News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Robotic Storage and Retrieval Systems and Methods", for Approval

August 28, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventor Blumenau, Trevor I. (Plano, TX), filed on April 7, 2014, was made available online on August 14, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Voodoo Robotics, Inc.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "In many industrial applications, robots are used for storage and retrieval of items. In warehouses, shelving racks are constructed for storage of items. The shelving racks typically have multiple vertical levels. Each vertical level typically is divided horizontally to provide individual, compartmentalized storage slots into which items, such as pallets, are stored. The robots, which move both vertically and horizontally between the shelving racks, place the pallets in the shelving racks for storage and also pick up and carry the pallets away from the shelving racks for retrieval. It often takes skilled operators to control the robots due to current control interfaces. The poor control interface often leads to a steep learning curve to successfully operate the systems.

"Furthermore, the robotic systems fail to address common issues in inventory management. Poor access to access to inventory makes it difficult to track inventory quantity and status, especially with diverse product lines. Additionally, current systems make it difficult to determine the points of shrinkage, destruction, or other inventory loss.

"This invention addresses those and other issues."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "The present invention is directed to a system and method for storage and retrieval of items comprising a control server and a database. The database receives the shelving configuration information of a particular user environment and the control server is operable to issue travel control signals to a robotic carriage within configuration parameters retrieved from the database.

"An alternate configuration includes a robotic carriage. The robotic carriage further comprises a base, at least one arm, and a motor. The arm is secured to the base and presents a resting surface for the items. The motor is cooperatively secured to the robotic carriage, enabling controlled travel by the robotic carriage.

"In operation, the shelving configuration information of a user environment is received and input into the database. One or more control interfaces, such as a web interface, are presented for requests for inventory operations from one or more users. In response, the control server issues storage and retrieval control signals to the robotic carriage within ranges retrieved from the database.

"These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the invention will become better understood with reference to the following description, appended claims, and accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 shows a diagram of an embodiment of a system according to the current invention.

"FIG. 2 shows a flowchart of a process according to the current invention.

"FIG. 3a shows a side view of a system having a first shelving configuration;

"FIG. 3b shows a top view of a system having a second shelving configuration;

"FIG. 4 shows a side view of plural slots of the shelving rack configuration of FIG. 3b;

"FIG. 5 shows a configuration of a robotic carriage of the current invention;

"FIG. 6 shows a partial database schema of one configuration of a system according to the current invention;

"FIG. 7 shows a representative user interface for entering user information;

"FIGS. 8a and 8b show a representative partial interface for display and interaction with a shelving rack configuration and inventory;

"FIGS. 8c and 8d show an alternate representative partial interface for display and interaction with a shelving rack configuration and inventory; and

"FIG. 9 shows a representative display of compartment data."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Blumenau, Trevor I. Robotic Storage and Retrieval Systems and Methods. Filed April 7, 2014 and posted August 14, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1437&p=29&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140807.PD.&OS=PD/20140807&RS=PD/20140807

Keywords for this news article include: Nano-robot, Machine Learning, Voodoo Robotics Inc, Emerging Technologies.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC


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Source: Politics & Government Week


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