Automated system for selecting packages from a storage area

  • US 5,468,110 A
  • Filed: 08/25/1994
  • Issued: 11/21/1995
  • Est. Priority Date: 01/24/1990
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
Patent Images

1. A system for selecting and delivering packages to fill orders comprising:

  • a) a storage area comprised of a plurality of storage area locations each location having package holding means sized and configured to hold a plurality of individual packages each individual package having a machine readable label which identifies a type of package, the packages being held in a manner so that each package can be placed into and removed from the storage area locations and so that the machine readable label on at least one package in a storage location can be read without removing the package from the storage location, each location having a distinct x, y coordinate;

    b) automated picking means sized and configured to be able to hold packages, to select packages from the storage area locations and place packages in the storage area locations in accordance with computer controlled instructions, the picking means having a gripper for grasping and moving the packages and having a picking means storage location sized and configured to hold a plurality of packages in a face to face relationship after the plurality of packages have been retrieved from the storage area and prior to delivery of the plurality of packages to a desired destination separate from the picking means;

    c) means for moving the automated picking means to selected storage locations;

    d) a computer having at least one memory which contains a program for directing the picking means to chosen storage area locations and a database containing at least one x, y coordinate location in the storage area for each package held within the storage area the computer being connected to the automated picking means and the means for moving the automated picking means; and

    e) a package reader associated with the picking means and being positioned for reading the machine readable labels on packages located within the storage area, wherein only one type of package is stored in each x, y coordinate location.

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