SandenVendo America has been assigned a patent (7,904,199) developed by eight co-inventors for "calibration systems for machines." The co-inventors are Daniel S Carter, Fresno, Calif., Christopher R. Craven, Fresno, Calif., Walid H. El-Aouar, Clovis, Calif., Craig R Greiner, Fresno, Calif., Larry E Hieb, Fresno, Calif., Dean W James, Clovis, Calif., Sandra L Southard, Clovis, Calif., and Rolando S. Williams, Madera, Calif.
The abstract of the patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office states: "This invention is a vending machine and components parts that include a sophisticated positioning system, gripper and trays for improved efficiency in product retrieval and delivery. A unique initialization and calibration system is implemented at start up to determine the positions of shelves and trays of product containers in the machine, and may be implemented at other times if trays or shelves are added or removed, or if tray or shelf positions change. These positions are then used by the positioning and gripping systems to accurately and efficiently retrieve products from the trays. Related methods are also disclosed." The patent application was filed on Oct. 30, 2007 (11/981,484). The full-text of the patent can be found at http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/.