US 3675816 A
Apparatus for dispensing variable amounts of currency. Verification data on a check and an identification card are read and compared to ascertain authenticity of a currency request. If the request is authentic, the currency is transferred from storage to a receptacle using data representing the amount of the check to select the numbers of each currency denomination to be dispensed. The number of bills actually transferred and the number requested are compared while the currency is temporarily stored in the receptacle located behind a locked door. If the two numbers coincide, the door is unlocked for access by the recipient and the check is transferred to another internal storage location as the operator retrieves his identification card. Otherwise, the door remains locked; the currency is transferred to still another storage location; and both the check and card are returned to the operator.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
I United States Patent 1151 3,675,816 Bourke, 11 et al. 1451 July 11, 1972 [s41 CURRENCY DISPENSING APPARATUS 2,986,897 6/l96l Howard ....l94/DIG. 16 0 3,099,274 7/1963 Fitz Simona ..22l/9 X m] 5' 13; Ya' W 3,164,294 11/1965 Phillips 6161. ..221/84 1 3,383,011 5/1968 Reed et a1 ..221/2  Assignee: Digital Security Systems, Inc, Natich,
Mass. Primary Examiner-Samuel F. Coleman Attorney-Louis E. Mam, James C. Jangarathis, James J. Burlzzl key, 11, 511161 M. Olstein and Marvin s. Gitlts [2|] App1.No.: 47,585  ABSTRACT 52 US. (:1 ..221 13, 22 46, 21 84, PP W liable Y- I I 0/ Verification data on a check and an identification card are 511 1111. c1. ..oo7r11/oo and m authmici'y  1 16111 6186mm ..221/12, 84, 1, 2, 9, 82, 83, is is 194/6 222/146 76 denomination to be dispensed. The number of bills actually Mm transferred and the number requested are compared while the  R CM currency is temporarily stored in the receptacle located be- UNITED STATES PA'I'ENTS bind a locked door. It the two numbers coincide, the door is unlocked for access by the recipient and the check is trans- 564,474 7/ 1896 C0w1es ..292/ 144 fened to another imemal storage location as h operator 115171066 "221/86 retrieves his identification card. Otherwise, the door remains 118391480 "1932 "ochmm 94/98 x locked; the currency is transferred to still another storage 10- l,998,602 4/ l 935 Anderson 194/.04 cation; and both the cheek and card are remmed to the opera. 2,123,501 7/1938 Cunningharne.. 220/46 x m 2,665,184 1/1954 Hord ..221/84 2,678,251 5/1954 Stewart ..221/76 X 25Clllms,9DIlWingFlguns PKTENTEDJUL 1 1 1912 SHEET 1 OF 5 INVENTORS EDGAR R NURKE, 11 ROBERT C. SNOW ATTORNEYS PATENTEDJHL H mm 3,675.816
sum 3 or s PATENTEUJUL 1 I m2 sum 5 0? 5 CANISTER CONTROL DATA PROCESSING SYSTEM ACTUATOR msmmcnnon CARD cmcun READER INTERFACE UNIT Q5,
X l 000R m RELEASE cmcun I810 22 24 68 '20 I24 l6 g@@@ RECEPTACLE DISPLAY SENSOR acumen DRIVE NH mm 1 U CURRENCY DISPENSING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention generally relates to currency dispensing apparatus and more specifically to apparatus adapted for dispensing variable amounts of currency in exchange for checks or notes.
Most employers pay employees for their services periodically either by cash or by check, with most employees being paid on the same day. When there are enough employees on a ayroll, each employee usually receives a check prepared by a data processing system. Data on these checks may be read by automated reading equipment. However, this machine-readable data, once written on the check, is not used again except by the employer or a bank. Most checks are exchanged for currency either in a bank or through a check-cashing service provided by the employer in the conventional manner. If, however, a currency dispensing machine adapted for reading data on the checks is installed at the employer's location, several advantages can be obtained.
First, currency will be stored inside the machines. Although large quantities of cash will be quickly available when the currency storage units are loaded and during transportation of storage units to and from the machine, they are not when the machine is in use for check cashing. This reduces the robbery potential, which is especially serious whenever large quantities of currency can quickly be seized.
Secondly, a check-cashing machine will materially reduce the number of personnel needed for this type of service, particularly if the apparatus requires minimal supervision and maintenance.
Although a number of currency dispensing machines have been proposed, they have not been widely accepted and, even where accepted, their use is limited. There are a number of reasons for this. For example, some prior machines are unduly complex. In certain other types, a person desiring to cash a check must follow a complicated operating procedure. Still other money dispensers limit check amounts to a given value or multiple thereof. Thus, if loaded with S-dollar bills, it can dispense only 5 dollars or multiples of 5 dollars. Another system adapted for limited automatic check-cashing reads the customer identification number, such as a bank account number printed on the check. It dispenses a fixed amount of cash, e.g., 50 dollars; and the amount is automatically debited against the customer's account. However, checks usually represent different amounts of currency and systems for dispensing fixed amounts of currency are, therefore, limited in their application.
Therefore, it is an object of this invention to provide apparatus for dispensing variable amounts of currency.
It is another object of this invention to provide an automatic currency dispenser operable with minimal operator intervention.
Still another object of this invention is to provide an automatic currency dispenser which simplifies and reduces loading and other maintenance requirements.
Any dispenser incorporating the foregoing objects and advantages should also include certain protective features. Unauthorized access to internal portions of the apparatus must be prevented. Access to the currency must be limited to specific times when the dispensed currency is being properly obtained. If minimal human intervention is to be realized, the system should satisfactorily respond to improper operation without disrupting further proper operation.
SUMMARY A currency dispenser embodying the invention includes storage sections for both bills and coins, the coin section being of conventional design. The bills are stored in separate storage units according to denomination. Each storage unit is positioned to discharge bills onto a conveyor leading to a dispensing receptacle that is ordinarily locked and thereby inaccessible from outside the dispenser.
In the preferred arrangement, the storage units and receptacle are controlled by a control unit that responds to indicia on a check and an identification card, both of which are inserted into the machine by anyone who intends to withdraw money from the dispenser. Data on the identification card and check are then read by the dispenser. If verification data on both the check and identification card do not coincide, the card and check are rejected.
When verification data do coincide, the control unit uses the check amount to determine the number of bills of each currency denomination that must be obtained and an operating sequence for retrieving the bills from storage. For example, a check for 49 dollars may be accommodated by dispensing two 20-dollar bills, one S-dollar bill and four l-dol- Iar bills for a total of seven bills. This total is retained for subsequent use.
Assume, for example, the dispenser contains one ZO-dollar storage unit, one IO-dollar storage unit, one S-dollar storage unit and four l-dollar storage units. To dispense 49 dollars, the 20-dollar, S-dollar, and all the l-dollar units are actuated during a first operation; the lO-dollar unit is not actuated. All the selected units are actuated simultaneously so that the sum of 29 dollars is discharged onto the conveyor during this first operation. Then the 20-dollar bill storage unit is actuated during a second operation to discharge an additional 20 dollars onto the conveyor for a grand total of 49 dollars.
Each bill is counted as it passes to the receptacle from the conveyor. When all the bills have reached the receptacle, the counter indicates the total number of bills therein. This number is compared with the previously stored number of requested bills. If these numbers coincide, the receptacle is unlocked to allow the recipient to obtain his money. Finally, the recipient's identification card is released to him, the check being retained in the dispenser. If the two numbers do not coincide, the receptacle is kept locked and the currency therein is transferred to another internal storage location. Both the check and identification card are returned to the operator in this situation so that they can be reinserted into the dispenser for another attempt to cash the check.
This invention has been pointed out with particularity in the appended claims. The above and further features, objects and advantages of this invention may be more fully appreciated by referring to the following description of a currency dispenser in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a perspective view, partially broken away, of a currency dispenser incorporating this invention;
FIG. 2 is a front view of the dispenser of FIG. I, with the front panel removed to illustrate internal details thereof;
FIG. 3 illustrates details of one embodiment of a canister actuator shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an end view of the system shown in FIG. I;
FIG. 5 schematically depicts one embodiment of a control unit that may be incorporated in the currency dispenser;
FIG. 6 schematically depicts another embodiment of a control unit;
FIG. 7 illustrates details of a currency receptacle for use in the currency dispenser of FIG. 1; and
FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate details of a currency storage unit in the currency dispenser.
DESCRIPTION OF AN ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENT A. General Description FIG. I shows both the appearance of a currency dispenser to a person desiring to cash a check (a recipient) and the location of certain elements within the dispenser.
The check, in machine-readable format, is inserted into a slot 10; and an identification card, also in machine-readable format, into a slot 12. When the identification card is inserted, it is clamped in the slot until afler various operations are completed. The check is normally withdrawn into the dispenser to be isolated from the recipient during dispenser operation.
A control panel I4, containing selectively illuminated signs, indicates various phases of the operating sequence. A sign 16 indicates when an identification card can be inserted. Whenever a sign 18 or 20 is lit, an error condition of one type or another exists; in such cases, the check and identification card are both released.
On the other hand, a sign 22 indicates that everything is in order and the recipient can obtain his money through a door 26. Thereafter, the recipient actuates a lighted pushbutton switch 24 to release the identification card from the slot I2 and transfer the check to an internal check storage unit for later collection.
From this discussion, it is apparent that all currency is stored and all currency handling occurs inside an external housing 30. Known techniques can substantially reduce likelihood of robbery from this enclosed apparatus. From the standpoint of operating simplicity, the recipient merely inserts two cards, takes his money from inside the door 26, and pushes the switch 24 to release his identification card. This minimal human intervention is realized because the necessary verification and currency determination, the currency transfers and the error checks are done internally by the mechanical apparatus and associated electrical control system shown more specifically in FIGS. 2 through 6.
B. Mechanical Construction Now referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, canisters 32 and 34 represent typical bill storage units in the dispenser. Each canister stores individual bills of a single denomination. As is evident from FIG. 2, multiple canisters can be used for storing single denominations. A set of canisters, each with bills of a single denomination, can be installed as a canister set 35 to simplify apparatus loading procedures. Each canister set aligns the canisters in a row.
All canisters in one row, such as the representative individual canisters 32 and 34, are disposed directly above a conveyer 36 (also shown in FIG. 1) which moves around a driving roller 38 and an idler 40, the roller 38 being connected to a motor (not shown). As described later in detail, bills are discharged onto the conveyor 36 whenever a solenoid 46 as sociated with that canister is energized. Each solenoid 46 pulls a cam 48 against a follower 50 and a return spring 52 to elevate the follower 50 and actuate the canister to discharge a single bill.
Still referring to FIGS. 1 and 1, the canister actuating solenoid 46 energizes the selected canisters simultaneously so a number of bills may be dropped onto the conveyor 36 simultaneously. Only one bill is discharged from a given canister, however. The bills are, therefore, spaced on the conveyor 36 as they are carried to a chute 64 which guides the currency into a receptacle 66. A photoelectric sensor 68 senses each bill passing by on the conveyor 36. As described later, signals from the sensor 68 increment a counter to determine the total number of bills transferred to the receptacle 66.
Referring specifically to FIG. 1, a conventional coin dispenser 69 is also installed in the dispensing apparatus. This coin dispenser dispenses coins which are collected in the receptacle 66 in response to the "cents" value on the check. However, the coins are not counted in this embodiment.
Referring next to FIG. 4, when all the currency has passed into the receptacle 66, the number of bills transported to the receptacle is compared with the number of bills requested by the control system in response to the dollar values on the check. If the two numbers coincide, a solenoid-actuated lock assembly 70 releases the door 26 by withdrawing a bar 72. When the door 26 is released, the operator can pivot the door 26 inwardly from the bottom and remove the currency from a container 74 in the receptacle 66. Opening the door 26 also actuates a switch 75 which, in turn, causes the pushbutton switch 24 in FIG. I to be illuminated.
Referring back to FIG. 2, the receptacle 66 includes containers 76 and 78 in addition to the container 74. These containers are equiangularly spaced about and extend radially from a hub affixed to a shafl'. 00. A solenoid 82 and a drive assembly, described in more detail with reference to FIG. 7, rotates the shalt 80 through I20 each time the solenoid 82 is energized. The solenoid 82 is energized at the beginning of each check-cashing operation. It is also energized if the requested number of bills and actual number of bills transferred to the container 74 do not coincide. In the latter case. the money in the horizontal container 74 is dumped into a collection box 84 as the container 74 rotates counterclockwise to the position defined by the container 76.
The capacity of the dispenser can be increased by using parallel conveyors and rows of canisters. Thus, FIGS. I and 4 depict a first canister row 85 disposed above the forward conveyor 36, and another row 86 above a rear conveyor 87. A single motor 88 drives both conveyors 36 and 84 although separate motors can also be used. A chute 90, analogous to the chute 64 and shown in FIGS. 1 and 4, and sensor 92, analogous to the sensor 68, are located at the discharge end of the rear conveyor 87.
When multiple conveyors are used, a cross-conveyor 94 (FIG. 4), mounted on a driving roller 96 and idler 98 and driven by a motor (not shown), receives bills from the conveyor 87 and passes them to a chute 100 that transfers them to one part of the receptacle 66. The sensors 68 and 92 senses the bills on each conveyor independently. The resulting counts are added after all the currency is transferred to provide the control circuit with the number of bills which have been transferred to the receptacle 66.
C. Control System FIG. 5 is a block schematic diagram of circuitry for controlling the timing and sequence of operations for the apparatus shown in FIG. I.
When the dispenser is in a quiescent state, the indicating sign 16, also shown in FIG. I, is on" indicating that a checkcashing operation can begin. A user inserts a check I0] through the slot 10 into a check reader 102 including a control unit 104 and an identification card 106 through the slot [2 into an analogous reader 108 which includes a control unit 110. The readers I02 and 108 include mechanisms to prevent the check and card from being removed until the dispenser completes one of its operating cycles.
For example, the check reader 102 contains a door 111. When the check is inserted, the control unit 104 receives a signal from a mechanical or photoelectric sensor. Then the control unit energizes a feed mechanism which engages the check and moves it to an internal reading position. Once the check is inside the reader 102, the control unit 104 closes the door 111 isolating the check and preventing its removal. If the check is to be returned, the control unit 104 opens the door I l l and reverses the feed mechanism to eject the check.
Signals from the control units 104 and indicating that the card and check have been inserted energize a control circuit 112 and enable a verification circuit 114 and currency decoder 116. The verification circuit 114 responds to verification signals read from data on the check 101 and card 106 by the readers 102 and 108. If the two sets of data do not coincide, the verification circuit 114 produces a "no verification" signal which energizes the control units 104 and 110. As a result, feed mechanisms in the readers 102 and 108 return the check I01 and card 106 to the user. In addition, a signal from the control circuit 112 energizes a display unit 117 to illuminate the sign 18 (FIG. 1).
Still referring to FIG. 5, if the two sets of verification data do coincide, a "verification" signal energizes the control circuit 1 12 and the currency decoder l 16. The currency decoder 116 converts "amount" signals, representing the check value obtained from the check reader 102, into information representing the number of operations required and identifying the canisters to be actuated during each operation. For example, the currency decoder 116 can comprise a read only memory unit which converts each dollar value into a predetermined number of operations. such as the two operations for the previous $49 example. Furthermore, each canister to be actuated during given operation is predetermined. As a result, a first set of stored selection signals, determined by the dollar amount are transferred from the decoder 116 to a canister unit 118 comprising the circuits for energizing the solenoids 46.
In the previously described example, the currency decoder 116 would indicate that actuators for one $20 canister, one 55 canister and each of four 81 canisters should be energized by the activator unit 118 in a first canister operation. With the appropriate solenoids 46 selected, the control circuit 112 causes the actuator 118 to energize the selected solenoids and thereby actuate the associated canisters to discharge a first group of bills onto the conveyor.
When successive canister operations are required, as indicated by the output of the decoder 116, the control circuit 1 12 inhibits subsequent solenoid 46 energizing signals until all bills from the previous operation are deposited in the receptacle 66 (FIG. 2). This inhibiting time may be a constant. Alternatively, it may be governed by which canisters have been selected, with larger inhibiting times being imposed for selections that include canisters farther from the discharge end of the conveyor 36. The latter arrangement minimizes the average operating time of the dispenser. Once the inhibiting time elapses, the decoder 116 and control circuit 112 can energize solenoids selected for a second operation, if necessary.
As noted above, each bill dropped onto the conveyors 36 and 87 in FIG. 4 passes the sensor 68 or 92. Sensor 68 is connected to counter 120 (FIG. 5). 1f plural sensors are used, they are connected to individual counters and an adder unit in a comparator 122 provides the sum of the contents of the counters.
When a predetermined time delay afier the last operation elapses, all bills to be dispensed are considered to be in the receptacle 66. The control unit 112 causes the comparator unit 122 to respond to signals from the counter 120 and the currency decoder 116. The signals from the counter 120 represent the total number of bills actually transferred to the receptacle 66 (FIG. 2); the signals from the currency decoder 116, the number of requested bills. if the two numbers differ, the comparator unit 122 transmits an error" signal to the control unit 1 l2 and a receptacle drive unit 124. The receptacle drive unit 124 thereupon energizes the solenoid 82 (FIG. 2) to dump the currency in the receptacle 66 into the bin 84. At the same time, a door release unit 126 (FIG. 5) keeps the lock assembly 70 (FIG. 4) in a locked position. Simultaneously, the control circuit 112 energizes the display unit 117 to indicate the error, and the readers 102 and 108 to return the check 101 and card 106.
if the two numbers are identical, the comparator 122 generates a "currency ready signal. This signal causes the door release circuit 126 to unlock the lock assembly 72 (FIG. 4) and the control circuit 112 to energize the display unit 117. When the sign 22 is illuminated to indicate that the currency is ready, the recipient opens the door 26 (FIG. 1 and obtains his cash. When the door 26 is opened, the switch 75 (FIG. 4) energizes the control circuit 112 so that the display unit 117 also illuminates the pushbutton switch 24. When the recipient pushes the switch 24, the control unit 104 and associated mechanisms in the reader 102 move the check 101 into a check receptacle inside the apparatus as indicated by the arrow 128 in FIG. 5. At the same time, the card 106 is returned to the operator.
As previously indicated, the control circuit 112 may ener gize the receptacle drive unit 124 each time a recipient initiates a dispensing operation. That is, when signals from the control units 104 and 110 first energize the control circuit 112, the receptacle drive unit 124 rotates the receptacle 66 (FIG. 2). This transfers any money left in the receptacle 66 to the collection box 84. Later, the person who has left money in the apparatus can claim the amount lefi. This amount can be verified by comparing the amounts of currency left in the canisters and the collection box with the total value of the retained checks and the original amount of currency deposited in the dispensers.
The system, as thus far described, has a simple operating procedure, requires minimal supervision and it contains safeguards against unauthorized or incorrect disbursement of cash. Still further safeguards can be provided by substituting "prior use" unit 132 and memory unit 134 shown in phantom in FIG. 5 for the verification circuit 114 of FIG. 4. If the verification data on the check 10] and card 106 do not coincide, the no verification" signal is generated as previously described. When the data do coincide, an intermediate step is taken to assure that the same check and card combination have not been used previously.
Certain data in the verification information are used to obtain an address for a particular location in the memory unit 134. When a check is exchanged for currency, this fact is recorded at the addressed memory location along with other data. If someone later tries to use a forged check and obtains an initial verification, the prior use unit 132 interrogates the memory unit 134, senses the previous exchange from data stored in the memory unit 134 and causes the verification circuit 114 to issue the no verification signal. If no previous exchange has occurred, the verification" signal is generated to enable subsequent currency decoding.
With reference to FIG. 6, still further advantages can be obtained by connecting the identification card reader 108 and control circuit 110, display unit 117, canister actuator unit 1 18, counter and receptacle drive unit 124 to an interface unit in a data processing system 142. With this control system, the figures for an entire payroll, for example, can be stored in the data processing system 142 in accordance with known procedures.
Using a payroll as an example, an employee inserts his identification card 106 into the card reader 108. The card data is transferred to the data processing system and used to retrieve his records from a memory in the data processing system. Stored identification data and data obtained from the card are compared to assure that no retrieval errors have occurred. Then pay data recorded in the system 142 for the card holder is converted into selection and operation information by the system 142. This information is temporarily stored for transfer to the canister actuator 118 in the proper sequence.
in the dispensing system in FIG. 6, the data processing system 142 also performs the comparator function reading the output from the counter 120. It may also respond to sensor signals directly. After contents of the counter 20 and the previously stored requested number of bills have been compared, the data processing system 142 enables or disables the receptacle drive circuit 124, the door release unit 126, the card reader 108 or the light associated with the pushbutton switch 24.
Each time the procming system 142 causes a disbursement to be made, it records that fact along with the other stored data for the recipient. If the recipient later attempts to obtain his pay again during the same pay interval, the system 142 senses the previous payment and prevents a second disbursement.
Control systems of the type shown in FIG. 6 can also be used in banks by adding a check reader. Direct entries against accounts can be made as checks are cashed so overdrawing can be eliminated. All the previously enumerated advantages related to robbery potential, simplified operator operation and fraudulent operation pertain to such a system.
The foregoing discussion relates to a specific group of currency dispenser embodiments. in each, verification data on an identification card and data on a check are compared to assure that the right person is cashing the check. Although this assumes that the operator always has the proper identification card, the assumption is justified. Experience with identification cards used for plant admittance and other purposes indicates that lost cards are promptly reported. Whenever a card is lost, a card is issued with new verification data and subsequently issued checks are modified by using the new verification data.
D. Apparatus Details The receptacle 66 and its associated drive elements, the door 26 and the canisters described with reference to the dispenser of FIG. 1 can also be used in other currency dispensers. FIG. 7 is a perspective view looking generally from a point to the lefi of the receptacle 66 as shown in FIG. 4. In the illustrated orientation, the container 74 is positioned to receive money while containers 76 and 78 are offset from this position as shown.
The three containers 74, 76 and 78 are identical. Looking at the container 74 in detail, a bottom surface 200 slopes upwardly at the end 201 adjacent the door 26 (FIG. 4) and terminates with a reentrant internal surface 202 which forms a lip 204. This container configuration tends to direct currency, especially coins, into a recipients hand as the hand is withdrawn toward the end 2010 with fingers engaging the bottom surface 200.
As previously indicated, the receptacle 66 is rotated [20 from time to time as shown in FIG. 4; this rotation is controlled by the driving solenoid 82 and a detent mechanism 205. A one-way clutch 206 is coupled to the shaft 80 and the solenoid 82. Solenoid travel is limited so that the clutch 206 rotates the receptacle 66 the desired 120 each time the solenoid 82 is energized.
The detent mechanism 205 accurately positions and locks the receptacle. A wheel 210 with three equiangularly spaced notches rotates with the receptacle. One notch registers with an armature 212 operated by a solenoid 214 when the receptacle 66 is properly located. When the armature 212 is retracted, the solenoid 82 and clutch 206 can rotate the receptacle 66. Solenoids 82 and 2 14 are energized by the receptacle drive unit 124 (FIG. 5).
Normally, the solenoid 214 is energized to retract the armature 212 before the solenoid 82 is energized to rotate the receptacle 66. Then the solenoid 214 is de-energized so that its spring-loaded armature 212 engages one of the notches in the wheel 210. This locks the wheel in position.
With specific reference to FIG. 4, the door 26 is supported by an upper horizontal spring hinge 216 opposite the end 201 of the receptacle container 74. The hinge 216 directly supports an inner door plate 218. An outer door plate 220 is spaced from and supported on the plate 218 by a resilient pad 222.
The lock assembly 70 comprises a solenoid 224 with an armature 226. A locking member 228 mounted to the armature 226 has a cam surface 230 which engages the plate 218 when the solenoid 224 is energized. The switch 75 mounted near the bottom of the door 26 is energized when the door 26 reaches 1 or 2 of being completely closed. When the switch 75 and pushbutton switch 24 (FIG. 1) are both actuated, the solenoid 24 is energized. This drives the locking member 228 toward the door 26 causing the cam surface 230 to force the door 26, specifically the inner plate 218, against the housing 30.
The door 26 is closed with considerable force. Normally, the switch 75 does not permit solenoid energization until the door is fully closed. There are situations, however, where the door might be held slightly ajar, but actuate the switch 75 and enable the solenoid 224 to be energized. The resilient material 222 compresses in this situation, so that the outer door 220, which is shorter than the plate 218, is not forced against the object holding the door 26 ajar with full force, so serious injuries are avoided. Once the door is locked, however, the inner plate 218 does close the opening tightly so unauthorized access is still denied.
FIGS. 8 and 9 present details of a typical canister as it is installed as one component in a canister set. Each bill carrier comprises a flat plate 250 with an integral, an end lip 252, sides 254 and a rearward bill barrier 264. A bill 60 is supported on top of each plate 250 as shown. The carriers are suspended from sets of hinge pins 256 parallel to the shafi 59 at opposite ends of the carriers 42. Specifically, each carrier includes two sets of integral hinges 266 and 270 offset from each other as shown in FIG. 9. The hinges 270 of each carrier interfit with the hinge 266 of an adjacent carrier. The pins 256 extend through the interfitting hinges to couple adjacent carriers together and thereby form a flexible. endless belt of the carriers.
In each canister, the parallel side walls 269 and 271 (FIG. 1), which support the shaft 59, also include tracks 258 (see FIGS. 8 and 9) in the form of endless grooves. The outer ends of the pins 256 engage the grooves and in this fashion, the grooves serve as guides and retainers for the carriers 254. Pins 256 on one side of the carriers are engaged by a sprocket 262.
Still referring to FIG. 9, when a carrier 250 reaches the end of a straight portion 274 of the track 258, a pin 256 extending from the carrier becomes engaged between adjacent teeth on the sprocket 262. Subsequent rotation of the sprocket 262 moves that pin and similarly engaged pins through the linkages between the carriers. This motion is transmitted to the endless belt fonned by the carriers. The sprocket 262 is rotated incrementally so that each movement of the sprocket forces one carrier 250 into the curved track portion on the left while another carrier moves from the curved portion into the other straight portion 278.
As pins on adjacent carriers engage the curved portion of the track 258, the adjacent carriers become angularly displaced to extend substantially radially from the shaft 59. The chute 44 shown in FIG. 8 has an opening which defines an angle equal to that angle defined by adjacent carriers in the curved track portion. Each time the sprocket 262 is advanced, one carrier passes over the chute 40 to discharge a bill 61 onto the conveyor 36.
The canisters provide compact bill storage and positive bill dispensing. A set of three canisters including supporting structure can store 900 bills in a volume of less than 2 cubic feet. Loading is facilitated because it is merely necessary to invert the canister or a set of canisters and alternately load a bill into the chute 44 and advance the carriers.
Still referring to FIG. 8, improper installation of the canisters can be avoided by using a keying arrangement comprising a sliding bolt assembly 280. Specifically, a slide bolt 282 is contained in a holder 284 including an L-shaped slot 286. A handle 288 is afi'txed to the bolt 282 and rides in the slot 286. The handle 288 can be rotated only when the bolt 282 is extended. The bolt assembly 280 is located at a unique location at each corner on one side of a canister set. When a canister set is loaded, all the bolts 282 are retracted. In the retracted position, all the handles extend horizontally. When the handle 288 extends horizontally, it prevents loading an adjacent canister or even the canister itself. The bolt 282 registers with an aperture 290 in a plate 292 affixed to the apparatus when the canister is properly located. If the canister is incorrectly located, the bolt 282 does not register with the aperture 290.
The two bottom bolt assemblies may also actuate electrical switches so that all the bolts equivalent to the bolt 282 must be extended before the control circuits shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 can be energized. The bolt assembly 282 also accurately locates individual canister sets so that the operating mechanisms such as the followers 52 and 54 shown in FIG. 2 are properly aligned for operation. Therefore, the bolt assemblies tend to eliminate installation errors and also align the canister sets properly for operation.
As is evident, a canister may eventually empty before replacement with a full canister. This requires the control circuit of FIG. 5 to disable the apparatus to stop either completely or whenever the empty canister is selected. If the control circuit of HG. 6 is used, the data processing system can be programmed to account for an empty canister. For example, if the canister containing 5-dollar bills were emptied, the data processing system might thereafier change the operating sequence to issue five S l bills for each S-dollar bill.
Referring to FIG. 8, a switch 294 is disposed outside each canister. One of the carriers includes a tab 292 which engages the operating lever 298 on the switch 294. This tab is formed on any carrier and its location depends on the switch location. As the last bill is discharged onto the conveyor 36, the tab 292 engages the lever 298 and thereby disables the control circuit in FIG. or causes the data processing system in FIG. 6 to modify further dispensing operations.
in summary, we have described a currency dispenser which is adapted for dispensing variable amounts of currency. It will be obvious that many modifications and variations may be made to these specific embodiments without departing from the true spirit and scope of this invention. For example, dif ferent storage canisters may be used in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1. Various modifications of the control circuit shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 can be implemented. Certain other features described above may be omitted with the loss of some of the advantages obtained by this invention. It is the intent of the appended claims, however, to cover all such variations and modifications as come within the true spirit and scope of this invention.
1. Apparatus for dispensing a variable, predetermined amount of currency to a recipient upon receipt of signals indicating an amount, said apparatus comprising:
A. a first, normally inaccessible receptable means,
B. means for storing bills of one currency denomination,
C. a transporter for moving bills form said storage means to said receptacle,
D. control means responsive to said signals.
1. for determining a required number of bills for deposit on said transporter from said storage means, and
2. for depositing bills from said storage means onto said transporter,
E. a counter for determining the total number of bills transported to said first receptacle, and
F. a comparator for rendering said first receptacle accessible to the recipient when the determined number of bills and the number counted by said counter coincide.
2. Currency dispensing apparatus as recited in claim I wherein said first receptacle means includes:
A. a receptacle for receiving currency from said transporter,
B. a door for permitting access to said compartment, and
C. means for locking said door, said locking means being responsive to coincidence in the numbers of bills for disengaging from said door.
3. Currency dispensing apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein said first receptacle means includes:
A. a receptacle including a plurality of integral compartments adapted for rotation, one of said compartments being located to receive currency from said transporter,
B. a door for permitting an access to said one compartment,
C. means for locking said door, and
D. means for rotating said receptacle, said locking means disengaging from said door when numbers of bills coincide and said locking means maintaining said door locked and said compartment rotating means displacing said receptacle from said door when the numbers do not coincide.
4. Currency dispensing apparatus as recited in claim I wherein the predetermined amount is defined on a check and verification information is defined on said check and a separate identification card, said apparatus additionally comprising:
A. means for reading verification information on the identification card and said check, and
B. means responsive to said reading means for generating a vertification signal when the verification information on said card and check coincides, said control means depositing currency on said transporter in response to said verification signal.
5. Currency dispensing apparatus as recited in claim 4 additionally comprising:
A. means responsive to said verification signal and sub sequent bill number comparison which enables access to said receptacle for thereafter inhibiting said verification signal generating means in response to the same verification information.
6. Currency dispensing apparatus as recited in claim 4 additionally comprising a door for permitting access to said receptacle means, and wherein A. said reading means comprises means for separately engaging the identification card and the check,
B. said control means includes a release switch and means responsive to the closing of said door for enabling said release switch, the identification card being returned to the recipient and the check being transferred into the apparatus by said reading means when the recipient actuates the enabled release switch.
7. Currency dispensing apparatus as recited in claim 6 wherein said verification signal generator produces a nonverification signal when the verification information does not coincide, said identification card and check engaging means returning the check and identification card to the recipient in response to the non-verification signal or to a signal from said comparator indicating that the two numbers differ.
8. Currency dispensing apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein a plurality of bill storage means are included in said apparatus, and arranged in plurality of rows,
A. said transporter comprising:
1. a conveyor disposed under each row of bill storage means, one of said conveyors being adapted to deposit bills directly into said first receptacle, and
2. means for transferring bills from the other conveyors to the receptacle, and
B. said control means comprising:
1. a counter being disposed above each of said conveyors for counting bilis transferred to said first receptacle, and
2. means for adding the counts of each of said counters after all bills are transferred to said first receptacle for transfer to said comparator.
9. Currency dispensing apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein each bill storage means stores a plurality of bills individually.
10. Currency dispensing apparatus as recited in claim 9 wherein said control means is responsive to certain amounts on a check for requiring at least two bills from certain of said storage means, said control means selecting said storage means and actuating said selected storage means simultaneously to dispense bills onto said transporter, and thereafter selecting and simultaneously actuating said certain storage means for dispensing another set of bills onto said transporter.
11. Currency dispensing apparatus as recited in claim 9 wherein an individual storage means contains bills of a given denomination and wherein said apparatus comprises several storage means for different currency denominations, said control means responding to a check amount for selecting certain of said storage means.
!2. Currency dispensing apparatus as recited in claim 9 wherein each storage means comprises:
A. a housing with opposite parallel sidewalls, each sidewall including an elongated oval track and an opening extending between said sidewalls,
B. a plurality of plate members having sleeve portions,
C. a plurality of pin members, each pin member interconnecting sleeve members on a pair of adjacent plate members and being adapted to ride in one of said tracks whereby said plate and pin members form an endless belt, and
D. means responsive to said control means for engaging said pin members to increment said belt and move one plate member over said opening to dispense a bill.
13. Currency dispensing apparatus as recited in claim 12 wherein said apparatus includes a support member, said currency storage means and said support member including locking means for registering and locating said storage means on said support means whereby each storage means is positioned uniquely.
14. A currency dispensing apparatus as recited in claim 1 additionally comprising:
A. data processing means for storing identification information and the currency amount, and
B. means for reading an identification card, said data processing system being responsive to said reading means for obtaining the stored verification information for comparison with similar information on the identification card and for supplying the amount to said control means.
1 5. Currency dispensing apparatus as recited in claim 14 additionally comprising means responsive to each withdrawal from said currency dispensing apparatus for inhibiting further transfers for the same identification card.
l6. Currency dispensing apparatus comprising:
A. a supporting and a closing housing,
B. a receptacle supported for rotation on said housing,
C. means for dispensing currency into said receptacle,
D. means for rotating said receptacle to a first operating position in response to a first set of operating conditions E. a door in said housing adjacent said receptacle adapted to be opened to permit access to said receptacle if a second set of operating conditions are met and to remain locked if said second set of operating conditions are not met; and
means for rotating said receptacle to a second operating position when said second set of operating conditions are not met.
17. Currency dispensing apparatus as recited in claim 16 wherein said receptacle comprises:
A. integral, equiangularly spaced containers, and
B. a hub portion, each container having a hollow portion for accepting currency when it is rotated to a first position.
18. Currency dispensing apparatus as recited in claim 16 additionally comprising means for locking said door under the first set of operating conditions and unlocking said door under the second set of operating conditions.
19. Currency dispensing apparatus comprising:
A. a supporting and enclosing housing,
B. a door mounted on said housing comprising 1. a first plate,
2. a hinge supporting said first plate,
3. a second plate,
4. resilient material supporting said second plate in spaced, resilient relationships to said first plate, said first plate and hinge being located inside the housing; and
C. means for temporarily storing dispensed money inside said housing adjacent said door.
20. Currency dispensing apparatus as recited in claim 19 additionally comprising means for locking said door in a closed position comprising:
A. a solenoid adapted to be energized under a first set of operating conditions, and
B. an armature operatively associated with said solenoid and including a ramped surface for engaging said first plate to thereby jam said first plate against said housing.
21. Apparatus for dispensing a variable, predetermined amount of currency to a recipient upon receipt of signals indicating an amount, said apparatus comprising:
A. a first, normally inaccessible receptacle means,
B. means for storing bills of one currency denomination comprising:
1. a housing with opposite parallel sidewalls, each sidewall including an elongated oval track and an opening extending between said sidewalls,
2. a plurality of plate members having sleeve portions,
3. a plurality of pin members, each pin member interconnecting sleeve members on a pair of adjacent plate members and being adapted to ride in one of said tracks whereby said plate and pin members form an endless belt,
4. means responsive to said dispensing means for engaging said pin members to increment said belt and move one plate member over said opening to dispense a bill. C. a transporter for moving bills from said storage means to said receptacle,
D. control means responsive to said signals,
l. for determining a required number of bills for deposit on said transporter from said storage means, and
2. for depositing bills from said storage means onto said transporter,
E. a counter for determining the total number of bills transported to said first receptacle, and
F. a comparator for rendering said first receptacle accessible to the recipient when the determined number of bills and the number counted by said counter coincide.
22. Currency dispensing apparatus as recited in claim 21 wherein each plate member includes a bill supporting surface and a spring member affixed to a surface parallel to the bill support surface whereby the spring on one plate member keeps a bill properly located on the bill supporting surface of an adjacent plate member and whereby adjacent plate members and the walls of said housing constitute individual bill storage compartments.
23. Currency dispensing apparatus as recited in claim 21 wherein said means for engaging said pin members comprises:
A. a pair of sprockets rotatably mounted on said housing and positioned to engage said pins in the curve portion of the track members,
8. a shaft,
C. a gear mounted on said shaft outside said housing,
D. a driving pawl member mounted on said housing,
E. means to advance said pawl member in response to said bill dispensing means and F. detent means connected to said shaft to provide definitive incremental motion on said shaft and said plate members.
24. Currency dispensing apparatus as recited in claim 21 additionally including means for generating a signal when a bill storage means is empty, said means comprising:
A. a tab member formed on one of said plate members, and
B. electrical circuit means including a switch having an actuator adapted to be engaged by said tab, said switch member changing conductive states when engaged by the path.
25. Currency dispensing apparatus as recited in claim 21 wherein a plurality of said bill storage means are supported in a second housing member to form an integrated set of bill storage means, said apparatus housing and said second housing supporting the set of cannisters including keying means operatively associated so an unique set of cannisters are loaded in a given position.