Amazon has been granted a patent for a modular storage system with load sensors and photovoltaic power sources. The system conserves power by pulse-sampling load signals to identify items and transactions based on changes in loads. The computer system receives load signals, determines load changes, identifies items, and stores transaction data. GlobalData’s report on Amazon gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Amazon, Dynamic premium pricing was a key innovation area identified from patents. Amazon's grant share as of February 2024 was 83%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Modular storage system with load sensors and photovoltaic power source

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11927472B1) discloses a materials handling facility that includes a computer system, a light source, a table, and a storage system with a platform containing multiple items. The storage system is equipped with load sensors, each comprising a battery, load cell, and wireless transmitter, to detect changes in load on the platform. Additionally, a photovoltaic power source is integrated into the platform to generate electrical energy from light energy absorbed from the light source. The computer system is programmed to receive load signals from the sensors, determine changes in load, identify items associated with the changes, and store transaction information related to the items.

Furthermore, the patent details a method for configuring load sensors to transmit load signals based on force applied to the platform at different times. By detecting variations in loading, the system can identify specific items and store transaction information. The method also involves calculating mass or weight based on the load signals, determining costs associated with transactions, and charging customers accordingly. The system's design includes load sensors resting on surfaces like shelves, tables, or floors, with the platform placed on top of them. Additionally, the integration of a photovoltaic power source in the platform allows for efficient energy generation to power the sensors, enhancing the overall functionality of the materials handling facility.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.