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Browse Prior Art Database

Automated Baggage Handler

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000020611D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Dec-03
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Dec-03
Document File: 2 page(s) / 10K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a device for automating the delivery of baggage directly to a customer. The device may be used in any situation where a user is attempting to claim baggage or belongings with a claim ticket. For example, when people board airliners, trains, boats, or buses, they are often physically separated from their belongings. Typically, these people check their belongings and are issued a claim ticket to reclaim their belongings.

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Automated Baggage Handler

Disclosed is a device for automating the delivery of baggage directly to a customer. The device may be used in any situation where a user is attempting to claim baggage or belongings with a claim ticket. For example, when people board airliners, trains, boats, or buses, they are often physically separated from their belongings. Typically, these people check their belongings and are issued a claim ticket to reclaim their belongings.

A problem that arises is how a group of people can reclaim their belongings in the shortest amount of time. A solution used in the airline industry is the baggage carousel. The baggage carousel allows a group of people to stand around a moving conveyor belt tray that circulates all or a portion of the group's baggage at once. A person can see their baggage approaching, and can pick it up off the conveyor belt when the baggage is in front of them.

There are several shortcomings with the traditional baggage carousel that are overcome with the disclosed device.
1) Carousels move slowly compared to the disclosed device.
2) Carousels move in one direction. The disclosed device may be bi-directional.
3) Carousels can't accommodate groups larger than they were designed for in an orderly fashion. For example, if the carousel was designed to accommodate 100 people and 300 people are attempting to reclaim their baggage, you have people stacked up three deep trying to reach for their baggage. The disclosed device employs claim terminals which the users must access one at a time. If there are more claim ticket holders than claim terminals, users will form orderly lines to access the terminals. Claim ticket holders scan their ticket at the bottom of their personal baggage delivery chute. Overcrowding is further controlled because the baggage is not within reach like traditional carousels. The delivery mechanism, which is connected to the delivery chutes, may be out of reach or out of sight.
4) Baggage placed on the carousel may be picked up by anyone regardless of whether they are the claim ticket holder or the owner of the baggage. This system is prone to theft and people accidentally taking bags they mistake for their own. The disclosed device delivers baggage directly to the claim ticket holder when the claim ticket holder scans their ticket at the bottom of their personal baggage delivery chute.
5) Typically, each piece of baggage on the carousel has a unique claim ticket identifier. The user, therefore, has many individual claim tickets to manage. The disclosed device allows multiple pieces of baggage to be retrieved with a single claim ticket.
6) The operators are subject to fraudulent claims of stolen and missing baggage. Examples of operators include airline companies, train companies, bus companies, and boat companies. The disclosed device includes a computer which tracks and logs delivery of each piece of luggage.

There are several implementations details to consider including:
1) Presor...