Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2542159 Summary

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(12) Patent: (11) CA 2542159
(54) English Title: CASH DISPENSING AUTOMATED BANKING MACHINE WITH NOTE UNSTACKING AND VALIDATION
(54) French Title: GUICHET AUTOMATIQUE BANCAIRE COMPORTANT DES FONCTIONS DE DESEMPILEMENT ET DE VALIDATION DE BILLETS
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • G07F 7/00 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors :
  • GRAEF, THOMAS H. (United States of America)
  • UTZ, ZACHARY (United States of America)
  • SCHOEFFLER, DANIEL P. (United States of America)
  • GRIGGY, SHAWN (United States of America)
  • RAMACHANDRAN, NATARAJAN (United States of America)
(73) Owners :
  • DIEBOLD, INCORPORATED (United States of America)
(71) Applicants :
  • DIEBOLD, INCORPORATED (United States of America)
(74) Agent: NA
(74) Associate agent: NA
(45) Issued: 2011-08-02
(86) PCT Filing Date: 2004-04-19
(87) Open to Public Inspection: 2005-05-06
Examination requested: 2006-04-07
(30) Availability of licence: N/A
(30) Language of filing: English

(30) Application Priority Data:
Application No. Country/Territory Date
10/688,670 United States of America 2003-10-17
10/688,725 United States of America 2003-10-17
60/535,359 United States of America 2004-01-09
60/535,366 United States of America 2004-01-09

English Abstract




An automated banking machine (10) includes a user interface (15). The user
interface includes a card reader (16), receipt printer opening (30), cash
dispensing opening (38) and deposit accepting opening (40). A stack of notes
(84) input to the machine are separated one by one from the stack through the
action of at least one picking member (158, 352) and at least one stripper
member (64, 162, 354). The actions of non- contact stripper rolls and a
contact stripper roll are generally effective to only enable a single note to
move past the stripper members. Upon sending that multiple notes have moved
past the stripper members with a sensor (176, 366) the system is operative to
return notes to the stack for subsequent picking trials. In some cases the
stripper members may be driven so as to move notes engaged therewith relative
to a note engaged with stripper member so as to reorient the notes and
facilitate note separation in subsequent picking events.


French Abstract

L'invention concerne un guichet (10) automatique bancaire qui comprend une interface utilisateur (15). L'interface utilisateur comprend un lecteur (16) de cartes, une ouverture (30) d'imprimante de reçus, une ouverture (38) de distribution de billets et une ouverture (40) de réception de dépôts. Une pile de billets (84) de banque introduits dans le distributeur sont séparés un par un de la pile à l'aide d'au moins un élément préhenseur (158, 352) et d'au moins un élément de séparation (64, 162, 354). L'effet conjugué de rouleaux de séparation sans contact et d'un rouleau de séparation par contact permet généralement de ne faire passer qu'un seul billet devant les éléments de séparation. Lorsqu'un détecteur (176, 366) détecte que de multiples billets ont passé devant les éléments de séparation, le système permet de retourner des billets vers la pile en vue d'essais ultérieurs de préhension. Dans certains cas, les éléments de séparation sont commandés de façon à déplacer les billets en contact avec ceux-ci par rapport à un billet en contact avec l'élément de séparation, afin de réorienter les billets et de faciliter leur séparation lors d'événements ultérieurs de préhension.


Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.


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Claims:


1. A method comprising:

(a) picking a first note bounding a stack of notes from the stack with at
least one
picking member engaged with the first note, wherein the picking causes the
first note to
move in a first direction toward at least one stripper member;

(b) engaging notes other than the first note with the at least one stripper
member,
wherein generally notes other than the first note are prevented from moving
from the
stack;

(c) sensing with at least one sensor before the first note has disengaged from
the
stack, that at least one additional note has moved with the first note from
the stack past
the at least one stripper member;

(d) responsive to (c), moving the first note in a second direction opposed of
the
first direction while engaged with the at least one picking member, moving the
at least
one additional note in the second direction relative to the first note while
the first note
moves in the second direction, and moving the at least one additional note in
the second
direction more rapidly than the first note.


2. The method according to claim 1 and further comprising:

(e) moving the first note in the first direction such that the first note is
separated
from the at least one additional note by the at least one stripper member.


3. The method according to claim 1 wherein (a) includes urging the first note
to
move in the first direction by moving at least one moving member that is in
supporting
connection with the stack.


4. The method according to claim 1 and further comprising:

(e) determining if each first note moved from the stack has at least one
characteristic associated with a valid note through operation of at least one
validator
device.



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5. The method according to claim 1 wherein (b) includes engaging notes other
than
the first note with at least one contact stripper member and at least one non-
contact
stripper member.


6. The method according to claim 1 and prior to (a) further comprising:

receiving at least one input from a user through at least one input device of
an
automated banking machine, wherein the at least one input is operative to
identify at least
one of the user and an account;

receiving the stack of notes into the machine from the user; and
wherein in (a) the first note is moved from the stack within the machine.

7. A method comprising:

(a) picking a first note bounding a stack of notes from the stack with at
least one
picking member engaged with the first note, wherein the picking causes the
first note to
move in a first direction toward at least one stripper member;

(b) engaging notes other than the first note with the at least one stripper
member,
wherein generally notes other than the first note are prevented from moving
from the
stack;

(c) sensing with at least one sensor before the first note has disengaged from
the
stack, that at least one additional note has moved with the first note from
the stack past
the at least one stripper member;

(d) responsive to (c), moving the first note in a second direction opposed of
the
first direction while engaged with the at least one picking member, moving the
at least
one additional note in the second direction relative to the first note while
the first note
moves in the second direction, and moving the at least one additional note in
the second
direction for a longer period of time than the first note is moved in the
second direction.

8. The method according to claim 7 and further comprising:

(e) moving the first note in the first direction such that the first note is
separated
from the at least one additional note by the at least one stripper member.



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9. The method according to claim 7 wherein (a) includes urging the first note
to
move in the first direction by moving at least one moving member that is in
supporting
connection with the stack.


10. The method according to claim 9 wherein (d) includes urging the first note
to
move in the second direction through moving the at least one moving member in
the
second direction.


11. The method according to claim 7 and further comprising:

(e) determining if each first note moved from the stack has at least one
characteristic associated with a valid note through operation of at least one
validator
device.


12. The method according to claim 11 and further comprising:

(f) moving notes determined to have the at least one characteristic of
validity in
(e), toward at least one first storage location.


13. The method according to claim 12 and further comprising:

(g) moving sheets determined as not having the at least one characteristic of
validity in (e), toward at least one second storage location.


14. The method according to claim 13 wherein in (g) the at least one second
storage
location is included in a module with the at least one validator.


15. The method according to claim 14 wherein in (f) the at least one first
storage
location is within a chest portion of an automated banking machine.


16. The method according to claim 15 and further comprising:

(h) dispensing notes from the automated banking machine, wherein the dispensed


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notes are removed from at least one storage location in the chest portion.


17. The method according to claim 16 wherein the notes dispensed in (h)
include
notes previously determined as having the at least one characteristic of
validity in (e).

18. The method according to claim 14 and prior to (a) further comprising:

receiving the stack of notes in a chute, wherein the module includes the
chute.

19. The method according to claim 18 and prior to receiving the stack of notes
in the
chute, further comprising:

opening a gate bounding the chute wherein opening the gate enables the chute
to
receive the stack of notes.


20. The method according to claim 7 wherein (b) includes engaging notes other
than
the first note with at least one contact stripper member and at least one non-
contact
stripper member.


21. The method according to claim 20 wherein in (b) the at least one contact
stripper
member biasingly engages the at least one picking member when no note extends
therebetween.


22. The method according to claim 21 wherein in (b) the at least one non-
contact
stripper member is disposed from the at least one picking member.


23. The method according to claim 22 wherein the picking member includes at
least
one annular recess, and wherein the at least one non-contact stripper member
extends in
the at least one annular recess, and wherein in (b) a cross sectional wave
configuration is
imparted to the first note.


24. The method according to claim 7 and prior to (a) further comprising:



64

receiving at least one input from a user through at least one input device of
an
automated banking machine, wherein the at least one input is operative to
identify at least
one of the user and an account;

receiving the stack of notes into the machine from the user; and

wherein in (a) the first note is moved from the stack within the machine.

25. The method according to claim 24 and further comprising:

(e) determining whether each first note moved from the stack is a valid note
through operation of at least one note validator device;

(f) crediting at least one of the user and the account a value associated with
notes
determined as valid in (e).


26. The method according to claim 25 and further comprising:

storing data in at least one data store correlating the user with notes not
determined as valid in (e).


27. The method according to claim 24 and further comprising subsequent to (d):


(e) moving the first note in the first direction separately from another note.


28. A method performed in operation of an automated banking machine including
at
least one currency note dispenser, comprising:

(a) moving a first note bounding a stack of notes input to the machine by a
user in
a first direction by engagement with at least one picking member;

(b) engaging at least one other note in the stack with at least one stripper
member
as the first note moves in the first direction, wherein generally only the
first note moves
in the first direction past the at least one stripper member;

(c) sensing with at least one sensor notes moved past the at least one
stripper
member in the first direction;

(d) responsive to sensing more than one note moved in the first direction past
the
at least one stripper member with the at least one sensor, moving the first
note in a second


65

direction opposed of the first direction, moving at least one note in the
second direction
relative to the first note while the first note moves in the second direction,
and moving at
least one note other than the first note in the second direction a distance
greater than the
first note is moved in the second direction.


29. An automated banking machine apparatus comprising:

at least one input device adapted to receive inputs identifying at least one
of
machine users and financial accounts;

at least one output device adapted to communicate with machine users;

at least one note handling mechanism;

at least one controller in operative connection with the at least one input
device, at
least one output device, and at least one note handling mechanism;

wherein the at least one note handling mechanism includes at least one picking

member, at least one stripper member and at least one sensor, wherein the at
least one
note handling mechanism is generally operative responsive to the at least one
controller
to pick notes generally one at a time from a stack through movement of the
picking
member in a first direction, and wherein responsive to sensing multiple notes
having been
picked from the stack by the at least one sensor, the at least one controller
is operative to
cause the at least one picking member and at least one stripper member to move
the
multiple notes in a second direction opposed of the first direction, wherein a
first note of
the multiple notes engaged with the at least one stripper member is moved in
the second
direction a distance greater than a second note of the multiple notes engaged
with the
picking member.


30. The apparatus according to claim 29 and further comprising:

at least one moving member in supporting connection with the stack, wherein
the
at least one moving member is operative to engage the second note of the
multiple notes,
wherein the multiple notes are moved in the second direction.


31. The apparatus according to claim 30 wherein the at least one moving member

moves the second note in the second direction a distance less than the first
note.



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32. The apparatus according to claim 30 and further comprising a gate and a
chute,
wherein the gate is operative responsive to the at least one controller to
control access to
the chute, and wherein the at least one moving member is positioned adjacent
to a lower
end of the chute, and wherein the stack of notes is positioned in the chute.


33. The apparatus according to claim 32 and further comprising at least one
validator,
wherein notes from the stack are moved adjacent to the at least one validator,
and further
comprising a first storage area in the machine, wherein notes determined as
valid through
operation of the at least one validator are stored in the first storage area.


34. The apparatus according to claim 33 and further comprising a note
dispenser
operative responsive to the at least one controller to dispense notes.


35. The apparatus according to claim 34 wherein notes dispensed by the note
dispenser are dispensed from the first storage area.


36. The apparatus according to claim 29 wherein the first note is urged to
move in the
second direction relatively faster than the second note.


37. The apparatus according to claim 36 wherein both the first and second
notes are
moved in the second direction simultaneously.


38. The apparatus according to claim 29 wherein the second note is held
stationary
while the first note is moved in the second direction.


39. An automated banking machine apparatus comprising:

at least one picking member, at least one stripper member, at least one sensor
and
at least one controller, wherein the at least one picking member and at least
one stripper
member are generally operative to move notes generally one at a time from a
stack,


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wherein a first note bounding the stack is generally moved from the stack in a
first
direction, and wherein responsive to the at least one sensor sensing multiple
notes picked
from the stack, the at least one controller is operative to cause the at least
one picking
member and at least one stripper member to move the multiple notes in a second

direction opposed of the first direction and to move at least one of the
multiple notes in
the second direction relative to the first note.


40. The apparatus according to claim 39 wherein the at least one stripper
member
comprises at least one contact stripper roll and at least one non-contact
stripper roll.

41. The apparatus according to claim 39 and further comprising at least one
chute
adapted to receive at least one stack of notes from users of the apparatus,
wherein notes
are picked from the stack.


42. The apparatus according to claim 41 and further comprising at least one
validator,
at least one first area and at least one second area, wherein the at least one
controller is
operative to direct notes determined as valid through operation of the at
least one
validator to the first area, and other notes not determined as valid through
operation of the
at least on validator, to the second area.


43. The apparatus according to claim 41 and further comprising at least one
moving
member positioned in the chute, wherein the at least one moving member is
operative to
urge the first note in the first direction as the first note is moved in the
first direction
responsive to movement of the picking member.


44. The apparatus according to claim 43 wherein the at least one moving member
is
operative to urge the first note to move in the second direction as the first
note is moved
in the second direction by the at least one picking member.


45. The apparatus according to claim 39 wherein the at least one stripper
member is


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operative to move at least one of the multiple notes in the second direction
at a faster rate
than at least one picking member moves the first note in the second direction.


46. The apparatus according to claim 39 wherein the at least one stripper
member is
operative to move at least one of the multiple notes in the second direction
for a longer
period of time than at least one picking member moves the first note in the
second
direction.

Note: Descriptions are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.


CA 02542159 2006-04-07
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CASH DISPENSING AUTOMATED BANDING MACHINE
WITH NOTE UNSTACKING AND VALIDATION
TECHNICAL FIELD
This invention relates to automated banking machines. Specifically
this invention relates to automated banking machines that have the capability
of receiving financial instrument sheets such as notes, checks and other
documents from users. This invention also relates to automated banking
machines that dispense financial instrument sheets to users of the machines.
This invention further relates to improved user interfaces for such automated
banking machines.
BACKGROUND ART
The common type of automated banking machine used by consumers is
an automated teller machine ("ATM"). ATMs enable customers to carry out
banking transactions. Banking transactions carned out using ATMs may
include the dispensing of cash, the making of deposits, the transfer of funds
between accounts and account balance inquiries. The types of banking
transactions a customer can carry out are determined by the capabilities of
the
particular banking machine and the programming of the institution operating
the machine.
Other types of automated banking machines may be operated by
merchants to carry out commercial transactions. These transactions may
include, for example, the acceptance of deposit bags, the receipt of checks or
other financial instruments, the dispensing of rolled coin or other
transactions
required by merchants. Still other types of automated banking machines may
be used by service providers in a transaction enviromnent such as at a bank to
carry out financial transactions. Such transactions may include for example,
the counting and storage of currency notes or other financial instrument
sheets,
the dispensing of notes or other sheets, the imaging of checks or other
financial instruments, and other types of service provider transactions. For
purposes of this disclosure an automated banking machine shall be deemed to


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2
include any machine that may be used to carry out transactions involving
transfers of value.
Many types of automated banking machines are required to handle
financial instrument sheets. Such sheets may include for example, notes,
checks or other documents that are representative of value. In some cases the
financial instrument sheets may have varying properties from sheet to sheet.
For example some sheets may be new and crisp while others that are equally
valid may be used and worn. Alternatively, financial instrument sheets may be
of different types which have different properties. These may include for
example combinations of documents such as notes and checks which may be
comprised of different types of paper or plastic materials. Mechanisms which
may separate each individual sheet from a stack rapidly and reliably,
particularly in situations where the sheets have diverse properties, present
challenges.
Automated banking machines are often positioned in locations that are
sometimes unattended by bank officials or representatives of other entities
owning the machines. In such cases security features are desirable to make it
more difficult for criminals to attack the machine and attain access to the
valuable financial instrument sheets that may be housed therein.
Some automated banking machines are operated under conditions
where they are exposed to the elements. In such situations rain or snow may
enter openings in the machine and cause problems. This may be particularly
true of sensitive mechanisms within the machine that handle financial
instrument sheets.
Automated banking machines axe useful because they perform banking
functions in a generally rapid and reliable manner. However there are
situations where machines must go out of service for preventive maintenance
or remedial service. In such cases it is desirable to enable an authorized
servicer to complete the maintenance activity as expeditiously as possible.
This is desirably done by enabling ready access to the interior of the machine


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authorized servicers while minimizing the risk of unauthorized access by
criminals.
Thus there exists a need for automated banking machines with
improved properties related to handling financial instrument sheets, weather
resistance, security and service capabilities.
DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION
It is an object of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention to
provide an automated banking machine.
It is a further object of an exemplary embodiment of the present
invention to provide an automated banking machine that has improved
capabilities for handling financial instrument sheets.
It is a further object of an exemplary embodiment of the present
invention to provide an automated banking machine which provides enhanced
security.
It is a further object of an exemplary embodiment of the present
invention to provide an automated banking machine that facilitates user
operation.
It is a further object of an exemplary embodiment of the present
invention to provide an automated banking machine that has improved
weather resistance.
It is a further object of an exemplary embodiment of the present
invention to provide an automated banking machine that provides improved
seance access.
Further objects of exemplary embodiments of the present invention
will be made apparent in the following Best Modes for Carrying Out Invention
and the appended claims.
Certain of the foregoing objects are accomplished in an exemplary
embodiment of the invention by an automated banking machine which is an
automated teller machine ("ATM"). The ATM includes a user interface which
includes input devices for receiving identifying inputs that identify user


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4
accounts, as well as inputs from users that cause the machine to carry out
transaction functions. The user interface further includes one or more output
devices that output indicia such as instructions for a user in operating the
machine.
The exemplary embodiment includes a cash acceptor mechanism that
is capable of receiving a stack of documents from a user. In the exemplary
embodiment the stack of documents may include a stack of notes of various
denominations or a stack comprising mixed types of financial instrument
sheets such as notes and checks. In order to identify and process these
financial instrument sheets, the exemplary embodiment includes a mechanism
which operates to separate each sheet individually from the stack. This is
accomplished in the exemplary embodiment through movement of a picking
member which includes a plurality of sheet engaging portions which engage a
first sheet bounding the stack and urge the sheet to move in a first
direction.
In the exemplary embodiment the sheet engaging portions are separated by
recesses which extend along the first direction. To reduce the risk that any
sheets other than the first sheet are separated from the stack, a first
stripper
portion is generally aligned with at least one recess. The first stripper
portion
engages the first sheet on a face thereof opposed from the face of the sheet
engaged by the sheet engaging portions. This first stripper portion is
generally
not in a contacting stripping engagement with the picking member, and
remains disposed therefrom a sufficient distance to enable the first sheet to
pass in intermediate relation between the picking member and the first
stripping portion.
In the exemplary embodiment the engagement of the first sheet with
the picking member and the first stripper portion is operative to impart a
cross-
sectional wave configuration to the sheet. Imparting this cross-sectional wave
configuration and the forces imparted by the picking member and the first
stripper portion generally operate to separate the first sheet bounding the
stack
from other sheets in the stack.


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In the exemplary embodiment a second stripper portion is provided and
is engaged by the first sheet as it moves in the first direction after the
sheet has
been engaged by the first stripper portion. The second stripper portion is
generally engaged in contacting stripping engagement with the picking
5 member. The second stripper portion is biased toward the picking member
with such force that sheets other than the first sheet moving in the first
direction are prevented from moving past the second stripper portion while the
first sheet is enabled to pass between the picking member and the second
stripper portion. In the exemplary embodiment the relative movement of the
picking member in stripping engagement with the second stripper portion is
operative in most cases to separate additional sheets from the first sheet
that
have not been separated by the first stripper portion. For example, financial
instrument sheets may have different frictional and rigidity properties from
sheet to sheet. For this reason the sheets that are not separated by the
action of
the picking member and the first stripper portion, will often be separated by
the action of the picking member and the second stripper portion.
In the exemplary embodiment the picking member comprises a
generally cylindrical member with arcuate high friction segments thereon for
engaging the sheet. The high friction segments in the exemplary embodiment
are separated by amiular recesses. In the exemplary embodiment the first
stripper portion includes a surface of a plurality of rollers that are
positioned in
generally opposed but non-contacting engagement with the annular recesses.
The first stripper rollers serve as a non contact stripper and in a first
exemplary
embodiment are each in operative connection with a one-way clutch which
resists 'movement of the rollers in a rotational direction in which the
rollers are
urged to move as the first sheet is being separated by the stack. The one-way
clutches, however, enable ready movement of the sheet in the opposite
direction so as to return a sheet to the stack. This may be done in some
embodiments when it is detected that overlapping double sheets have been
picked and it is desired to reverse the sheets in an attempt to strip all but
a


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single sheet. In the first exemplary embodiment the second stripper portion
serves as a contact stripper and includes a surface of at least one contacting
stripper roll that is biased into stripping engagement with a sheet engaging
portion of the picking member. The contacting stripper roll of the first
exemplary embodiment is similarly in operative connection with a one-way
clutch so as to resist movement of the sheet being removed from the stack to
provide stripping while enabling movement of the sheet to return to the stack.
In some alternative embodiments, one or both of the stripper members
may be driven by one or more drives in coordinated relation with the picking
member. In such exemplary embodiments these stripper members may be
driven so as to reconfigure sheets to facilitate the separation thereof. For
example, in some embodiments sheets may be oriented in the stack such that
sheets are relatively disposed to one another in ways that make it more
difficult to separate the sheets. For example, if the sheet located at the
bottom
of the stack is the one to be separated by being moved in a first direction by
a
picking member, and such bottom sheet is in abutting relation with an
overlying sheet that is significantly advanced in the first direction relative
to
the underlying sheet, difficulty may be encountered in separating the two
sheets until they are reoriented such that the overlying sheet is positioned
so
that it is even with or retarded from the first sheet relative to the picking
direction.
This may be accomplished in some embodiments through selectively
driving one or more of the stripper members when multiple bills are sensed as
having been able to pass the stripping members. In such cases the direction of
the picking members and one or more stripping members may be reversed, but
with one or both stripping members being driven such that the stripping
member moves the overlying sheet further in a direction opposite to the
picking direction, than the picking member moves the underlying sheet. This
may be done in a number of ways, which may include, for example, having the
stripping member or members urge the sheet to move back toward the stack as


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the sheet bounding the stack is held stationary by the picking member.
Alternatively, both the picking member and one or both stripping members
may move the multiple overlapping sheets back toward the stack, but with the
stripping members moving so as to drive the overlying sheets at a faster rate,
and thus a greater distance. Alternatively or in addition, the stripper
members
may drive the overlying sheet back towards the stack for a longer period of
time, thus urging the sheet overlying the bottom sheet which is to be
separated
a longer distance. Of course, other approaches may be used to move the
overlying sheet relative to the sheet to be picked so as to facilitate sheet
separation when the picking member again urges the sheet bounding the stack
to move in the picking direction. It should be understood, however, that these
arrangements are exemplary and in other embodiments other approaches may
be used.
The exemplary embodiment of the ATM further includes a housing.
The housing includes a fascia which includes elements of the user interface
and which extends through an exterior wall of a structure. The ATM housing
within the structure includes a secure chest portion in a lower part of the
housing. In the exemplary embodiment the chest is a generally L-shaped chest
in cross section. In the exemplary embodiment the L-shaped chest has a sheet
accepting mechanism such as a cash acceptor device positioned in supporting
connection with the chest. The cash accepting mechanism is operative to
analyze sheets that have been separated from the stack by operation of the
picking member and stripper portions, and to direct sheets that are to be
stored
in the machine into the chest portion through an opening in an upper surface
of
the chest. In an exemplary embodiment the cash accepting mechanism is
movably mounted in supporting connection with the chest so that when a
service door of the housing is opened, the cash acceptor mechanism may be
moved rearward for purposes of servicing.
In the exemplary embodiment because the cash accepting mechanism
is positioned outside the secure chest and may be moved to expose the


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opening, provisions are made for minimizing the risk that criminals may
access the financial instrument sheets in the chest through the cash accepting
opening. This is accomplished in the exemplary embodiment by providing a
transport which moves financial instrument sheets transported into the chest
from the cash acceptor, in a direction transverse to the cash accepting
opening
in the chest. After moving transversely relative to the cash accepting
opening,
the sheets are then transported to a note storage mechanism that may be
comprised of storage compartments or other mechanisms for handling the
sheets. In an exemplary embodiment a security plate is provided in
intermediate relation between the transport which moves the sheets
transversely from the opening of the chest, and the note storage mechanism.
The security plate reduces the ability of a criminal to access stored sheets
through the cash accepting opening. Further, in the exemplary embodiment
the driving force for the transport is provided by engagement of a driving
1 S member of the cash acceptor mechanism with a driven member through the
cash accepting opening. The presence of these members within the opening
further obstructs the opening and reduces the risk that a criminal will be
able
to access stored financial instnunent sheets.
In the exemplary embodiment the cash accepting mechanism is
provided with a chute for receiving stacks of documents from the user. In the
operative position of the cash acceptor mechanism the opening to the chute is
controlled by a gate. However, as can be appreciated, it is necessary for the
machine to open the gate to enable a user to place or remove sheets from the
chute. In some circumstances rain, snow and moisture may enter the chute
when the gate is open. The presence of rain, snow or moisture in the chute
may interfere with the proper operation of the machine. To minimize this risk
in the exemplary embodiment, a water capturing opening is provided in a
lower surface of the interior of the chute. The water capturing opening is
operative to capture moisture that may enter the chute and the collected
moisture is routed in an exemplary embodiment to a drain to that is in fluid


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communication with the outside of the machine housing. In the exemplary
embodiment the drain is provided through a lower surface of the fascia. Also
in the exemplary embodiment because the cash acceptor mechanism is
movable, a resilient gasket is provided in generally surrounding relation with
the chute and interiorly of the fascia. In the operative position of the cash
acceptor mechanism the resilient gasket provides a generally fluid tight seal
such that water, snow or other elements are not enabled to migrate into the
interior of the housing through the opening in the fascia through which the
chute extends in its operative position.
hl the exemplary embodiment the cash acceptor mechanism is
operative to store unacceptable sheets such as suspected counterfeit notes in
a
suspect note storage area outside the secure chest. In the exemplary
embodiment authorized servicers who have access to the area of the housing
outside the secure chest are enabled to remove these unacceptable sheets. A
readily accessible closure device is provided to facilitate the removal of
these
suspect sheets by authorized persons. Further, in some embodiments locking
mechanisms may be provided not only for the housing area outside the secure
chest, but also a separate locking mechanism for the particular compartment in
which the unacceptable sheets are stored. This assures that the unacceptable
sheets are only accessed by authorized persons while still assuring that other
authorized persons can access appropriate machine components without
accessing the stored unacceptable sheets.
In the exemplary embodiment the cash acceptor mechanism further
includes closure panels which generally surround the components within the
mechanism. These closure panels when in the operative position reduce the
risk of migration of dirt or other contaminants into the mechanism they also
reduce the risk of inadvertent damage to the mechanism when other
components axe being serviced. In the exemplary embodiment these closure
panels are made readily openable through hinged or sliding arrangements that
enable the panels to be opened when the mechanism is in a servicing position.


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In exemplary embodiments an approach is used for mounting closure panels to
facilitate gaining access to the components of the cash accepting module,
while assuring that the panels will be replaced upon completion of any repair
activity. This assures that the benefits provided by the closure panels are
not
5 inadvertently lost due to the failure to reinstall such panels after the
completion of the servicing activity.
In some exemplary embodiments currency sheets accepted by the cash
acceptor mechanism are stored in selected compartments. This enables storing
of each type of sheet in a particular compartment. W some embodiments
10 mechanisms are provided for re-dispensing such sheets from the compartment
so as to enable recycling of valid sheets. In alternative embodiments sheets
that have been validated by the cash accepting mechanism are stored in one or
more storage containers. In some exemplary embodiments the storage
containers include an interior area which is bounded at the lower end by a
moveable shaker member. The shaker member supports deposited sheets in
the interior area. An actuator is in operative connection with the shaker
member so as to impart shaking action to the deposited items within the
interior of the container. This facilitates the dispersal and settling of the
items
so as to facilitate storing the maximum number of items in the container. In
some exemplary embodiments the container is removable from the machine.
In some further exemplary embodiments the container includes rollable
supports and a retractable handle so as to facilitate moving the container out
of
and away from the machine when it has been filled with deposit items.
Although the exemplary embodiment is described with regard to storing
sheets, the principles may be applied to the storage of other items such as
tickets and deposit envelopes.
In some exemplary embodiments of the machine the user interface
includes multicolor light emitting devices so as to facilitate a user's
operation
of the machine. In some exemplary embodiments the light emitting devices
are selectively controlled by at least one controller in the machine to emit
light


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of a selected color responsive to conditions of associated transaction
function
devices. For example, the controller may operate to guide a user to a location
on the user interface where the user is required to perform some activity
related to a transaction. In some exemplary embodiments the light emitting
devices selectively emit green, yellow and red and may be operated to indicate
a status or condition of a particular device. Alternatively, light emitting
devices may flash the same or different colors at varying rates so as to
convey
information or facilitate use of the machine.
In some exemplary embodiments the user interface of the machine is
provided with horizontally disposed convex mirrors positioned vertically
above the user interface. Such mirrors are positioned so as to facilitate the
ability of a user of the machine to view an area behind and otherwise near the
user. This reduces the risk of persons in proximity to the user not being
observed by the user carrying out transactions at the machine. The exemplary
horizontally disposed convex mirrors are further positioned outward relative
to
a light which illuminates the user interface to facilitate the user's
operation.
This reduces the risk of glare and facilitates the user's ability to view the
area
observable in the mirrors. In some exemplary embodiments provision may be
made to sense a need for cleaning of one or more mirrors and to provide built
in cleaning mechanisms.
Further novel aspects of the exemplary embodiments will be made
apparent in the following detailed description. It should be understood that
the
features described are exemplary and in other embodiments other approaches
may be used which nonetheless employ the features and relationships claimed
herein.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
Figure 1 is a front plan view of an ATM fascia of an automated
banking machine of an exemplary embodiment.
Figure 2 is a schematic side view of components within a housing of
the ATM shown in Figure 1.


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Figure 3 is a further schematic side view of components within the
housing of the ATM shown in Figure 1.
Figure 4 is a view of a sheet stacking mechanism which may be
employed in an exemplary embodiment of the ATM.
Figure 5 is a further view of the exemplary sheet stacking mechanism
which may be used to hold multiple types of sheets.
Figure 6 is a rear view of the housing of the ATM of the exemplary
embodiment.
Figure 7 is a schematic view of an exemplary embodiment of a
mechanism for separating sheets from a stack of financial instrument sheets
placed within the ATM.
Figure 8 is a front plan view of an exemplary picking member in
combination with a plurality of non-contacting stripper rolls and a contacting
stripper roll used for separating individual sheets from the stack.
~ Figure 9 is a schematic view showing separation of a first sheet from a
sheet stack through operation of the mechanism shown in Figure 7.
Figure 10 is a view showing a cross-sectional wave configuration
imparted to a sheet through action of the picking member and the non-
contacting stripper rolls.
Figure 11 is a schematic view showing a cash acceptor mechanism
moved to a servicing position and exposing the cash accepting opening in an
upper portion of the chest of the ATM.
Figure 12 is a schematic view of the cash acceptor mechanism
withdravcni for servicing similar to Figure 11 and with a first embodiment of
an
access door in an open position for purposes of accessing unacceptable sheets
which have been identified through operation of the cash acceptor mechanism.
Figure 13 is a view of the ATM similar to Figure 12 but with an
alternative access mechanism for accessing unacceptable sheets.
Figure 14 is yet another view of the ATM similar to Figure 12 showing
a further alternative mechanism for accessing unacceptable sheets.


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Figure 15 is a schematic view of the cash acceptor mechanism with a
first form of service panel shown in an open position for purposes of
servicing.
Figure 16 is a view of the cash acceptor mechanism similar to Figure
15 but with an alternative form of service panels shown in an accessible
position.
Figure 17 is a schematic cross-sectional view of a chute to and from
which stacks of sheets are received and removed through the fascia of the
machine, and including devices for capturing and draining water which may
enter the chute.
Figure 18 is an external isometric view of the cash acceptor mechanism
represented in Figure 17 and including a schematic representation of the drain
used for passing water collected in the chute to the outside of the machine.
Figure 19 is a schematic view representative of a sealing system used
in an exemplary embodiment to minimize the risk of contaminants entering the
machine through the opening in the machine fascia through which the chute
extends in an operative position of the cash acceptor mechanism.
Figure 20 is a transparent side view of an alternative form of a
mechanism for accepting and storing financial instnunent sheets that have
been processed by the cash acceptor mechanism.
Figure 21 is an isometric view of the financial instrument holding
container shown in Figure 20, moved outside the machine.
Figure 22 is a schematic view of a light emitting device which is
operated to facilitate use of the machine by users.
Figure 23 is an enlarged view of the light emitting device shown in
Figure 22.
Figure 24 is a schematic view of the light emitting diodes included in
the light emitting device.
Figure 25 is a cross-sectional view of the flexible web which includes
the diodes in the light emitting device.


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Figure 26 is an isometric view of the fascia shown in Figure 1 and
particularly the mirrors thereon which facilitate a user viewing the area
adjacent to them when operating the machine.
Figure 27 is a schematic top view indicating the area viewable by a
S user operating the machine.
Figures 2~ through 30 are schematic views of an alternative
embodiment of a mechanism for separating sheets from a stack in which one
or more stripper devices operate to reorient the sheets relative to one
another
so as to facilitate picking and separating of the sheets.
BEST MODES FOR CARRYING OUT INVENTION
Referring now to the drawings and particularly to Figure l, there is
shown therein a front plan view of an automated banking machine=which in
the exemplary embodiment is an automated teller machine ("ATM") 10. ATM
10 is a through-the-wall type machine which includes a fascia 12. Fascia 12 is
accessible to users of the machine who are positioned externally of the wall
14. In some embodiments wall 14 may be an exterior building wall and ATM
10 may be used in a walk-up or drive-up environment. In other embodiments
the ATM may be used in an indoor environment. Of course this configuration
is exemplary and in other embodiments, other types of ATM configurations
may be used.
The exemplary ATM includes a user interface generally indicated 15.
The user interface of the exemplary embodiment includes input devices for
receiving inputs from users. These input devices include a card reader 16, a
keypad 1 ~, function keys 20 and an imaging device 22. In the exemplary
embodiment the input devices may be used for providing identifying inputs
such as indicia read from cards, numerical data or biometric data which may
be used to identify a particular user of the machine and/or their accounts. In
addition the exemplary input devices are also operative to receive transaction
inputs which cause the ATM to carry out selected transaction functions. It
should be understood that these input devices are exemplary and in other


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embodiments other types of input devices may be used. The exemplary user
interface 15 further includes output devices. The output devices of the
exemplary embodiment include a display 24, a speaker 26 and a headphone
jack 28. The output devices of the exemplary embodiment are operative to
5 output indicia either visual, audible or both, which are usable to operate
the
ATM. Of course the output devices shown in user interface 15 are exemplary
and in other embodiments other or additional output devices may be used.
The exemplary ATM 10 further includes other transaction function
devices. These transaction function devices include a receipt printer 30 which
10 is operative to provide receipts to users of the machine. As shown in more
detail in the interior view of the machine shown in Figure 2, the receipt
printer
includes a paper supply 32 which supplies paper on which receipts are printed
by a printer mechanism 34. Printed receipts are then transported to the
receipt
opening in the fascia 12 by a transport 36. In exemplary embodiments the
15 receipt printer used may be of the type shown in U.S. Patent No. 5,850,075,
the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference. Of course in
other
embodiments other types of receipt printers may be used.
The exemplary ATM 10 includes on the fascia as shown in Figure 1, a
cash dispensing opening 38 and a cash accepting opening 40. Each of these
openings is in operative connection with corresponding transaction function
devices as later discussed, and each has an associated gate mechanism which
operates to block access through the opening except at appropriate times
during transactions by authorized users. In the exemplary embodiment the
cash dispensing opening is shown controlled by a gate 42 and the cash
accepting opening is controlled by a gate 44. It should be understood that the
fascia and devices associated with ATM 10 are exemplary and in other
embodiments other or different fascia configurations and devices may be used.
In the exemplary embodiment the user interface of the machine
includes a plurality of multicolor light emitting devices 17, 31, 41, 43 and
45.
Each of the light emitting devices is positioned at a location adjacent to the


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16
location on the user interface which is associated with a particular
transaction
function device. For example, light emitting device 17 is positioned adjacent
to the opeung to card reader 16. Likewise, light emitting device 31 is
positioned adjacent to the slot for delivery of receipts. Likewise, light
emitting
device 41 is associated with cash-accepting opening 40, and light emitting
device 43 is associated with cash-dispensing opening 38. As later explained,
in this exemplary embodiment the multicolor light emitting devices are
selectively operated to output light of a particular color responsive to
conditions of the associated transaction function device. Such features may be
used to guide a user in operation of the machine, provide indications
concerning the status of devices, alert a user to particular conditions, or
provide improved aesthetics for the machine.
As shown in Figures 2, 3 and 6, ATM 10 includes a housing 46 which
extends generally on an interior side of wall 14. Housing 46 includes a chest
portion 48. In the exemplary embodiment chest portion 48 is a generally
secure chest which has a safe-like access door 50. Access to the interior of
the
chest portion is limited to authorized personnel through a suitable locking
mechanism schematically indicated 52 (see Figure 3). In the exemplary
embodiment the chest is generally L-shaped in cross section.
Housing 46 further includes an upper portion 54. Upper housing
portion 54 which is in connection with the fascia, is in supporting connection
with the chest portion 48. In the exemplary embodiment upper housing
portion 54 has in association therewith, access doors 56 and 58. Access to the
upper housing portion is controlled by one or more locking mechanisms in
operative connection with access doors 56 and 58 as represented by key locks
60 and 62. In the exemplary embodiment the secure chest portion 48 is used
to house financial instrument sheets such as currency notes, checks and other
valuable sheets. The upper housing portion 54 is generally used to house
components of the machine that do not hold on an extended basis notes or
other financial instrument documents which can be redeemed for value. Of


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course it should be understood that the construction of ATM 10 is exemplary
and in other embodixnnents other approaches may be used.
As schematically shown in Figure 2, ATM 10 includes at least one
controller schematically indicated 64. In the exemplary embodiment controller
64 includes at least one processor and is in operative connection with at
least
one data store schematically indicated 66. In the exemplary embodiment the
data store is operative to hold data representative of instructions such as
computer programs, configuration parameters, data about transactions
conducted and other information that may be usable in the operation of the
ATM 10. Computer executable instructions executed by the one or more
controllers may be resident on and/or loaded from articles suitable for
holding
such computer executable instructions. Such articles may include hard disk
drives, floppy disks, CD ROMs, PROMs, or other articles from which a
computer can read and execute instructions.
Controller 64 is in operative connection with numerous transaction
function devices within the ATM, and is operative to control the operation
thereof in accordance with its programming. Controller 64 is shown
schematically in operative comlection with devices 68, 70 and 72. It should be
understood that this representation is schematic only and is intended merely
to
represent numerous components within the machine which are in operative
connection with the controller. For example the transaction function devices
may include moving devices which may be referred to altenzatively herein as
drives, such as motors, solenoids and other devices that are operative to
impart
motion to components. Likewise transaction function devices may include
sensors such as radiation sensors, proximity sensors, switches and other types
of sensors that are operative to sense items, users, conditions, properties,
characteristics or components within the ATM and to enable a controller to
perform functions in accordance with its programming. Transaction function
devices include output devices such as sound emitters and light emitting
devices. For example and without limitation, transaction function devices may


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include the card reader, display, keyboard, function keys, printer, cash
dispenser, cash acceptor, storage mechanisms and other devices previously
discussed as well as other devices within the machine which are operative in
response to the controller.
In the exemplary embodiment the controller is also in operative
connection with a cormnunications device schematically indicated 74. The
communications device is operative to communicate messages electronically
between the ATM 10 and other computers in financial transaction processing
systems. These may include for example communications with systems
operated by banks, credit card networks, automated clearinghouses and other
entities. In Figure 2 the communications device 74 in the ATM 10 is
schematically shown as providing communication with a financial institution
76 through a network 78. It should be understood that this communication
configuration is exemplary and in other embodiments other communication
arrangements may be used. U.S. Patent No. 6,505,177 also shows an
exemplary communication system for an ATM and the disclosure thereof is
incorporated herein by reference. Embodiments may include features of U.S.
Patent Nos. 6,705,517; 6,672,505; and/or 6,598,023 the disclosures of each of
which are incorporated herein by reference.
As represented in Figures 2 and 6, in the operative position of ATM 10
the housing 46 houses a sheet acceptor mechanism 80 which is also referred to
herein as a cash acceptor mecha~iism. In the exemplary embodiment the
mechanism 80 is operative to accept sheets from a machine user through the
opening 40, to analyze each sheet for at least one property or characteristic,
and to route the sheets selectively for storage within the housing of the
machine based on the characteristics analyzed. It should be understood that in
various embodiments these sheets may include currency notes, checks or other
financial instrument sheets. It should further be understood that in exemplary
embodiments the financial instrument sheets may be sheets comprised of
different types of material such as paper, plastic or combinations thereof. It


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should further be understood that references herein to a cash acceptor
mechanism shall be deemed to encompass mechanisms which handle not only
currency notes, but also other financial instrument sheets such as checks,
money orders, gift certificates, vouchers, etc.
As represented in Figure 2, cash acceptor mechanism 80 includes a
chute 82 which extends through opening 40 in fascia 15 in its operative
condition. As previously discussed the user accessible opening to chute 82 is
controlled by a movable gate 44. Gate 44 moves responsive to the controller
64 and enables authorized users to access the chute at appropriate times
during
transaction sequences.
In operation of the machine users are enabled to insert a stack of
financial instrument sheets schematically indicated 84, into the chute. The
stack 84 may comprise currency notes, checks or other forms of financial
instrument sheets.
In operation of the cash acceptor mechanism sheets are individually
separated from the stack by a picker mechanism 86, an exemplary embodiment
of which is later discussed in detail. Each picked sheet is transported
individually from the picker mechanism past the validator device
schematically indicated 88. The validator device 88 of the exemplary
embodiment is operative to determine at least one characteristic of each
sheet.
This may include for example a determination as to whether the sheet is a note
or check and if a note, the denomination and whether it is valid. If the
document is a check, a determination may be made as to whether the check is
genuine as well as the indicia associated with the maker of the check and the
amount thereof. For example in some exemplary embodiments the validating
device may be of the type shown in U.S. Patent No. 5,923,415, the disclosure
of which is incorporated herein by reference. Alternatively or additionally a
validating device having features disclosed in U.S. Patent No. 6,554,185, the
disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference, may be used. Of
course in other embodiments other types of validating devices such as imagers,


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readers, sensors and combinations thereof may be used. For example, in some
embodiments the sheet accepting device may be operative to image
instruments such as checks and provide data which can be stored and
transmitted as an electronic reproduction of that check. In such circumstances
5 an electronic reproduction of the check may be transmitted to remote
locations
so as to facilitate review and validation of the check. Alternatively or in
addition, the electronic representation of the check may serve as a substitute
for the physical paper check which thereafter enables the paper check to be
cancelled and subsequently destroyed.
10 In the exemplary embodiment of the cash acceptor mechanism 80,
sheets which have been analyzed through operation of the validator device 88
are moved through a transport 90 to a routing device 92. The routing device is
operative responsive to the controller 64 to route sheets selectively to
either an
escrow device 94 or to a transport 96. Escrow device 94 generally operates to
15 hold sheets in storage on a temporary basis. Such an escrow device may be
of
the type shown in U.S. Patent No. 6,371,368, the disclosure of which is
incorporated by reference herein. Escrow device 94 may be operative to
accept sheets and store them. Thereafter responsive to operation of the
controller 64 the escrow device may deliver those sheets to the routing device
20 92 which directs them along sheet paths in the machine to carry out
transactions. Of course it should be understood that the escrow device shown
is exemplary and in other embodiments other types of escrow devices may be
used.
In the exemplary embodiment transport 96 is used to receive
unacceptable sheets which have characteristics that do not satisfy certain
parameters set by the machine. These may include for example, notes which
have one or more characteristics which suggest that they are counterfeit. In
other embodiments such sheets may include checks which have properties
which suggest that they are reproductions or forged or otherwise unacceptable.
Of course in other embodiments other sheets may be deemed unacceptable.


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As schematically represented in Figure 2, sheet acceptor mechanism 80 is
operated to cause transport 96 to deposit suspect sheets schematically
indicated 98 in a storage area 100. In the exemplary embodiment the suspect
sheets are stored within the cash acceptor mechanism and outside of the secure
chest so that they may be recovered by servicing personnel in a manner that is
later discussed. Of course this approach is exemplary and in other
embodiments other approaches may be used.
W the exemplary embodiment the cash acceptor mechanism 80 is
operative responsive to signals from the controller 64 to cause financial
instrument sheets that are determined to be valid or otherwise acceptable, to
be
directed through a cash accepting opening 102 that extends in an upper surface
104 of the chest. In the operative position of the cash acceptor mechanism
shown in Figure 2, the transport in the cash acceptor mechanism is aligned
with the cash accepting opening and a transport 108 that extends into the
secure chest. As schematically represented in Figure 2, in the operative
position of the cash acceptor mechanism 80 at least one driving member 110
of the transport 106 is in operative connection with a driven member 112 of
the transport 108. hl the exemplary embodiment this enables the cash acceptor
mechanism to transmit movement to sheet handling mechanisms within the
secure chest and to assure coordinated movement of processed sheets therein.
Further in the exemplary embodiment the driving and driven members extend
in the cash accepting opening so as to block access therethrough by
unauthorized persons as later discussed.
In the exemplary embodiment when the cash acceptor mechanism is
moved from the operative position shown in Figure 2 to a servicing position
such as shown in Figures 12, 13 and 14, the driving member 110 and the
driven member 112 disengage. In some exemplary embodiments the
movement of the cash acceptor mechanism from the operative position to a
servicing position may include movably mounting the cash acceptor
mechanism such that the mechanism moves both upward away from the secure


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chest so as to disengage the driving and driven members as well as outward for
purposes of servicing. Of course to return the cash acceptor mechanism to the
operative position, movement thereof is made both inward and downward so
as to reengage the driving and driven members. This may be accomplished by
a combination of slides, rollers or other suitable mechanisms. Of course the
approach described of providing for engagement between the cash acceptor
mechanism and a mechanism for handling sheets within a chest portion is
exemplary and in other embodiments other approaches may be used, or the
transport within the chest portion may have a separate motor or other moving
device. As shown in Figure 2, transport 108 which moves sheets generally in
a vertical direction through the cash accepting opening is in operative
connection with a horizontal transport schematically indicated 114. The
horizontal transport is operative to engage sheets moved into the chest
portion
and to move them transversely away from the cash accepting opening. The
horizontally extending transport 114 is in operative connection with a
vertically extending transport 116 which is transversely disposed from the
cash
accepting opening in the secure chest.
Vertical transport 116 is operative to move sheets selectively into
engagement with sheet handling mechanisms 118, 120, 122 and 124. In some
exemplary embodiments sheet handling mechanisms 118, 120, 122 and 124
may be sheet stacking mechanisms such as those shown schematically in
Figures 5 and 6. Alternatively or in addition in other embodiments one or
more of the sheet handling mechanisms may include sheet receiving and
dispensing mechanisms which are operative to selectively accept sheets for
storage as well as to dispense sheets therefrom. Examples o~ sheet accepting
and stacking mechanisms as well as sheet accepting, stacking and dispensing
mechanisms which may be used in some exemplary embodiments are
described in detail in U.S. Patent Nos. 6,302,393 and 6,290,070, the
disclosures of each of which are incorporated by reference.


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As shown schematically in Figure 4, the exemplary sheet accepting and
stacking mechanism 118 is selectively operative to accept a sheet 126 moving
in the vertical transport 116. Sheet 126 is guided to engage the sheet
handling
mechanism 118 through movement of a gate member .128. The gate member
moves responsive to the controller 64 to direct the leading edge of the sheet
into a recess 130 of a rotatable member 132. As the leading edge of the sheet
126 enters the recess 130 the rotatable member 132 rotates in the direction of
Arrow R. This causes the gripper portion bounding the recess 130 to move
inwardly capturing the sheet 126 therein. The rotatable member 132 rotates
until the leading edge of the sheet 126 engages a stop surface 136 at which
time the gripper portion 134 has moved radially outward such that the sheet
disengages from the rotatable member 132 and is integrated into a sheet stack
138. Stack 138 may be for example a stack of currency notes all of which are
of the same denomination. Of course in other embodiments the stack 138 may
be a collection of other types of sheets.
In the exemplary embodiment the stack is maintained in abutting
relation with the rotatable member by a biasing plate 140 wluch acts against
the back of the stack. The biasing plate 140 is movable responsive to a
biasing
mechanism 142 which is operative to enable the stack to increase or decrease
while maintaining the sheets in an appropriately aligned position. Further
details related to an exemplary embodiment of the sheet handling mechanism
are described in the incorporated disclosure of LT.S. Patent No. 6,302,393.
Figure 5 further shows the exemplary operation of exemplary sheet
handling mechanisms 118 and 120. In this case a sheet 142 moving in
transport 116 is enabled to pass the rotatable member 132 when the gate
member 128 remains retracted as the sheet passes. This enables the sheet to
move to other sheet handling mechanisms such as sheet handling mechanism
120. This arrangement enables sheets having particular characteristics to be
stored together, for example, valid currency notes of different denominations
to be collected in stacked relation in selected sheet storage areas.
Alternatively


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in other embodiments sheets of similar types such as checks may be segregated
from other financial instrument sheets such as notes or travelers checks. In
still other embodiments sheets which are to be recycled such as suitable fit
currency notes can be segregated from valid yet worn or soiled currency notes
which are not suitable for providing to customers. It should be understood
that
these approaches are exemplary and in other embodiments other approaches
may be used.
In the exemplary embodiment shown in Figure 2, a security plate 144
extends within the secure chest in intermediate relation between the
horizontal
transport 114 and the note storage mechanism such as the storage area 146
associated with sheet handling mechanism 118. The security plate 144 in the
exemplary embodiment is secured within the interior of the secure chest and is
adapted to prevent unauthorized access through the cash accepting opening
102 in the chest. This may be accomplished by securing the security plate 144
to the walls bounding the interior of the secure chest or other suitable
structures. As can be appreciated because in the exemplary embodiment the
upper housing portion 54 houses the sheet acceptor mechanism 80, it is
generally easier to access the area housing the sheet acceptor mechanism than
the secure chest. In cases where criminals may attack ATM 10 and attempt to
remove the sheet accepting mechanism, ready access through the cash
accepting opening is first blocked by the driving and driven members and
other components of the transports 106 and 108. However, in the event that
criminals attempt to clear away the transport mechanism components, access
to the stored sheets in the note storage mechanisms is still blocked by the
security plate. Figure 11 shows greater detail of the cash acceptor mechanism
180 retracted to a servicing position so as to expose the cash accepting
opening. In the exemplary embodiment the cash acceptor mechanism is
movably mounted in supporting connection with the chest portion on suitable
slides or other members. As can be appreciated in this exemplary embodiment
the security plate 144 operates to separate the cash accepting opening 102
from


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the notes or other valuable financial instrument sheets which are stored below
the security plate within the secure chest. Of course the security plate is
exemplary and other forms of security plates or other structures may be used.
In an alternative embodiment the ATM includes a bulk storage
5 container 260 shown in Figure 20 for holding currency bills, notes, checks
or
other items that have been deposited into the machine. The container 260
includes a top wall 262 with an opening 264 which corresponds to opening
102 in the chest when the container 260 is in the operative position.
Container
260 includes a transport 266 which transports items that pass through the
10 opening 264 into an interior area 268 of the container. A horizontal
transport
270 is operative to move deposited items transversely away from the opening
264. A security plate 272 is positioned to reduce the risk of unauthorized
access to the interior area 268. A further transport 274 is operative to move
deposit items such as currency sheet 276 to a suitable location for being
15 dispatched into the interior area 268 below the security plate. Deposited
items
schematically represented 278 are held within the interior area of the
container
260.
In the exemplary embodiment the container 260 includes a bottom wall
280. The interior area 268 is bounded by a shaker member 282 that is
20 disposed vertically above the bottom wall. In the exemplary embodiment the
shaker member comprises a resilient flexible membrane 284. A rigid plate
286 extends in underlying relation of a central portion of the membrane.
Flexible supports 288 support the rigid plate 286 above the bottom wall 280.
The flexible supports further enable movement of the rigid plate and
25 ~ membrane relative to the bottom wall. In exemplary embodiments the rigid
supports 288 may include springs or other members which enable relative
vertical and/or horizontal movement of the bottom wall and the rigid plate.
In the exemplary embodiment an actuator 290 extends in intermediate
relation between the bottom wall and the rigid plate. In exemplary
embodiments the actuator is an electrical vibrating device which is operative


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26
to shake the rigid plate and overlying membrane. The shaking action of the
actuator 290 is operative to impart shaking motion to the deposited items 278
that are in supporting connection with the membrane. This facilitates the
dispersal and settling of deposited items and enables a relatively larger
quantity of such items to be collected within the interior area 268 before
such
items need to be removed. In the exemplary embodiment the actuator 290 is
electrically connected to the circuitry within the machine through a
releasable
comiector 292. This facilitates removal of the exemplary container as
hereafter discussed. In addition, in some embodiments the moving devices for
transports within the container may be supplied with signals and/or electrical
power through the releasable connector.
In operation of the machine, the interior area 268 of the container 260
is in operative connection with the opening 38 in the housing of the machine
through which deposited items are accepted. The deposited items are passed
through the cash accepting mechanism or other mechanism for processing
such items. Items appropriate for deposit in the container are passed through
the opening 102 in the top of the chest. Such items are transported by the
transports 266, 270 and 274 to the area below the secure plate 272 and
accumulate within the interior area 268. Periodically responsive to the
controller, the actuator 290 operates to impart shaking motion to the
deposited
items 278 within the interior area. This facilitates settling of the items so
as to
densely pack the items therein. Sensors 294 may be included within the
interior area so as to sense the deposited items. The controller may be
operative to cause the actuator to shake deposited items responsive to the
sensing the level of such items by the sensors. Alternatively the controller
may be operative to shake deposited items based on elapsed time, number of
items deposited, or other programmable bases. In the exemplary embodiment
the sensors 294 may be in operative connection with the controller through the
releasable connector 292.


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27
The exemplary container 260 is removably mounted within the secure
chest. The exemplary container is supported on rollable supports 296. The
rollable supports 296 may be castors, wheels, ball rollers or other type items
that enable more ready movement of the container in a loaded condition. In
the exemplary embodiment upon opening of the secure chest the container 260
is enabled to moved outward from the chest. This is facilitated by a servicer
grasping a handle 298 which is attached to the container. The releasable
connector 292 is enabled to be disconnected so that the container 260 can be
pulled outward from the secure chest. As shown in greater detail in Figure 21,
in the exemplary embodiment the handle 298 is a telescoping handle that is
enabled to be moved upward once the handle has cleared the secure chest.
This facilitates moving the container outside of the ATM. Thereafter the
container may be moved to a suitable location by the handle away from the
ATM for purposes of removing the contents. This may be, for example, an
area within a vault or other secure room in which the items within the
container may be processed.
As represented in Figure 21, the container 260 in the exemplary
embodiment includes a door 300. Access to door 300 is controlled by one or
more locks represented 302. In the exemplary embodiment door 300 is shown
hinged at a side toward the chest door so as to reduce the risk of persons
obtaining unauthorized access to the interior of the container when the
container is within the machine. Once the container has been moved to a
suitable location, the lock 302 may be milocked, the door opened, and
deposited items removed. After the items have been removed, the door 300
may be returned to the closed position. Thereafter the container may be
reinstalled in the machine with the handle 298 being retracted so as to enable
the container to again be aligned with opening 102. Further, the releasable
connector 292 may be reconnected so as to again enable operation of the
container within the machine.


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28
As can be appreciated, the exemplary container 260 is enabled to hold a
substantial quantity of deposited items. Further, the construction including
the
rollable supports and telescoping handle facilitates movement of the loaded
container out of the ATM and the container into the ATM. It should be
understood
that the container is exemplary and in other embodiments other approaches may
be
used. These may include, for example and without limitation, containers which
include multiple interior areas in which deposited items are supported on
shaking
members. Such embodiments may achieve, for example, a separation of deposited
notes, checks andlor envelopes by denomination or deposit type, and achieve
more
densely packed storage within a particular interior compartment within the
container.
In addition or in the alternative, in other embodiments shaking members may be
provided on side walls or on top walls bounding the container so as to
facilitate the
shaking of deposited items and the packing and storage thereof. In addition or
in the
alternative, containers may be used in some embodiments in conjunction with
sheet
handling mechanisms such that certain sheets are stored precisely positioned
in
containers for purposes of stacking and/or recycling while other sheets are
stored in
bulk within a container or compartment within a container. These alternatives
are
encompassed within the teachings of the present invention.
Figures 7 through 10 schematically describe a first exemplary embodiment of
the picker mechanism 86 used in the cash accepting mechanism 80. In this
exemplary embodiment the stack of sheets 84 is positioned in the chute 82 and
is in
supporting connection with a generally angled lower surface 148. Moving
members
150 and 152 are operative to engage the stack and selectively rotate
responsive to a
motor or other drive mechanism in the direction of Arrow P so as to move the
stack
into generally abutting relation with an engaging surface 154. Positioned
adjacent to
the engaging surface 154 in proximity to the lower surface 158 is an idler
roll 156
which in this embodiment is a generally free wheeling roll. The engagement of
the
stack 84 of the engaging surface 154 and the face of the roll 156 is generally
operative to splay the sheets as shown.


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29
The picker mechanism 86 further includes a generally cylindrical picking
member 158. Picking member 158 is rotatable selectively by a motor or other
driving member responsive to the controller 64. The picking member during
picking
operation rotates in the direction of Arrow P as shown. Picking member 158
further
includes high friction arcuate segments 160 which in the exemplary embodiment
serve as sheet engaging portions and which extend about a portion of the
circumference of the picking member.
Picker mechanism 86 of the exemplary embodiment fiuther includes a
plurality of rolls 162 that serve as non-contact stripper rolls in a manner
later
discussed. The picking mechanism further includes a contact stripper roll 164
which
biasingly engages the high friction segments 160 of the picking member.
As represented in Figure 8, the picking member is a generally cylindrical
member that includes a plurality of annular recesses 166. The outer surface of
the
non-contact stripper rolls 162 extend into a corresponding annular recess 166,
but
are generally not in stripping engagement therewith. As represented in the
exemplary embodiment of Figure 8, the outer surface of the non-contact
stripper
rolls 162 are disposed slightly away from the base of the annular recess. As a
consequence the outer surface of the non-contact stripper rolls which serve as
a first
stripper portion are not positioned to be in direct contact stripping
engagement with
the picking member. However, because the surface of such rolls is disposed in
close
proximity thereto and generally enables only a single sheet to pass between
the
picking member and the non-contact stripper rolls, the separation of a single
sheet
from other sheets is generally achieved. It should be understood however that
while
in the exemplary embodiment the non-contact stripper rolls are disposed
slightly
from the picking member, in other embodiments such rolls or other stripper
members may operate to actually contact the picking member but may be of such
resilient consistency or other properties that the rolls are not in a biased
contact
stripping engagement as is the case with the contact stripper roll 164.
As shown in Figure 8 the contact stripper roll is biased to engage a central
sheet engaging portion 168 of the picking member. This central sheet engaging


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portion is generally centered with regard to sheets that are moved by the
picker
mechanism 86. This reduces the tendency of sheets to twist or skew as they are
being moved in the picker mechanism. Of course it should be understood that
this
arrangement is exemplary and in other embodiments other approaches may be
used.
5 The operation of the exemplary picker mechanism 86 is represented in
Figures 9 and 10. The picker mechanism is operative to separate sheets
individually
from the stack 84. This is done by sequentially picking a first sheet 170
which
bounds the lower end of the stack while moving the first sheet in a first
direction
generally indicated by Arrow F so as to move the sheet away from the stack. To
10 accomplish this the controller 64 operates one or more drives such as
motors or
other moving mechanisms to cause the moving members 150 and 152 to rotate as
the picker mechanism 168 similarly rotates in a counterclockwise direction as
shown. The rotation of the picking member causes the high friction arcuate
segments 160 which serve as sheet engaging portions to engage a lower face of
the
15 first sheet and pull the sheet in intermediate relation between the picking
member
and the non-contact stripper rolls 162. As the first sheet is moved the idler
roll 156
rotates to facilitate the movement of the first sheet between the picking
member and
the non-contact stripper rolls.
The non-contact stripper rolls 162 of this exemplary embodiment are in
20 operative connection with a one-way clutch 172 such that the first stripper
rolls
remain stationary when the first sheet is engaged therewith and moving in the
direction of Arrow F. Because the resistance force provided by the non-contact
stripper rolls against the face of the sheet engaged therewith is less than
the moving
force imparted to the opposed face of the sheet, the first sheet 170 is moved
into
25 intermediate relation between the picking member and the non-contact
stripper rolls.
This causes the sheet to assume the cross-sectional wave configuration shown
in
Figure 10. This is caused by the sheet being deformed by the non-contact
stripper
rolls into the annular recesses 166 of the picker member. This cross-sectional
wave
configuration is generally operative in combination with the opposing force
applied


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31
by the non-contact stripper rolls, to separate the first sheet from other
sheets that
may be moving therewith from the stack.
As the first sheet 170 moves further in the direction of Arrow F as shown in
Figure 9, the leading edge of the sheet then engages the contact stripper roll
164
which is biased to engage the sheet engaging portions of the picking member.
The
contact stripper roll of this exemplary embodiment is also in operative
connection
with a one-way clutch 174 such that in this exemplary embodiment the contact
stripper roll remains stationary as the first sheet moves in the direction of
Arrow F.
The engagement of the contact stripper roll and the first sheet operates to
displace
the contact stripper roll so as to enable the sheet 170 to move in
intermediate
relation between the contact stripper roll and the central sheet engaging
portion 168.
The resistance force of the non-contact stripper roll is generally operative
to separate
any sheets other than the first sheet 170 from moving in the direction of
Arrow F.
As shown in Figure 9 the sensor 176 is positioned adj acent to the contact
stripper roll in the exemplary embodiment. Sensor 176 is operative to sense
the
presence of overlapping double sheets adjacent the sensor which may have been
able to pass the non-contact and contact stripper rolls. Suitable sensors in
some
embodiments may be those shown in U.S. Patent Nos. 6,241,244 and 6,242,733,
the
disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference. Upon sensing a
double or
other multiple sheet the controller of the machine is enabled to make
additional
attempts to strip the sheet as later discussed. However, in the event that
only a
single sheet is sensed the piclcer member 158 continues moving in the
counterclockwise direction until the leading edge of the sheet reaches
takeaway rolls
178. In the exemplary embodiment takeaway rolls are operative to engage the
sheet
and to move the sheet in the cash accepting mechanism toward the validator
device
88. In the exemplary embodiment one rotation of the picking member is
generally
operative to separate one sheet from the stack.
In the event that the sensor 176 senses that overlapping double sheets or
other multiple sheets have been able to pass the contact and non-contact
stripper
rolls, the controller of this exemplary embodiment is operative to stop the


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32
movement of the picker member 158 in the counterclockwise direction as shown
prior to the first sheet 170 being disengaged therefrom. Thereafter the
controller is
operative to reverse the direction of the picker member 158 and the moving
members 150 and 152 so as to move the first sheet back toward the stack.
Through
the operation of one-way clutches 172 and 174 the contact stripper roll 164
and the
non-contact stripper rolls 162 are enabled to rotate in a counterclockwise
direction
as shown so as to facilitate the return of the sheets to the stack. Thereafter
the
controller may operate the picker mechanism 86 to again attempt to pick a
single
bill. Repeated attempts may be made until a single sheet is separated from the
stack
so that it may be processed by the cash acceptor mechanism.
It has been found that the exemplary embodiment of the picker mechanism
86 is well adapted for separating various types of financial instrument sheets
having
different properties. In general, sheets such as currency notes that are new
or other
types of sheets which have generally consistent properties of rigidity and
friction
from sheet to sheet are separated through the operation of the picker
mechanism and
the non-contact stripper rolls. However, in situations where rigidity and
frictional
properties vary substantially from sheet to sheet, the contacting stripper
roll which
subsequently engages the sheets after they have engaged the non-contact
stripper
rolls is effective in separating sheets that would not otherwise be separated.
This
may be particularly helpful for example in processing sheets that may include
plastic
and paper currency notes, checks or other documents that have significantly
variable
properties and which are mixed together in a stack from which the sheets must
be
individually picked.
In some alternative embodiments some additional features may be included
to filrther help to facilitate the picking of sheets. This may include, for
example,
making provisions for selectively driving the stripper rolls or other members
so as to
move overlapping multiple sheets which are initially enabled to pass the
stripper
members, relative to one another. Such reorientation may facilitate separating
the
sheets in subsequent picking attempts.


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33
Figures 28 through 30 show schematically an alternative picker mechanism
350. Picker mechanism 350 may be of the type previously discussed, which
includes one or more non-contact stripper rolls and contact stripper rolls or
other
type of arrangement. For purposes of simplicity and to facilitate explanation,
mechanism 350 is schematically shown as a mechanism which includes a picking
member 352 and a stripper member 354. In the exemplary embodiment, the picking
member and stripper member are cylindrical members, but of course in other
embodiments other types and configurations of members may be used.
To illustrate the problem which can be encountered by a picker mechanism,
a plurality of sheets 356 are shown in engagement with the picking member. As
will be appreciated from the prior discussion, sheets 356 may be part of a
stack of
sheets input by a user to the ATM. As schematically represented in Figure 28,
a
sheet 358 which bounds the lower end of the stack and which is normally the
sheet
which is picked therefrom, has its leading edge retracted relative to the
direction in
which sheets move while being picked relative to an overlying sheet 360. As
can be
appreciated, when sheets approach the picking and stripper members in this
orientation, it becomes more difficult to pick sheet 358 individually because
its
leading edge is retracted relative to the other sheets. As a result, when the
picking
member 352 is driven in the picking direction indicated by Arrow J responsive
to
one or more connected drives 362, the stripper member 354 remains stationary.
However, the high friction segment 364 may engage the area of the overlying
sheet
360 that is exposed thereto, because it is advanced beyond sheet 358 in the
forward
direction represented by Arrow K in which sheets move as they are picked from
the
stack. As a result, both sheets 358 and 360 axe moved together from the stack.
As sheets 358 and 360 move together, their leading edges eventually come
adjacent to sensor 366, as shown in Figure 29. Sensor 366 may be one of the
types
previously discussed which is operative to sense sheet thickness and in
conjunction
with one or more controllers is operative to sense conditions where multiple
overlapping sheets have been sensed. As with the prior embodiment, when
multiple


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34
sheets are sensed as having been moved from the stack, the picking member 352
is
no longer moved so as to move sheets in the picking direction.
Upon sensing multiple sheets adjacent to the sensor 366 the controller of the
exemplary alternative embodiment is operative to actuate drive 362 so as to
reverse
the direction of the picking member 352 from that when picking sheets out of a
stack. As shown in Figure 30 and discussed in conjunction with the previously
described embodiment, the reversal of direction of the picking member is
operative
to move the picked sheets in a direction back towards the stack. This is
indicated by
Arrow L in Figure 30. However in this alternative embodiment, stripper member
354 is driven responsive to a drive 368 in a rotational direction so as to
urge sheets
360 and 358 to move back towards the stack. Further in this exemplary
embodiment, one or more controllers are operative to control drives 368 and/or
362
so that sheet 360 in direct engagement with stripper member 354 is moved
relative
to sheet 358. In this exemplary embodiment, sheet 360 is preferably moved so
that
its leading edge is no longer advanced in the picking direction from the
leading edge
of sheet 358 wluch bounds the lower end of the stack. In this way, once both
sheets
have been retracted beyond the stripping members, one or more subsequent
attempts
to move the sheets in the stripping direction will cause sheet 358 to be
separated
individually from the other sheets.
Several approaches may be taken to moving the sheet 360 which is engaged
with the stripper member relative to the sheet 358 which is in engagement with
the
picking member. Generally such approaches require sheet 358 to be urged by the
action of the stripper member to move a distance greater than the distance
that the
sheet 358 is moved back towards the stack. This may be accomplished, for
example, by the controller causing drive 368 to begin rotating stripper roll
354 in the
counterclockwise direction as shown while picking member 352 and sheet 358
engaged therewith are each held stationary. This may serve to begin moving
sheet
360 in the direction of Arrow L without movement of sheet 358. In some
embodiments, the controller in operative connection with sensor 366 may sense
that
sheet 360 has moved. This may be accomplished by sensing that as stripper roll
354


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begins to move, the sheet thicl~less that is sensed in proximity to the sensor
changes
from a multiple sheet thickness to a single sheet thickness. This may serve to
verify
that sheet 360 has moved relative to sheet 358. Thereafter the controller may
begin
operating picking member 352 to begin moving sheet 358 back towards the stack.
5 It should be understood that in some embodiments the stripper roll may
begin moving the overlying sheet engaged therewith prior to any movement to
retract the underlying sheet in engagement with the picking member.
Alternatively
in some embodiments, both the stripper and the picking member may move to
begin
retracting the multiple sheets, and the picking member may stop once or
multiple
10 times in the retraction process so as to facilitate the retraction of the
overlying sheet
360. Such periodic stopping and starting may facilitate the relative movement
of the
sheets. Of course as can be appreciated, such movement will cause the
overlying
sheet 360 to move in a direction back towards the stack a distance greater
than the
underlying sheet 358, thus changing the relative orientation of the sheets.
15 In alternative embodiments from the position shown in Figure 29, both the
picking member and the stripper members may move simultaneously to cause the
sheets to be retracted. However, the stripper members may move so as to urge
sheet
360 to move at a higher rate of speed than the underlying sheet 358. In such
embodiments, the overlying sheet 360 will be urged to move a greater distance
due
20 to the relatively higher speed of stripper member 354. Such higher speed
movement
generally causes the sheet 360 to move a greater distance than sheet 358, thus
reorienting the leading edge of the sheet 360 so that is no longer advanced in
the
stripping direction relative to sheet 358. Alternatively or in addition in
some
embodiments, both the picking member and the stripper members may move to
25 retract the sheets relative to the stack, but the stripper member may
operate to urge
sheets to move back towaxds the stack for a longer time. Again, this action
tends to
move the overlying sheet or sheets relative to the underlying sheet found in
the
stack, and thus reorient the sheets.
As can be appreciated, in some exemplary embodiments moving members
30 such as the rolls 1 S0, 152 described in connection with the prior
embodiment may


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36
also be driven responsive to one or more drives in operative connection with a
controller. The controller may operate such moving members when sheets are
being
retracted into the stack to coordinate their speed so as to correspond with
that of the
picking member. As a result, by moving the moving members at the same or
slightly lower speed than the picking member, the risk that the sheet 358
bounding
the stack will be moved so that its leading edge is retarded relative to an
overlying
sheet is reduced. Likewise, when further attempts are made to separate sheets
by
moving the picking member in a picking direction, the moving members which
underlie sheet 358 may urge the sheet to move at the same or slightly faster
rate than
the picking member so as to urge sheet 358 to be reoriented so that overlying
sheets
are not removed from the stack along with the sheet bounding the stack.
Of course it should be understood that these approaches are exemplary, and
in other embodiments other approaches may be used towards reorienting the
relative
positions of sheets so as to facilitate the picking thereof individually from
the stack
so that individual sheets may be moved and processed by the machine. Further,
it
should be understood that while in the exemplary alternative picking mechanism
350 only one shipper member is shown, the principles described may be applied
to
multiple stripper members. Such stripper members may include both the contact
and non-contact strippers previously discussed. In some alternative
embodiments
where multiple stripping members are used, the controlled movement of the
stripping members so as to impart relative movement to sheets may be applied
to
both the contact and non-contact stripping rolls, or to only selected ones of
such
rolls. For example, in some embodiments like that previously described, the
contact
stripper rolls may operate through use of a one-way clutch while the non-
contact
stripper rolls may be driven so as to change the relative positions of sheets.
Further,
in some alternative embodiments, the relative movement may be imparted by an
orienting roll such as roll 156, which may in some embodiments be used to
perform
at least part of the stripper function. Additional sensors may also be
provided in
some embodiments to help determine if the desired relative movement of


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37
overlapping sheets has been achieved. Of course these approaches are
exemplary,
and in other embodiments other approaches may be used.
It should be understood that while picking rolls and cylindrical members are
used in the exemplary embodiment, in other embodiments other picking and
stripping structures such as belts, pads, fingers and other members may be
used.
The exemplary embodiment of ATM 10 comprises a through-the-wall type
machine in which the fascia is exposed to the elements. As a result, rain and
snow
may impact on the fascia and in the absence of suitable measures may enter the
machine. As can be appreciated the cash accepting opening 40 in the fascia
must be
sufficiently large to accept the chute 82 which holds a stack of documents 84
as
previously discussed. During transactions when an authorized user indicates
that
they wish to insert the stack of sheets into the chute, the gate 44 must be
opened
which results in exposure of the chute to the elements.
To minimize the risk posed by rain and snow to the currency acceptor
mechanism 80, the exemplary embodiment includes the capability to capture and
direct from the machine moisture which may enter the chute. The approach used
in
the exemplary embodiment is represented in Figures 17 through 19. As shown in
Figure 17, the lower surface of the chute 148 includes at least one water
accepting
opening 180 therein. In the exemplary embodiment the water accepting opening
comprises one or more troughs which extend transversely across the lower
surface
of the sheet. Of course in other embodiments other approaches may be used. The
fluid accepting openings are in fluid connection with a conduit schematically
represented 182 which is in fluid correction with a drain 184 which delivers
the
water outside the ATM. As represented in Figures 18 and 19 the trough 180 is
in
operative connection with a fluid fitting 184 which connects to a generally
flexible
fluid conduit 182 such as a tube. The conduit 182 connects to the drain 184
which
in the exemplary embodiment includes a cavity at a lower side of the fascia
and
which includes openings through which the water may drain to the outside of
the
machine housing.


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38
In the exemplary embodiment a tube support 186 is positioned to control the
direction of the tube and assure drainage when the cash acceptor mechanism is
in
the operative position as well as when the cash acceptor mechanism is in a
service
position such as is shown in Figure 12. In the exemplary embodiment the tube
support minimizes the risk of the fluid conduit being crimped or otherwise
assuming
a position which prevents the drainage of water from the interior of the chute
to the
outside of the machine. It should be understood, however, that the approach
shown
is exemplary and in other embodiments other approaches may be used.
In the exemplary embodiment, provision is made to minimize the risk of
moisture entering the ATM in the area of the cash accepting opening through
which
the chute 82 extends in the operative position of the cash acceptor mechanism
80.
As shown in Figures 18 and 19, in the exemplary embodiment a resilient gasket
188
extends in surrounding relation of the chute 82 in the area adjacent to the
fascia.
The resilient gasket is supported on a front face of the cash acceptor
mechanism. As
shown in Figure 19, when the cash acceptor mechanism 80 is positioned such
that
the chute extends through the cash acceptor opening 40 in the fascia, the
resilient
gasket is positioned in sandwiched fluid tight relation between the front face
of the
cash acceptor mechanism and the interior face of the fascia. As the seal
provided by
the gasket extends in surrounding relation of the chute, the risk of moisture
or other
contaminants entering the ATM through the cash acceptor opening is minimized.
Of course it should be understood that this approach is exemplary and in other
embodiments other approaches may be used.
As discussed in connection with Figure 2, the cash acceptor mechanism 80
in response to operation of the validator device 88 and the controller 64
determines
at least one characteristic indicative of whether financial instrument sheets
are
acceptable to the machine. In the exemplary embodiment unacceptable sheets may
be suspect sheets such as potentially counterfeit notes, invalid checks or
other
unacceptable documents. When such documents are detected, they are directed to
a
storage area 100 which in the exemplary embodiment is within the cash acceptor
mechanism and outside the chest portion. Periodically these unacceptable
sheets


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39
must be recovered by servicing persomlel for purposes of either verifying the
invalidity of the sheets or for purposes of tracing the sheets to the user who
placed
them in the maclune. In the exemplary embodiment such sheets are recoverable
by
authorized persons who have access to the upper housing portion 54 but who may
be prevented from having access to the chest 48 where documents determined to
be
valid are stored.
In the exemplary embodiment access to the storage area 100 is controlled by
a suitable access device. In one form of such an access device shown in Figure
12,
an opening 190 is provided to the storage area 100. Access to the opening is
controlled by a flip-down access door 192. In some embodiments, the flip-down
access door 192 may be opened only when the cash acceptor mechanism 80 has
been moved rearward to extend outside of the housing subsequent to opening
access
door 58. In some embodiments the flip-down access door may be provided with a
locking mechanism 194 such as a key lock or other suitable locking mechanism.
As
a result in this exemplary embodiment in order to access the sheets in the
storage
area 100, the user could be required to have the necessary capabilities
through keys,
combinations or otherwise to unlock both lock 62 on access door 58 as well as
lock
194 and flip-down door 192 in order to access the sheets. It should be
understood,
however, that although in the embodiment shown the cash acceptor mechanism 180
is shown retracted out of the machine to facilitate opening the flip-down door
and
extracting the sheets, in other embodiments the flip-down door may be sized,
segmented or otherwise adapted such that the cash acceptor mechanism may not
need to be retracted from its operative position in order to access sheets in
the
storage area 100.
Figure 13 shows yet a further alternative for accessing sheets in the storage
area 100. In this exemplary embodiment an opening 196 is provided through the
storage area so as to enable access to the sheets therein. Access through
opening
196 is provided to a sliding door 198. Door 198 is operative to slide along
the
direction of Arrow S in opposed tracks, slots or other suitable mechanisms for
holding and guiding the door in supporting connection with the cash acceptor


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mechanism. In some embodiments door 198 may include a locking mechanism 200.
Locking mechanism 200 may be a suitable key, combination or other locking
mechanism for assuring that only authorized personnel are enabled to access
the
documents in the storage area. As can be appreciated from Figure 13, door 198
may
5 be both unlocked and opened without having to retract the cash accepting
mechanism rearward. In some embodiments this may serve to speed servicing and
the removal of invalid sheets from the machine.
Figure 14 shows yet another exemplary embodiment for accessing sheets in
the storage area 100. In this embodiment an opening 202 is provided in a rear
face
10 of the cash accepting mechanism 80. Access to opening 202 is controlled by
a door
204. In the exemplary embodiment door 204 is a sliding door adapted to be
selectively moved in tracks, slots or similar devices. In some embodiments a
suitable locking mechanism schematically indicated 206 is used to assure that
only
authorized personnel have access to the door. In the embodiment shown in
Figure
15 14, a transport 208 is provided for moving the sheets in the storage area
100 to the
service persoimel through the opening 202. A transport 208 may be operative in
response to provided to input devices by the servicing personnel or may be
automatic responsive to the opening of the door 204. Of course it should be
understood that all of the approaches shown are exemplary and in other
20 embodiments other approaches may be used.
In some exemplary embodiments suspect notes or other documents are
correlated with particular transactions conducted at the machine and/or with
particular users of the machine. This may be accomplished through operation of
the
validator and the controller in the manner shown in U.S. Patent Application
Serial
25 No. 09/993,070, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by
reference. In
some exemplary embodiments the suspect documents in storage may be arranged in
a particular order and the controller is operative to provide one or more
outputs such
as through a screen or a printer indicating the transactions and/or users
which
correspond to the suspect sheets. Alternatively or in addition, provisions may
be
30 made for the cash acceptor mechanism to be in operative connection with a
printer


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41
which prints transaction and/or user identifying information on each of the
suspect
sheets. This may include for example, visible or non-visible indicia. In some
embodiments the indicia may be removable such as removable labels or indicia
that
can be washed off or otherwise removed or neutralized. In other embodiments
the
S characteristics determined by the validator may be such that the data is
sufficiently
detailed and of types that create a unque electronic profile of each suspect
sheet.
This data can be stored at the machine in a data store through operation of
the
controller or elsewhere in a connected data store. This sheet identifying data
may
then later be used by a servicer or other persons recovering or analyzing the
suspect
sheets to correlate each sheet with the transaction and/or user that provided
the sheet
to the machine. This may be done in some embodiments by putting the machine
controller in a mode for such analysis and feeding each suspect sheet through
the
cash acceptor mechanism. The controller may then operate to correlate the
stored
data related to the transaction and/or user with the stored data that uniquely
identifies the sheet. Such information is then provided to a user of the
machine
recovering the sheets. Altenlatively, such analysis may be conducted by
transferring
data away from the machine along with the suspect sheets, and conducting the
analysis at another validator. Of course these approaches are exemplary of
approaches that may be used to uW quely identify a suspect sheet and associate
it
with a user and/or a transaction.
In the exemplary embodiment of the cash acceptor mechanism ~0, it is
desirable to maintain the interior components of the cash acceptor mechanism
isolated and in sealed relation except when access is required for servicing.
As can
be appreciated, while the exemplary embodiment positions the cash acceptor
mechanism in intermediate relation between a vertically extending wall of the
generally L-shaped chest and the wall of the housing to provide enhanced
security, it
also presents challenges for servicing. While the ability of the exemplary
embodiment to move the cash acceptor mechanism rearward through a service
opening of the ATM facilitates servicing, problems are still potentially
presented by
the need to have to remove cover panels and the like. Further, there is always
a risk


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42
that cover panels, once removed, will not be replaced resulting in
infiltration of
contaminants to the cash acceptor mechanism and causing malfunctions or
failures.
To reduce the risk of service persons not replacing service panels, the
exemplary embodiments of the invention are made to minimize the risk that
service
panels will be removed and not replaced. As shown in Figure 15, in one
exemplary
embodiment a side service panel 210 is mounted in hinged relation in
supporting
connection with the cash acceptor mechanism. This enables the service panel
210 to
be opened once the cash acceptor mechanism has been moved rearward from the
machine. This enables ready access to the components within the machine. In
addition in this exemplary embodiment, the front service panel 212 is mounted
in
lunged relation adjacent the front of the cash acceptor mechanism. This front
service panel enables access to components accessible through a front opening
of
the cash accepting mechanism.
As can be appreciated because of the hinged character of service panels 210
and 212, the panels may be readily opened. However, the hinged mounting makes
it
difficult for a technician to entirely remove the panels from the machine.
Further
the cash acceptor mechanism cannot be returned to service without closing the
service panels. Of course as can be appreciated, suitable latching mechanisms
or
other holding devices may be used so as to assure that once the service panels
are
returned to their closed position, they remain therein until such time as the
service
panels need to be opened again for servicing.
Figure 16 shows yet a further schematic view of an alternative approach to
providing service panels on the cash acceptor mechanism 80 that provide
protection
for internal components and yet can be readily removed for servicing. In the
embodiment shown in Figure 16, service panels 214 and 216 are provided such
that
they can move in the direction indicated by the adjacent arrows. Service
panels 214
and 216 in the exemplary embodiment are mounted in channels, slots or other
suitable devices on the cash acceptor mechanism for guiding and holding the
panels
in position. The useful aspect of the service panels shown in Figure 16 is
that the
cash acceptor mechanism 80 need not be removed from the operative position in


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43
order to open the interior of the mechanism by moving the service panel.
Indeed in
the exemplary embodiment, service panel 214 may be entirely removed exposing
the components of the cash acceptor mechanism without moving the cash acceptor
mechanism from the operative position. Service panel 216 which may include the
front face supporting the resilient gasket, may be made more readily removable
by
moving the gasket relative to the chute. The ability to remove service panels
may be
particularly useful in situations where a service person needs to observe the
cash
acceptor mechanism in operation in order to diagnose and remedy certain
problems.
In some embodiments it may be desirable to include devices to assure that
the service panels 214 and 216 are reinstalled on the cash acceptor mechanism
after
servicing procedures are completed. This may be accomplished by including
contact switches such as the contact switch schematically represented as 218
to
sense when the service panels have been placed back in position. Such contact
switches may limit the operation of the cash acceptor mechanism until such
panels
are replaced. Alternatively the circuitry within the ATM may cause an alarm or
other indication to be given or may disable operation of the currency acceptor
mechanism if the access doors to the upper housing axe closed and the service
panels have not been returned to their operative position. Of course other
approaches may be used.
As can be appreciated, the arrangements of service panels shown in Figures
15 and 16 for the cash acceptor mechanism are exemplary and in other
embodiments
other approaches may be used.
In the exemplary ATM 10 there is also included a mechanism for dispensing
cash through the cash dispensing opening 38 in the fascia. This cash
dispensing
mechanism generally indicated 220 is schematically represented in Figure 3. In
the
exemplary embodiment the cash dispensing mechanism is positioned in the higher
side of the generally L-shaped chest and includes a plurality of note storage
areas
222, 224, 226, 228, 230 and 232. In some exemplary embodiments the note
storage
areas may be housed within removable currency cassettes which are suitable for
holding notes and which may be readily removed from the machine.


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44
In the exemplary embodiment each of the note storage areas is in operative
connection with a picker mechanism 234, 236, 238, 240, 242 and 244. Each of
these picker mechanisms are selectively operative responsive to controller 64
to
selectively dispense notes or other sheets from the corresponding storage area
responsive to appropriate inputs to input devices of the user interface. In
some
exemplary embodiments the picker mechanisms used may be similar to the picker
mechanism 86 used to separate sheets from a stack in the cash acceptor
mechanism
80.
In the exemplary embodiment a vertically extending transport 246 is in
operative connection with the picker mechanisms and a presenter mechanism 248.
In operation of the machine the presenter mechanism is operative to receive
sheets
dispensed by the picker mechanisms and to move the sheets upward through the
transport 246 to accumulate the sheets into a stack schematically indicated
250.
After the desired sheets have been accumulated, the presenter mechanism is
operative to move the stack toward the cash dispensing opening 38 while the
controller is operative to open the cash dispensing gate 42. This enables the
stack of
sheets to be dispensed to a user of the machine.
It should be understood that while in the exemplary embodiment the cash
dispensing mechanism 220 has been described as dispensing various
denominations
of currency notes, in other embodiments the cash dispensing mechanism may
dispense other types of sheets. These may include, for example, travelers
checks,
stamps, vouchers, scrip, gift certificates, or other documents. Further, in
some
embodiments the ATM may be operative to dispense combinations of both notes
and other documents as may be requested by the user. Of course the mechanisms
shown are exemplary and in other embodiments other approaches may be used.
In operation of the exemplary ATM 10, a user operating the machine
provides inputs sufficient to identify the user's account through the input
devices of
the machine. This may include, for example, providing a card and/or alpha-
numeric
data through the input devices which can be correlated through operation of
the
controller in the machine and/or by interaction with a remote computer to
determine


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a financial account of the user. The controller thereafter operates the output
devices
of the machine so as to prompt the user to provide inputs and to select a
particular
type of transaction or provide other inputs. In situations where the user
wishes to
conduct a cash accepting transaction, the ATM operates responsive to the
controller
5 64 to open the gate 44 to the chute 82 which enables the user to provide a
stack of
notes or other documents into the machine.
In response to the user providing the stack of documents 84 and/or in
response to inputs from the user, the cash acceptor mechanism 80 operates to
unstack the documents through operation of the picker mechanism 86 and to
10 determine at least one of the characteristics of each document through
operation of
the validator device 88. The determined characteristics of the documents may
cause
valid or acceptable documents to be routed through operation of the routing
device
92 into the escrow device 94 where they may be temporarily stored. Also, the
controller may operate the routing device 92 to direct suspect documents such
as
15 invalid documents or probable counterfeit notes to the transport 86 and the
storage
area 100.
In the exemplary embodiment once the documents have been moved past the
validator, the controller may operate to advise the user of the machine's
determination with regard to the documents through outputs through one or more
20 output devices. In some exemplary embodiments the user may be offered the
option
to recover the valid or invalid documents or both. This may be accomplished by
the
escrow device delivering the documents to the same or different transports
such that
the documents may be returned to the chute or other area of the machine that
is
accessible to the user. Likewise if the option is offered, invalid documents
may
25 likewise be routed back to the user. Of course various approaches may be
used
depending on the particular machine configuration and the programming
associated
with the controller.
In the exemplary transaction, if the documents determined to be valid are to
be stored within the machine, the controller operates responsive to inputs
from the
30 user and/or its programming to cause the escrow device 94 to deliver the
documents.


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46
The documents are directed by the routing device 92 through the cash accepting
opening 102 in the chest in which they are transported and stored in the
appropriate
sheet handling mechanisms or in an appropriate bulk storage container. In the
exemplary embodiment the user's account is credited for valid sheets
deposited.
Information is collected concerning any invalid sheets provided by the user so
that if
the sheets are later determined to be valid, the user may be credited or
alternatively
the user may be contacted to determine the source of the invalid sheets. Of
course
as can be appreciated, this transaction is exemplary and in other embodiments
other
approaches may be used.
Using the exemplary ATM 10 a user may also conduct cash dispensing
transactions. This may be done either during the same session as a cash
accepting
transaction or as part of a separate session. In such a transaction the user
of the
ATM provides inputs to the input devices that are sufficient to identify one
or more
accounts of the user andlor other identifying inputs. Responsive to prompts
through
the output devices, the user provides inputs indicating that they wish to
conduct a
transaction involving the dispense of notes or other types of sheets, and the
amount,
nature or character of the sheets that the user has requested.
Responsive to the inputs from the user the controller 64 is operative to cause
the cash dispenser mechanism 220 and the picker mechanisms located therein to
deliver the requested sheets to the presenter mechanism 248, which is
operative to
accumulate the requested sheets into a stack 250. Once the sheets are
accumulated,
the sheets are moved outward to the user as the gate mechanism is opened.
Hereafter the controller operates to cause the value of the dispensed cash or
other
sheets to be chaxged to the user's account.
It should be understood that the transactions described are exemplary and
additional types of transactions may be carried out through operation of
various
embodiments. In addition as previously discussed, mechanisms that are
operative to
both accept and dispense cash such as those described in the incorporated
disclosures may be utilized as substitutes for, or in addition to, the
mechanisms
described herein so as to carry out transactions. Other types of transaction
function


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47
devices may be included in some embodiments. For example as previously
discussed, embodiments of the invention may be operative to image and validate
checks. In such cases it may be desirable for the machine to have the
capability to
cancel the check or destroy the check so there is no risk that the check may
be later
be stolen and used fraudulently. In some embodiments suitable mechanisms may
be
provided for carrying out such functions. In addition it may be desirable in
some
embodiments to have the machine produce bank checks, travelers checks, tickets
or
other documents and suitable mechanisms may be provided for producing such
documents in the selected amounts. Further, in alternative embodiments
features
used by merchants such as devices for accepting deposit bags, dispensing
rolled coin
and other devices may be incorporated into an ATM or other automated banking
machine having features described herein. As can also be appreciated, features
of
the exemplary ATM may also be used in numerous other types of automated
banking machines.
Exemplary embodiments of the invention include light emitting devices 17,
31, 41, 43 and 45. In the exemplary embodiment the light emitting devices are
positioned in areas on the user interface at locations associated with
particular
transaction function devices. For example, light emitting device 31 is
associated
with the receipt printer 30 and light emitting device 17 is associated with
the card
reader 16. In the exemplary embodiment the light emitting devices are in
operative
connection with the one or more controllers in the machine. In addition, such
devices are capable of emitting light of selected colors at particular times
during the
transaction responsive to the operative condition of the transaction function
device
of the ATM with which the light emitting device is associated.
In the exemplary embodiment the light emitting devices include an array of
LEDs of different colors embedded on a flexible circuit. For example, Figure
22
represents light emitting device 31. However, it should be understood that in
the
exemplary embodiment all the light emitting devices are generally similar.
Light
emitting device 31 includes an array of LEDs 304 connected through a circuit
on a
flexible substrate such as a polymide film, for example, DuPont I~apton~
material,


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48
and includes a flexible connector portion 306. The flexible connector
terminates in
an electrical connector 308. Electrical connector 308 is releasably
connectible to a
driving circuit or other electrical circuit in the machine which operably
connects to
one or more controllers for purposes of controlling the illumination of the
light
emitting device.
As shown in Figure 23, in the exemplary embodiment the light emitting
device includes three different color LEDs. These LEDs are red, green and
yellow,
which are represented by "R," "G," and "Y" in the figures as shown. As
represented
in Figure 23, in the exemplary embodiment the LEDs are in an array such that
LEDs
of only one color are vertically aligned along a single line of the light
emitting
device. For example, as shown in Figure 23, a line 310 comprises a line of
vertically aligned red LEDs. As shown in Figure 23, a line 312 is a line of
only
green LEDs, and a line 314 of only yellow LEDs. As shown in Figure 23, in the
exemplary embodiment the lines repeat so that there are five vertical lines of
each
color LED. It should be understood that while in the exemplary embodiment the
LEDs of each color are arranged in vertically aligned relation, in other
embodiments
other arrangements such as horizontal alignment or other matrices of LEDs may
be
used. It should also be appreciated that although the LEDs are connected
electrically in series as shown in Figure 24, the electrical connections on
the flexible
circuit provide for spaced vertically aligned pairs of LEDs of only one color.
As shown in Figure 25, in the exemplary embodiment the light emitting
devices are supported in a flexible web. The web is thin in the preferred
embodiment, having a thickness of approximately 1.20 millimeters. This
facilitates
the positioning of the light emitting devices on the user interface. In the
exemplary
embodiment, LEDs which are represented 316 and 318 are mounted on a base layer
320 including the circuit on a flexible substrate. An outer layer 322 which in
the
exemplary embodiment comprises a polyester layer overlies the LEDs. A spacer
324 extends between the base layer and the outer layer. As best shown in
Figure 23
multiple spacers may be used. In the exemplary embodiment the spacers are
positioned outboard of the LEDs and include openings 326 to facilitate
positioning


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49
the light emitting devices on the machine. This may include, for example,
extending pins, studs, or fastening devices through the openings so as to
secure the
light emitting devices in the proper position. Further, in the exemplary
embodiment
the release layer includes an underlying adhesive layer 328. The adhesive
layer
enables attaching of a light emitting device to a selected area within the
machine.
The adhesive layer is initially exposed for purposes of attaching the light
emitting
device by removal of an adhesive release layer 330 as shown in Figure 25.
In an exemplary embodiment the light emitting devices are attached to
components of the machine with which they are associated. This may be done,
for
example, by using modular construction for the transaction function devices
within
the machine and attaching the particular light emitting device to the
associated
module. For example, Figure 18 shows the cash accepting device 80 which is
arranged as a modular device for purposes of processing sheets that maybe
received
in the machine. In the exemplary embodiment the associated light emitting
device
41 is mounted in supporting connection with the module. The adj acent fascia
area
of the machine provides an opening through which the light emitting device may
be
viewed when it is in the operative position. In some embodiments the fascia of
the
machine may include a transparent or translucent material separating the light
emitting device from the exterior of the machine. However in other embodiments
the light emitting devices may be exposed on the exterior of the machine. The
attachment of the light emitting devices directly to the modular components of
the
machine may facilitate assembly and service of the machine. Placing the light
emitting device directly on the module of the transaction function device with
which
it is associated, may reduce the amount of wiring and connectors needed for
purposes of assembly and service.
In the exemplary embodiment the multicolor light emitting devices are
operated under the control of one or more controllers in the machine. Each
light
emitting device is operated to emit light of a selected color and/or in a
selected
manner responsive to the operative condition of an associated transaction
function
device. For example, exemplary machines may be selectively programmable to
emit


CA 02542159 2006-04-07
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a particular color light responsive to a given operative condition. For
example, the
light emitting device adj acent to the card reader may emit green light when
it is
ready to receive the card of a user, and then change to a yellow light after
the card
has been received therein. Alternatively or in addition, lights of a different
color
5 may flash or alternate to reflect conditions of a particular device.
Further, for
example, in the event of an improper action such as a user attempting to
insert a card
into the card reader incorrectly, the controller may be programmed to have the
associated light emitting device emit red light or otherwise flash a color of
light so
as to indicate to the user that they have done something improper. Similarly,
if a
10 particular transaction function device is malfunctioning or not available,
red light
may be output.
In some exemplary embodiments the controller may be programmed so as to
illuminate the light emitting devices to guide a user in operation of the
machine.
This may include, for example, illuminating or flashing a particular colored
light to
15 indicate a required user activity at a particular. location on the machine.
For
example, at a particular time in the transaction the controller may cause to
be output
on the display an indication to the customer that they are to take their
receipt. When
the machine has delivered the receipt, the controller may operate to cause the
light
emitting device 31 associated with the receipt delivery to illuminate, flash
or
20 otherwise indicate to the user that activity is required by the user in the
area of the
receipt delivery slot.
In some exemplary embodiments the controller may be programmed to cause
the light emitting devices to selectively illuminate intermittently and for a
different
duration depending on the operative condition of an associated device. For
25 example, if a user provides inputs so as to request a cash-dispensing
transaction, the
light emitting device 43 adjacent to the cash dispensing opening may
illuminate in a
yellow condition as the machine operates internally to move bills toward the
cash
dispensing opening. Thereafter as the bills axe pushed through the opening and
presented to the user, the controller may cause the color of the light
emitting device
30 to change to green. In addition, the controller may cause the green light
to flash so


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51
as to draw the user's attention to the fact that the money is ready to be
taken.
Further, in an exemplary embodiment, if the user has not taken their cash
after a
certain time and the machine is programmed to retract it, the controller may
cause
the light emitting device to flash, change the frequency and/or duration of
flashing
or may operate so as to flash different colors in an alternating fashion so as
to
capture the attention of the user prior to the money being retracted.
In other embodiments, the colors emitted by the light emitting devices may
be selectively programmed based on aesthetic reasons. For example, if the
entity
which operates the machine has particular trade dress involving certain colors
the
controller may be programmed to have the light emitting devices correspond
with
that trade dress. Thus, for example, if the particular entity's trade dress
color is
green, the machine may be programmed to utilize the green LEDs as lead-through
indicators in prompting the user in how to operate the machine. Likewise if a
different operating entity with a similar machine utilizes yellow as part of
their trade
dress scheme, the controller may be programmed to illuminate the yellow LEDs
in
the light emitting devices as the lead-through indicators.
It should further be understood that although the use of three color of light
emitting devices is shown, this is exemplary and in other embodiments
additional
types of light emitting devices may be provided. In addition it should be
understood
that although light emitting devices in the exemplary embodiment are arranged
so
that only one color may be output from a given light emitting device at a
given time,
in other embodiments provision may be made to illuminate multiple color LEDs
simultaneously. In such arrangements, LEDs in primary colors may be included
so
as to achieve ranges of hue through color combinations. This may be done by
illuminating multiple light emitting sources simultaneously and/or varying the
intensity of such sources through operation of a controller so as to achieve
various
colors. This may include, for example, providing for a gradual change in the
hue of
the light emitting device in accordance with the status of the associated
transaction
function device. This may include, for example, providing an indication to the
user
of the status of the completion of a particular task. Combinations of two or
more


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52
colors may also be selectively produced. It should also be understood that
although
LEDs are used as the light source in the exemplary embodiment, in other
embodiments of the invention other approaches may be used. It should be
understood that the structures and operations described are exemplary and
numerous
other structures and methods may be encompassed within the scope of the
present
invention.
In the exemplary embodiment of ATM 10, provision is made to facilitate a
user's operation of the machine and to minimize the risk of persons improperly
observing a user or their activities. Such undesirable activities may include,
for
example, unauthorized persons observing the user's input of their PIN number
or
other data. As shown in Figure 26, fascia 12 of the exemplary embodiment
includes
a recessed area 332 in which the display, function keys, card reader and
receipt
outlet are positioned. This recessed area 332 is illuminated by a light source
334.
Light source 334 provides illumination generally in the downward direction so
as to
enable the user to more readily view the locations of the input and output
devices on
the fascia of the machine.
In the exemplary embodiment the fascia 12 includes a top panel portion 336
which is positioned generally above the light source 334 and the user
interface of the
machine. As represented in Figure 26, the top panel portion includes a pair of
convex mirrors 338, 340. The convex mirrors 338, 340 are generally
horizontally
disposed and are positioned at opposed sides of the user interface.
As represented in Figure 27, a user 342 operating the ATM 10 will generally
have their body aligned with the user interface 15 of the machine. As a
result, the
user is generally enabled to view in the convex mirrors an area behind the
user
generally indicated 343. The user is enabled to do this by looking in the
mirrors 338
and 340 to the user's left and right, respectively. By looking in these
mirrors, the
user is enabled to generally see what is going on behind them as well as in a
transverse direction from the area directly behind the user. This may enable
the user
to determine if one or more persons are in their proximity as well as whether
such
persons may be attempting to observe the user or their inputs to the ATM. In
some


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53
embodiments where the ATM is operated in an external enviromnent, lighting
sources may be provided in the area 343 to facilitate the user's observation
of
persons who may be present therein.
It should be understood that the arrangement shown is exemplary and in
other embodiments other mirror or observation arrangements may be used. In
addition, in some embodiments provision may be made to maintain the
cleanliness
of the mirrors so as to reduce the risk that the user's ability to observe
surrounding
activities is impaired. These provisions may include, for example, automated
devices which wipe the surface of the mirrors periodically. These may be
external
wiping devices or in some embodiments internal wiping devices. This may be
accomplished, for example, by having the convex mirrors be in supporting
connection with one or more rotatable members that may be periodically rotated
within the fascia by a motor or other moving device that operates responsive
to the
ATM controller so as to expose a new external surface. Cleaning devices on the
interior of the fascia may operate to wipe contaminants from the surface of
the
mirror as it passes internally such that further rotation exposes a clean
mirror surface
to the user. This may include for example contact wiper blades that engage the
surface of the mirror. Movement of the mirror surface such as rotation thereof
in
engagement with the wiper blades may serve to remove accumulations of dirt on
the
reflective surface. In some embodiments the mirror surface may be part of a
cylindrical body, and rotation of the body about a central longitudinal axis
may
provide wiping action as the mirror surface moves past stationary wipers
engaged
therewith. In some embodiments the stationary wipers may be comprised of
resilient material and/or may include movable mounting mechanisms so as to
bias
the wiper into engagement with the movable mirror surface. In alternative
embodiments a reservoir of cleaning solution may be provided within or adj
acent to
the machine. A suitable pump or other device may be used to apply the cleaning
solution to the mirror surface as it is moved relative to the wipers so as to
facilitate
the removal of dirt therefrom. Of course these approaches are merely exemplary
and in other embodiments other approaches may be used.


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54
In some embodiments the buildup of material on the mirror surface may be
detected to determine when there is a need for cleaning. This may be done for
example by providing a mirror that has some significant light transmission
properties as well as light reflective properties in the manner of a half
silvered
mirror. For example a radiation source and sensor may be positioned behind the
mirror. In such embodiments radiation emitted by the radiation source is
partially
reflected from the interior of the mirror surface and the magnitude of the
reflected
radiation is sensed by the sensor. A buildup of dirt on the outer surface of
the
mirror changes the amount of radiation reflected from the internal radiation
source
to the sensor. In some exemplary embodiments the buildup of dirt on the
exterior
mirror surface increases the magnitude of radiation reflected from the
internal
mirror surface. This change in the magnitude of reflected radiation is
detected and
used as the basis for determining a need for cleaning the mirror. For example
immediately after cleaning the mirror the ATM controller or other processor
may
cause the emitter to output radiation and the sensor to sense the magnitude of
internally reflected radiation from an internal surface of the mirror. This
initial
value is stored by the controller in one or more data stores. Thereafter on a
periodic
basis, for example on a timed basis or after each or a set number of
transactions, the
emitter may again output radiation and the level of reflected radiation
sensed. The
controller may then compare the then current level of reflected radiation to
the
initial value.
In response to sensing a difference greater than the set amount, which
difference corresponds to an unacceptable level of dirt built up on an
exterior
surface of the mirror, the controller operates to provide one or more signals.
The
signals result in the mirrors being cleaned. Such signals may include for
example
operating a device such as a motor or other mechanism so as to cause movement
of
the mirror to undergo cleaning. Alternatively in some embodiments the
controller
may cause a message to be sent to a remote servicer indicating a need for
cleaning of
the mirror surfaces on the fascia. In still other embodiments the controller
may
cause the ATM to operate to try to clean the mirrors through the ATM's
internal


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cleaning mechanism and then test the reflectance again after the attempted
self
cleaning. If the self cleaning effort does not cause the reflectance value to
reach the
prior initial value or within a programmed range (indicating perhaps that the
mirror
has been spray painted ) the controller is operative to cause a message to be
set to
contact a remote servicer. Of course these approaches are merely exemplary and
in
other embodiments other approaches may be used.
hl some other alterative embodiments the controller may sense for dirt on a
mirror through the use of mirrors or other reflective devices that pass at
least some
significant amount of light therethrough from the exterior to the interior.
One or
10 more light sensors in operative comlection with the machine controller are
positioned behind the mirror surface. An external light sensor is positioned
on the
exterior of the ATM to sense the level of ambient light. A controller is
programmed
to determine an unacceptable level of accumulation of dirt on the mirror based
on
the level of external ambient light that is sensed as passing through the
mirror. This
15 may be done for example by sensing the magnitude of the signal from the
ambient
light sensor and comparing the magnitude of ambient light to the magnitude of
light
sensed as reaching the sensor located behind the mirror. As can be appreciated
when little or no dirt is accumulated on the mirror surface, the greatest
amount of
light will reach the sensor behind the mirror. As dirt accumulates the level
of light
20 transmitted will decrease. If the magnitude of the light sensed as passing
through
the mirror and reaching the sensor relative to the level of ambient light
declines to a
preset ratio or other value, the controller may then operate in accordance
with its
programmed instructions to operate the necessary device to self clean the
mirror,
generate signals so as to contact a servicer, or take other appropriate
action.
25 In further alternative embodiments one or more external ambient light
sensors may be in operative connection with the controller, and an internal
emitter
and sensor behind a mirror surface that enables light to pass therethrough may
also
be used. In such embodiments the controller may be programmed to analyze the
amount of ambient light that is expected to pass through the mirror and reach
the
30 sensor based on the ambient light level. In such circumstances the
controller can


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56
compensate for the ambient light when sensing the level of reflected light
from the
internal emitter. Such compensation may further help more accurately detect
when
there is a need for the mirror to be cleaned. Of course the particular
relationships
and compensation levels will depend on the particular mirror configuration.
Alternatively or in addition in some exemplary embodiments, the controller may
operate so as to sense the level of ambient radiation and the magnitude
thereof that
passes through the mirror to reach the sensor at a different time than when
the
controller operates the internal emitter and senses reflected radiation. The
controller
may be operative to compare these two separate values and the relationship
thereof
and/or changes in reflectance and light transmissivity over time so as to
determine
when the mirror needs to be cleaned. Of course these approaches are merely
exemplary and in other embodiments other approaches may be used.
In still other embodiments the mirrors may be operative only during
transactions or portions thereof. This may be done for example by providing
mirrors that are operative only when a person is sensed as adj acent the
machine or
the machine is involved in conducting a particular portion of a transaction.
For
example a sensor such as a sonic sensor, radiation sensor, weight sensor or
other
suitable device may detect a user in proximity to the machine. Upon sensing
the
user adjacent the machine the controller may be operative to cause one or more
mirrors to be exposed externally on the fascia of the machine. This may be
done for
example by having movable members in supporting connection with the mirror
surfaces driven by motors or other suitable moving devices that are in
operative
comiection with the controllers. Upon sensing a user adjacent the machine the
controller is operative to cause the motors or other moving devices to cause
the
mirrors to move into an operative position so a user can view the area behind
them.
For example in some embodiments the reflective surfaces which comprise
the mirror may be in supporting connection with a rotatable member. The
rotatable
member may be rotated when the customer is present at the machine so that the
reflective surface is positioned so as to provide the user with a view of the
area
behind them. Further when the customer is sensed as leaving the area of the
ATM,


CA 02542159 2006-04-07
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57
such departure of the user is sensed and the controller in response thereto is
operative to cause the members that include the reflected surfaces to move so
that
the reflector surfaces are no longer exposed. Such an approach may provide an
advantage in that the mirror surfaces are exposed to the elements only during
the
times when transactions are occurring and therefore are less likely to
accumulate dirt
as quickly. In addition in some embodiments wipers or other suitable cleaning
devices may be provided adj acent to the reflective surfaces so that as the
reflective
surfaces move the surfaces are wiped and cleaned so as to remain relatively
dirt free.
Although in some embodiments the reflective surfaces may move into the
operative position for a customer responsive to sensing a user adjacent to the
machine, in other embodiments other approaches may be used. These may include
for example moving the mirror surfaces to the operative position only in
response to
certain actions or certain transaction types being conducted by the user at
the
machine. Alternatively or in addition the mirrors may be moved to the
operative
position only in response to other conditions such as ambient lighting
conditions,
the time of day and/or the sensing of persons or objects entering an area
behind the
user in which persons or obj ects are sensed. Alternatively or in addition the
controller may be programmed and appropriate sensors may be provided to move
the mirrors to the operative position based on the nature of the use being
made by
the user of the ATM. For example in an ATM that is intended for both drive up
and
walls up use, appropriate sensors may be positioned so as to sense whether the
user
is positioned in a vehicle or has approached the machine on foot. This may be
done
for example through proximity sensors, magnetic sensors, weight sensors or
other
suitable sensors. The controller may be programmed to make a determination
based
on one or more sensor inputs whether the user is in a vehicle or is on foot.
In
situations where the user is determined to be in a vehicle the deployment of
the
mirrors to the operative position may be deemed unnecessary because the
vehicle
may serve to block access by unauthorized users to viewing the inputs that the
user
makes to the machine. Alternatively if the user is determined to have
approached
the machine on foot, the controller may be operative to deploy the mirrors to
the


CA 02542159 2006-04-07
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58
operative position so as to assure that the user can view the area behind them
in
which unauthorized persons may be attempting to view inputs to the machine.
In still other embodiments alternative or additional provisions may be made
to further help to prevent the observation of inputs by users to the machine.
For
example in some embodiments the machine fascia may be provided with lighting
that is directed rearward from the fascia outside of the line of sight of the
user. Such
rearward directed lighting, when activated, may operate to obscure the view of
unauthorized persons or devices attempting to observe inputs by the user to a
machine. Such rearward directed lighting may be selectively operative when a
user
is sensed as adjacent to the machine so as to reduce the risk of the
interception of the
user inputs and/or to provide lighting in the area behind the user. In other
embodiments the controller may be programmed so as to be operative to initiate
the
rearward directed lighting only during certain portions of the transaction
where the
user is conducting certain activities. For example the controller may be
programmed so as to activate the lighting when the user is providing an input
of a
PIN number which unauthorized persons may wish to intercept. Further in some
embodiments the rearward directed lighting may be activated only at those
times
that the mirrors are moved into the activated position. Alternatively or in
addition
the lighting devices may be mounted in supporting connection with the
mechanisms
associated with the mirror structures. Further provision may be made in some
cases
so as to provide mechanisms for cleaning the lighting devices as they are
moved into
the operative position. Of course these approaches are exemplary and in other
embodiments other approaches may be used. Further, the principles discussed
may
be used with other types of automated banking machines and in other
circumstances
other than those described in connection with the exemplary embodiment.
Thus the automated banking machine and system of the exemplary
embodiments may achieve one or more of the above stated objectives, eliminate
difficulties encountered in the use of prior devices and systems, solve
problems and
attain the desirable results described herein.


CA 02542159 2006-04-07
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59
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 for descriptive purposes and are intended to be broadly
construed. Moreover, the descriptions and illustrations herein are by way of
examples and the invention is not limited to the 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 capable of performing
the
recited function, and shall not be deemed limited to the particular means
shown in
the foregoing description 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, methods, processes and
relationships are set forth in the appended claims.

A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.

For a clearer understanding of the status of the application/patent presented on this page, the site Disclaimer , as well as the definitions for Patent , Administrative Status , Maintenance Fee  and Payment History  should be consulted.

Admin Status

Title Date
Forecasted Issue Date 2011-08-02
(86) PCT Filing Date 2004-04-19
(87) PCT Publication Date 2005-05-06
(85) National Entry 2006-04-07
Examination Requested 2006-04-07
(45) Issued 2011-08-02

Abandonment History

There is no abandonment history.

Maintenance Fee

Description Date Amount
Last Payment 2019-03-26 $450.00
Next Payment if small entity fee 2020-04-20 $225.00
Next Payment if standard fee 2020-04-20 $450.00

Note : If the full payment has not been received on or before the date indicated, a further fee may be required which may be one of the following

  • the reinstatement fee set out in Item 7 of Schedule II of the Patent Rules;
  • the late payment fee set out in Item 22.1 of Schedule II of the Patent Rules; or
  • the additional fee for late payment set out in Items 31 and 32 of Schedule II of the Patent Rules.

Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Request for Examination $800.00 2006-04-07
Registration of Documents $100.00 2006-04-07
Filing $400.00 2006-04-07
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 2006-04-19 $100.00 2006-04-07
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 3 2007-04-19 $100.00 2007-03-08
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 4 2008-04-21 $100.00 2008-04-03
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 5 2009-04-20 $200.00 2009-04-07
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 6 2010-04-19 $200.00 2010-04-12
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 7 2011-04-19 $200.00 2011-03-03
Final Fee $300.00 2011-04-08
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 8 2012-04-19 $200.00 2012-04-05
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 9 2013-04-19 $200.00 2013-04-08
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 10 2014-04-22 $250.00 2014-04-07
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 11 2015-04-20 $250.00 2015-04-03
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 12 2016-04-19 $250.00 2016-04-12
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 13 2017-04-19 $250.00 2017-04-10
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 14 2018-04-19 $250.00 2018-04-09
Registration of Documents $100.00 2018-11-30
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 15 2019-04-23 $450.00 2019-03-26
Current owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Current Owners on Record
DIEBOLD, INCORPORATED
Past owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Past Owners on Record
GRAEF, THOMAS H.
GRIGGY, SHAWN
RAMACHANDRAN, NATARAJAN
SCHOEFFLER, DANIEL P.
UTZ, ZACHARY
Past Owners that do not appear in the "Owners on Record" listing will appear in other documentation within the application.

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Document
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Abstract 2006-04-07 2 81
Description 2006-04-07 59 3,280
Drawings 2006-04-07 27 373
Claims 2006-04-07 14 470
Representative Drawing 2006-06-19 1 9
Cover Page 2006-06-22 1 50
Claims 2010-07-14 9 343
Representative Drawing 2011-06-30 1 10
Cover Page 2011-06-30 1 50
PCT 2006-04-07 2 78
Assignment 2006-04-07 14 388
PCT 2006-04-08 3 130
Prosecution-Amendment 2010-01-14 5 215
Prosecution-Amendment 2010-07-14 12 434
Correspondence 2011-04-08 1 34
Correspondence 2018-03-05 1 33