is input as search information through an operation portion (S221). As a result, a cassette shelf (2) (cassette code (d21)) to which a medicine cassette (1) for receiving the medicine corresponding to the input information is mounted is specified (S203, S224), and a shelf lamp (3) provided to the specified cassette shelf (2) is brought into a predetermined notification display state (blinking state).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2012
    Assignee: Yuyama Mfg. Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroyuki Yuyama, Yoshinori Kumano, Tasuku Minami
  • Publication number: 20120245731
    Abstract: A medication dispensing cart having a computer and monitor, a work surface with pull out keyboard, and plural drawers arranged as a vertical series of cassettes that can be added as needed. The battery powered device uses software and pass codes for controlling access to each drawer, and requires a second pass code for any drawer designated to contain narcotics. Records can be kept of who dispenses what medication and when for each cart in a system of carts. The cart in the system is in wireless communication with a system administrator. Emails alerting the system administrator of low battery power, of a cart switching to off, of an attempted break-in, and of inventory and usage data are sent automatically by email.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 1, 2012
    Publication date: September 27, 2012
    Applicant: Omnicell, Inc.
    Inventor: Ray Reckelhoff
  • Patent number: 8275481
    Abstract: Computer assisted systems, methods and mediums for filling one or more orders. One embodiment of the present invention is a system that includes an order consolidation station configured to receive at least one bottle containing pills individually counted and/or at least one package containing pharmaceutical products without having been designated for any of the orders when the package was created and/or at least one literature pack optionally including patient specific information. The order consolidation station is further configured to combine automatically the received bottle and/or package and/or literature pack into a container to be sent to a recipient including, for example, mail order pharmacies, wholesalers and/or central fill dealers for subsequent distribution or sale including retailer distribution or sale. The bottle is specifically designated for the order, and the order generally includes at least one prescription for the package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2012
    Assignee: Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
    Inventors: Dennis Wayne Rice, James G. McErlean, E. Christian Hess, P. Thomas Shupert, Chih-Jen Leu, Robert G. Howell, Michael J. Szesko, Andrew P. Booler, Peter Monkhouse, Douglas W. Walton, Michael W. G. Bell, Christopher J. Lasher, Thomas P. Bonkenburg