Browse Prior Art Database

Distributed Processing in Motion

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000060931D
Original Publication Date: 1986-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-09
Document File: 2 page(s) / 40K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Duffield, SA: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Microprocessors 10 mounted on wall accessors 14 not only monitor and control, the X, Y and Z positions of the wall accessors 14 they ride on, but also identify, count, store and/or fetch the items of inventory in the cubby holes 16 of the parts' wall 12. Both wall accessors 14 share a common track together with a common absolute position encoder strip along the track. The inventory control computer, controlling the two accessors as its left and right arms, maintains the record of the inventory in its nonvolatile data bases to protect it against possible power outages. Each accessor 14 is serviced with power and commands over a flat umbilical cord 20 that is mounted on rollers kept under a steady tension by a constant K spring.

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Distributed Processing in Motion

Microprocessors 10 mounted on wall accessors 14 not only monitor and control, the X, Y and Z positions of the wall accessors 14 they ride on, but also identify, count, store and/or fetch the items of inventory in the cubby holes 16 of the parts' wall 12. Both wall accessors 14 share a common track together with a common absolute position encoder strip along the track. The inventory control computer, controlling the two accessors as its left and right arms, maintains the record of the inventory in its nonvolatile data bases to protect it against possible power outages. Each accessor 14 is serviced with power and commands over a flat umbilical cord 20 that is mounted on rollers kept under a steady tension by a constant K spring. The inventory control computer manages each accessor 14 by communicating with its microprocessor (uP) 10 over a serial command channel. Because the uP 10 is on the accessor 14, all the sensor and control lines do not have to be brought back to the inventory control computer over the umbilical cord 20. Instead, the accessor uP receives serial, high level commands from the inventory control system and executes them, telling the inventory control computer when, and how well, it has completed them. When the uP is not executing commands, it checks its own and the accessor's sensors and informs the inventory control system if and when something is amiss and why. The inventory control system can then a) schedule/co...