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US4237536: System for indicating and controlling dispensing of beverages

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Filing Information

Inventor(s) Michael R. Enelow · Michael Levy · William P. Porter ·
Assignee(s) M.R.E. Enterprises, Inc. ·
Attorney/Agent(s) Lowe, King, Price and Becker ·
Primary Examiner Errol A. Krass ·
Application Number US5950810
Filing date 10/12/1978
Issue date 12/02/1980
Predicted expiration date 10/12/1998
U.S. Classifications 364/465  · 222/23  ·
International Classifications G06F 1520  ·
Kind CodeA
International Classifications 364465;509;510;200;900;479 ·
21 Claims, No Drawings


Abstract

The amount of beverage dispensed from each of a plurality of reservoirs in units at a plurality of remote locations, such as hotel rooms, is controlled and indicated. A central console, such as a hotel front desk, includes a keyboard for deriving data and command signals, as well as a data processor that responds to the data and command signals to derive addressing and command signals for the units. A display at the central console responds to the keyboard data and command signals to display the keyboard data signals, as well as data signals derived from addressed units. At each of the units, a liquid flow controller for each reservoir responds to an output of a data processor at the unit. The unit data processor responds to a customer input and command signals from the console to activate the flow controller. In response to a unit being addressed by the console, the unit data processor supplies signals to the console to indicate the amount of beverage dispensed from the reservoirs.

Independent Claims | See all claims (21)

  1. 1. A system for indicating and controlling at a central console the dispensing of beverages from a plurality of units remote from the console, each of the units including a plurality of beverage reservoirs, comprising:a plurality of beverage flow controllers at each unit, one of said flow controllers being provided for each reservoir;the console including: a keyboard for deriving data and command signals, data processing means responsive to the keyboard data and command signals for deriving addressing signals for the units;each of said units including: customer input signalling means, data processing means for: selectively deriving control signals for the flow of a beverage from the reservoirs and for deriving signals indicative of the quantity of beverage dispensed from the selected reservoirs, and for coupling the quantity of beverage signals to the console data processing means in response to the address of the unit being transmitted to the unit data processor from the console data processor, and means for activating the flow control means in response to the beverage flow control signals;the console further comprising: display means responsive to the console data processing means for displaying characters derived in response to the keyboard data signals and the quantity of beverage signals derived from the address units.
  2. 14. A remote unit for dispensing beverage from a plurality of reservoirs, the units being adapted to transmit data to a central console and to be responsive to data from the console, comprising a beverage flow controller for each of the reservoirs, a customer activated switch for each reservoir, a data processor, said data processor including: a memory for storing program and data signals, a microprocessor having an address bus coupled to the memory as a control for the program signals of the memory, a data bus coupled to the microprocessor and the memory, means for connecting the data bus to be responsive to the customer activated switches, the data bus being controlled by the program signals so that signals resulting from the customer activated switches are coupled as data signals to the memory, means for connecting the data bus to the flow controllers, the data bus being controlled by the program signals so that customer activated data signals in memory are selectively coupled as enabling signals to the flow controllers, means for connecting the data bus with a communication link to the console so that signals are transmitted in both directions between the console and the data bus, the console selectively supplying the connecting means with enable and memory read out signals that are coupled to the memory under the control of the program, the enable signal being read out from memory to the data bus in response to the program signal to couple the customer activated signals to the memory, the program signal and memory read out signal in the memory activating the memory and the connecting means so that customer activated signals in memory are supplied to the data bus and thence to the connecting means so they can be transmitted to the console.
  3. 16. A system for indicating at a central console the dispensing of beverages from a plurality of units remote from the console, each of the units including a plurality of beverage reservoirs, comprising:a plurality of beverage flow controllers and beverage sensors at each unit, one of said flow controllers and one of said sensors being provided for each reservoir, the sensor for each reservoir deriving a signal to indicate when no beverage is in the reservoir;each of said units including: customer input signalling means for deriving signals indicative of which reservoir is selected by a customer at the unit, means responsive to the customer input signalling means for selectively deriving control signals for the flow of beverage from the selected reservoirs and for deriving signals indicative of the quantity of beverage dispensed from the selected reservoirs, means for activating the flow control means in response to the beverage flow control signals;means for coupling the quantity of beverage and the no beverage signals to the console;the console including means for displaying indications derived in response to the quantity of beverage and no beverage signals.
  4. 19. A system for indicating and controlling at a central console the dispensing of beverages from a plurality of units remote from the console, each of the units including a plurality of beverage reservoirs, comprising:a plurality of beverage flow controllers at each unit, one of said flow controllers being provided for each reservoir;the console including: a source for signalling the hours during which the beverage may be dispensed, a clock source, means responsive to the clock source for accumulating local time data, means responsive to the accumulated local time data, and the source for signalling hours for deriving enable and disable signals for the beverage flow controllers;each of said units including: customer input signalling means for deriving signals indicative of which reservoir is selected by a customer, means responsive to the customer input signalling means for selectively deriving control signals for the flow of beverage from the selected reservoirs and for deriving signals indicative of the quantity of beverage dispensed from the selected reservoirs, means for activating the flow control means in response to the beverage flow control signals while the enable signal is being derived to the exclusion of while the disable signal is being derived;means for coupling the quantity of beverage signals to the console;the console including means for displaying indications derived in response to the quantity of beverage signals.

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