US 3820545 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Jefferts v [451 June 28, 1974 1 TAG IMPLANTING MACHINE  Inventor: Keith B. Jeiferts, 82 Blackburn Rd., Summit, NJ. 07901  Filed: Mar. 26, 1973  Appl. No.: 345,102 I Primary Examiner-Aldrich F. Medbery Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Kenyon & Kenyon Reilly Carr & Chapin [5 7] ABSTRACT A method and apparatus are disclosed for implanting identifying tags into a macro-organism so that its movement from one habitat to another may be studied. A supply of wire is incrementally advanced by means of a drive motor along a substantially straight path through a cutting and implanting means. The cutting means serves'to cut a short length of wire suitable for implantation from the length of wire, the cut length then by means of the remaining uncut wire being advanced to the impanting means. The implanting means includes a reciprocating hypodermic needle through which the cut segment of wire is advanced by the supply of wire and implanted in the macroorganism.
16 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures FATENTEI] JUH 2 8 I974 sum 1 or 4 v PATENTEDJUR28 1974 SHEET l 0F 4 1 TAG IMPLANTING MACHINE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a method and apparatus for implanting tags into an object, and more particularly to one wherein the tags are severed from a supply of wire and incrementally advanced to an implanting means.
US. Pat. No. 3,128,744, issued to Peter K. Bergman andmyself on Apr. 14, 1964, discloses a method for investigating the migratory habits of macro-organisms by implanting therein a relatively small tag containing identifying data thereon. The organism, which after implantation is released to its normal environment, when subsequently recovered along with other organisms is passed through a detecting means which is capable of identifying those containing a tag therein. This detecting means is preferably a magnetic detecting apparatus which is suitable for sensing the pre'sense of an identifying tag formed of magnetic material. An implanting means of a portable type is described in my earlier patent and uses a hypodermic injector. This portable injector is adapted to operate with precut segments of wire which are placed in the machine and by means of the manually actuated plunger are implanted into the macro-organism. 1
More recently, an identification tag implanting machine was disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,369,525 issued to Debrotnic et al. on Feb. 20, 1968. This device is somewhat more automatic than my earlier hand plunger in that it cuts segments of wire from a large spool and by means of a reciprocating bar transports the cut segment to a tag injector. Tag injection is accomplished by using pressure placement of the fish against a bonnet with the fish being forced onto a needle so that an identifying tag may be implanted therein.
In my later US. Pat. No. 3,545,405, issued on Dec. 8, 1970, is disclosed an improved identifying tag. Identifying tags used in conjunction with the investigation of the migratory habits of organisms must be small for biological reasons. In this respect, it has been found that a tag with a geometry of .010 inch diameter by .040 inch long is most satisfactory. My improved identifying tag has on its circumference binary coded infor-' mation in the form of indentations arranged in a predetermined pattern rather thanthe earlier types of tags which included different colors or stripes painted thereon. The method and apparatus of this invention is particularly well suited for usage with identifying tags of the type described in my earlier patent. However, other types of tags might be utilized if so desired.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Briefly stated, the apparatus of the invention described herein is directed at a means for implanting wire segments into an object and in this connection employs a supplyof wire which is incrementally advanced I along a predetermined substantially straight path. Cut- In a more specific aspect of the invention, the cutting means includes a rotary cutting member which has an aperture extending therethrough. This aperture is positioned in line with the predetermined straight path along which the supply of wire is advanced. Means are provided for rotating the cutting member and thereby moving the aperture away from the predetermined straight path to cut the segment of wire within the aperture from the remainder of the supply of wire. As described, the cutting member includes an outer housing which has an opening in which a member is rotatably mounted. Both the outer housing and the rotatably mounted member have an aperture extending therethrough, the aperture being in line with the predetermined path. Means are further provided to incrementally rotate the rotatable member both in a clockwise and counterclockwise direction so as to effect severing of thewire segment and also to return the member to its original position ready to repeat the cycle.
Advancement of the supply of wire, as described in the preferred embodiment, includes a pair of oppositely disposed friction drive wheels with the supply of wire positioned therebetween. In this manner, the supply of wire is linearly moved when the drive wheels are rotated by means of an incrementally rotatable drive motor.
The apparatus, as described, further includes a needle which is adapted to be inserted into the object, the needle having an aperture disposed in line with the predetermined path of the supply of wire. Means are provided to advance the needle a predetermined distance so as to penetrate the object for implantation purposes. Means are further provided for retracting the needle from the object while allowing the severed segment of the wire to remain implanted in the object. A drive motor for advancing the needle has mounted on its output shaft an eccentric member which has the end of a linkage bar attached thereto. The other end of the linkage bar is coupled to the needle so that upon rotation of the-drive motor, the needle is caused to reciprocate in a linear direction.
In practicing the invention, a segment of wire is cut from the supply of wire and advanced to a predetermined position with respect to an implanting means. The implanting means is advanced so as to become partially embedded in the macro-organism while the cut segment of wire is advanced by means of the supply of wire a distance approximately equal to the advancement of the implanting means. The implanting means is next retracted out of the macro-organism while the cut segment of wire is allowed to remain implanted therein. Subsequently, the supply of wire is retracted a distance sufficient to position a portion thereof within the cutting means so as to allow for the cycle to be repeated. By following the procedure and utilizing the apparatus described herein, an effective implantation is accomplished automatically in a manner suitable for handling large quantities of macro-organisms in a short period of time.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide an improved tag implanting means which is adapted to effectively and automatically accomplish implantation.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a novel method and means for implanting identifying tags into macro-organisms so that their migratory habits may be studied.
It is still another object of this invention to provide a method and apparatus for severing small segments of wire suitable for implantation from a supply of wire and advancing them to an implanting mechanism which is adapted to implant the severed segment of wire into a macro-organism.
These and other objects, advantages and features of the invention will become more apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the implanting machine of this invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged elevation view, partly in crosssection, of the cutting and implanting means of this invention;
FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating the operational steps utilized in the practice of this invention;
FIG. 4 is a diagramatic illustration of the manner in which implanting of the macro-organism is accomplished in accordance with this invention; and
FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram of the electronic circuitry of this invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT With reference to the drawings, and particularly FIG. 1, the implanting apparatus includes three individual stepper motors l1, l2, and 13. The stepper motors are of a type which have an incremental rotational output and are also capable of being driven in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. A suitable motor of this type is manufactured by Sigma Instruments Company, Braintree, Massachusets.
The implanting apparatus 10 includes three principal assemblies, namely a wire drive assembly 20, a rotary cutter assembly 30 and an implanting assembly 40. Each of these assemblies is driven respectively by stepper motors 11, 12 and 13.
The wire drive assembly includes a spool of wire 21 which is preferably of a magnetic character and has a diameter of approximately .010 inch suitable when cut into segments, for implantation ,into macroorganisms. The wire itselfdenoted as 22, is routed through a guide 23 and into the drive members. The drive members include a pair of oppositely disposed wheels 24 and 25, the former being driven by stepper motor 11. Each of the wheels 24 and 25 is provided with a friction type surface at 26, rubber being a preferred material, so that the wire is effectively gripped and moved when the wheels rotate. The lower or idler wheel 25 is mounted on an arm 27 which is biased upwardly by the spring 28 so as to urge the wheel 25 into engagement with the wire 22. The wire 22 as it exits from the drive assembly 20 is routed through another guide 29.
From guide 29, the wire 22 continues along a straight path into cutter assembly 30. Cutter assembly 30, illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, includes an outer housing 31 which has a circular opening 32 at its center. Within the opening 32 is mounted a rotatable spindle 33 which is coupled to and driven by stepper motor 12. Both the housing 31 and spindle 33 are preferably of a tungsten carbide or other hard material and have an aperture 34 and 35 respectively extending therethrough. As more fully described below, segments of wire are cut from the continuous length of wire 22 by rotating spindle 33 with respect to the stationary housing 31.
The implanting assembly 40 is located at the downstream side of the spindle 33 and includes an elongated guide 41 which has an aperture 42 extending therethrough. The wire as it exits from the cutter assembly 30 accordingly enters aperture 42. Tube 41 has one end abutting the spindle 33 when in the inactive position. the tube 41 being slidably mounted within housing 31. On the other end of tube 41 is mounted a hypodermic needle 44 which serves to implant the identifying tag into the macroorganism. Tube 41 is further supported by sleeve 43a mounted in wall 45. Again, the lit between sleeve 43a and tube 41 is such that the tube is free to be reciprocated therewithin. Also mounted on wall 45 is a receptacle 46 wherein the salmon 47 or other object under study is positioned.
The implanting assembly 40 is driven by stepper motor 13 which as illustrated in FIG. 1, has on its output shaft an eccentric member 48 which is coupled to linkage bar 49 by means of a pin 48a. The linkage bar 49 at its other end is connected by means of lever 50 and coupling 51 to the slidably mounted tube 41. In this manner, as the stepper motor 13 is driven, linkage 49 causes bar 50 to reciprocate in the direction indicated by the arrow in FIG. 1. This in turn causes the tube 41 and hypodermic needle 44 to reciprocate.
The supply of wire 21 is preferably provided with identifying data such as the type described in my earlier US. Pat. No. 3,454,405. Of course, means could be provided as a part of this apparatus to impart the identifying data onto the wire 22 prior to cutting. The supply of wire, driven by the wire drive assembly 20, is routed along a straight path to the cutting assembly 30 in incremental steps so that a precise 0.040 inch long tag is cut. The continuous supply of wire 22 is then used to push the cut tag through the hypodermic needle and into the presented macro-organism. This operation is described below in greater detail. Stepper motor 11, which drives friction wheels 24 and 25, advances its shaft in precise l.8 steps or increments. Accordingly, the diameter of roller 24 thus determines the linear travel of the wire 22. By using a diameter of L273 inches, the linear travel of the wire for each incremental advancement of stepper motor 11 is .020 inch or one half of the desired tag length.
The cutter assembly 30 effects cutting of individual segments from the supply of wire 21 by means of the rotating spindle mounted in housing 31. Spindle 33 is rotated by stepper motor 12 which rotates both clockwise and counterclockwise in precise 15 increments. In this manner, the wire 22 is cut by rotating the spindle 33 for 15 with respect to the stationary housing 31. The severed segment of wire is repositioned by rotating the spindle 33 15 in a direction opposite to that used to effect cutting. The cut tag 52 is located within spindle 33 and in the path of movement of the uncut wire 22. The cut segment of wire 52 is then advanced to the hypodermic needle 44 by means of the supply of wire 22. One additional feature of the rotary cutting spindle 33 is that the cutting edges when they become dull, may be simply replaced by rotating the spindle 180. This presents a new set of cutting edges.
The implanting assembly 40 effects linear reciprocating movement of hypodermic needle 44 so as to cause implantation of the cut segment of wire 52 into the fish 47. Implantation by means of the reciprocal needle 44 insures that the tag will be inserted without tearing the specimen and also allows for precise placement of the tag. The hypodermic needle 44 employed in the illustrated assembly has a .022 inch outside diameter and is 2 inches long. The needle 44 is carried in a .125 inch diameter needle carrier 44a which is in turn mounted in the implanting end of tube 41. The inactiveor neutral position of the tube 41 has one end thereof abutting the spindle 33 in cutter assembly 30. After the identifying tag 52 is cut, it is advanced into the hypodermic needle 44 via tube 41 by means of the supply of wire 22. The tube 41 and needle 44 are in turn advanced by stepping motor 13 in a programmed manner. In the preferred embodiment, full advancement of needle 44 is approximately 3/ 16 inch and is accomplished in each cycle. The amount of needle penetration depends upon the size and position of the fish support receptacle 46 and may be modified in accordance with the particular requirements. Once needle 44 is fully extended, the tag 52 is advanced through the needle aperture and into the fish an amount dependent upon the advancement of the supply of wire 22. Once the tag 52 and supply of wire 22 are sufficiently advanced and the cut segment 52 is properly implanted, the needle 44 is retracted. Subsequently, the supply of wire 22 is retracted thereby leaving the cut segment of wire 52 implanted in the macro-organism. This particular sequence of operation, which is more fully described below, avoids the problems associated with retracting the implanted tag along with theneedle assembly during withdrawal.
To review the operation of this invention, specific reference is made to FIGS. 3 and 4. FIG. 3 is a functional block diagram outlining the various movements whereas FIG. 4 graphically illustrates the movement of the hypodermic needle 44, supply of wire 22, cut segment of wire 52, and cutter assembly 30. In normal operation, the sequence is started by positioning the fish within the receptacle 46. The hypodermic needle 44 is then advanced by means of stepper motor 13 to the fully forward position to penetrate the fish being implanted. The third step in the sequence of operation calls for advancing the supply of wire 22 a predetermined distance N1 steps, so that the previously cut segment of wire 52 is positioned with its end adjacent the end of the needle and therefore within the body of the fish being tagged. The hypodermic needle 44 is then retracted from the fish and returned to its inactive or original starting position. The supply of wire is then also retracted, the distance of retraction being N1 N2 steps, thereby leaving the identifying tag 52 at its implanted position in the fish 47. This sequence of first withdrawing the implanting needle 44 and then the supply of wire 22 avoids possible inadvertent removal of the tag 52 from the fish. The wire, retracted a distance of N1 N2, is thereby positioned such that its end portion is two steps within the cutter this incremental length is cut upon rotation of spindle 33 in cutter assembly 30 and becomes the next tag. The wire is then advanced a distance of N2 2 increments so as to position the cut segment of wire 52 at the end of the hypodermic needle 44. This completes the cycle and returns the various components to a position from which the cycle may be repeated. 7
A block-logic diagram of a suitable embodiment of a programmable controller which may be used to provide the sequencing described above in connection with FIGS. 3 and 4 is shown in FIG. 5. Each of the motors ll, 12 and 13 has a controller circuit associated therewith to provide the necessary voltage outputs to cause the motors to step in the desired manner. Such controllers for use with stepper motors are well known and such circuits or details of how to construct them may be obtained from the stepper motor manufacturer. Thus, these portions of the system are indicated in block diagram form. Each of the circuits includes means which will respond to input pulses to provide output pulses at proper voltages to cause the motors to step in the desired manner. Associated with motor 11, the motor which provides for advancing and retracting the wire, is shown a controller 101. Motor 12, which provides the. cutting actionis driven through controller 105. The controller for motor 13 is indicated by block 107. This drives the motor 13 to advance and retract the hypodermic needle 44 of FIGS. 1 and 2.
The remainder of FIG. 5 illustrates the logic circuits which provide the necessary inputs to the controllers 101, 105, and 107 to provide the previously described sequence of operation. These logic elements comprise known devices which are available in microcircuit form from manufacturers such as Fairchild, Texas Instruments and so on. A system such as that illustrated in 1 FIG. 5 has been constructed using logic elements which operate at the logic levels where logic 0 equals 0 volts and logic 1 equals 15 volts. It will be recognized that the system is not limited to these levels in that other voltages may be used.
The sequencing is performed under the control of a clock 111. Typically, the clock may provide a square wave output at a frequency of 200 Hz. Once the fish or other macro-organism is positioned to have the wire implanted, the sequence may be started by providing an input to a latch 112 which may be a convenetional set-reset flip flop. This input may be provided. for example, by a push button switch 115. A positive input to the set input of flip flop 113 will cause its Q output to go to the 1 state. The Q output of flip flop 113 is provided as the D input to a D type flip flop 115. The nature of a D type flip flop is such that when an input at a logic 1 level is provided to its C input, the level present at'its D input will be transferred to its Q output. As is normal with flip flops the Q and O outputs of a D flip flop are complementary. Prior to beginning. the implanting sequence, all of the flip flops are reset and thus flip flop 115 will have a 1 level out of its Q output terminal This output provides one input to a Nandgate 117 which obtains its second input from the Q output of flip flop 113. At this point in time, both of these inputs will be a l. The nature of a Nandgate is such that with two 1 s at its input, it will provide a 0 at its output. With any other combination of inputs, i.e. if either or both inputs are 0, its output will be a 1. Thus, as soon as flip flop 113 is set, Nandgate 117 will have two I inputs and will provide a 0 output. The output of Nandgate is provided as a reset input to a digital counter 119 arranged to provide an output after two input pulses, i.e. a two counter. Prior to flip flop 113 being set. the 1 from Nandgate 117 was holding counter 119 in a reset condition. When the output of Nandgate 117 goes to 0, counter 119 becomes enabled to count pulses at its input. The output of Nandgate 117 is also provided to a Norgate 121 which has as its second input the output of clock 111. The nature of a Norgate is such that only when both of its inputs are at a 0 level will its output be a 1. With a l at either input, its output will remain at 0. Thus, for as long as Nandgate 117 had an output which remained at l, the output of Norgate 121 remained at 0. Now with a input from Nandgate 117, Norgate 121 will be enabled so that each time a clock pulse at a 0 level appears at its other input, the output of Norgate 121 will go to I. This output is provided to the input of counter 119 and also to the controller 107.
As described above, each time a pulse is provided into controller 107, it will provide an appropriate output pulse to drive motor 13 one step. With Norgate 121 enabled, a first pulse will be allowed to pass therethrough and cause counter 119 to advance 1 count and motor 13 to advance one step. Similarly, the next count will cause motor 13 to advance another step and counter 119 to advance one more count. At this point, counter 119, since it is a two counter, will provide an output on line 122 to the clock input of flip flop 115 and cause the l at the D input to be transferred to the Q output. When this happens the Q output will go to 0 causing the output of Nandgate 117 to go from a l to a 0 and disable Norgate 121 from permitting further clock pulses to be provided to counter 117 or controller 107. The output of Nandgate 117 will also reset counter 119 so it is ready for the next sequence. The needle is now inserted into the fish as shown on FIG. 4 under the heading advance needle. It should be noted that in the present example, two steps of the motor are used to advance the needle to penetrate the fish. This is only used as an example and in other applications, more or less of a needle advancement may be used. In such a case, it is only necessary to adjust the modulo of counter 119 to provide the required number of advance steps to obtain the needed penetration.
The output of flip flop 115 is provided to the D input of a second D type flip flop 117 and as one input to a Nandgate 118. In the manner described above in connection with Nandgate 117, Nandgate 125 will have an output which goes from 0 to 1 since it now has two 1 s on its input and will enable Norgate 126 to permit clock pulses to enter the N, counter 127 and also to permit pulses to be provided to the controller 101. Counter 127 will be arranged to provide an output on line 129 after N, pulses. Thus, N, pulses will be allowed to pass through Norgate 126 into counter 127 and to controller 101 causing motor 11 to advance N, steps as shown by FIG. 4. At this point, the length of wire 22 is in engagement with the cut segment 52 which is within the fish 47. The output from counter 127 now provides an input on line 129 to the C input of flip flop 123 causing the l at its D input to I transferred to the Q output. This in turn causes the Q output to go to 0 and the output of Nandgate 125 to go to l disabling Norgate 126 and resetting counter 127.
In similar fashion, the Q output of flip flop 123 is provided to a D type flip flop 131 and a Nandgate 132 permitting pulses to pass through a Norgate 133 to a two counter 134 and to the controller 107. The two counter will allow two pulses to be counted and motor 13 to be moved two steps to retract the needle 44 before counter 134 provides an output on line 135 to the C input of flip flop 131 which will cause Nandgate 132 to disable Norgate 133 and reset counter 134. The needle is now retracted with the tag 52 remaining in the fish 47 and wire 22 still extended and in engagement with the tag 52. The Q output of flip flop 131 now provides a 1 input to the D input of flip flop 136 and to Nandgate 137. In the manner described above, this enables Norgate 138 to provide pulses to a counter 139 and to controller 101 to cause motor 11 to retract the wire. Counter 139 is a N1 N2 counter and will permit N1 N2 pulses to enter and to be provided to motor 11 causing that number of retraction steps before it provides an output on line 140 to transfer the -l at the D input of flip flop 136 to its Q output causing Nandgate 137 to disable Norgate 138 and reset counter 139. The wire 22 has now been retracted so that its end portion is within the cutter 30. The setting of flip flop 136 provides a l to the D input of flip flop 141. Flip flop 141 has its C input tied to the clock line from clock 111. Thus on the next clock pulse, the l at its D input will be transferred to its Q output. The Q output is coupled by line 143 to controller 105 which will provide outputs to motor 12 to cause the piece of wire to be used for the next insertion to be cut as described above. The l at the Q output of flip flop 141 is provided to another D type flip flop 143 and to a Nandgate 145 causing that gate to enable a Norgate 147 to pass clock pulses to an N2 2 counter 148 and to controller 101 to cause the wire 22 shown on FIG. 4 to advance N2 plus 2 steps to push the cut tag to the end of the needle 44 in preparation for the next insertion sequence. After N2 2 counts an output on line 149 causes the l at the D input of flip flop 144 to be transferred to its Q output disabling Norgate 147 and causing counter 148 to be reset by the 1 output of Nandgate 145 in the manner described above. The l at the Q output of flip flop 144 is provided at the D input of another D type flip flop 150 which has its reset input grounded so that it is always enabled and its C input connected to the output of clock 111. On the next clock pulse the one at the D input will be transferred to the Q output of flip flop 150. This 1 is provided as a reset input to flip flops 113, 115, 123, 131, 136 141, and 144 and will cause them all to be reset. Now flip flop 144 will have a O at its Q output and on the next clock pulse input this 0 will be transferred from the D input of flip flop 150 to its Q output removing the one level on the reset line. The system is now completely reset with all flip flops having been reset as described and all counters reset at the end of their count by their associated Nandgates. Now, as soon as a new fish is positioned, the push button switch 115 is activated and the sequence repeated.
Thus there has been described an effective automatic tag implanting machine adapted particularly for useage in connection with the studyof the migratory habits of macro-organisms. Moreover, by the method and means disclosed herein, implantation is accomplished rapidly and without any undue harm to the macro-organism.
Although the above description is directed at a preferred embodiment of the invention, it is noted that other variations and modifications will be apparent to those skilled in the art and, therefore, may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.
What is claimed is:
1. An apparatus for implanting wire segments into an object which comprises:
a. a supply of wire adapted to be advanced along a predetermined substantially straight path;
b. means disposed along said predetermined straight path for cutting a segment of wire from said supply of wire;
c. means disposed adjacent said cutting means and along said substantially straight path for receiving the severed length of wire from said cutting means and implanting said severed length in the object; and
(1. means for incrementally advancing said supply of wire along said predetermined substantially straight path through said cutting and implanting means so as to cause said severed length of wire to be advanced a similar amount thereby in cooperation with said implanting means, causing the latter to be implanted into the object.
2. An apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein said cutting means comprises a rotary cutting member having an aperture extending therethrough, said aperture in a first position being in line with said predetermined path and being adapted to receive said supply of wire, and means for rotating said rotary cutting member to move said aperture to a second position at an angle with said predetermined path and thereby cut the segment of wire within said aperture from the remainder of saidsupply of wire.
3. An apparatus in accordance with claim 2 wherein said rotary cutting member includes an outer housing having an opening therein, a rotatable member mounted within said opening of said outer housing and having extending therethrough said aperture which in said first position is in line with said predetermined path, and means for incrementally rotating said rotatable member in a clockwise andcounterclockwise direction.
4. An apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein said advancing means comprises a pair of oppositely disposed friction drive wheels having said supply of wire positioned therebe tween so as to cause said supply of wire to be. linearly moved upon rotation of said drive wheels, and means for incrementally driving oneof said drive wheels. I
5. An apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein said implanting means comprises:
a. a needle adapted to be inserted into the object,
said needle having an aperture therethrough disposed in line with said predetermined path for receiving said supply of wire and said cut segment 0 wire; t
b. means for advancing said needle and cut segment of wire a predetermined distance sufficient to penetrate the object and cause said cut segment of wire to be implanted therein; and
c. means for retracting said needle from the object while said cut segment of wire remains implanted therein.
6. An apparatus in accordance with claim 5 which further includes a drive means adapted to be incrementally rotated, an eccentrically mounted member attached to said drive means, a linkage bar attached at one end to said eccentrically mounted member and at the other end coupled to said needle so that upon rotation of said drive means said needle is caused to reciprocate in a linear direction.
7. The invention according to claim 1, wherein said implanting means, said cutting means and said advancing means are driven by a controller adapted to cause in sequence:
a. said implanting means to advance a distance Y; b. said supply of wire to be advanced a distance X;
c. said implanting means to retrace said distance Y:
d. said supply of wire to be retracted a distance of X e. said cutting means to cut an increment of wire; and
f. said advancing means to advance said wire a distance equal to Z the length of the cut segment.
8. The invention according to claim 7 wherein said advancing means, said cutting means and said implanting' means are driven respectively first, second and third stepper motors and said controller comprises a digital controller.
9. The invention according to claim 8 wherein the length of said cut segment corresponds to two steps of said first motor X is equal to N steps of said motor and Z is equal to N steps of said motor.
10. The invention according to claim 9 wherein Y corresponds to two steps of the motor driving said implanting means.
11. The invention according to claim 10, wherein said controller provides in sequence:
a. two advance pulses to said first motor;
b. N, advance pulses to said second motor;
c. two retraction pulses to said first motor;
d. N N retraction pulses to said second motor;
e. a cut command to said third motor; and
f. N 2 advance pulses to said second motor.
12. The invention according to claim 1 1 wherein said digital controller comprises:
a. a clock oscillator;
b. a plurality of storage means, one being provided for each of the steps (a) through (f) of claim 11; c. a plurality of counters one being provided for each of the steps a), b), c), d) and f) of claim 11;
d. gating means coupling said storage means; said counters and said clock; i e. means to reset all of said storage means upon completion of a sequence; and
f. means to initiate a sequence. 13. An apparatus for implanting identifying tags into a macro-organism for the purpose of determining its movement from one habitat to another which comprises:
a. a supply of wire;
b. means for incrementally advancing said supply of wire along a predetermined substantially straight path;
e. a'rotary cutting means having an aperture therethrough, said aperture in a first position being in line with said predetermined path and being adapted to receive said supply of wire;
d. means for rotating said rotary cutting means to move said aperture to a second position at an angle with said predetermined path and thereby sever the segment of wire within said aperture from the remainder of said supply of wire and to rotatethe cutting means and itsaperture back to said first position;
e. a needle adapted to be inserted into the macro organism, said needle having an aperture therethrough disposed in line with said predetermined path for receiving said supply of wire and said severed segment of wire;
f. means for advancing said needle and severed segment of wire a predetermined distance sufficient to penetrate the macro-organism and cause said severed segment of wire to be implanted therein; and
g. means for retracting said needle from the macroorganism and allow said severed segment of wire to remain implanted therein.
14. An apparatus in accordance with claim 13 wherein said rotary cutting means includes an outer housing having an opening therein, a rotatable member mounted within said opening of said outer housing and having extending therethrough said aperture which in said first position is in line with said predetermined path, and means for incrementally rotating said rotatable member in a clockwise and counterclockwise direction.
, 15. A method of implanting identifying wire tags into a macro-organism for the purpose of determining its movement from one habitat to another which comprises:
a. operating a wire support and cutting means to cut a segment of wire from a supply of wire;
b. advancing the cut segment of wire to a predetermined position with respect to an implanting means;
c. advancing the implanting means so as to be embedded in the macro-organism a distance at least equal to the length of the cut segment of wire;
d. advancing the cut segment of wire and supply of wire approximately the same distance as that of said implanting means to position the cut segment adjacent the end of said implanting means;
e. retracting the implanting means from the macroorganism a distance to allow the cut segment of wire to remain implanted therein; and
I retracting the supply of wire a distance sufficient to position a portion thereofwithin the cutting means.
16. A method in accordance with claim 15 wherein said step of cutting a segment of wire from a supply'of wire includes the steps of routing the supply of wire through a rotatably mounted cutting means having an aperture extending therethrough and rotating the rotary cutting means to move the aperture away from the path of travel of the supply of wire so as to sever the segment of wire within the aperture from the remainder of the supply of wire.