Patent #9,327,411 covers robotic gripper for failure‐free microwell plate handling
Carlsbad, Calif. - June 1, 2016 - Let's Go Robotics today announced that the US Patent and Trademark
robotics used in life sciences and other applications. The method is based on sensor‐less force detection
to avoid crushing and novel rack and pinion gears to avoid dropping. The patent is used in the Let's Go
Robotics electro servo gripper named The Gripster and used in a wide range of robotic systems. Let's Go
Robotics specializes in life sciences automation for the future.
"Our revolutionary gripper handles microwell plates without dropping, crushing or otherwise
mishandling them," said Brian Ganz, Let's Go Robotics President. "These plates may contain drug
discovery experiments worth thousands of dollars or drug trial testing materials that are irreplaceable.
Our patented technology safeguards these experiments as plates are transferred between instruments."
The patented robotic gripper detects the presence of an object such as a microwell based on force
rather than a sensor. Once force is detected, power is held constant, eliminating the risk of crushing.
Only a small amount of current is required, avoiding common overheating problems. Force is created by
a small stepping motor driving mechanical gears and is fully programmable for each environment. Grip
forces are varied automatically based on plate width, and whether the plate is lidded or un‐lidded,
empty, full or partially filled. Objects can be gripped in landscape and portrait orientation. Software is
included to setup the gripper for unique applications. No plastic is used, just all precise bearings and
machined aluminum for quality and longevity.
The gripper uses rack and pinion gears with a worm drive to eliminate dropping risk. The worm drive
turns the gears but the gears cannot turn the worm drive. As a result, the gripper cannot lose its grip on
a microwell plate. A manual override button can be pressed to free a plate, at the gripper if needed.
Other features covered in the patent include top and rear mounting options and collision detection to
protect the microplate.
The Gripster can retrofit most robotic arms and positioners. Its built‐in controller easily interfaces with
robot controllers. Let's Go Robotics regularly works with scientists and engineers to get the best fit for
their laboratory automation needs. Other features include a bar‐code reader mounted on the gripper,
along with additional I/O for future automation support.
"Grippers are an extremely important component in life science robotics and a common point of
failure," said Ganz. "This patent recognizes the innovative nature of our robotic gripper and represents a
significant improvement in reliability in unattended laboratory operations."
Patent #9,327,411 was issued on May 3, 2016. The patent claims the benefit of Provisional Application
61/422,571 filed December 13, 2010. Brian Ganz is a named inventor on this patent and more than 20
other US patents. Read the full text of the patent on the US Patent and Trademark Office web site.
About Let's Go Robotics
Let's Go Robotics specializes in Life Sciences automation for the future. Our team focuses on system
integration, custom engineering, and standard product development, leveraging our extensive
experience in engineering and robotics. We are 100% committed to your success, delivering the
laboratory automation or custom engineering you need to improve your efficiency. As experts in
integrating complex systems involving motion control and instrumentation, our team can provide
complete laboratory automation, custom engineering services, and everything in between.
The LGR team consists of experienced Mechanical, Electrical, Software and Processing Engineers. Our
expert team will integrate key technologies with your automation requirements to create a system that
meets your needs now, with the flexibility to adapt for the future.
Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act:
With the exception of the historical information contained in this release, the matters described herein
contain forward‐looking statements that involve risk and uncertainties that may individually or mutually
impact the matters herein described, including but not limited to, product acceptance, the ability to
continually obtained increased orders of its products, the ability to meet installation goals, economic,
competitive, governmental impacts, whether pending patents will be granted or defendable, validity of
intellectual property and patents, the ability to license patents, the ability to commercialize
developmental products, as well as technological and/or other factors.