Robotic automation with the Motoman dual arm robot for lab automation and the bio medical sector represents a unique opportunity to deploy robotics with standard laboratory equipment that has not been adapted for automation. The flexibility of the dual arms with its hands (grippers) enables this robot to work with standard equipment, which reduces the automation investment levels.
Analytical procedures are standardised for manual work flows and in general are not allowed to be changed for the purpose of automation. However a dual arm robot can copy the manual procedures exactly and can therefore be exempt from this ruling. In addition it works with a much higher level of consistency.
The application fields for lab automation lie in:
Complex processing tasks include:
Lab automation for dual arm robot is valid for more than just “Biomedical” and can be relevant to all laboratory automation applications, where the robot combines handling and task processing. Typical tasks for the robot are:
The quality and throughput of a laboratory technician strongly is dependant on a number of factors:
Some laboratory tasks have many steps, are boring or not attractive (repetitive over many days), and cause a risk of failure due to loss of attention, concentration or fatigue. Therefore output is not predictable and often not optimised.
For many companies operating in the lab segment, return on investment calculations are not so critical as for companies in the industrial segment. Utilisation is not relevant and often below 20%.
Frequently investments are made in order to:
Some laboratory tasks are carried out in an unhealthy environment, e.g:
People need a lot of time to reach/leave their desk, due to decontamination and safety regulations. A robot can successfully operate in this environment.
The applications for the dual arm robot are intended for specific processes within defined market segments.
For small labs employing up to 5 lab technicians for processes that are obligatory by law:
For small to medium sized labs employing from approximately 5 to 20 lab technicians involved in the following processes:
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