Particular Supply Arrangement (e.g., Plural Sources Or Compartments) Patents (Class 700/242)
  • Publication number: 20040148057
    Abstract: A vehicle including a ground speed sensor arranged to detect the speed of travel of the vehicle on the ground and including a wave transmitter arranged to transmit waves toward the ground, a wave receiver arranged to received waves reflected from the ground and a processor coupled to the transmitter and receiver to determine the speed of travel based on the transmitted waves and received waves. The waves are transmitted in pulses or modulated such that the processor is able to determine the distance between a wave-transmission and reception point and the ground (by time of flight for ultrasonic and electromagnetic waves or phase difference-for electromagnetic waves) and the velocity of the vehicle (using Doppler analysis).
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 8, 2004
    Publication date: July 29, 2004
    Inventors: David S. Breed, Wilbur E. DuVall, Wendell C. Johnson
  • Patent number: 6766219
    Abstract: A medication dispensing cassette and related apparatus for controlling and monitoring of dispensing of oral medications is disclosed. The cassette comprises at least one continuous track having a plurality of receptacles for medication, a microprocessor to monitor and effect any movement of the continuous track and to control release of medication according to a predetermined schedule and for monitoring such release and optionally, a communication system for transmission of data on release of medication to a remote location. The remote location may be a data management system in communication with at least one of a physician's office, a hospital, a pharmacy, an insurance company, a research organization or an individual. The medication may be in the form of a pill, a powder or a liquid. The apparatus facilitates patient education with respect to the medication through display of information, and optionally as well as support and transfer data from peripheral devices e.g.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 20, 2004
    Inventor: Gary Marcel Hasey
  • Patent number: 6758396
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for securely transferring medical information is provided, which included storing information relating to a medical prescription item on a smart card using an encryption method that provides independent verification as to the source of the information, verifying the source of the information by the provider of the medical prescription item and modifying the stored information relating to the medical prescription item when the prescription is filled, and storing the modified information on the smart card using an encryption method that provides independent verification of the source of the modified information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2004
    Assignee: Motorola, Inc.
    Inventors: William P. Alberth, Jr., Scott A. Steele
  • Patent number: 6748295
    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: March 27, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2004
    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: 6738687
    Abstract: A storage shelf (10) comprising a plurality of stacked supports (12) for supporting containers (13) of articles suitable for handling by an automated storage and retrieval device (15) including at least one storage and retrieval opening (20) for storage and retrieval of the containers (13) and a computer (17) in which information as to the stored articles (14) is memorized. To improve the overview of the stored articles at least one digital camera (16) is provided which senses the articles (14) held in the containers (13). The resulting digital information is memorized in the computer (17) for display by means of a monitor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2004
    Assignee: Hanel & Co.
    Inventor: Joachim Hänel
  • Patent number: 6738690
    Abstract: An information management system is applied to a supply flow of dispensed objects by incorporating microcircuitry into a portable dispensing case that is loaded with objects at a loading site and transported to a dispensing site where the objects are dispensed from the portable case. A communication connection connects the microcircuitry with a reload controller at the loading site and a dispensing controller at the dispensing site. By means of the communication connection loading information on the identities and locations of objects in the case is supplied to the microcircuitry where it is made available at the dispensing site, and transactional information involved in dispensing of the objects at the dispensing site is loaded into the microcircuitry for return to the reloading site. Such an arrangement allows analysis of the transactional information and the loading information showing actual usage of objects at both the dispensing site and the reloading site.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2004
    Assignee: PJ Solutions, Inc.
    Inventor: John H. Veenstra
  • Patent number: 6728597
    Abstract: A storage system for receiving, delivering and storing items, e.g. mail items, to be distributed. Items are stored in a flexible manner allowing sufficient space to be allocated to each item while ensuring that the total available space is utilised in an optimal manner. Items may be carried on trays. The size of the items is determined in order to allocate the correct amount of space. Items may be repositioned during non-operational periods in order to reduce time consumed during delivery of items from the system. Further, methods for receiving and delivering items to/from the system. A payment system is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2004
    Assignee: Crisplant A/S
    Inventors: Jan Didriksen, David Simon
  • Patent number: 6714838
    Abstract: The input of information into the control unit of a lottery ticket dispensing machine, for filling of dispensing containers of the machine with different game tickets, defining a game number for a game provided on the tickets, a price of the ticket, a total number of the tickets making up the quantity of tickets and a length of the tickets from a leading edge of each ticket to a trailing edge thereof is simplified so as to avoid requiring the service person to enter the information on a key pad as numerical values. This is effected by providing the information in machine readable form on the tickets themselves or on a game set up card associated with the tickets so that the information can be scanned into the control unit by a reader. Alternatively, the information can be provided in a simplified coded form for simple input by the service person into a key pad of the control unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2004
    Assignee: Pollard Banknote Limited
    Inventors: Lyle Harold Scrymgeour, Douglas Pollard, Jack F. Hargrave, Terry L. Poffenbarger, Bennie D. Childers, Martin E. Johnson, Michael T. Templeman
  • Patent number: 6708080
    Abstract: A control system is disclosed for an agricultural implement, such as an agricultural sprayer, used to dispense a product to the ground wherein the dispensing units for the product are provided with control valves that can reduce the flow rate of product through selected dispensing units to zero. By controlling the rate of flow through the dispensing units, overlap of the application of the product to the ground can be substantially eliminated. In alternative embodiments of the invention, the control mechanism can receive data from a remote source, such as a central controller or another implement operating in the field, to define where the product needs to be applied to the ground. The application of the product can also be controlled through or in conjunction with a prescription map.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2004
    Assignee: Case, LLC
    Inventor: Robert K. Benneweis
  • Patent number: 6694217
    Abstract: An automated system of storage locker bins to efficiently provide the storage and self-service retrieval of articles. The articles can be packages and the automated system of storage locker bins can be used effectively in a package delivery process in which packages are transported in bulk to a destination centralized pickup location for recipients. The automated system of storage locker bins can operate at a high level of efficiency with regard to space utilization to further reduce storage costs and ultimately reduce delivery costs by employing moving and stationary bins to allow recipients to retrieve packages stored at heights above the reach of those recipients and bins which are configurable in size to allow storage locker bins to be adjusted to sizes more closely approximating the size of the articles or packages to be loaded into them.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2004
    Assignee: Breakthrough Logistics Corporation
    Inventor: Gregg Bloom
  • Patent number: 6690998
    Abstract: In the present invention, in order to reliably smoothly recover different kinds of medicines separately and pack them, the apparatus is provided with hoppers 18, 19 with at least two separated passages, and wherein each hopper 18, 19 can feed a different kind of medicine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2004
    Assignee: Yuyama Mfg. Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Shoji Yuyama
  • Patent number: 6690997
    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: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2004
    Assignee: M.A. Rivalto, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael A. Rivalto
  • Patent number: 6688435
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for the order and delivery of goods in which the goods are transported to one or more storage containers that are maintained in a drive-up storage, retrieval, and dispensing mechanism. Goods are ordered via the Internet, telephone, or other electronic method, retrieved from a warehouse or store, and transported to the storage container by truck or by a regional train system designed for passenger use. The storage container accepts packages, which are placed into a plastic storage box and moved by an elevator assembly to a particular storage bin located in a matrix of bins arranged in columns and rows. When a customer arrives to pick up a package, he or she drives up to the device and communicates with the system via a keypad and display screen to identify the order and present appropriate identification of the person or other means of maintaining security.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2004
    Inventors: Craig Alexander Will, Michael Stephen Will
  • Patent number: 6685284
    Abstract: When a legitimate recipient of a package or tenant loses a card issued to him or her for unlocking a particular locker of a locker cabinet, there is a problem that he or she cannot unlock the locker to open the same and pick up a package of merchandise deposited in the locker. An unlock system of a particular locker wherein a person who desires to unlock a particular locker makes contact with a control center to that effect through a communication line such that the control center authenticates personal identification of the person by calling said person at home, and the control center accesses a memory of the locker through the communication line to confirm that said locker is deposited with a package of merchandise therein and then, the control center unlocks the locker through the communication line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2004
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Fulltime System
    Inventor: Kouichiro Hara
  • Publication number: 20040015263
    Abstract: A network topology for communication within and between food service equipment items generally comprises one or more food service equipment items, each having a controller and at least one functional subsystem configured as a slave to the controller, and a master interface and a bus slave interface associated with each controller. Each master interface is adapted for electrical communication over an intra-equipment communication channel with a slave interface associated with the functional subsystem. Each bus slave interface is adapted for communication, external to the food service equipment item, over an inter-equipment communication channel. Each bus slave interface is substantially electrically identical to each slave interface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 26, 2001
    Publication date: January 22, 2004
    Applicant: NETWORK TOPOLOGY FOR FOOD SERVICE EQUIPMENT ITEMS
    Inventors: Thomas J. Chadwell, David C. Sudolcan
  • Patent number: 6662081
    Abstract: A personal medication in storage dispensing unit is provided for receiving and storing medication, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, pills capsules, gel tablets and the like in a manner which is easily accessible and which is conducive to inclusion within a medication regimen system. A medication regimen monitor can be included in this system in order to be programmed to signal proper medication dosage times. The monitor preferably provides non-compliance information, preferably information which persists and which designates which portion of the medication regimen was not complied with. The system also can include a holder for multiple storing and dispensing units in an ordered fashion consistent with daily requirements of the medication regimen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2003
    Assignee: MEDport LLC
    Inventors: Jeffrey M. Jacober, Patrick Fong Wing Hon
  • Patent number: 6658322
    Abstract: The system for controlling and tracking medical items (830) includes one or more computers and associated data stores including information concerning authorized users, patients, medical items that have been prescribed for patients, medical items available, storage locations for medical items and events associated with receiving, dispensing, taking and returning medical items for patients. Authorized users taking medical items from storage locations are enabled to provide inputs through a display terminal (880) to indicate the taking of medical items for patients. Medical items are enabled to be taken from a plurality of storage cabinets (878). Storage cabinets are operative so that users may be guided to find a selected medical item for which corresponding information is input at an associated display terminal. Alternatively, users are enabled to gain access to the interior of the cabinet and indicate through appropriate inputs, the types and quantities of items that are being taken.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2003
    Assignee: MedSelect Inc.
    Inventors: David T. Frederick, James A. Michael, R. Michael McGrady
  • Patent number: 6650962
    Abstract: A beverage dispenser includes an electronic control system for controlling beverage dispenser components. The beverage dispenser components include at least a user interface, a dispensing valve, and a valve interface for regulating the delivery of a beverage from the dispensing valve. The electronic control system includes a microcontroller for monitoring the user interface and for activating the valve interface responsive to user input, thereby regulating the delivery of a beverage from the dispensing valve. The electronic control system further includes a program memory with firmware configured in a state machine system architecture for controlling the microcontroller. The state machine system architecture supports either a non-preemptive or a preemptive multitasking real time operating system. The firmware includes supervisory control firmware, dispenser tasks firmware, and low level drivers firmware.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2003
    Assignee: Lancer Parternship, Ltd.
    Inventors: David C. Sudolcan, Thomas J. Chadwell
  • Patent number: 6640159
    Abstract: The invention provides an exemplary method for restocking pharmaceutical or medical supply items into a dispensing unit having a processor, with at least some of the pharmaceutical or medical supply items being held in removable liners having a plurality of receptacles. According to the method, a request is entered into the processor to restock pharmaceutical or medical supply items. One of the liners is then removed from the dispensing unit and is replaced with a replacement liner having a new inventory of pharmaceutical or medical supply items. Information identifying the replacement liner is also entered into the processor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2003
    Assignee: Omnicell Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: William K. Holmes, John D. Higham, Richard C. Arnold
  • Patent number: 6636780
    Abstract: A medication dispensing system includes a medicine cabinet having a plurality of compartments for containing supplies of different kinds of medications to be accessed by a healthcare attendant for preparing individual medication dosages for named patients; and a tray having a plurality of sections for receiving a plurality of receptacles each adapted to contain one or more medication dosages prescribed for a named patient. The medicine cabinet includes a processor having a memory for storing the names of patients and their prescribed medication dosages, and a display screen for displaying the patient names and their respective prescribed medication dosages. The tray includes a display screen for displaying the patient names and their respective medication dosages, and a communication link with the medicine cabinet through which the cabinet processor communicates to the tray the patient names and their respective medication dosages.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2003
    Assignee: MDG Medical Inc.
    Inventors: David Haitin, Gilead Asseo
  • Patent number: 6629007
    Abstract: A component-lack advance notice method, a component-lack advance notice apparatus, and a component mounting apparatus including the component-lack advance notice apparatus, wherein a producible count determination part and advance notice parts are provided, so that an advance notice time from an advance notice of a lack of components to an actual occurrence of a lack of components is set beforehand. The producible count determination part obtains each advance notice remaining count of components to be supplied within the advance notice time from each component feed part on the basis of the advance notice time, and notifies a lack of components in advance on the basis of the advance notice remaining count.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2003
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoshiyuki Hattori, Satoshi Nonaka, Takeshi Kuribayashi
  • Publication number: 20030182019
    Abstract: An equipment for the management of hospital activities as medical tests and pharmacological treatment in conditions of certainty against the mistaking of patients is described. The equipment comprises a bed unit (1) associated with the bed of each patient, at least one cabinet unit (2) associated with every ward and a computerised tray cart (3) hat is movable among said units (1, 2). The computerised tray cart (3) comprises a computer (10) provided with display, a reader (11) of computer data connected with said computer (10) and approachable to the bed of the patient for the reading of computer data and their transfer to said computer (10), a plurality of drawers (14-16) with opening controlled by said computer (10), and a printer (17) controlled by said computer (10). The bed unit (1) comprises a display (18) connected with a computer for the visualisation of data relative to the patient.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 16, 2002
    Publication date: September 25, 2003
    Inventors: Pierangelo Bonini, Alberto Sanna
  • Patent number: 6625518
    Abstract: A support procedure for administering prescription drugs which does not require patient action while avoiding erroneous patient manipulation in order to carry out error-free home treatment, wherein the procedure includes the following steps: STEP 1 prior preparation of one or more drug doses, programming and storing identifying parameters in a computer (1), STEP 2 individual insertion of each dose in a pack (2) which is subsequently sealed, and entering the parameters on an arbitrary storage substrate (3) applied to the pack (2), STEP III: integrating the pack into a dispenser (4) of which the operation is programmable and which includes a means for reading the parameters.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2003
    Assignee: Csem Centre Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique SA
    Inventor: Yves Depeursinge
  • Patent number: 6611733
    Abstract: This invention relates to an interactive medication cassette with a machine readable and writable information strip that contains information corresponding to the medication in the cassette. The cassette is designed for use in a medication distribution and inventory system that includes at least one medication dispensing machine having a sensor for reading the information in the strip and updating or altering this information when medication is added to or removed from the cassette. The cassette is filled by a dispensing machine that counts the quantity of medication added to the cassette. The information strip is altered by the dispenser to include medication and quantity information corresponding to the dispensed medication. The cassette is also for use with a dispensing machine that dispenses the medication from the cassette, and updates the information strip with additional information including the quantity of medication dispensed from the cassette.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2003
    Inventor: Carlos De La Huerga
  • Publication number: 20030158627
    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: Application
    Filed: February 19, 2002
    Publication date: August 21, 2003
    Inventor: Aleks D. Nikolich
  • Patent number: 6600969
    Abstract: A beverage dispenser includes an electronic control system for controlling beverage dispenser components. The beverage dispenser components include at least a user interface, a dispensing valve, and a valve interface for regulating the delivery of a beverage from the dispensing valve. The electronic control system includes a microcontroller for monitoring the user interface and for activating the valve interface responsive to user input, thereby regulating the delivery of a beverage from the dispensing valve. The electronic control system further includes a program memory with firmware configured in a state machine system architecture for controlling the microcontroller. The state machine system architecture supports either a non-preemptive or a preemptive multitasking real time operating system. The firmware includes supervisory control firmware, dispenser tasks firmware, and low level drivers firmware.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2003
    Assignee: Lancer Partnership, Ltd.
    Inventors: David C. Sudolcan, Thomas J. Chadwell
  • Patent number: 6597969
    Abstract: A hospital drug distribution system for efficiently distributing solid medicinal units to hundreds of patients comprises subsystems for placing trays on a conveyor, placing cups thereon, labeling the cups, conveying the cups under drug tubes, sealing the cups, unloading the trays, and coordinating the overall activities of the system. Medicinal units are stored in long, thin vertical tubes positioned side-by-side, and are dispensed by valves disposed at the bottom of each tube. The rows of tubes are suspended over a conveying means transporting individual medication cups. The cups are arranged on trays on the conveying means in single file. The computer-controlled conveying means proceeds in a step-and-stop fashion, such that each cup stops briefly beneath each drug tube. When a cup completes its journey beneath the drug tubes, it contains the drugs needed by the patient to which it is assigned.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2003
    Inventors: Shlomo Greenwald, Zipora Greenwald
  • Patent number: 6597970
    Abstract: A self-service kiosk having a walk-in enclosure, interactive selection panel, multi-section inventory storage area for dispensing items and accepting returns. User selections are entered via instructions entered at an interactive panel containing a selection menu of graphical icons and messages. A programmable controller monitors entered identification data and payments to control the dispensing and return of selected items from assigned storage locations via X-Y-Z track driven, transfer and end effect assemblies. Associated software manages payment transactions via a bill receiver, coin changer, credit card verifier, and receipt printer and develops associated administrative inventory status reports. One end effect includes a hook that interconnects to storage trays. The end effect extends and retracts the trays onto a support platform and conveys the trays and items back and forth from the storage space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2003
    Inventors: Rudy Steury, Donald E. Thompson
  • Patent number: 6594549
    Abstract: A medication dispensing system capable of connecting to the Internet is provided. The medication dispensing system can be in the form of a periphery device having electronic means for linkage to a personal computer, PDA, cell phone or WEB TV or can be a stand-alone, on-site terminal having means to connect to the Internet. The medication dispensing system comprises a rotatable medication tray having a plurality of compartments, a servo-mechanism operatively connected to the medication dispensing tray, a microprocessor based controller electronically connected to the servo-mechanism and being programmable to rotate the dispensing tray at a pre-set time. The controller also comprises a data store for maintaining and transmitting a variety of patient information, including the patient's medication regimen and compliance schedule.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2003
    Inventor: Bruce Siegel
  • Patent number: 6585133
    Abstract: A land marking device is disclosed. The land marking device is capable of physically marking a point on the ground for the air.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2003
    Assignee: Top Link Ltd.
    Inventor: Frans P. Brouwer
  • Publication number: 20030120384
    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: Application
    Filed: December 12, 2002
    Publication date: June 26, 2003
    Inventors: David Haitin, Gilead Asseo, Batami Sadan
  • Publication number: 20030120383
    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: Application
    Filed: April 25, 2002
    Publication date: June 26, 2003
    Inventor: Lindsay A. Shur
  • Patent number: 6556889
    Abstract: A vending machine is provided with a cabinet having a plurality of inclined, vertically spaced shelves. The shelves are able to selectively feed a beverage container to an elevator which is located adjacent an interior, right side wall of the cabinet of vending machine. A beverage container is dispensed by an escapement block of a shelf onto the elevator. The elevator vertically moves the beverage container, and then dispenses the beverage container to a delivery mechanism which gently lowers the beverage container to a delivery port which communicates with the exterior of the vending machine. The shelves in the cabinet are readily reconfigurable such that their vertical spacing within the cabinet can be easily altered. The escapement blocks of the shelves are mechanically activated to dispense a beverage container by an activation device on the elevator. Thus, electrical power and control signals for the individual shelves are not necessary.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2003
    Assignee: The Coca-Cola Company
    Inventors: Arthur G. Rudick, Paul Carlson, Tom P. Howell
  • Patent number: 6539282
    Abstract: An improved vending machine for vending age-restricted products is disclosed. The vending machine preferably uses a customer's credit card to obtain age verification information from a consumer reporting agency via a modem. In a preferred embodiment, a customer inputs customer information, preferably a credit card number, into the vending machine. The vending machine obtains permission from the customer to use the customer information to retrieve the customer's age. Thereafter, the age data is either retrieved from a server farm containing the age of the customer corresponding to the credit card, or is retrieved via modem from the database of a consumer reporting agency. Additionally, the modem connection allows the creditworthiness of the credit card to be checked via access to a credit card company database. If the age and credit card of the customer can be verified in this fashion, the vending machine then vends the product to the customer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2003
    Assignee: The Detsky Group, L.P.
    Inventors: Jonathan H. Metcalf, Robert J. O'Leary, Merlyn W. Barth
  • Patent number: 6532399
    Abstract: The present invention provides a novel method for selectively dispensing inventoried items, such as pharmaceutical and therapeutic agents in a hospital.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 11, 2003
    Assignee: Baxter International Inc.
    Inventor: Joseph C. Mase
  • Patent number: 6527020
    Abstract: An oil supply station system of the present invention includes a plurality of oil supply apparatuses standing within an oil supply station, and each having at a body case thereof a self-service oil supply mechanism and a touch-activated operating panel and having a printer for recording any change on a slip for a cash transaction. The system further includes a change dispenser disposed in a vicinity of an office of the oil supply station, for reading the slip and discharging change. Also, a POS terminal is connected in a data communicable manner with the plurality of oil supply apparatuses and the change dispenser, for providing permission to the change dispenser to dispense change.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2003
    Assignee: Tatsuno Corporation
    Inventors: Akifumi Kanamori, Kengo Yamazaki, Masahiko Araki
  • Patent number: 6505093
    Abstract: A method of automatically picking items to fill a purchase order. A purchase order is received and information about the identity and quantity of items ordered in the purchase order is extracted from it. A pick list is created from the extracted information a pick list, and the pick list is associated with a receptacle for receiving picked items. A determination is made whether ordered items are of a first type or a second type. If no item of the second type is ordered, the receptacle is directed to a first location where items of the first type are stored and ordered items stored at the first location are automatically picked and placed in the receptacle. If at least one item of the second type is ordered, the receptacle is first directed to a second location where items of the second type are stored.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2003
    Assignee: SI Handling Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: James L. Thatcher, Allen Easterling
  • Patent number: 6490502
    Abstract: An article or product dispensing system to selectively dispense products having a dispensing module including a carousel to store the plurality of products rotatable by a carousel positioning device between a dispensing station and a rejecting station to selectively position the carousel relative thereto. A product ejector selectively ejects product at the dispensing station and a product rejector selectively ejects product at the rejecting station. A product detector verifies the product at the dispensing station is the selected product. A control system including a product input to select the product to be dispensed is operatively coupled to the carousel positioning device, the product ejector and the product rejector, such that the carousel positioning device rotates the carousel to position the selected product at the dispensing station and the product ejector ejects the selected product when the product is detected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2002
    Inventors: Eugene E. Fellows, Lawrence C. Hardy
  • Publication number: 20020173875
    Abstract: The present invention relates to systems and methods for the remote dispensing of packaged and non-packaged medical products using networked communications systems. A preferred embodiment of the invention utilizes a network to provide for the secure delivery of confidential patient information and the sending of dispense instructions to a remote dispensing station. A preferred embodiment of the present invention relates to systems and methods of dispensing samples of drugs or other medical products. Another preferred embodiment of the invention provides a system and method for dispensing non-prescription medications.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 22, 2002
    Publication date: November 21, 2002
    Applicant: Telepharmacy Solutions, Incorporated
    Inventors: Robert L. Wallace, Brian T. Hart, Richard D. Hart, Arthur A. Berube, Harold J. Liff, Liana Buciuman-Coman, James Dowling, Steve Piantedosi
  • Patent number: 6470234
    Abstract: A system for monitoring and dispensing medical items includes a plurality of hook registers (10). Each of the hook registers includes sensors (48, 60, 62, 64) sensing the removal or addition of a medical item to the storage location on the hook register. Each hook register has a microprocessor (66) connected to the sensor which stores a count of the items added or removed from the location. The microprocessor also includes location identifying information specifically associated with the particular hook register. The microprocessor is periodically polled by a controller (72) which reads and stores the count and location identifying information from each of the hook registers. The controller information is periodically read by a data terminal (76) which is connected through a local area network (82) to a remote computer (84) having a processor and data store.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2002
    Assignee: MedSelect, Inc.
    Inventor: R. Michael McGrady
  • Publication number: 20020099472
    Abstract: A control system is disclosed for an agricultural implement, such as an agricultural sprayer, used to dispense a product to the ground wherein the dispensing units for the product are provided with control valves that can reduce the flow rate of product through selected dispensing units to zero. By controlling the rate of flow through the dispensing units, overlap of the application of the product to the ground can be substantially eliminated. In alternative embodiments of the invention, the control mechanism can receive data from a remote source, such as a central controller or another implement operating in the field, to define where the product needs to be applied to the ground. The application of the product can also be controlled through or in conjunction with a prescription map.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 22, 2002
    Publication date: July 25, 2002
    Applicant: Flexicoil Ltd.
    Inventor: Robert K. Benneweis
  • Patent number: 6421584
    Abstract: An automatic medicament dispensing machine (10) that does not remain idle while medicaments are transferred to a vial and counted and that therefore dispenses medicaments at a much faster rate. The machine includes a cabinet (12); a plurality of medicament dispensing cells (14) arranged in the cabinet for holding and dispensing medicaments; a plurality of medicament counting units (18) each including a vial gripper for holding a vial and a transfer mechanism for transferring medicaments from one of the medicament dispensing cells to the vial; and a transporter (20) for transporting the counting units to the cells for filling the vials held by the counting units.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2002
    Assignee: Scriptpro LLC
    Inventors: John Eric Norberg, Ronald A. Leonard, Lawrence E. Guerra, Timothy Surgeon
  • Patent number: 6416270
    Abstract: A self-service kiosk having a walk-in enclosure, interactive selection panel, multi-section inventory storage area for dispensing items and accepting returns. User selections are entered via instructions entered at an interactive panel containing a selection menu of graphical icons and messages. A programmable controller monitors entered identification data and payments to control the dispensing and return of selected items from assigned storage locations via X-Y-Z track driven, transfer and end effect assemblies. Associated software manages payment transactions via a bill receiver, coin changer, credit card verifier, and receipt printer and develops associated administrative inventory status reports. One end effect includes a hook that interconnects to storage trays. The end effect extends and retracts the trays onto a support platform and conveys the trays and items back and forth from the storage space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2002
    Assignee: Compu Shop Services, LLC
    Inventors: Rudy Steury, Donald E. Thompson
  • Patent number: 6415202
    Abstract: A portable electrically operable and tamper resistant medication dispenser for supplying multiple daily medications to a patient on a predetermined schedule and which includes a programmable assembly for indexing a plurality of containers which are filled with the medications to a dispenser outlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2002
    Inventor: Van Halfacre
  • Patent number: 6332100
    Abstract: A medication dispensing system comprising a programmable on-site medication dispensing unit and a central monitoring facility. The on-site medication dispensing unit holds medication in a plurality of canisters which it selects from according to an entered and stored prescription regimen and then notifies the patient by an audible or other sensory signal. If the patient presses a button within a prescribed time, the unit dispenses the selected canisters. If the patient does not press the button within the prescribed time, or if the unit detects a failure to dispense the selected canister, the unit makes the canister inaccessible and contacts, in order, a predetermined list of caregivers and then a central monitoring facility. An audio message is downloaded from the central monitoring facility to one or more of the on-site dispensing units, and played in accordance with a downloaded play program.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2001
    Assignee: Interactive Medical Developments, L.C.
    Inventors: Anil Sahai, Stephen K. Brede, Douglas A. Topliffe, Roger Ogden Topliffe
  • Patent number: 6304797
    Abstract: A medication dispensing unit comprising a carousel defining a plurality of compartments, each of the compartments adapted to store a dose of medication is disclosed. The dispensing unit also comprises a housing that has a surface adapted to receive the carousel. The housing defines a receptacle and an access aperture that communicates between the receptacle and the surface that is adapted to receive the carousel. One of the compartments is positioned to communicate with the receptacle through the access aperture. The unit also comprises a dosing drawer that is positioned within the receptacle and communicates with the access aperture to receive a dose of medication from the compartment through the access aperture. The dosing drawer includes a normally closed trap door that, when opened, allows a dose of medication in the drawer to drop out of the dosing drawer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2001
    Assignee: Rapid Patient Monitoring, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Larry Shusterman
  • Publication number: 20010029405
    Abstract: The invention provides methods and apparatus for dispensing items from a dispensing unit. According to the invention, the dispensing unit comprises a plurality of locations in which the items are held, a processor in which records corresponding to the items on the unit are stored, and a plurality of item switches corresponding to the locations in which the items are held. The item switches are connected to the processor so that a user of the dispensing unit can input records of items removed from the unit into the processor. The apparatus described is particularly-suited for dispensing medical supplies although the apparatus will be usable for other types of items as well. Preferred embodiments will include a plurality of visual indicators, typically in the form of light emitting diodes, corresponding to the locations in which the items are held.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 4, 2001
    Publication date: October 11, 2001
    Inventor: Randall A. Lipps
  • Publication number: 20010008984
    Abstract: A medicine storage apparatus includes a cassette having an inlet-outlet opening for delivering/receiving items of medicine therethrough and adapted to store items of medicine arranged in array while a force is applied to the items of medicine toward the inlet-outlet opening; a support mechanism for supporting the cassette while the inlet-outlet opening is exposed; and a counting mechanism for counting the number of items of medicine stored in the cassette. A user takes out items of medicine stored in the cassette from the inlet-outlet opening in an arrayed sequence when the medicine is to be used. Among the delivered items of medicine, unused items of medicine are pushed back into the cassette from the inlet-outlet opening.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 12, 2001
    Publication date: July 19, 2001
    Applicant: TOSHO, INC.
    Inventors: Shiro Omura, Hideaki Hirobe
  • Patent number: 6263259
    Abstract: A medication dispensing and monitoring system includes an acknowledge-back pager, a carriage communicating with the pager, and a medication unit dispensing stored medication. The pager receives prescriptions and transmits messages back to a physician or health care organization. Prescriptions received by the pager are stored and processed by a pager processor. The pager processor communicates with a carriage controller via a series of electrical contacts. At a prescribed time, a motor in the carriage causes the medication unit to dispense the prescribed medication. Numerous medication units may be assembled to accommodate different forms of medication.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2001
    Inventor: Meir Bartur
  • Patent number: 6236901
    Abstract: Parallel organized unit-by-unit manufacturing and assembly systems and methods for computer systems and other products advantageously integrate into a build-to-order environment. Responsive to orders received, kit trays are prepared that each hold parts and components needed to build an ordered product. The kit tray is transferred to a work cell where a team builds the product. The product is then tested and repaired, with information regarding any problems provided to the responsible work cell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2001
    Assignee: Dell USA, L.P.
    Inventor: Lois Goss