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A Computerized, Secure, Shared Automated Parcel Machine and Delivery System Disclosure Number: IPCOM000014697D
Original Publication Date: 2000-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Document File: 7 page(s) / 147K

Publishing Venue



Automated Parcel Machine and Delivery System

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A Computerized, Secure, Shared Automated Parcel Machine and Delivery System

Automated Parcel Machine and Delivery System

Disclosed is a computerized, secure, shared Automated Parcel Machine Delivery System (APMDS) for unattended retrieval of Internet and mail ordered parcels. Traditionally, consumers have relied on several methods for retrieving mail ordered goods. The most common way is to have the parcel delivered straight to a residential or business doorstep. Alternately, a parcel can be held at a centralized facility and retrieved by visiting an attendant at the site. In certain circumstances, the parcel can be retrieved without an attendant, but only if the customer has either rented a dedicated secure box of sufficient size at a centralized facility such as the United States Postal Service (USPS), or the customer's neighborhood is equipped with a central USPS mailbox containing a sufficiently large, shared secure box. As the purchase of products via the Internet increases, the distribution model of goods will change. In order to facilitate the change, a centralized, automated, shared, secure method of retrieving mail ordered parcels is needed. The computerized APMDS provides such a mechanism.

APM Design Description

The following table lists the major functions and associated acronyms used in describing the design of the APMDS.

Function or DescriptionTerm

APM Automated Parcel Machine.

APMDS Automated Parcel Machine Delivery System. The APMDS is the entire concept involved with shipping goods to an APM.

APMID Automated Parcel Machine Identification. Each APM site has a unique


APMSL Automated Parcel Machine Sticky Label. APMSLs are placed on every parcel that uses the APMDS. The key to the APMSL is a two-dimensional bar code that encodes the APMID, postage, and buyer, seller, and shipper information.

LAPMCC Local Automated Parcel Machine Control Computer. All automated functions at each APM site are control by the LAPMCC

RMT Rotating Mechanical Turntable. RMTs have divided partitions for holding parcels. All APMs have at least one RMT. The style and quantity of RMTs are dictated by frequency of use and are ordered as options when the APM site is established, or when it is upgraded.

MDSS Mechanical Drive Subsystem. The MDSS controls the rotation of the

RMT as directed by the LAPMCC.

CISS Customer Interface Subsystem (CISS). The CISS allows for customer


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input to the APM's LAPMCC

ASSS Automatic Scanning Subsystem. The ASSS connects to the LAPMCC and is able to read two-dimensional bar codes.

CADSS Customer Access Door Subsystem. The CADSS provides the customer access to the APM to retrieve his parcel. The CADSS is designed in such a way to prevent theft, injury, and sabotage.

PESS Parcel Ejector Subsystem. The PESS ejects parcels from the RMT into the CADSS.

CAPMCS Central Automated Parcel Machine Computer System. The CAPMCS manages all data aspects of the APMDS. All LAPMCCs connect to the CAPMCS.

APMBEP Auto...