US Patent No. 10,560,986

METHOD FOR DETECTING THE STATUS OF POPCORN IN A MICROWAVE


Patent No. 10,560,986
Issue Date February 11, 2020
Title Method For Detecting The Status Of Popcorn In A Microwave
Inventorship Rodger An, Guangdong (CN)
Anders B. Zeijlon, Norrkoeping (SE)
James C. Johncock, Shelbyville, MI (US)
Lai Kwok Wah, Guangdong (CN)
Jack Xu, Guangdong (CN)
Winner Wang, Norrkoeping (SE)
Assignee Whirlpool Corporation, Benton Harbor, MI (US)

Claim of US Patent No. 10,560,986

1. A method of popping popcorn in a microwave having a cooking chamber and an energy source which provides energy to the cooking chamber, comprising the steps of:operating the energy source during a popcorn popping cycle;
detecting, by a microphone sensor, popping sounds generated when the popcorn kernels are popped, wherein the microphone sensor is configured to provide the detected popping sounds as a first input to a control unit;
detecting, by a humidity sensor, a humidity level in the cooking chamber, wherein the humidity sensor is configured to provide the detected humidity level to the control unit as a second input;
determining, by the control unit, when a humidity level in the cooking chamber is at a peak humidity level based on the second input provided by the humidity sensor;
determining, by the control unit, when the humidity level has fallen below a predetermined percentage of the peak humidity level based on the second input provided by the humidity sensor; and
ending the popcorn popping cycle when the humidity level detected by the humidity sensor remains below a predetermined percentage of the peak humidity level and at least one of the following end status indicators is met: (a) a number of popping sounds detected by the microphone sensor is below a predetermined number of popping sounds per a first time interval and (b) a predetermined change in the number of popping sounds detected by the microphone sensor per a second time interval is below a predetermined number.