Dr. John A. Robertson was the founder, Chairman, CEO, and heart and soul of InfoSight Corporation in Chillicothe, Ohio. Described as 'the epitome of the innovator, constantly searching for and creating unique ways to make the world a better place,' we send on our condolences.
His creativity knew no bounds and his honors include holding 56 patents, being president of the Electrostatic Society of America, a Fellow in the Instrument Society of America, named to the AIDC100 Hall of Fame, a graduate of the Harvard Business School OPM Program, and recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year twice. He was especially proud of Barbara, his wife of 46 years, his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
John grew up in Blue Island, Illinois, and was chosen as one of 39 students to learn “new math.” After graduation he attended DeVry Institute and earned a degree in electronics. Along the way he became a licensed amateur radio operator with the callsign W8JUD, and later W8JR, maintaining a lifelong friendship with childhood friend and fellow amateur K9PMV. John worked in a number of jobs including repairing TVs, fixing Heath Kit projects after their owners had given up, as a station engineer for a broadcast station in Chicago, and as a technician at Fermi Labs.
John later earned a PhD in electrical engineering and physics from the University of Illinois, starting his classes at Navy Pier and finishing his research in Champagne.
Upon graduation in 1969, John was recruited by Mead Corporation Central Research in Chillicothe, turning down an offer from Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard to work in Silicon Valley. While at Mead he received his first ten patents and became recognized as a world expert in high speed ink jet technology.
John took an extended leave of absence to attempt sailing around the world in a 42-foot sloop that he painstakingly rebuilt. He returned periodically to do some consulting but eventually accepted that seasickness had won. With his special knack of seeing opportunity in every adventure, it is reported that an agency of the US government was able to put the wooden hulled boat to good use.
John returned to land in Chillicothe where he founded Telesis as an invention-on-demand laboratory that produced as many as 50 unique products per year. 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 electronic tuners for steel guitars. Eventually Telesis found its niche focusing on product marking and traceability.
In 1993 John sold Telesis and along with 13 employees who loved custom design founded InfoSight. John pioneered innovative applications of lasers and ceramics, that together with unique capabilities in custom automation have made InfoSight known around the world as the people who “Barcode Difficult Stuff.”
In 2018 John achieved his dream of leaving a legacy for the employees of Infosight by completing the transition to being 100% Employee Owned.
His passing is of course a loss to us all, but his legacy is clear, his job was fruitful, his family is secure, and we have all benefited from his life.