US Pat. No. 10,037,659

TWO-WAY MERCHANDISE FIXTURE

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A method for holding and displaying merchandise by a fixture while concealing a portion of a point-of-sale (POS) station, the fixture including an base portion and a U-shaped upright frame portion, the U-shaped upright frame portion having a first wire rack disposed on a first outer edge of the U-shaped upright frame portion and a second wire rack disposed on a second outer edge of the U-shaped upright frame portion, the base, the first wire rack, and the second wire rack defining first and second volumes on opposite adjacent sides of the U-shaped upright frame portion, the method comprising:disassembling a POS assembly, wherein a POS assembly comprises of a POS controller, one or more peripheral electronic components in communication with the POS controller, and a plurality of non-electronic components, the plurality of non-electronic components including a cashbox secured to a sales floor and having opposing side walls, a back wall, and a top wall defining an interior cavity accessible via an open front face of the cashbox;
removing, from the sales floor, at least some of the plurality of non-electronic components, the cash box remaining on and secured to the sales floor;
storing, in the interior cavity of the cash box, the POS controller and the one or more peripheral electronic components in communication with the POS controller;
sliding the fixture laterally with respect to the cash box and a network and electricity pole secured to the sales floor so that the first volume or the second volume receives the cash box and the network and electricity pole such that the cash box is completely disposed within the first or second volume.

US Pat. No. 10,032,205

SYSTEM, METHOD, AND NON-TRANSITORY COMPUTER-READABLE STORAGE MEDIA FOR DISPLAYING PRODUCT INFORMATION ON WEBSITES

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for displaying product information, comprising:one or more computer processors; and
one or more non-transitory memory storage systems storing computing instructions configured to run on the one or more computer processors, the one or more non-transitory memory storage systems comprising:
a memory device configured to store product data associated with a plurality of products, the product data including pricing information and access information related to the plurality of products;
a search engine module coupled to the memory device and configured to receive a product search request from a graphical user interface of a computing device of a user, the memory device configured to receive search results data associated with the product search request, the search results data including a plurality of product records, each product record of the plurality of product records including a price assigned with an associated product and an access number associated with the associated product, the access number being related to a number of times the associated product has been accessed by a plurality of customers;
a price bracketing module coupled to the search engine module configured to receive the search results data from the search engine module, the price bracketing module configured to determine a dynamic search result price range and a dynamic price multiple as a function of the search results data, the price bracketing module configured to filter the search results data, wherein:
a first group of the search results data comprises product records with access numbers greater than a pre-determined threshold number;
a second group of the search results data comprises product records with product categories with relevance scores greater than a pre-determined threshold relevance score; and
a faceted price range comprising a combination of the first group and the second group of the search results data that is (a) ranked by price for each product record of the plurality of product records and (b) sorted in a respective faceted price range based on the dynamic price multiple applied to the faceted price range; and
a price display module coupled to the search engine module and the price bracketing module, and configured to display the faceted price range on the graphical user interface of the computing device of the user, wherein the faceted price range is associated with the product search request of the user.

US Pat. No. 10,073,992

METHOD AND APPARATUS PERTAINING TO FACILITATING THE READING OF RFID TAGS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A method to facilitate an end user reading a plurality of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags using an RFID tag reader, the method comprising:interrogating en masse the plurality of RFID tags;
receiving corresponding responses from various ones of the plurality of RFID tags;
receiving from a remote source surrogate responses corresponding to at least some of the plurality of RFID tags that did not respond to the interrogation but which did respond to a previous interrogation, the surrogate responses comprising content as though the RFID tags that did not respond to the interrogation had in fact responded to the interrogation;
providing at the RFID tag reader a plurality of end user-perceivable indications corresponding to the responses from the various ones of the plurality of RFID tags and the surrogate responses to thereby inform an end user of the RFID tag reader with respect to a corresponding read state as regards the plurality of RFID tags.

US Pat. No. 10,046,689

TEMPERATURE-CONTROLLED DELIVERY VEHICLE

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A delivery vehicle comprising:a temperature-controlled compartment;
a door providing access to the temperature-controlled compartment;
one or more containers disposed within the temperature-controlled compartment;
a conveyor mechanism disposed at least partially within the temperature-controlled compartment and configured to convey the one or more containers about a continuous path within the temperature-controlled compartment such that the containers are accessible through the door; and
a control circuit configured to:
receive, from a positional sensing mechanism, positional data for the delivery vehicle;
determine, based on the positional data for the delivery vehicle, a location of the delivery vehicle;
determine, based on the location of the delivery vehicle, a next delivery location;
determine, based on the next delivery location, a particular container, wherein the particular container is associated with the next delivery location;
determine a location of the particular container within the temperature-controlled compartment; and
control operation of the conveyor mechanism such that the particular container is moved adjacent to the door.

US Pat. No. 10,055,709

RETAIL SHOPPING FACILITY-BASED USE OF TIME AND LOCATION CODES WITH PHYSICAL ITEMS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. An apparatus configured to automatically select stock held in inventory in a non-public storage area of a retail shopping facility to be moved to a retail display area by selecting older items ahead of more recently received items to thereby help ensure freshness while avoiding waste, the apparatus comprising:a retail shopping facility having a non-public storage area having a plurality of physically-separated, independently-identified, item-storage areas, a retail display area, and a product-receiving area;
machine-readable location codes disposed at various locations within the non-public storage area to uniquely identify the physically-separated, independently-identified, item-storage areas;
a timecode label maker configured to produce labels bearing a current time to be placed upon items that are to be stored in the non-public storage area as inventory before being placed in the retail display area;
a handheld code scanner;
a control circuit configured and arranged to:
receive information from the handheld code scanner that correlates a particular machine-readable location code with a particular timecode with a particular item such that the information indicates where particular items are located in the non-public storage area and a corresponding time; and
use the information to automatically determine when to move an item from the non-public storage area to the retail display area based at least in part upon the timecodes for the items.

US Pat. No. 10,028,094

DYNAMIC ALERT SYSTEM IN A FACILITY

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A dynamic alert system in a facility, the system comprising:a plurality of mobile devices associated with a plurality of users;
a computing system including a database, the computing system in communication with the plurality of mobile devices, the computing system configured to:
obtain device locations of the plurality of mobile devices;
determine that the device locations coincide with one or more areas within a facility including a plurality of physical objects;
retrieve, from the database, user data associated with the plurality of users of the plurality of mobile devices;
group the users into one or more groups based on the user data;
generate a message for each of the one or more groups, wherein the content of the message is different for each group and includes information associated with at least one of the plurality of physical objects in the facility based on the one or more areas within the facilitate that coincide with the device locations; and
transmit each message to the plurality of mobile devices associated with the plurality of users in each of the one or more groups.

US Pat. No. 10,108,951

SPLITTING A PURCHASE AMONG MULTIPLE PARTIES USING AN ELECTRONIC RECEIPT AFTER THE TRANSACTION

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A method being implemented via execution of computing instructions configured to run at one or more processors and stored at one or more non-transitory computer-readable media, the method for splitting an electronic receipt among multiple persons after a purchase transaction and comprising:completing the purchase transaction involving the multiple persons, wherein an electronic receipt software app comprises a contact list interface configured to provide access to a list of contacts of at least one contact person associated with a first person, wherein the list of contacts contain personal information of each contact person of the at least one contact person, including telephone and email address information of the each contact person, and wherein the personal information from the list of contacts is available to be used, without launching the contact list interface, to transmit information associated with the first person via at least a text message or an email to the at least one contact person;
receiving, with the electronic receipt software app on a mobile electronic device of the first person, the electronic receipt for a bill corresponding to the purchase transaction involving multiple persons, wherein the first person of the multiple persons previously paid the bill corresponding to the electronic receipt;
receiving, by the electronic receipt software app on the mobile electronic device of the first person, a selection of an item from one or more items on the electronic receipt;
causing the electronic receipt software app on the mobile electronic device to display a first menu on a first user interface on the mobile electronic device configured to access the list of contacts of the first person, wherein the multiple persons associated with costs of the bill comprise at least one suggested person, wherein the at least one suggested person is determined from the at least one contact person on the list of contacts of the first person, wherein the contact list interface remains in an un-launched state while the first user interface displays the first menu, and wherein the at least one suggested person previously split a cost of a previous bill with the first person in a previous transaction;
receiving, via the first user interface on the mobile electronic device, a selection of a person of the at least one suggested person to associate with the bill;
upon receiving the selection of the person of the at least one suggested person to associate with the bill, displaying, by the electronic receipt software app on the mobile electronic device of the first person, a second menu configured to allow the first person to allocate an allocation percentage of a cost of the item of the one or more items of the electronic receipt to the person of the at least one suggested person selected to share in the cost of the item of the one or more items, wherein the second menu comprises a slider scale configured to allocate the allocation percentage of the cost of the item of the one or more items when the slider scale is moved between 0 and 100 percent;
receiving a selection of the allocation percentage from the second menu of the electronic receipt software app on the mobile electronic device after a movement of the slider scale;
upon receiving the selection of the allocation percentage, allocating the allocation percentage of the cost of the item to the person of the at least one suggested person to share in the cost of the item;
auto-completing an un-allocated amount of the cost of the item by assigning the un-allocated amount of the cost of the item to at least one other person of the multiple persons, wherein the un-allocated amount plus an amount of the allocation percentage of the cost of the item equals 100% of the cost of the item;
iterating, with the electronic receipt software app on the mobile electronic device, at least one additional allocation percentage, as received by the electronic receipt software app, of a cost for each additional item of the one or more items on the electronic receipt for the person of the at least one suggested person;
assigning, with the electronic receipt software app on the mobile electronic device, at least one additional un-allocated amount of the cost of the each additional item of the one or more items in the electronic receipt to the person of the at least one suggested person; and
sending, by the electronic receipt software app on the mobile electronic device of the first person to the person and the at least one other person of the at least one suggested person, the information via the at least the text message or the email comprising an electronic notification, wherein the contact list interface remains in the un-launched state while the electronic notification via the at least the text message or the email is sent, the electronic notification comprising:
a portion of a total cost of the electronic receipt as allocated to the person and the at least one other person of the at least one suggested person; and
a pre-determined method of payment requested by the first person to the person and the at least one other person of the at least one suggested person.

US Pat. No. 10,086,967

RETRACTABLE BAGGING STATION

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A retail store bagging station comprising:a frame, wherein the frame is configured to mount to a counter of a retail store checkout station,
and wherein the frame comprises:
a frame first side, wherein the frame first side comprises:
a frame first side top edge;
a frame first side bottom edge;
a frame first side front edge;
a frame first side rear edge;
a set of three frame first side vertical bars extending parallel to each other from the frame first side top edge to the frame first side bottom edge;
a set of three frame first side horizontal bars extending parallel to each other from the frame first side front edge to the frame first side rear edge; and
a first L bracket coupled to the frame first side top edge;
a frame second side, wherein the frame second side comprises:
a frame second side top edge;
a frame second side bottom edge;
a frame second side front edge;
a frame second side rear edge;
a set of three frame second side vertical bars extending parallel to each other from the frame second side top edge to the frame second side bottom edge;
a set of three frame second side horizontal bars extending parallel to each other from the frame second side front edge to the frame second side rear edge; and
a second L bracket coupled to the frame second side top edge;
a frame bottom coupled to the frame first side and the frame second side, wherein the frame bottom comprises a set of three frame bottom bars that extend parallel to each other from the frame first side bottom edge to the frame second side bottom edge;
an open frame front side; and
an open frame back side;
a bag dispenser, wherein the bag dispenser is configured to hold and dispense at least one shopping bag, and wherein the bag dispenser comprises:
a bag dispenser support frame having a bag dispenser support frame top edge, a bag dispenser support frame bottom edge, a bag dispenser support frame first side edge, and a bag dispenser support frame second side edge;
a bag holder coupled to the bag dispenser support frame top edge;
a first and a second bottom brace each coupled to the bag dispenser support frame bottom edge; and
a bottom plate coupled to the first and the second bottom braces; and
a set of drawer slides that couple the bag dispenser to the frame, wherein the bag dispenser retracts into and extends out of the frame on the set of drawer slides.

US Pat. No. 10,049,341

STOCK LEVEL INDICATION APPARATUS AND METHOD

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A fullness level indication assembly for a retail product storage structure, the stock level indication assembly comprising:a product support structure having upper and lower surfaces and configured to support products on the upper surface thereof;
an array of bores extending through the product support structure between the upper and lower surfaces thereof, the products stocked on the upper surface of the product support structure blocking one or more of the bores;
an air compressor configured to output compressed air therefrom;
a conduit having an inlet coupled to the air compressor and outlets disposed adjacent to the lower surface of the product support structure such that the compressed air flows through all unblocked bores in the array;
a sensor coupled to the conduit and configured to obtain a reading of the compressed air within the conduit therefrom;
a control circuit configured to receive the reading from the sensor and determine a product support structure fullness level based on the reading.

US Pat. No. 10,025,710

PATTERN FOR INTEGRATING PRIMARY AND SECONDARY DATA STORES IN A SHARDED DATA DOMAIN

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A method comprising:receiving, by a data access logic (DAL) framework comprising one or more processors, a request for a write operation of a record, the DAL framework managing cache persistence associated with a sharded database, a secondary data store, and an alternative key global indexes (AKGI) database, the secondary data store being configured to act as a read cache to offload read activity from the sharded database;
initializing the secondary data store by (1) updating metadata of the record in the secondary data store, the metadata comprising a primary key (PK) associated with the record, and an alternative key (AK) hash value associated with the record, (2) not changing content data of the record when the record is not a new aggregate, and (3) storing a null payload in the content data of the record when the record is a new aggregate, wherein updating the metadata of the record in the secondary data store comprises:
setting a transaction-specific time-to-live (TTL) for the record, the transaction-specific TTL being specified by an application that requested the write operation; and
setting a check-and-set (CAS) value for the record;
performing, based on the PK and the AK hash value, the write operation of the record in the AKGI database and the sharded database, respectively, in a single coordinated transaction in which a modification of the AKGI database is completed before modifying the sharded database; and
updating the content data of the record in the secondary data store, in a finalization phase of the secondary data store, by (1) resetting the metadata, including the transaction-specific TTL, and (2) persisting aggregate data and AKGI data to the secondary data store in response to determining that: (i) the write operation is successfully completed and the record is committed to the sharded database and the AKGI database, and (ii) the CAS value has not been changed during the transaction-specific TTL.

US Pat. No. 10,108,880

SYSTEMS AND METHODS OF OBJECT IDENTIFICATION AND DATABASE CREATION

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A method of identifying objects using image recognition, comprising:scanning, by an optical reader, a machine-readable identifier associated with an original object;
capturing an image of the original object at a first orientation using an image capture device, the image capture device disposed remotely from the optical reader;
transmitting the machine-readable identifier and the image of the original object to an image database to store an association between the image of the original object and the machine-readable identifier;
receiving a subsequent object having a subsequent machine-readable identifier that is unavailable or incapable of being scanned;
capturing an image of the subsequent object with the image capture device; and
identifying the subsequent object in response to execution of an image recognition function that receives as input the image of the subsequent object, compares the image of the subsequent object to other images in the image database to identify similar images, the similar images including at least the image of the original object, and that outputs object identification information for the image of the subsequent object based on the machine-readable identifier associated with the image of the original object, the object identification information identifying the subsequent object relative to the other images in the image database;
wherein scanning the machine-readable identifier associated with the original object with the optical reader actuates the image capture device to automatically capture the image of the original object.

US Pat. No. 10,083,577

SENSOR SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR ANALYZING PRODUCE

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for identifying and tracking ripeness levels of produce items purchased at a store to manage inventory, the system comprising:a server configured to execute a produce analysis module;
a database for storing data sensed at a point-of-sale (POS) system, the database communicatively coupled with the server; and
a spectrometer disposed at the POS system and in communication with the server, the spectrometer configured to:
sense data measurements of a plurality of produce items scanned at the POS system,
transmit the sensed data measurements to the server along with a timestamp indicating at least one of a time and date when the data was sensed by the spectrometer, wherein the produce analysis module is configured to:
store the sensed data measurements and the timestamp in the database,
analyze a plurality of sensed data measurements stored in the database taken over a period of time for a produce item, so as to determine a ripeness level from the sensed data measurements for the produce item for each timestamp stored in the database over the period of time,
determine a customer-preferred ripeness level for the produce item for at least one of a particular time and date based on the determined ripeness level for the produce item over the period of time, and
automatically generate a report for inventory management based on the customer-preferred ripeness level, the report including information for stocking inventory based on the customer-preferred ripeness level and at least one of a time and date for stocking.

US Pat. No. 10,049,519

DOCKING STATION WITH REMOVABLE LOCKERS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for selectively securing and releasing lockers to customers for use, the system comprising:a docking station, wherein the docking station includes a user input device, and wherein the docking station is configured to:
selectively secure and release one or more lockers; and
receive, via the user input device from a customer, a command to allow one of the one or more lockers to be released; and
the one or more lockers, wherein each of the one or more lockers is removable from the docking station, and wherein each of the one or more lockers comprises:
a storage portion, wherein the storage portion is configured to receive, from the customer, one or more items;
a door, wherein the door is configured to provide access for the customer to the storage portion; and
a securement mechanism, wherein the securement mechanism is configured to secure each of the one or more lockers to the docking station, and wherein the securement mechanism is configured to receive commands to release each of the one or more lockers from the docking station.

US Pat. No. 10,025,964

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR TRACKING

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A method for customers in a retail store of tracking at least one additional person comprising:providing a customer with a tracking application for a mobile computing device;
providing the customer with a unique code for each of the at least one additional person, wherein the unique code is visible through video recognition on each of the at least one additional person; and
activating the unique code on the mobile computing device of the customer by first scanning the unique code and associating the unique code with the tracking application, wherein location of the unique code is tracked on the mobile computing device.

US Pat. No. 10,020,004

LISTENING TO THE FRONTEND

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A system in a shopping facility for determining a performance metric for an employee, the system comprising:one or more sound sensors distributed throughout at least a portion of the shopping facility and configured to receive at least sounds resulting from activity in the shopping facility; and
a control circuit communicatively coupled to the one or more sound sensors, the control circuit being configured to:
receive, from at least one of the one or more sound sensors, audio data, wherein the audio data includes sounds associated with items being scanned and sounds associated with bags;
determine, based on the sounds associated with bags, a number of bags used;
determine, based on the audio data associated with items being scanned, a number of items scanned;
calculate, based on the number of bags used and the number of items scanned, a number of items per bag;
receive an indication of an employee;
correlate the audio data and the indication of the employee; and
determine, based at least in part on the audio data and the indication of the employee, the performance metric for the employee, wherein the performance metric for the employee is based on the number of items per bag.

US Pat. No. 10,049,339

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR INCREASING COUNTING ACCURACY

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for determining counting accuracy, the system comprising:a plurality of hand-held devices, at least one hand-held device configured to transmit an alert requesting a physical count of at least one product;
at least one processor operatively connected to a memory and in communication with the plurality of the hand-held devices, an inventory system and an online system,
the at least one processor is configured to:
receive the alert requesting the physical count of the at least one product, from the at least one hand-held device;
access a first set of information on current inventory associated with the at least one product from the inventory system;
access a second set of information on the current inventory associated with the at least one product from the online system;
determine a count frequency value based on the first or second set of information on the current inventory associated with the at least one product from the online system;
dynamically adjust the count frequency value based on the first or second set of information on the current inventory associated with the at least one product from the online system;
determine a validity of the alert requesting the physical count, based on the adjusted count frequency value;
determine a counting value associated with counting the at least one product based on the first and second set of information, in response determining the validity of the alert requesting the physical count;
determine a set of hand-held devices from the plurality of hand-held devices to associate with the at least one product;
trigger physical counting of the at least one product responsive to evaluating the counting value against a counting threshold;
transmit a validation message to the set of hand-held devices in response to triggering physical counting of the at least one product responsive to evaluating the counting value against a counting threshold, wherein an executable application is launched on the set of hand-held devices in response to receiving the validation message.

US Pat. No. 10,037,582

PERSONAL MERCHANDISE CATALOGUING SYSTEM WITH ITEM TRACKING AND SOCIAL NETWORK FUNCTIONALITY

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. An online personal catalog and merchandise information solicitation system, through which a user can identify an item of merchandise offered for sale by a retailer and solicit information about that item, the system comprising:(a) a retailer backend computer network having a secure product database facility containing a record of said item of merchandise,
(b) a retailer internet application in communication with a web computer server of the retailer backend computer network, and with authorized data access into the secure product database facility and a user interface enabling an identification by said user of said item of merchandise through said authorized data access, the retailer internet application sharing the online personal catalog with an online social network computer website and tracking items within the online personal catalog, wherein product information about the item is obtained from and personalized by the online social network computer website and the retailer backend computer network;
(c) a web application that executes directly within or through the social network computer website that communicates with the retailer internet application so that the retailer internet application combines the personalized product information at the user interface; and
wherein the social network computer website hosts the retailer internet application wholly or in part and associates said user to a user account on the social network computer website, the user account linking said user to a user-defined group of other users:
wherein a programmed routine executed by a hardware server that receives callable services provided by the social network computer website, and service provider, identifies an item of merchandise and publishes the identification of said item of merchandise through the social network computer website in association with said user account in order to solicit information of the personalized product information about said merchandise including opinions, comments, ratings, and/or reviews from the online social network computer website, the hardware server thereby soliciting the information about said merchandise from the user-defined group of other users by communicating with the social network computer website, the solicited information used to provide the personalized product information to said user,
wherein the retailer internet application further associates said user to said user account to solicit the information about said item of merchandise from the user-defined group of other users to access or otherwise make available the user's electronic social network from within the online personal catalog, in response to the programmed routine publishing the identification of the item of merchandise through the social network website in association with said user account,
wherein the retailer internet application incorporates an application plugin that provides social network functionality therein and further provides to the user interface the solicited information about said merchandise including opinions, comments, ratings, and/or reviews from the online social network computer website via the plugin for forming the personalized product information; and
wherein the retailer internet application in communication with the web computer server provides a first webpage that displays a tracking button hyperlinked to a second webpage that displays both item tracking information related to the item of merchandise and the solicited information from the social network computer website, the tracking information including at least one of information about availability, location, or price of the item of merchandise, and the solicited information displayed at the second webpage further including product ratings provided by the social network website in response to the programmed routine publishing the identification of the item of merchandise through the social network website,
wherein the retailer internet application generates a search result related to the item of merchandise, and a rating of the item of merchandise generated in response to the communication between the hardware server soliciting information about said item of merchandise from the user-defined group of other users and the personalized product information via the application plugin and the web application that executes directly within or through the social network computer website.

US Pat. No. 10,029,815

BAGGING STATION FOR FILLING PAPER-TYPE BAGS

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A bagging station comprising:a base comprising a carousel;
a center piece coupled to a top surface of the carousel, wherein the center piece comprises:
three sides;
a triangular shaped lid having three lid sides; and
a paper bag edge holder mounted to one of the three lid sides;
a paper bag setting on the top surface, wherein the paper bag edge holder holds an upper edge of the paper bag;
a bag storage cavity in the center piece, wherein the bag storage cavity extends into the center piece through an opening in the lid; and
a paper bag storage basket mounted below the opening, wherein the paper bag storage basket comprises four sides and a bottom.

US Pat. No. 10,032,142

REPRINT OF A PHYSICAL RECEIPT AND RECEIPT HISTORY FROM AN ELECTRONIC RECEIPT FOR REDUCING FRAUDULENT RETURNS

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A method for preventing fraudulent returns comprising:providing an optical scanner and a receipt printer at a sales terminal;
prompting, by an application installed on a mobile electronic device, a customer to select an electronic receipt corresponding to an item provided to the customer by a retailer, wherein the retailer retains a copy of the electronic receipt on a receipts management server;
prompting, by the sales terminal of the retailer, the customer to provide identification information corresponding to the electronic receipt, the identification information comprising at least a machine-readable code;
scanning, by the optical scanner of the sales terminal, the machine-readable code;
the sales terminal transmitting a request to the receipts management server for the copy of the electronic receipt, at least one related receipt, and a summary timeline of at least one related transaction;
identifying, by the receipts management server, at least one stored copy of the electronic receipt and at least one stored copy of the at least one related receipt, based on the identification information;
determining, by the receipts management server, that the identification information identifies a legitimate receipt for a returns-eligible item;
analyzing, by the receipts management server, metadata of the identification information of the at least one stored copy of the at least one related receipt;
determining, by the receipts management server, one or more relationships between the at least one stored copy of the electronic receipt and the at least one stored copy of the at least one related receipt by using the metadata of the identification information linking the at least one stored copy of the electronic receipt and the at least one stored copy of the at least one related receipt together;
modifying, by the receipts management server, the at least one stored copy of the electronic receipt to indicate the one or more relationships between the at least one stored copy of the electronic receipt and the at least one stored copy of the at least one related receipt;
preparing, by the receipts management server, the summary timeline of the at least one related transaction;
the receipts management server transmitting receipt information corresponding to the at least one stored copy of the electronic receipt, as modified, the at least one stored copy of the at least one related receipt, and the summary timeline of the at least one related transaction to the sales terminal;
formatting, by the receipts management server, the at least one stored copy of the electronic receipt, as modified, to increase visibility of one or more relevant portions of the at least one stored copy of the receipt, as modified;
the sales terminal printing a printed copy of the electronic receipt at the receipt printer;
processing, by the sales terminal, a return of the item based on the printed copy of the electronic receipt, as printed;
sending, by the sales terminal to the receipts management server, information corresponding to the return of the item substantially concurrently with the return of the item using a heartbeat connection to update the at least one stored copy of the electronic receipt stored at the receipts management server;
sending, by the receipts management server to the application, the information corresponding to the return of the item; and
updating, by the application, the at least one stored copy of the electronic receipt at the receipts management server with the information corresponding to the return of the item.

US Pat. No. 10,102,564

SYSTEM FOR ADJUSTING MAP NAVIGATION PATH IN RETAIL STORE AND METHOD OF USING SAME

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A system comprising:a computer system configured to provide output of a retail store to a graphical user interface on a mobile device of a customer;
the computer system being configured to receive a request for information from the customer, to obtain a store map, the store map being indicative of a layout of the retail store, and to transmit to the graphical user interface on the mobile device a representation of the store map and one or more product records located within the layout of the retail store;
the computer system being configured to provide a list of products to the graphical user interface on the mobile device of the customer and icons being associated with physical locations of products of the list of products, and to present the store map overlaid with the icons of the products and an initial navigation path to a first designation on the graphical user interface on the mobile device to a first icon of the icons associated with a first product of the products, wherein the store map represents the layout of the retail store, the icons of the products and the initial navigation path to the first designation that are positioned overlaid on the store map to designate a first physical location of the first icon associated with the first product of the products, as selected, for the layout of the retail store; and
the computer system being configured to suggest a second designation including a second icon on-route of the initial navigation path, the second designation being associated with a second physical location in the retail store, the second icon comprising a recommended product located within a pre-determined proximity of the first icon, wherein the computer system changes the graphical user interface to add a second navigation path overlaid on the initial navigation path on the graphical user interface of the mobile device of the customer, and to present the initial navigation path and the second navigation path positioned to be overlaid on the store map in the graphical user interface on the mobile device, wherein the second navigation path comprises a first path from a location of the mobile device to the second designation and from the second designation to the first designation.

US Pat. No. 10,070,409

CLUSTER TRACKING SYSTEM

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A tracking system comprising:a plurality of network devices distributed throughout a facility, each network device of the plurality of network devices being configured to receive connection data indicative of probing by at least one user device to establish a connection; and
at least one processing unit communicatively coupled to the plurality of network devices,
the at least one processing unit being programmed to:
analyze the connection data using a predefined set of user device clustering rules;
extract location data from the connection data, wherein the location data is indicative of a location as a function of time of the at least one user device relative to the facility;
determine a projected path of movement relative to the facility of the at least one user device, based on the analysis of the connection data and the location data; and
generate instructions indicative of a specified response to a trigger event based on the analysis of the connection data using the predefined set of user device clustering rules and the projected path of the at least one user device, wherein the response is one or more of issuing an alert indicating the projected path of the at least one user device, issuing an alert indicating that more than a predetermined threshold number of user devices are moving towards an expected location, and issuing an alert indicating that more than a predetermined threshold number of user devices are moving towards an item scanning location.

US Pat. No. 10,043,364

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR DETECTING AND WARNING OF THE PRESENCE OR ABSENCE OF AUTOMOBILE OCCUPANT

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A security device, comprising:a sensor that senses a presence in a vehicle and generates a presence signal;
an ignition state detection device that detects a state of the vehicle, and generates a status signal;
a rules processor that determines from the presence signal and the status signal whether an alarm or message is to be generated; and
an alarm device having a housing and a sound generating device and a backup battery in the housing, wherein in response to the ignition state detection device detecting that an ignition of the vehicle is off, a circuit formed between a power source and the alarm device is broken and the rules processor compares the status signal and the presence signal to a stored user-defined condition provided by a user computer, and a comparison result activates the alarm device to generate an audio output using the backup battery.

US Pat. No. 10,032,197

APPARATUS AND METHOD OF SCANNING PRODUCTS AND INTERFACING WITH A CUSTOMER'S PERSONAL MOBILE DEVICE

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A method comprising:by a control circuit,
establishing a wireless communication connection between a user's personal mobile device and a separate, portable scanning system associated with a retail store, wherein the scanning system is configured to optically scan identification codes of distinct products and obtain product identifying information based on the identification code of each product scanned;
wirelessly receiving at the mobile device product identifying information from the scanning system of each product scanned by the scanning system and available for purchase at the retail store;
incorporating at least some of the product identifying information into a virtual shopping cart based at least in part on the product identifying information;
communicating from the mobile device to a checkout system, during a checkout process, the product identifying information in the virtual shopping cart and received from the scanning system of each product scanned by the scanning system; and
initiating the checkout process comprising:
communicating a request to disassociate the scanning system from the mobile device:
receiving confirmation at the mobile device that the scanning system has been disassociated from the mobile device; and
initiating, in response to the receiving the confirmation the scanning system has been disassociated from the mobile device, the communicating the product identifying information from the mobile device to the checkout system during the checkout process.

US Pat. No. 10,009,667

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR MONITORING GAS EMISSION OF PERISHABLE PRODUCTS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for automatically monitoring gas emissions of perishable goods in a retail sales environment comprising:a display fixture configured to store and display for sale a group of perishable items;
one or more gas emission sensors integrated into a structure of the display fixture and configured to measure gas emissions from the group of perishable items on the display fixture;
a control circuit coupled to the one or more gas emission sensors and configured to:
receive a gas emission measurement taken at the display fixture;
add the gas emission measurement to a history of gas emission measurements associated with the group of perishable items;
compare the history of gas emission measurements of the group of perishable items with stored gas emission data associated with a category of the group of perishable items, wherein the stored gas emission data comprises a gas emission over time profile associated with the category;
make a determination corresponding to the group of perishable items based on the comparison; and
determine whether to apply a discount to the group of perishable items based on the determination and one or more of a forecasted rate of sales, an expected time between purchase and use by a customer, and incoming inventory information.

US Pat. No. 9,996,820

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR DETECTING MISSING LABELS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A missing label detection system, the system comprising:a portable scanning device, the portable scanning device comprising:
a reader configured to read machine-readable elements and output identifiers encoded in the machine-readable elements;
an accelerometer configured to sense acceleration of the portable scanning device and output acceleration data corresponding to the sensed acceleration;
a memory to store the identifiers and the acceleration data; and
a controller operatively coupled to the reader, the accelerometer, and the memory, the controller configured to (i) control the reader to read a first one of the machine-readable elements disposed at a first location, (ii) control the reader to read a second one of the machine-readable elements disposed at a second location, and (iii) determines a cumulative change in the acceleration data from the first location to the second location as a result of movement of the portable scanning device from the first location to the second location and in response to the reading of the second one of the machine-readable elements; and
a computing system in communication with the portable scanning device,
wherein at least one of the controller or the computing system determines a relative distance travelled by the portable scanning device from the first location to the second location based on the cumulative change in the acceleration data between the first and second locations, and
wherein the computing system is programmed to determine whether the second one of the machine-readable elements is located at a designated location based on a difference between the relative distance and an expected distance between the first and second locations.

US Pat. No. 10,064,503

MODULAR BAGGING APPARATUS FOR WEIGHT SCALE

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A mobile, modular bagging station comprising:a rotatable carousel base constructed and arranged for positioning on a self-checkout scale platform;
a center piece coupled to a top surface of the carousel base; and
a plurality of holding elements extending from the center piece, wherein a weight of a plurality of store items in shopping bags positioned on the holding elements is determined by the scale platform on which the carousel base is positioned, wherein the carousel base comprises:
a rotatable carousel top portion, which includes the top surface of the carousel base on which the center piece is coupled;
a bearing plate directly coupled to a bottom surface of the carousel top portion; and
an adapter plate at a bottommost region of the base, the adapter plate including a hole extending through a central region of the adapter plate to expose a surface of the scale platform under the adapter plate and in direct contact with the adapter plate, the bearing plate positioned in the hole of the adapter plate so that the adapter plate is in communication with the bearing plate, the bearing plate having a top surface protruding from the hole in the adapter plate permitting the carousel top portion to rotate over the exposed surface of the scale platform and relative to the adapter plate, the adapter plate having a flat surface along its length that is constructed and arranged to directly abut a flat surface of the scale platform that senses a weight of the adapter plate.

US Pat. No. 10,058,197

BAG DISPENSER

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A bag dispenser comprising:a bag holder rod, wherein the bag holder rod holds a roll of bags, and wherein the bag holder rod comprises a first elongate member formed of a rigid material having a bag holder rod first end and a bag holder rod second end opposing the bag holder rod first end;
a bag separator coupled to the bag holder rod, wherein the bag separator comprises:
a separator bar, wherein the separator bar comprises a second elongate member having a separator bar first end and a separator bar second end opposing the separator bar first end, and wherein the bag holder rod is parallel to the separator bar:
a bag separator stem coupling the bag holder rod to the separator bar, wherein the bag separator stem comprises a third elongate member having a bag separator stem first end coupled to the bag holder rod at a bag holder junction, and a bag separator stem second end coupled to the separator bar, and wherein the bag separator stem is perpendicular to the bag holder rod and to the separator bar; and
a separator hook coupled to the separator bar second end; and
a rod coupler coupled to the bag holder rod at the bag holder junction, wherein the rod coupler is configured to couple the bag dispenser to a basket, and wherein the rod coupler comprises:
a rod coupler clip bar, wherein the rod coupler clip bar comprises a fourth elongate member having a rod coupler clip bar first end and a rod coupler clip bar second end opposing the rod coupler clip bar first end, and wherein the rod coupler clip bar is parallel to the bag holder rod;
a rod coupler stem coupling the rod coupler clip bar to the bag holder rod, wherein the rod coupler stem comprises a fifth elongate member having a rod coupler stem first end coupled to the bag holder rod at the bag holder junction and a rod coupler stem second end coupled to the rod coupler clip bar, and wherein the rod coupler stem is coupled to the rod coupler clip bar centered between the rod coupler clip bar first end and the rod coupler clip bar second end; and
a rod clip coupled to the rod coupler clip bar, wherein the rod clip is configured to couple the bag dispenser to the basket.

US Pat. No. 10,062,048

SYSTEMS AND METHODS TO DISTRIBUTE AND AUTHENTICATE PRODUCT DELIVERY LOCKERS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A retail delivery locker system, comprising:multiple delivery lockers each comprising:
a housing enclosing at least an interior product cavity;
a door positioned within the housing and configured to open to enable access to at least the product cavity;
a first docking coupler and a second docking coupler, wherein each of the first docking coupler and the second docking coupler are configured to securely dock and lock with a docking station at a customer delivery location and a docking coupler of another of the multiple lockers; and
a communication link between the first docking coupler and the second docking coupler; and
multiple docking stations each positioned at different customer delivery locations, wherein each of the multiple docking stations comprises:
a locker coupler configured to secure a locker with a corresponding docking station of the multiple docking stations;
a station control circuit and memory accessible by the station control circuit and storing instructions that when executed by the station control circuit cause the station control circuit to obtain a first locker identifier from a first locker of the multiple delivery lockers, confirm the first locker is scheduled to dock with the corresponding docking station of the multiple docking stations, and authorize the locking of the corresponding docking station with the first docking coupler; and
a transceiver enabling the station control circuit to communicate with a remote central control system.

US Pat. No. 10,028,597

BAGGING STATION SUPPORT FRAME AND METHOD OF FORMING THE SAME

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A combination bagging station support frame and bagging station for supporting a bag, comprising:a bagging station having a bagging station top rail, a bagging station middle rail and a bottom plate; and
a bagging station support frame comprising:
a top assembly which comprises:
a back structure comprising:
a first support bar, wherein the first support bar is a first straight elongate bar of rigid material having a first support bar first end and a first support bar second end opposing the first support bar first end;
a second support bar, wherein the second support bar is a second straight elongate bar of rigid material having a second support bar first end and a second support bar second end opposing the second support bar first end;
a coupler bar extending between and coupled to both the first and the second support bar;
a first bagging station top rail holder coupled to the first support bar first end;
a second bagging station top rail holder coupled to the second support bar, wherein the first bagging station top rail holder and the second bagging station top rail holder support the bagging station top rail first end, wherein the first and the second bagging station top rail holders hold the bagging station top rail;
a first bottom plate support bar coupled to the first support bar second end, wherein the first bottom plate support bar is a third straight elongate bar of rigid material and wherein the first bottom plate support bar extends from the first support bar second end perpendicular to the first support bar;
a second bottom plate support bar coupled to the second support bar second end, wherein the second bottom plate support bar is a fourth straight elongate bar of rigid material wherein the second bottom plate support bar extends from the second support bar second end perpendicular to the second support bar, and wherein the bottom plate of the bagging station sits on the first and the second bottom plate support bars;
a first bagging station middle rail holder adjustably coupled to the first support bar between the first support bar first end and the first bottom plate support bar; and
a second bagging station middle rail holder adjustably coupled to the second support bar between the second support bar first end and the second bottom plate support bar, wherein the first and the second bagging station middle rail holders extend around the bagging station middle rail and apply pressure on the bagging station middle rail in a direction away from the bagging station top rail; and
a support frame coupler comprising first and second support frame coupler hooks, wherein the first and second support frame coupler hooks are adapted to mounted on a supporting rail;
and
a bottom assembly coupled to the top assembly, wherein the bottom assembly comprises a first foot and a second foot.

US Pat. No. 10,028,598

BAG RETAINING FIXTURE

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A bag retaining fixture comprising:a plate having a plate front surface, a plate rear surface opposing the plate front surface, and a plate top edge; and
an elongate wire coupled to the plate, wherein the elongate wire comprises:
a first end;
a second end opposing the first end;
a first back portion extending from the first end to a first pass through bend, wherein the first back portion extends along the plate rear surface, and wherein the first pass through bend passes through the plate at a first hole;
a second back portion extending from the second end to a second pass through bend, wherein the second back portion extends along the plate rear surface, wherein the second pass through bend passes through the plate at a second hole, and wherein the first back portion and the second back portion extend along the plate rear surface in a direction parallel to the plate top edge;
and
a bag retaining section that extends from the first pass through bend to the second pass through bend, wherein the bag retaining section protrudes from the plate front surface in a direction away from the plate rear surface, and wherein the bag retaining section comprises:
a first arm extending from the first pass through bend to a first arm end, wherein the first arm is curved;
a second arm extending from the second pass through bend to a second arm end, wherein the second arm is curved; and
an end piece that extends from the first arm end to the second arm end, wherein the end piece is parallel to the plate top edge.

US Pat. No. 10,074,070

METHODS AND SYSTEMS FOR PRIORITIZING STOCK-KEEPING UNITS IN COST-BASED INVENTORY ALLOCATION

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A method of inventory allocation, the method comprising:receiving, with a computing device using one or more processors, via a network, a plurality of identifiers of a plurality of items for an inventory of the plurality of items to be allocated across a network of distribution centers or warehouses for an e-commerce vendor, wherein each item of the plurality of items comprises a sales volume, a billable weight, and a shipping zone relative to a destination for the item;
preparing, with the computing device, an inventory allocation plan for a pre-set period of time to stock or re-stock a percentage of the inventory of the plurality of items across the network of distribution centers or warehouses for the e-commerce vendor based on at least a shipping cost sensitivity to be assigned to each identifier of the plurality of identifiers for a respective one of the plurality of items in the inventory;
determining, with the computing device, using a sequential network optimization algorithm, the shipping cost sensitivity for the each identifier of the plurality of identifiers of the plurality of items in the inventory based on the sales volume, the billable weight and the shipping zone associated with a respective identifier of the plurality of identifiers, wherein the shipping cost sensitivity is increased when at least one of the sales volume or the billable weight or the shipping zone for the each identifier in the plurality of identifiers increases while others of the sales volume or the billable weight or the shipping zone remain constant;
determining, with a site-to-store shipping system from the network of distribution centers or warehouses to one or more brick and mortar stores of the e-commerce vendor, a back-haul shipping route of the each identifier of the plurality of identifiers;
when the e-commerce vendor operates transportation vehicles to transport the inventory from the network of distribution centers or warehouses to the one or more brick and mortar stores of the e-commerce vendor using the transportation vehicles operated by the e-commerce vendor, wherein a back-haul percentage is based on how full the transportation vehicles operated by the e-commerce vendor from a particular distribution center or warehouse of the network of distribution centers or warehouses are, and wherein the back-haul percentage increases as the transportation vehicles are more full, calculating, with the computing device, the back-haul percentage to be discounted from the shipping cost sensitivity of the each identifier of the plurality of identifiers; or
when the e-commerce vendor does not operate the transportation vehicles, analyzing, with the computing device, the back-haul percentage based on costs associated with the shipping zone based on a third party carrier price list of shipping costs measured by a unit shipping cost, a weight, and a distance required to ship the plurality of items in the inventory to be transported from the particular distribution center or warehouse to a particular brick and mortar store of the e-commerce vendor;
adjusting, with the computing device, the shipping cost sensitivity of the each identifier based on the back-haul percentage, wherein the shipping cost sensitivity decreases as the back-haul percentage decreases;
adjusting, with the computing device, a priority level of the each identifier of the plurality of identifiers based on the shipping cost sensitivity, wherein the priority level increases as the shipping cost sensitivity increases;
ranking, with the computing device, the each identifier of the plurality of identifiers based at least in part on the priority level of the each identifier; and
determining, by the one or more processors, a final inventory allocation plan for the pre-set period of time comprising a specific order of allocation of the inventory of the plurality of identifiers of the plurality of items based at least in part on the ranking of the plurality of identifiers, wherein higher-ranking identifiers are stocked first in a first particular distribution center or warehouse of the network of distribution centers or warehouses and wherein lower-ranking identifiers are stocked in remaining space within the first particular distribution center or warehouse of the network of distribution centers or warehouses as per the final inventory allocation plan.

US Pat. No. 10,074,082

SPLITTING A PURCHASE AMONG MULTIPLE PARTIES USING AN ELECTRONIC RECEIPT AFTER THE TRANSACTION

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A receipt management method being implemented via computer instructions configured to be executed by one or more processors and configured to be stored at one or more non-transitory memory storage devices, the method comprising:displaying a first user interface on a receipt management software application (“software app”) downloaded on a mobile electronic device, wherein the mobile electronic device is associated with a first person and is located remotely from the one or more processors, wherein the software app comprises a contact user interface in an un-launched state providing access to at least a list of contacts having at least one or more contact persons associated with the first person, wherein the list of contacts contain personal information of each contact person of the at least one or more contact persons, including telephone and email address information, and wherein the list of contacts is accessible without launching the contact user interface for transmitting information associated with the first person via a text or an email to the at least one or more contact persons on the list of contacts of the first person;
receiving, from the software app on the mobile electronic device, (a) an electronic receipt for a bill or (b) a barcode associated with the bill, wherein the bill is associated with a transaction involving multiple persons, and the multiple persons comprise the first person causing the software app on the mobile electronic device to display on the first user interface an electronic representation of the bill in response to receiving the electronic receipt or the barcode associated with the bill from the mobile electronic device associated with the first person;
receiving, from the software app on the mobile electronic device, a selection to split costs of the bill between the multiple persons, wherein the selection to split the costs of the bill between the multiple persons is entered by the first person at the first user interface on the mobile electronic device;
after receiving the selection to split the costs of the bill between the multiple persons, receiving, from the software app on the mobile electronic device, a selection of a first item from the bill, wherein the selection of the first item from the bill is entered by the first person at the first user interface on the mobile electronic device;
causing the software app on the mobile electronic device to display a menu on a second user interface on the mobile electronic device associated with the first person;
accessing the list of contacts of the first person, wherein the multiple persons associated with the costs of the bill comprise one or more suggested persons, wherein the one or more suggested persons are determined from the at least one or more contact persons on the list of contacts of the first person, wherein the contact user interface remains in the un-launched state, wherein the first person selects the one or more suggested persons from the list of contacts of the first person, as displayed on the second user interface, wherein the one or more suggested persons from the list of contacts previously split the costs of a previous bill with the first person in a previous transaction, wherein the first person selects one of the one or more suggested persons to associate with the first item from the bill;
receiving, from the menu via the software app on the mobile electronic device, a selection of a first suggested person of the one or more suggested persons, wherein the selection of the first suggested person is entered by the first person at the second user interface on the mobile electronic device;
receiving, from the software app on the mobile electronic device, a selection of at least part of an item cost of the first item from the bill to associate with the first suggested person, wherein the selection of the at least part of the item cost of the first item from the bill to associate with the first suggested person is entered by the first person at the second user interface on the mobile electronic device;
allocating the at least part of the item cost of the first item from the bill to the first suggested person in accordance with receiving the selection of the at least part of the item cost of the first item from the bill to associate with the first suggested person;
receiving, from the software app on the mobile electronic device, a selection of a remainder of the costs of the bill to associate with the multiple persons, wherein the selection of the remainder of the costs of the bill to associate with the multiple persons is entered by the first person at the second user interface on the mobile electronic device;
allocating the remainder of the costs of the bill to the multiple persons in accordance with receiving the selection of the remainder of the costs of the bill to associate with the multiple persons;
after allocating, using the second user interface, a total of the costs of the bill between the multiple persons associated with the costs of the bill, recommending a suggested tip amount to each person of the multiple persons associated with the costs of the bill, as allocated, when a tip amount is applicable to the transaction associated with the costs of the bill; and
transmitting, by the software app on the mobile electronic device, the information via the text or the email comprising a notification for a respective allocation of the total of the costs of the bill, including a respective portion of an allocated cost associated with the first suggested person, and a respective suggested tip amount, as applicable, wherein the contact user interface remains in the un-launched state while the notification via the text or the email is retrieved by the multiple persons, and, wherein the multiple persons comprise the first suggested person and the first person.

US Pat. No. 10,071,892

APPARATUS AND METHOD OF OBTAINING LOCATION INFORMATION OF A MOTORIZED TRANSPORT UNIT

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. An apparatus providing control over movement of a motorized transport unit within a shopping facility, comprising:a location controller separate and distinct from a self-propelled motorized transport unit, wherein the location controller comprises:
a transceiver configured to receive communications from the motorized transport unit located within a shopping facility;
a control circuit coupled with the transceiver;
a memory coupled to the control circuit and storing computer instructions that when executed by the control circuit cause the control circuit to perform the steps of:
obtain, from the communications received from the motorized transport unit, a unique light source identifier of an external light source, of a plurality of separate external light sources within the shopping facility, detected by the motorized transport unit from light emitted by the light source providing a corresponding illumination area of a plurality of different illumination areas each representative of an area that is illuminated by a corresponding one of the plurality of separate external light sources, and relative distance information determined by the motorized transport unit through an optical measurement corresponding to a distance between the motorized transport unit and an external object;
process the at least one unique light source identifier and the relative distance information relative to a mapping of the shopping facility; and
determine, in response to the processing, a location of the motorized transport unit within the shopping facility as a function of the at least one unique light source identifier and the relative distance information.

US Pat. No. 10,059,451

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR PROVIDING PACKAGE RELEASE TO UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEM

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. An apparatus for releasing packages for retrieval by an unmanned aerial system comprising:a plurality of arms configured to surround a plurality of packages stacked vertically in an extended position;
a plurality of powered hinges at a base of each of the plurality of arms; and
a control circuit coupled to the plurality of powered hinges and configured to:
determine a height for a first lowered position for the plurality of arms at which the plurality of arms do not obstruct an unmanned aerial vehicle from coupling with a coupling structure on a first package of the plurality of packages positioned at a top of the plurality of packages; and
cause the plurality of powered hinges to pivot the plurality of arms from the extended position to the first lowered position.

US Pat. No. 10,062,066

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR RETRIEVING ITEMS FOR A CUSTOMER AT CHECKOUT

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A method for processing a transaction with said method utilizing a user computing device coupled to and in data communication with a point-of-sale (POS) device in a store and the POS device coupled to and in data communication with a computing device of a store representative, the POS device having a scanner and the user computing device having a user interface, a memory for storing one or more application programs including computer-readable instructions, and a processor for executing the computer-readable instructions, and said method comprising steps of:providing a merchant application on the user computing device;
building an electronic shopping cart utilizing the merchant application on the user computing device with said electronic shopping cart including a plurality of products retrieved from the store by a user;
coupling the user computing device with the POS device utilizing a coupling code generated by the POS device;
transmitting the electronic shopping cart from the user computing device to the POS device in the store using the coupling code generated by the POS device, wherein transmitting the electronic shopping cart from the user computing device to the POS device in the store using the coupling code generated by the POS device comprises:
receiving, at a global server system, the plurality of products of the electronic shopping cart and the coupling code from the user computing device;
interpreting, by the global server system, the coupling code to identify the POS device that generated the coupling code; and
transmitting the plurality of products of the electronic shopping cart to the POS device;
determining a list of product suggestions from one or more of (1) an expiry period of products in a purchase history of the user, or (2) a consumption period of the products in the purchase history of the user;
utilizing the merchant application to display the list of product suggestions on the user interface of the user computing device;
selecting a selected item from the list of product suggestions utilizing the merchant application on the user computing device, wherein the selected item corresponds to a product which is unretrieved from the store by the user;
displaying an optical code corresponding to the selected item on the user interface of the user computing device;
scanning the optical code displayed on the user computing device utilizing the scanner of the POS device in the store to add the selected item to the electronic shopping cart with an indicator that the selected item corresponds to the product which is unretrieved from the store by the user;
flagging, by the POS device, the selected item added to the electronic shopping cart; and
transmitting, from the POS device to the computing device of the store representative, (1) an alert indicating that the transaction includes the selected item as flagged, (2) a location of the selected item, (3) an identifier of the POS device issuing the alert, and (4) a location of the POS device issuing the alert.

US Pat. No. 10,037,235

INTEGRATING APPLICATIONS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A processor-implemented method for use at a computer system, the computer system including system memory, the computer system implementing a series of hops within a centralized message processing framework, each hop offering one or more data processing services, each of the one or more data processing services configured to transform data in a defined manner, each hop configured for inclusion in a route between applications, the processor-implemented method comprising:sending a signature and data from a first application to an entry hop, formulating a header, wherein formulating the header comprises:
defining a route indicating an order of the series of hops, and
providing an indication of which of the data processing services are to be implemented at each of the series of hops;
combining the header and the data to form a message;
sending the message from the entry hop to one of a plurality of intermediate hops based upon the order of the series of hops defined in the header, the intermediate hops each configured to process the message;
sending the processed message from one of the plurality of intermediate hops to an exit hop based upon the order in the series of hops defined in the header; and
routing formatted data from the exit hop to a second application,
wherein the centralized message processing framework provides message-processing functionality for the first application and the second application, and the first application and the second application do not include independent message-processing functionality.

US Pat. No. 10,028,599

HIGH VELOCITY CHECKOUT TERMINAL

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A high velocity checkout terminal comprising:a first input conveyor configured to transport first products to a cashier station in response to receiving a first initiation instruction from an electronic controller of the cashier station;
a second input conveyor, separately operable from the first input conveyor, the second input conveyor configured to transport second products to the cashier station in response to receiving a second initiation instruction from the electronic controller of the cashier station;
one or more sensors disposed on the first and second input conveyers, the one or more sensors configured to detect the first and second products placed on the first and second input conveyer;
the cashier station positioned to receive at least one of the first products or the second products, the cashier station including:
a scanning device configured to scan at least one of the first products or the second products,
a user input device, and
the electronic controller in electronic communication with the first input conveyor, the second input conveyor, and the one or more sensors disposed on the first and second input conveyer, the electronic controller configured to automatically transmit the first initiation instruction and the second initiation instruction;
a first output conveyor positioned to receive the first products that are scanned at the cashier station and configured to transport the scanned first products to a first bagging station in response to receiving a first output instruction from the electronic controller of the cashier station;
a second output conveyor, separately operable from the first output conveyor, the second output conveyor positioned to receive the second products that are scanned at the cashier station and configured to transport the scanned second products to a second bagging station in response to receiving a second output instruction from the electronic controller of the cashier station;
first and second payment terminals positioned downstream of or co-located with a portion of the first and second output conveyors, the first and second payment terminals configured to accept payment for a cost associated with at least one of the first products or the second products, wherein the electronic controller is further configured to activate the first input conveyer, the first output conveyer, and the first payment terminal based on the one or more sensors detecting the first products on the first input conveyer, andwherein the electronic controller is additionally configured to activate the second input conveyer, the second output conveyer and the second payment terminal based on the one or more sensors detecting the second products on the second input conveyer.

US Pat. No. 10,002,343

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR CATALOG IMAGE GENERATION

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A method comprising:providing an application (app) for installation on first and second mobile devices enabling first and second customers to (a) shop by scanning an item or packaging for the item in a brick and mortar store using a camera of the first or second mobile devices, and (b) interact with a central computer system comprising a catalog system, a capture system, and a selecting system;
receiving, at the capture system, permission from the first and second customers via apps installed on the first and second mobile devices to (a) capture one or more first and second images or (b) upload the one or more first and second images;
determining, with the central computer system using one or more processors, whether an online catalog comprises an image of the item or the packaging for the item for sale listed in the online catalog; and
when the online catalog does not comprise the image of the item or the packaging for the item for sale listed in the online catalog:
while the first customer is using the first mobile device to scan a product identifier on or attached to the item or the packaging for the item in the brick and mortar store, using the camera of the first mobile device to capture the one or more first images of the item or the packaging for the item;
while the second customer is using the camera of the second mobile device to scan the product identifier on or attached to the item or the packaging for the item in the brick and mortar store, using the camera of the second mobile device to capture the one or more second images of the item or the packaging for the item;
receiving, at the capture system, from the first and second mobile devices the one or more first and second images;
selecting, with the selecting system, at least one of the one or more first and second images;
editing, with the selecting system, the at least one of the one or more first and second images, as selected;
uploading, with the catalog system, the at least one of the one or more first and second images, as edited, from the selecting system, to the online catalog for an online store; and
displaying, with the catalog system, the at least one of the one or more first and second images in the online catalog to a third customer.

US Pat. No. 9,996,591

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR IMPLEMENTING A DATABASE IN A HETEROGENEOUS CLUSTER

WALMART APOLLO, INC., Be...

1. A system comprising:a load balancer;
a database partitioned into at least a first shard and a second shard;
a first plurality of database servers coupled to the load balancer, each database server in the first plurality of database servers hosting a copy of the first shard of the database; and
a second plurality of database servers coupled to the load balancer, each database server in the second plurality of database servers hosting a copy of the second shard of the database; wherein:
the load balancer is arranged to:
retrieve server information for each database server in the first plurality of database servers and for each database server in the second plurality of database servers;
determine a suitability score for each database server in the first plurality of database servers and for each database server in the second plurality of database servers based on the server information; and
send incoming instructions to a selected database server from the first plurality of database servers or the second plurality of database servers, using load balancing techniques;
each database server in the first plurality of database servers is configured to process at least one first instruction of the incoming instructions and send queries of the first shard of the database to only a first specific database server in the first plurality of database servers based on the suitability score of the first specific database server; and
each database server in the second plurality of database servers is configured to process at least one second instruction of the incoming instructions and send queries of the second shard of the database to only a second specific database server in the second plurality of database servers based on the suitability score of the second specific database server.

US Pat. No. 10,139,817

UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS AND METHODS TO INTERACT WITH SPECIFICALLY INTENDED OBJECTS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A system to control unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), comprising:one or more wireless transceivers;
a control circuit coupled with the transceiver(s); and
a memory coupled to the control circuit and storing computer instructions that when executed by the control circuit cause the control circuit to perform the steps of:
receive, prior to initiating delivery and lowering by the UAS of a package intended to be delivered to the predefined location to be received by a customer associated with the predefined location, sensor data captured by at least one sensor of a UAS comprising image data captured by a camera on the UAS;
determine, from the sensor data, a unique identification of a first delivery pad at the predefined location comprising obtaining from image processing of the image data a first delivery pad identifier that is unique to the first delivery pad associated with the predefined location and distinct from other delivery pads, wherein the first delivery pad is configured to at least receive a package to be delivered by the UAS;
confirm, from the sensor data and prior to initiating the delivery by the UAS of the package intended to be delivered to the predefined location, that the identified first delivery pad is an expected object expected at the predefined location;
receive additional sensor data from the UAS;
detect a second package is located on the first delivery pad;
confirm there is sufficient space on the first delivery pad, not occupied by the second package, to receive the package being carried by the UAS; and
initiate delivery of the package in response to confirming there is sufficient space on the first delivery pad to deliver the package;
wherein the control circuit, in determining the unique identification of the first delivery pad, determines a package identifier from the sensor data of the second package expected to be cooperated with the UAS and to be retrieved by the UAS to be returned to a supplier.

US Pat. No. 10,087,002

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR DELIVERING MERCHANDISE ITEMS USING A CONVEYOR APPARATUS

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

20. A system for delivering a prescription from a pharmacy station to a cashier station at a shopping facility, the system comprising:a pharmacy station and a cashier station located in separate physical areas of a shopping facility;
a first controlled access point at the pharmacy station;
a second controlled access point at the cashier station;
a conveyor apparatus extending along a carousel track defining a circuitous route through a secure area between the pharmacy station and the cashier station and having a plurality of uniquely identified conveyor locations for deposit of a prescription, the conveyor apparatus extending, at least in part, between the first controlled access point at the pharmacy station and the second controlled access point at the cashier station;
a first input interface proximate the first controlled access point configured to enter identifying information regarding the prescription and to associate it with a corresponding uniquely identified location in the conveyor apparatus where the prescription is deposited;
a second input interface proximate the second controlled access point configured to enter customer identification information;
a controller configured to receive information from the first input interface and the second input interface and to activate the conveyor apparatus to move the corresponding uniquely identified conveyor location of the prescription to the second controlled access point;
wherein the conveyor apparatus is accessible at the first controlled access point for depositing the prescription in a uniquely identified conveyor location and the conveyor apparatus is accessible at the second controlled access point for removing the prescription from the uniquely identified conveyor location.

US Pat. No. 10,024,681

TACTILE NAVIGATION SYSTEMS AND METHODS

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A wearable navigation device, comprising:a band portion positioned at a portion of a human body;
a location device that receives navigation data regarding a location of interest that includes a shelf of a plurality of shelves holding an item, and the location device determines a distance and orientation with respect to a current position of the wearable navigation device to the location of interest; and
a plurality of feedback emitters that provide haptic feedback to the portion of the human body in a predetermined sequential order to direct a wearer of the band portion to the location of interest where a length, width, and height of the shelf intersect.

US Pat. No. 10,002,378

INFORMING CUSTOMERS REGARDING ITEMS ON THEIR SHOPPING LIST

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A computer-implemented method for a shopping list item notification system comprising:receiving, using the shopping list item notification system, a request from a customer to download an electronic shopping list application (app), provided by a retailer, for installation by the customer on a mobile computing device of the customer;
upon opening the electronic shopping list app, provided by the retailer, installed on the mobile computing device of the customer:
receiving, at a notification module of a notification server, a list of one or more unique product identification codes comprising a store branch identifier corresponding to each product on an electronic shopping list of the customer on the electronic shopping list app on the mobile computing device of the customer;
monitoring, by the notification module, a location of the customer by a location signal from the electronic shopping list app on the mobile computing device;
identifying, by the notification module, a store branch of the retailer based on the store branch identifier of the one or more unique product identification codes;
analyzing, by the notification module, a purchase history of the customer or preferences of the customer based on the identifying the store branch of the retailer;
determining, by the notification module, that the mobile computing device has entered the store branch of the retailer based on the location signal, as received; and
determining, by the notification module, an inventory status for the each product that corresponds to the one or more unique product identification codes in response to determining that the mobile computing device has entered the store branch, comprising whether the each product is in-stock or out-of-stock for purchase at the store branch of the retailer;
when a product, listed in the electronic shopping list of the customer, is out-of-stock, transmitting an out-of-stock alert, by an electronic shopping list application server, to a graphical user interface of the electronic shopping list app on the mobile computing device of the customer to permit the customer to select at least one option displayed on the graphical user interface, the at least one option comprising:
to keep or remove the product from the electronic shopping list;
to notify the customer when the product is back in-stock at the store branch;
to query a product inventory database for the inventory status of the product at other retail store branches of the retailer preferred by the customer; or
to replace the product with another product from a list of substitute products available at the store branch; and
when the product is back in-stock at the store branch, transmitting a back-in-stock alert, by the electronic shopping list application server, to the graphical user interface of the electronic shopping list app on the mobile computing device of the customer, as requested, when the customer has kept the product on the electronic shopping list.

US Pat. No. 10,002,172

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR INTEGRATING BUSINESS LOGIC INTO A HOT/COLD PREDICTION

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A method comprising:determining: (a) a total number of records in a set of distinct records contained in a database system and (b) a total number of records in the set of distinct records in a second database cluster L, wherein the database system comprises a first database cluster H and the second database cluster L, wherein the total number of records contained in the database system comprises the total number of records in the second database cluster L plus a total number of records in the first database cluster H, and wherein each record in the database system represents an item for sale in an electronic commerce system;
when the total number of records in the second database cluster L is greater than a target number of records in the second database cluster L, iterating through each record in the set of distinct records, and for each record in the second database cluster L:
generating a random number for each record in the second database cluster L; and
using the random number to determine when each record should be moved from the second database cluster L to the first database cluster H to provide an opportunity for each record in the second database cluster L to be placed in the first database cluster H;
receiving a search request from a requester; and
presenting a search result containing one or more records of the set of distinct records to the requester.

US Pat. No. 9,983,855

SYSTEMS, METHOD, AND NON-TRANSITORY COMPUTER-READABLE STORAGE MEDIA FOR DISPLAYING SOFTWARE COMPONENTS

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for use in displaying software components to a user, comprising:a display device for displaying a component display website
a memory device including a plurality of data repositories, each data repository including at least one software component data file associated with a software component including corresponding software code and object data;
a server computer including a processor coupled to the memory device and the display device, the processor configured to:
access a data repository of the plurality of data repositories and retrieve the at least one software component data file;
execute the corresponding software code and object data and render a demonstration image of a corresponding software component;
generate and display the component display website including a component display area associated with the corresponding software component;
render a code display area within the component display area and display the corresponding software code within the code display area; and
render a demonstration area within the component display area and display the demonstration image within the demonstration area.

US Pat. No. 10,074,126

METHODS AND SYSTEMS FOR PROVIDING SHOPPING SUGGESTIONS TO IN-STORE CUSTOMERS

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A method of providing shopping suggestions to in-store customers, the method comprising:receiving, by one or more processors of a computing system, via a network, (a) store information specific to a brick and mortar store from a store information database, and (b) customer information associated with an in-store customer from a customer information database, wherein:
the store information comprises a price rollback, a store floor plan, and a stocking plan showing where items are displayed on particular shelves within the brick and mortar store; and
the customer information comprises one or more previous orders, demographics, shopping history, and social networking platforms;
transmitting, by the one or more processors, instructions for displaying the store information and the customer information to one or more computing devices of store sales associates working at the brick and mortar store to provide the shopping suggestions and to personalize discounts to the in-store customer associated with a customer service transaction at the brick and mortar store, the customer service transaction comprising an in-store pickup, a return, or an exchange;
transmitting, by the one or more processors, instructions for displaying locations of one or more of the items on a map of the brick and mortar store to be displayed on user interfaces of the one or more computing devices of the store sales associates to present to the in-store customer;
personalizing, by the one or more processors, a custom discount based on one or more shopping patterns of one or more other customers for the one or more of the items frequently purchased by the one or more other customers and the in-store customer;
identifying, by the one or more processors, one or more additional items for sale at an additional discount to the in-store customer as a recommendation for the in-store customer based on the store information and the customer information, wherein the one or more additional items, as recommended, comprise one or more products, accessories, or services available in the brick and mortar store;
analyzing the store information to determine a location of the one or more of the items and the one or more additional items within the brick and mortar store; and
transmitting, by the one or more processors, instructions for changing the user interfaces of the one or more computing devices of the store sales associates to add additional locations of the one or more additional items on the map of the brick and mortar store so that the store sales associates can present the additional locations to the in-store customer.

US Pat. No. 10,043,208

SMART ORDER MANAGEMENT AND DATABASE SHARDING

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A computer implemented method comprising:a store order management server operating an order management system application layer to facilitate online order management to process multiple online requests using a sharded database system, wherein the sharded database system uses shard determination logic to support a load and volume of the multiple online requests;
the store order management server receiving, from a computing device of a customer, an online request of the multiple online requests, the online request comprising an order to purchase an item from a store, wherein the online request is processed by:
intercepting the online request, by a computer router, to obtain information from the online request associated with the store receiving the online request from the customer;
determining, with the computer router using shard determination logic, a particular database shard within a particular database server which pertains to the information from the online request, wherein the particular database shard is part of a store order database having a plurality of database shards and wherein the particular database server is part of the sharded database system;
transmitting, by the computer router, the information from the online request to the particular database server which implements the online request using the particular database shard;
monitoring, by the particular database server, an available capacity of the plurality of database shards, the plurality of database shards comprising the particular database shard;
when the available capacity of the particular database shard remains below a pre-determined used capacity threshold for a pre-determined period of time, adding an additional database shard to the plurality of database shards; and
distributing, by the shared determination logic, other requests of the multiple online requests to the additional shard, instead of to the particular database shard, to enable the particular database shard to operate below the pre-determined used capacity threshold;
at the particular database shard of the particular database server, processing the information regarding the online request of the one or more online requests; and
at the particular database server, transmitting, to the computing device of the customer, a response to the information regarding the online request.

US Pat. No. 10,024,662

SHELF HEIGHT INDICATION AND VALIDATION DEVICE

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. An apparatus for identifying shelf notches in a modular shelf system, the apparatus comprising:a measurement member having a longitudinal axis and configured to be oriented with the longitudinal axis generally vertical, the measurement member including a bottom offset portion having a height generally equal to a base of the modular shelf system below the shelf notches thereof;
a plurality of shelf notch indicator portions disposed along a height of the measurement member above the bottom offset portion along the longitudinal axis thereof, the shelf notch indicator portions configured to horizontally align with the shelf notches of the modular shelf system; and
a horizontal position indicator coupled to the measurement member and configured to project outwardly therefrom generally orthogonal to the longitudinal axis, the horizontal position indicator further configured to align with a desired shelf notch indicator portion and project outwardly towards the modular shelf system to provide a visual indication of a desired shelf notch on the modular shelf system;
wherein the horizontal position indicator comprises an arm member and is movable along the height of the measurement member and securable thereto such that the horizontal position indicator can be secured at the desired shelf notch indicator portion; and
wherein the arm member is pivotably coupled to the measurement member such that the arm member can be pivoted from a first orientation generally parallel to the longitudinal axis to a second orientation generally orthogonal to the longitudinal axis.

US Pat. No. 10,007,689

TEMPORALLY CONSISTENT GROUP KEYS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A computer-implemented method for adding a new record to a database comprising a plurality of records, each record comprising a record ID and being a member of a group, the method comprising:at a computer processor of a record generator module, receiving data pertaining to the new record, the data comprising at least one parameter indicative of membership in a group;
at a computer processor of a record scanner module, identifying a group based on the at least one parameter;
at the computer processor of the record scanner module, identifying all records in the group based on the at least one parameter;
at a computer processor of a record evaluator module, retrieving an oldest record of the identified records in the group;
at the computer processor of the record generator module, setting a group key to be the record ID of the oldest record; and
at the computer processor of the record generator module, inserting the group key into the new record and then inserting the new record into the database.

US Pat. No. 10,102,542

OPTIMIZATION AND ATTRIBUTION OF MARKETING RESOURCES

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A method comprising:retrieving, with a computer system using one or more processors, transaction data of offline store transactions at one or more offline stores during an online marketing campaign associated with an item, the transaction data comprising: (1) store conversion rate data of the item in the one or more offline stores during the online marketing campaign; and (2) a revenue of the item or a brand of the item in the one or more offline stores during the online marketing campaign;
retrieving, with the computer system, user data from user devices of a plurality of users that are exposed to a plurality of online marketing channels associated with the online marketing campaign, the user data comprising online behavior data of the plurality of users obtained by text mining one or more of an Internet browsing history or Internet cookies associated with each user of the plurality of users;
correlating, with the computer system, the transaction data to the user data to identify at least a first user of the plurality of users exposed to the plurality of online marketing channels that also has purchased the item at an offline store of the one or more offline stores by matching information of one or more marketing data attributes between (a) the store conversion rate data of the transaction data and (b) the online behavior data of the user data;
determining, with the computer system and using a first set of rules, at least one cause of an incremental impact of the one or more marketing data attributes, by determining which of the one or more marketing data attributes is a factor in driving the revenue or the store conversion rate data of the item or the brand of the item in the one or more offline stores, on:
(1) the item in the one or more offline stores during the online marketing campaign; or
(2) the brand of the item in the one or more offline stores during the online marketing campaign,
wherein the first set of rules comprises:
identifying test users to be exposed to the online marketing campaign and who visit the one or more offline stores during the online marketing campaign;
mapping the test users into a multidimensional space, wherein an origin of the multidimensional space represents a best match on the one or more marketing data attributes;
identifying, using a proxy control group algorithm, a subgroup of users of the plurality of users representing users of the plurality of users that are exposed to the online marketing campaign to identify the incremental impact for each of the one or more marketing data attributes while keeping other ones of the one or more marketing data attributes constant;
mapping the subgroup of users into the multidimensional space;
determining a quality of matching the information of the one or more marketing data attributes; and
adjusting for biases in the test users and the subgroup of users, wherein determining the at least one cause of the incremental impact of the one or more marketing data attributes further comprises determining the at least one cause of the incremental impact of the one or more marketing data attributes based at least in part on second user data of the test users and the user data of the subgroup of users; and
modifying, with the computer system, the online marketing campaign in real-time based at least in part on the at least one cause of the incremental impact as determined.

US Pat. No. 10,071,891

SYSTEMS, DEVICES, AND METHODS FOR PROVIDING PASSENGER TRANSPORT

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for providing passenger transport, comprising:a plurality of passenger carriers;
a plurality of motorized transport units each configured to mechanically couple to at least one of the plurality of passenger carriers;
a central computer system communicatively coupled to the plurality of motorized transport units, the central computer system being configured to:
receive a ride request from a customer;
selecting a passenger carrier from the plurality of passenger carriers and a motorized transport unit from the plurality of motorized transport units, wherein the passenger carrier is selected based on a number of passengers indicated in the ride request received from the customer;
instruct the motorized transport unit to travel to the passenger carrier and couple to the passenger carrier; and
instruct the motorized transport unit coupled to the passenger carrier to travel to the customer to provide transportation to the customer.

US Pat. No. 10,046,783

SHOPPING CART DEFLECTION MEASUREMENT SYSTEM AND ASSOCIATED METHODS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A shopping cart deflection measurement system, comprising:a shopping cart including:
a frame,
a basket portion pivotably mounted to the frame so as to enable deflection of at least one edge of the basket portion downward in the direction of gravity following a weight being placed in the basket portion, and
a lower rack portion mounted to the frame and disposed below the basket portion;
a sensor; and
a processing device equipped with a processor,wherein the processing device is configured to execute instructions to measure deflection of the basket portion relative to the lower rack portion of the shopping cart using data acquired by the sensor, the measured deflection being indicative of a fullness of the basket portion with one or more products.

US Pat. No. 10,013,829

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR SECURING MERCHANDISE WITH OPTICAL LOCK AND KEY

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. An apparatus for securing merchandise comprising:a locking mechanism limiting access to one or more items;
one or more optical sensors configured to detect a plurality of wavelengths and an intensity associated with each wavelength from at least one light beam emitted by an optical key; and
a control device comprising a control circuit and a memory device, the control device being configured to:
store a lock code comprising a plurality of wavelength values and a plurality of intensity values each associated with a wavelength value on the memory device; and
determine whether to release the locking mechanism based on whether intensities of each of the plurality of wavelengths detected by the one or more optical sensors match the lock code.

US Pat. No. 10,026,315

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR MONITORING PARKING AREA

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for monitoring a parking area comprising:a satellite image database storing a plurality of satellite images of a parking lot taken by one or more satellites over time;
a baseline database storing baseline models of a plurality of sections of the parking lot; and
a control circuit coupled to the satellite image database and the baseline database, the control circuit being configured to:
determine a utilization condition for each of the plurality of sections of the parking lot based on performing image analysis on the plurality of satellite images of the parking lot;
compare the utilization condition for each of the plurality of sections of the parking lot with a baseline model of the plurality of sections of the parking lot; and
in an event that the utilization condition of a section of the plurality of sections of the parking lot exceeds a deviation threshold of the baseline model of the section, automatically generate an action recommendation for the section of the parking lot;
wherein the section corresponds to a loading zone of a shopping facility and the utilization condition corresponding to a turnover rate for one or more trucks.

US Pat. No. 10,071,893

SHOPPING FACILITY ASSISTANCE SYSTEM AND METHOD TO RETRIEVE IN-STORE ABANDONED MOBILE ITEM CONTAINERS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A method comprising:by a central computer system:
identifying a mobile item container in a retail shopping facility as being abandoned;
directing, via a wireless network connection, a motorized transport unit through the retail shopping facility to the abandoned mobile item container;
causing the motorized transport unit to physically attach to the abandoned mobile item container;
directing, via a wireless network connection, the motorized transport unit through the retail shopping facility with the attached abandoned mobile item container to a specified destination within the retail shopping facility.

US Pat. No. 10,025,873

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR STORING AND PROCESSING DATABASE REQUESTS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for processing database requests, the system comprising:a server including a processor, configured to receive and process database requests, the server comprising a plurality of components comprising:
a plurality of virtual computer systems adapted to receive database requests including full keys or generic keys;
a logical storage system coupled to the plurality of virtual computer systems, wherein each of the plurality of virtual computer systems shares a common storage that is adapted to store the received database requests;
a request handler element adapted to distribute a first database request to at least one of the plurality of virtual computer systems for processing;
a component of the plurality of components adapted to set record retention at a row level,
wherein the component adapted to set record retention at a row level is responsive to a specification of a time to live value within the first database request,
wherein the at least one of the plurality of virtual computing systems is configured to (i) receive a Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI) associated with the first database request, including a generic key, (ii) retrieve one or more records associated with the generic key, (iii) in response to retrieving a plurality of records associated with the generic key, receive an HTTP Status Text including a full key corresponding to at least one record of the plurality of records stored in the logical storage system in response to processing the first database request, (iv) move the full key from the HTTP Status Text to the URI to access the record using the full key included in the HTTP Status Text,
wherein the at least one of the plurality of virtual computing systems is configured to receive a second database request, determine the second database request is of a certain type, asynchronously process the second database request, write results of processing the second database requests to a file and transmit a response indicating the file name.

US Pat. No. 9,990,519

RFID READER-BASED APPARATUS AND METHOD

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. An apparatus comprising:a handheld radio-frequency identification (RFID)-tag reader;
a memory having specification information for a plurality of modulars that correspond to a retail shopping facility;
a control circuit configured to:
receive from the handheld RFID-tag reader location information pertaining to a scan of a location marker that correlates to a particular one of the plurality of modulars within the retail shopping facility;
receive from the handheld RFID-tag reader RFID-tag information gleaned from read RFID tags proximal the location marker;
use the location information to select the specification information for the particular one of the plurality of modulars;
compare the RFID-tag information with specification information for modulars other than the particular one of the plurality of modulars by identifying RFID-tag information that corresponds to modulars other than the particular one of the modulars and then removing the RFID-tag information that corresponds to modulars other than the particular one of the modulars from the RFID-tag information to thereby provide filtered RFID-tag information;
compare the filtered RFID-tag information with the specification information for the particular one of the plurality of modulars to assess modular compliance.

US Pat. No. 9,977,937

MULTI-CAPABILITY APPARATUS SUPPORTING BACKGROUND RFID TAG-READING AND CORRESPONDING METHODS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A multi-capability apparatus comprising:a housing;
at least one component supported by the housing and configured to support a non-Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) capability;
an RFID-tag reader supported by the housing;
a control circuit supported by the housing and operably coupled to the at least one component and the RFID-tag reader and configured to use the RFID-tag reader in a ping mode of operation as a background task while the multi-capability apparatus simultaneously uses the non-RFID capability, wherein the control circuit is configured to activate the RFID-tag reader in the ping mode of operation as a function, at least in part, of the multi-capability apparatus presently using the non-RFID capability.

US Pat. No. 10,104,551

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR CONTROLLING MOBILE DEVICE USE

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A method for operating a mobile device, comprising:determining, by a locking mechanism at the mobile device, whether the mobile device is store-owned or user-owned;
searching, by the mobile device, for a signal from a network;
inactivating the mobile device in response to a determination that the device is store-owned and that the signal is not detected; and
controlling a use of at least one application executable by the mobile device in response to a determination that the mobile device is user-owned and that the signal is not detected and further in response to a determination of a user status with respect to the user-owned mobile device.

US Pat. No. 10,089,599

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR LOCATING CONTAINERS WITH LOW INVENTORY

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for identifying and determining the location of merchandise bins in a low inventory condition in shopping facilities, the system comprising:a bin configured to hold a plurality of merchandise items in a shopping facility;
a light sensor disposed at the bottom of the bin;
the light sensor configured to be covered by merchandise items in a normal inventory condition and to be partially or fully uncovered by merchandise items in a low inventory condition;
the light sensor calibrated to detect an ambient light level and to respond when the detected ambient light level exceeds a predetermined ambient light threshold;
a speaker configured to emit a predetermined audio signal indicating a low inventory condition;
a control circuit operatively coupled to the light sensor and to the speaker, the control circuit configured to activate the speaker to transmit the predetermined audio signal indicating a low inventory condition when the light sensor determines the detected ambient light level exceeds the predetermined ambient light threshold; and
a predetermined array of microphones arranged about a predetermined area of the shopping facility, the array of microphones arranged to receive the audio signal and to triangulate the location of the bin with the low inventory condition within the shopping facility based on signal strength of the audio signal received at different microphones in the predetermined array;
wherein the light sensor, when it detects ambient light above the threshold, triggers the control circuit to activate the speaker; and
wherein the audio signal is detected and triangulated by the predetermined array of microphones to determine the location of the bin in the shopping facility.

US Pat. No. 10,040,389

CLASPING MECHANISM

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A lock apparatus for a cart configured to couple to a linear mounting track installed within a delivery vehicle, the apparatus comprising:a coupling mechanism configured to couple to the linear mounting track;
a bracket secured to the coupling mechanism;
arms pivotably coupled to the bracket and configured to be pivoted between open and closed positions;
a closure member configured to be shifted to pivot the arms to the closed position gripping a portion of the cart;
a lock member having an arm engagement portion configured to engage and hold the arms in the closed position, the lock member configured to be shifted away from the arms to disengage the arm engagement portion thereof and release the arms to be pivoted to the open position.

US Pat. No. 9,984,396

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR CUSTOMER CHECKOUT

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for customer checkout from a retail store comprising:a first checkout register resident in the retail store, wherein the first checkout register outputs a first register capabilities and a first cashier characteristics, and wherein the first register capabilities comprises: whether the first checkout register has a grocery scale, whether the first checkout register has a debit card scanner, and whether the first checkout register has a cash drawer;
a second checkout register resident in the retail store, wherein the second checkout register outputs a second register capabilities and a second cashier characteristics, and wherein the second register capabilities comprises: whether the second checkout register has a credit card scanner, whether the second checkout register has a working product scanner, and whether the second checkout register has a grocery scale;
a mobile computing device carried by a customer in the retail store;
a checkout lane selection module communicatively coupled to the first and the second checkout registers and communicatively coupled to the mobile computing device; and
a location detection device communicatively coupled to the checkout lane selection module, wherein the location detection device sends a customer nearby indicator to the checkout lane selection module in response to detecting that the mobile computing device is within a predetermined distance from the location detection device;
wherein the checkout lane selection module communicates preferred checkout lane information comprising the first and the second register characteristics and the first and the second cashier characteristics to the mobile computing device in response to receiving the first and the second register characteristics, the first and the second cashier characteristics, and the customer nearby indicator.

US Pat. No. 10,140,624

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR USE IN FORECASTING CHANGES IN SALES

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A system to forecast retail sales, comprising:a network transceiver coupled to communicate over a distributed computer network;
a forecast control circuit; and
a memory coupled to the forecast control circuit and storing computer instructions that when executed by the forecast control circuit cause the forecast control circuit to:
receive reservation data corresponding with people traveling during a future period of time via the network transceiver from third party services that are separate from the forecast control circuit, unassociated with retail shopping facilities and accessed over the distributed computer network;
receive, at the forecast control circuit via the distributed computer network, additional data from multiple different and geographically distributed Internet of Things;
access a first set of rules to be applied to the reservation data;
apply the first set of rules to the reservation data to identify a forecasted geographic region corresponding to a subset of the reservation data and identify at least a first retail shopping facility corresponding to the geographic region;
access a second set of rules and apply the second set of rules to identify a portion of the additional data obtained from the Internet of Things that are associated with the geographic region corresponding to the first retail shopping facility;
access a third set of rules and apply the third set of rules to the reservation data and the portion of the additional data to identify historic periods of time having similar historic reservation data to the subset of the reservation data corresponding to the geographic region;
access a fourth set of rules applied in forecasting sales;
apply the fourth set of rules to identify historic actual sales of at least a first set of products at the first retail shopping facility during the historic periods of time, and forecast expected sales, during the future period of time associated with the reservation data, of at least the first set of products, including at least expected sales of a first product, at the first retail shopping facility as a function of the subset of the reservation data, the portion of the additional data and the historic actual sales; and
an inventory system communicatively coupled over the distributed computer network to access the forecasted expected sales during the future period of time and comprising memory storing inventory information of available inventory of the first retail shopping facility, wherein the inventory system receives the forecasted expected sales, accesses an inventory set of rules, applies the inventory set of rules and causes an adjustment to an order of the first product of the first set of products as a function of the expected sales of the first product and inventory information corresponding to the first product resulting in an adjustment of inventory of the first product at the first retail shopping facility corresponding to the future period of time.

US Pat. No. 10,140,567

METHOD AND APPARATUS PERTAINING TO RADIO-FREQUENCY IDENTIFICATION TAGS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag configured to unilaterally detect its own motion relative to an RFID-tag reader, comprising:an antenna;
a rectifier operably coupled to the antenna and configured to rectify a signal transmitted by the RFID-tag reader and provide a corresponding rectified output;
an analog-to-digital converter operably coupled to receive the rectified output and provide a corresponding digitized representation of the rectified output;
a control circuit operably coupled to the analog-to-digital converter and configured to carry out a unilateral motion detection capability by:
dynamically establishing a detection range;
monitoring the digitized representation of the rectified output and comparing the digitized representation to the detection range to thereby determine the RFID tag's own relative movement with respect to the RFID-tag reader; and
upon detecting the relative movement, automatically re-setting a read state of the RFID tag to permit the RFID tag to respond to interrogations of the RFID-tag reader;wherein the control circuit is further configured to selectively enable and disable the unilateral motion detection capability in response to transmitted content received via the antenna as part of an externally-sourced wireless transmission.

US Pat. No. 10,140,617

WARRANTY STORING AND PRESENTING APPARATUS AND METHOD

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A computer-implemented method for storing and presenting warranties to one or more customers, the method comprising:initiating, by a sale computer comprising one or more sale processors and communicatively coupled to a network computer comprising one or more network processors, a transaction involving a purchase of at least one product purchased by a customer;
generating, by the sale computer, an electronic receipt documenting the transaction;
sending, by the sale computer, receipt data encoded on the electronic receipt to the network computer comprising non-displayed metadata not visible to the customer relating to one or more warranties available for the at least one product purchased by the customer, wherein the receipt data comprises one or more flags not visible to the customer to indicate the availability of the one or more warranties corresponding to the transaction, wherein:
a first flag corresponding to the at least one product and indicating that a warranty of the one or more warranties exists for the at least one product; and
a second flag corresponding to the at least one product and indicating that an extended warranty of the one or more warranties exists for the at least one product;
determining, by the network computer, that warranty data regarding the one or more warranties corresponding to the at least one product is missing from the non-displayed metadata that is associated with the electronic receipt;
inviting the customer, by the network computer via an application installed on a customer computing device of the customer, to upload, via the customer computing device, the warranty data that is missing;
receiving, by the network computer via the application, a response to the inviting the customer to upload the warranty data that is missing, wherein the response includes the warranty data that is missing;
determining, by the network computer, that the warranty data that was missing has been provided by the customer;
requesting, by the network computer, two or more types of identification information from the customer, wherein the two or more types of identification information comprises a loyalty account and a biometric characteristic;
receiving, by the network computer via the application, the two or more types of identification information, as requested;
locating the loyalty account;
issuing a reward to the customer in exchange for uploading the warranty data that was missing, wherein the reward comprises issuing points to the loyalty account; and
in response to determining that the warranty data that was missing has been provided by the customer:
updating, by the network computer, the electronic receipt with the warranty data provided by the customer;
delivering, by the network computer to the customer computing device via the application, the electronic receipt, as updated, including updated receipt data, wherein the updated receipt data includes non-displayed updated metadata with the warranty data not visible to the customer comprising at least one of:
the first flag is set corresponding to the at least one product and indicating that a warranty of the one or more warranties exists for the at least one product; or
the second flag is set corresponding to the at least one product and indicating that an extended warranty of the one or more warranties exists for the at least one product;
offering, by the network computer, to display the one or more warranties applicable to the at least one product on the customer computing device via the application;
receiving, by the network computer from the customer computing device, a request by the customer to display the one or more warranties via the application; and
presenting, by the network computer via the application, the one or more warranties to the customer on the customer computing device based on the updated metadata for the electronic receipt, as updated.

US Pat. No. 10,064,501

MODULAR SHELF ASSEMBLY FOR A COSMETIC FIXTURE SYSTEM

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A reconfigurable shelf assembly, comprising:a shelf assembly base frame including:
a rear side with a resilient detent member,
a plurality of walls defining a perimeter, the plurality of walls including two opposing side walls that include arms with toothed fastening members for selectively mounting the shelf assembly base frame to a wall assembly,
a rail extending proximate to the rear side of the shelf assembly base frame, and
a slot in a front side for retaining a first shelving component or a second shelving component; the opposing side walls extending between the rear side and the front side;
the first shelving component configured to support objects according to a first configuration; and
the second shelving component configured to support objects according to a second configuration;
wherein the first shelving component is detachably coupled to the shelf assembly base frame to facilitate removal and replacement of the first shelving component with the second shelving component to reconfigure the shelf assembly to support objects according to the second configuration; and
wherein the resilient detent member is configured for retaining the first or second shelving components.

US Pat. No. 9,939,327

METHOD AND APPARATUS TO DYNAMICALLY CONTROL HOW OFTEN TEMPERATURE READINGS ARE RECEIVED

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. An apparatus to monitor an internal temperature of a delivery container, comprising:a communication device having an integral temperature sensor, the communication device being disposed inside the delivery container such that the integral temperature sensor reads temperatures inside the delivery container;
a control circuit disposed external to the delivery container and configured to:
receive temperature readings from the communication device indicating temperature readings inside the delivery containers;
receive information regarding ambient conditions external to the delivery container; and
dynamically control how often the temperature readings are received as a function, at least in part, of the information regarding the ambient conditions that are external to the delivery container.

US Pat. No. 10,140,895

TASK-INDICATING SHELF

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A task-indicating shelf, comprising:a shelf including a supporting surface for supporting one or more physical objects;
one or more visual indicators associated with the shelf and indicative of a task to be performed with respect to the one or more physical objects; and
a docking station electrically coupled to the one or more visual indicators and configured to receive a handheld device;
wherein docking the handheld device within the docking station powers an electric circuit between the handheld device and the one or more visual indicators to selectively energize or de-energize the one or more visual indicators.

US Pat. No. 10,116,762

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR STORING AND PROCESSING WEB SERVICE REQUESTS

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for processing web service requests, the system comprising:a server configured to receive and process web service requests, the server comprising a plurality of components comprising:
a plurality of virtual computer systems that service received web service requests from one or more client systems, wherein each of the plurality of virtual computer systems is operable in both an active/standby mode or an active/active mode;
a logical storage system coupled to the plurality of virtual computer systems, wherein each of the plurality of virtual computer systems shares a common storage that stores the received web service requests;
a request handler element that distributes a web service request to at least one of the plurality of virtual computer systems for processing; and
an internal port coupling at least two of the plurality of virtual computer systems, wherein the received web service requests are replicated between the at least two of the plurality of virtual computer systems across the internal port, and wherein the internal port is not available to the one or more client systems;
an entity that monitors an expiration of a database record associated with at least one web service request; and
corresponding entities that execute among at least two of the plurality of virtual computer systems, wherein the entities compare timestamps associated with the database record associated with the at least one web service request;
wherein the entity deletes the database record associated with the at least one web service request when the compared timestamps stored by at least two of the corresponding entities have expired.

US Pat. No. 10,106,327

CHECKOUT STATION BUMPER

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A checkout station bumper, the bumper comprising:a backbone, wherein the backbone is a rectangular shaped bar of rigid material comprising:a backbone top end;
a backbone bottom end opposing the backbone top end;
a first backbone side;
a second backbone side;
a backbone front surface; and
a backbone rear surface;a first fin and a second fin extending from the backbone front surface; anda hook coupled to the backbone, wherein the hook comprises:a stem having a stem first end and a stem second end opposing the stem first end, wherein the stem first end is coupled to the backbone top end, and wherein the stem extends from the backbone rear surface in a direction perpendicular to the backbone rear surface; and
an end piece coupled to the stem second end, wherein the end piece is a rectangular shaped plate that extends perpendicular to the stem;wherein the bumper blocks a divider of a checkout station from activating a belt end sensor in response to the bumper being coupled to an edge wall of the checkout station.

US Pat. No. 10,102,513

INTEGRATED ONLINE AND IN-STORE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for interfacing online e-commerce systems to integrate retail and online transactions, the system comprising:a server;
a database;
a cashier station located in a store, the cashier station including:
a POS controller, an optical scanning device; a receipt printer, and a display;
the optical scanning device, operatively coupled to the POS controller, (i) scans an optical machine readable representation of an in-store product to be purchased at the cashier station; and (ii) decodes a unique product identifier encoded in the optical machine readable representation;
the POS controller, (i) transmits product identifier to the server; and (ii) transmits location of the store where the in-store product was scanned;
the server, (i) receives the product identifier from the optical scanning device (ii) queries the database for recommended online products based on the scanned product and location of the store where the product was scanned; and (iii) transmits recommended online products information to POS controller to be displayed on the display of the cashier station;
the POS controller (i) controls the display to render the recommended the online products information on the display; (ii) controls the display to provide an option to integrate purchase of the recommended online products with purchase the in-store product; (iii) consolidates purchase of the in-store product and the recommended online product into a single transaction at the cashier station; and (iv) controls the display to provide a total amount due after purchase of the in-store product and the recommended online product;
the receipt printer, operatively coupled to the POS controller, prints a receipt in response to payment, wherein the receipt includes an order identifier corresponding to the recommended online product.

US Pat. No. 10,084,749

AUTOMATIC BLOCKING OF BAD ACTORS ACROSS A NETWORK

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for restricting access to a network that includes a plurality of network access points and a plurality of network security appliances, the system comprising:a monitor coupled to the plurality of network access points, wherein the monitor monitors transmissions to the network via the plurality of network security appliances;
a blocker coupled to the monitor via the network, wherein the blocker is a separate device from the monitor, and wherein the blocker is coupled to the plurality of network security appliances;
a first security terminal coupled to the monitor; and
a second security terminal coupled to the blocker;wherein the monitor identifies a potential bad actor based on a transmission from the potential bad actor to the network, and wherein the monitor transfers information related to the potential bad actor to the blocker via the network in response to receiving an indication from the first security terminal that the information should be transferred; andwherein the blocker blocks the potential bad actor from accessing the network in response to the blocker receiving an indication from both a first user operating the first security terminal and a second user operating the second security terminal that access to the network by the potential bad actor should be blocked.

US Pat. No. 10,072,935

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR TRACKING CARTS IN A SHOPPING SPACE

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for tracking carts in a shopping space comprising:a sound sensor array covering at least a portion of the shopping space;
a cart location database storing location information and sound profiles associated with a plurality of shopping cart identifiers; and
a control circuit coupled to the sound sensor array and the cart location database, the control circuit being configured to:
identify, in sounds captured by the sound sensor array, a cart sound made by a movement of a shopping cart traveling in the shopping space;
determine a current location of the shopping cart based on the cart sound;
match the shopping cart to a shopping cart identifier in the cart location database based at least on comparing the current location of the shopping cart to the location information of the plurality of shopping cart identifiers;
update the location information associated with the shopping cart identifier in the cart location database based on the current location of the shopping cart; and
update the sound profile of the shopping cart identifier based on the cart sound captured by the sound sensor array.

US Pat. No. 10,068,407

CART INVENTORY SYSTEM AND ASSOCIATED METHODS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A cart inventory system, comprising:a cart including (i) a frame, and (ii) a shelf movably mounted to the frame and configured to be positioned between an extended position and a folded position, the shelf including a top surface, first and second side surfaces, and front and rear surfaces, the top surface including a first identifier, and the rear surface including a second identifier, the first and second identifier being barcodes; and
a detection system configured to detect the first identifier when the shelf is positioned in the extended position and detect the second identifier when the shelf is positioned in the folded position,
wherein in the extended position, the top surface is oriented upwards relative to horizontal and the rear surface is disposed against the frame; and
wherein in the folded position, the rear surface is oriented upwards relative to horizontal.

US Pat. No. 9,989,756

MOTION SENSING AND ENERGY CAPTURING APPARATUS, SYSTEM AND METHODS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A motion sensing and energy capturing system comprising:a plurality of piezoelectric elements configured to be arranged in a walking surface, each of the plurality of piezoelectric elements being identifiable relative to a portion of the walking surface;
a communications module coupled with the plurality of piezoelectric elements;
a processing engine configured to receive via the communications module activation data from at least one of the plurality of piezoelectric elements when the at least one of the piezoelectric elements is activated by activity on a corresponding portion of the walking surface, the activation data including time of activation data, and to process the activation data received for the walking surface over a period of time to identify a time-varying traffic pattern;
a user interface configured to display the time-varying traffic pattern; and
an energy capture element electrically coupled with the plurality of piezoelectric elements to receive energy produced by the at least one of the plurality of piezoelectric elements when the at least one of the piezoelectric elements is activated by activity on a corresponding portion of the walking surface.

US Pat. No. 10,304,033

DYNAMIC PROJECTION SYSTEM FOR A SHELVING UNIT

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A dynamic projection system comprising:a projector configured to project a first set of information associated with a set of like physical objects onto a front portion of a shelving unit, wherein the first set of information includes an image of a machine-readable element encoded with an identifier associated with the set of like physical objects;
an optical scanner configured to scan the image of the machine-readable element and decode the identifier from the machine-readable element; and
a computing system communicatively coupled to the projector and the optical scanner, the computing system programmed to: query a database using the identifier to retrieve a second set of information associated with the set of like physical objects; and control an output of the projector to dynamically project the second set of information associated with the set of like physical objects onto the front portion of the shelving unit in place of the first set of information associated with the set of like physical objects in response to the optical scanner scanning the image of the machine-readable element,
wherein the optical scanner is configured to scan the image of the machine-readable element by detecting a pulse rate at which the projector renders the image.

US Pat. No. 10,118,635

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR MONITORING SHOPPING CART WHEELS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for monitoring the status of a wheel of a manually driven shopping cart, the system comprising:a shopping cart including a frame, a basket supported by the frame, and wheels configured to support the frame;
a sensor module engaged with the shopping cart, the sensor module including one or more microphones positioned on the shopping cart to detect sounds generated by the wheels of the shopping cart and a communication module configured to emit wireless transmissions in response to the sounds detected by the one or more microphones;
a wireless receiver configured to receive the wireless transmissions from the sensor module; and
a server in communication with the wireless receiver, the server including an associate alert system and a processor that can execute instructions to:
receive the wireless transmissions from the sensor module via the wireless receiver, the wireless transmissions including signals associated with the sounds generated by the wheels detected by the one or more microphones of the sensor module; and
generate an alert using the associate alert system in response to determining that the signals received by the server indicate that at least one of the wheels of the shopping cart is failing.

US Pat. No. 10,109,085

DATA PERSPECTIVE ANALYSIS SYSTEM AND METHOD

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A method for utilizing data from different database types to perform a data perspective analysis, comprising:retrieving, using a processor, one or more first perspective criteria stored in a first type of database having a first data structure in a first memory device, the one or more first perspective criteria being associated with first relationship criteria for first data dimensions;
retrieving, using the processor, one or more second perspective criteria stored in a second type of database having a second data structure in a second memory device, the one or more second perspective criteria being associated with second relationship criteria for second data dimensions, wherein the second type of database having the second data structure is of a different type and data structure with respect to the first type of database having the first data structure;
retrieving, at the processor, master data and transactional data associated with each of the one or more first perspective criteria and each of the one or more second perspective criteria;
generating, at the processor, one or more perspectives by applying the one or more first perspective criteria and the one or more second perspective criteria to the master data and the transactional data;
comparing, at the processor, at least two perspectives;
allocating, at the processor, groups of pixels to form a dynamic and animated visualization, the allocation based on a result of comparing the at least two perspectives; and
rendering, on a display controlled by the processor, the dynamic and animated visualization of the result of comparing the at least two perspectives.

US Pat. No. 10,068,241

DYNAMIC PRICING SYSTEMS AND METHODS

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A method being implemented at a computer system comprising computer instructions configured to run at one or more processors and configured to be stored at one or more non-transitory memory storage modules, the method comprising:receiving, with a dynamic pricing manager, a notification of an occurrence of an event, via a computer network, unrelated to a particular customer;
determining, with the dynamic pricing manager, whether the event is a valid event, based on a dynamic pricing algorithm comprising a seed, a seed weight, a seedvaluefactor, a weight, and a seed type;
performing, with the dynamic pricing manager, one or more event-dependent and item-dependent price normalizations for one or more items based on the event;
upon determining that the event is the valid event, with the dynamic pricing manager, and upon determining that all seeds are present, computing one or more prices of the one or more items based on a formula as expressed:
Price=?Seed Weight×SeedValueFactor×Weight×Seed Type;
determining, with the dynamic pricing manager, whether to adjust the one or more prices by one or more price adjustments based on limits related to one or more maximum allowable prices for the one or more items and one or more minimum allowable prices for the one or more items;
receiving, with the dynamic pricing manager and from a computing device of a user, a user request during one or more browsing sessions searching a website of a retailer for the one or more prices of the one or more items;
generating, with the dynamic pricing manager, a search listing with the one or more items related to the user request for display on the computing device of the user during the one or more browsing sessions on the website of the retailer;
revising, with the dynamic pricing manager, the one or more prices for the one or more items in the search listing, based on the one or more price adjustments, as determined, for display on the computing device of the user during the one or more browsing sessions for an item on the website of the retailer;
determining, with the dynamic pricing manager, based on a browsing history of the user on the website of the retailer, a physical proximity of the user to a location of a brick and mortar store of the retailer, wherein the browsing history of the user is based on the one or more browsing sessions; and
when the one or more items are in stock at the location of the brick and mortar store and when the physical proximity of the user to the location of the brick and mortar store of the retailer is within a pre-determined distance, transmitting an alert to a graphical user interface of a mobile device of the user comprising the location of the brick and mortar store of the retailer, the one or more prices of the one or more items, and one or more discounts for the one or more items.

US Pat. No. 10,116,736

SYSTEM FOR DYNAMICALLY VARYING TRAFFIC ROUTING MODES IN A DISTRIBUTED CLUSTER AND METHOD THEREFOR

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A system comprising:a load balancer;
a database partitioned into at least a first shard of the database and a second shard of the database, the first shard of the database and the second shard of the database having been split from a partition of the database, and the partition of the database having been split from the database;
a first plurality of database servers coupled to the load balancer, each database server in the first plurality of database servers hosting a copy of the first shard of the database; and
a second plurality of database servers coupled to the load balancer, each database server in the second plurality of database servers hosting a copy of the second shard of the database; and
a centralized data store configured to maintain a list of (1) each database server in the first plurality of database servers and (2) each database server in the second plurality of database servers;
wherein:
the load balancer is configured to:
send incoming instructions to a database server selected from the first plurality of database servers or the second plurality of database servers, using load balancing techniques;
receive a first incoming instruction from a user, wherein the first incoming instruction comprises first queries of the first shard and second queries of the second shard;
process the first incoming instruction to extract the first queries of the first shard and the second queries of the second shard from the first incoming instruction;
forward the first queries of the first shard to the first plurality of database servers;
forward the second queries of the second shard to the second plurality of database servers;
receive a first query result from one database server of the first plurality of database servers;
receive a second query result from one database server of the second plurality of database servers;
aggregate the first query result and the second query result into an aggregated query result; and
present the aggregated query result to a requestor;
each database server in the first plurality of database servers is configured to send the first queries of the first shard of the database to a database server in the first plurality of database servers such that consecutive queries of the first queries of the first shard of the database are sent to different database servers of the first plurality of database servers; and
each database server in the second plurality of database servers is configured to send the second queries of the second shard of the database to a database server in the second plurality of database servers such that consecutive queries of the second queries of the second shard of the database are sent to different database servers of the second plurality of database servers.

US Pat. No. 10,117,080

APPARATUS AND METHOD OF DETERMINING AN OPEN STATUS OF A CONTAINER USING RFID TAG DEVICES

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A radio frequency identification (RFID) device comprising:a first portion of a container, the container being in a closed orientation and configured to be moved into an open orientation by a user;
a second portion of the container removably coupled to the first portion;
a first RFID tag fixed to the first portion and configured to communicate only in a near field of RFID communication;
a conductive element implemented at the second portion and located in proximity to the first RFID tag when the container is in the closed orientation and configured to function as a far field antenna for the first RFID tag such that the first RFID tag is readable by an RFID reader in a far field of RFID communication when the container is in the closed orientation; and
a second RFID tag fixed to the first portion such that the second RFID tag is shielded by the second portion and is not readable by the RFID reader when the container is in the closed orientation;
wherein the first portion and the second portion are configured such that upon a user action to open the container at least a first amount, the first portion and the second portion move relative to each other decoupling the conductive element from the first RFID tag such that the first RFID tag is no longer readable in the far field indicating a first open status of the container; and
wherein the first portion and the second portion are further configured such that upon a user action to open the container at least a second amount, the first portion and the second portion move relative to each other such that the second RFID tag is no longer shielded and is readable by the RFID reader indicating a second open status of the container.

US Pat. No. 10,106,284

BAG RETAINING FIXTURE

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A bag retaining fixture comprising:a plate having a front surface, a rear surface, a top edge and a bottom edge, wherein the plate is configured to be coupled to a bagging station; and
an elongate rod, wherein the elongate rod comprises:
an elongate rod first end;
an elongate rod second end;
a first end portion extending from the elongate rod first end to a first pass through portion first end, wherein the first end portion is adjacent to the rear surface along a first end portion length, and wherein the first end portion comprises:
a first cross-wise section, wherein the first cross-wise section extends along the rear surface in a direction perpendicular to the top edge, and wherein the first cross-wise section extends from the elongate rod first end to a first end portion bend; and
a first longitudinal section, wherein the first longitudinal section extends along the rear surface in a direction parallel to the top edge, and wherein the first longitudinal section extends from the first end portion bend to the first pass through portion first end;
a first pass through portion extending from the first pass through portion first end to a bag retaining section first end, wherein the first pass through portion passes through a first hole in the plate;
a bag retaining section having the bag retaining section first end coupled to the first pass through portion and a bag retaining section second end opposing the bag retaining section first end, and wherein the bag retaining section extends from the front surface of the plate;
a second pass through portion extending from the bag retaining section second end to a second pass through portion first end, wherein the second pass through portion passes through a second hole in the plate; and
a second end portion extending from the second pass through portion first end to the elongate rod second end, wherein the second end portion is adjacent to the rear surface along a second end portion length.

US Pat. No. 10,268,855

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR TRACKING

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for a customer in a retail store of tracking at least one additional person comprising:a tracking application for a mobile computing device of the customer;
a unique code for each of the at least one additional person, wherein the unique code is activated on the mobile computing device of the customer by first scanning the unique code and associating the unique code with the tracking application; and
video location technology for tracking by the customer of the at least one additional person on the mobile computing device.

US Pat. No. 10,210,476

OUT OF STOCK ITEM TRACKING AT RETAIL SALES FACILITIES

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A method for assisting in the locating of out of stock products at a retail sales facility, the method comprising:providing an inventory management database storing electronic data indicating at least one product that is offered for sale to consumers at a display location on a sales floor of the retail sales facility;
receiving, an indication that at least one product is out of stock on the sales floor of the retail sales facility;
determining, via an inventory management electronic device including a processor, and in response to querying the inventory management database via the inventory management electronic device to obtain inventory management data associated with the at least one product, that the inventory management data obtained via the inventory management electronic device from the inventory management database indicates that the at least one product is not located at the display location on the sales floor of the retail sales facility and is not located in a stock room of the retail sales facility;
tracking, via the inventory management electronic device and the inventory management database, a location of the at least one product at the retail sales facility other than the display location and other than the stock room, based on analyzing, via the inventory management electronic device, at least one inventory management factor associated with the retail sales facility and at least one worker task event associated with the at least one product, the at least one management factor and the worker task event being stored in the inventory management database; and
outputting, based on the tracking step and via the inventory management electronic device, an indication of a predicted location of the least one product at the retail sales facility other than the display location and other than the stock room, to a worker at the retail sales facility;
wherein the at least one inventory management factor includes at least one of: mis-rings, shipping error, sales floor quantity versus shelf cap, change in on-hand inventory at the retail sales facility, bin accuracy, perpetual inventory accuracy, modular integrity, shrink, replenishment method, and pick completion; and
wherein the at least one worker task event includes at least one of: time stamp of last sale of the at least one product, time stamp of last customer return of the at least one product, time stamp of last customer claim for the at least one product, time stamp of last binning or unbinning of the at least one product, time stamp of last feature set or unset of the at least one product, time stamp of last delivery of the at least one product, time stamp of last scan of the at least one product, time stamp of last price change of the at least one product, and time stamp of pick of the at least one product.

US Pat. No. 10,210,557

SYSTEM, METHOD, AND NON-TRANSITORY COMPUTER-READABLE STORAGE MEDIA FOR DISPLAYING PRODUCT INFORMATION ON WEBSITES

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A system, comprising:a memory device configured to store product data associated with a plurality of products, to store historical usage information related to usage of a commercial product module by a plurality of customers, and to store a plurality of facets associated with the plurality of products, each facet having a plurality of facet values;
at least one statistical model established as a function of the historical usage information;
an order system coupled to the memory device and being configured to send the commercial product module over a computer network to, and viewable by a customer on, a customer device and to allow the customer to enter a product search request via the commercial product module;
a search engine coupled to the memory device and the order system and being configured to receive the product search request from the order system, and to receive, from the memory device, search results data associated with the product search request, the search results data including a subset of the plurality of products and at least one facet of the plurality of facets associated with the product search request;
a facet cleaner being configured to establish a facet removal rate and a product view rate for each facet value of the plurality of facet values as a function of the search results data and the at least one statistical model; and
the facet cleaner coupled to the memory device, the order system, and the search engine and configured to receive the search results data, to filter the search results data based on the at least one statistical model to remove facet values of the plurality of facet values that are not relevant to the product search request from the search results data, and to responsively establish the search results data, as filtered, wherein the order system is further configured to send the search results data, as filtered, to the commercial product module over the computer network.

US Pat. No. 10,185,984

DELIVERY OF REMOTELY ORDERED ITEMS TO THE CURRENT LOCATION OF A USER WHEN GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION INDICATES THAT THE USER IS WITHIN A PREDETERMINED AREA ASSOCIATED WITH A PHYSICAL STORE

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A method, comprising:executing at a computer display screen an online order for one or more items at an e-commerce website, comprising:
displaying by the computer display screen an order screen provided by the e-commerce website for selecting the one or more items; and
communicating an order for the one or more items from the computer display screen to an order fulfillment center computer;
the method further comprising:
receiving, by one or more processors of a server associated with a physical store communicating with at least one of a mobile electronic device of a user or the order fulfillment center computer, geographic information about the user, the geographic information indicating that the user is within a predetermined area associated with the physical store;
determining, by the one or more processors, whether there is a pending remotely placed online order for a user account associated with the user in a database associated with the physical store;
in a first response to determining whether there is the pending remotely placed online order from the e-commerce website for the user account associated with the user in the database, automatically transmitting, by the one or more processors, order information to a computing device of the physical store, the order information comprising the one or more items in the pending remotely placed order;
determining, by the one or more processors communicating with the mobile electronic device of the user, a current location of the user; and
causing, by the one or more processors, a delivery of the one or more items to the current location for pickup by the user.

US Pat. No. 10,159,341

SHELVING ASSEMBLY WITH SHELVING DIVIDERS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A shelving divider comprising:a base plate having a main body defining a plurality of apertures, and a raised lip extending from the main body;
a center arm coupled to the base plate;
a first side arm rotatably coupled to the center arm;
a second side arm rotatably coupled to the center arm;
at least one fastener configured to extend through at least one aperture of the plurality of apertures, wherein the fastener include a head, and wherein the head is configured to block rotation of at least one of the first side arm or the second side arm in at least one direction.

US Pat. No. 10,149,091

DEVICE AND METHOD FOR DIRECTING EMPLOYEE MOVEMENT

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A mobile computing device for directing employee motion, the mobile computing device comprising:a proximity detection module, wherein the mobile computing device for directing employee motion is a first mobile computing device carried by a first employee, wherein the proximity detection module receives a coverage signal transmitted by a second mobile computing device carried by a second employee, and wherein the proximity detection module computes a distance between the first mobile computing device and the second mobile computing device;
a coverage module, wherein the coverage module receives a first coverage status indicator of the first mobile computing device and a second coverage status indicator of the second mobile computing device, wherein the first coverage status indicator indicates whether or not the first employee is a part of a network of employees covering a retail sales floor, and wherein the second coverage status indicator indicates whether or not the second employee is a part of the network of employees covering the retail sales floor;
and a direction module, wherein the direction module outputs a motion direction instruction in response to the proximity detection module receiving the coverage signal transmitted by the second mobile computing device, the distance being less than a predetermined minimum distance, and the first and the second coverage status indicators indicating that both the first and the second employees are a part of the network of employees covering the retail sales floor and when a motion detection module detects that the first mobile computing device and the second mobile computing device are both in motion; and wherein the direction module does not output a motion direction instruction when one of the first mobile computing device and the second computing device are not in motion.

US Pat. No. 10,137,816

VEHICLE SYSTEMS AND METHODS TO SUPPORT THE DISTRIBUTION OF PRODUCTS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A vehicle system, comprising:a housing;
a wheel system comprising at least one axle extending between at least two wheels positioned on opposite sides of the housing and supporting the housing;
a mobile product distribution system comprising:
a product movement system maintained within the housing;
a pallet transport system;
multiple bay doors formed in the housing and with which inbound vehicles and outbound vehicles align while products are distributed from each of the inbound vehicles to at least one of the outbound vehicles; and
a control circuit cooperated with the housing and configured to: estimate arrival times of each of the inbound vehicles and the outbound vehicles based on respective distances the inbound vehicles and the outbound vehicles are from a temporary distribution location of multiple different temporary distribution locations, historical travel times, and other stops a correspond one of the inbound vehicles and the outbound vehicles are scheduled to make; receive identifiers of each of the inbound vehicles and the outbound vehicles currently aligned with one of the multiple bay doors; generate a distribution plan identifying a number of each product to be moved from each of the inbound vehicles and a number of each product to be moved into each of the outbound vehicles based on the estimated arrival times and the identifiers of each of the inbound vehicles and the outbound vehicles currently aligned with one of the multiple bay doors; and determine product distribution routing to be applied by at least by the product movement system based on the distribution plan;
wherein the product movement system extends between the multiple bay doors and the control circuit directs the control of the product movement system to cause the transport of the products by the product movement system from each of the inbound vehicles, through the housing and to at least one of the outbound vehicles;
wherein the product movement system comprises a conveyor system extending through the housing, wherein the conveyor system comprising multiple conveyors over which at least some of the products are supported as the products are moved along at least a first conveyor of the multiple conveyors comprises an array of rollers that allow products to roll along a length of the at least one conveyor and provides at least a portion of a conveyor path between two bay doors and along which products are rolled along the array of rollers and transported from a first inbound vehicle of the inbound vehicles to a first outbound vehicle of the outbound vehicles; and
wherein the first conveyor is retractable and movable to be moved away from a first bay door to open space of the floor of the housing between at least the first bay door and a second bay door to enable movement of the pallet transport system to cooperate with and transport at least a pallet loaded with products from the first inbound vehicle to the first outbound vehicle.

US Pat. No. 10,138,100

RECHARGING APPARATUS AND METHOD

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. An apparatus configured to monitor power levels at a shopping facility, comprising:a transport unit central control system separate and distinct from a plurality of motorized transport units at a shopping facility, wherein each of the plurality of motorized transport units is self-propelled and wherein the transport unit central control system comprises:
a transceiver configured to wirelessly receive communications from the plurality of motorized transport units located at the shopping facility;
a control circuit coupled with the transceiver;
a memory coupled to the control circuit and storing computer instructions that when executed by the control circuit cause the control circuit to:
identify available stored power levels at each of the plurality of motorized transport units;
identify, based on the identified stored power levels, a first motorized transport unit to be subjected to recharging;
identify an available recharge station, of a plurality of recharge stations distributed throughout the shopping facility, at least relative to a location of the first motorized transport unit intended to be subjected to recharging; and
cause the transceiver to wirelessly communicate one or more instructions to cause the first motorized transport unit to temporarily electrically couple with the available recharge station, wherein the control circuit in causing the communication of the one or more instructions causes a wireless communication of a first instruction to the first motorized transport unit directing the first motorized transport unit to implement one or more physical movements through at least a portion of the shopping facility such that the first motorized transport unit approaches the available recharge station.

US Pat. No. 10,120,383

SYSTEMS AND METHODS TO DETER THEFT OF COMMERCIAL PRODUCTS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. An autonomous product delivery system to deter theft of commercial products, comprising:an autonomous ground vehicle (“AGV”) on a commercial product delivery route and configured to transport a commercial product to a delivery location comprising:
a control circuit;
a container storage area communicatively coupled to the control circuit and housing therein one or more commercial products for delivery;
a sensor communicatively coupled to the control circuit and configured to transmit sensor data to the control circuit;
a defensive element communicatively coupled to the control circuit, positioned proximate to the one or more commercial products, and configured to physically alter the one or more commercial products and thereby render the one or more commercial products unsatisfactory for their intended purpose; and
the control circuit configured to:
determine, using the sensor data, a presence of an unknown third party positioned within a threshold distance relative to the AGV;
determine, using the sensor data, an occurrence of an adverse event associated with the AGV when the presence of the unknown third party is determined; and
activate the defensive element when the occurrence of the adverse event is determined to physically alter the one or more commercial products.

US Pat. No. 10,120,384

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR DELIVERING PRODUCTS VIA AUTONOMOUS GROUND VEHICLES TO VEHICLES DESIGNATED BY CUSTOMERS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for facilitating delivery of products ordered by a customer of a retailer to a delivery destination including a physical location of a vehicle designated by the customer via an autonomous ground vehicle, the system comprising:an order processing server of the retailer configured to process an order for a product placed by a customer, wherein the order for the product placed by the customer specifies that the product be delivered via the autonomous ground vehicle to the delivery destination including the physical location of the vehicle designated by the customer;
a computing device of the retailer including a processor-based control circuit, the computing device configured to obtain global positioning system (GPS) coordinates of the physical location of the vehicle designated by the customer;
wherein the control circuit is configured to analyze the obtained GPS coordinates of the physical location of the vehicle designated by the customer, determine a route for an autonomous ground vehicle to the physical location of the vehicle designated by the customer, and transmit a first electronic notification to the autonomous ground vehicle including route instructions to guide the autonomous ground vehicle to the physical location of the vehicle designated by the customer along the determined route; and
wherein the autonomous ground vehicle, after receipt of the first electronic notification from the computing device, is configured to navigate, based on the route instructions, to the physical location of the vehicle designated by the customer while retaining the products ordered by the customer therein, to remain proximate the vehicle designated by the customer while retaining the products ordered by the customer therein, to transmit an electronic confirmation that the products ordered by the customer have been delivered by the autonomous ground vehicle to the delivery destination including the vehicle designated by the customer, to obtain identity detection data from a person attempting to retrieve the products from the autonomous ground vehicle at the delivery destination, and to permit the person attempting to retrieve the products from the autonomous ground vehicle at the delivery destination to retrieve the products ordered by the customer from the autonomous ground vehicle when an identity of the person attempting to retrieve the products from the autonomous ground vehicle at the delivery destination matches one of an identity of the customer who placed the order and an identity of a person authorized by the customer to pick up the products at the delivery destination from the autonomous ground vehicle.

US Pat. No. 10,093,333

SHOPPING CART WITH RFID AND BIOMETRIC COMPONENTS AND ASSOCIATED SYSTEMS AND METHODS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A shopping cart system comprising:a shopping cart including a frame having a handle portion, a basket supported by the frame, and a plurality of caster configured to support the frame;
a biometric device integrated with the handle portion to detect and discriminate between user attributes;
at least one RFID tag integrated in the shopping cart, the at least one RFID tag is configured to store biometric information associated with the user attributes;
at least one RFID reader configured to communicate with the at least one RFID tag in response to the at least one RFID tag being with a range of the at least one RFID reader to transfer the biometric information stored in the RFID tag to the RFID reader; and
a computing system operatively coupled to the at least one RFID reader, the computing system being configured to authenticate the user based on the biometric information received via the at least one RFID reader.

US Pat. No. 10,091,623

COMMUNICATION SYSTEM AND METHOD

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A communication system, comprising:a mobile reporting device comprising:
a location signal receiver configured to receive data usable to determine the location of the reporting device;
a communication module configured to transmit data to and receive data from a server, the data including location data from the first location signal receiver;
a display including a user interface that displays from the location data a two dimensional (2D) or three dimensional (3D) map indicating a current location of the mobile reporting device and a default location for a person of interest within a predetermined distance of the mobile reporting device, wherein the predetermined distance is adjusted dynamically over time according to the distance to a nearest communication device, or to maintain a number of communication devices below a predetermined threshold, and wherein the mobile reporting device is configured to display an image of any personnel within the predetermined distance and whereby an individual image can be selected by a user to view information associated with a specified person.

US Pat. No. 10,081,496

SELF-CHECKOUT REGISTER CONFIGURATIONS

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A self-checkout system comprising:a register belt station;
an itemization station downstream from the register belt station; and
a bagging station downstream from, extending along, and abutting a side surface of the itemization station, wherein the register belt station, an itemization station, and bagging station are each modular and removably coupled to each other, wherein the bagging station includes an electrical housing for providing electrical connections and distributing electricity to each and all of the bagging station, the itemization station, and the register belt station, and wherein each of the bagging station, the itemization station, and the register belt station includes conduits for receiving the electrical connections provided from the electrical housing of the bagging station, wherein the bagging station comprises:
a self-checkout scale platform, and
wherein the bagging station is on a first region of the self-checkout scale platform between the itemization station and a second region of the self-checkout scale platform having a surface for measuring a weight of a plurality of store items placed in shopping bags hanging from the bagging station and removed from the bagging station and placed on the second region of the self-checkout scale platform for weighing the store items in the shopping bags, and wherein the bagging station rotates about an axis perpendicular to the scale platform, wherein the self-checkout scale platform weighs a plurality of store items in shopping bags hanging from the bagging station.

US Pat. No. 10,268,744

SYSTEM FOR MAINTAINING CONSISTENCY ACROSS A DECENTRALIZED DATABASE CLUSTER AND METHOD THEREFOR

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A system comprising:a plurality of database servers each hosting a copy of a database, each database server comprising one or more processing modules and one or more non-transitory storage modules storing computing instructions configured to run on the one or more processing modules and perform acts of:
adding a node representing a database server to a list of active database servers;
receiving a checkpoint marker message with an associated checkpoint ID, wherein the checkpoint marker message and the associated checkpoint ID are embedded in a document update message;
determining when a checkpoint roll call node exists for the associated checkpoint ID;
when the checkpoint roll call node exists for the associated checkpoint ID, adding a database server node representing the database server to the checkpoint roll call node;
determining when a roll call has expired; and
after the roll call has expired and after the database server node is added to the checkpoint roll call node, committing an update to the database server.

US Pat. No. 10,217,098

REPRINTING A PAPER RECEIPT WHERE AN ELECTRONIC RECEIPT WAS ORIGINALLY ISSUED

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A method for printing electronic receipts comprising:receiving, by a receipts management server, a selection, from an electronic receipts software residing in at least one of one or more mobile electronic devices of a user, to receive the electronic receipts on the at least one of the one or more mobile electronic devices:
wherein the electronic receipts software is (a) downloaded by the user to the at least one of the one or more mobile electronic devices by at least scanning a QR code associated with the electronic receipts software associated with one or more brick and mortar retail stores, or (b) downloaded to the at least one of the one or more mobile electronic devices from the receipts management server;
wherein the electronic receipts software allows the user to interact with a Point of Sale (“POS”) terminal of at least one of the one or more brick and mortar retail stores; and
wherein the electronic receipts software creates a rule for the user to receive and manage the electronic receipts, based on the selection to receive the electronic receipts on the at least one of the one or more mobile electronic devices, through the receipts management server;
generating, by the receipts management server, a user account associated with the user including the selection to receive the electronic receipts, credit card information associated with the user, and identifying information associated with the at least one of the one or more mobile electronic devices;
storing, by the receipts management server, the user account in a user database, wherein the electronic receipts software tracks the user account associated with the user with the at least one of the one or more brick and mortar retail stores;
receiving, by the receipts management server, from the POS terminal, transaction information associated with a transaction with the user at the POS terminal at the at least one of the one or more brick and mortar retail stores, the transaction information comprising the credit card information used during the transaction;
generating, by the receipts management server, an electronic receipt of the electronic receipts based on the transaction information, as received, including data associated with the transaction and the POS terminal;
accessing the user database and selecting, by the receipts management server, the user account comprising the credit card information, as received;
determining, by the receipts management server, when the user account includes the selection to receive the electronic receipts;
identifying, by the receipts management server, the at least one of the one or more mobile electronic devices associated with the user account upon determining that the user account includes the selection to receive the electronic receipts;
issuing, by the receipts management server, the electronic receipt for the transaction to the at least one of the one or more mobile electronic devices for use by the electronic receipts software installed on the at least one of the one or more mobile electronic devices;
printing, by the receipts management server, a stub receipt at the POS terminal including an issuance notification that the electronic receipt has been issued to the at least one of the one or more mobile electronic devices;
rendering, by the electronic receipts software on the at least one of the one or more mobile electronic devices, images including a delivery notification indicating that the electronic receipt has been delivered to the at least one of the one or more mobile electronic devices, the images including a digital button for a request for an override to print a paper copy of the electronic receipt, wherein the electronic receipts software causes the at least one of the one or more mobile electronic devices to communicate with the receipts management server;
detecting, by the electronic receipts software, the selection by the user of the digital button indicating the request for the override to print the electronic receipt and transmitting a signal to the receipts management server including the request for the override from the user to print the paper copy of the electronic receipt;
receiving, by the receipts management server, the request by the user for the override from the at least one of the one or more mobile electronic devices containing the electronic receipts software;
overriding, by the receipts management server, the rule allowing the user to receive the electronic receipts included in the user account and transmitting the request for the override to print the paper copy of the electronic receipt to the POS terminal upon receiving the request for the override to print the paper copy of the electronic receipt from the electronic receipts software; and
printing, by the POS terminal, the paper copy of the electronic receipt at the POS terminal in response to receiving the request.

US Pat. No. 10,217,100

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR TRANSACTION PAYMENTS USING A MOBILE DEVICE

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A method for performing a financial transaction, said method comprising:processing a purchase transaction for products for purchase by a customer to determine a transaction amount;
requesting permission to communicate with a mobile device of the customer;
in response to receiving acceptance to the permission, communicating with the mobile device of the customer to communicate a store identifier, a mobile identifier, POS identifier, and the transaction amount to the mobile device;
determining a customer id associated with a financial institution, based on the mobile identifier;
preventing the mobile device from communicating information other than the acceptance to the permission, to allow for communicating to the mobile device to route the store identifier, POS identifier, and transaction amount to a financial institution of the customer for approval of the transaction amount for the customer; and
in response to receiving an approval number for the purchase transaction from a financial institution of the customer based on the transaction amount and the customer id, completing the purchase transaction for the purchase of the products by the customer.

US Pat. No. 10,214,400

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR MOVING PALLETS VIA UNMANNED MOTORIZED UNIT-GUIDED FORKLIFTS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

11. A method of facilitating movement of product-containing pallets, the method comprising:providing at least one forklift unit configured to lift and move the product-containing pallets;
providing at least one motorized transport unit including a processor-based control circuit and configured to move around independently of the forklift unit and to mechanically engage and disengage the at least one forklift unit;
providing a central computer system in two-way communication with the at least one motorized transport unit; and
transmitting at least one signal from the central computer system to the at least one motorized transport unit,
in response to receiving of the at least one signal from the central computer system, controlling, via the at least one motorized transport unit, the at least one forklift unit to which the at least one motorized transport unit is mechanically engaged to in order in order to move at least one of the product-containing pallets.

US Pat. No. 10,210,559

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR RECOMMENDATION SCRAPING

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A method, comprising:receiving, with a computer server system, a request for an item recommendation from a third user of one or more third users, wherein the computer server system comprises a recommendation system and a trust calculation system, wherein the recommendation system is configured to determine potential recommenders in an online trust network of the third user of the one or more third users, wherein the trust calculation system is configured to build a trust graph by identifying trust levels between trusted users in the online trust network of the third user based on trust data, wherein the trusted users comprise a holder, a first user, one or more second users, and the third user of the one or more third users;
receiving a computerized social media network content feed, with the computer server system, wherein the computerized social media network content feed is associated with the holder, wherein the computerized social media network content feed is configured to be scraped for product information;
identifying, with the computer server system, at least one post within the computerized social media network content feed comprising a mention of a respective item in a trust category of one or more trust categories;
determining, with the computer server system, by natural language processing or text mining, that the mention of the respective item is positive, negative, or neutral;
generating, with the computer server system, the item recommendation corresponding to the respective item based at least in part on the determining that the mention of the respective item is positive;
associating, with the computer server system, the item recommendation with a profile associated with the holder;
sending, with the computer server system, instructions to present the item recommendation to the third user of the one or more third users, the holder being within the online trust network of the third user of the one or more third users, the online trust network comprising:
trust information between the holder and one or more users, each of the one or more users comprising an associated level of trust with the holder and one or more other users of the one or more users, the one or more users comprising the one or more second users;
a first trust indication from a second user of the one or more second users to the holder, the first trust indication not being directly from the third user to the holder, the first trust indication comprises:
a first trust level from the second user of the one or more second users to the holder; and
the trust category of the one or more trust categories in which the second user trusts the holder;
a second trust indication from the third user of the one or more third users to the second user of the one or more second users, the second trust indication not being directly from the third user to the holder, the second trust indication comprising:
a second trust level from the third user to the second user; and
the trust category of the one or more trust categories in which the third user trusts the second user;
an implicit trust indication from the third user of the one or more third users to the holder based at least in part on the first trust indication from the second user of the one or more second users to the holder and the second trust indication from the third user of the one or more third users to the second user, wherein:
the third user is within a predetermined number of connections from the holder within the online trust network of the third user, and the third user is not directly connected to the holder within the online trust network of the third user;
the one or more trust categories are arranged in a hierarchy;
a level discount comprises a calculation of p(l?r), where p comprises a trust level and r comprises a fixed amount by which the trust level is reduced, the trust level comprises the first trust level or the second trust level;
the second trust indication between the second user and the third user is propagated to a lower level of the hierarchy without the level discount;
the second trust indication between the second user and the third user is propagated to a higher level of the hierarchy with the level discount; and
the level discount further comprises a transitive trust level for the third user within a first trust graph of the first user, wherein the transitive trust level is for the third user based on:
calculating the transitive trust level for the third user in the first trust graph of the first user based at least in part on a level of trust between the first user and the second user in the first trust graph of the first user; and
discounting the transitive trust level for the third user by a predefined amount based on the level of trust between the first user and the second user;
receiving, with the computer server system, a purchase decision from the third user in response to the item recommendation from the holder; and
initiating, with the computer server system, the purchase transaction by the third user in response to the item recommendation by the holder.

US Pat. No. 10,200,378

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR ACCESS TO ELECTRONIC DATA

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A method for improving access to electronic data, the method comprising:providing a server-based application that generates a graphical user interface for display on a first client device requesting the server-based application via a web browser on the first client device;
receiving credentials from a user of the first client device with the graphical user interface;
receiving, after an authorization of the user credentials, input from the user of the first client device via the graphical user interface, the graphical user interface configured to accept input indicating an URL for a website, a file path for a document, and text;
storing the entered input in a local browser cache on the first client device and in a remotely-located database, the input stored in the remotely located database being associated with the user credentials;
providing subsequently, a display generated by the server-based application of electronic data related to the stored input;
determining programmatically that a second client device is configured to use data in single or double byte format; and
converting programmatically the stored input from single byte format to double byte format or from double byte format to single byte format based on the determined configuration of the second client device.

US Pat. No. 10,192,238

REAL-TIME BIDDING AND ADVERTISING CONTENT GENERATION

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A method of generating a personalized Internet advertisement, the method comprising:receiving, by one or more server computing devices and in real-time, user information associated with a user of a client computing device;
deriving one or more user features from the user information associated with the user, the one or more user features comprising one or more user intents;
generating, by the one or more server computing devices, one or more intent graphs relative to the user and an advertiser having a plurality of advertiser intents;
matching, by the one or more server computing devices, using the one or more intent graphs, the one or more user intents with one or more of the plurality of advertiser intents associated with products or services offered by the advertiser, wherein matching the one or more user intents with the one or more of the plurality of advertiser intents comprises:
accepting, at an intent matcher processing subsystem of the one or more server computing devices, one or more intent match context objects, wherein the one or more intent match context objects comprise a list of topic-term pairs as output, each of the one or more intent match context objects are associated with at least one of the one or more user intents, the one or more intent match context objects are accepted as input and returned as output at each of a plurality of processing subsystems of a processing pipeline of the one or more server computing devices implementing an intent match runtime system, the plurality of processing subsystems comprising the intent matcher processing subsystem, and each respective processing subsystem of the plurality of processing subsystems is configured to change only a context field of a context object of the one or more intent match context objects corresponding to a responsibility of the each respective processing subsystem;
computing, by the one or more server computing devices, and using one or more statistical models, a similarity score between the one or more user features and the one or more of the plurality of advertiser intents;
determining, by the one or more server computing devices, that the user information is accepted, including determining that the similarity score exceeds a threshold; and
in response to accepting the user information, generating, by the one or more server computing devices, the personalized Internet advertisement based on the matching of the one or more user intents and the one or more of the plurality of advertiser intents.

US Pat. No. 10,189,692

SYSTEMS, DEVICES AND METHODS FOR RESTORING SHOPPING SPACE CONDITIONS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for restoring shopping space conditions comprising:a motorized transport unit comprising at least one sensor; and
a central computer system comprising a wireless transceiver for communicating with the motorized transport unit, the central computer system being configured to:
identify a section of the shopping space having a dropped item;
instruct the motorized transport unit to travel to the section of the shopping space and collect information associated with the dropped item using the at least one sensor, wherein the at least one sensor comprises a barcode or Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) reader and the information associated with the dropped item comprises an item identifier;
determine a characteristic of the dropped item in the section of the shopping space based on the item identifier detected by the at least one sensor of the motorized transport unit, wherein the characteristic is retrieved from an item characteristics database using the item identifier; and
select a cleaning task from a plurality of cleaning tasks based on the characteristic of the dropped item.

US Pat. No. 10,192,196

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR MONITORING PRODUCT RECALLS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for tracking the handling of product recalls by product distribution centers affected by the product recalls, the system comprising:a plurality of product distribution centers, each product distribution center receiving a plurality of different types of products from vendors;
a central home office in communication with the plurality of product distribution centers;
a first electronic interface at the central home office configured to receive input of recall information from a vendor corresponding to a product recall of a recalled product type;
a subset of the plurality of product distribution centers having the recalled product type;
a second electronic interface at each of the subset of product distribution centers configured to receive notifications of product recalls, each second electronic interface configured to allow access to the recall information by the product distribution centers having the recalled product type;
a recall database configured to receive and store the recall information for the recalled product type and other recall information for other product recalls of other product types;
a control circuit operatively coupled to the recall database and the first and second interfaces, the control circuit configured to:
create a record for the product recall in the recall database;
determine the product distribution centers having the recalled product type and assign the product recall to the subset of product distribution centers;
transmit a notification regarding the product recall to each product distribution center having products affected by the product recall of the subset of product distribution centers;
receive confirmation of receipt of the notification from the product distribution centers having products affected by the product recall;
receive a disposition of an action of the product recall from each of the subset of product distribution centers having the recalled product type; and
update the recall database with the disposition by each of the subset of product distribution centers having the recalled product type;
wherein the first interface is accessible to receive input regarding the product recall from one of a predetermined group of vendors and wherein the other recall information for the other product recalls of the other product types in the recall database is not accessible to the predetermined group of vendors.

US Pat. No. 10,186,152

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR MONITORING PARKING AREA

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for monitoring a parking area comprising:an image database storing a plurality of images of a parking lot taken by one or more satellites over time;
a baseline database storing baseline models of a plurality of sections of the parking lot; and
a control circuit coupled to the image database and the baseline database, the control circuit being configured to:
determine a utilization condition for each of the plurality of sections of the parking lot based on performing image analysis on the plurality of images of the parking lot;
compare the utilization condition for each of the plurality of sections of the parking lot with a baseline model of the plurality of sections of the parking lot; and
in an event that the utilization condition of a section of the plurality of sections of the parking lot exceeds a deviation threshold of deviates from the baseline model of the section, automatically generate an action recommendation for the section of the parking lot;
wherein the section corresponds to a loading zone of a shopping facility and the utilization condition corresponding to a turnover rate for one or more trucks.

US Pat. No. 10,185,943

SELF-DEPOSIT APPARATUS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. An apparatus configured to facilitate depositing of items comprising:optical reader configured to read an identifier associated with an item intended for deposit;
a first scale configured to support the item and to determine a first weight of the item;
an image capturing device configured to capture an image of the item while the item is supported by the first scale;
a bin disposed adjacent to the first scale, the bin including side walls that define an interior area for receiving the item after determining the first weight and capturing the image;
a second scale, separate and distinct from the first scale, the second scale forming a bottom surface of the bin, the second scale configured to determine a second weight of the item after the item is placed in the bin; and
a controller configured to (i) extract a set of dimensions of the item from the image, (ii) verify that the item deposited in the bin is associated with the identifier read by the optical reader based on the captured image, the set of dimensions, and a comparison of the first weight determined by the first scale and the second weight determined by the second scale, (iii) query a stored weight of each of a plurality of items including the item disposed in the bin, (iv) combine the stored weights, and (v) compare the combined stored weight to the combined weight of the plurality of items in the bin captured by the second scale.

US Pat. No. 10,185,962

STORE ITEM RETURN PROCESS

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for transporting merchandise returned by a customer from a customer service area of a retail store to a back storage area of a retail store, comprising:a customer facing device at the customer service area for use by a retail store customer to enter return merchandise data;
a scanning device external to and physically separate from the customer facing device for identifying the returned merchandise;
at least one conveyor belt at the retail store external to and physically separate from both the customer facing device and scanning device, and having a surface on which the returned merchandise is positioned for transporting the returned merchandise from the customer service area to the back storage area where the returned merchandise is stored, wherein an outermost end of the at least one conveyor belt is in the back storage area, wherein the at least one conveyor belt comprises:
a first belt including at least one customer service belted segment that transports the returned merchandise from a register to a second belt;
the second belt including an intermediate belted segment positioned between the customer service belted segment and a third belt;
the third belt including a storage area belted segment; and
a set of rollers on a counter separate from the third belt at the outermost end, wherein the rollers and the storage area belted segment are co-located in the back storage area for receiving the returned merchandise from the intermediate belted segment.

US Pat. No. 10,181,651

WIDE ANGLE PLANAR ANTENNA ASSEMBLY

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A method for reducing a null in electromagnetic radiation from an antenna assembly comprising:aligning a plurality of radiation elements in a common plane, the plurality of radiation elements being uniformly spaced with respect to each other semi-circumferentially about an axis perpendicular to the common plane extending centrally through a diameter line of a semi-circle formed on the common plane by the radiating elements;
forming a first reflector to have an inverted, truncated, semi-circular conical configuration;
positioning a first reflector centrally with respect to the diameter line of the semi-circle formed on the common plane by the radiation elements;
spacing a first base of the first reflector in proximity to the radiating elements, a second base of the first reflector being disposed further away from the radiation elements than the first base, wherein the second base of the first reflector has a diameter that exceeds a footprint of the radiating elements; and
reflecting electromagnetic radiation emitted by the radiation elements along the axis and through the common plane by the first reflector to provide a coverage area that extends along the axis beyond the antenna assembly,
wherein a center axis of the first reflector extends at an angle to the common plane other than ninety degrees.

US Pat. No. 10,173,140

INTERACTIVE GAMING SYSTEMS AND METHODS

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. An interactive gaming system comprising:a mobile computing device operating a gaming application;
an achievement engine communicatively coupled to the mobile computing device, wherein the achievement engine receives and stores data related to use of the gaming application;
an electronic offer generated by the achievement engine and sent to the mobile computing device in response to a user completing a predetermined event in the gaming application operating on the mobile computing device, wherein the electronic offer is redeemable in a physical store associated with the interactive gaming system; and
a tracking system communicatively coupled to the achievement engine, the tracking system located in the physical store associated with the interactive gaming system, wherein:
the tracking system includes a Wi-fi beacon to identify the mobile computing device operating the gaming application in the store, communicates with the mobile computing device to receive a location of the mobile computing device within the physical store associated with the interactive gaming system and sends event data to the achievement engine in response to determining the user has performed an in-store process resulting in a triggered event, wherein the achievement engine:
determines if the triggered event is a qualifying event and records the same in a memory of the achievement engine;
operates rule based aggregation/counter software in order to determine an achievement associated with the qualifying event; and
triggers an achievement, wherein the triggered achievement is then communicated to the mobile computing device related to the in-store process;
the mobile computing device operating the gaming application receives gaming benefits for use in the gaming application in response to the achievement engine processing the event data received from the tracking system; and
the achievement engine automatically determines additional electronic offers available to send to the mobile computing device in response to processing location information from the mobile computing device including the location of the mobile computing device within the physical store associated with the interactive gaming system.

US Pat. No. 10,138,062

ORDER FULFILLMENT SYSTEM WITH ROBOTIC BREAK PACK

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

15. An order fulfillment system, the system comprising:an order processing means for processing a product order placed by a consumer and for communicating product order information associated with the product order to an inventory management database configured to store the product order information;
a de-pallet station including means for unloading a first receptacle from a pallet and placing the first receptacle unloaded from the pallet onto a de-palletizer conveyor configured to transport the first receptacle unloaded from the pallet to a stocking station;
at least one stocking station including means for unloading at least one product from the first receptacle and for placing the at least one product unloaded from the first receptacle onto at least one storage shelf;
a first picking station including a means for picking a plurality of products including the first product from the at least one storage shelf and for loading the plurality of products including the first product picked from the at least one storage shelf into a second receptacle for delivery to a consumer;
an empty receptacle placement station including a means for placing an empty second receptacle onto a packing conveyor including a means for transporting the empty second receptacle toward the first picking station for loading of the plurality of products including the first product into the empty second receptacle;
an electronic inventory management device including a means for obtaining the product order information from the inventory management database and for transmitting a signal based on the product order information to at least one of the empty receptacle placement station and the first robotic picking arm, the means for obtaining the product order information being configured to analyze the product order information obtained from the inventory management database and to generate a product loading order, a product loading location, and a product loading orientation for products to be loaded into the second receptacle, wherein:
the first picking station is configured, in response to receipt of the signal from the electronic inventory management device, to cause the means for picking the plurality of products including the first product to place the plurality of products including the first product into the empty second receptacle in the product loading location and in the product loading orientation specified in the signal received by the first picking station from the electronic inventory management device; and
at least one placement verification station including a means for scanning the plurality of products including the first product after placement of the plurality of products including the first product into the second receptacle to confirm at least one of the following: that the plurality of products including the first product was ordered by the consumer, that the plurality of products including the first product was loaded into the second receptacle by the means for picking of the first picking station in the product loading location and in the product loading orientation specified in the signal received by the first picking station from the electronic inventory management device.

US Pat. No. 10,134,076

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR ATTRIBUTE EXTRACTION FROM PRODUCT TITLES USING SEQUENCE LABELING ALGORITHMS

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A system comprising:one or more input devices;
a display;
one or more computer processing modules; and
one or more non-transitory storage modules storing computing instructions configured to run on the one or more computer processing modules and perform acts of:
receiving, from a third-party electronic device at the one or more computer processing modules, a title for a product;
dividing, at the one or more computer processing modules, the title into a sequence of tokens;
storing, by the one or more computer processing modules onto the one or more non-transitory storage modules, the sequence of tokens;
determining, at the one or more computer processing modules, a type of each token of the sequence of tokens using machine learning algorithms comprising a sequence labeling model, wherein the sequence labeling model comprises a set of feature functions, each of the set of feature functions comprising:

wherein each x consists of a different token of the sequence of tokens, each y consists of a first type of label for each token of the sequence of tokens, and DT is a first label assigned to a determiner;
storing, by the one or more computer processing modules onto the one or more non-transitory storage modules, the type of each token of the sequence of tokens;
encoding, at the one or more computer processing modules, each token of the sequence of tokens to indicate a second type of label for each token of the sequence of tokens, wherein the second type of label for each token of the sequence of tokens is based on the type of each token of the sequence of tokens and is chosen from a BIO encoding scheme, wherein a label B of the BIO encoding scheme indicates a first token of a brand name, a label I of the BIO encoding scheme indicates a subsequent token of the brand name, and a label O of the BIO encoding scheme indicates a token that is not part of the brand name;
storing, by the one or more computer processing modules onto the one or more non-transitory storage modules, the second type of label for each token of the sequence of tokens;
determining, at the one or more computer processing modules, an attribute for each token of the sequence of tokens, the attribute comprising the brand name from each token of the sequence of tokens using a label for each token of the sequence of tokens;
storing, by the one or more computer processing modules onto the one or more non-transitory storage modules, the attribute for each token of the sequence of tokens;
normalizing, at the one or more computer processing modules, the attribute for each token of the sequence of tokens to create standardized representations of the attribute for each token of the sequence of tokens;
writing, by the one or more computer processing modules onto the one or more non-transitory storage modules, the attribute for each token of the sequence of tokens to empty database entries associated with the product; and
facilitating a representation of the attribute for each token of the sequence of tokens on a user display in response to a search request from a user.

US Pat. No. 10,127,517

METHOD AND SYSTEM TO FACILITATE SAME DAY DELIVERY OF ITEMS TO A CUSTOMER

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A computer implemented method comprising:a computer system with one or more processors comprising a store server presenting items for purchase to a customer via a website, wherein a store comprises a brick and mortar store;
the store server receiving an order of an item from the customer;
the store server receiving customer information from the customer including a delivery location for delivery of the item;
the store server providing the delivery location to a delivery server;
the delivery server comparing the delivery location to existing delivery locations for a delivery route to the delivery location;
the delivery server analyzing at least one of one or more traffic patterns or one or more road types on the delivery route to the delivery location;
the delivery server determining whether a history of at least one of one or more specific instructions from the customer or one or more past complaints from the customer exists;
in response to determining that the history of the at least one of the one or more specific instructions from the customer or the one or more past complaints from the customer exists, the delivery server analyzing the at least one of the one or more specific instructions from the customer or the one or more past complaints from the customer;
the delivery server creating one or more optimized delivery routes based on an analysis of the at least one of the one or more traffic patterns or the one or more road types on the delivery route to the delivery location and an analysis of the history of the at least one of the one or more specific instructions from the customer or the one or more past complaints from the customer;
the delivery server providing one or more delivery times to the store server;
the store server correlating the one or more delivery times with one or more predetermined delivery windows;
the store server presenting to the customer one or more delivery windows for the order, as correlated, the one or more predetermined delivery windows comprising the one or more delivery windows;
the store server receiving from the customer a selection of a delivery window from the one or more delivery windows before the customer initiates a check out process for the order;
after the delivery route to the delivery location is finalized, the store server transmits the order to an order fulfillment computer coupled to a mobile electronic device comprising a user interface configured to display the order, as finalized, while one or more applications are in an un-launched state on the mobile electronic device, the one or more applications comprising an item database and a layout interface of the store;
upon receipt of the order by the order fulfillment computer, the order fulfillment computer configures a particular route mapping the items of the order in the store by retrieving information from the layout interface of the store, wherein the information comprises indications of a location of each of the items of the order in the store;
transmitting, by the order fulfillment computer to the mobile electronic device, the particular route mapping the items of the order in the store to change the user interface of the mobile electronic device to overlay the particular route on the user interface of the mobile electronic device, so that the items of the order can be collected following the particular route;
upon completion of the check out process for the order by the customer, the store server transmits the delivery window to the delivery server;
the delivery server placing a provisional hold for an order delivery time corresponding to the delivery window before the check out process is initiated until the customer completes the order;
upon completion of the check out process for the order by the customer, the store server transmitting a notification to the delivery server that the customer has completed the order; and
the delivery server converting the provisional hold of the order delivery time into a reservation of the order delivery time after receiving the notification that the customer has completed the order.

US Pat. No. 10,114,880

SYNCHRONIZING DATABASE DATA TO A DATABASE CACHE

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. At a computer system, the computer system comprising one or more processors and system memory, the computer system managing an order database for a retail business entity, the order database storing order data for a plurality of orders, the order database communicatively coupled to an order database cache, the order database cache configured to store the order data from the order database, the order database communicatively coupled to a plurality of communication channels that can modify an order state, a method for synchronizing the order data from the order database to the order database cache, the method comprising:monitoring a trigger for the order database, the trigger initially set to indicate no modification and configured to indicate when the order state within the order database has been modified;
receiving an order lookup over one of the plurality of communication channels;
determining that the order lookup defines a state modification for an order of the plurality of orders stored in the order database; and
routing the order lookup to the order database based on determining that the order lookup defines the state modification for the order of the plurality of orders;
determining whether the state modification of the order is associated with an intent to cancel or not cancel an order line item of the order;
when the order line item of the order is authorized to be cancelled, the order database is configured to:
modify the order state by implementing the state modification within the order database;
transition, using a processor, the trigger to indicate that the order state within the order database has been modified;
detect that the trigger has been transitioned;
in response to detecting that the trigger has been transitioned, call a caching interface to asynchronously push a cancel state to the order database cache and to publish at least the order state from the order database to the order database cache after the order state is modified, wherein the order state comprises the cancel state; and
display, using a processor, a first message that the order state has been modified, wherein the first message is displayed to a user requesting cancellation of the order line item of the order; and
when the order line item of the order is not authorized to be cancelled, the order database is configured to:
maintain and not change the order state within the order database;
transition, using a processor, the trigger to indicate that the order state within the order database has not been modified;
detect that the trigger has not been transitioned;
in response to detecting that the trigger has not been transitioned, call the caching interface to asynchronously push a not cancel state to the order database cache and to publish at least the order state from the order database to the order database cache, wherein the order state comprises the not cancel state; and
display, using a processor, a second message that the order state cannot be modified, wherein the second message is displayed to the user requesting the cancellation of the order line item of the order.

US Pat. No. 10,102,551

METHODS AND SYSTEMS TO PROVIDE PRICE MATCHING OFFERS TO POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A computer implemented method comprising:providing an application to a customer for installation on a customer computer;
providing a computer server associated with a brick and mortar store and communicatively coupled to the application, the computer server comprising at least one processor and a memory;
providing a scanner within the brick and mortar store communicatively coupled to the computer server;
providing a product database stored on the memory of the computer server;
receiving from the application, by the computer server, an image of a receipt from a competing store, wherein the at least one processor of the computer server is configured to:
process the image of the receipt using optical character recognition;
identify a first UPC code of a plurality of UPC codes associated with a first product on the receipt to thereby identify the first product on the receipt which was purchased by the customer at the competing store;
query the product database to identify a corresponding product sold by the brick and mortar store associated with the first UPC code associated with the first product on the receipt, wherein the product database stores a plurality of product information for products sold at the brick and mortar store comprising the plurality of UPC codes, a plurality of product descriptions, and customer purchase data for each of the plurality of UPC codes;
identify, from the receipt, a price at which the first product was purchased at the competing store;
compare at least the first product, the price, and the first UPC code to the product database to determine whether the corresponding product is sold by the brick and mortar store and whether one or more other products of a brand of the first product is sold by the brick and mortar store;
when the corresponding product is not sold by the brick and mortar store, use a first product description of the plurality of product descriptions associated with the first UPC code of the first product to query the product database to identify the one or more other products of the brand of the first product sold by the brick and mortar store;
analyze the first product description associated with the first UPC code of the first product to determine whether the brick and mortar store sells one or more other brands of the first product, wherein the one or more other brands of the first product has a UPC code distinct from the first UPC code of the first product;
determine a genus and each species of the corresponding product and the one or more other brands of the first product;
when the brick and mortar store sells the corresponding product, determine whether a price difference exists between the competing store for the first product and the brick and mortar store for the each species of a same genus of the corresponding product;
when the brick and mortar store sells the one or more other brands of the first product, determine whether a price difference exists between the competing store for the first product and the brick and mortar store for the one or more other brands of the first product;
when the brick and mortar store sells the corresponding product or the one or more other brands of the first product, determine whether the genus or the each species of the corresponding product or the one or more other brands of the first product is of greater significance to the customer by (a) using the customer purchase data for the corresponding product and the one or more other brands of the first product and (b) comparing product purchases of the first product on the receipt made by the customer at the competing store with product purchases of at least one of the corresponding product or the one or more other brands of the first product made by the customer at the brick and mortar store;
when the brick and mortar store sells the corresponding product or the one or more other brands of the first product, compare the first product with the corresponding product or the one or more other brands of the first product to determine that the first product was purchased by the customer at the competing store for a lower price than a price at which the at least one of the corresponding product or the one or more other brands of the first product is sold by the brick and mortar store;
when the first product was purchased by the customer at the competing store at the lower price, prepare a coupon based on the determination of whether the genus of the each species of the corresponding product or the one or more other brands of the first product is of greater significance to the customer, the coupon offering a discount for shopping at the brick and mortar store which is equal to a price difference between the price at which the first product was purchased by the customer at the competing store and the price at which the at least one of the corresponding product or the one or more other brands of the first product is sold at the brick and mortar store; and
format the coupon into a notification, wherein the coupon includes a machine-readable code;
create a second coupon based on the customer purchase data from prior purchases at the competing store specific to the customer, wherein the second coupon is formatted into a second notification, wherein the second coupon includes a second machine-readable code;
transmitting the notification by the computer server over a wireless communication channel to the customer computer, wherein the notification comprises a pop-up window;
generating, by the computer server, a user interface of the application for display on the customer computer, the user interface including the pop-up window;
displaying the coupon and the second coupon to the customer on the user interface; and
scanning, by the scanner, the machine-readable code to allow the customer to redeem the coupon for purchasing the corresponding product or the one or more other brands of the first product at the brick and mortar store and to adjust the price of the at least one of the corresponding product or the one or more other brands of the first product at the brick and mortar store by the coupon.

US Pat. No. 9,994,245

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR HOLDING CONTAINERS OPEN

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A cart comprising:a cart body having at least two side walls defining a cavity for receiving articles and having a plurality of wheels coupled to the cart body to mobilize the cart body; and
first and second receptacle securing mechanisms coupled to the cart body via tethers and extendible between retracted positions wherein the securing mechanisms are positioned proximate respective portions of the cart and extended positions wherein the securing mechanisms are spaced apart from the respective portions of the cart and extended toward one another into the cavity defined by the cart body in order to assist in holding open at least one receptacle when connected thereto.

US Pat. No. 10,246,187

SYSTEMS AND METHODS TO INTERCHANGEABLY COUPLE TOOL SYSTEMS WITH UNMANNED VEHICLES

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. An unmanned aerial task system, comprising: a plurality of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) each comprising: a UAV control circuit; a motor; and propulsion system coupled with the motor and configured to enable the UAV to move; a universal coupler comprising a communication bus communicatively coupled with the UAV control circuit and a coupling system, wherein the universal coupler is configured to interchangeably couple and decouple between two or more of multiple different tool systems that are each configured to perform at least a different one of multiple different functions configured to be put into use while carried by a first UAV, wherein the coupling system is configured to secure one of the multiple tool systems with the first UAV and enable a communication connection between the communication bus and the one of the multiple tool systems, wherein the UAV control circuit is configured to implement control to enable the coupling system to engage and disengage any one of the multiple different tool systems to enable the first UAV to switch between the two or more of the multiple different tool systems and enable implementation of the respective one of the different functions provided by the two or more of the multiple different tools systems, and wherein the multiple different tool systems comprise at least a package securing tool system configured to retain and enable transport of a package while being delivered, and a sensor tool system configured to sense a condition and communicate sensor data of the sensed condition to the UAV control circuit over the communication bus.

US Pat. No. 10,218,754

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR MANAGEMENT OF DIGITALLY EMULATED SHADOW RESOURCES

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for managing emulations of digital and physical conference resources; the system comprising:at least one display within at least one physical meeting room;
at least one processor operatively connected to a memory;
the processor executes a creation component to create a digital room accessible via a communication network, wherein the digital room emulates physical properties of the at least one physical meeting room including the at least one display within the at least one physical meeting room;
the processor executes a scheduling component to schedule and to manage invitations for access to the digital room and the at least one physical meeting room;
the processor executes a management component to manage operation of, and allocate content to, the at least one display represented in the digital room and the at least one display within the at least one physical meeting room; and
the processor executes a security component to monitor properties associated with the at least one physical meeting room and the digital room for compliance with at least one security rule, and
prevent unauthorized users from accessing the physical meeting room and the digital room,
wherein the system separately control the physical meeting room and the digital room,
wherein the processor modifies the digital room to emulate physical resources within the at least one physical meeting room or additional physical meeting rooms,
wherein the processor accesses an inventory of resources associated with the at least one physical meeting room or the additional physical meeting rooms and associate the digital meeting room with physical resources specified in the inventory of resources,
wherein the processor associates the physical resources with the digital meeting room responsive to user selection.

US Pat. No. 10,209,901

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR DISTRIBUTIVE DATA STORAGE

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for more efficient upload, storage, and retrieval of images, the system comprising:one or more processing modules; and
one or more non-transitory storage modules storing computing instructions configured to run on the one or more processing modules and perform acts of:
dividing an image into two or more portions;
calculating a portion hash value for each portion of the two or more portions, wherein each portion hash value for each portion of the two or more portions is different than other portion hash values for other portions of the two or more portions;
creating one or more image portion replicas of each portion of the two or more portions by replicating each portion of the two or more portions by a replication factor, the one or more image portion replicas comprising a same portion hash value as each corresponding portion of the two or more portions;
sending the one or more image portion replicas to a distributive data storage cluster, the distributive data storage cluster comprising two or more storage nodes;
storing each of the one or more image portion replicas in the two or more storage nodes, thereby resulting in the more efficient upload, storage, and retrieval of the image;
receiving, from an electronic device of a user, a request to view the image;
sending a request to retrieve the image from the distributive data storage cluster;
retrieving the image from the distributive data storage cluster by retrieving a set of the one or more image portion replicas, wherein the set of the one or more image portion replicas, when combined, comprises the image, thereby resulting in the more efficient retrieval of the image; and
transmitting instructions to display, on the electronic device of the user, the image.

US Pat. No. 10,204,328

LOCATING AND ORGANIZING DIGITAL RECEIPT DATA FOR USE IN IN-STORE AUDITS

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A system, comprising:a Point-Of-Sale (POS) system, located in a store location, wherein the POS system comprises a first processor and a first communication system, the POS system, using the first processor, is configured to generate digital receipt data for a sales transaction conducted at the POS system, the digital receipt data comprising digital receipt entries for multiple items purchased by a customer in the sales transaction, and is configured to arrange the digital receipt entries in a first order, and the first communication system is configured to transmit the digital receipt data to a receipt application server with the digital receipt entries arranged in the first order;
the receipt application server, wherein the receipt application server comprises a second processor and a second communication system, the second communication system is configured to receive the digital receipt data with the digital receipt entries arranged in the first order from the first communication system, the receipt application server, using the second processor, is configured: (i) to refer to audit rules, the audit rules defining an audit priority, (ii) to re-order the digital receipt entries into a second order based on the audit priority and (iii) to reformat one or more of the digital receipt entries from a first format to a second format configured to be more visually prominent than the one or more other digital receipt entries from the first format, and the second communication system is further configured (a) to transmit the digital receipt data to a mobile device of the customer with the digital receipt entries arranged in the first order and (b) to transmit the digital receipt data to an auditor mobile device with the digital receipt entries arranged in the second order and with the one or more of the digital receipt entries formatted in the second format; and
the auditor mobile device, located in the store location, wherein the auditor mobile device comprises a third processor and a third communication system, the third communication system is configured to receive the digital receipt data with the digital receipt entries arranged in the second order and with the one or more of the digital receipt entries formatted in the second format from the second communication system, the auditor mobile device, using the third processor is configured to display the digital receipt data with the digital receipt entries arranged in the second order and with the one or more of the digital receipt entries formatted in the second format for use in auditing the digital receipt entries against items physically possessed by the customer upon the customer attempting to exit the store location.

US Pat. No. 10,192,419

SHOPPING PARTY LOCATOR SYSTEMS AND METHODS

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for locating a member separated from a group, the system comprising:a plurality of scanning devices for scanning bar codes; and
a computer system of a computing system, which computer system is coupled to the plurality of scanning devices and programmed to:
i. receive from a scanning device of the plurality of scanning devices a signal comprising data associated with a scanned bar code;
ii. automatically identify a group in response to processing the data from the scanning device;
iii. automatically display a photo of the group on computers of the computing system in response to identifying the group, wherein a member separated from the group is identifiable;
iv. using data received and stored, automatically generate and transmit to all computers of the computing system that displays a photo of the separated member of the group;
v. receive from a scanning device of the plurality of scanning devices a signal comprising data associated with a scanned bar code of a label of the separated member from the group; and
vi. automatically notify the computing system that the separated member of the group has been scanned.

US Pat. No. 10,182,668

CLIP FOR SECURING ELONGATED LABEL TRACK AND ASSOCIATED SYSTEMS AND METHODS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A clip for securing an elongated label track to a shelf or base deck, the shelf or base deck including a top surface, a front face and a bottom surface, the elongated label track including a width and a length, the clip comprising:a top portion having a first length extending from a first terminal end to a first transition portion, the top portion configured to secure to the top surface of the shelf or base deck;
an intermediate portion having a second length extending from the first transition portion to a second transition portion;
a bottom portion having a third length extending from the second transition portion to a second terminal end, the bottom portion configured to engage a bottom surface of the shelf or base deck and support the elongated label track;
wherein out of the top portion, the intermediate portion, and the bottom portion, only the intermediate portion is configured to sandwich the elongated label track against the shelf or base deck, the length of the elongated label track extending beyond side portions of the clip, and the width of the elongated label track dimensioned substantially equal to the second length of the intermediate portion and bounded by the first and second transition portions of the clip; and
wherein the intermediate portion extends at a first angle with respect to the top portion and a second angle with respect to the bottom portion, the first angle forming an interior angle that is an obtuse angle between 100° and 140°, and the second angle forming an interior angle that is an acute angle between 40° and 80°.

US Pat. No. 10,181,147

METHODS AND SYSTEMS FOR ARRANGING A WEBPAGE AND PURCHASING PRODUCTS VIA A SUBSCRIPTION MECHANISM

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A method comprising:receiving, by a computer system using one or more processors, a subscription mechanism for a web feed of a first user comprising a set of products selected by the first user;
causing, by the computer system, a software application (“app”) to be downloaded on an electronic device of a second user, wherein the software app comprises the subscription mechanism of the first user in an un-launched state and also comprises a first user interface;
presenting, by the computer system, a menu on the first user interface displayed on the software app on the electronic device of the second user, the first user interface comprising one or more recommendations of a first product displayed on a first webpage, wherein the set of products comprises the first product;
receiving, by the computer system, from the menu via the software app, a selection by the second user of one of the one or more recommendations of the first product wherein the web feed and the one or more recommendations are displayed on the first user interface;
arranging, with the computer system, a second webpage with the one or more recommendations of the first product customized to match a request of the second user comprising the subscription mechanism of the first user associated with the first product of the set of products;
accessing, with the computer system, data in the subscription mechanism of the first user, wherein the subscription mechanism of the first user remains in the un-launched state during the accessing, wherein the second user (a) subscribes to the subscription mechanism of the first user or (b) selects another recommendation of the one or more recommendations of the first product;
determining, with the computer system, that one or more pre-determined conditions set by the second user are satisfied; and
causing, by the computer system, at least a portion of the set of products to be purchased by the second user.

US Pat. No. 10,173,573

SENSOR SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR MONITORING UNLOADING OF CARGO

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A sensor system comprising:a first plurality of sensors arranged about an opening associated with a door through which packages are unloaded from a vehicle or trailer, the first plurality of sensors being configured to measure an unpacked depth of the vehicle or trailer; and
a processor in communication with each of the first plurality of sensors and a display device, wherein the processor is configured to:
receive first measured data generated by the first plurality of sensors as packages are being unpacked from a first vehicle or trailer;
determine a first empty volume over time of the first vehicle or trailer based on the first measured data as packages are being unpacked from the first vehicle or trailer;
determine a first rate of unloading corresponding to the first vehicle or trailer based on the first empty volume over time;
receive second measured data generated by the first plurality of sensors as packages are being unpacked from a second vehicle or trailer;
determine a second rate of unloading corresponding to the second vehicle or trailer;
compare the first rate and the second rate to determine efficiency of unloading the first vehicle or trailer and the second vehicle or trailer;
generate instructions regarding loading packages in a subsequent vehicle or trailer based on the determined efficiency of unloading the first vehicle or trailer and the second vehicle or trailer; and
cause the display device to display the generated instructions.

US Pat. No. 10,176,455

CONSUMER DEMAND-BASED INVENTORY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. An apparatus for evaluating whether products are to be binned into stock room bins at a retail facility or displayed on a sales floor of the retail sales facility, the apparatus comprising:a reader configured to scan at least one product at the retail sales facility; and
a control unit including a processor and configured to:
receive data from a scan of the at least one product by a worker in at least one of a stock room and a product unloading area at the retail sales facility using the reader to facilitate a determination by the control unit of whether the at least one product is to be binned into a stock room storage bin or displayed on the sales floor;
obtain a demand for the at least one product from a time products identical to the scanned at least one product were delivered to the retail facility;
estimate whether the demand for the at least one product supports displaying the at least one product on the sales floor of the retail sales facility or binning the at least one product in a stock room storage bin;
output, when the demand supports moving the at least one product from the at least one of a stock room and a product unloading area where the at least one product was scanned by the worker and displaying the at least one product on the sales floor:
an indication to the worker that there is available sales floor space for the at least one product; and
an indication of a number of units of the at least one product to be brought out from the at least one of a stock room and a product unloading area where the at least one product was scanned by the worker onto the sales floor to fill the available sales floor space for the at least one product.

US Pat. No. 10,176,508

SYSTEM, METHOD, AND NON-TRANSITORY COMPUTER-READABLE STORAGE MEDIA FOR EVALUATING SEARCH RESULTS FOR ONLINE GROCERY PERSONALIZATION

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A system comprising:a product database stored on a server;
a user interface on a user device accessible to a user and including an online shopping cart, wherein the user requests to add a plurality of products to the online shopping cart; and
a processing device of the server, wherein the processing device is in communication with the user interface, the processing device including:
an order unit configured to identify the plurality of products and retrieve information from the product database about the plurality of products, group each of the plurality of products into one or more departments and detect at least one shopping task associated with the user based on the grouping, and transmit a search request to a search engine unit,
the search engine unit configured to:
receive the search request, the search request including a request to locate at least one cobought product, a cobought product being a product that is associated with at least one past purchase including one of the plurality of products, initiate a search on the product database, receive a list of search results including a plurality of cobought products, generate a relevance score associated with each of the plurality of cobought products, and transmit the list of search results sorted by relevance score to a recommender unit; and
the recommender unit configured to:
evaluate the list of search results and eliminate one or more results based on a predefined relevance score threshold, map the each of the plurality of products for purchase and each remaining cobought product from the list of search results into one or more subcategories, generate one or more cobought subcategories for the each of the plurality of products for purchase, identify at least one recommended product based on the list of search results, and present, to the user on the user device, the at least one recommended product.

US Pat. No. 10,163,308

CHECKOUT STATION

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A checkout station, comprising:a scale fixedly attached to a framework of the checkout station; and
a track, at least partially surrounding the scale, through which a display moves between a first position and a second position,
wherein when the display is moved between the first and second positions, the scale does not need to recalibrate.

US Pat. No. 10,164,451

SHOPPING CART POWER GENERATION

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A shopping cart that generates power, comprising:a shopping cart body;
a handle coupled to the shopping cart body;
a set of wheels that each rotates about an axle coupled to the shopping cart body;
a power generator that generates a first source of power from a rotational force of the wheels when a user moves the shopping cart;
a voltage regulator that controls the first source of power output from the power generator;
at least one docking interface extending from the shopping cart body and that receives a second source of power from another shopping cart or an alternative current (AC) power source; and
a storage device that stores at least one of the controlled first source of power from at least one of the voltage regulator or the second source of power via the at least one docking interface from the other shopping cart or AC power source, wherein a first region of the handle includes the storage device and a second region of the handle includes an outlet for electronically charging an electronic device removably coupled to the handle, the outlet constructed and arranged to receive an output of the storage device, a portion of the first source of power, a portion of the second source of power, or a combination thereof.

US Pat. No. 10,140,646

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR ANALYZING FEATURES IN PRODUCT REVIEWS AND DISPLAYING THE RESULTS

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A method being implemented via execution of computing instructions configured to run at one or more processors and configured to be stored at non-transitory computer-readable media, the method comprising:analyzing one or more reviews in a set of reviews of a product on an ecommerce website to determine a set of features of the product analyzed in the set of reviews of the product;
determining a normalized feature score for each feature in the set of features of the product by:
using a sentiment analysis of the set of reviews of the product to determine an unnormalized feature score for each feature in the set of features of the product by summing a polarity for each mention of each feature in the set of features of the product; and
calculating the normalized feature score for each feature in the set of features of the product relative to other features in the set of features of the product based on the unnormalized feature score for each feature in the set of features;
determining a plurality of top K features in the set of features of the product based on the normalized feature score for each feature in the set of features of the product;
receiving a threshold score from an electronic device of a user;
removing a first feature of the set of features of the product from the plurality of top K features in the set of features of the product when a normalized feature score of the first feature is less than the threshold score;
determining a largest font size to be displayed on the electronic device of the user;
calculating a font size for each feature of the plurality of top K features in the set of features of the product using the largest font size, the normalized feature score for each feature in the set of features of the product, and a number K that corresponds to a number of the plurality of top K features in the set of features of the product such that the font size of the first feature in the set of features of the product with a first normalized feature score is larger than the font size of a second feature in the sct of features of the product with a second normalized feature score, wherein the second normalized feature score is less than the first normalized feature score;
randomizing a location for display on the electronic device of the user for each feature of the plurality of top K features in the set of features of the product on the ecommerce website; and
transmitting for display, on the electronic device of the user, a layout of the plurality of top K features in the set of features of the product on the ecommerce website using the font size for each feature of the plurality of top K features in the set of features of the product as calculated and the location for display of each feature of the plurality of top K features in the set of features of the product.

US Pat. No. 10,070,238

SYSTEM AND METHODS FOR IDENTIFYING AN ACTION OF A FORKLIFT BASED ON SOUND DETECTION

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for identifying actions of a forklift based on detected sounds produced by the forklift or an environment within which the forklift is operated, the system comprising:an array of microphones disposed in a first area of a facility, the microphones being configured to detect sounds and output time varying electrical signals upon detection of the sounds; and
a computing system operatively coupled to the array of microphones, the computing system programmed to:
receive the time varying electrical signals associated with the sounds detected by at least a subset of the microphones; and
detect an operation being performed by the forklift based on parameters of the time varying electrical signals, a location of the subset of the microphones, and a time at which the time varying electrical signals are produced, wherein at least one of the parameters of the time varying electrical signals is indicative of whether a forklift is carrying a load.

US Pat. No. 10,235,687

SHORTEST DISTANCE TO STORE

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A computer-implemented method for generating attribute tables and determining the shortest distance between a customer and a retail location, comprising:storing customer location data and retail location data in a distributed memory comprising a plurality of storage locations;
presenting a plurality of nodes, each node comprising a processor configured to perform an operation using the customer location data and/or retail location data;
receiving a request over a network to generate an attribute table corresponding to a business plan, wherein the business plan comprises at least one user input that describes a feature of the business plan;
generating, absent manual intervention from a user, at least one attribute corresponding to the at least one user input;
automatically generating, absent manual intervention from the user, an attribute table having at least one field corresponding to the at least one attribute, wherein the attribute table is built and populated while the business plan is in an approval process by automatically creating at least one join and at least one rollup related to the at least one field;
automatically generating a request for location attribute data corresponding to a customer location and a retail store location from dimension tables comprising location attribute data; and
automatically aggregating the requested location attribute data and determining the shortest distance between the customer location and the retail location;
wherein determining the shortest distance comprises:
performing a map command on the location attribute data for the customer location and the retail location;
calculating a distance between the customer location and the retail location using a haversines formula by determining availability of a first node proximate a first storage location from the plurality of storage locations of the attribute data corresponding to the customer location and a second node proximate a second storage location from the plurality of storage locations of the attribute data corresponding to the retail store location, and distributing the process of calculating distance to the first node or the second node as the nearest available node based on the availability determination by transmitting a node-specific request to only one of the first node or the second node to return the distance between the customer location and the retail location;
performing a shuffle command to order location data relative to distances between the customer location and the retail location;
reducing the ordered location data, the customer location data and the retail store location data for storage in a temporary table;
aggregating the reduced location data and populating the fields within the generated attribute table with the aggregated data; and
generating a report conveying aggregated attribute information corresponding to the business plan including the at least one user input that describes a feature of the business plan and the location attribute data.

US Pat. No. 10,235,825

CART INVENTORY SYSTEM AND ASSOCIATED METHODS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A cart inventory system, comprising:a cart including (i) a frame, and (ii) a shelf movably mounted to the frame and configured to be positioned between an extended position and a folded position, the shelf including a top surface, first and second side surfaces, and front and rear surfaces, the top surface including a first identifier, and the rear surface including a second identifier; and
a detection system configured to optically detect the first identifier when the shelf is positioned in the extended position and detect the second identifier when the shelf is positioned in the folded position,
wherein in the extended position, the top surface is oriented upwards relative to horizontal and the rear surface is disposed against the frame such that the detection system is capable of optically detecting the first identifier and incapable of optically detecting the second identifier; and
wherein in the folded position, the rear surface is oriented upwards relative to horizontal such that the detection system is capable of optically detecting the second identifier and incapable of optically detecting the first identifier.

US Pat. No. 10,213,016

INTERCHANGEABLE MODULAR SHELF SYSTEM

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A modular framework for a gondola rack, the modular framework comprising:at least two support arms, wherein:
each support arm has a first end and a second end opposite each other; and
each support arm has at least two fixed hooked tabs disposed at the respective first ends, the first ends being proximate to a vertical plane of the gondola rack when fixed to the vertical plane of the gondola rack;
a first longitudinal member connecting the first ends of the at least two support arms; and
a second longitudinal member connecting the second ends of the at least two support arms, wherein:
the at least two support arms are substantially parallel to each other; and
the first longitudinal member is substantially parallel with the second longitudinal member to define a central space there between; and
the first longitudinal member, the second longitudinal member, and the at least two support arms each include a top support surface configured to engage with a plurality of display components; and
a first display component of a first type in the plurality of display components engaged with the top support surface over a first portion of the central space and a second display component of a second type in the plurality of display components engaged with the top support surface over a second portion of the central space, the first type being distinct from the second type.

US Pat. No. 10,215,658

SYSTEMS, DEVICES, AND METHODS FOR DETECTING SPILLS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for detecting spills comprising:a plurality of electrodes disposed within a portion of a surface;
a resistance meter in communication with the plurality of rows of electrodes; and
a spill detection module executed by a processor in a processing device and in communication with a database, the spill detection module configured to:
detect a spill based on a change in a resistance value between at least two electrodes among the plurality of electrodes, the change detected by the resistance meter;
determine a location of the spill based on a known location of each of the plurality of electrodes;
determine a size of the spill based on a number of the at least two electrodes for which a change in resistance value is detected;
retrieve known resistance values from the database corresponding to a plurality of substances;
compare the resistance value detected between the at least two of the plurality of electrodes against the retrieved resistance values corresponding to the plurality of substances; and
identify a type of fluid spilled based on a comparison of the resistance value detected between the at least two of the plurality of electrodes and the retrieved resistance values corresponding to the plurality of substances.

US Pat. No. 10,216,175

CONVEYORS INCLUDING SENSORS FOR DETECTING ERROR CONDITIONS ASSOCIATED WITH PRODUCTS TRAVELING ON THE CONVEYORS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for sorting and tracking products at a product distribution facility, the system comprising:a plurality of interconnected conveyors configured to move the products;
a first sensor positioned proximate a product advancement surface of at least one of the conveyors and configured to detect at least one identifying characteristic of at least one product moving on the product advancement surface;
a second sensor positioned proximate the product advancement surface and configured to detect at least one physical characteristic of the at least one product moving on the product advancement surface;
an electronic database storing inventory management data including:
data indicating predefined identifying characteristic and physical characteristic information associated with the at least one product, the predefined identifying characteristic and physical characteristic information corresponding to the at least one product when in a new condition and undamaged; and
data indicating actual identifying characteristic information associated with the at least one product, the actual identifying characteristic information corresponding to the at least one product when detected by the first sensor during movement of the at least one product along the product advancement surface;
data indicating actual physical characteristic information associated with the at least one product, the actual physical characteristic information corresponding to the at least one product when detected by the second sensor during movement of the at least one product along the product advancement surface;
a third sensor positioned proximate the product advancement surface and configured to detect a location of the at least one product moving on the product advancement surface; and
a processor-based electronic inventory management device in communication with the first and second sensors and the electronic database, the electronic inventory management device being configured obtain the inventory management data stored in the electronic database and, based on the obtained inventory management data, to:
compare the data indicating the actual identifying characteristic information associated with the at least one product detected by the first sensor during movement on the product advancement surface to the data indicating the predefined identifying characteristic information associated with the at least one product in order to determine an identity of the at least one product detected by the first sensor;
compare the data indicating the actual physical characteristic information associated with the at least one product detected by the second sensor during movement on the product advancement surface to the data indicating the predefined physical characteristic information associated with the at least one product in order to verify that the identity of the at least one product and that the condition of the at least one product detected by the second sensor is new and undamaged; and
redirect movement of the at least one product detected by the first and second sensors on the product advancement surface of the at least one of the conveyors in response to a determination, by the electronic inventory management device, that a verification of the identity of the at least one product failed or that the at least one product is not in a new condition or is in a damaged condition;
wherein the inventory management data stored in the electronic database further includes data indicating predefined route information associated with the at least one product; and
wherein the electronic inventory management device is configured to compare actual route information of the at least one product based on detection of the at least one product by the third sensor to the predefined route information associated with the at least one product in the electronic database in order to determine whether the actual route of the at least one product moving on the product advancement surface of the at least one of the conveyors is consistent with the predefined route information associated with the at least one product.

US Pat. No. 10,217,082

INVENTORY TRACKING

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A non-transitory computer readable medium storing one or more programs configured for execution by an electronic device, the one or more programs comprising instructions that, when executed, perform acts of:receiving a first item inventory level quantity for a first item;
storing the first item inventory level quantity at an inventory database;
comparing the first item inventory level quantity with a predetermined high threshold;
when the first item inventory level quantity is less than the predetermined high threshold, transmitting a first Limited Stock Alert to an inventory cache;
at the inventory cache, storing a first inventory status corresponding to the first item inventory level quantity;
at the inventory cache, storing (a) a second inventory status corresponding to a second item inventory level quantity for a second item, and (b) the second item inventory level quantity for the second item, wherein:
the second item inventory level quantity is different than the first item inventory level quantity;
the second item is available only after a starting date; and
the second item comprises at least one of:
a holiday item;
a seasonal item; or
a limited stock item; and
after the starting date, transmitting the second inventory status from the inventory cache.

US Pat. No. 10,204,314

SYSTEMS, DEVICES, AND METHODS FOR MACHINE READING

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A machine reading system comprising:(a) a terminal in communication with a server via a first communication channel, the terminal including an optical reader and an image capturing device and configured to:
(i) generate a reference number corresponding to a selection of objects to be read by the optical reader;
(ii) generate a temporary object number corresponding to an unreadable object included in the selection of objects, the unreadable object incapable of being read by the optical reader;
(iii) capture an image of the unreadable object via the image capturing device; and
(iv) transmit a first message to the server in response to identifying an unreadable object, the first message including the reference number, the temporary object number, and the image of the unreadable object;
(b) the server in communication with a plurality of portable electronic devices via a second communication channel; the server configured to:
(i) transmit a second message to the plurality of portable electronic devices, the second message including the temporary object number, the image of the unreadable object, and a request to locate a duplicate of the unreadable object based on the captured image and read a machine readable feature of the duplicate object;
(c) the plurality of portable electronic devices configured to receive the second message, and in response to a first of the plurality of portable electronic devices reading a machine readable feature of the duplicate object, call a first service offered by the server to retrieve a first data value corresponding to the duplicate object from a database and associate the first data value with the temporary object number; and
(d) wherein the terminal is further configured to allow continued reading of machine readable features of additional objects from the selection of objects while the duplicate object is being located and before the machine readable feature of the duplicate object is read, and the server is further configured to transmit a third message to the terminal, the third message including the first data value associated with the temporary object number that invokes a second service offered by the terminal to replace the temporary object number with the first data value.

US Pat. No. 10,200,820

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR UPDATING DIRECTIONS TO A CONTAINER

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. An apparatus for updating directions to a delivery receptacle, comprising:a container housing comprising a container placed at a customer premises for receiving delivery of items from a delivery service to the customer premises;
a movement sensor attached to the container housing;
a wireless transceiver; and
a control circuit coupled to the movement sensor and the wireless transceiver, the control circuit being configured to:
detect a relocation of the container housing via the movement sensor;
detect a completion of the relocation based on the movement sensor not detecting movement for a set period of time;
determine an estimated new location of the container within the customer premises after the completion of the relocation;
cause power to be supplied to the wireless transceiver only after the completion of the relocation; and
send, via the wireless transceiver, the estimated new location to a computing device to initiate an update of a direction to the container, the direction comprising a natural language description of a location of the container housing relative to a structure on the customer premises for a delivery person to locate the container within the customer premises.

US Pat. No. 10,189,691

SHOPPING FACILITY TRACK SYSTEM AND METHOD OF ROUTING MOTORIZED TRANSPORT UNITS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A track system, comprising:an elevated track system comprising a series of elevated tracks that are positioned elevated above a sales floor and products, distributed over at least a portion of the sales floor of a shopping facility, and configured such that multiple motorized transport units travel along the series of elevated tracks in traversing at least portions of the shopping facility, wherein at least some of the elevated tracks are positioned above a drop down ceiling;
one or more chutes each cooperated with one of the elevated tracks and configured to provide a passage for one or more of the motorized transport units between the series of elevated tracks and the sales floor, wherein each of the one or more chutes have dimensions such that the motorized transport units are configured to be position within the chute while being transported through the chute; and
a safety catch cooperated under at least a first elevated track of the at least some of the elevated tracks and that extends over an area of the sales floor where people walk, wherein the safety catch is configured to catch objects that unintentionally fall from the first elevated track.

US Pat. No. 10,192,000

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR DISTRIBUTED SYSTEM TO STORE AND VISUALIZE LARGE GRAPH DATABASES

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A system comprising:a construction module arranged to receive a text input and generate a first graph database using the text input, wherein the first graph database comprises a plurality of edges extending between a plurality of nodes, and wherein an edge of the plurality of edges extending between two or more nodes of the plurality of nodes represents a relationship between the two or more nodes;
a processing module arranged to create an index from the first graph database, wherein the first graph database is stored on a first distributed storage system;
a searching module arranged to receive queries from a user as an input to the system and retrieve results to be used to create an output of the system;
a visualizer module arranged to:
receive the results from the searching module;
generate a sub-graph from the results, the sub-graph comprising a portion of the first graph database; and
create a visual reproduction of the sub-graph for display to the user; and
an index storage module arranged to store the index on a second distributed storage system.

US Pat. No. 10,181,151

METHODS AND SYSTEMS FOR COMBINING ONLINE ORDERS WITH ADDITIONAL PURCHASES

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A method, comprising:receiving, by a computer system using one or more processors, via a first channel associated with one or more e-commerce online stores of a retail merchant, a first order from a computing device of a user to purchase at least a first item from the one or more e-commerce online stores of the retail merchant, wherein the user opts to pick up the first order at one or more brick and mortar stores of the retail merchant associated with a gas station, wherein the computing device of the user displays a first user interface comprising the first order;
transmitting, by the computer system, a notification to the user that the first order has been delivered to a particular brick and mortar store of the one or more brick and mortar stores of the retail merchant;
when the user arrives at the particular brick and mortar store to pick up the first order, receiving, by the computer system, a second order from the user from a second channel associated with the gas station of the particular brick and mortar store of the retail merchant to purchase at least a second item from the particular brick and mortar store, the at least the second item comprising gasoline from the gas station of the particular brick and mortar store of the retail merchant, wherein the second order changes the first user interface to display the first order and the second order as a confirmed order;
after receiving the second order from the user, providing, by the computer system, a total cost of the first order and the second order to the user to permit the user to purchase the first order and the second order with a single payment while the user remains at the particular brick and mortar store of the retail merchant; and
transmitting, by the computer system, a single receipt for the single payment to the user from a gas pump of the gas station associated with the particular brick and mortar store of the retail merchant to the user, as requested by the user, while the user remains at the particular brick and mortar store of the retail merchant.

US Pat. No. 10,176,383

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR DETECTING VEHICLE ATTRIBUTES

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for detecting vehicle attributes, the system comprising:a first still image or moving image camera disposed at a first location of a first facility, the first still image or moving image camera configured to detect at least a first vehicle in response to the first vehicle entering a first field of view of the first still image or moving image camera and to capture an first image of the first vehicle;
a second still image or moving image camera disposed at a second location of a second facility that is remote from the first facility, the second still image or moving image camera configured to detect a second vehicle in response to the second vehicle entering a second field of view of the second still image or moving image camera and to capture a second image of the second vehicle;
a computing system including a processor and operatively coupled to the first and second still image or moving image cameras and a plurality of databases, the processor configured to (i) extract a first plurality of vehicle attributes associated with the first vehicle from the first image using a machine vision algorithm, (ii) extract a second plurality of vehicle attributes associated with the second vehicle from the second image using the machine vision algorithm, (iii) determine that the first vehicle and the second vehicle have comparable vehicle attributes, (iv) access a first one of the databases to retrieve information associated with the at least one of the plurality of vehicle attributes associated with the first vehicle, (v) generate a score based on the information associated with the at least one of the plurality of vehicle attributes, (vi) query a second one of the databases for physical objects based on the score, (vii) query a third one of the databases for a quantity of the physical objects disposed at the first facility, and (viii) in response to determining the quantity of the physical objects is less than a predetermined quantity trigger distribution of a first quantity of physical objects to the first facility or the second facility,
wherein the machine vision algorithm can include one or more of: Stitching/Registration, Filtering, Thresholding, Pixel counting, Segmentation, Inpainting, Edge detection, Color Analysis, Blob discovery & manipulation, Neural net processing, Pattern recognition, Optical character recognition, and/or Gauging/Metrology.

US Pat. No. 10,176,501

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR SALE REDEMPTION

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A system comprising:one or more processors; and
memory storing one or more programs to be executed by the one or more processors, the one or more programs comprising instructions for:
a payment system configured to:
issue a payment instrument for a sale item to a customer shopping in a brick and mortar store or on a website of a retail merchant, when the sale item is not in stock (a) at the brick and mortar store or (b) on the website of the retail merchant;
provide an access code to an order management system, wherein the order management system is configured to link the access code with the sale item and the payment instrument to permit the retail merchant to authenticate the payment instrument when the customer redeems the payment instrument for the sale item;
and
a redemption system configured to:
redeem the payment instrument at the brick and mortar store when the sale item is available (a) at the brick and mortar store or (b) on the website;
authenticate the access code of the payment instrument by comparing the access code with a list of valid access codes stored on the order management system, wherein:
when the redemption system authenticates the access code as valid, the redemption system is configured to instruct the order management system to automatically remove the access code from the list of valid access codes; and
when the redemption system cannot authenticate the access code after a predetermined number of attempts, the redemption system is configured to prevent further use of the access code and require intervention by a representative of the retail merchant;
purchase or add the sale item, as redeemed, to an order;
provide an estimated delivery date for delivery of the sale item;
provide a delivery site for the delivery of the sale item;
default the delivery site to the brick and mortar store;
permit the customer to select an alternative delivery site;
provide a notice of an increase in cost for the sale item responsive to the customer selecting the alternative delivery site; and
provide a checkout system for the customer to pay for the increase in the cost for the sale item when the customer selects the alternative delivery site,
wherein:
the payment system is further configured to communicate to the order management system when the payment instrument for the sale item has been issued;
the payment system is further configured to adjust a total cost of the sale item for tax and shipping costs for the delivery;
the order management system is further configured to maintain a threshold count for the sale item;
the redemption system is further configured to provide a substitute item when the threshold count reaches a predetermined lower limit or provide a link to the website of the retail merchant to shop for additional items;
the threshold count is a percentage of a total number of the sale item;
the redemption system is further configured to:
provide an option to purchase at least one of a customer care plan or a warranty for the sale item;
provide a link to the website of the retail merchant to shop for cross-sell items related to the sale item;
host an eCommerce website to permit customers shopping on the eCommerce website to redeem the payment instrument when the sale item is available on the eCommerce website;
the payment system is at least partially located at the brick and mortar store; and
the redemption system is at least partially located at a different location than the brick and mortar store.

US Pat. No. 10,176,507

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR A SELF-SERVICE DRUG LOCATOR KIOSK

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A computer implemented method for providing a self-service drug locator comprising:receiving, from a customer, one or more identifiers associated with one or more drugs through a customer self-service drug locator interface displayed on a self-service kiosk comprising a display screen and a weight sensor;
selecting a plurality of pharmacies meeting one or more search parameters, wherein the one or more search parameters comprises a maximum distance from a location or a geographical region;
querying inventories of the plurality of pharmacies to determine whether the one or more drugs are in stock in each of the plurality of pharmacies;
generating a list of recommended pharmacies based on the querying of the inventories of the plurality of pharmacies;
providing the list of recommended pharmacies to the customer on the display screen; and
detecting, with the weight sensor of the self-service kiosk, whether the customer is present at the self-service kiosk providing the self-service drug locator interface; and
removing information associated with the customer from the display screen when the weight sensor detects that the customer has left the self-service kiosk.

US Pat. No. 10,169,138

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR SELF-HEALING A DATABASE SERVER IN A CLUSTER

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A system comprising:a plurality of database servers, each database server in the plurality of database servers hosting shards of a database, each shard of the shards of the database having been split from a partition of the database and each partition of the database having been split from the database, each database server in the plurality of database servers having a unique identifier such that a status of each database server in the plurality of database servers can be accessed by other servers in the plurality of database servers, wherein each database server in the plurality of database servers is configured to:
receive a triggering action comprising:
receiving an indication that a minimum timer has expired; and
receiving a pre-determined number of queries;
detect a suspicious observation;
discover that a particular server is underperforming;
compile a plurality of statistics regarding itself, wherein the plurality of statistics is chosen from one of the following: memory usage, disk activity levels, CPU load, and error rates; and
store the plurality of statistics in a data store accessible by:
(1) each database server in the plurality of database servers; and
(2) a load balancer; and
the load balancer configured to:
allocate queries among the plurality of database servers using load balancing techniques;
determine when a condition has occurred by:
accessing the plurality of statistics in the data store; and
determining that a malfunctioning database server of the plurality of database servers is malfunctioning, comprising determining when one or more of the plurality of statistics stored in the data store by the malfunctioning database server does not meet performance thresholds;
initiate an automatic self-corrective action in a database server in the plurality of database servers, the automatic self-corrective action comprising the database server taking itself out of a rotation for a predetermined amount of time configured to allow the database server to catch up; and
perform a corrective action on the malfunctioning database server comprising:
determining that the malfunctioning database server cannot correct itself;
writing an entry in the data store indicating that the malfunctioning database server is not available;
causing the malfunctioning database server to no longer receive instructions; and
forwarding shard-level queries originally directed to the malfunctioning database server to one or more other database servers of the plurality of database servers.

US Pat. No. 10,140,589

OVERSTOCK INVENTORY MANAGEMENT AT RETAIL SALES FACILITIES

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A method of sorting products at a retail sales facility, the method comprising:receiving identifying information associated with at least one product at the retail sales facility using an inventory management electronic device including a processor;
obtaining, using the inventory management electronic device, a demand for the at least one product from a time products identical to the at least one product were delivered to the retail sales facility;
determining, using the inventory management electronic device, that the demand for the at least one product supports storing the at least one product in the stock room in response to a calculation that the number of the products identical to the at least one product delivered to the retail sales facility is greater than the number of the products identical to the at least one product sold from the time the products identical to the at least one product were delivered to the retail sales facility;
determining, using the inventory management electronic device, a characteristic for the at least one product, the characteristic including an item category for the at least one product;
determining, using the inventory management electronic device, at least one storage bin in the stock room containing items having an identical item category to the at least one product;
outputting, using the inventory management electronic device and when the demand supports storing the at least one product in the stock room, an indication to a worker at the retail sales facility that the at least one product is to be stored in the stock room at a location selected based on the determined characteristic for the at least one product; and
indicating to the worker that the at least one product is to be binned in the determined storage bin containing the items having the identical item category to the at least one product.

US Pat. No. 10,134,027

CARD PAYMENT SYSTEM TEST SUPPORT APPARATUS AND METHOD OF USE

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. An apparatus to support a card payment system during robotic testing, comprising:a frame configured to cooperate with the separate card payment system;
a card chip guide extending from the frame and comprising a first card contact surface and a second card contact surface, wherein the card chip guide extends from and is secured with the frame at a first position such that interior ends of the first and second card contact surfaces are configured to align with a card slot of the card payment system when the card payment system is cooperated with the frame; and
a card strip guide extending from the frame and comprises third and fourth card contact surfaces that taper from a slide opening to an alignment slot separating the third and fourth card contact surfaces, wherein the alignment slot is positioned at a second position separate from the first position such that the alignment slot is configured to align with a card slide of the card payment system when the card payment system is cooperated with the frame.

US Pat. No. 10,130,232

SHOPPING FACILITY ASSISTANCE SYSTEMS, DEVICES AND METHODS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for bringing a shopping container to a customer in a shopping space comprising:a plurality of sensors;
a plurality of motorized transport units; and
a control circuit communicatively coupled to the plurality of sensors and the plurality of motorized transport units, the control circuit being configured to:
receive a shopping container request from a user interface device associated with the customer;
determine at least one available shopping container among a plurality of shopping containers based on data collected by the plurality of sensors, the at least one available shopping container being empty and not used by another customer;
select an available shopping container from the at least one available shopping container based at least on a location information of the user interface device;
select a motorized transport unit from among the plurality of motorized transport units to transport the available shopping container; and
provide instructions to the motorized transport unit to bring the available shopping container to the customer.

US Pat. No. 10,096,040

MANAGEMENT OF THE DISPLAY OF ONLINE AD CONTENT CONSISTENT WITH ONE OR MORE PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVES FOR A WEBPAGE AND/OR WEBSITE

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for managing online ads comprising:one or more processing apparatuses; and
one or more non-transitory medium storing computing instructions configured to run on the one or more processing apparatuses and perform acts of:
collecting training attribute values, for a set of attributes, from user visits of a plurality of users to a set of online training webpages by recording (1) interactions between the plurality of users and the set of online training webpages, (2) one or more webpages of the set of online training webpages accessed by the plurality of users, (3) time spent by the plurality of users on the one or more webpages of the set of online training webpages, and (4) queries entered by the plurality of users at the one or more webpages of the set of online training webpages;
generating a probability model with the training attribute values providing predicted outcomes for at least one e-commerce attribute in the set of attributes for different combinations of attribute values;
identifying, from the probability model, a first predicted outcome corresponding to a subsequent combination of attribute values collected by a collection module for a subsequent online user visit to a subsequent webpage, the predicted outcomes comprising the first predicted outcome;
coordinating a display of the subsequent webpage comprising either: (a) an ad at a first location on the subsequent webpage, and a webpage content in a first format at a second location on the subsequent webpage; or (b) the ad at a third location on the subsequent webpage, and the webpage content in a second format at a fourth location on the subsequent webpage, during the subsequent online user visit where the first predicted outcome satisfies an objective of the subsequent webpage; and
coordinating a display of an ad-free version of the subsequent webpage during the subsequent online user visit where the first predicted outcome does not satisfy the objective of the subsequent webpage.

US Pat. No. 10,096,045

TYING OBJECTIVE RATINGS TO ONLINE ITEMS

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A method for execution by one or more computer servers associated with a merchant website of a merchant comprising:providing one or more computer databases that include data configured to create item webpages for the merchant website, wherein:
the data includes first reviews that are retrieved from one or more third party databases stored on one or more third party servers, and second reviews that are provided by customers of the merchant website; and
at least a portion of the first reviews are non-public reviews retrieved from the one or more third party databases;
determining a target item, the target item viewed by a customer at the merchant website;
storing representative data associated with the target item in computer memory;
identifying a corresponding item on a third party website over a computer network by comparing the representative data associated with the target item to one or more items on the third party website, the one or more items comprising the corresponding item;
retrieving one or more non-public reviews of the corresponding item from a third party database selected from the one or more third party databases after the customer has reached a predetermined threshold with the merchant, the third party database associated with the third party website, and the first reviews comprising the one or more non-public reviews;
storing the one or more non-public reviews in the one or more computer databases; in response to the customer selecting a search result associated with the target item,
causing the one or more computer servers to create an item webpage at the merchant website using the data stored in the one or more computer databases to
create the item webpage at the merchant website, wherein:
the item webpage is associated with the target item; and
the item webpage is created, at least in part, by defining an item review section that combines the one or more non-public reviews of the corresponding item that are from the third party database with one or more reviews of the target item that are received directly through the merchant website, the second reviews comprising the one or more reviews; and
providing the one or more non-public reviews of the corresponding item that are from the third party database and the one or more reviews of the target item that are received directly through the merchant website to the customer within the item webpage.

US Pat. No. 10,089,857

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR PROVIDING AUDIO DELIVERY NOTIFICATION WITH A DOORBELL

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for providing audio notification comprising:a communication device configured to communicate with a delivery arrival detection system;
a doorbell coupler configured to couple to a stationary doorbell device; and
a control circuit coupled to the communication device and the doorbell coupler, the control circuit being configured to:
receive a delivery notification from the delivery arrival detection system via the communication device; and
cause the stationary doorbell device to produce an audible sound via the doorbell coupler.

US Pat. No. 10,083,201

SYSTEM FOR MAINTAINING CONSISTENCY ACROSS A DECENTRALIZED DATABASE CLUSTER AND METHOD THEREFOR

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A system comprising:a plurality of database servers each hosting a copy of data stored in a database, each database server of the plurality of database servers comprising one or more processing modules and one or more non-transitory storage modules storing computing instructions configured to run on the one or more processing modules and perform acts of:
receiving a stream of document update messages broadcast, via a messaging system, to the plurality of database servers, wherein a checkpoint marker message is embedded into at least one of the document update messages with an associated checkpoint ID; and
when a database server of the plurality of database servers is active:
adding a node representing the database server of the plurality of database servers to a list of active database servers stored on an external data store; and
receiving one of the document update messages comprising the checkpoint marker message with the associated checkpoint ID, wherein the checkpoint marker message causes the database server to pause further processing of other messages until after a roll call of the each database server on the list of active database servers is completed to indicate that the each database server on the list of active database servers has checked in with its own node under a checkpoint roll call node;
after receiving the one of the document update messages comprising the checkpoint marker message with the associated checkpoint ID, determining whether the checkpoint roll call node exists at the external data store for the associated checkpoint ID;
when the checkpoint roll call node is determined to exist at the external data store for the associated checkpoint ID, checking in to the external data store by adding a node representing the database server under the checkpoint roll call node;
when the checkpoint roll call node is determined to not exist at the external data store for the associated checkpoint ID, first creating the checkpoint roll call node and a checkpoint flag node at the external data store for the checkpoint ID, and then checking in to the external data store by adding the node representing the database server under the checkpoint roll call node;
after the node representing the database server is added under the checkpoint roll call node, determining whether the roll call is complete, wherein:
the roll call is complete when the each database server on the list of active database servers has processed the checkpoint marker message as indicated by an addition of their own node under the checkpoint roll call node at the external data store at which point the external data store deletes the checkpoint roll call node, nodes under the checkpoint roll call node, and the checkpoint flag node; and
when the roll call is not complete, monitor the checkpoint flag node at the external data store for the associated checkpoint ID until the each database server on the list of active database servers has processed the checkpoint marker message indicated by the addition of its own node under the checkpoint roll call node;
after the roll call is complete and after the checkpoint roll call node and the checkpoint flag node are deleted, receiving an update broadcasted to each database server on the list of active database servers so that the database server can update its data with the update during a common point in time with all other database servers on the list of active database servers;
updating the data on the database server during the common point in time in response to receiving the update; and
reactivating the database server to resume normal processing of the document update messages until the database server receives another one of the document update messages comprising another checkpoint message marker.

US Pat. No. 10,081,525

SHOPPING FACILITY ASSISTANCE SYSTEMS, DEVICES AND METHODS TO ADDRESS GROUND AND WEATHER CONDITIONS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

6. A system providing enhanced safety, comprising:a central computer system that is separate and distinct from a plurality of self-propelled motorized transport units, wherein the central computer system comprises:
a transceiver configured to communicate with the motorized transport units located at a shopping facility;
a control circuit coupled with the transceiver; and
a memory coupled to the control circuit and storing computer instructions that when executed by the control circuit cause the control circuit to perform the steps of:
communicate positioning routing instructions to the plurality of motorized transport units directing the plurality of motorized transport units to one or more external areas of a shopping facility that are exposed to weather conditions;
communicate separate area routing instructions to each of the plurality of motorized transport units that when implemented cause the plurality of motorized transport units to cooperatively and in concert travel in accordance with the area routing instructions over at least predefined portions of one or more external areas that are accessible by the plurality of motorized transport units, while each is driving at least one detachable ground treatment system, to cause the ground treatment systems to address ground level conditions;
communicate a disengagement instruct to a first motorized transport unit to disengage with a first ground treating system configured to provide a first ground treatment while the first motorized transport unit drives the first ground treatment system in accordance with the area routing instructions;
communicate a movable item container engagement instruction to the first motorized transport unit to engage with a movable item container; and
communicate shopping routing instructions to the first motorized transport unit to cause the first motorized transport unit to drive the movable item container through at least portions of the shopping facility in assisting a customer as the customer shops for one or more products in the shopping facility.

US Pat. No. 10,068,276

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR COUPLING A MOBILE DEVICE AND POINT OF SALE DEVICE TO TRANSMIT MOBILE SHOPPING CART AND PROVIDE SHOPPING RECOMMENDATIONS

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for coupling a user computing device to a point of sale device at a store to facilitate providing shopping assistance, the system comprising one or more processors and one or more memory devices operably coupled to the one or more processors, the one or more memory devices storing executable and operational data effective to cause the one or more processors to:receive, at the point of sale device at the store, a request, from a user computer device that is at least one of a mobile phone or a tablet, to use mobile self-checkout;
couple the user computing device that is the at least one of a mobile phone or a tablet to the point of sale device at the store by:
displaying a coupling code at the point of sale device for scanning by the user computing device that is the at least one of a mobile phone or a tablet;
transmitting the coupling code and contents of an electronic shopping cart to a server system associated with the store;
interpreting, at the server system associated with the store, the coupling code to identify the point of sale device;
transmitting, from the server system to the point of sale device, the contents of the electronic shopping cart associated with a transaction; and
receiving, from the server system, at the point of sale device, the contents of an the electronic shopping cart;
receive a customer identifier associated with the transaction, from the user computing device that is the at least one of a mobile phone and a tablet;
conclude, on the point of sale device, the transaction including the contents of the electronic shopping cart received from the user computing device that is the at least one of a mobile phone and a tablet and that is associated with the customer identifier;
report the transaction associated with the customer identifier from the point of sale device to the server system associated with the store;
detect transactions by a consumer associated with the customer identifier and determine, at the server system associated with the store based on the transactions and the transaction including the contents of the electronic shopping cart received from the user computing device and that is associated with the customer identifier, for each product of a plurality of products represented in the transactions, at least one of: amounts of purchases of the each product and timing of the purchases, a consumption rate for the each product, a runout date for the product according to the consumption rate and the amount of a last purchase of the purchases of the each product, a shopping trip frequency of the consumer, an expected date of a next shopping trip of the consumer from the shopping trip frequency, and at least a portion of the plurality of products having the runout date prior to the next shopping trip; determine a prioritization of at least a portion of the plurality of products according to the runout dates thereof, and transmit to the user computer device that is the at least one of a mobile phone or a tablet associated with the customer identifier, a listing of the at least the portion of the plurality of products ordered according to the prioritization.

US Pat. No. 10,304,017

RETAIL INVENTORY SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

11. A method for updating a supply chain record, the method comprising:accessing a database with a control circuit of an electronic assembly mounted to a frame having a pair of temple arm members configured to rest on ears of a user and a front support having a bridge portion configured to rest on a nose of the user;
receiving, from a hands-free user input of the electronic assembly being operated by the user at a first location of a set of locations along a supply route, an indication to retrieve a first supply chain record corresponding to a first product of at least tens of thousands of products;
retrieving a first supply chain record for the first product from the database and causing at least a first portion of the first supply chain record to be presented to the user;
receiving, through the electronic assembly operated by the user, a user input regarding a condition of the first product at the first location of the set of locations along the supply route;
updating the first supply chain record based on the user input provided to the electronic assembly; and
communicating the updated first supply chain record to be stored on the database.

US Pat. No. 10,266,195

SHOPPING CART BAGGING STATION AND METHOD OF FORMING THE SAME

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A shopping cart bagging station comprising:a bag dispenser portion, wherein the bag dispenser portion holds at least one shopping bag, and wherein the bag dispenser portion comprises:
a support bar with a front side, a rear side, a first end and a second end;
a first end plate coupled to the rear side at the first end, wherein a first mounting clip is coupled to the first end plate;
a second end plate coupled to the rear side at the second end, wherein a second mounting clip is coupled to the second end plate;
a bag holder hook coupled to the support bar about halfway between the first end and the second end;
a first shopping bag handle hook coupled to the first end plate; and
a second shopping bag handle hook coupled to the second end plate.

US Pat. No. 10,266,350

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR UNLOADING A CARGO CONTAINER

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

10. An apparatus comprising:an unloading area;
a cargo container disposed at the unloading area, the cargo container having a plurality of separately-packed items contained therein and having a portal that provides access to the items packed in the cargo container;
an active display disposed at the unloading area;
a distance-measuring sensor configured to automatically measure, as the items are removed from the cargo container, an unpacked depth of the cargo container from the portal;
a control circuit operably coupled to the distance-measuring sensor and the active display and configured to present information on the active display regarding where the items are to be placed when unloaded from the cargo container as a function, at least in part, of the measured unpacked depth.

US Pat. No. 10,239,616

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR PROVIDING PACKAGE RELEASE TO UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEM

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. An apparatus for releasing packages for retrieval by an unmanned aerial system comprising:a plurality of arms configured to surround a plurality of packages stacked vertically in an extended position;
a plurality of powered hinges at a base of each of the plurality of arms; and
a control circuit coupled to the plurality of powered hinges and configured to:
cause the plurality of powered hinges to lower the plurality of arms from the extended position to a first lowered position at which the plurality of arms do not obstruct an unmanned aerial vehicle from coupling with a coupling structure on a first package of the plurality of packages positioned at a top of the plurality of packages.

US Pat. No. 10,235,706

METHODS AND SYSTEMS FOR PROVIDING REMINDERS FOR PRODUCTS IN PROXIMITY

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A method, comprising:providing a radio frequency transponder corresponding to one or more aisles of a physical store, wherein the radio frequency transponder is configured to communicate first information associated with a radio frequency tag coupled to each item of a plurality of items located on the one or more aisles of the physical store;
receiving, by a transaction server, a list of one or more items of the plurality of items available for sale at the physical store, wherein the list is associated with a user, wherein the transaction server comprises a processor;
periodically receiving, by the processor, second information over a wireless network related to a location of a user device associated with the user, wherein the user device comprises a software application (“app”) installed on the user device of the user;
determining, by the processor, that the user device is within or proximate to the physical store based on the second information received that is related to the location of the user device;
providing, by the processor, over the wireless network to the user device, an indication that the user device is proximate to at least one item on the list of one or more items of the plurality of items, wherein the providing the indication to the user device is based at least in part on:
determining a distance between the user device and the at least one item on the list of one or more items of the plurality of items in response to the determination that the user device is within or proximate to the physical store;
determining, by the processor, that the distance is less than a threshold distance;
periodically querying, by the radio frequency transponder, the radio frequency tag coupled to the at least one item on the list of one or more items of the plurality of items;
determining, by the processor, whether a response has been received to the periodic querying of the radio frequency tag coupled to the at least one item on the list of one or more items of the plurality of items;
responsive to determining that the response has been received to the periodic querying of the radio frequency tag coupled to the at least one item on the list of one or more items of the plurality of items, determining, by the processor, that the user did not pick up the at least one item on the list of one or more items of the plurality of items when the user device was proximate to the at least one item; and
responsive to determining that the user did not pick up the at least one item on the list of one or more items of the plurality of items when the user device was proximate to the at least one item, transmitting, by the transaction server over the wireless network, a signal to the user device to cause the user device to display on a user interface of the user device a notification which indicates that the user has passed by and did not pick up the at least one item on the list of one or more items of the plurality of items when the user device was proximate to the at least one item, wherein the notification displayed on the user interface of the user device includes a picture of the at least one item on the list of one or more items of the plurality of items that the user did not pick up and indicates the distance between the user device and the at least one item on the list of one or more items of the plurality of items.

US Pat. No. 10,235,393

NORMALIZATION RULE GENERATION AND IMPLEMENTATION SYSTEMS AND METHODS

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A method for attribute normalization, the method comprising:evaluating a plurality of product records having a plurality of attributes defined according to a plurality of different schema, the plurality of product records being associated with a plurality of products;
determining a first portion of the plurality of attributes to comprise multiple canonical attributes wherein each product record of the plurality of product records associated with a product of the plurality of products having a canonical attribute of the multiple canonical attributes references the canonical attribute in a same format;
determining a second portion of the plurality of attributes to comprise multiple non-canonical attributes wherein each product record of the plurality of products records associated with a product of the plurality of products having a non-canonical attribute of the multiple non-canonical attributes references the non-canonical attribute in a different format;
measuring textual differences between each non-canonical attribute of the multiple non-canonical attributes of the plurality of attributes of the plurality of product records to determine textual similarity scores for the multiple non-canonical attributes;
identifying a first cluster of attributes of the multiple non-canonical attributes of the plurality of attributes of the plurality of product records, each attribute of the first cluster of attributes of the plurality of attributes of the plurality of product records corresponding to a different schema of the plurality of different schema and having a textual similarity score exceeding a first threshold;
identifying a normalized attribute for the first cluster of attributes of the multiple non-canonical attributes of the plurality of attributes of the plurality of product records;
generating a first proposed rule matching the first cluster of attributes of the multiple non-canonical attributes of the plurality of attributes of the plurality of product records to the normalized attribute;
defining a rule engine programmed to create a rule engine instance implementing a single instance of each of a plurality of rule application objects, each of the plurality of rule application objects implementing normalization rules comprising the first proposed rule;
configuring a cluster of computer systems to implement a map-reduce framework comprising one or more N mapper instances and one or more zero reducer instances;
instantiating a plurality of virtual machines on the cluster of computer systems;
instantiating a separate and different rule engine instance on each virtual machine of the plurality of virtual machines;
specifying an amount of memory for each virtual machine of the plurality of virtual machines, the amount of memory based upon a number of the one or more N mapper instances, a number of the one or more zero reducer instances, and the separate and different rule engine instance instantiated on each virtual machine of the plurality of virtual machines;
allocating to each separate and different rule engine instance instantiated on each virtual machine of the plurality of virtual machines an allocation of the plurality of attributes of the plurality of product records;
processing in each separate and different rule engine instance instantiated on each virtual machine of the plurality of virtual machines the allocation of the plurality of attributes of the plurality of product records allocated thereto to transform the allocation of the plurality of attributes of the plurality of product records to normalized attributes of a canonical schema by, for each attribute of the plurality of attributes of the allocation:
identifying a product record of the plurality of product records corresponding to each attribute of the allocation of the plurality of attributes of the plurality of product records and having a categorization associated therewith;
identifying an identified rule application object of the plurality of rule application objects for a rule having the categorization associated therewith by identifying a correct rule path corresponding to the rule having the categorization associated therewith, the correct rule path having a longest string matching the plurality of attributes of the plurality of products; and
processing each attribute of the allocation of the plurality of attributes of the plurality of product records by the identified rule application object of the plurality of rule application objects; and
storing updated records for the plurality of product records comprising the normalized attributes and non-normalized attributes.

US Pat. No. 10,235,649

CUSTOMER ANALYTICS DATA MODEL

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A computer-implemented method for generating and optimizing attribute tables, comprising:receiving a request over a network to generate an attribute table corresponding to a business plan, wherein the business plan comprises at least one parameter;
extracting without manual intervention from a user at least one attribute from the business plan that corresponds to the at least one parameter;
automatically generating without manual intervention from a user, an automated table generation process executing on the computer, the automated table generation process including creation in storage of an attribute table having at least one field corresponding to the at least one attribute;
automatically generating without manual intervention from a user, an automated request process executing on the computer, the automated request process including a plurality of requests for attribute data wherein each of the plurality of requests corresponds to a different source database;
wherein the attribute table is optimized for holding retail related attribute data comprising customer profiles, product characteristic information, and retail channel information;
wherein optimization of the attribute table comprises:
flattening a data structure;
partitioning related attributes together into subgroups;
determining a hierarchy for each of the subgroups and generating metadata comprising information regarding the hierarchy for each of the subgroups;
combining subgroups of attributes into a plurality of subgroup tables based on the hierarchy, wherein the flattening, partitioning, and determining the hierarchy minimize the number of subgroup tables according to the retail related attribute data by grouping at least two of: the customer profile, the product characteristic information, and the retail channel information as related into one of the plurality of subgroup tables as a portion of the flattened data structure after receiving the attribute data from the plurality of requests for attribute data from the different source databases, and wherein the optimized attribute table is selectively generated for only the retail related attribute data based on the automatically generated plurality of requests for attribute data of the automated request process;
transposing the subgroups when combining the subgroups within an optimized table; and
automatically generating queries for each of the subgroup tables and aggregating the query into a common temporary table; and
automatically generating a report conveying the aggregated attribute information corresponding to the business plan.

US Pat. No. 10,235,651

SECURED DELIVERY LOCKER

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

12. A method for receiving a package delivery at a locker, the method comprising:receiving a signal from a delivery vehicle at a transceiver of the locker indicating that the delivery vehicle has a package for delivery to the locker;
receiving signaling from a sensor mounted to the locker at a control circuit, the signaling corresponding to a fullness level of an interior of the locker;
determining the fullness level of the interior of the housing based at least on the signaling from the sensor;
positioning the one or more packages in the interior of the locker with a manipulator mounted to the locker to maximize available space; and
sending a signal with the control circuit via the transceiver to notify the delivery vehicle whether the package can fit within the interior of the locker.

US Pat. No. 10,204,369

HAND-HELD COMMUNICATIONS DEVICE FOR TRACKING PHYSICAL SHOPPING CART CONTENTS AND UPDATING SHOPPING LIST

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A process of utilizing a computerized system for comparing an item scanned for purchase in a retail store to a plurality of desired items from a shopping list, the process comprising:receiving, through a processing device, an image, captured by a camera, of each of one or more objects placed in at least one shopping cart by a user and to output image data representative of the image, the shopping cart comprising a cart and an electronics device, the cart comprising a basket mounted on wheels, the electronics device comprising (1) a user interface configured to interact with the user, (2) a communication device configured to transmit and receive data, (3) a locating device configured to determine a location of the cart and the camera, the processing device configured to control the user interface, the communication device, the locating device, and the camera, and a server communicatively connected to the communication device and comprising a shopping list coordination module and a scanned item to desired item comparison module;
monitoring, through the processing device, the image data from the camera;
identifying, through the processing device, information related to the one or more objects based on the image data, or processing the image data to transmit identification of the one or more objects via the communication device;
monitoring, through the processing device, a list of items entered by the user, wherein the shopping list comprises the list of the items;
receiving, through the processing device, input from the user to modify the list of the items;
tallying, through the processing device, a list of the one or more objects to provide information related to the one or more objects for a transaction with respect to the one or more objects;
receiving, through the scanned item to desired item comparison module and from the communication device, the list of the items;
receiving, through the scanned item to desired item comparison module, the identification of the one or more objects;
comparing, through the scanned item to desired item comparison module, the identification of the one or more objects to the items in the list of the items;
determining, through the scanned item to desired item comparison module, whether one of the items in the list of the items is fulfilled based in response to the comparing indicating that there is a match between one of the one or more objects and the one of the items in the list of the items;
providing, through the scanned item to desired item comparison module, an indication of the match to the communication device such that the indication is provided by the user interface to the user in response to the comparing indicating that the match exists; and
providing, through the scanned item to desired item comparison module, another indication to the communication device to indicate that a first item of the items in the list of the items is fulfilled in response to another item in a same category as the first item of the items that is not an exact match between a first object of the one or more objects and the first item of the items in the list of the items.

US Pat. No. 10,198,708

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR ENABLING DELIVERY OF COMMERCIAL PRODUCTS TO CUSTOMERS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. An autonomous product delivery system to enable delivery of commercial products to customers comprising:an autonomous ground vehicle (“AGV”) on a commercial delivery route to deliver a commercial product to a person of interest (“PoI”), the AGV comprising:
a control circuit; and
a sensor communicatively coupled with the control circuit and configured to communicate sensor data to the control circuit;
wherein the control circuit, based on the sensor data, is configured to:
determine that a person positioned within a threshold distance relative to the AGV is the PoI;
allow the PoI to designate an intention of a second person positioned within the threshold distance as being one of friendly or adverse relative to the PoI;
determine, using data from the sensor and independent of the intention designated by the PoI, the intention of the second person positioned within the threshold distance as being one of friendly or adverse relative to the PoI;
receive a command from the PoI that overrides the determination that the intention of the second person is adverse to the PoI; and
allow the PoI to take possession of the commercial product when the designated intention of the second person is friendly relative to the PoI and the command from the PoI is received.

US Pat. No. 10,198,595

DATA BREACH DETECTION SYSTEM

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A distributed computing system comprising:a first computing system including at least one server and a first database, the first computing system selectively connected to a first user device or a second user device and selectively connected to a second computing system via a communications network, the second computing system including a secured database server and a second database,
the first computing system programmed to:
establish a first connection between the first user device and the first computing system via the communications network in response to verification of a first data set received by the first computing system from the first user device;
receive a second data set from the first user device subsequent to the first connection established;
assign a unique identifier to the second data set via the at least one server of the first computing system, the unique identifier stored in the first database by the at least one server;
transmit the unique identifier and the second data set to the second computing system using a first encryption scheme, the unique identifier and the second data set stored in the second database by the secured database server according to a second encryption scheme;
terminate the first connection;
establish a second connection between the first computing system and the first user device or the second user device via the communications network in response to verification of the first data set received by the first computing system from the first user device or the second user device;
determine whether there is a potential data breach by an unauthorized user;
in response to determining there is not a potential data breach, (i) retrieve the unique identifier from the first database by the at least one server upon receiving a request for the second data set from the first user device or the second user device, (ii) transmit the unique identifier from the first computing system to the second computing system, (iii) receive the second data set from the secured database server of the second computing system based on the unique identifier;
in response to determining there is a potential data breach by an unauthorized user, (i) retrieve the unique identifier from the first database by the at least one server upon receiving a request for the second data set from the first user device or the second user device, (ii) request a first subset of the second data set from the first user device or the second user device to confirm that the first computing system is authorized to retrieve the second data set from the second computing system, (iii) receive by the at least one server, a data string from the first user device or the second user device in response to requesting confirmation, (iv) transmit the unique identifier and the data string from the first computing system to the second computing system, and (v) receive at least one of an failure message or the second set of data based whether the data string matches the subset of the second data set,
wherein the failure message is received in response to failure of the secured database server to match the data string to the first subset of the second data set, and in response to the failure message, the first computing system further programmed to:
request a second subset of the second data set from the first user device or the second user device to confirm that the first computing system is authorized to retrieve the second data set from the second computing system;
receive, by the at least one server, a second data string from the first user device or the second user device in response to requesting confirmation;
transmit the unique identifier and the second data string from the first computing system to the second computing system; and
receive at least one of a further failure message or the second set of data based on whether the data string matches the subset of the second data set.

US Pat. No. 10,189,642

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR DISTRIBUTED AUTONOMOUS ROBOT INTERFACING USING LIVE IMAGE FEEDS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

11. An autonomous method including autonomous robot devices, the method comprising:transmitting, via a first computing system including an interactive display, a first request for a plurality of physical objects from a facility;
navigating, via a plurality of autonomous robot devices including a controller, a drive motor, an articulated arm, a reader, an inertial navigation system and an image capturing device, autonomously through the facility;
receiving, via a second computing system in communication with the first computing system and the plurality of autonomous robot devices, the first request for the plurality of physical objects from the first computing system;
transmitting, via the second computing system, instructions the at least one of the plurality of autonomous robot devices to retrieve the plurality of physical objects from the facility;
detecting, via the second computing system, the at least one autonomous robot device has picked up at least one of the plurality of physical objects;
controlling, via the second computing system, the image capturing device of the at least autonomous robot device to capture a live image feed of the at least one physical object picked up by the at least autonomous robot device;
switching, via the second computing system, an input feed of the first computing system to display the live image feed on the display of the first computing system;
receiving, via the second computing system, a second request from first computing system to discard the at least one of the physical objects picked up by the at least one autonomous robot device and to pick up a replacement physical object;
transmitting, via the second computing system, instructions to the at least one autonomous device to discard the at least one of the physical objects picked up by the at least one autonomous robot device and to pick up the replacement physical object, the instructions from the second computing system include one or more identifiers for the plurality of physical objects;
querying, via the at least one of the autonomous robot devices, a database operatively coupled to the second computing system and the plurality of the autonomous robot devices using the one or more identifiers for the plurality of physical objects;
navigating, via the at least one autonomous robot device, autonomously through the facility to the first set of object locations in response to operation of the drive motor by the controller;
locating and scanning, via the at least one autonomous robot device, one or more machine readable elements encoded with the one or more identifiers;
detecting, via at least one image captured by the image capture device of the at least one autonomous robot device, that the first group of physical objects are disposed at the first set of locations; and
picking up, via the at least one autonomous robot device, a first quantity of physical objects in the first group using the articulated arm.

US Pat. No. 10,179,404

STOCKING TOOL

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A stocking tool comprising:a first adjustable rigid side member;
a second adjustable rigid side member; and
a rotatable handle coupled to ends of the first adjustable rigid side member and the second adjustable rigid side member, wherein:
the first adjustable rigid side member and the second adjustable rigid side member move toward and away from each other to adjust a width defined between the first and second adjustable rigid side members;
the rotatable handle is moveable between a locked position with the handle activating a locking device and an unlocked position with the handle deactivating the locking device, which comprises the handle rotatable between the locked position with the handle activating the locking device to engage with a shelf and the unlocked position with the handle deactivating the locking device to disengage from the shelf; and
the width defined between the first and second adjustable rigid side members receives product on the shelf and the first and second adjustable rigid side members align product on the shelf.

US Pat. No. 10,121,133

METHOD FOR SELF-CHECKOUT WITH A MOBILE DEVICE

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A method for purchasing an item using a mobile device comprising:executing a first application on a server;
receiving, on the server, from a mobile device, identification information for each item to be purchased in response to an interaction between a user and a user interface of the mobile device;
executing a second application on the server, in response to receiving the identification information for each item from the mobile device;
creating, on the server, an order associated with the session including item information upon receiving, from the mobile device, the identification information for each item to be purchased as the identification information is received by the server;
generating dynamically, on the server, a unique identifier representing the order;
storing the order including item information associated with the item and the dynamically generated unique identifier for the order, in a state container within the first application on the server, the item information being identified based on the identification information;
importing, by the second application, the order from the state container;
transmitting the item information imported by the second application on the server to the mobile device, the item information being included in a virtual shopping cart that is (i) representative of the order stored on the server, (ii) accessible on the mobile device, and (iii) associated with an optical machine-readable representation dynamically generated by the mobile device to include the dynamically generated unique identifier encoded therein, the item information being kept in the virtual shopping cart for a predefined period of time, after which the item information is deleted;
optically scanning, via an optical scanning machine of a point-of-sale terminal, the optical machine-readable representation displayed by the mobile device and corresponding to the order to extract and decode the unique identifier encoded in the optical machine-readable representation;
transmitting the dynamically generated unique identifier from the point-of-sale terminal to the server to retrieve the order;
importing, by the second application, the order using the dynamically generated unique identifier from the state container;
receiving the order from the second application on the server sever at the point-of-sale terminal in response to transmission of the unique identifier to the server;
completing, via the point-of-sale terminal, a transaction based on the order received by the point-of-sale terminal from the server; and
generating, by the point-of-sale terminal, a receipt acknowledging completion of the transaction.

US Pat. No. 10,115,139

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR COLLABORATIVE SHOPPING

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A method for collaborative shopping, the method comprising, by a computer system:automatically detecting proximity of a first user device to a retail location using a GPS receiver of the first user device relative to a GPS footprint of the retail location;
in response to the detecting proximity, transmitting a notification from the first user device to a second user device, the notification effective to invoke a shopping interface on the second user device;
transmitting an electronic shopping list to the second user device, the electronic shopping list being shared between the first user device and the second user device based on a first identifier unique to the first user and a second identifier unique to the second user and previously uninvoked on the second user device until the detecting proximity and a matching of the first identifier with the second identifier;
receiving, from the shopping interface on the second user device a modification of the electronic shopping list;
transmitting an update from the second user device including the modification of the electronic shopping list to a shopping interface on the first user device;
automatically detecting departure of the first user device from the retail location by determining the GPS receiver has moved out of the GPS footprint of the retail location; and
in response to the detecting departure, transmitting a notification from the first user device to the second user device, the notification effective to indicate that the time period for modifying the electronic shopping list has ended.

US Pat. No. 10,097,430

TRACKING AND ANALYZING MOBILE APPLICATION USER INTERACTIONS

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A processor implemented method for use at computer system, the computer system including a processor, the processor implemented method for presenting a visual representation of user interactions with an application, the processor implemented method comprising:receiving a selection of data elements that are to be presented in a heat map for the application, the data elements including: user interactions with a plurality of application elements of the application on a per user interaction and per application element basis, connection information, and device information, the connection information related to characteristics of a network connection used by the application, the device information related to characteristics of a mobile device; accessing values for the data elements from a network storage location, the values received from one or more mobile devices, the values gathered during operation of the application at each of the one or more mobile devices in accordance with logging configuration options defining the data elements, the values logged at and transmitted from each of the one or more mobile devices based on resource availability at the mobile device;
using a heat map generator to form a heat map for the application by representing the user interactions as a visual heat map overlay of the application based on the accessed values, the heat map varying the visual representation of each user interaction based on values for the user interaction, values for connection information associated with the user interaction, and values for device information associated with the user interaction, including, for each user interaction:
generating, for display in a user experience tool, an overlay simultaneously visually indicating a location of the user interaction and a path between the locations of the user interaction and a subsequent user interaction; and
displaying in the user experience tool, the heat map with the overlay on an application view as it appeared to a user at the time the user interactions took place.

US Pat. No. 10,083,418

DISTRIBUTED AUTONOMOUS ROBOT SYSTEMS AND MEHTODS

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

17. A method implemented by an autonomous distributed computing system, the method comprising:roaming autonomously through a first facility by an autonomous robot device that includes a controller, a drive motor, and an image capturing device, the autonomous robot device roaming the facility in response to operation of the drive motor by the controller;
capturing, via the image capturing device of the autonomous robot device, one or more of a first set of images of a first location within the first facility at which a set of like physical objects is supposed to be disposed;
retrieving, via the autonomous robot device, from a first database of a first computing system, a second set of one or more images of the like physical objects;
comparing the first set of one or more images and the second set of one or more images;
detecting, by the autonomous robot device, based on the comparison, that the like physical objects of the set of like physical objects are absent from the first location;
reading, by the autonomous robot device, an identifier at the first location that is associated with the set of like physical objects;
transmitting, via the at least one of the autonomous robot devices, the identifier to the first computing system that includes at least one server and the first database;
storing, via the first computing system, data in the first database that indicates a need to add more of the like physical objects to the set at the first location in response to receipt of the identifier from the autonomous robot device;
upon execution of an automated batch file, transmitting the data associated with the like physical objects stored in the first database from the first computing system to a second computing system, the second computing system be located remotely from the first computing system;
receiving the data associated with the like physical objects at the second computing system;
correcting, via the second computing system, a perpetual inventory error associated with the first facility based at least in part on the data associated with the like physical objects;
transmitting, via the second computing system, a corrected perpetual inventory to the first computing system;
transmit instructions from the second computing system to an autonomous robot picker disposed in a second facility in response to correction of the perpetual inventory error;
controlling, via the second computing system, an operation of a conveyer belt disposed in the second facility;
autonomously navigating to a storage location of the like physical objects in the second facility by autonomous robot picker in response to the instructions;
autonomously controlling by the autonomous robot picker, a picking unit of the autonomous robot picker to remove at least one of the like physical objects from the storage location; and
autonomously controlling the picking unit to place the at least one of the like physical objects on the conveyer belt to transport the at least one of the like physical objects from the storage location to a distribution location in the second facility.

US Pat. No. 10,084,499

MOBILE COMPUTING DEVICE HOLDER

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A mobile computing device holder comprising:a corner mount fixture, wherein the corner mount fixture removeably couples to a piece of furniture, and wherein the corner mount fixture comprises:
a base bracket, wherein the base bracket is in the shape of an eight-sided polygon;
a first side coupler coupled to the base bracket, wherein the first side coupler is perpendicular to the base bracket; and
a second side coupler coupled to the base bracket, wherein the second side coupler is perpendicular to the base bracket;
wherein the first and the second side coupler couple the corner mount fixture to the piece of furniture;
a mobile computing device base coupled to the corner mount fixture, wherein the mobile computing device base is configured to cradle a mobile computing device;
a coupling apparatus coupled to the mobile computing device; and
a tether device coupled to both the mobile computing device base and the coupling apparatus, wherein the tether device couples the coupling apparatus to the mobile computing device base.

US Pat. No. 10,068,281

ROUTING ORDER LOOKUPS FROM RETAIL SYSTEMS

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

1. A method performed by a computer system, using one or more processors and non-transitory system memory, the method comprising:receiving, with the computer system communicatively coupled to an order database for a retailer and to an order database cache, the order database comprising order data for a plurality of customer orders, the order database cache comprising the order data synchronized from the order database, the order database communicatively coupled to a plurality of communication channels that can modify the order data of the order database, the plurality of communication channels comprising one or more in-store retail system channels, an order lookup from an in-store retail system channel of the one or more in-store retail system channels, wherein the order lookup further comprises:
a database command type;
a data indicator comprising a status of the order data; and
a portion of the order data associated with a customer order of the plurality of customer orders;
determining, with the computer system, the database command type, wherein the database command type either:
impacts a state of the order database comprising a modification to the portion of the order data or the order data; or
does not impact the state of the order database without a request for a modification of the portion of the order data or the order data;
determining, with the computer system, a data source to service the order lookup based at least in part on characteristics of the order lookup, the characteristics of the order lookup comprising the database command type, the data indicator, and the portion of the order data associated with the customer order, the data source selected from at least the order database and the order database cache, wherein determining the data source comprises:
determining the data source based at least in part on a timestamp of the portion of the order data associated with the customer order, when the order data in the order database cache has been synchronized from the order database; and
determining whether the database command type of the order lookup will impact the state of the order database;
routing, with the computer system, the order lookup to the data source in response to determining the data source;
when the database command type impacts the state of the order database, modifying, with the computer system, the data indicator of the order data in the order lookup;
receiving, with the computer system, the portion of the order data associated with the customer order back from the data source, the portion of the order data associated with the customer order responsive to the order lookup; and
returning, with the computer system, the portion of the order data to the in-store retail system channel of the one or more in-store retail system channels with at least the data indicator of the order look up.

US Pat. No. 10,300,157

RETAIL STORE FIXTURE AND METHOD OF STERILIZING A RETAIL STORE FIXTURE

WALMART APOLLO, LLC, Ben...

11. A method of sterilizing a handle of a shopping cart, the method comprising:integrating a voltage generator into a wheel of the shopping cart, wherein the voltage generator generates a voltage in response to a rotation of the wheel;
conducting the voltage to a capacitor in the handle of the shopping cart, wherein the handle is sterilized in response to receiving the voltage;
regulating the voltage in the handle generated by the voltage generator with a voltage regulator in the handle of the shopping cart;
draining the voltage in response to lack of the rotation of the wheel; and
electrically disconnecting the voltage generator from the capacitor with a switch in response to the lack of the rotation of the wheel for a predetermined amount of time.

US Pat. No. 10,083,467

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR COMMUNICATING INFORMATION TO A CUSTOMER AT A POINT-OF-SALE VIA A WIRELESS LINK WITHIN A RETAIL STORE

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A system for providing customers of a retailer with information during checkout, said system comprising:a server configured to store and communicate data via a communications network the data including information unrelated to performing a transaction of goods being sold by the retailer;
a point-of-sale (POS) system at which the customers of the retailer purchase products, said POS system being in communication with said server via the communications network;
a wireless access point in communication with said POS system and configured to operate as an access point for mobile devices associated with the customers to communicate with said POS system, said wireless access point being configured to: (i) detect which of the mobile devices that has the highest signal power, (ii) attempt to pair with a detected one of the mobile devices (iii) subsequently and separately request permission to communicate with the detected one of the mobile devices after pairing with the detected one of the mobile devices, (iv) detect a mobile identifier associated with the detected one of the mobile devices (v) retrieve a profile of a user of the detected one of the mobile devices; (vi) retrieve data based on the profile of the user (vii) prior to communicating the data to the detected one of the mobile devices, to receive permission from the customer via the detected one of the mobile devices in response to requesting permission to allow for the data to be communicated to the detected one of the mobile devices from the POS system, said POS system further configured to receive the data from said server and communicate the data to the detected one of the mobile devices via said wireless access point;
an application being executed on the detected one of the mobile devices and communicating with the POS system, the application configured to: (i) receive the data from the POS system, (ii) determine the data type of data received from the POS system (iii) store the data in a memory of the detected one of the mobile devices based on data type (iv) distinguish the data received from the POS system from data received from other data sources in the memory of the detected one of the mobile devices (v) receive a request for a search (vi) execute a search in the data received from the POS system; and
wherein, the wireless access point is configured to restrict receipt of data other than the permission received, from the detected one of the mobile devices.

US Pat. No. 10,210,165

FILE MANAGEMENT FOR EDISCOVERY

Walmart Apollo, LLC, Ben...

1. A method comprising:receiving, by a computer system, a first document set from a first database, each document of the first document set having a last-accessed value;
storing, by the computer system, the first document set in a fast storage medium;
receiving, by the computer system, one or more filter criteria;
(a) selecting, by the computer system, a second document set from the first document set, each document of the second document set satisfying the one or more filter criteria;
(b) selecting, by the computer system and in response to a received selection instruction, a third document set from the second document set;
(c) outputting, by the computer system, a listing of the third document set;
transferring, by the computer system, a first portion of the first document set to a slow storage medium, the fast storage medium having an access time greater than an access time of the slow storage medium, each document in the first portion having a last-accessed value of more than N days prior to a current date, the first portion excluding the third document set;
transferring, by the computer system a second portion of the first document set to the slow storage medium, each document in the second portion being in the third document set and having a last-accessed value of more than M days prior to the current date, wherein M is greater than N; and
transferring, by the computer system, a third portion of the first document set to the slow storage medium, each document in the third portion being in the second document set and not in the third document set, and each document in the third portion having a last-accessed value more than P days prior to the current date, wherein P is greater than N and less than M.