TODAY’S PATENT – CRAB PICKING MACHINE
In today’s patent, we will discuss Linald R. Caroon (Lowland, NC)’s invention, “CRAB PICKING MACHINE” (US4829636A), which was patented by the USPTO on May 16,1989.
The present invention is a reciprocating feed shuttle that comprises a carriage mounted on guide rails for movement transversely on the conveyor above the loading station. Two crab holders are mounted in laterally spaced apart relation on the carriage, each holder being capable of receiving and holding a crab for placement from above onto a tray and of releasing the crab after it has been placed on the tray. An object of the present invention is to provide, as an improvement in the machine of the Caroon patent, an automatic loading apparatus that enables two workers to feed crabs to the machine and thereby take full advantage of the high speed capability of the machine. Each crab holder is mounted on the carriage for movement between a loading position spaced apart above the tray and a releasing position in which the crab held by the holder is placed on the tray for release onto the tray. A vertical drive moves the respective crab holders alternately from the loading position to the releasing position in timed relation to the arrival of each tray at the loading station.