The Rise of Robotics in Laboratories

Monday May 21 2018

Automation is something of a contemporary buzzword for multiple industries and research sectors worldwide, but the idea of using robotics for laboratory processes has tantalized researchers for decades. Ever since the industrial era and the rise of computational measurement systems, innovators have been increasingly automating numerous menial processes. The production line enabled pharmaceutical researchers to produce and supply high-quality medicinal and therapeutic products on previously unfathomable scales, but it was not until the 1960s that the applications of true robotics in scientific fields began to be realized.

The History of Laboratory Robotics

A patent for robotic arms was filed in 1961, resulting in an innovative swathe that saw the invention of the first fully-functional robotics for laboratory applications. These rudimentary arms could perform repetitive processes with unequalled degrees of precision and consistency, almost erasing the margin of human error entirely. Tedious tasks such as mixing and dosing could now be de-prioritized, enabling researchers to focus on analysis and more complex processes. However, these early robotics products were simple and expensive, requiring a significant initial investment and ongoing maintenance considerations.

Laboratory arms are still a commonly utilized form of research robotics, but recent innovations have given rise to a new form of laboratory robotics: modular mixers. These are currently the robotics component of choice for many laboratory processes, building upon the exceptional established properties of conventional automation technologies and expanding them enormously.

These modular systems are often custom built to application specific requirements, and are now capable of performing a range of critical laboratory tasks, including: crushing; homogenizing; and liquid dispensing. They operate at a level of repeatability that is incomparable to human capabilities, providing near-perfect levels of accuracy and repeatability. These come equipped with user-friendly controls and can often be integrated with existing laboratory systems. Modern standards of robotics are currently supplementing a broad range of laboratory processes in facilities across the world and, for multiple reasons, are more cost-effective than ever.

Laboratory Robotics from Glas-Col

Glas-Col is an expert in the design, manufacture, and supply of innovative laboratory equipment and solutions for laboratory facilities of all sizes. We offer custom products for bespoke applications, including modular mixers equipped for numerous laboratory processes.

Our Modular Mixer line is robotics-friendly, with guaranteed levels of accuracy ensuring components move at pre-defined speeds and stop at the exact same spot every time.

If you would like any more information about supplementing your scientific facility with dedicated robotics, or require more information about our custom modular mixers, please do not hesitate to contact us.