|Title of Invention||
AN AUTOMATED TRANSACTION MACHINE
|Abstract||An automated transaction machine (10) includes a note receiving and dispensing mechanism (77). The mechanism includes a storage reel (66), a take-up reel (68) and a flexible web (70) extending between the reels. The note receiving and dispensing mechanism is housed within a note storage module (44). Notes are selectively passed into and out of the storage module to a passage area (92). The machine further includes a note inlet opening (30) and a note outlet opening (28). A note outlet transport (96) extends between the passage area and the note outlet opening. A note inlet transport (98) extends between the passage area and the note inlet opening. A note validator (58) extends adjacent to the note inlet transport for purposes of sensing the validity of notes inserted in the machine. The machine is selectively operative responsive to inputs to receive and deliver notes. The machine is further operative to enable replenishment of notes therein without accessing the interior of the housing.|
|Full Text||FORM 2
THE PATENTS ACT, 1970
[39 OF 1970]
[See Section 10]
"AN AUTOMATED TRANSACTION MACHINE"
DIEBOLD INCORPORATED, of 5995 Mayfair Road, North Canton, Ohio, 44720, United States of America,
The following specification particularly describes the nature of the invention and the manner in which it is to be performed :-
TECHNICAL FIELD This invention relates to automated transaction machines. Specifically this invention relates to an automated transaction machine that dispenses notes to users and which has an internal note storage area which may be replenished without accessing the interior of the machine.
BACKGROUND ART Automated transaction machines are known in the prior art. A common type of automated transaction machine is an automated teller machine (ATM). ATMs have been developed which are capable of performing a variety of transactions including the dispensing of currency notes. Other types of transaction machines dispense notes and other types of sheets to users such as bank tellers, cashiers and other service providers. Other types of automated transaction machines dispense items such as tickets, travelers checks, scrip, vouchers or gaming materials. Automated transaction machines generally dispense such materials while assessing appropriate charges and credits to the respective accounts of the user, the machine owner and the provider of the dispensed materials. For purposes of this description an automated transaction machine will be.considered as any machine that is capable of carrying out transactions including transfers of value.
Automated transaction machines that dispense notes or other types of sheets representative of value are generally constructed to prevent access to the supply of sheets within the machine by unauthorized persons. In most cases such automated transaction machines include a secure chest or other secure enclosure. Access to the enclosure is controlled by a lock or other security device so that the interior thereof may only be accessed by appropriate personnel. The interior of the secure enclosure generally includes storage areas for currency notes and other types of sheets which are valuable.
The storage areas are often inside removable canisters or other types of
enclosures that may be readily installed in and removed from the machine
when the secure area is accessed. Sheets are dispensed by the machine to
users from the sheet storage areas. When the storage areas require
5 replenishment a service person opens the secure chest and replenishes the
supplies. In some cases this is done by removing the depleted or partially depleted canisters and replacing those canisters with filled canisters. In other situations it may involve inserting a "brick" of currency or sheets into the canisters or other sheet storage areas to replenish the sheet supplies.
10 A drawback associated with the construction of such conventional
automated transaction machines is that replenishing the sheet supplies requires opening the secure area of the machine. This provides the service person with access to all the valuable sheets as well as the sensitive electronic equipment within the machine. This presents opportunities for theft and tampering.
15 When canisters are changed several individuals may have access to the
canister during the times when it is being loaded, transported and installed in the machine. Likewise partially depleted canisters returning from machines for replenishment may pass through several hands. This may present opportunities for pilferage for which responsibility cannot be readily
20 documented. Tamper resistant and tamper indicating sheet holding canisters
have been developed. However such containers are not failsafe and may still be subject to compromise by skilled thieves. Sheet holding canisters may also be stolen in their entirety when in transit to and from machines. The use of currency canisters is also expensive. The use of such canisters adds to the cost
25 of the automated transaction machines by requiring the inclusion of
mechanisms that can open, close and work in conjunction with sheet containing canisters. The handling and transport of canisters also adds to the cost of machine operation.
Lower cost automated transaction machines are often installed in gas
30 stations, convenience stores and other merchandising facilities. Such
automated transaction machines often carry out only cash dispensing
transactions. While the reduced capabilities of such machines results in a
lower machine acquisition cost, the problems of handling sheets still exists.
Because the security in such merchandising facilities is often not as high as
that found in banking environments, it is not uncommon to use armored car
5 type courier services to carry out cash replenishment transactions in such
machines. This adds to the cost of machine operation.
Operators of automated transaction machines in merchandising facilities would desire to replenish the note supplies in such machines with cash that is available within the establishment. Doing this can avoid the cost
10 of having to pay a third party to carry out cash replenishment, which reduces
operating costs. However in many merchandise transaction environments the trustworthiness of the personnel may not be verifiable. As a result the machine operator may not want to give their personnel access to the large amounts of cash which are available within the interior of an automated
15 transaction machine. Replenishing the currency supplies within such
machines may be an activity limited to supervisory level personnel. However, despite such precautions shortages and discrepancies can occur. This is particularly true when several individuals have the capability of accessing the interior of a machine.
20 Recently automated transaction machines have been developed that are
capable of "recycling" currency. Such machines are capable of accepting currency notes from a user or operator, and determining the genuineness and particular type of each note. Such machines selectively store the deposited notes in locations within the machine. At a later time when the same or
25 another user requests a dispense of notes, the machine dispenses the
previously deposited notes to the user. While such machines have the capability of having the note supplies replenished without accessing the interior of the machine, such machines are generally complex and expensive. The installation of such a machine would generally not be cost justified in
30 situations where relatively low cost, cash dispense only type machines are
There are also many other types of self service and vending machines
that users operate which could be improved by adding the capability to such
machines of accepting and dispensing currency notes. Common examplesof
such machines include motor fuel dispensing pumps, vending machines,
5 automated ticketing machines and automated gaming machines. Often such
machines already have a user interface that is capable of reading a user's credit card. Such machines also have the capability of assessing a charge to a user's account in exchange for merchandise or services provided. Increasingly self service machines are being provided with the capability of accepting a user's
10 smart card. Smart cards include a memory thereon which has data
representative of monetary value. Instead of assessing a charge to a user's account, such machines also have the capability of deducting the monetary value from the value represented by data in the memory of the user's smart card.
15 Cash receiving and dispensing capability has generally not been
provided in most self service and vending machines for several reasons. First, cash dispensing and accepting mechanisms have in the past generally been expensive and would render such machines cost prohibitive to acquire and operate. Second, such machines generally do not include the security features
20 included in automated teller machines or cash dispensers, because the items
generally dispensed by such machines are not readily disposed of for cash value. Another reason such machines have not been provided with cash accepting and/or dispensing capability is that to do so would require the machine operators to incur the additional costs associated with cash handling
25 previously discussed, that are often encountered in the use of operating ATMs
and cash dispensers. A further drawback has been that making cash acceptance and dispensing an integral part of such machines may limit their operation to selected hours and locations where greater security may be maintained. Thus, while users may benefit from having machines such as
30 motor fuel dispensing pumps and vending machines accept and receive cash,
providing such machines with these capabilities has been cost prohibitive.
Thus there exists a need for an automated transaction machine that is
inexpensive to produce and operate, but that is also highly reliable. There
further exists a need for an automated transaction machine that is capable of
being replenished with currency notes or other sheets of value without having
5 to access the note storage areas in the interior of the machine. There further
exists a need for an automated transaction machine which includes a note receiving and dispensing component that adds only limited cost to the production and operation of the machine.
DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION
10 It is an object of the present invention to provide an automated
It is a further object of the present invention to provide an automated
transaction machine which is capable of dispensing sheets having value, such
as currency notes.
15 It is a further object of the present invention to provide an automated
transaction machine which dispenses currency notes from a note storage area within the machine and which is capable of having the note storage area replenished without accessing an interior of the machine.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide an automated
20 transaction machine which includes a note supply that can be replenished
without accessing an interior area of the machine and which is configurable to be replenished from either the front or the rear side of the machine.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide an automated
transaction machine that is economical to produce and to operate.
25 It is a further object of the present invention to provide an automated
transaction machine that is capable of receiving, validating and dispensing sheets such as currency notes.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide an automated
transaction machine which provides for the receiving and dispensing of
30 currency notes as a supplementary function to a primary vending or self
service function that is carried out by the machine.
It is a further object 'of the present invention to provide an automated
transaction machine which is capable of dispensing notes from a note storage
area within the machine and which is capable of having a note supply readily
removed from the machine by authorized personnel.
5 It is a further object of the present invention to provide an automated
transaction machine that is easy for users to operate and which provides timely promotional and other messages to users of the machine.
Further objects of the present invention will be made apparent in the following Best Modes For Carrying Out Invention and the appended claims.
10 The foregoing objects are accomplished in an exemplary embodiment
by an automated transaction machine. The automated transaction machine may be a machine whose primary function is the receipt and/or dispensing of sheets such as currency fiotes. Alternatively the automated transaction machine may be associated with a primary function such as the vending of
15 motor fuel, lottery tickets, transit tokens or other transactions and may include
the dispensing and/or receipt of sheets having value, such as currency.
The automated transaction machine in one exemplary embodiment includes a machine housing- The housing includes a user interface area including at least one input device through which the machine may receive at
20 least one input from a user of the machine. A sheet inlet opening extends
through the housing as does a sheet outlet opening.
Within the housing of the machine is a note receiving and dispensing mechanism. The note receiving and dispensing mechanism is operatively connected to a sheet storage area which in the described embodiment is used
25 for holding currency notes. The sheet receiving and dispensing mechanism
includes a passage area through which sheets are passed when they are being received by the mechanism for storage in the storage area. Sheets also pass through the passage area when they are being dispensed by the mechanism from the storage area.
30 The described embodiment further includes a note inlet transport
which extends between the note inlet opening and the passage. A note
validator is positioned adjacent the note inlet transport. The note validator is
operative to sense notes which are inserted through the inlet opening for
purposes of determining whether the notes are valid. The machine further
includes a note outlet transport. The note outlet transport extends between the
5 passage and the outlet opening through the housing. The machine further
includes one or more drive mechanisms that are operatively connected to the inlet and outlet transports and which enable the selective movement of notes or other sheets therein.
The automated transaction machine of the described embodiment
10 further includes a controller. The controller is in operative connection with the
validator and the drive for the inlet and outlet transports. The controller is also in operative connection with the input devices as well as the validator. The controller is operative to control the machine such that in response to at least one input to the input device, notes or other sheets stored in the storage area
15 are dispensed by the mechanism and moved through the outlet transport to the
outlet opening. The controller is further operative responsive to insertion of a note or other sheet to the inlet opening to have the validator determine if the inserted note is valid. If so, the note is accepted by the receiving and dispensing mechanism and stored in the storage area.
20 Configurations of the automated transaction machine of the present
invention may provide for both receiving notes from and dispensing notes to customers while charging and crediting appropriate accounts. Alternatively embodiments of the invention may be configured for only dispensing notes to customers who operate the machine. In such embodiments acceptance of
25 notes is limited to personnel who are authorized to replenish the machine on
behalf of the machine owner or operator. Alternative configurations of the machine may provide for the note inlet and outlet openings to be positioned on generally one side of the machine, while alternative forms of the invention may provide for such openings to be on generally opposed sides of the
30 machine. Some forms of the invention may provide for accepting sheets into
the note inlet opening one sheet at a time while others may be configured for
accepting stacks of sheets which are then separated, authenticated and stored within the machine.
In some exemplary forms of the invention the note receiving and dispensing mechanism may include a roll storage type mechanism The roll storage mechanism includes a flexible web that extends between a storage reel and a take-up reel. The storage reel and take-up reel are moved by a reel drive mechanism that enables selectively moving the reels to deliver sheets to and to receive sheets from the passage area. The storage and take-up reels in some embodiments are contained within a note storage module that is readily installed in and removed from the machine housin.g by authorized personnel Certain preferred forms of the invention are highly reliable and yet relatively lower in cost to produce and operate.
Other preferred forms of the invention include a user interface with a display. The display is used for presenting promotional or other messages to users of the machine. These messages may be time sensitive and/or of limited duration. In preferred forms of the invention such messages are provided by interaction of the controller with a replaceable plug-in memory of a smart card or similar device. Various forms of user interfaces may also be provided to simplify and facilitate operation of automated transaction machines.
The present invention relates to an automated transaction machine characterized in that the machine comprises a housing; a note outlet opening extending through the housing, a passage area within the housing; a note outlet transport extending in the housing between the passage area and the note outlet opening, the outlet transport including a separating member engaging surface, apparatus comprising: a note storage module removably mounted in supporting connection with the housing, the note storage module comprises a note storage area therein, wherein the note storage module comprises a module first wall having a module opening therein, wherein the module opening is adjacent the passage area when the note storage module is in an operative position, wherein notes from the note storage area are selectively delivered from the note storage module through a module opening; a first separating member operatively supported by the note storage module, wherein in the operative position of the note storage module the separating member extends through the module opening and operatively engages the engaging surface.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF ACCOMPANYING DRAWINGS:
Figure 1 is an isometric view of one exemplary embodiment of an automated transaction machine of the present invention..
Figure 2 is a rear plan view of the machine shown in Figure 1 with an access door in an open position.
Figure 3 is a schematic view showing a controller of the automated transaction machine and transaction function devices and other devices in operative connection therewith.
Figure 4 is a transparent side view of the mechanisms for handling sheets such as currency notes in the automated transaction machine shown in Figure 1.
Figure 5 is a schematic view showing the components included in the sheet paths of the automated transaction machine shown in Figure 1.
Figure 6 is a schematic view of a reel drive mechanism operating to
move the storage and take-up reels in a sheet dispensing direction.
5 Figure 7 is a schematic view of the first and second drive members of
the reel drive mechanism, along with the transmission member which interconnects the drive members.
Figure 8 is a schematic view similar to Figure 7 with the reel drive
mechanism operating to move the storage and take-up reels in a sheet
10 receiving direction.
Figure 9 is a simplified side view of the sheet handling components in the passage area of the machine.
Figure 10 is an enlarged view of the passage area including the first
and second sheet separating members for separating sheets from the sheet
15 supporting web.
Figure 11 is a side schematic view of the gate member which serves to direct sheets between the inlet and outlet transports in the passage area.
Figure 12 is a side schematic view of the secondary separating member
and its suspension on the note storage module.
20 Figure 13 is a side schematic view of the directional drag applying
members used in connection with the storage and take-up reels.
Figure 14 shows a tab portion on the note storage module engaged with a cylindrical support member.
Figure 15 is an isometric view of the cylindrical support member
25 shown in Figure 14.
Figure 16 is an isometric view of a flexible note supporting web with machine readable indicia thereon, the web being shown in supporting connection with currency notes.
Figure 17 is a side schematic view indicating movement of parts of
30 sheet handling mechanisms when dispensing sheets.
Figure 18 is a side schematic view showing movement of sheet handling mechanisms when the note validator is operating to determine if an inserted note is valid.
Figure 19 is a schematic view showing a note that has passed from the
5 note validator to the passage area.
Figure 20 is a schematic view indicating operation of sheet handling mechanisms in moving a note through the passage area and into supporting connection with the web and sheet storage reel.
Figure 21 is a schematic view of an alternative embodiment of an
10 automated transaction machine which includes a common note inlet and outlet
transport in connection with a note validator.
Figure 22 is a schematic view of a further alternative embodiment
which has a note inlet opening on an opposed side of the machine from the
note outlet opening.
15 Figure 23 is a schematic view of an automated transaction machine
which is capable of receiving and separating a stack of notes.
Figure 24 is a schematic view of a mechanism used for separating notes individually from the stack in the embodiment shown in Figure 23.
Figures 25-30 are schematic views of a user interface and the operation
20 thereof which may be used in connection with embodiments of the invention.
BEST MODES FOR CARRYING OUT INVENTION
Referring now to the drawings and particularly Figure 1 as shown
therein an automated transaction machine of a first exemplary embodiment of
the present invention generally indicated 10. Machine 10 is an automated
25 teller machine whose primary functions are to dispense and receive currency
notes. It should be understood however that other embodiments of the
invention may be machines whose primary functions include conducting other
types of transactions. These may include for example the dispense of motor
fuel, the dispense of tickets, the dispense of vouchers, the dispense of gaming
30 materials or other functions that a user may carry out using the machine.
Machine 10 includes a housing 12. As used herein housing 12 refers to
the external enclosure of the machine as well as the internal structures which
support components of the machine therein. A user interface generally
indicated 14 is supported on the housing and is accessible by a user. In the
5 embodiment shown the user interface includes input devices and output
devices. One of the input devices is a card reader 16. Card reader 16 in the machine shown is a swipe type card reader which is operative to read magnetic stripe cards 18 which are passed through the reader by customers. Cards 18 may be various types of cards such as credit or debit cards which include
10 information for identifying the user and/or their accounts.
User interface 14 of the described embodiment also includes other input devices. These include a keypad 20 and function keys 22. Users are enabled to input data and instructions to the machine by selectively pressing the keys which make up the keypad as well as the function keys 22.
15 The user interface 14 further includes an output device which includes
a display 24. Display 24 of the described embodiment may be a CRT or LCD type display that is operative to display messages to a user, including messages which instinct the user in operation of the machine.
It should be understood that the input devices and output device shown
20 are exemplary and that other embodiments of the invention may employ other
types of input and output devices. These include for example other types of card readers for reading magnetic stripe or other types of cards. These may include for example motorized readers or dip readers. Other types of cards may also be employed with the machine. Such cards include so called "smart
25 cards" which include a programmable memory with data thereon. Such data
may include information about the user and their accounts. It may also include information representative of monetary value. Such value may be deducted from the memory as the card is used to make purchases. Some cards may have the value thereon periodically replenished. Other types of input
30 devices may be used which read articles such as articles encoded with optical
indicia which can be used to identify the user or their accounts. Other types of
input devices may include biometric type reading devices such as fingerprint
readers, retina scan devices, iris scan devices, speech recognition devices or
other types of input devices which are capable of providing an input which can
identify a particular user and/or their accounts.
5 The keypad and function keys which serve as input devices in the
described exemplary embodiment may be replaced in other embodiments by other types of devices which are capable of selectively receiving data or instructions from a user. Other types of output devices may also be used. These may include other types of visual and nonvisual output devices which
10 are capable of communicating a message to a user and which can instruct the
user in the operation of the machine. Of course when automated transaction machines of the invention are incorporated with other devices which carry out other functions, other types of input devices associated with carrying out those other functions may also be included. These may include for example
15 switching and control devices for controlling the dispense of motor fuel when
the machine of the invention is incorporated'with a motor fuel dispensing device. The particular additional devices will depend on the environment in which the invention is used.
Returning to the description of the machine 10 shown in Figure 1, the
20 housing includes therethrough a receipt opening 26. The receipt opening is
used to provide the user with printed receipts for the transactions conducted at the machine. The housing further includes a note outlet opening 28. The note outlet opening 28 is used to deliver notes dispensed from the machine to a user. It should be understood that the note outlet opening may also be refeired
25 to herein as a sheet outlet opening, and that in embodiments of the invention
sheets other than notes may be received and dispensed from the machine.
The machine 10 further includes a note inlet opening 30. Note inlet 30 is used for inserting notes or other types of sheets into the machine for storage. As indicated in phantom, in some embodiments the note inlet opening 30 may
30 be rendered inaccessible by a movable cover 32. The cover 32 is selectively
secured by a suitable locking mechanism 34. The cover may be used in
circumstances where the machine operator only wants selected authorized
personnel to be able to insert notes for storage in the machine. This may be
the case when the machine operator wants users to use the machine only as a
cash dispenser. In some embodiments the cover may provide a note
5 supporting surface or include a note holding structure such as a pocket to
facilitate holding dispensed notes for the user of the machine when the cover is in position.
As shown in Figure 1 the housing of the machine further includes a connector 36. The connector 36 is operative to releasibly receive a plug in
10 memory element 38. The plug in memory element in the embodiment shown
is used for holding messages that are to be provided to users of the machine through the display 24. As later discussed, the plug in memory 38 may hold promotional messages which are displayed to users of the machine on a timely basis. Such promotional messages may include for example discounts on
15 certain merchandise or special offers which expire on a certain date. In one
preferred embodiment the plug in memory 38 may be supported on a smart card. The memory may include one or more promotional items which are promoted only during certain times of day, on certain days of the week or during particular time periods. The use of this feature is later discussed in
Figure 2 shows the rear of the machine 10. The housing 12 of the machine includes an access door 40 which is shown in the open position in Figure 2. The access door 40 includes a locking mechanism 42. The locking mechanism 42 is normally used to secure the access door 40 in the closed
25 position. The locking mechanism 42 may be opened by authorized personnel
to enable them to access an interior area of the machine.
The interior area of the machine includes various components which are shown schematically. Such components may include for example a note storage module 44. As later described in detail the note storage module 44
30 includes a note storage area for holding notes within the machine. The note
storage module 44 is readily removable and installed in the machine once the
access door 40 is in the open position. Other components within the housing
of the machine may include a journal device 46. The journal device 46 may
be for example a journal printer which makes a permanent hard copy record of
transactions which are carried out by the machine. Other devices within the
5 interior of the machine may include a communications device 48. The
communications device may be for example a modem, wireless transmitter, lease line interface connection or other suitable device for communicating with other computers to carry out transactions with the machine. These other computers may include for example computers in credit and/or debit card
10 networks which are capable of handling transaction messages and settling
accounts between users, sources of monetary value and the operator of the machine. Another device shown schematically in the interior of the machine in Figure 2 is a receipt printer 50. The receipt printer 50 is operative to produce printed receipts that are dispensed to customers through receipt
15 opening 26.
Figure 3 shows schematically the electrically controlled devices which are included in the described embodiment of the machine 10. A controller 52 serves as a control device for controlling the electrical devices within the machine. The controller 52 includes an internal clock device schematically
20 indicated 54. The controller is in operative communication with a memory 56
which is also referred to herein as a data store. The controller 52 may in various embodiments include one or more processors or operatively connected computers which serve as an electrical signal source for devices which are in operative connection with the controller.
25 As shown in Figure 3 the controller is operative to communicate with
the transaction function devices previously described. These include the card reader 16, the keypad and function keys 20 and 22 and the display 24. The controller is also operative to communicate and control operation of the receipt printer 30 and the journal device 46, which in this case is a journal printer.
30 The controller is also in operative communication with the plug in memory 38
and the communication device 48 which is used to communicate with other
de vices. In the described embodiment the controller 52 is also operative to
communicate with other devices. These include for example a note validator
58 which will later be discussed in detail. The note validator is operative to
sense notes to determine their validity and to distinguish between valid and
5 invalid notes inserted into the machine. The controller 52 is also operatively
connected to a module drive 60 and a transport drive 62 which are control circuits for controlling motors which operate to move notes within the machine. These are later discussed in detail. It should be understood that these transaction function devices are exemplary and that other embodiments
10 of the invention may include different and/or additional types of transaction
Figure 4 is a view of the sheet handling mechanism that is used for storing and dispensing notes within the machine. The sheet handling mechanism generally indicated 64, includes the note storage module 44
15 previously discussed which is removably mounted on the housing of the
machine. The note storage module includes a storage reel 66 which is rotatably mounted in supporting connection with the housing of the machine in the storage module. A take-up reel 68 which in the preferred embodiment is identical to the storage reel, is also rotatably mounted in the machine. A
20 flexible web 70 extends between the storage reel and the take-up reel.
The note storage module of the described embodiment includes thereon a reel drive mechanism 72. The reel drive mechanism is operative in a manner later discussed to selectively drive the storage reel 66 or the take-up reel 68.
25 The note storage module 44 also includes therein an actuator 74. The
actuator is in operative connection with a movable locking member 76. The locking member 76 is movable by the actuator 74 between a position in which rotational movement of the storage reel is enabled and a position in which the locking member holds the rotatable storage reel in relatively fixed position
30 with respect to the note storage module 44. This is accomplished in the
locking position of the locking member by engaging cooperating projections
and recesses schematically indicated 78 on the locking member and the storage reel.
The actuator 74 is electrically connected with the controller 52 through
a releasible connector 80. The controller 52 senses as an electrical signal
5 source which operates the actuator generally to enable the storage reel 66 to
move when it is properly positioned within the machine. When the note storage module is positioned in the machine and the releasible connector 80 connects the actuator 74 to the electrical signal source, the projections and recesses of the locking member and reel are disengaged enabling the reel to
10 move. This feature aids in securing the note storage reel which serves as a
note storage area, in fixed position relative to the module when the note storage module is removed from the machine. This makes it more difficult for unauthorized persons to extract the note from the note storage module after it has been removed from the machine.
15 The note storage module 44 is supported in the machine by tab
portions 82. Tab portions 82 include semicircular openings or slots 84 (see Figure 14). Axially elongated cylindrical support members 86 are accepted into the openings 84 when the note storage module 44 is in the operative position within the machine.
20 The openings 84 in the tab portions 82 extend in generally planar
members and are bounded by a surface 88 which serves as an arcuately shaped generally u-shaped projection. The u-shaped projecting surface 88 is positioned to extend in generally annular recesses or slots 90 which extend about the cylindrical support members 86. The interfitting engagement of the
25 u-shaped projections and the annular recesses enables positioning the note
storage module 44 in the proper position within the housing of the machine. It further enables engaging and disengaging the tab portions and the cylindrical support members from the engaged and disengaged positions by moving the note storage module along the direction of arrow I shown in Figure 14.
30 In the described form of the invention the cylindrical support members
86 also serve as.supporting members for the construction of the structure
surrounding the note storage module within the machine. Members 86 include
threaded openings in each end to facilitate their engagement to other
components. The positioning of the annular recesses 90 in the cylindrical
support members are also asymmetrical to facilitate the proper positioning of
5 the note storage module. During assembly of the machine the proper
positioning of the cylindrical support members is assured by having the threaded openings in each end of the support members of a different size and/or thread configuration. This construction along with the mating fasteners which are used to hold the machine components together assure that the
10 cylindrical support members are installed properly during assembly. Of
course the construction of the supporting structure and removable note storage module is exemplary and in other embodiments other suitable structures and assembly methods may be used. This includes using a configuration for positioning the storage module which is generally the reverse of that shown in
15 Figure 14 as well as other arrangements of interengaging projections and slots.
The note handling mechanism shown in Figure 4 further includes a passage area 92. The passage area 92 extends through an opening 94 in the front wall of the note storage module (see Figure 10). Notes passing between the note receiving and dispensing mechanism of the note storage module pass
20 through the passage area 92.
As shown in Figure 4 a note outlet transport 96 extends between the passage area and the note outlet opening 28. Note outlet transport 96 is operative to move notes in connection therewith. A note inlet transport 98 is operative to move notes between the note inlet opening 30 and the passage
25 area 92. Note inlet transport 98 includes a portion which extends through the
note validator 58. As previously discussed the note validator is operative to sense notes which pass through the note inlet transport. The note validator is operative to sense notes which move in the note inlet transport. The note validator is operative to determine if the sensed notes are valid for purposes of
30 acceptance in the machine and to discriminate between valid and invalid notes.
A transport drive 100 is operatively connected to the inlet and outlet
transports 96 and 98 respectively. The note inlet and outlet transports are
shown in further detail in Figure 5. The note outlet transport 96 includes a belt
102 and a plurality of note engaging idler rolls 104. The belt and idler rolls
5 engage notes therebetween such that the notes move with movement of the
belt between the passage area and the note outlet opening 28. It should be understood that while a belt and roll transport is used for the note outlet transport in the described embodiment, in other embodiments other configurations of cooperating belts, rollers or other moving members suitable
10 for engaging and moving notes may be used.
The note inlet transport in the described embodiment includes note validator 58. In the described embodiment note validator 58 is a standard commercially available note acceptor which is operative to sense and determine the validity of certain types of bills. In the case of a machine which
15 is configured to receive and dispense twenty dollar bills, the validator may be
a device for sensing whether an inserted note is a valid twenty dollar bill. The validator 58 includes therein or has adjacent thereto a generally nonslip portion 106 of the note inlet transport 98. Portion 106 is operative to engage and move notes inserted through the note inlet opening 30 past the validator.
20 The generally nonslip portion 106 is operative to move notes past the sensing
mechanisms within the validator 58 as required for sensing the note and determining its validity for purposes of receipt within the machine. If an inserted note is determined not to be valid or otherwise not suitable for acceptance within the machine, the nonslip portion 106 after moving the note
25 inward into the validator is operative to move it outward back through the note
inlet opening 30. This is done by the validator operating based on its internal programming or in alternative embodiments operating in cooperating relation with the controller 52.
If a note inserted through the note inlet opening 30 is sensed as valid
30 and acceptable by the validator 58, the nonslip portion 106 of note inlet
transport 98 is operative to release the note to a limited slip portion 108 of the
note transport 98. Limited slip portion 108 includes a belt 110 and idler rolls
112. The belt 110 and idler rolls 112 serve as limited slip engaging members
which engage notes passing inward from the validator 58. However, the
limited slip portion 108 is not operative to apply sufficient force to a note to
5 remove it from engagement with the nonslip portion 106, until the nonslip
portion disengages the note. This enables the validator 58 of the described embodiment to move the note sufficiently rearward so that it can engage the limited slip engaging members 110, 112 and still enable the nonslip portion to reverse the direction of the note so that it can be delivered back out through
10 the note inlet opening in the event that the note is determined to be invalid.
This feature enables standard commercially available, compact size note validators to be used in the embodiment shown.
While the note inlet transport 98 is shown in the described embodiment has a generally nonslip portion and a limited slip portion, other embodiments
15 of the invention may not include such portions depending on the type of
validator used. An example of such an embodiment is later described in detail. In addition although the generally nonslip portion is shown as a plurality of cooperating rolls and the limited slip portion 108 is shown as a belt and roll transport, other embodiments of the invention may include other
20 types of cooperating moving members that are operative to move sheets in the
A gate 114 is positioned adjacent to the passage area 92. Gate 114 is operative to selectively direct sheets and enable the passage of sheets relative to the note inlet transport and note outlet transport. As shown in greater detail
25 in Figures 9 and 11, gate 114 includes a rotatably mounted gate member 116.
Gate member 116 includes a curved lead surface 318 which is disposed adjacent to the passage area. When the lead surface 98 is disposed downward relative to the position shown in Figure 9 and the mechanism is operated to move sheets outward through the passage area 92, the outward moving notes
30 are engaged with the lead surface and are directed to engage the belt 102 and
idler rolls 104 of the note outlet transport 96. In this position the notes are
carried in an outward direction by the note outlet transport to the note outlet
opening 28. Likewise when notes are moved by the note inlet transport
towards the passage area 92, the lead surface 118 is moved upward to an
accepting position relative to Figure 9. In this position notes carried by the
5 inlet transport 98 are enabled to pass into the passage area 92.
A guide 120 extends adjacent to the gate 114 generally between the note inlet and outlet transports. The guide includes rotatable guide rolls 122 in supporting connection therewith. Guide roll 122 is generally engaged with belt 110 and rotates therewith. The guide 120 and guide rolls 122 further aid
10 in guiding sheets through the passage area in a manner later discussed. The
passage area is also bounded on an opposed side of the guide by a separating member 124. The separating member also later described in detail, engages the surface of belt 110 which serves as an arcuately shaped moving member in an area overlying belt supporting roll 126. The separating member 124 also
15 engages on an opposed side, the web 70 in an area overlying a supporting roll
128 which is supported on the note storage module 44. The web 70 serves as a arcuately shaped moving member when it moves over the roll 28 in engagement with the separating member 124.
As shown in Figure 11, gate 114 is moved between the accepting
20 position which is the position wherein notes are accepted into the passage area
from the note inlet transport, and the directing position in which notes passing outward through the passage are directed to the outlet transport, by a limited slip transmission mechanism generally indicated 130. The limited slip transmission mechanism of the described embodiment includes a slipping
25 member 132. Slipping member 132 is a small relatively slippery belt or
similar force transmission member, which can be used to translate the gate member 116 to a desired position and thereafter a slip in response to driving motion without causing damage to itself or other connected components. In the described embodiment the slipping member 132 is connected to a pulley
30 portion 134 which is operatively connected to the gate member 116. The
slipping member 132 is also connected to a pulley portion 136 which is
connected to a roll 138 which supports belt 102 of the outlet transport. Stops schematically indicated 140 limit the rotation of the gate member 116.
When the note outlet transport is driven to move notes outwardly from
the passage area 92, belt 102 is driven in the direction indicated by the Arrow
5 0. This causes the lead surface 118 of the gate member 116 to move
downward until the gate member is engaged with the stop 140 which limits its counterclockwise rotation. Because in this position belt 110 is moved in the direction of Arrow N, notes moving through the passage area 92 are engaged by the lead surface 118 in the directing position and moved in connection
10 therewith to engage the outward moving belt 102. The outward moving belt
continues to run for as long as it is controlled to do so in response to the controller. However once the gate member 116 is against the stop the slipping member 132 slips relative to at least one of the pulley portions 134 and 136. This causes the gate member to be held in the directing position but does not
15 result in further movement nor damage to any of the components.
As can be appreciated from Figure 11, when the note inlet transport 98 moves belt 110 in a direction opposite to that indicated by Arrow N to deliver notes toward the passage area 92, belt 102 moves in a direction opposite to Arrow O. This movement causes roll 138 to rotate the pulley portions 136 and
20 134 to rotate the gate member 116. The gate member 116 rotates in a
clockwise position in the orientation shown to the accepting position where clockwise rotation of the gate member is stopped by engagement with one of the stops 140. Once the gate member has moved to the accepting position the slipping member 132 slips relative to at least one of the pulley portions
25 without causing damage to any of ihe components. In this position notes are
enabled to pass the gate member moving inward in supporting connection with belt 1 ] 0 to reach the passage area.
While in this described embodiment of the invention the gate 114 includes a gate member that is moved by the same drive mechanism as the
30 belt, in other embodiments other gate moving mechanisms including separate
actuators may be used. Alternatively embodiments of the invention may
employ passive gate members which enable passage of the notes inwardly by
deflection or translation a movement of the gate member in connection with
the notes. Such passive gate members may through their configuration engage
outwardly moving notes and direct them to engage appropriate mechanisms
5 for moving the notes outward. Various arrangements of gate members and
sheet moving members may be used in embodiments of the invention. It should further be understood that while single belts have been described herein as moving sheets in the inlet and outlet transports, preferred embodiments of the invention may include a plurality of parallel moving belts, rolls or other
10 note moving mechanisms which are operative to move the notes in the
Figure 12 shows in greater detail the operation of the separating member 124 which bounds a first side of the passage area where notes move to and from the note storage module 44. Notes moving through the passage
15 area.generally move in a note plane schematically indicated 142 in Figure 12.
The note plane extends generally along an inner surface 144 of the separating member 124. The inner surface 144 of the exemplary embodiment includes a plurality of projections as shown. The projections serve to minimize surface tension so that notes will move more easily over the inner surface 144.
20 The note storage module 44 includes an inner wall 146. The opening
94 extends through the inner wall. The opening is bounded on each transverse side by an ear portion 148. Each ear portion 148 includes a generally vertically extending slot 150. A cutout portion 152 extends through the ear portion to the slot. The separating member 124 includes a pair of outward
25 extending projections 154 which are sized to be movable in the slot 150. The
projections 154 also enable the separating member 124 to be rotatably movable relative to the note storage module 44. The separating member also includes an eye 156. Eye 156 is engaged by a biasing member 158. The biasing member operates to bias the separating member 124 generally in a
30 downward direction as shown.
When the note storage module 44 is installed in the housing of the
machine, the separating member 124 is moved to a position in which a first
end of the separating member engages belts 110 overlying roll 126. Also in
the operative position, the opposed end of separating member 124 engages the
5 web 70 overlying roll 128. In this way the separating member 124 engages at
its opposed ends arcuately shaped moving members which move sheets in supporting connection therewith. The separating member of the exemplary embodiment is configured to ride on the moving members and to engage sheets which are supported thereon. The engagement of the separating
10 member with the sheets on the moving members serves to separate the sheets
and direct them generally along the note plane 142 through the note passage. The separating member 124 minimizes the risks that notes will be carried by the supporting belt or web underneath the separating member where they may jam or otherwise disrupt the operation of the mechanism. The floating
15 character of the separating member facilitates its ability to properly position
itself both vertically and rotationally in the mechanism when the note storage module is in its operative position. Thus the separating member is enabled to correct for minor misalignments and still perform its function by engaging the arcuately shaped moving members on either side. In addition the
20 configuration of the slot 150 and cutout area 152 facilitate the ready
replacement of the separating member. This is accomplished because the projections 154 may be moved through the cutout area. Also the biasing member 158 may be readily disconnected from the eye 156. Thus the removal of an existing separating member and installation of a new one is readily
It should be understood that while in the described embodiment the projections are associated with the separating member and the slots are associated with the supporting housing structure, other embodiments may have these features reversed such that the projections are associated with the
30 supporting housing and the slots associated with the separating member. Also
in other embodiments intermediate or additional structures may be used.
As best shown in Figure 10 the note storage module of the exemplary
embodiment further includes a separating member 160. Separating member
160 engages an opposed side of the web from that engaged by separating
member 124. Separating member 160 minimizes the risk that notes supported
5 by the web 70 on the storage reel will remain with the web when the web
moves in a sheet dispensing direction. The deflector 160 aids in separating sheets from the web and directs them toward the passage area when the storage reel rotates in the direction indicated in Figure 10.
The separating member includes an edge portion 162. The edge
10 portion 162 engages the web ai a location indicated 164. A deflector surface
166 extends from location 164 toward the passage. The deflector surface is positioned to extend generally parallel to the web 70 in the area between the . location where the web joins the storage reel and the passage area.
A movable member 168 engages the web 70 in generally overlying
15 relation of the roll 128. The movable member 168 engages inward moving
notes so that they can be guided by the deflector surface into a nip 170 generally in the area where the web joins the stored web material on the storage reel 66. Likewise the movable member 168 serves to engage sheets that are separated from the web by the separating member 160 and to move the
20 sheets outward through the passage area.
The separating member 160 is rotatable relative to the housing about an axis generally indicated 172. The separating member 160 is biased to rotate in a clockwise direction as shown about the axis 172 by a biasing member 174. The reel 66 rotates relative to the housing and note storage
25 module about an axis of rotation indicated 176. In the described form of the
invention the axis 172 about which the separating member rotates, is angularly disposed relative to the axis 176 about which the storage reel rotates from the nip at a substantial angle of generally about at least 90 degrees. This configuration enables providing relatively controlled angular movement of the
30 edge portion at the location as the amount of web material stored on the
storage reel changes during operation of the machine. This relatively limited
movement assures more reliable separation and guidance of notes from and
onto supporting connection with the storage reel. The configuration further
minimizes the wearing of the web material by maintaining desirable relative
positions of the edge portion 162 and to the web.
5 As shown in Figure 10 the deflector surface 166 is generally located
such that it extends on opposed sides of the movable member 168. In certain preferred embodiments of the invention the movable member 168 may include a plurality of transversely disposed movable members across the web. The deflector surface may be configured to extend in the intermediate spaces
10 between the movable members. In addition the guide surface 120 also extends
into the areas intermediate of the deflector surfaces. The positioning of the deflector surfaces transversely intermediate of the movable member 168 as well as the guide surfaces 120 provides a relatively movable interlining relation of surfaces which facilitates guiding sheets through the passage area.
15 It should also be noted that the use of the separating members 172 and 124
which engage opposed sides of the web generally help to avoid uneven wearing of the web and the buildup of stresses unevenly along the surfaces thereof. This along with the configuration and orientation of the separating members helps to prolong the life of the web.
20 As later discussed in detail the note storage module 44 of the described
embodiment includes a note receiving and dispensing mechanism generally referred to as 77 in Figure 4. This note receiving and dispensing mechanism includes the storage and take-up reels 66 and 68 respectively. The web 70 which extends between the reels, the roll 128 and movable member 168 which
25 engage the web in the passage area, and the separating member 160, serve to
assure that notes are separated from the web and directed to and from the passage area. In the operation of this described embodiment, the reel drive mechanism 72 operates to move the reels so that notes can be delivered to and dispensed from the passage area. It should be noted that in alternative
30 embodiments a number of different types of note handling mechanisms may
be positioned adjacent to the passage area to accomplish the dispense of notes to or the receipt of notes from customers.
The transport mechanisms described herein while useful are exemplary
of but one of many types of mechanisms that may be used. The note storage
5 module 44 of the described embodiment is useful because the module
construction may be used with many types of such transport mechanisms including very low cost mechanisms that are suited for installations in machines that perform other types of primary functions. This includes the ability to retrofit cash dispensing capability to such machines by providing
10 suitable mechanisms to connect the passage area and one or more outlets
which may be accessed by a customer. In addition the note storage module 44 may be readily removed by authorized personnel from an interior-area of the machine. Thus for example in a motor fuel dispensing application, a system operator may readily remove the module 44 from the fuel dispensing pumps
15 during off hours and store such items in a secure location. The removal and
reinstallation of such items can be accomplished quickly to minimize the actions required to be taken by personnel in the facility.
The operation of the note receiving and dispensing mechanism within the note storage module 44 is controlled through operation of the reel drive
20 mechanism 72. The reel drive mechanism is operative to control selectively
the rotation of the note storage reel 66 and the take-up reel 68. By controlling the rotation of the reels notes may be brought into supporting connection with the web 70 and stored on the note storage reel. Likewise by controlling the rotation of the reels notes stored on the storage reel may be delivered to the
25 passage area.
The reel drive mechanism 72 of the exemplary embodiment includes a motor or other drive indicated 178. The operation of the drive and its direction of rotation is controllable in response to signals from the controller 52 when the note storage module 44 is installed in the machine. The drive 178
30 is operative as shown in Figure 6 to rotate a first dnve member 180 about an
axis of rotation 179. The first drive member 180 in the described embodiment
is a gear. However in other embodiments rollers, belts or other force transmission members may be used.
The first drive member is operative to rotate a second drive member
182. In the described embodiment the second drive member is rotatably
5 connected to the transmission member 184. and the transmission member is
rotatable about the axis of rotation 179 of the first drive member 180. The second drive member rotates about an axis of rotation 185 which is movable with the transmission member. Of course in other embodiments other drive arrangements may be used.
10 As schematically indicated in Figure 7 a first drag member 186 is in
operative connection with the second drive member 182. First drag member 186 is operative to apply a force resisting movement of the second drive member thereon. The first drag member preferably applies a resistance to movement in either rotational direction of the second drive member. The first
15 drag member may include a thrust washer, friction disk, bushing or other
suitable member for providing a limited and controlled degree of resistance to movement of the second drive member. The first drag member 186 is operative so that when the first drive member 180 rotates in a clockwise direction as indicated in Figure 7, the resistance force applied by the first drag
20 member 186 will also tend to cause the transmission member 184 to rotate
with the second drive member in a clockwise position. However when the clockwise rotation of the transmission member is stopped such as due to engagement of the second drive member with a further drive surface, the second drive member will rotate in a counterclockwise direction responsive to
25 rotation of the first drive member. Likewise the counterclockwise rotation of
the first drive member will move the transmission member and the second drive member counterclockwise until the second drive member engages a drive surface, in which case the second drive member will rotate clockwise. It should be kept in mind that these structures are exemplary and that
30 intermediate drive members and other mechanisms may be included while still
achieving the similar results.
As shown in Figure 7 the reel drive mechanism 72 further includes a
transmission drag member 188. The transmission drag member 188 is
operative to apply a limited resistance to rotation of the transmission member
1 84. This limited resistance to rotation is operative to provide a limited and
5 controlled resistance to movement of the transmission member 184. It is also
operative to generally hold the transmission member 184 in its then current position until it is deliberately moved responsive to rotation of the first drive member 180. The transmission drag member may include a thrust washer, friction disk, bushing or other suitable device for applying resistance to
10 movement of the transmission member.
As shown in Figure 6 rotation of the first drive member 180 in a counterclockwise direction is operative to move the transmission member and the second drive member 182 counterclockwise to a position where the second drive member 182 engages a drive surface 190 of the take-up reel. Drive
15 surface 190 of the take-up reel is preferably a surface including gear teeth
adapted for meshing engagement with gear teeth on the second drive member 182. However it should be understood that in other embodiments other drive surfaces suitable for receiving power transmitted by the reel drive mechanism may be used. As shown in Figure 6 the second drive member operates to
20 rotate the take-up reel 168 in a counterclockwise direction. This causes the
web 70 to move in a sheet dispensing direction as indicated by the arrows shown superimposed on web 70. As the reel drive mechanism operates to move the take-up reel the sheet storage reel 66 moves in a counterclockwise direction as shown so as to unwind the web 70 therefrom and to deliver notes
25 in supporting connection therewith to the passage area.
Figure 8 shows the operation of the reel drive mechanism 72 when the web 70 is moved in a sheet receiving direction. The sheet receiving direction is the direction that the web moves when notes in supporting connection therewith are wound into the note storage area supported on storage reel 66.
30 Rotation of the first drive member 1 80 in the clockwise direction shown in
Figure 8 is operative to rotate the second drive member 182 in the clockwise
direction relative to the first drive member until the second drive member
engages a drive surface 192 on storage reel 66. When the second drive
member 182 engages the drive surface 192 the second drive member rotates in
a counterclockwise direction which rotates reel 66 in a clockwise direction.
5 The clockwise rotation of reel 66 causes the web 70 and notes supported
thereon to be wound into the web for storage on the storage reel. As the storage reel pulls the web thereon the web 70 unwinds from the take-up reel 68.
The operation of the drag mechanisms on the transmission member as
10 well as on the second drive member help to assure that the first drive member
remains in positive engagement with the desired drive surface of the reels during movement thereof. Also referring to Figure 4 it should be noted that the drive surface 192 of the storage reel 66 preferably includes mating gear teeth to engage the second drive member 182. These mating gear teeth may
15 also make up the interengaging projections and recesses 78 which enable the
locking member 76 to hold the storage reel in position when the note storage module 44 is removed from the housing.
To facilitate the controlled rotational movement of the storage reel 66 and the take-up reel 68, a controlled drag applying mechanism is included in
20 the note storage module 44. An exemplary form of this drag applying
mechanism is schematically shown in Figure 13. The storage reel 66 has thereon an annular brake surface 194. A directional drag applying member 196 extends about the annular brake surface through an angle greater than 180 degrees as shown. The directional drag applying member 196 includes a first
25 end 198 and a second end 200 which are generally fixed relative to the
housing through the note storage module.
The directional drag applying member 196 includes a band portion 202. The band portion 202 extends generally in engagement with the annular brake surface 194 of the storage reel. The directional drag applying member
30 196 further includes an extendable portion schematically indicated 204.
Extendable portion 204 includes a resilient biasing portion that is extendable in the direction of Arrow E as shown in Figure 13.
During operation of the reel drive mechanism 72, the storage reel 66 is rotated in a clockwise direction when it is desired to move the web 70 in a
5 sheet receiving direction such that the web and notes supported thereon are
wound onto the storage reel. When the storage reel 66 is moved in a clockwise direction the extendable portion 204 tends to expand in the direction of Arrow E responsive to the force applied to the band portion 202 by the relative movement of the annular brake surface 194. This enables the storage
0 reel 66 to rotate in a clockwise direction relatively easily responsive to the
force applied by the extendable portion 204. However when the storage reel 66 is rotated responsive to movement of the web 70 in a counterclockwise direction which corresponds to the web moving in a sheet dispensing direction, the resistance to movement of the storage reel is relatively higher.
5 This is because the tension in the band portion 202 is higher due to a lack of
an extendable portion between the band portion and the first end 198. As a result the tension in the band portion is maintained relatively higher as the storage reel is moved in the counterclockwise direction. This provides a relatively higher drag force on the storage reel which minimizes the risk of
A similar but oppositely disposed structure is used for applying drag force to take-up reel 68 in this exemplary embodiment. The take-up reel, which as previously discussed in this embodiment is identical to the storage reel, includes an annular brake surface 206 thereon. A directional drag
5 applying member 208 includes a band portion 210 that engages the annular
brake surface 206 about an angle of generally more than 180 degrees. The directional drag applying member is generally fixed relative to the housing at a first end 212 and a second end 214. The directional drag applying member 208 includes an extendable portion 216 adjacent the second end 214.
0 Extendable portion 216 is expandable in an extendable direction generally
indicated by Arrow X.
In operation of the reel drive mechanism 72 when the take-up reel 68 is
rotated in a counterclockwise direction which moves the web 70 in a sheet
dispensing direction, the extendable portion 216 of the drag applying member
208 expands to apply relatively lower resistance to movement of the take-up
5 reel 68. However when the take-up reel 68 is moved in a clockwise direction
responsive to the web moving in a sheet receiving direction, a relatively higher drag force is applied to the take-up reel.
As a result of the directional drag applying mechanism of the described embodiment, the drag force on the reel being driven by the second drive
10 member 182 is relatively lower. This reduces the amount of force that the reel
drive mechanism must produce to move the take-up and storage reels. This is useful compared to systems where drag applying members act equally on storage reels regardless of the direction in which they are moved.
Referring again to Figure 5, web 70 extends between the storage reel
15 and the take-up reel along a web path. The web path extends adjacent to the
passage area in which the web is supported by roll 128. The web path further includes a pair of guiding rolls 218, 220 which guide the web 70 along the web path to the take-up reel 68. A sensor 222 is disposed adjacent to the web path between the guide rolls. Sensor 222 is in operative connection with the
20 controller and is operable to sense machine readable indicia in supporting
connection with the web.
Figure 16 shows a section of web 70 of an exemplary embodiment of the invention. The web includes a transversely central sheet engaging area generally indicated 224. The sheet engaging area 224 operatively engages
25 sheets therewith in the passage area and holds sheets in supporting connection
with the storage roll 66.
Transversely outward of the sheet engaging area 224 are a pair of peripheral areas 226 and 228. The peripheral areas extend transversely on either side of the web adjacent the transverse edges thereof. The peripheral
30 areas 226 and 228 include machine readable indicia 230 thereon. In the
described form of the invention the machine readable indicia is indicia on the
web that serves to block the transmission of radiation therethrough. This
blocking of radiation is sensed by the sensor 222. Of course in other
embodiments other types of indicia which can be sensed or read by a sensing
device may be used.
5 As previously discussed, the opposed ends of the web are connected to
the take-up reel and the storage reel respectively. In the described embodiment the machine readable indicia are configured so as to correspond to a location on the web relative 10 an end. In the described embodiment the machine readable indicia are symmetrical on the web and are configured such
10 that the spacing betw-een adjacent indicia decreases with proximity to each
end. This construction in the described embodiment enables the installation o\~ the web in any of four possible orientations. Thus a person replacing the web need not be concerned that it could be installed improperly. This is because of the symmetry of the machine readable indicia in the peripheral areas as well as
15 the decreasing spacing between the machine readable indicia with proximity to
In operation of the machine, the sensor 222 is operative to cause the controller to include data in the data store representative of the location for the machine readable indicia which is in proximity to the sensor 222. In the
20 described embodiment this data may include data corresponding to a count of
a number of machine readable indicia which have moved past the sensor from a reference position located adjacent to a first end of the web at a first end area adjacent to the take-up reel. By holding this data which corresponds to a count, the controller may be operative to determine the relative position of the
2S web with icspect to the ends thereof. In addition or in the alternative, the
controller may also hold data representative of a count of the sheets which are currently stored in supporting connection with the storage reel. This number of sheets may be correlated with the location indicia such that the controller coordinates the location information provided by the indicia with data
30 corresponding to the number of notes in storage.
Alternatively, the decrease in spacing of the indicia with proximity to
the ends.of the web enables the controller in the described embodiment to
detect a condition which suggests that the web is approaching the first end or
the second end. This enables the controller to provide a signal through the
5 communications device or through another output device to indicate that the
machine is either reaching a condition where it can hold no further notes or is approaching a condition where it is running out of notes. For example the web must move at least a distance somewhat greater than the length of a note in the dispense of one sheet. If in moving the web this distance during the
10 dispensing of a sheet the sensor 222 senses passage of more than a set number
of indicia on the web, the controller may determine that the web is approaching the second end which means that few notes are left on the storage reel. By the number of machine readable indicia which pass the sensor in the dispense of one note or sheet the controller knows generally accurately how
15 close the web now is to reaching the end area when no further notes are stored
on the storage reel.
Likewise when operating to receive a note, the reel drive mechanism moves the web a length that is generally slightly greater than the length of one note. If in the process of accepting a note the sensor 222 senses more than a
20 set number of machine readable indicia passing the sensor, the controller may
determine that the web is approaching the first end at which point no further web material is stored on the take-up reel. By the number of machine readable indica passing the sensor with the receipt of a note, the controller is operative to determine relatively accurately the position of the web. This enables the
25 controller and its operatively connected memory to determine and indicate
quantity condition data which is indicative of a need to replenish the machine, that the machine is' full and/or some notes will need to be removed from the machine within a given time period. The machine is still capable of accomplishing this even if the portion of the memory which may be holding
30 information corresponding to an exact location of the web should be lost or
An example of how one exemplary embodiment of the invention may
operate to dispense sheets and to maintain a count of the number of sheets
remaining is discussed in connection with Figure 17. In the described
embodiment sheets are dispensed responsive to a user inputting an input
5 through one or more of the input devices. This may include for example a
customer passing a card through the card reader which includes account data corresponding to the customer. If the card is a debit card the customer may also input a personal identification number (PIN) through the keys of the keypad. The customer may thereafter indicate that they wish to withdraw
10 notes and the value of the notes to be withdrawn through inputs through the
function keys and/or the keypad keys. In response to these inputs the controller 52 is operative in the described embodiment to operate the communications device 48 to determine through communication with another computer system whether the customer is authorized to withdraw the funds
15 requested. Assuming that the customer is authorized to withdraw the funds
the communication device 48 receives back from a host computer or other connected system a message indicating that the requested withdrawal by the customer is permissible. The controller then operates the reel drive mechanism to rotate the take-up reel 68 in the direction indicated. This causes
20 the storage reel to rotate in the direction shown. Rotation of the storage reel
causes notes to be separated from the web 70 and moved into the note passage area 92.
As shown in Figure 17 in the described embodiment a passage sensor 232 is positioned adjacent to the passage area 92. Passage sensor 232 is
25 operatively connected to the controller 52 and is operative to sense sheets
therein. The passage sensor 232 is operative to sense the leading edge of the note entering the passage area. In response to the passage sensor the controller 52 is operative to operate the transport drive which operates the outlet transport 96. The outlet transport runs so that notes in connection therewith
30 move toward the note outlet opening 28. This motion of the outlet transport
also causes the gate 114 to move to the directing position to engage notes with
the outlet transport. In the described configuration of the invention the outlet
transport and the limited slip portion 108 of the inlet transport 98 move in
cooperating relation so as to move notes from the passage area into
engagement with the outlet transport.
5 The reel drive mechanism moves the web 70 in the note dispensing
direction until the end of the sheet is sensed passing the passage sensor 232. The sheet passing the passage sensor is carried by the outlet transport 96 to the outlet opening 28 where it is delivered to the customer. This is represented by a note 234. The note at the outlet opening may be held in a tray or by other
10 suitable holding devices until taken by the customer. Alternatively a suitable
sensor adjacent to the outlet which is connected to the controller may operate to hold the sheet in connection with the outlet transport in a stopped relation until the customer physically pulls it from the opening. Various approaches to delivering the sheets may be used depending on the nature and character of the
15 transaction machine.
Additional sheets beyond one may be delivered. The controller 52 operates the reel drive mechanism to dispense additional sheets through the passage area and to deliver them through the outlet transport to. the customer. When the desired number of sheets has been dispensed which corresponds to
20 the input from the user, the controller operates to stop both the reel drive
mechanism and the outlet transport.
In the course of dispensing sheets from the storage reel the passage sensor senses each sheet. The passage sensor may be a radiation type sensor that is capable of sensing both the leading and trailing edges of the sheet. Of
25 course in other embodiments of the invention other-types of passage sensors
may be used. As the web 70 moves to deliver one or more sheets to the passage area the web sensor 222 provides signals to the controller 52. In response to the sensing of the machine readable indicia by the sensor 222 the controller generates signals. These signals include data representative of sheet
30 quantities. This may include for example in some embodiments a simple
count which corresponds to a length of web remaining on the storage reel.
Because the notes are generally spaced at a uniform spacing this count data is
representative of a quantity of sheets remaining. This data can be stored in the
memory 56 as a quantity condition which corresponds to the number of sheets
5 Alternatively in embodiments of the invention the sensor 222 may be
operative to sense the number of indicia which pass the sensor as a sheet is moved through the passage area as sensed by the sensor 232. The number of indicia which pass the sensor 222 as a single note is dispensed can be correlated with the distance of the location adjacent the sensor to the end of
10 the web. The controller is operative responsive to the sensor sensing more
than a determined number of such indicia during the dispense of a single note may be programmed to store and provide an indication of a quantity condition which indicates that the machine is in need of note replenishment.
In addition to using the machine readable indicia on the web to provide
15 data representative of the quantity of notes remaining, the controller 52 may
also be operative to cause actual count data or data representative of a value to be stored in memory 56. In this way the controller may be operative to maintain information on how many notes remain stored in the machine at any time. This may enable a user to query the controller to determine the number
20 of remaining notes.
In the event that the described form of the controller should experience a failure of the volatile memory data concerning the number of notes remaining, the controller may operate the machine to execute a recovery operation to determine how many notes are remaining. The executable steps
25 necessary to perform this recovery operation may be stored in nonvolatile
memory so that the machine can almost always execute the recovery operation no matter what conditions are experienced. In the recovery operation the controller responds to a loss of available memory data by operating the reel drive mechanism to wind the web 70 onto the storage reel 66. The reel drive
30 mechanism continues to wind the web onto the storage reel until a first end
area adjacent the end of the web attached to the take-up reel is sensed. This
may be done a number of ways, for example by the sensor 222 sensing a set number of machine readable indicia on the web within a given time period which the controller determines through use of the clock device 54.
Once the controller has determined thai the web has been wound onto
5 the storage reel to generally the full extent, the controller operates the reel
drive mechanism to begin moving the web from the storage reel to the take-up reel. As the reel drive mechanism is operated by the controller to do this the controller generates signals responsive to indicia sensed by the web sensor 222. These signals are indicative of how far the web has moved at any given
10 time. The process of winding the web onto the take-up reel is stopped when
the passage sensor 232 senses the first note entering the first passage 92. At this point the controller 52 is operative to generate a further signal which corresponds to the location on the web where first sheet is sensed. Because the sheets are generally stored in relatively uniformly spaced relation, the
15 further signal generated is indicative of a number of sheets that remain in
supporting connection with the web on the storage reel. This enables the controller to closely determine how many sheets remain in storage. Further operation of the machine dispensing and receiving sheets may thereafter be continued using the data corresponding to the sheet quantity determined
20 through the recovery operation. Of course this is but one example of operation
of the machine used in connection with a described embodiment. In other embodiments other approaches to calculating and determining the number of sheets in storage at any given time may be used.
The operation of the machine to receive a note is now explained with
25 reference to Figures 18-20. To insert notes into the machine may require an
appropriate input by an authorized user through the input devices. This may include special cards or codes which are used by servicing personnel to replenish notes in the machine. Alternatively as was discussed in connection with Figure 1, the housing of the machine may include a physical security
30 device which can be accessed by authorized personnel and which only enables
such personnel to input notes into the inlet opening. Alternatively the inlet
opening may be positioned relative-to the housing in such a way that it is
. generally only accessible by authorized personnel. Finally in some
embodiments of the invention users may both insert cash into the inlet opening
as well as receive cash through the outlet opening. The particular activities
5 that a user may go through in order to enable the machine to operate to accept
notes through the note inlet opening will depend on the particular machine and the programming by the operator of the controller 52.
When notes are to be accepted a note is inserted through the inlet opening 30 to the inlet transport 98. In the inlet transport 98 the note first
10 extends in the nonslip portion 106 of the inlet transport which extends adjacent
to the validator 58. The validator includes sensors therein for sensing if the inserted note is a note that is valid for acceptance by the machine. For example in this embodiment the validator may be configured to accept only US twenty dollar bills and to reject all other inserted sheets as invalid for this
15 machine. The controller 52 operates in connection with the validator 58, and a
sheet schematically represented 236 is moved therein by the nonslip portion 106. As represented in Figure 18 the sheet 236 may be extended from the nonslip portion into the limited slip portion 108 which is driven by the transport drive to move in the direction indicated. The limited slip portion
20 engages the sheet but allows it to be moved back and forth by the portion 106.
In the event that the note is determined to be invalid the nonslip portion may disengage the note from the limited slip portion 108 and move it back outwards through the opening 30. If the note is determined to be valid however the portion 106 releases the note 236 into the limited slip portion 108
25 which moves the note in connection therewith towards the passage area 92.
Because in the described embodiment the limited slip portion 108 and the outlet transport 96 are operated by a common drive mechanism, movement of the limited slip portion in the direction indicated also causes the outlet transport to move in a manner which causes the gate 114 to be rotated to the
30 note accepting position. As a result the note 236 is moved to the passage area
92 as shown in Figure 19. When the note reaches the passage area it is sensed by the passage sensor 232.
The controller is operaiive responsive to the note being sensed by the
passage sensor to operate the reel drive mechanism. The controller is
5 operative to cause the web 70 to move in the note accepting direction as
shown in Figure 20. The reel drive mechanism moves the web so that the note comes into supporting connection therewith and is wound onto the note storage reel 66. The controller continues to operate the reel drive mechanism until the trailing edge of the note is sensed as passing the passage sensor 232.
10 Thereafter the controller may operate the reel drive mechanism to move the
note a sufficient distance so as to provide spacing from the next note which is inserted. Once the controller has moved the inserted note a sufficient distance onto the note storage reel the reel drive mechanism stops until instructed to move further by the controller,
15 While in this first described embodiment the nonslip drive portion
adjacent the validator sensors 58 is operative to immediately push out notes that are sensed as not valid, alternative forms of the invention may be programmed to operate differently. For example a controller 52 may be programmed to move a note in the inlet transport past the validator. If the
20 validator senses an invalid note, the note may be stopped at the passage area
once the trailing edge of the note has passed the gate 114. The controller may thereafter operate to reverse the direction of the transports 96 and 98 which causes the gate to direct the note outward through the outlet opening. The controller 52 may operate both the inlet and outlet transports as well as the roll
25 storage mechanism to accomplish this. This may include for example causing
the invalid note to be stored partially or temporarily in supporting connection with the web 70 before the direction of the note is reversed to deliver the note outward. These are examples and other embodiments of the invention may operate differently to reject notes.
30 Alternative forms of the invention may be produced to accommodate
other types of validating mechanisms. Figure 21 shows an alternative form of
a note handling mechanism generally indicated 238. Mechanism 238 is
generally similar to that previously described except as otherwise indicated. It
includes a note receiving and dispensing mechanism 240 similar to mechanism
77 previously discussed. Mechanism 238 further includes a combined inlet
5 and outlet transport 242. Inlet and outlet transport 242 is selectively operative
to both move sheets into and out from a passage area 244. Note sensors 246
are positioned adjacent to the transport 242. Note sensors 246 may be
operative to sense that the note is valid, such as for example whether a note
which is passing through the transport 242 is a valid US twenty dollar bill. An
10 example of a suitable note sensing device for this purpose is described in U.S.
Patent Application Serial No. 08/749,260 which is owned by the Assignee of the present invention and incorporated by reference as if fully rewritten herein.
If the note is sensed as valid it may be moved by a transport 242 past a gate 248 and into a storage location on the storage reel 250. Likewise when
15 the note is to be dispensed from the storage reel, a web 254 which holds the
notes in supporting connection with the storage reel may move the note into the passage area 244. The gate 248 is moved by an actuator (not shown) to , direct the note to engage the transport 242. The transport 242 then operates in a direction to carry the note from the passage area to a note outlet adjacent the
20 end of the transport 242.
If the controller of the mechanism 238 is operating to sense notes being input into the machine and the sensors 246 operate to sense an invalid note, the transport 242 may be reversed immediately to reject the note. Alternatively if it is not desired to reject the note through the exterior of the
25 machine, the note may be moved by the transport 242 into the passage area
244. The note may also be moved partially onto the web 254 as is necessary in the operation of the machine. Thereafter, after the note has been moved to the storage area, the position of the gate 248 may be changed and the controller may operate a reject transport 256. The reject transport is operated
30 to move the note inward to a storage area 258 inside the housing of the
machine. As a result suspect notes are held within the housing of the machine until they can be removed by authorized personnel.
An advantage of the described embodiment of the invention shown in
connection with mechanism 238 is that a single transport can be used as both
5 the inlet and the outlet transport for noies. This may have advantages in some
embodiments in which the validity of notes may be determined within a single note path which moves selectively in opposed directions.
An alternative note handling mechanism generally indicated 260 is shown in Figure 22. The note handling mechanism 260 is similar to the first
10 note handling mechanism described except where otherwise indicated. Note
handling mechanism 260 includes an outlet transport 262 that extends between a passage area 264 and a note outlet opening 266. Mechanism 260 further includes a note inlet opening 268. The note inlet opening extends in a housing wall of the machine which is generally opposed of a housing wall in which the
15 outlet opening extends. Inlet opening 268 is operatively connected to a note
validator 270 which may be of a type previously described. The note validator 270 is connected to a first limited slip transport section 272 and a second transport section 274. Transport sections 272 and 274 are operative to carry notes that have passed the validator 270 to the passage area 264.
20 The operation of the mechanism 260 is generally similar to the first
described embodiment of the invention. However an advantage of the construction shown in Figure 22 is that an operator of the machine is enabled to load currency into the machine from the, rear. Certain preferred forms of the invention are sufficiently small such that they may be supported on a counter
25 top or on a standard interior building wall. This enables the machine operator
to feed notes into the machine from behind the counter or from within an interior room within a building. This may facilitate loading of notes in the machine as the machine operator does not have personnel blocking access to the machine as notes are being loaded, which may discourage customers from
30 using the machine. In addition this configuration may eliminate the need for
covers or other devices over the note inlet opening to prevent confused
customers from attempting 10 insert things into the inlet opening. Further advantages of this alternative structure shown in Figure 22 will be apparent to those skilled in the art.
Yet another embodiment of a note handling mechanism generally
5 designated 276 is shown in Figure 23. This alternative note handling
mechanism 276 is operative in the described embodiment to work in
connection with the note receiving and dispensing mechanism 77 of the first
embodiment including the note storage module 44 which has been previously
described. The alternative note handling mechanism 276 is operative to avoid
10 the need for a user to insert notes generally one at a time for storage within the
The note handling mechanism includes an outlet transport 278 which
extends between a passage area 280 and a note outlet opening 282. A gate 284
is positioned adjacent to the passage area 280 and operates in the manner
15 previously described. An inlet transport 286 includes a first portion 288 which
extends adjacent to a validator 290. A second transport portion 292 extends between the validator and the passage area 280.
The note separating mechanism generally indicated 294 is positioned
generally adjacent to the validator. The note separating mechanism is
20 operative to separate notes individually from a stack 296 and deliver the
individual notes to the validator 290. A note thickness sensor 298 is
positioned adjacent to the unstack mechanism. The note thickness sensor 298
operates to sense if more than one note has been removed from the stack. In
the event that more than one note is sensed as passing from the stack toward
25 the validator, the controller is operative to cause the note separating
mechanism 294 to reverse the movement of the note. The note is moved back into the stack and another attempt made until a single note is separated as sensed by the thickness sensors and delivered to the validator.
An exemplary separating mechanism is shown schematically in Figure
30 24. The arrangement includes a central feed roll 300 which is flanked by two
supplementary belt supporting feed rolls 302. The feed rolls 300 and 302 are
rotated by a drive schematically indicated 304. The drive is selectively operated responsive to signals from a controller.
A contact stripper roll 306 and a pair of non-contact stripper rolls 308
are positioned in generally opposed abutting arrangement with feed rolls 300
5 and 302. Rolls 306 and 308 are connected on a common shaft to a one-way
clutch 310. The one-way clutch is operative to resist rotation of rolls 306 and 308 in a direction which would facilitate the movement of sheets from the stack towards the validator. However the clutch 310 readily enables the rolls 306 and 308 to rotate in a direction generally moving sheets away from the
10 validator towards the stack. When the drive 304 moves rolls 300 and 302 to
move a sheet at the bottom of the stack 296 towards the validator, both rolls 306 and 308 resist motion of the sheet. This generally prevents all but the first sheet at the bottom of the stack from moving past the sensors 298 to the drive portion 288 adjacent the validator 290. If however multiple sheets are sensed
15 by the sensors 298 as being passed out of the stack, the controller operates to
reverse the direction of drive 304. In this situation rolls 306, 308, 300 and 302 cooperate to readily help move the sheets back into the stack.
As shown in Figure 23 in the described form of the invention the stack 296 may be inserted in an unstack area 312 within the housing of the machine.
20 Access to the unstack area may be controlled by a door schematically
indicated 314. In the described form of the mechanism shown in Figure 23, the machine operator is enabled to place a stack of notes in the unstack area 312 and then close and secure the door 314. The machine may thereafter operate to separate the notes in the stack to validate them as proper and to
25 store the notes in the storage reel of a connected note storage module. If in the
course of sensing the sheets invalid sheets are found, the invalid sheets may be diverted through operation of the gate 284 into the transport 278 which can deposit the sheets in the area adjacent to the note outlet opening 282. Alternative forms of the invention may provide other storage areas for holding
30 invalid sheets. Further alternative forms of the invention may provide for
interrupting the note validating and stacking operation of the machine for a
user who wishes to operate the machine for dispensing purposes. Of course other alternative arrangements and configurations utilizing the principles of the invention may be devised by those skilled in the art.
Alternative forms of user interfaces may be provided for use in
5 connection with embodiments of the invention. Such an alternative
embodiment is shown in Figures 25-30. The alternative embodiment includes a display 316 which in various embodiments may be an LCD, CRT or other type of visual or nonvisual output device. The interface further includes an input device in the form of a dip card reader for reading magnetic stripe cards
10 generally indicated 318. The interface further includes a cancel button
indicated 320. In this simplified user interface the controller operates to display messages which can be observed by the user on the display 316. These various displays which include preprogrammed text and/or graphics are referred to as screens herein. When the machine is waiting for a customer to
15 begin operating the machine an initial screen indicated 320 and shown in
Figure 25 is output on the display. The initial screen 320 instructs a user to insert their card into the dip reader and to withdraw the card therefrom when the amount that they desire is displayed on the screen.
Figure 26 shows a card schematically indicated 322 of the magnetic
20 stripe variety being inserted into the reader 318. In response to the card being
inserted and held therein a first amount screen indicated 324 is displayed. The first amount screen which is generated responsive to the controller advises the customer of an amount and to withdraw their card from the dip reader when the amount shown on the screen corresponds to a desired amount that they
25 wish to receive. In the described embodiment within approximately five
seconds after the first screen is displayed a second account screen indicated 326 and shown in Figure 27 is displayed. The second amount screen shows a different amount and again instincts the user to remove the card from the dip reader when the amount that they desire is shown. Assuming that the user
30 does not withdraw the card from the reader when the second amount screen
326 is shown. A short time later (about five seconds in this exemplary
embodiment) a third amount screen is displayed. Because the described
embodiment dispenses twenty dollar bills each sequential display screen
increases the amount by twenty dollars. This sequence is continued until a
maximum amount screen is reached or until the customer presses the cancel
5 button 320.
Assuming that the customer removes their card from the reader 318 when a sixty dollar amount is displayed, a withdrawal screen generally indicated 328 and shown in Figure 28 will be displayed. The withdrawal screen 328 advises the customer of the amount that will be charged to their
10 account. Again assuming that the customer does not promptly hit the cancel
button 320 the controller operates to communicate through its associated communication device with an appropriate host computer or other system to determine whether the customer is authorized to charge the amount requested. During this time period a wait screen 330 shown in Figure 29 is displayed.
15 When the machine receives authorization indicating that the customer is
authorized to receive the amount requested, the controller operates the components of the machine to cause the requested amount to be delivered to the customer through the outlet opening in the housing. The controller also operates to have a transaction receipt printed. After this is done a completion-
20 screen generally indicated 332 and shown in Figure 30 is displayed. The
completion screen advises the customer to take their cash and their receipt. Of course if for some reason the transaction is not authorized, an alternative screen advising the customer of this is displayed to the customer. Thereafter the controller is operative to return to the initial screen 320.
25 An advantage of this exemplary user interface is that it can be used
with machines that dispense cash in response to credit card inputs and requires no further input devices other than a cancel button and a dip reader. Such components are very common on many types of transaction machines whose primary function is not the dispensing of cash. This interface facilitates
30 incorporating the note dispensing mechanism of the present invention into
other types of transaction machines. In addition other embodiments may
eliminate the cancel button by enabling the customer to cancel the transaction by removing the card at a time when a particular screen is displayed. Many alternative embodiments employing these principles may be devised.
A further novel aspect of the described embodiment of the invention is
5 the ability of the machine to display selected promotional messages to the
customer on a timely basis. Such a promotional message is shown in screen 330 and indicates a sale on a beverage item. In an exemplary embodiment of the invention this promotional message is generated in response to the data stored on the plug in memory 38 which is connected to the connector 36 on
10 the housing. The data stored in the plug in memory which in the described
form of the invention is a smart card, includes a promotional message as well as time parameters associated with the promotional message. Thus for example if the special offer represented in screen 330 is to extend only until a certain date, the controller and its associated clock device are operative to
15 sense the passage of this date and to no longer display the particular
promotional message once this date has passed. For example if the operator of the machine fails to remove the plug in memory and the controller determines that the message is no longer timely, screen 330 may include only a blank space or a blank area below the "please wait" notice on the screen while the
20 machine is operating to obtain verification and to dispense the user's cash.
Likewise other data may be stored in the plug in memory module so that particular promotional messages are displayed at particular times of day or within particular time periods. The plug in memory module may also include several promotional messages which are designed to be displayed at various
25 times or sequentially to users of the machine. Alternatively the data stored in
the plug in memory module may include public service messages such as promoting various charitable organizations and events. The data stored in the plug in memory may also be operative to generate graphical presentations as well as other types of video and audio presentations that may be of interest to
30 a user. Other data stored in the memory module may include for example
logos or other advertising for the establishment where the automated transaction machine is operated.
Because the exemplary form of the invention enables the presentation
of promotional messages selectively by simply plugging a smart card into an
5 associated connector, the promotional messages may be changed readily from
outside the machine and very cheaply. For example the merchandising establishment or entities sponsoring promotional events may provide promotional messages on smart cards to operators of the machine. The operators of the machines may plug the cards into the machine and during the
10 selected time windows for presentations of the messages, the messages will be
displayed. At times when the memory indicates that such messages are not to be displayed, screens including the messages are not provided to users'of the machine. Thus the providers of promotional messages are able to avoid their promotions being presented beyond the expiration date or at other times when
15 it is not appropriate.
Of course the automated transaction machine may be operative to output such promotional messages at other times during its operation. This may include for example periodically displaying promotional messages in place of the initial screen. This may include for example alternating a
20 promotional message with the initial screen 316 during relatively brief time
periods such as a period of five seconds. In this way a user walking up to the machine will be advised in a very brief period of time how to operate the machine. However such a user will also receive at least one and perhaps several promotional messages before they proceed to insert their card into the
25 reader 318. In this way the described form of the invention enables operators
of the machines to conduct additional marketing relatively simply and reliably and at a minimum cost.
It should be understood that while in the exemplary embodiment the plug in memory element includes a smart card, other embodiments may
30 include other types of plug in memory devices. These may include for
example floppy disks, PROMS, CD-ROMs or other devices. It should further
be understood that access to such replaceable memory items may be limited by
a cover, such as for example the cover for the note inlet opening previously
discussed. In this way access to the connector or reader for the plug in
memory is limited to persons who are authorized to change the plug in
5 memory. However, such persons do not need to have access lo the note
storage area inside the machine to change the plug in memory.
Thus the preferred embodiment of the automated transaction machine of the present invention achieves the above stated objectives, eliminates difficulties encountered in the use of prior devices and systems,
10 solves problems and attains the desirable results described herein.
In the foregoing description certain terms have been used for brevity, clarity and understanding, however no unnecessary limitations are to be implied therefrom because such terms are used for descriptive purposes and are intended to be broadly construed. Moreover, the descriptions and
15 illustrations herein are by way of examples and the invention is not limited to
the exact details shown and described.
In the following claims any feature described as a means for performing a function shall be construed as encompassing any means known to those skilled in the art to be capable of performing the recited function, and
20 shall not be limited to the structures shown herein or mere equivalents thereof.
Having described the features, discoveries and principles of the invention, the manner in which it is constructed and operated, and the advantages and useful results attained; the new and useful structures, devices, elements, arrangements, parts, combinations, systems, equipment, operations,
25 methods and relationships are set forth in the appended claims.
1. An automated transaction machine comprising: -
a housing( 12);
a note outlet opening(30) extending through the housing(12);
a passage area( 92) within the housing(12);
a note outlet transport(96) extending in the housing(12) between the
passage area(92) and the note outlet opening(30), the outlet transport
comprising a separating member engaging surface(110), apparatus
a note storage module(44) removably mounted in supporting connection
with the housing(12), the note storage module(44) comprises a note
storage area therein, characterized in that the note storage module(44)
comprises a module first wall having a module opening (94)therein,
wherein the module opening(94) is adjacent the passage area(92)when
the note storage module(44) is in an operative position, wherein notes
from the note storage area are selectively delivered from the note storage
module(44) through a module opening(94);
a first separating member(124) operatively supported by the note storage
module(44), wherein in the operative position of the note storage
module(44) the separating member extends through the module
opening(94) and operatively engages the engaging surface.
2. The machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the note storage module
comprising a first arcuately shaped moving member(70), wherein notes
moving towards a module opening are passed in supporting connection
with the first arcuately shaped moving member, wherein in the operative
position of the note storage module the separating member operatively
engages the first arcuately shaped moving member, wherein notes
moving in supporting connection with the first arcuately shaped moving member are caused to engage the separating member.
3. The machine as claimed in claim 2, wherein the said note storage module comprises a movable web, wherein notes moving between the note storage area and the passage area are moved in supporting connection with the web, and wherein the first arcuately shaped moving member comprises a surface of the web.
4. The machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein said note storage module is provided with a biasing member(158) in supporting connection with the said note storage module and in operative connection with the separating member, wherein in the operative position of the note storage module the biasing member(158) is operative to bias the separating member toward engagement with the separator engaging surface.
5. The machine as claimed in claim 4, wherein the said note storage module comprises a first arcuately shaped moving member(70), wherein notes moving toward the module opening are moved in supporting connection with the first arcuately shaped moving member(70), and wherein in the operative position of the note storage module the separating member operatively engages the first arcuately shaped moving member(70), and wherein the biasing member is operative to bias the separating member toward engagement with the first arcuately shaped moving member(70).
6. The machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the said first separating member is movably mounted in supporting connection with the module first wall.
7. The machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the notes moving through the module opening extend in a note plane, and wherein the separating member is mounted to move relative to the note storage module in a direction transverse to the note plane.
8. The machine as claimed in claim 7, wherein the said separating member is movably mounted to move rotationally relative to the note plane.
9. The machine as claimed in claim 8, wherein the said note plane is provided with a slot(150), wherein the said slot(150) extends along the direction transverse to the said note plane, and wherein relative to the said, slot( 150) is provided an interengaging projection(154), wherein the projection is rotatably movable relative to the said slot(150), and wherein one of the separating member and the module first wall is operatively connected to the said projection and the other of the separating member and the module first wall is operatively connected to the said slot(150).
10. The machine as claimed in claim 9, wherein the said slot is bounded by an ear portion(148) in supporting connection with the module front wall, and wherein the note storage module comprises a pair of ear portions disposed adjacent opposed transverse sides of the module opening, and optionally comprises a pair of opposed projections in operative connection with the said separating member, wherein each projection is movable in a corresponding slot in an ear portion.
11. The machine as claimed in claim 10, wherein at least one ear portion comprises a cutout area(152) extending through the ear portion to the slot, wherein the cutout area(152) is configured such that a projection is enabled to pass through the cutout area(152).
12. The machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the storage module is provided with an interengaging projection(154) and slot(150) wherein when the said note storage module is aligned in the operative position in supporting connection with the housing, the projection and slot(150) are in engaged relation, and wherein one of either the projection(154) or slot (150)is operatively connected with the housing and the other of the projection(154) or slot(150) is operatively connected with the note storage module.
13. The machine as claimed in claim 12, wherein the said housing includes a cylindrical support member having a circumferential recess(90), and wherein the note storage module includes an arcuately shaped projection(88) engageable in the recess.
14. The machine as claimed in claim 13, wherein the cylindrical support member comprises a pair of axially disposed circumferential recesses, and. wherein the note storage module comprises a pair of disposed arcuately shaped projections, wherein each projection is engageable in a corresponding recess.
15. The machine as claimed in claim 13, wherein the projection includes a u-shaped portion.
16. The machine as claimed in claim 15, wherein the note storage module is in operative connection with a tab(82), and wherein the u-shaped projection bounds an opening in the tab.
17. The machine as claimed in claim 16, wherein the housing is in operative
connection with a pair of disposed cylindrical support members(86), and wherein the note storage module includes a pair of disposed tabs, wherein in the operative position of the note storage module a u-shaped portion of a projection in supporting connection with each tab engages a recess in supporting connection with a corresponding cylindrical support member.
18. The machine as claimed in claim 12, wherein the note storage area in the note storage module includes a rotatable member(65), and wherein the said note storage module also includes a locking member(76), wherein the said locking member(76) selectively operatively engages the rotatable member(65) to hold the rotatable member(65) in fixed rotational position relative to the note storage module.
19. The machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the housing includes in supporting connection therewith a support member(86), and wherein the note storage module includes a tab(82) in supporting connection therewith, wherein the tab(82) includes an opening(84), wherein in the operative position of the note storage module the opening(84) accepts the support member(86) therein.
20. The machine as claimed in claim 19, wherein the support member is an axially elongated member, and wherein the note storage module comprises at least one tab portion engaging the support member at a plurality of axially disposed location.
21. The machine as claimed in claim 20, wherein the note storage module includes a plurality of tab portions(82), wherein the tabs are axially disposed from one another relative to the supporting member in the operative position of the note storage module.
22. The machine as claimed in claim 20, wherein the housing is in operative connection with a support member(86), wherein the said support member(86) is disposed transversely relative to the support member(86), and wherein the note storage module includes a tab portion(82), wherein the said tab portion(82) engages the support member in the operative position of the note storage module.
23. The machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the note storage area in the note storage module includes a rotatable member(66), and wherein the note storage module comprises a locking member(76), wherein the
locking member(76) selectively operatively engages the rotatable member to hold the rotatable member(66) in fixed rotational position relative to the note storage module.
24. The machine as claimed in claim 23, wherein the locking member and the rotatable member includes an interengaging projection and recess(78), and wherein when the projection and recess are engaged the rotatable member is held rotationally fixed relative to the note storage module.
25. The machine as claimed in claim 24, wherein said note storage module is provided with an actuator(74) in supporting connection with the note storage module, wherein the actuator is operative to move the locking member to hold the rotatable member fixed responsive to disengagement of the note storage module from the housing.
26. The machine as claimed in claim 25, wherein the cash dispensing machine includes an electrical signal source(52) in the housing, and
comprises an electrical connector(80) releasibly connecting the actuator with the electrical signal source(52), wherein the connector electrically disconnects the actuator responsive to removal of the module from supporting connection with the housing, and wherein the actuator is operative to cause the locking member to hold the rotatable member responsive to disconnection of the electrical connector(80).
27. The machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the note storage module includes a plurality of tab portions(82), wherein each tab portion includes an opening therein(84), and wherein the openings are aligned and elongated along a first direction, and wherein the housing includes a pair of disposed support members(86), and wherein movement of the note storage module along the direction from an inoperative position is operative to move the openings in the tab portions(82) to engage the support members(86), whereby the note storage module is moved to the operative position.
Dated this 22nd day of November, 2004.
OF REMFRY & SAGAR
ATTORNEY FOR THE APPLICANTS
|Indian Patent Application Number||670/MUMNP/2004|
|PG Journal Number||24/2008|
|Date of Filing||23-Nov-2004|
|Name of Patentee||DIEBOLD INCORPORATED|
|Applicant Address||5995 MAYFAIR ROAD, NORTH CANTON, OHIO, 44720,|
|PCT International Classification Number||G 06 F 17/60|
|PCT International Application Number||PCT/US99/27194|
|PCT International Filing date||1999-11-15|