Patent abstracts

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 7 March 2008



(2008), "Patent abstracts", Industrial Robot, Vol. 35 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Patent abstracts

Title: Automated laboratory systemApplicant: Protedyne Corp (US)Patent number: US2006201810Publication date: 14 September 2006

An automated laboratory system and method allow high-throughput and fully automated processing of materials, such as liquids including genetic materials. The invention includes a variety of aspects that may be combined into a single system. For example, processing may be performed by a plurality of robotic-equipped modular stations, where each modular station has its own unique environment in which processes are performed. Transport devices, such as conveyor belts, may move objects between modular stations, saving movement for robots in the modular stations. Gels used for gel electrophoresis may be extruded, thus decreasing the time needed to form such gels. Robotically-operated well forming tools allow wells to be formed in gels in a registered and accurate way.

Title: Laboratory robot assemblyApplicant: Manz Automation AG (DE); Manz Dieter (DE); Oberdorfer Berend (DE)Patent number: WO2007045341Publication date: 26 April 2007

The invention relates to a robot assembly for the life sciences field, comprising at least one first robot module with an X-axis arm, on which at least one Y-axis arm is mounted so that it can be displaced in the X-direction. A coupling unit, which can be displaced in the Y-direction and is designed for the coupling of a working module, is provided on the Y-axis arm. The robot assembly can thus be used for various applications and can have various configurations.

Title: Systems and methods for automated proteomics researchApplicant: Hudson Control Group Inc (US)Patent number: CA2533219Publication date: 2 June 2007

A robotic laboratory automation workcell preferably includes instruments and equipment that are integrated by using conveyor or track elements and a robotic arm. The automation workcell is controlled by a centralized or main controller or processor using specialized control software to automate the proteomics research process. The automated workcell is capable of performing genetic laboratory experiments from start to finish by moving samples or microplates between the instruments for analysis. A goal of the automated workcell is to perform repetitive procedures in an effort to build and maximize the efficiency of a gene(s) of a targeted organism.

Title: Automated systems for handling specimens for laboratory diagnostics and associating relevant informationApplicant: Scrabeck Larry D (US); Blixt Jon J (US)Patent number: US2007254277Publication date: 1 November 2007

An automated sorting system provides the ability to receive specimens for any number of diagnostic test procedures and to selectively transfer specimens to designated ones of a plurality of specimen processors based upon criteria of the laboratory facility such as the particular laboratory to perform the requisite diagnostic test, timing aspects like a lab's hours of operation or delivery schedule, type of specimen (e.g. tissue, blood, serum, and the like) or other factor that may affect specimen throughput efficiency. Automated accessioning comprises the determination of physical attributes of specimens using a specimen processor while reading data provided with a specimen as it is provided to the specimen processor (such data provided by the carrier and/or the vial by codes, ID tags, and the like), recording the determined information in a database of a control system, and comparing the determined information with information from a client diagnostic test order from a same or different database for connecting the specimen and an associated electronic record. Preferably also, the accessioning includes a labelling of the specimen after the connection with an electronic record for associating the specimen and record through the specimen diagnostic test procedure and reporting back to the client.

Title: System and method for error recoveryApplicant: Velocity11 (US); Berman Russell (US); Biddison Giles (US); Chuang Felix (US); Matsumoto David K (US); Barco Joseph W (US)Patent number: WO2007087136Publication date: 2 August 2007

An automated laboratory device that comprises a mechanism that performs operations on laboratory samples, a scheduler that causes the mechanism to process laboratory samples in accordance with programmed processes, logic that detects an error occurring in a process controlled by the scheduler, logic that accepts a user- defined error handling routine for the error, and logic that executes the error handling routine when the error is encountered. Also described is an embodiment of the invention directed to a laboratory automation system, a method of laboratory automation, a computer implemented software program product, a method of doing business, and a laboratory automation network.

Title: Feeder of box-shaped article, taking-out device, shelf stage and automatic conveyance systemApplicant: Rorze Corp; IS Technology KKPatent number: JP2006177817Publication date: 6 July 2006

Problem to be solved: To improve throughput by shortening a screening pitch, and to reduce accidents greatly, in an automatic assay system of many specimens for drug development, clinical examination or the like.

Solution: In this stable conveyance system dispensing with a waiting time, a new boxed-shape taking-out device for supplying many lidded microplates having, respectively, many holes on each microplate in the piled state as a cassette, and taking out them in the order from above, a plurality of shuttle type conveyance lines, and a horizontally-rotating double arm robot are combined, and thereby lid taking and lid alignment, conveyance to a dispensation stand, supply of a pipette chip, delivery/taking out to a warmer or an analysis device, and return of an inspected sample microplate are systematized effectively, to thereby improve throughput, and simultaneously, removal of handling by man power, and removal of day-and- night operation or grasping failure by a robot are achieved.

Copyright: (C)2006, JPO&NCIPI

Title: Process and apparatus for introduction of gas into and degassing of liquids, in particular in biotechnology and especially of cell culturesApplicant: Bayer Technology Services Gmbh (DE); Brod Helmut (DE); Kauling Joerg (DE); Frahm Bjoern (DE); Rose Reinhold (DE)Patent number: WO2007098850Publication date: 7 September 2007

The invention relates to a process and an apparatus for the bubble-free production of gas into liquids, in particular in biotechnology and especially of cell cultures, with gas exchange via one or more immersed membrane areas of any type (tubes, cylinders, etc.), with the membrane area forming any rotary oscillating motion in the liquid, which solves the problem addressed. In the case of a rotary oscillating motion, the membrane area moves firstly in one direction of rotation, with the motion being able to be configured in any way. An example is acceleration of the membrane area with a particular angular acceleration up to a particular angular velocity with which the membrane area then moves for a particular time. The membrane area is subsequently braked with a fixed delay until it stops. Subsequently, if appropriate after a fixed stationary time, the membrane area moves in the other direction of rotation. This motion can be a mirror image of that described above or can be configured differently.

Title: Carrier for positioning objects in relation to laboratory articlesApplicant: Balmer Johannes (CH)Patent number: US2007251341Publication date: 1 November 2007

Relates to a carrier for positioning objects, which are oriented essentially vertically in the Z-direction of a coordinate system, in relation to laboratory articles. These objects are each individually received on a Z rod and each of these Z rods is oriented essentially identically as these objects and is situated so it is movable along an axis running essentially horizontally in the Y-direction of this coordinate system. These Z rods are implemented as movable essentially vertically, in that they have teeth which are engaged with drive wheel, driven by a motor, of a Z drive of the carrier comprising at least one profiled rod, which is situated essentially horizontally and in the Y-direction. All Z rods comprise a Z guide, situated on a cage carrying the individual drive wheel, on which the Z rod is guided in the Z-direction by sliding. Each drive wheel comprises a section, which is tailored to the cross-section of the profiled rod of the Z drive of the carrier, individually driven by a motor, on which the drive wheel is seated so it is not rotatable and is displaceable by sliding in the Y- direction. In addition, each profiled rod comprises attack faces which exert a contact pressure force on corresponding counter faces of the section of a drive wheel to drive this drive wheel. The carrier according to the present invention is characterized in that the attack faces of the profiled rods for driving a drive wheel are larger than the attack faces of a profiled rod having a square cross-section but having equally large radius.

Title: Automatic milking apparatus for laboratory animalApplicant: Univ Nihon (JP); Watanabe Toshi (JP)Patent number: WO2007108241Publication date: 27 September 2007

An automatic milking apparatus for a laboratory animal, in which positioning of a teat cup is facilitated and stabilized to realize fully automated milking operation. The forward end of a first milk tube to which the teat cup for a laboratory animal is fitted is attached to the free end of a universal arm fixed at one end to an appropriate base. The universal arm is flexible and is constructed from a laminate body covered with a coating member, where the laminate body is made up of a long members formed of a material (such as a lead plate) which can be bent and can hold its attitude after the bending and of a steel plate member. These members are in contact with each other such that each member can be slid relative to each other when the entire part of the member is bent, and each member has at one end a fixing part for stopping its relative movement. The forward end of the flexible arm is not displaced after it is positioned.

Title: A method and apparatus for fuzzy logic control enhancing advanced process control performanceApplicant: Celanese Int Corp (US)Patent number: WO2007123817Publication date: 1 November 2007

An apparatus and method for enhancing advanced process control (APC) performance based on fuzzy logic control concept and methodology is described. The method and apparatus provide a systematic way to characterize/assess process operations (encompassing the manufacturing process, laboratory measurement systems, and control practices/results) automatically and then determine the best APC model update and feedback control strategies dynamically to cope with various control problems commonly observed in the polymer industry. Since, the method is able to reach a single definite control output signal based upon vague, ambiguous, or imprecise input information, control issues that are difficult to quantify or model mathematically can now be addressed effectively and included as part of the APC control strategy. With the method, polymer manufactures can better use their existing off-line laboratory results for on-line APC controllers without resorting to costly on-line property measurements or inferential sensors.

Title: Instrument docking station for an automated testing systemApplicant: High Resolution Engineering IN (US); Guarracina Louis (US); Nichols Michael (US)Patent number: WO2007123662Publication date: 1 November 2007

An automated cell system has laboratory devices that operate together to perform an assay. Each device is securely mounted on a slidable cart with fluid and electrical connections. The cart is adapted to releasably engage with a docking station. The docking station is fixedly mounted on the workspace floor and has at least one fluid input connection and communication signal connection and an input power connection. The cart is rolled into position above the docking station using complementary alignment posts and tracks to couple the devices. Bladders are inflated to cause a top plate on the docking station to rise and physically lift the cart off the workspace floor, wherein complementary alignment pins and notched blocks are used to acutely position the cart on the docking station during the lifting process. Fluid and electrical connectors on the docking station advance to their extended positions and make contact with connectors on the cart, thereby establishing fluid and electrical connections between the docking station and the cart.

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