Patents by Inventor John E. Lillig

John E. Lillig 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: 20200333364
    Abstract: An automated storage system for storing large quantities of samples in trays includes a storage compartment, a tray shuttle compartment abutting the storage compartment on one side and a plurality of independent modules on the other side. The modules perform processing of samples that are retrieved from the storage compartment by a tray shuttle, including extraction of selected samples from retrieved source trays and transfer of the selected samples into a separate, destination tray that can be further processed or removed from the system for use. The independent operation of the modules permits handling and processing to be performed simultaneously by different modules while the tray shuttle accesses additional samples within the storage compartment. In one embodiment, a vertical carousel is used to vertically align a desired tray with the tray shuttle, while the tray shuttle operates within a horizontal plane.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 30, 2020
    Publication date: October 22, 2020
    Inventors: Robert K. Neeper, Rhett L. Affleck, John E. Lillig
  • Patent number: 10697987
    Abstract: An automated storage system for storing large quantities of samples in trays includes a storage compartment, a tray shuttle compartment abutting the storage compartment on one side and a plurality of independent modules on the other side. The modules perform processing of samples that are retrieved from the storage compartment by a tray shuttle, including extraction of selected samples from retrieved source trays and transfer of the selected samples into a separate, destination tray that can be further processed or removed from the system for use. The independent operation of the modules permits handling and processing to be performed simultaneously by different modules while the tray shuttle accesses additional samples within the storage compartment. In one embodiment, a vertical carousel is used to vertically align a desired tray with the tray shuttle, while the tray shuttle operates within a horizontal plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2020
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert K. Neeper, Rhett L. Affleck, John E. Lillig
  • Patent number: 10168344
    Abstract: A storage and retrieval system is provided. The storage and retrieval system having a frame and a shuttle movable within the frame, the shuttle having a carriage extending at least partially between a top and bottom of the frame. At least one tension member extends between a first and second ends of the frame and is coupled to the shuttle. At least one drive member extends between the first and second ends of the frame and is coupled to the shuttle. The at least one drive member and the at least one tension member project from opposite sides of the shuttle towards respective first and second ends of the frame and effect stabilization of the carriage against at least rotation relative to the frame. The at least one tension member crosses the at least one drive member and the at least one drive member effects movement of the shuttle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2019
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert K. Neeper, Rhett L. Affleck, John E. Lillig
  • Publication number: 20170370955
    Abstract: An automated storage system for storing large quantities of samples in trays includes a storage compartment, a tray shuttle compartment abutting the storage compartment on one side and a plurality of independent modules on the other side. The modules perform processing of samples that are retrieved from the storage compartment by a tray shuttle, including extraction of selected samples from retrieved source trays and transfer of the selected samples into a separate, destination tray that can be further processed or removed from the system for use. The independent operation of the modules permits handling and processing to be performed simultaneously by different modules while the tray shuttle accesses additional samples within the storage compartment. In one embodiment, a vertical carousel is used to vertically align a desired tray with the tray shuttle, while the tray shuttle operates within a horizontal plane.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 11, 2017
    Publication date: December 28, 2017
    Inventors: Robert K. Neeper, Rhett L. Affleck, John E. Lillig
  • Patent number: 9702887
    Abstract: An automated storage system for storing large quantities of samples in trays includes a storage compartment, a tray shuttle compartment abutting the storage compartment on one side and a plurality of independent modules on the other side. The modules perform processing of samples that are retrieved from the storage compartment by a tray shuttle, including extraction of selected samples from retrieved source trays and transfer of the selected samples into a separate, destination tray that can be further processed or removed from the system for use. The independent operation of the modules permits handling and processing to be performed simultaneously by different modules while the tray shuttle accesses additional samples within the storage compartment. In one embodiment, a vertical carousel is used to vertically align a desired tray with the tray shuttle, while the tray shuttle operates within a horizontal plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2017
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert K. Neeper, Rhett L Affleck, John E. Lillig
  • Publication number: 20120321419
    Abstract: An automated storage system for storing large quantities of samples in trays includes a storage compartment, a tray shuttle compartment abutting the storage compartment on one side and a plurality of independent modules on the other side. The modules perform processing of samples that are retrieved from the storage compartment by a tray shuttle, including extraction of selected samples from retrieved source trays and transfer of the selected samples into a separate, destination tray that can be further processed or removed from the system for use. The independent operation of the modules permits handling and processing to be performed simultaneously by different modules while the tray shuttle accesses additional samples within the storage compartment. In one embodiment, a vertical carousel is used to vertically align a desired tray with the tray shuttle, while the tray shuttle operates within a horizontal plane.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 27, 2012
    Publication date: December 20, 2012
    Inventors: Robert K. Neeper, Rhett L. Affleck, John E. Lillig
  • Patent number: 8252232
    Abstract: An automated storage system for storing large quantities of samples in trays includes a storage compartment, a tray shuttle compartment abutting the storage compartment on one side and a plurality of independent modules on the other side. The modules perform processing of samples that are retrieved from the storage compartment by a tray shuttle, including extraction of selected samples from retrieved source trays and transfer of the selected samples into a separate, destination tray that can be further processed or removed from the system for use. The independent operation of the modules permits handling and processing to be performed simultaneously by different modules while the tray shuttle accesses additional samples within the storage compartment. In one embodiment, a vertical carousel is used to vertically align a desired tray with the tray shuttle, while the tray shuttle operates within a horizontal plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2012
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert K. Neeper, Rhett L. Affleck, John E. Lillig
  • Publication number: 20120163945
    Abstract: A storage and retrieval system is provided. The storage and retrieval system having a frame and a shuttle movable within the frame, the shuttle having a carriage extending at least partially between a top and bottom of the frame. At least one tension member extends between a first and second ends of the frame and is coupled to the shuttle. At least one drive member extends between the first and second ends of the frame and is coupled to the shuttle. The at least one drive member and the at least one tension member project from opposite sides of the shuttle towards respective first and second ends of the frame and effect stabilization of the carriage against at least rotation relative to the frame. The at least one tension member crosses the at least one drive member and the at least one drive member effects movement of the shuttle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 22, 2011
    Publication date: June 28, 2012
    Applicant: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert K. Neeper, Rhett L. Affleck, John E. Lillig
  • Patent number: 8083994
    Abstract: An automated storage system for storing large quantities of samples in trays includes a storage compartment, a tray shuttle compartment abutting the storage compartment on one side and a plurality of independent modules on the other side. The modules perform processing of samples that are retrieved from the storage compartment by a tray shuttle, including extraction of selected samples from retrieved source trays and transfer of the selected samples into a separate, destination tray that can be further processed or removed from the system for use. The independent operation of the modules permits handling and processing to be performed simultaneously by different modules while the tray shuttle accesses additional samples within the storage compartment. In one embodiment, a vertical carousel is used to vertically align a desired tray with the tray shuttle, while the tray shuttle operates within a horizontal plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2011
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert K. Neeper, Rhett L Affleck, John E. Lillig
  • Patent number: 7793842
    Abstract: An automated storage system for storing large quantities of samples in trays includes a storage compartment, a tray shuttle compartment abutting the storage compartment on one side and a plurality of independent modules on the other side. The modules perform processing of samples that are retrieved from the storage compartment by a tray shuttle, including extraction of selected samples from retrieved source trays and transfer of the selected samples into a separate, destination tray that can be further processed or removed from the system for use. The independent operation of the modules permits handling and processing to be performed simultaneously by different modules while the tray shuttle accesses additional samples within the storage compartment. In one embodiment, a vertical carousel is used to vertically align a desired tray with the tray shuttle, while the tray shuttle operates within a horizontal plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2010
    Assignee: Nexus Biosystems, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert K. Neeper, Rhett L Affleck, John E. Lillig
  • Patent number: 7648321
    Abstract: An automated storage system for storing large quantities of samples in trays includes a storage compartment, a tray shuttle compartment abutting the storage compartment on one side and a plurality of independent modules on the other side. The modules perform processing of samples that are retrieved from the storage compartment by a tray shuttle, including extraction of selected samples from retrieved source trays and transfer of the selected samples into a separate, destination tray that can be further processed or removed from the system for use. The independent operation of the modules permits handling and processing to be performed simultaneously by different modules while the tray shuttle accesses additional samples within the storage compartment. In one embodiment, a vertical carousel is used to vertically align a desired tray with the tray shuttle, while the tray shuttle operates within a horizontal plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 19, 2010
    Assignee: Nexus Biosystems, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert K. Neeper, Rhett L. Affleck, John E. Lillig
  • Patent number: 7635246
    Abstract: An automated storage system for storing large quantities of samples in trays includes a storage compartment, a tray shuttle compartment abutting the storage compartment on one side and a plurality of independent modules on the other side. The modules perform processing of samples that are retrieved from the storage compartment by a tray shuttle, including extraction of selected samples from retrieved source trays and transfer of the selected samples into a separate, destination tray that can be further processed or removed from the system for use. The independent operation of the modules permits handling and processing to be performed simultaneously by different modules while the tray shuttle accesses additional samples within the storage compartment. In one embodiment, a vertical carousel is used to vertically align a desired tray with the tray shuttle, while the tray shuttle operates within a horizontal plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 22, 2009
    Assignee: Nexus Biosystems, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert K. Neeper, Rhett L Affleck, John E. Lillig
  • Patent number: 7596251
    Abstract: An automated biological sample analysis system and method for use in incubating and analyzing multiple samples for protein crystallization. A temperature controlled cabinet houses sample storage, sample transport, and sample imaging systems. The operation of the system is automated and can be controlled by software, which can be reconfigured remotely. An array of storage shelves includes multiple shelf columns arranged around a core. Multiple banks of removable shelves arranged as magazines are accessed through a door on the cabinet. Each shelf stores a multi-well plate and different sizes can be stored in different shelves. The core houses a sample transport system that includes a multi-axis robot that rotates about a vertical axis to access the shelves in the shelf array. The transport system retrieves and replaces the multi-well plates in the shelves and can move plates from the shelves to an imaging system where each sample can be automatically imaged.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 29, 2009
    Assignee: Nexus Biosystems, Inc.
    Inventors: Rhett L. Affleck, Mike Bodnar, Robert K. Levin, John E. Lillig, Robert K. Neeper
  • Publication number: 20070172396
    Abstract: An automated storage system for storing large quantities of samples in trays includes a storage compartment, a tray shuttle compartment abutting the storage compartment on one side and a plurality of independent modules on the other side. The modules perform processing of samples that are retrieved from the storage compartment by a tray shuttle, including extraction of selected samples from retrieved source trays and transfer of the selected samples into a separate, destination tray that can be further processed or removed from the system for use. The independent operation of the modules permits handling and processing to be performed simultaneously by different modules while the tray shuttle accesses additional samples within the storage compartment. In one embodiment, a vertical carousel is used to vertically align a desired tray with the tray shuttle, while the tray shuttle operates within a horizontal plane.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 23, 2007
    Publication date: July 26, 2007
    Inventors: Robert K. Neeper, Rhett L. Affleck, John E. Lillig
  • Publication number: 20040260782
    Abstract: A system for controlling the operation a one or more crystallography laboratory comprises a user interface coupled to an input device. The laboratories each house test samples and include imaging devices and automated machinery configured to retrieve specific samples for imaging. A controller is configured to receive scheduling information from the user interface indicating one or more samples to be imaged and one or more times to image the samples, wherein the controller communicates the scheduling information to each laboratory housing at least one of the test samples to be imaged. The laboratory devices may communicate asynchronously via a server configured to receive messages, determine process(es) to be executed based on the type of the received message, the source of the message, and/or the destination of the message. A transmit message may then be generated, through execution of the process(es), and transmitted to the determined destination device when available.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 30, 2004
    Publication date: December 23, 2004
    Inventors: Rhett L. Affleck, Eric Hansen, John E. Lillig, Robert K. Neeper
  • Publication number: 20040256963
    Abstract: An automated biological sample analysis system and method for use in incubating and analyzing multiple samples for protein crystallization. A temperature controlled cabinet houses sample storage, sample transport, and sample imaging systems. The operation of the system is automated and can be controlled by software, which can be reconfigured remotely. An array of storage shelves includes multiple shelf columns arranged around a core. Multiple banks of removable shelves arranged as magazines are accessed through a door on the cabinet. Each shelf stores a multi-well plate and different sizes can be stored in different shelves. The core houses a sample transport system that includes a multi-axis robot that rotates about a vertical axis to access the shelves in the shelf array. The transport system retrieves and replaces the multi-well plates in the shelves and can move plates from the shelves to an imaging system where each sample can be automatically imaged.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 30, 2004
    Publication date: December 23, 2004
    Inventors: Rhett L. Affleck, Mike Bodnar, Robert K. Levin, John E. Lillig, Robert K. Neeper
  • Publication number: 20040253742
    Abstract: An imaging system for automation of sample monitoring includes an image capture device that cooperates with a lens assembly for imaging the samples. A translator positions the lens assembly and/or a sample plate mount for acquisition of the images. Some embodiments of the system include a light source configured to provide low temperature, flash illumination of a sample plate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 30, 2004
    Publication date: December 16, 2004
    Inventors: Rhett L. Affleck, Robert K. Levin, John E. Lillig, Robert K. Neeper
  • Publication number: 20040218804
    Abstract: An image analysis system and related methods for automation of the monitoring of samples to determine crystal growth. Samples are imaged from time to time using a set of imaging parameters. The resulting images are evaluated to determine the contents of the samples. If the evaluation of the image indicates the presence of crystals, the sample may be re-imaged using a different set of imaging parameters, and the resulting image analyzed to determine its contents. The sample may also be evaluated by generating multiple images of a sample using various sets of imaging parameters, identifying pixels that depict regions of interest in a plurality of images, merging the pixels from each region of interest into a composite image and analyzing the composite image. An image of a sample can also be evaluated by classifying the pixels of the image based on the contents of the sample that they depict, color-coding the pixels using the classifications, and displaying the colored image for analysis.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 30, 2004
    Publication date: November 4, 2004
    Inventors: Rhett L. Affleck, Robert K. Levin, John E. Lillig, Robert K. Neeper, William R. Ewing, Duane DeSieno, Eric Hansen, Mike Bodnar
  • Publication number: 20040091941
    Abstract: A plurality of samples of different substances are tested for their ability to enhance or inhibit a biological process. The samples are deposited on a supporting surface, such as a ChemCard, in an array comprising at least two dots of each sample, wherein at least one of the dots of each sample is at least a predetermined distance from at least one of the dots of each of the plurality of samples. One or more assay reagents in a gel sheet, for example, are then brought in contact with the compounds and reactions with certain of the compounds are evident as the active compounds diffuse into the one or more assay reagents. The concept of having unique neighbors for each occurrence of a dot allows the definitive correlation of active compounds with the dot (and the compound) that caused the biological activity.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 8, 2003
    Publication date: May 13, 2004
    Inventors: William R. Ewing, Robert K. Neeper, Rhett L. Affleck, John E. Lillig
  • Publication number: 20040032058
    Abstract: Disclosed are systems and methods for casting, handling, or storing assay matrices. In one embodiment, an assay matrix casting system comprises a gel matrix frame sandwiched between two films, forming a “gel matrix mold,” two plates sandwiching the gel matrix mold, one or more devices for delivering gel material into a chamber formed by the gel matrix mold, and a device for pressing the plates toward each other. An assay matrix is cast by applying pressure to the, injecting a liquid gel material into the chamber of the gel matrix mold, and allowing the gel material to form a gel matrix inside the chamber. The gel matrix may be handled or stored using the gel matrix mold, which is removable from the other components of the gel casting system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 13, 2002
    Publication date: February 19, 2004
    Inventors: Robert K. Neeper, Rhett L. Affleck, John E. Lillig