ROBERTSON, John
INFOSIGHT
20700 US Route 23
Chillicothe, OH 45601
Phone: 740-642-3600
Fax: 740-642-5001
jr@infosight.com
John Robertson attended the University of Illinois (Electrical Engineering). As an undergraduate, he was the President of the Electrical Engineering Honorary Eta Kappa Nu, and a member of the Scientific Research Honorary Sigma Xi. His Masters thesis involved The Design of Low Noise Figure UHF Transistor Amplifiers. Johns Ph.D. thesis might be paraphrased What happens to an evaporating charged water droplet? His experimental work led him to become facile in and improve the techniques required to produce practical continuous ink jet printers. Upon Graduation in 1969, John was recruited by Mead Corporation (Central Research in Chillicothe, Ohio) where he lead a team in the development of large array ink jet printers which involved thousands of parallel jets. While at Mead, he filed (and later obtained) ten patents covering ink jets and one involving smokestack air cleaning. One inkjet patent which disclosed deflection using the charged drop image in a nearby conducting plane has been widely used in high speed (web) printers. John took an extended leave of absence to attempt sailing around the world. He returned periodically to do some consulting but eventually accepted that seasickness had bettered him. He returned to land in Chillicothe (1971) where he founded Telesis (now Telesis Technologies). Telesis originally was an Invention on Demand laboratory which developed as many as 50 unique products per year (1980). Early patents involved Data Entry Terminals and Electrostatic Length Measurement Devices. Some of his more fun projects included controlling electrostatic discharge from hovering helicopters, and developing electronic tuners for steel guitars (players tend to have perfect pitch  not a big market opportunity here). Eventually Telesis found its niche focusing on product marking and automatic identification (reading) in situations where conventional labels and scanners dont work. His development of the PINSTAMP® dot peen marker permitted the marking of characters and codes on a wide variety of products. Specially encoded dot peen axle marking fonts (1 patent) permitted investigators at the first World Trade Center bombing to identify the VIN of the responsible truck. The PINSTAMP is widely used for marking permanent dot peened codes (esp. 2D codes). A large tire manufacturer came to Telesis for help in a reader for molded bar codes, they had built an entire new plant based on automatic sortation of tires and unfortunately the readers they had chosen didnt work. John quickly developed a hardware edge detector / pre-qualifier vision reader which read the all black (zero contrast) codes on a high speed rotating tire utilizing structured lighting. The basic NUMBRA® patent has been the basis for a number of vision based high speed readers including the first (so called stretch) reader for reading dot peen marked PINSTAMP® codes on airbag propellant canisters both before and after painting. The NUMBRA technology has also been utilized in the manufacture of ERW (welded) pipe by programmably spraying large binary painted codes on the pipe surface, which survive severe handling and high temperature annealing. John has two patents related to the NUMBRA code reading technology. In 1993, John sold Telesis and along with 13 employees, who loved custom design, started InfoSight. The tag line on the InfoSight show booth is We Barcode Difficult Stuff. Dr. Robertson developed the laser markable metal tag (1994) used to identify steel. These barcoded tags survive being attached to 1800°F red hot steel slabs. Today over 20 million tags per year are coated by InfoSight and are on-site marked by InfoSight designed CO2 laser markers. More recent tag types survive hot pickling acids and annealing operations. InfoSight even makes a tagging system for identifying structural components with bar codes which will survive the entire hot dipped galvanizing process (acids, bases followed by molten zinc). Three additional patents have been issued to Dr. Robertson for methods of robustly attaching such tags onto steel. InfoSight today designs and manufactures complete mill-duty fully-automated machines to make and attach bar coded tags and has installed such machines worldwide. John developed a method of placing unique bar codes on each fragile piece of red hot CRT glass -- right after exit from the mold. This process enables glass molding plants to track each individual piece and thereby collect data to facilitate the process optimization. He patented two technologies to apply bar coded identification on the protected inside surface of a piece of large diameter oil transmission pipe (patch spray and laser mark in one station). John has developed a suite of marking technologies to apply specially formulated coating patches (typically white) and then darken those using CO2 lasers. The result is a high contrast bar code which can be reliably read using low cost conventional scanners. A proper coating formulation permits such markings to survive high temperature (annealing and normalizing) operations or difficult chemical baths. Applications include ceramic cores of catalytic converters and forged steel crankshafts. He has recently developed an anodized aluminum label which contains a laser darkenable material in sub-surface pores. The marked tag is very abrasion and UV resistant and is ideally suited for unique identification (UID) of military and industrial assets. Johns newest adventure is the startup of a division of InfoSight called ViaLabel (see www.vialabel.com) which provides bar coding for laboratory samples where conventional labels just dont work. Examples include histology cassettes (slippery Delrin containers which are exposed to alcohols, xylene and formalin for long periods) and glass ampules requiring bar codes which must survive a minimum of 100 years of liquid nitrogen immersion. John has 40 US Patents and is a Fellow in the Instrument Society of America. He is a Registered Professional Engineer (Ohio), past President of the Electrostatics Society of America and a Graduate of the Harvard Business School OPM Program.