Patents by Inventor Colin Mellars

Colin Mellars has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20220308078
    Abstract: An analyzer system for in vitro diagnostics includes a sample handler module having a robot arm that delivers samples from drawers into carriers on a linear synchronous motor automation track. Samples are delivered via the automation track to individual track sections associated with individual analyzer modules. Analyzer modules aspirate sample portions directly from the sample carriers and perform analysis thereon.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 15, 2022
    Publication date: September 29, 2022
    Applicant: Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc.
    Inventors: David Stein, Roy Barr, Mark Edwards, Colin Mellars, Thomas J. Bao, Charles V. Cammarata, Benjamin S. Pollack, Baris Yagci, Beri Cohen
  • Patent number: 11378583
    Abstract: An analyzer system for in vitro diagnostics includes a sample handler module having a robot arm that delivers samples from drawers into carriers on a linear synchronous motor automation track. Samples are delivered via the automation track to individual track sections associated with individual analyzer modules. Analyzer modules aspirate sample portions directly from the sample carriers and perform analysis thereon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2022
    Assignee: Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc.
    Inventors: David Stein, Roy Barr, Mark Edwards, Colin Mellars, Thomas J. Bao, Charles V. Cammarata, Benjamin S. Pollack, Baris Yagci, Beri Cohen
  • Patent number: 11185865
    Abstract: Systems and methods for refrigerated storage of controls and calibrators utilize a refrigerant storage assembly having an insulated housing and door assembly, thermoelectric coolers, and the refrigerated base assembly having a metal plate thermally coupled to coolers, one or more sensors, and a plurality of receptacles to receive fluid tubes. Refrigerated storage provides a refrigerated environment suitable for multi-day storage of control and calibrator fluids.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 30, 2021
    Assignee: Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc.
    Inventors: Ryan German, Colin Mellars
  • Patent number: 11145392
    Abstract: Embodiments are directed to a combination of an automation system that continuously tracks the identity and positions of all of its pucks with a single sample identification station and covers/interlocks in order to provide sample chain of custody without the need to re-identify the sample at points of interaction (aspiration, de-capping, etc.). This eliminates the need to have sample identification stations at each interaction point. This reduction of hardware allows the system to be cheaper, smaller, and more reliable. It also allows not only the automation system, but also existing pre-analytical/analytical equipment connected to the automation system, to run more efficiently.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 12, 2021
    Assignee: Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc.
    Inventors: Benjamin S. Pollack, Colin Mellars, Baris Yagci
  • Publication number: 20190283029
    Abstract: Systems and methods for refrigerated storage of controls and calibrators utilize a refrigerant storage assembly having an insulated housing and door assembly, thermoelectric coolers, and the refrigerated base assembly having a metal plate thermally coupled to coolers, one or more sensors, and a plurality of receptacles to receive fluid tubes. Refrigerated storage provides a refrigerated environment suitable for multi-day storage of control and calibrator fluids.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 19, 2017
    Publication date: September 19, 2019
    Applicant: Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc.
    Inventors: Ryan German, Colin Mellars
  • Publication number: 20190277869
    Abstract: An analyzer system for in vitro diagnostics includes a sample handler module having a robot arm that delivers samples from drawers into carriers on a linear synchronous motor automation track. Samples are delivered via the automation track to individual track sections associated with individual analyzer modules. Analyzer modules aspirate sample portions directly from the sample carriers and perform analysis thereon.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 19, 2017
    Publication date: September 12, 2019
    Applicant: Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc.
    Inventors: David STEIN, Roy BARR, Mark EDWARDS, Colin MELLARS, Thomas J. BAO, Charles V. CAMMARATA, Benjamin S. POLLACK, Baris YAGCI
  • Publication number: 20190228846
    Abstract: Embodiments are directed to a combination of an automation system that continuously tracks the identity and positions of all of its pucks with a single sample identification station and covers/interlocks in order to provide sample chain of custody without the need to re-identify the sample at points of interaction (aspiration, de-capping, etc.). This eliminates the need to have sample identification stations at each interaction point. This reduction of hardware allows the system to be cheaper, smaller, and more reliable. It also allows not only the automation system, but also existing pre-analytical/analytical equipment connected to the automation system, to run more efficiently.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 19, 2017
    Publication date: July 25, 2019
    Applicant: Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc.
    Inventors: Benjamin S. Pollack, Colin Mellars, Baris Yagci
  • Patent number: 10139422
    Abstract: Methods and systems for performing tests in an in vitro diagnostic environment provide for a substantially optimized distribution of testing reagents amongst a plurality of analyzers. The system and method can include steps of identifying a plurality of expected tests to be performed by a plurality of analyzer modules, determining information about the capabilities of the plurality of analyzer modules, and receiving, at the processor, data reflecting which of the plurality of tests are incompatible. Further steps can include calculating a substantially optimal distribution of the plurality of expected tests amongst the plurality of analyzer modules, allocating reagents to each of the plurality of analyzer modules by facilitating distribution of a plurality of reagents to selected analyzer modules in response to the step of calculating, and automatically scheduling a plurality of samples to undergo tests at the plurality of analyzer modules.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2018
    Assignee: Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc.
    Inventors: Benjamin S. Pollack, Colin Mellars, Baris Yagci
  • Patent number: 10126318
    Abstract: An analyzer for use with in vitro diagnostics includes an automation system to move a plurality of sample carriers within the system. At least some carriers include a plurality of slots. Each slot is configured to hold one of a plurality of fluid containers. The system also includes a place and pick device configured to place the plurality of fluid containers into the plurality of slots and remove the plurality of fluid containers from the plurality of slots. The system further includes a controller configured to place mother sample tubes along with empty sample tubes into the same carrier and move the carrier to an existing pipettor within the analyzer to aliquot a sample portion of the mother sample into the empty daughter tubes to create aliquots for certain samples without requiring a standalone aliquoting station or substantially disrupting the normal flow of sample tubes within the automation system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2018
    Assignee: Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc.
    Inventors: Benjamin Pollack, Colin Mellars
  • Patent number: 10101351
    Abstract: Methods and systems for processing samples in an analyzer utilizes a track system with a plurality of track portions. A queue of samples for processing can be handled on a first portion, while priority samples may be handled on another portion. An instrument in a module may process samples in queues and priority samples. The instrument may process priority samples while a queue of samples remains on the first portion and resumes processing the queue of samples along the first portion upon completion of processing the priority sample.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2018
    Assignee: Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc.
    Inventors: Benjamin Samuel Pollack, Colin Mellars, Baris Yagci
  • Patent number: 10001499
    Abstract: Systems and methods are provided for performing a work-flow, which may be in an IVD environment. A plurality of workcells can be used to perform tasks, while vessels can be automatically transported between the workcells using bulk transport trays along an inter-cell track, allowing each workcell to be independently adapted to one or more tasks in the work-flow.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2018
    Assignee: Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc.
    Inventors: Colin Mellars, Baris Yagci, Benjamin S. Pollack
  • Patent number: 9927451
    Abstract: An integrated automation system for use in transporting samples between modules, the system can include a plurality of modules configured to be connected to one another for processing samples, each of the plurality of modules having an internal transport system. Each internal transport system includes one or more periphery track portions integrated within a respective module, each of the periphery track portions having two ends and one or more transverse track portions integrated within the respective module, the one or more transverse track portions intersecting at least one of the one or more periphery track portions. The internal transport systems can be configured to connect to one another via one end of the two ends connecting to one end of the two ends of adjacent periphery track portions, thereby forming a continuous periphery track running through and connecting the plurality of modules. Samples are transported along the continuous periphery track and the one or more transverse track portions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignee: Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc.
    Inventors: Benjamin Samuel Pollack, Colin Mellars, Baris Yagci
  • Patent number: 9835637
    Abstract: Methods and systems can implement queues for an automation system that services a plurality of modules connected to one another by a transport mechanism, a processor can determining a desired queue for a module. An IVD analyzer can include an automation system, a plurality of stations configured to interact with objects transported by the automation system, and one or more processors that maintain a plurality of queues for at least a subset of the plurality of stations in memory and assign a plurality of the objects to each of the plurality of queues. Objects assigned to each of the plurality of queues need not be located physically proximate to a station associated with each of the plurality of queues.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2017
    Assignee: Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc.
    Inventors: Benjamin Samuel Pollack, Colin Mellars, Baris Yagci
  • Patent number: 9778275
    Abstract: A system for placing sample tubes into tube receptacles includes a sample handling device that includes an electrical signal, relating to an operating condition, such as a position error, a tube receptacle, and a processor configured to control the sample handling device in response to the electrical signal. The processor observes the operating condition for signal artifacts that indicate that a sample vessel being placed has encountered a holding spring and subsequently the bottom of the tube receptacle. The processor provides substantially real-time control of the motion of the sample handling device in response.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2017
    Assignee: Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc.
    Inventor: Colin Mellars
  • Patent number: 9726686
    Abstract: An automation system for an in vitro diagnostics environment includes a plurality of intelligent carriers that include onboard processing and navigation capabilities. A central scheduler can communicate wirelessly with the carriers to direct the carriers to carry a fluid sample to testing stations along a track within the automation system. The carriers can utilize landmarks and distance encoding to reach destinations accurately and quickly, including, for example within less than the time for a single operation cycle of an automated clinical analyzer. The distance encoding can include optical marks repeated at regular intervals (pitch), where the intervals are conveyed to the carriers wirelessly or via optical encoding. The pitch of the encoding can differ for different sections of track depending on the position precision desired.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2017
    Assignee: Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc.
    Inventors: Colin Mellars, Baris Yagci, Benjamin Pollack
  • Patent number: 9671418
    Abstract: An automation system for use with in vitro diagnostics includes a track configured to provide one or more paths and a plurality of payload carriers having payload carrier types. One or more of the plurality of payload carrier types has a different payload carrier dimension in a direction of travel than another payload carrier type. The system includes a plurality of carriers configured to move along the track in the direction of travel. Each of the plurality of carriers has a substantially identical carrier dimension in the direction of travel and configured to hold any one of the plurality of payload carrier types. The system includes a controller configured to navigate the plurality of carriers along the track based on at least one of: (i) the substantially identical carrier dimension in the direction of travel; and (ii) one or more of the different payload carrier dimensions in the direction of travel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2017
    Assignee: Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc.
    Inventors: Colin Mellars, Baris Yagci, Benjamin S. Pollack
  • Patent number: 9625481
    Abstract: An automation system for an in vitro diagnostics environment includes a plurality of intelligent carriers that include onboard processing and navigation capabilities. The intelligent carriers can include one or more image sensors to observe the relative motion of the track as the carrier traverses it. The carriers can also observe position marks on the track surface to provide absolute position information, which can include additional data, such as routing instructions. Synchronization marks may be provided to correct errors in the observed trajectory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2017
    Assignee: Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc.
    Inventors: Colin Mellars, Baris Yagci, Benjamin Samuel Pollack
  • Publication number: 20170045545
    Abstract: An analyzer for use with in vitro diagnostics includes an automation system to move a plurality of sample carriers within the system. At least some carriers include a plurality of slots. Each slot is configured to hold one of a plurality of fluid containers. The system also includes a place and pick device configured to place the plurality of fluid containers into the plurality of slots and remove the plurality of fluid containers from the plurality of slots. The system further includes a controller configured to place mother sample tubes along with empty sample tubes into the same carrier and move the carrier to an existing pipettor within the analyzer to aliquot a sample portion of the mother sample into the empty daughter tubes to create aliquots for certain samples without requiring a standalone aliquoting station or substantially disrupting the normal flow of sample tubes within the automation system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 17, 2015
    Publication date: February 16, 2017
    Applicant: Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc.
    Inventors: Benjamin Pollack, Colin Mellars
  • Patent number: 9511947
    Abstract: Methods and systems for managing queues of sample carriers in a bidirectional track allow queues to behave as linear FIFO queues while providing random access to samples by resorting samples in the queue. One or more storage positions to allow sample carriers to be selectively removed and reinserted into the queue, allowing the order of sample carriers to be resorted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2016
    Assignee: Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc.
    Inventors: Benjamin Samuel Pollack, Colin Mellars, Baris Yagci
  • Patent number: 9469309
    Abstract: Power systems for an independent carrier for transport of payloads in an automation system for in vitro diagnostic (IVD) applications. The independent carrier may include an onboard power source and an onboard electrical system electrically connected to the onboard power source for controlling movement of the carrier. The independent carrier may include an onboard propulsion system electrically connected to the onboard power source for propelling the carrier and electrically connected to the onboard electrical system for receiving a command to control the movement of the carrier. Onboard power sources may include: replaceable batteries, rechargeable batteries, induction battery charging, photovoltaic power, Peltier effect power, and external combustion engines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2016
    Assignee: Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc.
    Inventors: Baris Yagci, Colin Mellars, Benjamin Samuel Pollack