New Four-Axis SCARA-Type Robot Uses Vision to Maintain Precision, Streamline Teaching
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Life science researchers seeking to bolster their automated workflows with a self-correcting, learning robot can now employ a new four-axis “selective compliance articulated robot arm,” or SCARA, from Thermo Fisher Scientific.
The Thermo Scientific Spinnaker Smart Laboratory Robot with built-in vision, coupled with Thermo Scientific Momentum 4 software, is designed to eliminate the need for users to manually correct for drift that occurs over time by automatically compensating for positional variations. This is particularly important for systems in environmental enclosures, where gaining access to the system can be disruptive. Spinnaker’s robot vision capability and software also guide users through a simple step-wise procedure for configuring automation and teaching the system about its environment.
The Spinnaker system is making its debut at SLAS2015, the 4th Annual Conference & Exhibition of the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening, booth 423 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
The robot-vision camera doubles as a bar code reader, enabling automatic confirmation of sample identification, simplifying the workflow and contributing to robust sample tracking and system fidelity. The arm’s flexible reach, infinite rotation and full gravity-neutral joints facilitate positioning when teaching or integrating instruments.
“We designed this robot to see and correct issues before they become costly problems such as lost samples or reduced productivity,” said Hansjoerg Haas, product line director, Laboratory Automation, Thermo Fisher Scientific. “We’re relentlessly focused on simplifying the way customers design, set up, and execute their scientific processes, and we’re pleased at how Spinnaker’s integrated workflow addresses these needs.”
The combined solution of Spinnaker with Momentum supports a broad range of third-party instruments and peripherals, from small dedicated benchtop workflows to large, high-throughput screening applications.