With the help of software, lab automation began to develop exponentially after the pandemic in 2019. Everything from mass production to clinical trials and genome sequencing established the path of automation by rendering highly repetitive automated processes using automation software.
When the vaccines moved the stage of clinical trials to mass administration, more than 500 million doses were dispensed within a year. The development of these vaccines were only made possible through automation software that handled motorized pipetting, robotic plate handling systems, and polymerase chain reaction sequencing. This is further validation that lab automation is the key to significantly enhancing throughput in many laboratories.
The Route to Lab Automation
Robotic process automation software was first brought to light when engineers integrated DC motors into pipette designs to enhance the quality of repetitive and consistent liquid handling processes. This method has its constraints due to the technology of that era, as the motors had no models that assisted control. Furthermore, the robotic process automation software had limited capabilities and functionalities since the mechanical movements of the robotic arms were restricted to an angle of motion.
To overcome the obstacles of Laboratory robotics and automation, engineers slowly began developing the motor by rendering additional control modules to the plate handling system in order to enhance its abilities. This included increasing the angle of motion and strengthening the grip of the arm to allow transportation of the plates to the workstation.
After such development was introduced to the industry, it became obvious that automation software significantly contributed to the increased throughput. It also had a ripple effect on other lab tasks, such as allowing the technicians and researchers to work on other tasks. Today, because of lab automation systems researchers and engineers are still constantly looking for ingenious ways to provide only the best to the industry.
Overcoming Automation Obstacles
When working with automated scheduling software, hindrances are inevitable. For instance, the liquid handler device should have the capability to manage liquids with different viscosities without affecting the accuracy or efficacy. Precise device systems were established to have low inertia and linear characteristics to overcome such an obstacle. The high frequencies of such electronics contributed to minimized downtime. Similar developments related to automation software were slowly introduced to different facets of laboratories to support consistency, repeatability, and accuracy in order to contribute to the progress in the field of medical science.
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