Nevada Patent of the Month – April 2022

Hotberry, LLC has been developing automated grocery stores since 2014. At the start, it seemed nearly too futuristic to be reasonable, but as time went on, this idea has become almost inevitable. The COVID-19 pandemic brought about the need for access to groceries with minimal contact. Many stores scrambled to put together online order systems but still needed methods to actually put together these orders in time for pick up.

Hotberry’s vision includes an automated grocery ecosystem using robots to gather the food products and conveyors to pass them to the front of the store where they will be ready for payment and collection. As part of this vision, they have recently developed intelligent shelves for this automated product distribution.

These shelves are designed with a widget positioned along the baseboard. The widget sensor detects if any product is added or removed from the compartment areas. Based on the user interaction, the widget can then instruct the system to push or place a product from the shelf onto the conveyor belt to be transferred along. The tooling used to move the product includes extendable arms with magnetic materials. The magnets allow them to be positioned and attached to multiple surfaces. The shelves can be stacked multiple rows high to maximize the product storage in a small footprint. 

Through the combined use of these intelligent shelves and artificial intelligence systems, the inventory and movement of products can be reliably tracked as their ecosystem fulfills orders.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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