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1. (WO2018144422) CONVEYOR AND LOGIC SYSTEMS TO RETURN, BALANCE, AND BUFFER PROCESSED OR EMPTY TOTES

Pub. No.:    WO/2018/144422    International Application No.:    PCT/US2018/015856
Publication Date: Fri Aug 10 01:59:59 CEST 2018 International Filing Date: Wed Jan 31 00:59:59 CET 2018
IPC: B65G 37/02
Applicants: WALMART APOLLO, LLC
Inventors: THOMAS, Nicholas O.
COYLE, Jason Scott
SOLANA, Jessica L.
HARCAR, Mustafa A.
Title: CONVEYOR AND LOGIC SYSTEMS TO RETURN, BALANCE, AND BUFFER PROCESSED OR EMPTY TOTES
Abstract:
In some embodiments, apparatuses and methods are provided herein useful to automatically balance and buffer the return of empty containers or other totes to a plurality of areas. In some embodiments, a control circuit employs a logic system in which empty totes are directed along primary, secondary, or tertiary paths depending on information gathered from sensors regarding the availability of space for empty totes at a plurality of potential destinations. In this way, the return of empty totes to one or more points of origin may be buffered to balance the number of empty totes in one or more areas.