This patent application is assigned to Flextronics Ap, Llc.
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The cost associated with operating a physical store front or delivering packages via mail or other package delivery common carriers is a significant expense of doing business. The last mile of delivery of packages is many times a large percentage of the expense of delivery, especially as compared to the total distance a package travels. In some cases, individuals living in apartment type dwellings can only receive packages if they are there to physically sign for them. Considering the hours of delivery and the hours most people work, home delivery is therefore impossible. In this case the resident must go to a post office or other depot during business hours. This provides for similar difficulty.
"Increasingly consumers desire immediate satisfaction of orders and purchases. In order to do so they request express shipping, (at some cost), or go to a physical store front. When going to a physical store front, the consumer may not feel as though they are getting the best prices so they may be reluctant to purchase. Consumers may return home and search on Internet shopping sites in order to obtain the best price. Also, the store may not be open or may be far away. In such cases, they delay acquisition of the item of interest.
"Therefore the ability to retrieve packages in an automated fashion at remote sites accessible to the public is desirable. One aspect of providing packages to users is providing an integrated storage and retrieval system."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Described herein is a package delivery kiosk (PDK) including an integrated robotic package lifting assembly with shelving system and method. Described herein is a package delivery kiosk (PDK) including an integrated robotic package lifting assembly and shelving system. The system may include a PDK, associated front end and back end package delivery management systems, including portals for the consumer and the retailer and, in an alternative, portals for the common carrier, sender, and recipient, a package inventory management system, integrated retailer access, and real and automated retailer bidding system, a robotic distribution apparatus is needed. A kiosk includes a package delivery slot, an interface slot and a shelving system with shelves having receiving apertures. The dividers fit into the receiving apertures and each have a receiving slot. A package retrieving apparatus includes a base, a vertical support interconnected with the base, and a package picker module. The package picker module is oriented on the vertical support such that the package picker module may move up and down. The package picker module includes grippers configured to surround and grip the object.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
"A more detailed understanding may be had from the following description, given by way of example in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:
"FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of one embodiment of a lifting portions of a
"FIG. 1A shows a cross-sectional view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 taken along line A-A;
"FIG. 1B shows a cross-sectional view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 taken along line B-B;
"FIG. 2 show a bottom view of the RPLA of FIG. 1;
"FIG. 3 shows of cut away view of the RPLA of FIG. 1;
"FIG. 4 shows the lifting portion FIG. 1, integrated into a rail movement system;
"FIG. 5 shows the RPLA of FIG. 1, integrated into a rail movement system; and
"FIG. 6 shows another view of the RPLA of FIG. 1;
"FIG. 7 shows a perspective view of one embodiment of a PDK;
"FIG. 8 shows the kiosk of FIG. 7 with a front panel removed;
"FIG. 9 shows the kiosk of FIG. 7 with the major panels removed;
"FIG. 10 shows one embodiment of a shelf for use in the kiosk system of FIG. 7;
"FIG. 11 shows a front view of the shelf of FIG. 10;
"FIG. 12 shows the shelf of FIG. 10 with some of the dividers removed;
"FIG. 13 shows the shelf of FIG. 10 with some of the dividers and shelves removed;
"FIG. 14 shows the shelf of FIG. 7 with some of the dividers and shelves removed;
"FIG. 15-16 shows a detailed view of the bottom shelf of FIG. 10; and
"FIG. 17 shows an interior shot of the kiosk showing the delivery slot and RPLA."
URL and more information on this patent application, see: Hancock, Stephen H.; Desrosiers, Norman B.; Fiest, Eric; Rupert, John.
Keywords for this news article include: Robotics, Machine Learning, Flextronics Ap Llc, Emerging Technologies.
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