Title:
Delivery box and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A delivery box for groceries, other goods, mail, etc., to enable their delivery even to an unoccupied building, is built into an external wall of the building and has an outer door which is openable to enable deliveries to be placed inside the box but which locks automatically when it is then closed. It has a rear door openable directly into, and lockable from, the interior of the building. The box has separate chilled and frozen compartments and respectively, and is accordingly supplied with mains electricity. The outer door is substantially flush with the exterior surface of the wall, and has a digital computerized locking system operable by pre-arranged single use code numbers.



Inventors:
Scholefield, Michael (Lascelles Hall, GB)
Application Number:
10/839676
Publication Date:
12/30/2004
Filing Date:
05/05/2004
Assignee:
SCHOLEFIELD MICHAEL
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G29/14; A47G29/16; F25D23/10; (IPC1-7): A47B67/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
TRAN, HANH VAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OLIFF PLC (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A delivery box adapted to be built into an external wall of a building and having an outer door which is provided with a digital computerized locking system adapted to be operated only by a pre-arranged single-use access code whereby said outer door can be opened and deliveries placed inside the box, and also provided with a mechanism which is engaged when the door is in its fully closed position whereby every time the mechanism is re-engaged a signal is sent to a controller of the locking system, causing cancellation of the code as well as automatic locking of the door; and a rear door openable directly into, and lockable from, the interior of the building.

2. A delivery box according to claim 1, having projections which in use are secured in seams to the wall.

3. A delivery box according to claim 1, wherein the outer door is substantially flush with the exterior surface of the wall.

4. A delivery box according to claim 1, wherein the outer door has a letter deposit flap.

5. A delivery box according to claim 4, wherein the flap opens into a receptacle mounted on the back of the outer door.

6. A delivery box according to claim 1, wherein the outer door has a deposit drawer.

7. A delivery box according to claim 1, having a connection to a mains electricity supply.

8. A delivery box according to claim 7, which includes a chilled storage compartment.

9. A delivery box according to claim 1, which includes a frozen storage compartment.

10. A delivery box according to claim 1, having a connection to an alarm system.

11. A method of delivering articles to a building equipped with a delivery box for accepting the articles which is built into an external wall of the building and has an outer door with an automatic locking system which is operable by a single-use access code, a compartment for storing the articles, and a lockable rear door for accessing the stored articles from inside the building comprising inserting a single-use code into the locking system, opening the outer door, placing the articles to be delivered in the compartment, closing the outer door so that said door automatically locks and cancels the code used for opening the outer door, opening the rear door from within the building, removing the articles from the compartment, and programming the locking system of the outer door with a new code.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is a Continuation-In-Part of application Ser. No. 09/841,421, Filed Apr. 24, 2001.

TECHNICAL FIELD AND BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] This invention relates to a delivery box for goods including groceries ordered by Internet, mail or otherwise; for mail; and for other articles. It also relates to a method of delivering articles to a building equipped with such a box.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] The object of the invention is to enable articles to be delivered at any time of day or night to a building whether occupied or not, and to be kept safely until retrieved by the occupier.

[0004] According to one aspect of the invention, a delivery box is adapted to be built into an external wall of a building and has an outer door which is provided with a digital computerized locking system adapted to be operated only by a pre-arranged single-use access code whereby the outer door can be opened and deliveries placed inside the box. The delivery box is also provided with a mechanism which is engaged when the door is in its fully closed position whereby every time the mechanism is re-engaged a signal is sent to a controller of the locking system, causing cancellation of the code as well as automatic locking of the door. The delivery box also includes a rear door openable directly into, and lockable from, the interior of the building.

[0005] Preferably, the box has projections which in use are secured in seams in the wall.

[0006] The outer door of the built-in box is preferably substantially flush with the exterior surface of the wall.

[0007] The outer door may have a letter deposit flap.

[0008] The flap may open into a receptacle mounted on the back of said door.

[0009] The outer door may have a deposit drawer.

[0010] The box is preferably has a connection to a main electricity supply.

[0011] The box may include a chilled storage compartment.

[0012] The box may include a frozen storage compartment.

[0013] The box may have a connection to an alarm system.

[0014] According to another aspect of the invention, a method of delivering articles to a building equipped with a delivery box for accepting the articles which is built into an external wall of a building and has an outer door with an automatic locking system which is operable by a single-use access code, a compartment for storing the articles, and a lockable rear door for accessing the stored articles from inside the building, comprises inserting a single-use code into the locking system, opening the outer door, placing the articles to be delivered in the compartment, closing the outer door so that said door automatically locks and cancels the code used for opening the outer door, opening the rear door from within the building, removing the articles from the compartment, and programming the locking system of the outer door with a new code.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] The invention will now be described in greater detail, byway of example only, with reference to the accompanying diagrammatic drawings, of which:

[0016] FIG. 1 is a front elevation of one form of a large delivery box particularly suitable for accepting deliveries of articles of food;

[0017] FIG. 2 is a sectional side elevation of said one form of large box built into an external wall of the house;

[0018] FIG. 3 is a front elevation of one form of smaller delivery box;

[0019] FIG. 3a is a sectional side elevation of said one form of smaller box built into an external wall of the house;

[0020] FIG. 4 is a front elevation of another form of smaller delivery box;

[0021] FIG. 4a is a sectional side elevation of said other form of smaller box built into an external wall of the 25 house;

[0022] FIG. 5 is a front elevation of another form of large delivery box; and

[0023] FIG. 5a is a sectional side elevation of said other form of large box secured to an external wall of the house.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT AND BEST MODE

[0024] Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, a large delivery box indicated generally at 10 is made of metal and/or strong plastics material and is shown built into an external masonry wall indicated generally at 12 of a house. The wall conventionally comprises an outer leaf 14 and an inner leaf 16 separated by a cavity 18. The box 10 is securely fixed in the wall 12 by means of projections (not shown) which are concreted into seams in the masonry, and has an outer door 20 with a handle 22 and hinges 24 which is practically flush with the exterior surface 26 of the wall 12. The box 10 projects a short distance into the interior of the house in order to have a useful front-to-back dimension, and has a rear door 28 with a handle 34 openable directly into, and lockable from, said interior to facilitate the removal of deliveries. The box 10 is adapted to be supplied with mains electricity from within the house, to enable it to include both a chilled storage compartment 30 and a frozen storage compartment 32, and also lighting (not shown) if desired. The outer door 20 is openable to enable deliveries to be placed inside the box, but is arranged to lock automatically when it is then closed. This is effectively achieved by employing a digital computerized locking system (not shown) operable by pre-arranged code numbers. Said system can be button- or card-operated in such a way that the door 20 is opened by a pre-arranged single-use code number, there being provided a mechanism, such as a switch 23, which is engaged when the door is in its fully closed position whereby every time the mechanism is re-engaged a signal is sent to a controller 25 of the locking system causing the code to be cancelled, that is to say erased from the system's memory, as well as causing automatic locking of the door. The box 10 is adapted to be connected to a burglar alarm system (not shown) existing within the house. A typical size for a large box 10 suitable for accepting, inter alia, deliveries of food from a supermarket is, say, 1200 millimeters in internal height by 600 millimeters in internal width and depth, but a height of more than two meters is preferably avoided as this would require planning permission. It will be understood that the delivery box 10 just described is a de luxe or top of the range unit. Many of its features can be omitted without departing from the scope of the invention. An external child-resistant grille (not shown) with an opening catch disposed at a high level so as to be difficult for a child to reach then becomes a desirable adjunct to the box 10.

[0025] Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 3a of the drawings, a smaller delivery box indicated generally at 40 which is still large enough to accept supermarket and mail order deliveries is built into an external masonry wall 41 of a house. The box 40 has only an outer door 42 with a handle 44 and hinges 46, which is openable to enable deliveries to be placed inside said box but which locks automatically when it is closed. The locking system employed is of the digital computerized type with an associated switch mechanism and controller as hereinbefore referred to (not shown in FIGS. 3 and 3a), and an external grille as described in the preceding paragraph can be fitted if desired. The door 42 of the box 40 is fitted with a large letter deposit flap 48 which conveniently opens into a receptacle 49 mounted on the back of said door.

[0026] FIGS. 4 and 4a of the drawings show a delivery box indicated generally at 50 which is in most respects similar 10 to the box 40 shown in FIG. 3 but which has fitted in its outer and only door 52, instead of a letter deposit flap, a bank-type deposit drawer 54. A typical size for the boxes 40 and 50 is, say, 900 millimeters in internal height by 600 millimeters in 15 internal width and depth.

[0027] FIGS. 5 and 5a of the drawings show a large delivery box 60 having an outer and only door 62 with a handle 64 and hinges 65 which is secured to the external surface of an exterior wall 66 of a house and to a concrete path 68 adjoining said wall by means of internal and thus inaccessible masonry bolts 70. A typical size for the box 60 is, say, 1500 millimeters in height by 600 millimeters in internal width and depth. The door 62 is openable to enable deliveries to be placed inside said box but locks automatically when it is closed, the locking system being of the digital computerized type with an associated switch mechanism as hereinbefore referred to (not shown in FIGS. 5 and 5a).

[0028] In a modification, the box can be secured to other fixed supports such as a concrete base or a post.

[0029] Thus there are provided secure delivery boxes which save time and money by avoiding any need for redelivery.