Method and apparatus for sensing object load engagement, transportation and disengagement by automated vehicles

  • US 8,538,577 B2
  • Filed: 03/05/2010
  • Issued: 09/17/2013
  • Est. Priority Date: 03/05/2010
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. A method of operating a vehicle comprising a lift carriage to engage or disengage an object load in a physical environment comprising a warehouse rack system, the method comprising:

  • analyzing a plurality of objects that are placed throughout the physical environment by processing data that is transmitted from a sensor array attached to the lift carriage of the vehicle;

    executing an object recognition process on the sensor array data to identify the rack system by comparing rack system models with the sensor array data;

    utilizing the rack system identification and a software module resident on a mobile computer coupled to the vehicle or a central computer coupled to the sensor array via a network to align a lifting element of the vehicle with entry points for a pallet or a shelf within the rack system; and

    operating the vehicle to engage or disengage the object load with the aligned lifting element.

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