Title:
Method and apparatus for firm handling disc shaped objects with a concentric bore
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method and apparatus for firm handling of disc-shaped objects with a concentric bore, such as compact discs CD comprises a conic-ended rod-shaped body to be inserted in the bore of the CD stack and a finger-like gripper slides the topmost disk in the semi-groove provided on rod-shaped body and holding it in firmly during the placing process.



Inventors:
Hegedus, Pavel (Castro Valley, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/438442
Publication Date:
01/08/2004
Filing Date:
05/15/2003
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
G9B/17.006, G9B/17.051, 414/802
International Classes:
G11B17/028; G11B17/038; (IPC1-7): B65H1/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
CHIN, PAUL T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PAVEL HEGEDUS (CASTRO VALLEY, CA, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. An apparatus for picking up a CD from a stack of CD's forming a concentric bore in the stack, comprising: conic-ended rod-shaped body, semi-groove, finger-like gripper on the opposite side of the said semi-groove and housed in said rod-shaped body and being shiftable between a said retracted position and a said extended position relative to said center axis of the said rod shaped body, said finger-like gripper means for gripping of the inner surface of the concentric bore of top most CD in the stack and sliding it in the said semi-groove, said biasing means securing the CD in said picker for placing process.

2. The device of claim 1, wherein the said finger-like gripper includes a multitude of said finger-like grippers each having its said gripping part and are housed in the same said housing in the said rod-shaped body.

3. An apparatus for picking up a disc shaped object with a concentric bore from a stack forming a concentric bore in the stack, comprising: conic-ended rod-shaped body, semi-groove, finger-like gripper on the opposite side of the said semi-groove and housed in said rod-shaped body and being shiftable between a said retracted position and a said extended position relative to said center axis of the said rod shaped body, said finger-like gripper means for gripping of the inner surface of the concentric bore of top most disc shaped object in the stack and sliding it in the said semi-groove, said biasing means securing the disc shaped object in said picker for placing process.

4. A method for picking a single CD from a stack of CD's comprising: providing a picker module having a said rod-shaped body to be inserted in the said bore of CD's stack, a said semi-groove on the said rod-shaped body, a said finger-like gripper, shiftable between said retracted position and said extended position moving the said finger-like gripper from said retracted position to said extended position such that said gripping part of the said finger-like gripper engaging the inner surface of the topmost CD's concentric bore and slides it in said semi-groove securing it between the said semi-groove and the said finger-like gripper, thereof maintaning the CD firmly engaged.

5. The method of claim 4, further comprising: moving the picker module having the engaged CD to a CD handling position and moving the said finger-like gripper toward said retracted position so that the engaged CD is released and dropped.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This is a continuation of my application of the same title, Serial No 60/382,402, filed May 22, 2002, now abandoned.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] It is in general an object of the invention to overcome the limitations and disadvantages of the methods and devices whether employed in a specific field. Also, it is a general object to provide a new way, a new method and device in such fields to improve the specific process.

[0003] The present invention pertains generally to provide a method and device for firm picking and placing of disc-shaped objects with a concentrically disposed hole. More particularly, this relates to compact disc multiplication machines transferring a blank disc from a supply bin into a writing/reading device and thereafter transferring the written/read disc to an output bin.

[0004] Compact discs, which can be either audio compact disc or CD, a computer CD-ROM, a video disc, a laser disc or DVD containing digital information on one or both sides. For the sake of convenience, the discs will be called CD thereafter. Picker means the apparatus or part of the apparatus comprises the necessary elements and concludes the process of removing a CD from a stack and placing it to an other location like reading and/or writing device and vice versa.

[0005] CD pickers are well known. They are designed to pick-up the top disc from a stack and place it in the other wanted location, more specifically in burner/reader tray and after completion of writing/reading session from that device tray, to an output bin and vice versa.

[0006] This invention's meaning is to accomplish a firm picking apparatus and method of the disc from a stack of discs so the device will always pick up only one disc, even when they are slightly misaligned. It will then hold it strongly in the placing process so the placing process in an automated environment can be completed on a much higher traveling speed and more accurately. This eliminates the unwanted situation when the picker device loads two CD's into the devices tray. More particularly, this kind of machine works remotely or under limited human supervision. Another object of this invention is to provide an improved device suitable to carrying out the above tasks.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] This object is achieved in an apparatus for firmly picking disc shaped objects with concentric hole, like CD's, when stacked one top of the other, in such a way that the concentric hole of each CD will form an opening on the stack, so called stack bore. The picking part of the apparatus having a conic ended rod shaped body in which a finger-like gripper is housed, and a semi groove is provided on the rod-shaped part, opposite to the finger-like gripper housing. A spring continuously urges the finger-like gripper in its housing, having its position defined means the associated circumference circle of the rod is not intersected by the gripping part of the finger-like gripper, also the limiter part of the finger-like griper is outstanding from rod shaped body. Inserting the conic ended rod body in stack bore, the conic end will shift the slightly misaligned CD in stack, moving them in a position around the rod, permitting the rod to be inserted until the limiter of the fin type lever touches the topmost CD surface, meaning the semi groove on the rod, the gripping part of the fin type lever and the topmost CD on the stack are aligned in such a way that the gripping part of the lever acted by a solenoid through a connecting element, will move outward from rod the finger-like gripper, engaging the inner surface of the concentric hole of the topmost CD sliding it in horizontal plan, respecting to the stack, and sliding it in the semi-groove, holding it in until the placing mechanism places the picked CD in the wanted location, where the solenoid releases the finger-like gripper and is urged by spring, in its housing in conic-ended rod.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] FIG. 1 Side view of the device according to the invention with partial skin section of the conic ended rod-shaped body, showing the picker before insertion in the CD stack bore.

[0009] FIG. 2 Shows the device inserted in CD stack and has engaged the topmost CD, sliding it into the semi-groove.

[0010] FIG. 3 Shows the device with the topmost CD removed from the stack of CD's.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0011] Referring now to the drawings wherein the showings are for purposes of illustrating of preferred embodiment of the invention only, and not for purpose of limiting the same.

[0012] In FIG. 1 the apparatus, according to the invention is indicated in its entirety by 10. It comprises a conic-ended rod-shaped body 9, with its conic part 7, and a semi-groove 1. At radial opposite side to the semi-groove 1, a slot 8, is located in which the finger-like gripper 2, moves on its shaft 6, outward and inward of the circular body 9, respecting to the center axis C, of the rod-shaped body 9. The spring 11, continuously urges the finger-like gripper 2, in its housing, defining a so called retracted position. The finger-like gripper 2, has functionally distinguished parts: the engaging part 3, the limiter part 4, a bore to fit easily on its shaft 6, and a joint connection through a link 12, to the core 13, of solenoid 14.

[0013] The finger-like gripper 2, pushed by the spring 11, touches with its lower edge the stopper 5, means the gripping portion 3, is in inside the area of the circle defined by the diameter of the rod-shaped body 9, and the associated position is so called retracted position. In this configuration, the picker is ready to be lowered in the CD's stack 20, for removing the top most CD 19, from stack 20, as shown in FIG. 2. For this purpose, it is considered to be adequate a sliding bore 15, which will fit on a conducting shaft 16, and a side guide 17. Is necessary that the insertion in the stack bore 18 to be in such a manner that the center axis of the con 7, to be in the circumference of the concentric bore of the topmost CD 19, from stack 20.

[0014] Is desirable, but not necessary, that the discs in the stack be exactly aligned. Also, it is desirable that the discs in the stack be placed parallel to each other and their concentric bore to be at least interfered, if not on the same axis. The conic part 7, of the present device when lowered in the above-described discs stack arrangement, the slightly mis-aligned discs will be shifted, moved around on the circumference of the rod 9, means their associated center axis will be in range proportionally with the dimension of con base diameter and the dimension of the center hole of each disc.

[0015] In FIG. 2 is shown the topmost CD 19, side-shifted by the finger-like gripper 2, sliding it in horizontal plan respecting to the CD stack 20, sliding it in the semi-groove 1, and holding it in during the placing process. The solenoid 14, pulling its core 13, and thru the jointed link 12, move outwardly the finger like griper 2. In this position, the associated axis to the finger-like gripper 2, and the center axis C of the conic-ended rod-shaped body 9, form an angle ∝, which will be maintained until the solenoid 14, is engaged means the CD is holded firmly. The distance D is resulting from moving the topmost CD 19, reporting to the stack 20.

[0016] On a given situation where the concentric bore 18, of the discs witch form the stack 20, the diameter of the rod 9, and geometry of the finger-like gripper 2, are the same, the angle ∝, will have the same value and the distance D will also have the same value on every picked-up CD. This means it is a correlation between the two values and geometry of the concurrent elements which form the same.

[0017] Also, it is desirable that the dimension of the semi-groove 1, to be in such a way that only one CD to fit in it; large in off to fit one CD at a time and never two or more, resulting the finger-like gripper 2 will always slide in only one CD.

[0018] In FIG. 3 the device firmly holds a CD in groove 1 by the finger-like gripper 2 having removed the top-most CD 19, from stack 20, in placing process for which the above-described apparatus makes the object of the description.

[0019] Although the invention has been shown and described with respect to a preferred embodiment, those skilled in the art will appreciate that various alterations and modifications can be made without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention defined in the following claims.