Particular Supply Arrangement (e.g., Plural Sources Or Compartments) Patents (Class 700/242)
  • Publication number: 20080283542
    Abstract: An apparatus, method and system for dispensing medication in a personal health management system are described. The apparatus for dispensing medication is shown. The apparatus includes one or more storage compartments for storing-one or more medications, an input device for inputting data related to the medications, a data storage device configured to store at least the data, an output device operable to message information related to the medications, and a computing device configured to respond to the data, select one or more of the storage compartments for dispensing of the medication, provide information for the output device, and record quantity and frequency of the dispensing in the data storage device. A method is also provided for dispensing medication in accordance with an aspect of the invention. A system utilizing the apparatus in a personal health management system is also shown.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 18, 2007
    Publication date: November 20, 2008
    Inventors: Priyadarsini Lanka, Sirisha Gudimetla, Saraswati Tumuluri
  • Patent number: 7454267
    Abstract: A method of controlling the functioning of a portable medicament dispenser, said portable medicament dispenser being for use with a refill container, said method comprising: (a) providing a memory for storing one or more parameters relating to the functioning of said dispenser; (b) storing authentication data for authenticating data for controlling a function of said dispenser; (c) receiving control data for said dispenser; (d) performing authentication of the control data using said stored authentication data; (e) in dependence on a result of the authentication, activating one or more parameters in said memory to control functioning of said dispenser in accordance with said control data, characterized in that the step (d) of performing authentication of the control data is performed by said refill container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2008
    Assignee: Glaxo Group Limited
    Inventors: Stanley George Bonney, Anthony Patrick Jones, Duncan Robertson
  • Patent number: 7426425
    Abstract: One aspect of the invention relates to an assembly comprising a plurality of bins with a plurality of lids associated therewith. Each of the bins has a lock assembly that includes a catch operable to lock the lid in its closed position and a mechanical indicator responsive to the catch. Another aspect of the invention relates to an automated dispensing cabinet that includes a control computer and a plurality of drawers having a plurality of row assemblies therein. Each row assembly has bins that include a tabbed lid, a lock assembly with a catch operable to engage and disengage the tab, and an indicator responsive to the lock assembly. Methods for dispensing from and restocking the remote dispensing systems are also given, as well as a method for indicating which item is to be dispensed from one of a plurality of bins.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2008
    Assignee: McKesson Automation Inc.
    Inventors: Robert B. Meek, Jr., Kirk A. Young, Louis S. Conley, Eric J. Switalski, Allen D. Bowers
  • Patent number: 7418311
    Abstract: A portable dispensing system comprising a vending machine including an upper snack-holding portion, an intermediate beverage-holding portion, a lower refrigeration portion, contained within a housing that fits within the basket of a golf cart. The snack-holding portion and the beverage-holding portion occupy a common cabinet being separated by an insulating wall, allowing a refrigeration mechanism within the refrigeration portion to refrigerate the beverage-holding portion without refrigerating the snack-holding portion. The cabinet is disposed above the basket within the golf cart, and may be provided with a pair of belts for fastening the dispensing system to the golf cart. Within the snack-holding portion, snacks are held in a plurality of snack-holding bins, with similar snacks being stored in a single bin, separated from one another by sliding platforms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2008
    Assignee: Golf Concessions LLC
    Inventors: Paul J Lagassey, Ben Junior Bush, Gary A. Crain, Ronald Greene
  • Patent number: 7395135
    Abstract: Disclosed is an information input device for a tablet automatic packing machine capable of easily and directly storing tablet information in a memory chip and updating/reading the tablet information in/from the memory chip at a user side.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2008
    Assignee: JVM Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Jun-ho Kim
  • Patent number: 7383099
    Abstract: A vending machine for lottery tickets includes an exterior housing for access by a purchasing customer and a secure interior within which is mounted a plurality of dispensing containers to dispense the one or more tickets as selected by the purchasing customer. A plurality of separate holders for printed ticket information are arranged in an array, each with a purchase switch and an information switch actuable by the customer. Graphic information is provided on a video display screen controlled by a control unit within the housing arranged to control the dispensing of the selected tickets and to display on the video display screen graphic information relating to a ticket in response to information switches actuated by the customer. The graphics on the screen can be actuated in response to a motion sensor detecting the presence of a customer. The screen serves also as a display screen for the authorized operator and thus can be moved to be viewed from outside or inside a door.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2008
    Assignee: Pollard Banknote Limited Partnership
    Inventors: Douglas Earle Pollard, Timothy Anthony Albert Janis
  • Patent number: 7369919
    Abstract: A system comprising a medication tray (10) and a docking station (20) for facilitating effective self-management of medication treatment by patients is provided. The medication tray (10) accepts medication filled containers (30) and mates with the docking station (20). The medication tray (10) receives prescription data at the time the medication tray (10) accepts the medication filled containers (30), which is then downloaded to the docking station (20). The docking station (20) monitors and reports to third parties, via a network (160), a patient's compliance with various medication treatment regimens. Medication containers (30) are provided with low bit tags (35) that provide container presence information to the docking station (20). The docking station (20) provides visual and/or audio signals regarding prescription data to a patient. The docking station (20) can query patients and appliances regarding patient's medication usage and health status.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2008
    Inventors: Glenn P. Vonk, Richard C. Rumbaugh, Colleen Ryan
  • Patent number: 7356381
    Abstract: A refrigerator having a housing supporting a display device. The housing is configured to support at least one drink supply container which can contain a drink syrup associated with a carbonated beverage. The refrigerator has an input device coupled to the drink supply container which enables a user to cause carbonated beverage to flow to a beverage collector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2008
    Assignee: Beverage Works, Inc.
    Inventor: Harry Lee Crisp, III
  • Publication number: 20080027579
    Abstract: A method for controlled release of medication comprises a dispenser for regulating the release of medication according to designated instructions and for identifying instances where the dispenser has been tampered with in connection with attempts to release additional medication above the designated instructions. In addition, a dispenser for abusable medication is structured to dispense single dosages of medication at predetermined time intervals. Access to a medication is resisted at other times, and access to more than a single dosage of medication at any given time is also resisted. The dispenser may include its own container for the medication or may be utilized in conjunction with a standard medication container. The dispenser may be structured to show visible damage in the event of tampering.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 31, 2006
    Publication date: January 31, 2008
    Inventor: Roland Gerritsen van der Hoop
  • Patent number: 7317966
    Abstract: Tablets are delivered from a tablet storage case (3) mounted on a case support table (4), and when the tablets are passed through a delivery passage (9), formed in the case support table (3), quantity of the passed tablets is counted by a counting means (10). A start state of mounting of the tablet storage case (4) on the case support table (3) is detected by case detection means (8, 19), and the counting sensor (10) is kept in off state until the start state of mounting of the photon-electron conversion region is detected by the case detection (8, 19) and is set to On state after the detection. This ensures prevention of erroneous operation due to the mounting and dismounting of the tablet storage case (4) on and from the case support table (3).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2008
    Assignee: Yuyama Mfg. Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Nakaji Takeda, Hirokazu Amano, Noriyuki Hboshi, Yuji Takenaka
  • Patent number: 7310569
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are a method for controlling electronic parcel compartment systems and an interface for carrying out the method. According to the disclosed method, data for controlling the electronic parcel compartment systems are stored on a server and are converted into control commands for controlling the compartment systems. Furthermore, according to the disclosed method, the control commands are transmitted to the parcel compartment systems via an interface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2004
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2007
    Assignee: Deutsche Post AG
    Inventors: Boris Mayer, Clemens Günther
  • Patent number: 7304582
    Abstract: A remote medication delivery system for providing remote monitoring, and optionally delivering, medication to a patient is provided. Specifically, in one embodiment the system comprises at least one dosage containment unit, a sensor for monitoring the status of the unit, and a transmitter for transmitting the status to a remote receiver. A method for remotely monitoring, and optionally delivering, medication to a patient is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2007
    Inventors: Robert A. Kerr, II, James D. Fonger
  • Patent number: 7305279
    Abstract: Disclosed is an information input device for a tablet automatic packing machine capable of easily and directly storing tablet information in a memory chip and updating/reading the tablet information in/from the memory chip at a user side. The information input device includes a plurality of cassette supporters each of which has a first connector on the upper surface thereof and a memory chip mounted and electrically connected on and to the first connector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2007
    Assignee: JVM Co., Ltd
    Inventor: Jun-ho Kim
  • Patent number: 7293672
    Abstract: In a medicine supply apparatus having a plurality of tablet cases equipped in a case accommodating portion of a main body, each tablet case containing medicines, chutes into which medicines discharged from the respective table cases fall, a hopper equipped in correspondence with the lower portions of the chutes, and a charging apparatus for charging a medicine accommodating container with medicines caught by the hopper, a plurality of drawers are equipped in the case accommodating portion, the tablet cases are detachably mounted on each drawer, and each drawer is equipped so as to be freely drawn out from the case accommodating portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2007
    Assignee: Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Takashi Mori, Hideyuki Takahashi, Toshihiko Ota, Hitoshi Ishiwatari, Shinya Uema, Manabu Haraguchi
  • Patent number: 7286900
    Abstract: The system for controlling and tracking medical items (830) includes a plurality of medical item storage cabinets (878). Each cabinet includes a plurality of doors (888-894). The doors control access to shelves (902, 904) and support modules (1210). Shelves and support modules include user interfaces (938, 1214). Authorized users desiring to take medical items from storage locations in cabinets for use in treating patients are enabled to provide inputs through a display terminal (880) adjacent to cabinets and/or interfaces to indicate the taking of medical items. Storage cabinets include visual indicators so that users may be guided to find a selected medical item for which information is input at an associated display terminal. Alternatively, authorized users gain access to the interior of the cabinet and indicate through appropriate inputs through interfaces on the shelves the types and quantities of items being taken.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2007
    Assignee: AutoMed Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: David T. Frederick, James A. Michael, R. Michael McGrady
  • Patent number: 7277776
    Abstract: Disclosed is an information input device for a tablet automatic packing machine capable of easily and directly storing tablet information in a memory chip and updating/reading the tablet information in/from the memory chip at a user side. The information input device includes a plurality of cassette supporters each of which has a first connector on the upper surface thereof and a memory chip mounted and electrically connected on and to the first connector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2007
    Assignee: JVM Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Jun-ho Kim
  • Patent number: 7269467
    Abstract: A shelf system with computer-controlled compartment displays, whereby the displays indicate a number of articles to picked out of the compartment. The shelf system has a plurality of sliding shelves in that the shelves have at least one display element in their frontal area for order picking data. The shelf system is configured in such a way that a data exchange between the display elements and the control computer can take place irrespective of the relative position of the shelf vis-à-vis the other components of the shelf system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2007
    Assignee: Deutsche Post AG
    Inventor: Susanne Schildknecht
  • Patent number: 7263410
    Abstract: The system for controlling and tracking medical items (830) includes a plurality of medical item storage cabinets (878). Each cabinet includes a plurality of doors (888-894). The doors control access to shelves (902, 904) and support modules (1210). Shelves and support modules include user interfaces (938, 1214). Authorized users desiring to take medical items from storage locations in cabinets for use in treating patients are enabled to provide inputs through a display terminal (880) adjacent to cabinets and/or interfaces to indicate the taking of medical items. Storage cabinets include visual indicators so that users may be guided to find a selected medical item for which information is input at an associated display terminal. Alternatively, authorized users gain access to the interior of the cabinet and indicate through appropriate inputs through interfaces on the shelves the types and quantities of items being taken.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2007
    Assignee: AutoMed Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: David T. Frederick, James A. Michael, R. Michael McGrady
  • Patent number: 7262698
    Abstract: The system for controlling and tracking medical items (830) includes a plurality of medical item storage cabinets (878). Each cabinet includes a plurality of doors (888-894). The doors control access to shelves (902, 904) and support modules (1210). Shelves and support modules include user interfaces (938, 1214). Authorized users desiring to take medical items from storage locations in cabinets for use in treating patients are enabled to provide inputs through a display terminal (880) adjacent to cabinets and/or interfaces to indicate the taking of medical items. Storage cabinets include visual indicators so that users may be guided to find a selected medical item for which information is input at an associated display terminal. Alternatively, authorized users gain access to the interior of the cabinet and indicate through appropriate inputs through interfaces on the shelves the types and quantities of items being taken.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2007
    Assignee: AutoMed Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: David T. Frederick, James A. Michael, R. Michael McGrady
  • Patent number: 7251546
    Abstract: A vending machine apparatus comprising a housing defining an internal cavity and an article storage area where predetermined groups of stored articles are located at predetermined positions within the housing. An article retrieval device is associated with the housing for moving articles to be vended from the storage area to a dispensing area. A user interface and control apparatus allows a user of the dispensing apparatus to initiate an article dispensing operation, and generates control signals for causing controlled movement of the article retrieval device so that a user selected article is retrieved from a predetermined location in the article storage area and moved to the dispensing area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2007
    Inventor: Munroe Chirnomas
  • Patent number: 7228200
    Abstract: Products are dispensed from a dispensing apparatus in which products marked with transaction information are received in a chain of bins. In response to control information synthesized from transaction information on the products in the bins and a dispense request, the chain is moved 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: April 22, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2007
    Assignee: Parata Systems, LLC
    Inventors: Stuart C. Baker, Daniel C. Finn, Thomas F. Gaasch, William K. Holmes
  • Patent number: 7225053
    Abstract: Disclosed is an information input device for a tablet automatic packing machine capable of easily and directly storing tablet information in a memory chip and updating/reading the tablet information in/from the memory chip at a user side.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2007
    Assignee: JVM Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Jun-ho Kim
  • Patent number: 7212885
    Abstract: Shoe organization and selection system whereby a person can easily and conveniently find a pair of shoes desired from their closet by selecting the shoe from a computer screen that contains pictures of all of the shoes in the shoe organizer (FIG. 1A), and then the computer will open the appropriate shoe drawer (18) so that the desired shoe can be extracted. The system comprises of a modular shoe organizer rack (FIG. 1A) which will contain the actual shoes, a motorized shoe drawer (18), and a shoe selection console (40), thereby named SSC for short, that will be directly connected to each shoe compartment either wired or wirelessly. The shoe selection console (40) will contain a picture of each shoe (42) contained in the shoe organizer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2007
    Inventors: Rafael J Diaz, Celestine D. Diaz
  • Patent number: 7203571
    Abstract: A method and system for loading a tray, e.g., a multi-compartment tray, with at least one medication, the tray having a light grid over a surface thereof is provided. Further provided is a computerized method and system for delivering medication to at least one individual from a tray, e.g., a multi-compartment tray, having a light grid over a surface thereof. If desired, the tray may further include a scanner over a surface thereof which is capable of scanning an identification code coupled with the medication being loaded and/or removed from the tray.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2007
    Assignee: Cerner Innovation, Inc.
    Inventors: Steve Kirsch, Jerry Blair
  • Patent number: 7201741
    Abstract: The invention relates to a device for dosing substances to be dispensed, in particular medicinal liquids, in particular for an injection, the device including a setting device for setting the amount of the substance to be dispensed, a signal receiving device for detecting setting signals of the setting device, an evaluation unit for receiving and evaluating the setting signals detected by the signal receiving device, a device for generating speech signals in accordance with the evaluation signals of the evaluation unit, and a device for outputting speech signals. The invention encompasses a method for dosing substances to be dispensed including the steps of detecting a setting signal of a setting device and outputting a speech signal in accordance with the setting signal detected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2007
    Assignee: TecPharma Licensing AG
    Inventor: Bruno Maire
  • Patent number: 7194333
    Abstract: A prescription drug storage and dispensing arrangement allows prescriptions stored, as they are filled, in a cabinet for customer pickup. The prescriptions are placed into receptacles such as pharmacy envelopes and placed on carriers, e.g., hanger bars, that are transported on a conveyor within the cabinet. The conveyor brings one carrier at a time to an access opening for loading or retrieving of a pharmacy envelope. In one embodiment the hanger bars are rods with spaced annular recesses defining bag positions. Scissors-action arms may be used to suspend the hanger rods from the conveyor webs. The identity of each pharmacy envelope and the location of the respective bar on said conveyor and the bag position are stored in a computer, with information identifying the customer order. When the customer arrives to pick up the prescription, the customer data is entered and the conveyor automatically moves to position the respective hanger bar at the access opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2007
    Assignee: S & S X-Ray Products, Inc.
    Inventor: Norman A. Shoenfeld
  • Patent number: 7177721
    Abstract: A method and system for loading a tray, e.g., a multi-compartment tray, with at least one medication, the tray having a light grid over a surface thereof is provided. Further provided is a computerized method and system for delivering medication to at least one individual from a tray, e.g., a multi-compartment tray, having a light grid over a surface thereof. If desired, the tray may further include a scanner over a surface thereof which is capable of scanning an identification code coupled with the medication being loaded and/or removed from the tray.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2004
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2007
    Assignee: Cerner Innovation, Inc.
    Inventors: Steve Kirsch, Jerry Blair
  • Patent number: 7170823
    Abstract: A medical dispenser being adapted to hold a number of medical doses and being adapted to determine when a user or patient gains access to one or more of the medical doses, the dispenser comprising: means for determining each of a first plurality of points in time or time intervals at which the user or patient should take a medical dose, means for detecting each of a second plurality of points in time where the user or patient gained access to the medical doses, means for providing to the user or patient information relating to a relation between the first and second pluralities, and wherein the providing means are adapted to, if the user gains access to the medication multiple times per point in time or time interval in the first plurality of points in time or time intervals, provide information relating to a relation between the pairs of one of the firs plurality of points in time or time intervals and a first of the second plurality of points in time occurring after the pertaining point in time of the first
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2007
    Assignee: Bang & Olufsen Medicom A/S
    Inventors: Paul Erik Fabricius, Niels Toft Jørgensen
  • Patent number: 7162330
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are a method and device for transporting and sorting postal deliveries. The method includes verifying whether postal deliveries are to be delivered to an electronic parcel compartment system. Furthermore, the method includes determining whether several of the postal deliveries are to be delivered to the same electronic parcel compartment system. Still further, the method includes common transportation and subsequent distribution to individual parcel compartments of postal deliveries to the same electronic parcel compartment system, for at least a part of the transport route.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2007
    Assignee: Deutsche Post AG
    Inventor: Boris Mayer
  • Patent number: 7155306
    Abstract: The present invention comprises a system and method for administering medications to a plurality of patients in a medication institution. A preferred system comprises a workflow program for generating a scheduler, wherein the scheduler coordinates the administration of medications to the patients, a medicine cabinet, responsive to said scheduler, for storing medications and dispensing the medications to an authorized user for administration to the patients, the workflow program providing the cabinet with patient specific information relating to said dispensation of the medications including a physician order for each patient, and a medicine cart, coupled to the medicine cabinet, for instructing said authorized user in the administration of said medication to each of said patients.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2006
    Assignee: MDG Medical, Inc.
    Inventors: David Haitin, Gilead Asseo, Batami Sadan
  • Patent number: 7146247
    Abstract: A method and system for loading a tray, e.g., a multi-compartment tray, with at least one medication, the tray having a light grid over a surface thereof is provided. Further provided is a computerized method and system for delivering medication to at least one individual from a tray, e.g., a multi-compartment tray, having a light grid over a surface thereof. If desired, the tray may further include a scanner over a surface thereof which is capable of scanning an identification code coupled with the medication being loaded and/or removed from the tray.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2004
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2006
    Assignee: Cerner Innovation, Inc.
    Inventors: Steve Kirsch, Jerry Blair
  • Patent number: 7142944
    Abstract: A cabinet suitable for use in storing items. The cabinet includes a drawer having a base. A plurality of cassettes are arranged within the drawer. Each cassette is individually movable in a direction that is substantially perpendicular to the base. A plurality of locking mechanisms cooperate to inhibit movement of each of the plurality of cassettes. A controller is operable to actuate one or more locking mechanisms to release one of the plurality of cassettes for movement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2006
    Assignee: SupplyPro, Inc.
    Inventors: William Holmes, Kent V. Savage, Charles A. Tyack
  • Patent number: 7133743
    Abstract: An item delivery and retrieval system including a storage subsystem and a computer subsystem. The storage subsystem includes a secure enclosure having an item storage carousel including internal controller apparatus. The computer subsystem is embodied in internet web page based customized application software for implementing an application interface of selectively configurable ActiveX controls for providing user access, such as an employee of a delivery service company and/or a customer of the delivery service company and customer access to one or more storage bins located behind a set of normally closed doors, for providing access control to the bins, and for managing the location of the items in the storage subsystem. The doors are opened when proper identification is provided by the customer so as to permit retrieval of items located in specifically designated bin(s) or to return items thereto.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2006
    Assignee: Northrop Grumman Corporation
    Inventors: David J. Tilles, David J. Janos, Mark T. Neebe, Bruce G. Chestnutt, Ann C. Schofield, Randall K. Neilson
  • Patent number: 7072937
    Abstract: A web-based common use terminal, e.g. a kiosk of an item delivery and retrieval system utilizing a web connection with one or more web servers for respective delivery service providers with any desired number of applications being separately run, depending upon the needs of a user. In a preferred embodiment, four discrete application including package pick-up, package exchange, buying postage, and club type delivery and pick-up of discrete items, are hosted while using the same system hardware.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2006
    Assignee: Northrop Grumman Corporation
    Inventors: Mark T. Neebe, Bruce G. Chestnutt, Randall K. Neilson, Ann C. Schofield, Cathryne I. Tondreau
  • Patent number: 7010389
    Abstract: A carousel used in a restocking system is comprised of a drive track. A plurality of bins are arranged into rows, with the rows being driven by said drive track. A drive mechanism, e.g. an electric motor, drives the drive track. A sensor is provided to sense the position of the rows of bins. A processor is responsive to the sensor and data representative of a plurality of picks for more than one order for controlling the drive mechanism. By combining picks from different orders into a batch, the time spent driving the rows and time between picks is minimized. The carousel may be divided into a plurality of columns, each with its own drive track, drive mechanism, and sensor, to enable several rows to be brought into a pick position simultaneously. Various methods and forms of restocking packages are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2006
    Assignee: McKesson Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard Lunak, Payal Lal, Gregory Hart, Manoj Wangu
  • Patent number: 6996455
    Abstract: A drawer for use in a dispensing cabinet is comprised of a tray movable between an open position and a closed position. An insert, approximately the length of the tray, is carried by the tray and defines the volume of the drawer. A lockable or sealable lid is carried by the insert. A release mechanism is provided to connect the insert to the tray in a manner that allows the insert to be easily disconnected from the tray. Removal of the insert enables inserts to be swapped so that inserts from which inventory has been depleted can be replaced with stocked inserts. A dispensing cabinet and a method of restocking the cabinet are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2006
    Assignee: McKesson Automation Inc.
    Inventors: Victor Eggenberger, Kirk Young, Allen Bowers
  • Patent number: 6990392
    Abstract: An apparatus for providing at least one item of value in cooperation with operation of a companion device delivering at least one first product to a user comprises: (a) a control means for controlling the providing; (b) a providing means for effecting the providing; the providing means being coupled with the control means; and (c) a link with the companion device for effecting the cooperation. The apparatus may further comprise (d) a communication means coupled with the control means for communicating operational information with the apparatus regarding operation of the apparatus; and (e) a memory means coupled with the communication means for storing the operational information. The method comprises the steps of: (a) providing a control means for controlling the providing; (b) providing a providing means coupled with the control means for effecting the providing; and (c) providing a link with the companion device for effecting the cooperation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2006
    Inventors: Spencer Andrew Meister, David Alan Tracy
  • Patent number: 6975922
    Abstract: A device for dispensing items comprises a cabinet having an interior for storing items. A dispenser frame is coupled to the cabinet and is configured to be accessed, such as by pulling the dispenser frame from the cabinet. The dispenser frame includes a plurality of dividers that are configured to hold the plurality of dispensing mechanisms that each hold multiple items within the storage area. Further, the dividers are reconfigurable to permit the arrangement of the dispensing mechanisms to be adjusted. A lockable door is coupled to the front of the cabinet in front of the dispenser frame. The door may be opened to provide access to the interior of the cabinet and to the dispenser frame. A dispense drawer is positioned below the storage area so that items dispensed from the dispensing mechanisms fall into the dispense drawer, where they may be accessed by pulling open the dispense drawer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2005
    Assignee: Omnicell, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark Kevin Duncan, Scott L. Kidney, Brian R. Arnold
  • Patent number: 6974928
    Abstract: A method and system for the efficient bulk package delivery for recipients. Items ordered by different customers from different retailers, suppliers or manufacturers can be organized by common item identifiers and shipped in bulk from retailers or manufacturers, to an origination regional distribution center. The items can be sorted at the origination regional distribution center in bulk based on the location of destination regional distribution centers that can serve destination centralized pickup locations chosen by the customers placing the orders for those items. Ordered items can be sorted by recipient and the destination centralized pickup location specified in the customer's order and packed into recipient-specific packages at the destination regional distribution center.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2005
    Assignee: Breakthrough Logistics Corporation
    Inventor: Gregg Bloom
  • Patent number: 6973371
    Abstract: A unit dose medication compliance monitoring and reporting apparatus and system that includes a dispenser shell formed with dose compartments. A retainer sheet affixed to the shell seals each compartment and partially bursts upon dispensing. A sensor network and monitoring and reporting circuitry records dispensing times and determines an average time interval, which can be reported with other data on an integral data display. The system can thereby monitor and report patient compliance with prescription regimens. Additional data can be recorded and displayed for augmented patient compliance assistance and analysis, which data can include customized informational messages, telephone and other patient support contact information, unit doses dispensed and remaining, reminder alarms, identification data, prescription regimens, among other data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2004
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2005
    Inventor: Nadir Benouali
  • Patent number: 6912448
    Abstract: The invention utilizes a data collection module, which can operate in conjunction with a wireless companion module to transmit information regarding a vending machine to a central location to enable management to determine the cash and inventory status of each dispensing unit within a bulk-vending machine. This enables servicing of the business to be delegated to low skilled employees who replace the canisters and return them to the centralized location for cleaning and re-stocking. The invention basically utilizes a counter which is coupled to the gear mechanism of the dispensing machine and provides a count for every coin inserted. The count is compared with programmable indicia in a microprocessor to determine when the signal is to be transmitted to the central location. In this manner, the central location can also have trained employees to repair the modules and manage the inventory business so that travel between the location of the vending machine and the central headquarters is minimized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2005
    Inventor: Lindsay A. Shur
  • Patent number: 6882900
    Abstract: The present invention provides a fuel dispensing system for setting transaction parameters in association with a remote communications unit. This system will include wireless or radio communications electronics adapted to receive signals from remote communications units, a transaction interface for carrying out transactions, and a control system and associated memory operating in conjunction with the communications electronics and a transaction interface. The control system is adapted to receive indicia from a remote communications unit and control the transaction at the transaction interface involving the remote communications unit according to predefined parameters associated with the remote communications unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2005
    Assignee: Gilbarco Inc.
    Inventor: Steven N. Terranova
  • Patent number: 6876902
    Abstract: The apparatus includes a storage cart in a storage area and supply carts in user areas at substantial distances from the storage area. The user carts are constantly open, and accessible to anyone, for a user to actuate to register on a computer unit the articles that are placed in and removed from the bins in the supply carts. The apparatus includes supplemental units detachably applied to the supply carts, having push-buttons corresponding to the bins in the supply carts. A running tally of the articles placed in and removed from the supply carts is maintained in a computer monitor by simple steps made by the user in so placing the articles in and removing them from the supply carts, without a separate operation for counting the articles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2005
    Inventor: Aleks D. Nikolich
  • Patent number: 6850815
    Abstract: Dispensable objects are loaded into a portable case for transport to a dispensing site by connecting a reload controller with a case to be reloaded. Latchable and unlatchable object retainers arrayed in the case are relatched, and the reload controller is activated to respond to a reloading request to unlatch some of the retainers in locations suitable for receiving reloaded objects. A person then reloads the chosen objects in the array locations opened up by the unlatched retainers and relatches those retainers. The controller then acts upon another reloading request to unlatch more retainers in locations suitable for receiving additionally loaded objects, as the loading sequence repeats.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2005
    Assignee: PJ Solutions, Inc.
    Inventor: John H. Veenstra
  • Patent number: 6847861
    Abstract: A carousel used in a restocking system is comprised of a drive track. A plurality of bins are arranged into rows, with the rows being driven by said drive track. A drive mechanism, e.g. an electric motor, drives the drive track. A sensor is provided to sense the position of the rows of bins. A processor is responsive to the sensor and data representative of a plurality of picks for more than one order for controlling the drive mechanism. By combining picks from different orders into a batch, the time spent driving the rows and time between picks is minimized. The carousel may be divided into a plurality of columns, each with its own drive track, drive mechanism, and sensor, to enable several rows to be brought into a pick position simultaneously.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2005
    Assignee: McKesson Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard Lunak, Payal Lal, Gregory Hart, Manoj Wangu
  • Patent number: 6792334
    Abstract: A method and system for verifying the age of a purchaser prior to his purchase of age-restricted items from a vending machine. An authorization card is issued to a customer containing a password when the customer presents identification material identifying the customer as being of at least a predetermined age. The customer inputs the authorization card into the vending machine, and a comparison of the password on the card is made to the password stored in a microprocessor in the vending machine. If the passwords match, the vending machine is enabled to accept payment from the customer and to vend the age-restricted product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2004
    Assignee: Chesterfield Holdings, LLC
    Inventors: Jonathan H. Metcalf, Merlyn W. Barth
  • Patent number: 6776306
    Abstract: A dispenser (10) for dispensing medical items (68, 70, 72) includes dispenser modules (28, 30) movably mounted thereon. The dispenser modules are selectively operative to dispense medical items therefrom into a path (54) which is connected to a delivery area (20) of the dispenser. The dispenser and the dispenser modules therein are configured to provide security against unauthorized access thereto. However an authorized user is enabled to readily access the dispenser modules and the medical items therein by unlocking a lock (22), opening a door (16) and extending the dispenser modules through an opening (18). With the dispenser modules in the extended position the medical items therein may be replenished. Alternatively, the dispenser modules may be disconnected from the dispenser and replaced with substitute dispenser modules.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2004
    Assignee: MedSelect Inc.
    Inventors: James A. Michael, David T. Frederick, H. Thomas Graef
  • Publication number: 20040158351
    Abstract: A system and method for automated package delivery and pick-up include at least one package portal located in a delivery and pick-up station to receive and dispense packages from the station. A station controller is coupled to an information input system and the package receiving and dispensing portal mechanism, and is arranged to associate package and intended recipient identification information with a received package. The controller is also arranged to process identification information, which may include biometric information, to authenticate the identity of an intended recipient, and to permit dispensing of the package from the at least one portal in response thereto. The station supports unattended delivery and pick-up of packages to improve overall efficiency of a package delivery system as well as user convenience and safety.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 10, 2004
    Publication date: August 12, 2004
    Applicant: M. A. Rivalto, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael A. Rivalto
  • Patent number: 6775591
    Abstract: A medication dispensing cart has a pull-out drawer, and a conveyor that transports a number of removable medication bins within the cart, one at a time, to the position of the drawer. An on-board processor controls operation of the bin conveyor mechanism whose pathway can be a serpentine (folded) loop. The drawer slide engages the bin located at the drawer position, and the bin can be pulled forward from said conveyor and pushed back onto the conveyor. The bins can be lifted out when the drawer is opened. A 2-D bar code symbol or other machine-readable code, positioned on the bin, contains data identifying the contents of the bin and the associated patient. A reader device reads the coded symbol and transfers data for that bin to an on-board processor. The processor keeps track of the bins on the conveyor, as well as their contents. Pusher arms on the drawer assist in pushing the bin out when the drawer is opened and in returning the bin onto its carrier when the drawer is closed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2004
    Assignee: S&S X-Ray Products, Inc.
    Inventor: Norman A. Shoenfeld
  • Patent number: 6772103
    Abstract: A method for selecting a parts kit detail for the installation of a pressure transducer on a container such as a pipeline or a vessel, the container for containing a fluid material, the method including two steps. The first step is to establish at least two different installation categories, each such different installation category being defined by the properties of the fluid material. The second step is to establish at least two different parts kit details, at least two of such different parts kit details being applicable to the different installation categories.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2004
    Assignee: Dow Global Technologies Inc.
    Inventor: David W. King