Conception and Building of a Modular and Automated Robotic Platform to Perform Synthetic Biology Laboratory Protocols
The articles depicted on this site focus on the conception process and ideas taken in consideration to bring forth a modular and automated robotic platform, assembled to execute protocols in a synthetic biology laboratory. Ambition for this platform is focused towards creating computerized equipment in laboratories to quicken the procedures normally executed by technicians or researchers, even as far as to make them completely human interaction free. Liberating technicians and researchers of such duties allows them to be more efficient with their time, giving the opportunity to focus on other aspects of research such as experimental design, scientific communication and results analysis. With that said, the research process is sped up significantly and gives a window of opportunity for faster results, new discoveries and breakthrough progression.
The platform consists of different independent modules interacting between each other through a local network, which means a totally customizable platform for various applications. The modules include: a dual-axis claw-like gripper assigned for handling objects around the work area, a centrifuge designed to be fully automated and free of human manipulation, two modules with built-in magnetism and temperature control for 1.5 mL tubes and 96-well plates and a module with integrated agitating, temperature control and turbidity measurement. Those modules are all operated by a custom-made controller board designed to supply the modules with electric current and coordinate the logical transfers between modules and computer. A personalized physical platform was built to accommodate the multiple modules with customized mounting brackets, and serves as well as a working area reference for the different equipment used during procedures.