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1. (WO2018009786) MESURE DE POIDS À DISTANCE D'UN ÉLÉMENT DE SUPPORT DE PRODUIT
Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A weight detection system for a product support member within a facility, the system comprising:

a product support member configured to receive one or more products thereon;

a spring supporting the product support member, the spring configured to compress in response to products being placed on the product support member;

an electromagnetic (EM) wave generator configured to sequentially emit non-visible EM waves towards the spring;

an EM wave reader configured to sequentially receive reflections of the non-visible EM waves from the spring, wherein different compression levels of the spring result in different reflections of the non-visible EM waves;

a control circuit operably coupled to the EM wave reader and configured to receive and compare reflections received at different times to detect changes in the reflections to thereby determine changes in weight of products on the product support member.

2. The system of claim 1 , wherein the EM wave generator and the EM wave reader comprise an EM transceiver.

3. The system of claim 1, wherein the EM wave generator and the EM wave reader utilize radio waves.

4. The system of claim 1, wherein the EM wave generator and the EM wave reader utilize micro waves.

5. The system of claim 1, wherein the control circuit is configured to be calibrated by receiving reflections of the non-visible EM waves off the spring with no products on the product support member to establish a baseline reading and receiving reflections of the non-visible EM waves off the spring with the product support member in a fully stocked configuration to establish a top end reading.

6. The system of claim 1, wherein the product support member comprises a cart configured to receive products therein; and the spring comprises a suspension of the cart.

7. The system of claim 6, wherein the EM wave generator and the EM wave reader are mounted within the facility at a height generally aligned with a height of the spring.

8. The system of claim 1, wherein the product support member comprises a shelving unit having a back wall, a base portion, and one or more shelves mounted to the back wall; and the spring comprises a suspension of the shelving unit disposed within the base portion thereof.

9. The system of claim 8, wherein the EM wave generator and the EM wave reader are mounted within the facility adjacent to a floor thereof aligned with a height of the spring to emit EM waves into the base portion of the shelving unit.

10. The system of claim 8, wherein the control circuit is further configured to create a task to send an associate to check on a stock level for the shelving unit in response to determining that the reflections indicate that a compression of the spring is less than a predetermined value.

11. The system of claim 1, wherein the product support member comprises a shelf configured to mount to a back wall of a shelving unit; and the spring comprising a suspension connection between the shelf and shelving unit back wall.

12. The system of claim 11, wherein the EM wave generator and the EM wave reader are mounted within the facility above the shelving unit.

13. The system of claim 1, wherein the EM wave generator and the EM wave reader are mounted to a mobile assembly.

14. The system of claim 1, wherein the control circuit is further configured to:

receive product sales information for the facility; and

correlate the product sales information to the changes in the reflections.

15. A method for detecting weight supported by a product support member within a facility, the method comprising:

supporting a product support member at least partially with a spring;

emitting non-visible electromagnetic (EM) waves towards the spring with an EM wave generator;

sequentially receiving reflections of the non-visible EM waves off of the spring with an EM wave reader;

analyzing first reflections received by the EM wave reader with a control circuit at a first time;

analyzing second reflections received by the EM wave reader with a control circuit at a second time, wherein different compression levels of the spring result in different reflections of the non-visible EM waves; and

comparing reflections received at different times with a control circuit to detect changes in the reflections to thereby determine changes in weight of products on the product support member.

16. The method of claim 15, further comprising calibrating the control circuit by receiving reflections of the non-visible EM waves off of the spring with no products on the product support member to establish a baseline reading and receiving reflections of the non-visible EM waves off of the spring with the product support member in a fully stocked configuration to establish a top end reading.

17. The method of claim 15, wherein supporting the product support member at least partially with the spring comprises supporting a cart configured to receive products therein at least partially with the spring.

18. The method of claim 15, wherein the product support member comprises a shelving unit having a back wall, a base portion, and one or more shelves mounted to the back wall; and supporting the product support member at least partially with the spring comprises supporting the shelving unit at least partially with the spring disposed within the base portion thereof.

19. The method of claim 18, further comprises creating a task with the control circuit to send an associate to check on a stock level for the shelving unit in response to determining that the reflections indicate that a compression of the spring is less than a predetermined value.

20. The method of claim 15, wherein the product support member comprises a shelf configured to mount to a back wall of a shelving unit; and supporting the product support member at least partially with the spring comprises supporting the shelf with the spring disposed between a connection between the shelf and the shelving unit back wall.

21. The method of claim 15, further comprising:

receiving product sales information for the facility; and

correlating the product sales information to the changes in the reflections.