US Pat. No. 9,103,594

CARRIER POSITIONING METHOD AND CARRIER TRANSPORT SYSTEM

TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI ...

1. A carrier positioning method that transports a plurality of carriers, on which pieces of work are respectively mounted,
by a transport conveyor into a heating furnace and that positions the plurality of carriers, the carrier positioning method
comprising:
a transport process of transporting the plurality of carriers by the transport conveyor into the heating furnace;
a first advance process in which a control device advances a comb-shaped carrier stopper, which has a plurality of protrusions
used for positioning the carriers, toward the carriers positioned in series on the transport conveyor;

a positioning process of positioning the carriers at a time at predetermined intervals in a transport direction in which the
carriers are transported in such a manner that the carriers positioned in series are moved by the transport conveyor in the
transport direction to engage engagement portions, provided respectively for the carriers, with the protrusions of the carrier
stopper;

a second advance process in which the control device advances the carrier stopper at insertion holes positioned on the carriers
so as to insert distal ends of the respective protrusions of the carrier stopper into the insertion holes of the engagement
portions, wherein the insertion holes are provided so as to allow the distal ends of the protrusions to be inserted when the
carriers are properly positioned;

a determination process in which the control device determines, on the basis of a total moved distance of the carrier stopper
toward the carriers during the first advance process and second advance process, whether the carriers in series are properly
positioned simultaneously.

US Pat. No. 10,071,867

HOLDING NOZZLE, HOLDING UNIT, AND TRANSPORTING APPARATUS

HIRATA CORPORATION, Shin...

1. A holding nozzle for sucking and holding a work by a negative pressure, comprising:a sucking member including a sucking portion for sucking the work on one side of the sucking member;
a supporting member connected to a negative pressure generating source, including an accommodating portion for accommodating an other side of the sucking member, and configured to support the sucking member so as to be able to move forward and backward; and
a biasing member configured to bias the sucking member in a forward direction of the forward-and-backward movement, the biasing member being a spring member or a resin member,
wherein the supporting member includes, in the accommodating portion, a first stop portion and a second stop portion for respectively defining a forward limit and a backward limit of the forward-and-backward movement of the sucking member,
the sucking member includes, on the other side thereof, a first contacting portion and a second contacting portion for respectively contacting with the first stop portion and the second stop portion,
the supporting member comprises:
a cylinder configured to slidably accommodate the sucking member; and
a head including a connection passage formed on one side of the cylinder and connected to the negative pressure generating source,
a region surrounded by an interior of the cylinder and the head forms the accommodating portion,
the cylinder includes the first stop portion inside thereof, and
the head includes the second stop portion in an inner end portion thereof which is positioned inside the cylinder,
one end portion of the biasing member contacts with an end portion on the other side of the sucking member, and an other end portion of the biasing member contacts with the inner end portion of the head,
the accommodating portion includes a first accommodating portion and a second accommodating portion,
the sucking member forms the first accommodating portion on the other side of the sucking member, the first accommodating portion accommodating one end portion of the biasing member,
the head forming the second accommodating portion which extends from an inner edge portion opposing the end portion on the other side of the sucking member toward the sucking member, and accommodates the other end portion of the biasing member,
the first accommodating portion is formed by a circumferential wall portion extending toward the head, and
the second contacting portion which contacts with the second stop portion is formed by an end portion of the circumferential wall portion on a side of the head, wherein a ratio of a moving stroke of the sucking member to a total length of the biasing member is ? to 1/10, and
the total length of the biasing member is defined in a state that the first contacting portion is contacting with the first stop portion.

US Pat. No. 9,611,104

SORTING APPARATUS AND VESSEL SORTING METHOD

HIRATA CORPORATION, Toky...

1. A sorting apparatus comprising:
a sorting device that receives and transports a rack on which a plurality of vessels are loaded, and that transfers the vessels
loaded on the rack to predetermined vessel loading portions; and

a delivery device that delivers the rack to the sorting device,
wherein the sorting device includes:
a transportation unit including a gantry shaft that extends in a first horizontal direction in a horizontal plane and that
is movable in a second horizontal direction, wherein the second horizontal direction is in the horizontal plane and is perpendicular
to the first horizontal direction,

a rack receiving unit including a rack receiving member that is installed on a lower surface of the gantry shaft and on which
the rack is loaded,

a transfer unit that is installed on a side surface of the gantry shaft, is movable along in the first horizontal direction,
and is raisable to remove the vessels from the rack loaded on the rack receiving member and transfer the vessels to the predetermined
vessel loading portions; and

the rack receiving unit further includes a driving member that includes a first motor and a retractable arm member that is
connected to the first motor, and the retractable arm member moves the rack receiving unit by retracting in the second horizontal
direction.

US Pat. No. 9,635,779

ACCOMMODATING DEVICE, SEGMENT, AND METHOD FOR FORMING MULTIPLE-STAGE ACCOMMODATING PORTIONS

HIRATA CORPORATION, Shin...

1. An accommodating device provided with a plurality of accommodating portions configured to accommodate plate-shaped members
to be accommodated by being separated away in a thickness direction thereof, comprising:
at least one wall body constructing said accommodating device; and
a plurality of segments having said accommodating portions respectively and arranged adjacently each other along a wall surface
of said wall body, wherein

each of said plurality of segments has a first engagement portion to be engaged with one adjacent segment on one side and
a second engagement portion to be engaged with the other adjacent segment on the other side in an opposite direction to the
one side, and

said plurality of segments are connected to each other through said first and second engagement portions and are detachably
mounted on said wall body,

said first engagement portion has a protruding portion engaged with said second engagement portion of said one adjacent segment
on the one side and extending along said wall body,

said second engagement portion has a dent portion engaged with said first engagement portion of said other adjacent segment
on the other side and provided on wall body side,

each of said plurality of segments is formed from a resin in which conductive filler is mixed in modified PPE, and
a mixing ratio of the conductive filler in the resin is in 5 to 30 mass %.

US Pat. No. 9,443,717

CONVEYANCE SYSTEM AND CONVEYANCE METHOD

HIRATA CORPORATION, Shin...

1. A conveyance system including a processing station that processes a work piece fed in and feeds out the work piece after
being processed, said conveyance system comprising:
a first conveyance apparatus that feeds in the work piece into said processing station;
a second conveyance apparatus provided in said processing station and disposed subsequently adjacent to said first conveyance
apparatus at a downstream side of said first conveyance apparatus in a conveyance direction of the work piece;

a third conveyance apparatus disposed subsequently adjacent to said second conveyance apparatus at a downstream side of said
second conveyance apparatus in the conveyance direction, said third conveyance apparatus conveying the work piece fed out
from said processing station;

a lifting apparatus disposed below said second conveyance apparatus in said processing station and moving the work piece upward
and downward; and

a processing apparatus disposed in said processing station and processing the work piece lifted up by said lifting apparatus,
wherein said first conveyance apparatus performs conveyance of a pallet on which the work piece is placed in the conveyance
direction and returning of the pallet that is empty in a direction reverse to the conveyance direction,

said second conveyance apparatus performs conveyance of the pallet on which the work piece is placed in the conveyance direction,
returning of the pallet that is empty in the direction reverse to the conveyance direction and conveyance of the work piece
in the conveyance direction,

said lifting apparatus performs lifting of the work piece placed on the pallet on said second conveyance apparatus and moving
the work piece down onto said second conveyance apparatus, and

said third conveyance apparatus performs the conveyance of the work piece in the conveyance direction.

US Pat. No. 9,464,702

SLIDER APPARATUS

HIRATA CORPORATION, Shin...

1. A slider apparatus comprising:
a ball screw;
a first support member and a second support member which respectively support two end portions of said ball screw;
a first slider and a second slider, each of which includes driving means for rotating a ball nut threadably engaging with
said ball screw while rotatably holding the ball nut, and is disposed to be movable in an axial direction of said ball screw;

a first intermediate support member, a second intermediate support member, and a third intermediate support member, each of
which includes a support hole through which said ball screw passes, and is movable in the axial direction of said ball screw;

a first connecting member which engages with said first intermediate support member and said second intermediate support member,
and allows free movement of said first intermediate support member and said second intermediate support member within a range
of a full length of said first connecting member; and

a second connecting member which engages with said second intermediate support member and said third intermediate support
member, and allows free movement of said second intermediate support member and said third intermediate support member within
a range of a full length of said second connecting member,

wherein said first intermediate support member and said second intermediate support member are disposed to sandwich said first
slider, and

said second intermediate support member and said third intermediate support member are disposed to sandwich said second slider.

US Pat. No. 9,388,715

ASSEMBLING APPARATUS AND CONTROL METHOD

HIRATA CORPORATION, Shin...

1. An assembling apparatus for assembling a valve retainer including a pair of cotter pieces to a cylinder head, comprising:
a main pallet on which the cylinder head is placed;
a sub pallet which is detachably attached to said main pallet and on which at least the valve retainer is placed;
a conveyance mechanism configured to horizontally convey said main pallet;
a lifting mechanism provided under a predetermined position of a conveyance track of said main pallet by said conveyance mechanism
and configured to disconnect, from said main pallet, the cylinder head placed on said main pallet and lift/lower said cylinder
head;

a moving mechanism provided on one side of said lifting mechanism and configured to detach, from said main pallet, said sub
pallet attached to said main pallet and lift/lower said sub pallet;

a rotation mechanism configured to hold the cylinder head lifted to a work operation region by said lifting mechanism and
roll the cylinder head about a horizontal axis;

an operation unit including a retainer holding tool configured to hold the valve retainer, and configured to extract, by said
retainer holding tool, the valve retainer from said sub pallet lifted to a part preparation region by said moving mechanism
and assemble the valve retainer to a valve stem of a valve incorporated in the cylinder head; and

a detaching device arranged between the work operation region and the part preparation region and configured to detach the
pair of cotter pieces of the valve retainer in said retainer holding tool such that the valve stem can be inserted and cause
said retainer holding tool to hold the pair of cotter pieces.

US Pat. No. 9,180,592

PISTON SUPPLY APPARATUS AND PISTON SUPPLY METHOD

HIRATA CORPORATION, Shin...

6. A piston supply apparatus comprising
a piston gripping portion which grips a piston to which a connecting rod is assembled so as to insert the piston into a cylinder
bore, and

a piston supply portion which supplies the piston to the piston gripping portion, wherein
said piston supply portion comprises
a connecting rod gripping means which grips the connecting rod of the piston placed in a preparation area while a piston top
portion faces downward,

a guide member which abuts against an end portion of a skirt portion of the piston which is located on an opposite side to
the piston top portion so as to match an axial direction of the piston with a predetermined specified direction,

a moving means which moves said connecting rod gripping unit gripping the connecting rod from the preparation area to a supply
position in air at which the piston is supplied to said piston gripping portion, and

a pivoting means which makes said connecting rod gripping means pivot such that the piston top portion of the piston into
the downward state is set in an upward state, and

the piston supply apparatus further comprises a pressing means which presses the piston top portion of the piston made to
pivot to the upward state against said guide member before said piston gripping portion grips the piston.

US Pat. No. 9,174,346

LOADING/UNLOADING ROBOT

HIRATA CORPORATION, Shin...

1. A loading/unloading robot comprising:
a support unit installed so as to be capable of being raised and lowered;
an arm unit attached to the support unit; and
a hand unit for conveying an object to be loaded and unloaded, attached to the arm unit,
wherein the support unit includes a base portion that can be revolved around a raising/lowering axis that extends in a raising/lowering
direction and a head portion rotatably attached to the base portion,

the arm unit includes an arm that is rotatably attached to the head portion,
a front end of the arm moves forward and backward along a forward/backward direction that passes the head portion,
the hand unit includes a loading/unloading hand rotatably attached to the front end of the arm,
the head portion includes a base-end portion supported on an upper surface of the base portion that is a head portion installation
surface, a front portion including an arm installation surface on which the arm is attached, and a stepped portion that integrally
joins the base-end portion and the front portion,

a height of an upper surface of the front portion that is the arm installation surface is lower than a height of an upper
surface of the base-end portion, and

a height of the arm installation surface is equal to or lower than a height of the upper surface of the base portion that
is the head portion installation surface.

US Pat. No. 9,111,978

SUBSTRATE CARRIER MEASURING JIG, COLLISION PREVENTING JIG, AND COLLISION PREVENTING METHOD USING THE COLLISION PREVENTING JIG

HIRATA CORPORATION, Toky...

1. A collision preventing method for preventing a robot from colliding with a substrate during substrate unloading operation
by the robot from a substrate carrier placed on a carrier table, comprising steps of:
(a) measuring slot height from a predetermined reference value, slot pitch, and slot horizontality for at least some slots
of the substrate carrier having a pair of slot sections where substrates are accommodated by means of measuring means having
a sensor,

(b) obtaining the slot horizontality and slot heights of each slot section on the basis of data obtained in step (a), and
writing the thus-obtained data of the slot horizontality and the slot heights of each slot section into ID information storage
provided on the substrate carrier by means of write means;

(c) predetermining a reference height of the carrier table on which the substrate carrier is to be placed, placing, on the
carrier table, the substrate carrier with data stored in its ID information storage in step (b), reading data from the ID
information storage by means of the carrier table, and sending the predetermined reference height and the data obtained in
step (b) to a host computer by means of the carrier table;

(d) utilizing the host computer, determining an access position of the robot on the basis of the data sent thereto in step
(c); and teaching the robot the access position; and

(e) utilizing the robot with the data received in step (d), loading or unloading a substrate to or from the substrate carrier
placed on the carrier table.

US Pat. No. 9,324,599

CONTAINER OPENING/CLOSING DEVICE

HIRATA CORPORATION, Shin...

7. A container opening/closing device for opening and closing a lid of a container, the container comprising a container body
and the lid, the container body including an opening through which a workpiece is loaded and unloaded, the lid being detachably
attached to the opening and closing the opening, said device comprising:
an opening/closing mechanism which includes a holding portion for holding said lid and a first driving source, said opening/closing
mechanism opening and closing, by said first driving source, the opening by moving said holding portion between a closing
position at which said lid closes the opening, and an open position at which said lid is separated from the opening; and

a pressing mechanism which presses a peripheral edge of said holding portion toward said container body when said opening/closing
mechanism moves said lid from the open position to the closing position, wherein

said pressing mechanism comprises:
a second driving source which generates a driving force;
an arm member which is connected to said second driving source and is movable by the driving force toward a surface of said
holding portion, which surface is opposite to a lid holding side of said holding portion; and

a pressing portion which is supported by said arm member at one end of said arm member,
said pressing portion contacts with the surface of said holding portion and presses the surface toward said container body
by a movement of said arm member,

wherein said arm member is movable in a horizontal orientation.

US Pat. No. 9,193,531

COMPONENT TRANSFER DEVICE AND METHOD

HIRATA CORPORATION, Toky...

1. A component transfer device comprising:
a holding mechanism for positioning and holding a component on a carrying surface located at a predetermined height; and
a pull-out unit for pulling out the component held by the holding mechanism in a horizontal direction,
wherein the pull-out unit includes a grasping member configured to separably grasp the component from an opposite direction,
a cam member for exercising a cam function with respect to the grasping member to effect a grasping operation of the component
and a releasing operation of the component at predetermined timings, and a driving mechanism for driving the cam member and
the grasping member,

the holding mechanism includes an elevation unit for moving up and down a rack that accommodates the components on a plurality
of stages,

the grasping member includes a first arm member having a first contact portion capable of separably coming into contact with
one side surface of the component, and a second arm member having a second contact portion capable of separably coming into
contact with another side surface of the component,

the cam member includes a guided portion that is guided reciprocatably in a pull-out direction of the component, a first cam
portion that exercises the cam function with respect to the first arm member, and a second cam portion that exercises the
cam function with respect to the second arm member,

the driving mechanism includes a movable holder that reciprocates in the pull-out direction, the movable holder having a horizontal
guide portion for guiding the guided portion in the pull-out direction and another guide portion for guiding a first follower
portion of the first arm member and a second follower portion of the second arm member in the opposite direction, and a first
urging member for generating an urging force so as to make the first follower portion engage with the first cam portion and
make the second follower portion engage with the second cam portion, and

further comprising a restraint mechanism for restraining a relative movement of the cam member with respect to the movable
holder.

US Pat. No. 9,469,479

TRANSPORT UNIT, DECELERATION STOP DEVICE, TRANSPORT SYSTEM, AND CONTROL METHOD

HIRATA CORPORATION, Shin...

4. A method of controlling a transport system,
the system including:
at least one first transport unit;
a second transport unit arranged downstream in a transport direction of a work successively to the first transport units;
and

a stop device,
wherein the first transport unit is an accumulation conveyor including a plurality of driving rollers,
the second transport unit includes:
at least one first driving roller; and
at least one second driving roller arranged downstream in the transport direction with respect to the first driving roller,
the first driving roller is capable of idling on a driving shaft,
the second driving roller is incapable of idling on a driving shaft, and
the stop device is configured to abut against the work at a stop position at a downstream end of the second transport unit
in the transport direction and stop movement of the work,

said method comprising:
a first transport step of driving the first transport unit at a uniform speed and transporting a work by the first transport
unit;

a joint transport step of driving the second transport unit and the first transport unit at a uniform speed lower than the
speed of the first transport unit, and transporting the work from the first transport unit to the second transport unit;

a second transport step of driving the second transport unit at the low uniform speed subsequently to the joint transport
step and transporting, by the second transport unit, the work transported to the second transport unit;

a stop device driving step of, when a preparation position sensor detects that the work has reached a stop preparation position
on an upstream side in the transport direction with respect to the stop position, stopping the stop device;

a driving stop control step of, when a stop position sensor detects that the work has reached the stop position, stopping
the first driving roller and second driving roller of the second transport unit during driving at the uniform speed; and

a stop step of transporting the work by rotation of the first driving roller and second driving roller of the second transport
unit until driving of the first driving roller and second driving roller of the second transport unit is completely stopped
by the driving stop control step, causing the work to abut against the stop device, and completely stopping the work at an
abutment position without generating a backward movement of the work in reaction to a shock.

US Pat. No. 9,387,560

OPERATION APPARATUS AND CONTROL METHOD

HIRATA CORPORATION, Shin...

1. An operation apparatus comprising:
a main pallet on which a work is placed;
a sub pallet which is detachably attached to said main pallet and on which a part to be assembled to the work is placed;
a conveyance mechanism configured to horizontally convey said main pallet;
a lifting mechanism provided under a predetermined position of a conveyance track of said main pallet by said conveyance mechanism
and configured to disconnect, from said main pallet, the work placed on said main pallet and lift or lower the work;

a moving mechanism provided on at least one side of said lifting mechanism and configured to detach, from said main pallet,
said sub pallet attached to said main pallet and lift or lower said sub pallet;

a rotation mechanism configured to hold the work lifted to a work operation region by said lifting mechanism and roll the
work about a horizontal axis; and

an operation unit configured to extract the part from said sub pallet lifted to a part preparation region by said moving mechanism
and assemble the part to the work located in the work operation region.

US Pat. No. 9,291,209

ROTATION CLAMPING MECHANISM

HIRATA CORPORATION, Shin...

1. A rotation clamping mechanism comprising:
a rotating member installed so as to be capable of being rotationally driven; and
at least two engagement members that are attached to the rotating member and transmit rotational power,
wherein the engagement members are placed in engagement with a rotated object placed at a power transmission implementation
position, which is in a predetermined positional relationship with the engagement member,

the rotated object is rotated by rotating the rotating member,
the engagement members are supported on the rotating member in state where the engagement members are capable of swinging
to an engagement position with the rotated object to transmit power to the rotated object and to a release position where
the engagement is released,

the rotation clamping mechanism further comprises: an opening/closing mechanism that opens and closes the engagement members
between the engagement position and the release position; and biasing members that each biases one of the engagement members
toward the engagement position,

the opening/closing mechanism comprises: a cylindrical slider body that is attached to the outer circumference of the rotating
member and that is moved forward and backward in a direction along a rotational axis of the rotating member; and pressing
members installed on the cylindrical slider body,

when the cylindrical slider body is moved backward, each of the pressing members contacts a corresponding one of the engagement
members and moves a tail portion of the corresponding one of the engagement members radially inward toward a corresponding
biasing member to position the corresponding one of the engagement members at the release position,

when the cylindrical slider body is moved forward, each of the pressing members moves away from the corresponding biasing
member and is positioned at a withdrawal position where each pressing member does not hold the corresponding one of the engagement
members, and

when the pressing members are at the withdrawal position, each of the engagement members is swingably pressed onto the rotated
object by the corresponding biasing member so that the engagement members are positioned at the engagement position where
the engagement members clamp the rotated object and are in a floating state in which vibration from the rotating member is
not transmitted to the rotated object.

US Pat. No. 9,162,246

COATING LIQUID FILLING METHOD, SLIT NOZZLE, DISCHARGE OUTLET CLOSING MEMBER, AND SLIT NOZZLE UNIT

HIRATA CORPORATION, Shin...

1. A coating liquid filling method that fills an inside of a slit nozzle, which applies coating liquid with a predetermined
width onto a surface of a processed object, with the coating liquid,
wherein the slit nozzle includes a supply opening that is a supply portion for the coating liquid, a discharge outlet that
is a discharge portion for the coating liquid, a manifold that is connected to the supply opening and holds the coating liquid
inside the slit nozzle, a liquid channel that is connected to the manifold and supplies the coating liquid toward the discharge
outlet of the slit nozzle, and a plurality of ventilation holes for exhausting gas from inside the manifold,

the coating liquid filling method comprising:
a feeding process that feeds the coating liquid from the supply opening into the slit nozzle that has not been filled with
the coating liquid;

a discharge outlet closing process that closes the discharge outlet;
a ventilation hole opening process that opens the plurality of ventilation holes
a ventilation hole closing process that closes the plurality of ventilation holes
the ventilation hole opening process and the ventilation hole closing process are carried out for each ventilation hole,
The discharge outlet closing process, the ventilation hole opening process and the ventilation hole closing process are carried
out during the feeding process,

during a predetermined period of the feeding process, at least one ventilation hole is opened and the other ventilation holes
are closed,

once the predetermined period has elapsed, one of the closed ventilation holes is opened and the rest of the holes are closed,
and

during the feeding process, ventilation holes are alternately opened and closed.

US Pat. No. 9,090,409

STOPPING APPARATUS AND STOP-CANCELING METHOD

HIRATA CORPORATION, Shin...

1. A stopping apparatus that abuts against a work being conveyed to stop the work, comprising:
a swing unit that is pivotable about a first pivot shaft on a downstream side of a predetermined stop position in a convey
direction of the work between an abutment position where said swing unit abuts against the work being conveyed at the predetermined
stop position to stop conveyance of the work and a retracted position which allows passage of the work,

a driving unit that pivots said swing unit,
a regulating mechanism, and
a pivot regulating member,
wherein said swing unit comprises:
a swing portion that is pivotable about the first pivot shaft, and
a movable portion including an abutment portion which abuts against the work,
wherein said movable portion includes a first end and a second end,
wherein said abutment portion is provided at a side of the first end,
wherein said movable portion is connected to said swing portion to be pivotable through a second pivot shaft at a side of
the second end,

wherein said second pivot shaft is parallel to said first pivot shaft,
wherein said regulating mechanism regulates a moving range of a portion between said abutment portion and said second pivot
shaft in said movable portion and guides a pivoting motion of said movable portion about said second pivot shaft,

wherein said pivot regulating member performs pivot regulation of said swing unit by engagement with said swing portion and
cancellation of the pivot regulation, and

wherein when a work being conveyed abuts against said abutment portion in the abutment position:
a convey force of the work is received by at least said regulating mechanism and said pivot regulating member,
pivoting of said movable portion about said second pivot shaft is regulated by said regulating mechanism, and
pivoting of said swing portion about said first pivot shaft is regulated by said pivot regulating member.

US Pat. No. 9,090,407

STOPPING APPARATUS AND TEMPORARY STOPPING METHOD

HIRATA CORPORATION, Shin...

1. A stopping apparatus for abutting against a work being conveyed to stop the work, comprising:
a swing unit pivotal about a first pivot shaft downstream of a predetermined stop position in a convey direction of the work
between an abutment position at which said swing unit abuts against the work being conveyed at the predetermined stop position
to stop conveyance of the work and a retreat position which allows passage of the work;

a driving unit configured to pivot said swing unit from the abutment position to the retreat position; and
an elastic member configured to apply a biasing force to said swing unit in a direction to locate said swing unit at the abutment
position,

wherein said swing unit comprises:
a swing portion pivotal about the first pivot shaft; and
a movable portion including an abutment portion configured to abut against the work, said movable portion being pivotally
connected to said swing portion through a second pivot shaft parallel to the first pivot shaft, and said movable portion pivoting
in the predetermined direction relative to said swing portion such that a distance between the first pivot shaft and the abutment
portion becomes short along with a pivot motion of said swing unit from the abutment position to the retreat position by said
driving unit, and

wherein when the work being conveyed abuts against said swing unit, the pivotal motion of said swing unit from the abutment
position to the retreat position by an urging force from the work is regulated by a biasing force of said elastic member.

US Pat. No. 9,422,118

TRANSPORT UNIT AND TRANSPORT APPARATUS

HIRATA CORPORATION, Shin...

6. A transport apparatus including a transport unit mounted on a mount table in a transport apparatus, wherein said transport
unit comprises:
a base member including a bottom wall extending in a transport direction, and a pair of side walls standing upright from two
side portions, respectively, of said bottom wall;

a transport mechanism which is supported by said base member, and transports an object to be transported;
a reference member fixed to said base member; and
a positioning mechanism which is supported by said base member, and positions the object, transported by said transport mechanism,
relative to said reference member, and

wherein said reference member includes:
a positioning reference portion against which the object abuts; and
an engaged portion which is engaged with an engaging member which is provided on a mount surface in the mount table and defines
a mount position of the transport unit on the mount table.

US Pat. No. 9,051,130

TRANSPORT UNIT AND TRANSPORT APPARATUS

HIRATA CORPORATION, Toky...

1. A transport unit comprising:
a base member including a bottom wall extending in a transport direction, and a pair of side walls standing upright from two
side portions, respectively, of said bottom wall;

a transport mechanism which is supported by said base member, and transports an object to be transported; and
a positioning mechanism which is supported by said base member, and positions the object, transported by said transport mechanism,
relative to said base member,

wherein said positioning mechanism includes:
a first reference portion configured to position the object in a direction perpendicular to the transport direction;
a second reference portion configured to position the object in the transport direction;
a first press mechanism which presses the object toward said first reference portion; and
a second press mechanism which presses the object toward said second reference portion, and
wherein said second press mechanism includes:
a butting member which abuts against the object from the transport direction, and
a driving mechanism which advances/retreats said butting member in the transport direction, and interlocks with an advancing/retreating
operation of said butting member to move said butting member between a retreat position at which the object does not abut
against said butting member, and a positioning position at which the object abuts against said butting member.

US Pat. No. 9,604,829

LIFTING APPARATUS

HIRATA CORPORATION, Shin...

1. A lifting apparatus for holding a work by clamping the work vertically, and lifting the work, said apparatus comprising:
an upper clamping unit configured to be brought into contact with the work from above;
a lower clamping unit configured to be brought into contact with the work from below;
a guide mechanism configured to guide each lifting movement of the upper clamping unit and the lower clamping unit;
a driving mechanism configured to drive the lower clamping unit to lift along the guide mechanism;
an engaging mechanism configured to engage the upper clamping unit and the lower clamping unit;
a rod extending in a vertical direction so as to pass through the upper clamping unit, the rod having a lower portion attached
to the lower clamping unit;

a biased portion on an upper portion of the rod, the upper portion protruding from the upper clamping unit; and
a biasing member between the biased portion and the upper clamping unit, and configured to bias the biased portion and the
upper clamping unit in a direction to be separated from each other,

wherein the engaging mechanism includes:
a support member fixed to the upper clamping unit;
a lever member pivotally supported by the support member; and
an engaging member fixed to the lower clamping unit,
the engaging member includes a first engaging portion,
the lever member includes a second engaging portion, and
the first engaging portion and the second engaging portion are mechanically engaged with each other by the lifting movement
of the lower clamping unit.

US Pat. No. 9,394,128

TRANSFER METHOD, HOLDING APPARATUS, AND TRANSFER SYSTEM

HIRATA CORPORATION, Shin...

1. A holding apparatus that holds, from a carrier including a placing portion on which a substrate is placed, and a cover
that is superposed on an upper surface of the placing portion in close contact, the substrate held between the placing portion
and the cover, and the cover, comprising:
a cover holding unit configured to hold the cover;
a substrate holding unit configured to hold the substrate; and
a support unit configured to support said cover holding unit and said substrate holding unit,
wherein said support unit supports said cover holding unit to be able to displace said cover holding unit in directions in
which said cover holding unit moves close to and apart from the carrier.

US Pat. No. 9,149,898

PISTON ASSEMBLING APPARATUS AND PISTON ASSEMBLING METHOD

HIRATA CORPORATION, Shin...

1. An assembling apparatus for inserting a piston into a cylinder bore formed in a cylinder block, comprising:
piston holding means comprising a guide tube portion which contains the piston and guides the piston into the cylinder bore,
and a support portion which supports said guide tube portion to be displaceable in a radial direction thereof;

moving means for moving said piston holding means and the cylinder block so as to locate said piston holding means and the
cylinder block at an insertion preparation position which is set in advance and which is where said guide tube portion and
the cylinder bore are coaxial with each other; and

pressing means for pressing the piston contained in said guide tube portion toward the cylinder block to insert the piston
into the cylinder bore in a state in which said piston holding means and the cylinder block are located at the insertion preparation
position, and said guide tube portion is supported by said support portion to be displaceable in the radial direction thereof,

wherein said support portion comprises:
an upper portion member; and
a lower portion member which is supported to be displaceable against the upper portion member in the radial direction and
to which said guide tube portion is fixed, and

said assembling apparatus further comprises biasing members which are arranged between said upper portion member and said
lower portion member so as to displace said lower portion member against said upper portion member in an inserting direction
of the piston.

US Pat. No. 10,109,515

HAND UNIT AND TRANSFER METHOD

HIRATA CORPORATION, Kuma...

1. A hand unit of a robot arm including a U-shaped placement portion on which a semiconductor wafer is placed, comprising:a first support portion and a second support portion on one end side of the placement portion, the first support portion being configured to support the semiconductor wafer at a first support height, and the second support portion being configured to support the semiconductor wafer at a second support height; and
a third support portion and a fourth support portion on an other end side of the placement portion, the third support portion being configured to support the semiconductor wafer at the first support height, and the fourth support portion being configured to support the semiconductor wafer at the second support height,
wherein the hand unit further comprises a first driving unit configured to move the third support portion and/or the fourth support portion forward and backward with respect to the first support portion and the second support portion,
each of the first support portion and the second support portion includes a placement surface which supports a lower surface of the semiconductor wafer and an abutting surface which abuts against an edge of the semiconductor wafer, and
each of the third support portion and the fourth support portion includes an inclined placement surface which supports the lower surface of the semiconductor wafer.

US Pat. No. 9,597,758

WORK SUPPORT APPARATUS

HIRATA CORPORATION, Shin...

1. A work support apparatus which supports a work and pivots the work about a horizontal axis, comprising:
a base unit;
a holding unit that holds an end portion, in an axis direction of the horizontal axis, of the work in a cantilevered state;
and

a tilt mechanism that makes said holding unit pivot about the horizontal axis with respect to said base unit,
wherein said holding unit includes:
an adapter that is attached to the work and has a holding portion that holds the work in the cantilevered state in which the
end portion of the work is exposed;

a frame which said tilt mechanism makes pivot about the horizontal axis; and
a connection portion that detachably connects said adapter and said frame,
said holding unit, in which said adapter and said frame are connected with each other through said connection portion, includes
an opening portion at a center thereof,

said holding unit holds the end portion of the work in a state that the end portion, except for a portion which overlaps with
said holding portion of said adapter, faces the opening portion, and

in said holding unit, only said adapter, via the holding portion, is directly connected with the work.

US Pat. No. 9,475,658

STOP DEVICE AND AUXILIARY STOP UNIT

HIRATA CORPORATION, Shin...

5. An auxiliary stop unit that can be attached to a stop device which abuts against a work during conveyance and stops the
work, the stop device including:
a first stop lever configured to abut against the work during conveyance and be able to stop the work at a predetermined stop
position;

a movable unit configured to support the first stop lever so as to be able to pivot the first stop lever in a predetermined
range toward a downstream side in a conveyance direction of the work;

a first biasing unit configured to bias the first stop lever toward an upstream side in the conveyance direction; and
a driving unit configured to be able to displace the movable unit between a working position where the first stop lever can
abut against the work, and a retraction position where the first stop lever cannot abut against the work,

wherein the auxiliary stop unit is arranged in the movable unit, and
the auxiliary stop unit comprises:
a support member fixed to the movable unit;
a second stop lever pivotably supported by said support member through a horizontal shaft orthogonal to the conveyance direction;
and

a second biasing unit configured to bias said second stop lever toward the upstream side,
said second stop lever includes:
a work abutment portion at the same position as a conveyance stop position where the first stop lever stops conveyance of
the work, or at a position on the downstream side in the conveyance direction from the conveyance stop position,

a first abutment surface, and
an inclined surface continuous with said first abutment surface,
said support member includes a second abutment surface which abuts against said first abutment surface so as to regulate a
pivot range of said second stop lever,

said second biasing unit biases said inclined surface upward,
when a work conveyed in the conveyance direction abuts against said second stop lever, said first abutment surface abuts against
said second abutment surface so as to regulate a pivot of said second stop lever toward the downstream side, and said second
stop lever stops the work conveyed in the conveyance direction at the conveyance stop position or at the position on the downstream
side in the conveyance direction from the conveyance stop position,

when a work conveyed backward abuts against said second stop lever, said second stop lever pivots toward the upstream side
against biasing of said second biasing unit so as to permit a traveling of the work conveyed backward, and

after the work conveyed backward passes through said second stop lever, said inclined surface of said second stop lever is
biased upward by said second biasing unit.

US Pat. No. 9,620,399

LOAD PORT

HIRATA CORPORATION, Shin...

1. A method of preventing corrosion in a load port provided with a transfer chamber, the load port comprising:
a table on which a container containing a piece of material is mounted;
an isolating portion vertically extending and isolating an interior of the transfer chamber from an exterior of the transfer
chamber;

an opening formed in the isolating portion, a robot in the transfer chamber transferring the piece of material between the
container and the transfer chamber through the opening;

a door that opens or closes the opening from a side of the interior of the transfer chamber;
a drive unit that is arranged under the table at the exterior of the transfer chamber and moves the door for opening or closing
the opening;

an accommodation chamber that is arranged under the table at the exterior of the transfer chamber and accommodates the drive
unit;

a slot formed in the isolating portion below the opening, the slot being located between the accommodation chamber and the
interior of the transfer chamber, the drive unit in the accommodation chamber being linked to the door through the slot,

a cover that is fixed to the isolating portion below the opening so as to cover the slot at the side of the interior of the
transfer chamber and form a space between the cover and the isolating portion, an upper end of the cover being open; and

a fan arranged in a lower portion of the cover,
the method comprising;
starting to drive the fan;
flowing gas containing corrosive gas in the interior of the transfer chamber into the space through the upper end of the space;
sucking an atmosphere in the accommodation chamber into the space through the slot by driving the fan; and
exhausting the gas and the atmosphere from the space by driving the fan.

US Pat. No. 9,804,056

TESTING UNIT FOR TESTING A MULTI-CYLINDER ENGINE

HIRATA CORPORATION, Shin...

1. A testing unit configured to test a multi-cylinder engine including a plurality of ports including an intake port and an
exhaust port in a pseudo driving state, comprising:
a plurality of pressure inspection units; and
at least one opening/closing mechanism,
wherein each of said plurality of pressure inspection units includes:
a pipeline connected to one of the plurality of ports;
and
a valve for opening/closing the pipeline,
wherein the pipeline includes a mounting unit to which a sensor for detecting a pressure in the pipeline is mounted, the mounting
unit being positioned between the valve and the intake port or the exhaust port;

wherein said opening/closing mechanism includes:
one actuator; and
a transmission mechanism connected to the actuator and transmitting a driving force of the actuator to an operation unit of
each of the plurality of valves to open and close the plurality of valves,

wherein said transmission mechanism includes:
a plurality of link members which is moved by the driving force, each link member including an engaging unit; and
a plurality of handle members,
wherein one end portion of each handle member is connected to a corresponding operation unit, and
wherein the other end portion of each handle member is engaged with the corresponding engaging unit.

US Pat. No. 9,772,257

TESTING UNIT FOR TESTING A MULTI-CYLINDER ENGINE

HIRATA CORPORATION, Shin...

1. A testing unit configured to test a multi-cylinder engine including a plurality of ports including an intake port and an
exhaust port in a pseudo driving state, comprising:
a plurality of pressure inspection units; and
at least one opening/closing mechanism,
wherein each of said plurality of pressure inspection units includes:
a pipeline connected to one of the plurality of ports;
and
a valve for opening/closing the pipeline,
wherein the pipeline includes a mounting unit to which a sensor for detecting a pressure in the pipeline is mounted, the mounting
unit being positioned between the valve and the intake port or the exhaust port;

wherein said opening/closing mechanism includes:
one actuator; and
a transmission mechanism connected to the actuator and transmitting a driving force of the actuator to an operation unit of
each of the plurality of valves to open and close the plurality of valves,

wherein said transmission mechanism includes:
a plurality of link members which is moved by the driving force, each link member including an engaging unit; and
a plurality of handle members,
wherein one end portion of each handle member is connected to a corresponding operation unit, and
wherein the other end portion of each handle member is engaged with the corresponding engaging unit.

US Pat. No. 9,761,472

CONTAINER OPENING/CLOSING DEVICE

HIRATA CORPORATION, Shin...

1. A container opening/closing device for opening and closing a lid of a container, the container comprising a container body
and the lid, the container body including an opening through which a workpiece is loaded and unloaded, the lid being detachably
attached to the opening and closing the opening, said device comprising:
an opening/closing mechanism which includes a holding portion for holding said lid, said opening/closing mechanism opening
and closing the opening by moving said holding portion between a closing position at which said lid closes the opening, and
an open position at which said lid is separated from the opening;

a pressing mechanism which presses a peripheral edge of said holding portion toward said container body when said opening/closing
mechanism moves said lid from the open position to the closing position;

a wall member extending in a vertical direction and including a hole which opens in a horizontal direction and through which
said lid can pass; and

a lock mechanism which is provided in said holding portion and switches engagement and disengagement between said lid and
said container body,

wherein said holding portion includes a holding surface opposing said lid, and
said pressing mechanism comprises:
a projecting portion which moves in a direction parallel to a surface direction of said holding surface, and projects from
said holding portion;

a driving mechanism which is operated by said lock mechanism and moves said projecting portion; and
a guide portion which is provided on said wall member, and, when said projecting portion abuts against said guide portion,
gives said projecting portion a counterforce for moving said holding portion toward said container body.

US Pat. No. 9,776,333

HAND MEMBER AND HAND

HIRATA CORPORATION, Kuma...

1. A hand member forming a hand of a robot arm for transferring a semiconductor wafer, wherein
the hand member is a U-shaped member on which the semiconductor wafer is placed,
the hand member comprises at least one fitting portion on which a frictional holding member for holding the semiconductor
wafer is fitted sideways with respect to the hand member, on each of an inner edge and an outer edge, and

the at least one fitting portion includes:
a first recess on an upper surface of the hand member;
a second recess on an lower surface of the hand member; and
a third recess on a side surface of the hand member so as to connect the first and second recesses.

US Pat. No. 10,043,689

CHAMBER APPARATUS AND PROCESSING SYSTEM

HIRATA CORPORATION, Shin...

1. A chamber apparatus comprising:a chamber main body including an opening portion in an upper surface;
a door configured to open/close the opening portion; and
a guide mechanism configured to horizontally slide said door with respect to said chamber main body,
wherein said door comprises:
a movable member slidably supported by said guide mechanism;
a first support provided on said movable member in a fixed manner;
a door main body configured to open/close the opening portion;
a second support provided on said door main body in a fixed manner; and
a floating mechanism configured to connect said first support and said second support immovably in a horizontal direction and support said second support displaceably in a vertical direction with respect to said first support.

US Pat. No. 9,897,380

CARRIER TRANSPORT SYSTEM

TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI ...

1. A carrier transport system comprising:
a plurality of carriers on which pieces of work are respectively mounted;
a transport conveyor that transports the plurality of carriers;
a heating furnace that covers part of the transport conveyor and that heats the pieces of work; and
a positioning portion that positions the plurality of carriers in the heating furnace, wherein:
the heating furnace includes a plurality of heating devices for heating the pieces of work inside so that the plurality of
heating devices are arranged at predetermined intervals in a transport direction in which the carriers are transported,

each of the carriers has at least one engagement portion, and
the positioning portion includes
a comb-shaped carrier stopper having a plurality of protrusions that are engageable with the engagement portions of the respective
carriers;

an actuating portion that moves the carrier stopper toward the carriers in order to engage the protrusions with the engagement
portions;

a moved distance detecting portion that detects a moved distance of the carrier stopper moved by the actuating portion; and
a determination portion that determines, on the basis of the moved distance detected by the moved distance detecting portion,
whether the carriers are properly positioned,

wherein the engagement portions of the respective carriers are cutout grooves that are wider in the transport direction of
the carriers than the protrusions,

rear end portions in the transport direction of the cutout grooves respectively have insertion holes that allow distal ends
of the protrusions to be inserted, and

the actuating portion may advance the carrier stopper so as to engage the protrusions with the cutout grooves and insert the
distal ends of the protrusions into the insertion holes in coordination with transport operation of the transport conveyor,

wherein the determination portion determines that the carriers are properly positioned when the moved distance exceeds a predetermined
reference value, the reference value being a moved distance of the carrier stopper at a time when the distal ends of the protrusions
start to be inserted into the insertion holes.

US Pat. No. 9,643,312

PISTON SUPPLY METHOD

HIRATA CORPORATION, Kita...

1. A piston supply method of supplying a piston assembled to a connecting rod to a piston gripping portion which grips the
piston so as to insert the piston in a cylinder bore, comprising:
a gripping step of gripping the connecting rod in a piston preparation area in which the piston is prepared in a downward
state in which a top portion of the piston faces downward;

a moving step of moving the piston while griping the connecting rod from a position at which the connecting rod is gripped
to a supply position in air at which the piston is supplied to the piston gripping portion;

a pivoting step of making the piston pivot while gripping the connecting rod such that the piston in the downward state is
set in an upward state in which the top portion faces upward, while the piston is moved while the connecting rod is gripped;
and

a guiding step of guiding the piston so as to match an axial direction of the piston with a predetermined specified direction
by pressing the top portion against a horizontal guide portion placed near a lower end of a skirt portion of the piston to
make the lower end of the skirt portion abut against the horizontal guide portion after the piston is set in the upward state
in the pivoting step.

US Pat. No. 10,106,336

TRANSPORT SYSTEM

HIRATA CORPORATION, Shin...

7. The transport system according to claim 6, comprising:an illuminator configured to illuminate the tray to be shot; and
a support configured to support said line sensor and said illuminator,
said support being fixed to said moving element, and
wherein said illuminator is pivotably supported by said support.

US Pat. No. 10,694,647

TRANSFER UNIT, TRANSFER APPARATUS, AND HOLDING UNIT

HIRATA CORPORATION, Kuma...

1. A transfer unit comprising:a holding unit configured to hold a workpiece; and
a driving unit configured to vertically move the holding unit,
wherein the holding unit includes:
a holding portion configured to hold the workpiece;
a movable portion configured to support the holding portion;
a support portion configured to support the movable portion such that the movable portion is vertically displaceable; and
a biasing portion configured to bias the movable portion downward with respect to the support portion,
the support portion has a first guide surface which guides displacement of the movable portion,
the movable portion has a first abutting surface which abuts against the first guide surface, and
each of the first guide surface and the first abutting surface is a surface which tapers off upward or downward, such that the first guide surface and the first abutting surface abut against each other and are positioned vertically with respect to each other when the movable portion is displaced downward with respect to the support portion.

US Pat. No. 10,562,194

HOLDING NOZZLE, HOLDING HEAD AND TRANSPORTATION APPARATUS

HIRATA CORPORATION, Kuma...

1. A holding nozzle for holding a panel with suction, comprising:a suction member including a suction portion configured to come into contact with the panel and a cylindrical shaft portion which communicates with the suction portion;
a tubular accommodation portion in which the shaft portion of the suction member is accommodated;
a suction member support portion which is installed on a first end of the accommodation portion and configured to support the shaft portion such that the suction member is movable with respect to the accommodation portion;
a negative pressure connection portion which is installed on a second end of the accommodation portion and to which a negative pressure generator is connected; and
a communication member which is accommodated in the accommodation portion between the negative pressure connection portion and the suction member support portion and having a hollow portion which is a portion of a first flow path, a fluid to which a negative pressure is applied by the negative pressure generator flowing through the first flow path, wherein the communication member includes
a first connection portion which is connected to the negative pressure connection portion,
a second connection portion which is connected to the shaft portion, and
a contractible portion which is installed between the first and second connection portions,
wherein a gap is formed between the shaft portion of the suction member and the suction member support portion to allow a movement of the shaft portion with respect to the suction member support portion,
wherein the suction member support portion includes a suction guide portion which is configured to guide the suction member holding the panel in suction while rectifying a movement of the suction member in a direction parallel to a surface of the panel, and
wherein the suction member includes a suction guided portion which is guided by the suction guide portion.

US Pat. No. 10,436,298

SCREW FEEDING DEVICE AND ACTUATOR USING SAME

HIRATA CORPORATION, Kuma...

1. A screw feeding device, comprising:a screw shaft;
a nut member, which has a flange portion formed on an outer peripheral surface thereof, and is mounted to the screw shaft;
a rod member, which has a mounting portion facing the flange portion of the nut member and a hollow portion; and
a buffer mechanism, which connects the flange portion of the nut member and the mounting portion of the rod member,
wherein the buffer mechanism comprises:
a first shaft fixed at one end to the flange portion of the nut member;
a second shaft fixed at one end to the mounting portion of the rod member;
a pair of separators, through which the first shaft and the second shaft respectively pass, and which is movable along the first shaft and the second shaft; and
an elastic member, which is provided between the pair of separators under a compressed state,
wherein the pair of separators comprises:
a first separator, which is held in abutment against the flange portion of the nut member by an elastic force of the elastic member; and
a second separator, which is held in abutment against the mounting portion of the rod member by the elastic force of the elastic member.

US Pat. No. 10,684,501

MANUFACTURING SYSTEM AND MANUFACTURING METHOD

HIRATA CORPORATION, Kuma...

1. A manufacturing system for manufacturing a laminated body by coating a first panel with an adhesive in a first working region and bonding the first panel coated with the adhesive and a second panel in a second working region, comprising:a first conveying device arranged in the first working region and configured to convey the first panel and the second panel in parallel, the first conveying device including a first conveying mechanism for the first panel and a second conveying mechanism for the second panel which are arranged in parallel;
a coating device arranged in the first working region and configured to coat, with the adhesive, the first panel conveyed by the first conveying device;
a bonding device arranged in the second working region and configured to bond the first panel and the second panel; and
one second conveying device arranged in the second working region and configured to convey the first panel and the second panel to the bonding device,
wherein the first conveying device and the second conveying device convey the first panel and the second panel to be bonded to each other as a set of the first panel and the second panel.

US Pat. No. 10,449,674

PART SUPPORT APPARATUS, CONTROL METHOD, AND MANUFACTURING METHOD

HIRATA CORPORATION, Kuma...

1. A part support apparatus for supporting a plurality of parts which form a product by being connected to each other, comprising:a plurality of support robots arranged in a work space and configured to support the plurality of parts;
a control unit configured to control the plurality of support robots; and
a storage unit configured to store a form pattern of each support robot corresponding to a type of a product,
wherein each of the plurality of support robots includes:
a support unit configured to support a part; and
a multiaxial robot to which the support unit is attached, and which changes a posture and position of the support unit, and
the control unit controls the posture and position of each support unit by the multiaxial robot based on the form pattern, such that the plurality of parts are arranged to be connectable to each other in the work space.

US Pat. No. 10,336,558

TRANSFER APPARATUS, TRANSFER SYSTEM, AND TRANSFER METHOD

HIRATA CORPORATION, Shin...

1. A transfer apparatus for loading/unloading a work into/from a processing apparatus, comprising:a running main body configured to move in a horizontal direction;
a robot main body mounted on the running main body;
at least one transfer arm provided with the robot main body, the transfer arm including an arm portion pivotally provided with respect to the robot main body and a hand portion which is pivotally provided with respect to the arm portion and is configured to grip the work; and
a control unit configured to horizontally swing the arm portion and move the main body in order for the hand portion to linearly move the work, when the hand portion facing the processing apparatus loads/unloads the work into/from the processing apparatus,
wherein the running main body includes a lifting mechanism configured to move the robot main body up and down,
wherein the transfer apparatus further compromises a cover member placed below the robot main body and above an oil pan disposed on the processing apparatus,
wherein the lifting mechanism is configured to move the cover member up and down with the robot main body,
wherein the cover member has a surface inclining toward the oil pan,
wherein the hand portion has:
a hand main body connected to the arm portion; and
two chuck portions provided to the hand main body,
wherein each chuck portion has:
a gripping mechanism configured to grip the work; and
a pivoting mechanism configured to pivot the gripping mechanism about a horizontal axis perpendicular to an open-close direction of the gripping mechanism, and
wherein control unit controls the up and down movement of the lifting mechanism, a pivoting of the hand portion, the gripping mechanism and the pivoting mechanism.