Automate Biological Experimentation with OpenLH

While we may not think of biology as being a repetitive task, I’m sure there are many people in labs throughout the world picking up…

Jeremy S. Cook
a year agoRobotics

While we may not think of biology as being a repetitive task, I’m sure there are many people in labs throughout the world picking up various liquid substances with pipettes over and over that would disagree. If only there was a cost-effective way to automate repetitive liquid handling so that the humans involved could start on more interesting tasks…

As you’ve probably guessed, OpenLH fills this role, as a liquid handling robot based on the uArm Swift Pro robotic arm. This system integrates a custom end effector that is able to work with pipettes — small-scale liquid handling devices — and dispenses the appropriate amount of liquid using a linear actuator operated syringe pump. The system uses Python along with a Blockly interface for control, and is able to drop fluids with an average error of only .15 microliters.

Large-scale screenings would be one application for this type of robot, as well as depositing the proper amount of material over and over for bioprinting. A demo of the device can be seen in the video below, or if you happen to be in Temple Arizona in mid-March next year, it will be presented there at the International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interactions.

Jeremy S. Cook
Engineer, maker of random contraptions, love learning about tech. Write for various publications, including Hackster!
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