Festo Featured at SLAS 2015 its Advanced Handling System for Laboratory Applications – the EXCM Mini H-Gantry
Product News Feb 13, 2015
Festo showcased at SLAS 2015 in Washington DC, on February 7-11, its high-speed, precise, automated handling system for laboratory applications – the EXCM mini H-gantry. Festo also displayed a host of other products and systems designed to automate lab processes. The company demonstrated its bionic dragonfly – the BionicOpter – which is based on advanced motion control and actuation technology.
The EXCM mini-H gantry is a revolutionary desktop handling system for medical laboratory automation. The planar surface gantry system is fast, accurate, modular, and flexible. It is also plug-and-play for quick and easy start up. Typical applications include transfer of micro-well plates, liquid dispensing/pipetting with the addition of a Z-axis, sample preparation and transport, barcode-based sample identification, sample distribution, and aspirating, incubating, dispensing, and archiving of samples. This system moves samples on a planar X/Y axis with an absolute positioning accuracy of + .05 inches and a repetition accuracy of + .01 inches.
A new generation of laboratory devices from Festo enables the automated identification and testing of primary samples. With the use of barcode identification, these automated systems prepare the samples for the required tests and distribute samples to the corresponding test stations. Festo systems are available for pre-analytical processes, analytical processes, and post analytical processes.
“Automation makes process steps such as identifying, opening, and aliquoting a sample and loading centrifuges and incubators much more efficient and reliable,” said Steve Fitterer, Laboratory Automation Segment Manager for Festo. “Festo develops custom solutions for many of these processes, in some cases also integrating components and devices from third-party manufacturers. These custom solutions increase sample processing productivity, enabling laboratories to process more samples in the same amount of time.”
Piezo-valve-based technology for gas control was on exhibit as well. Compact, energy efficient Piezo valves have a host of mobile and stationary applications, including in vitro diagnostics and respiratory care.
BionicOpter at SLAS for the first time
The BionicOpter is an ultra-light flying object. Just like a dragonfly, the BionicOpter can fly in all directions and execute complicated flight maneuvers. The BionicOpter’s ability to move each of its four wings independently enables it to slow down and turn abruptly, to accelerate swiftly, and even to fly backwards. This means that for the first time there is a model that can master all the flight conditions of a helicopter, plane, and even a glider. Despite its complexity, the highly integrated system can be operated easily and intuitively via a smartphone.
This unique way of flying is made possible by lightweight construction and the integration of functions: components such as sensors, actuators, and mechanical components as well as open- and closed-loop control systems are installed in a very tight space and adapted to one another. The flapping frequency, amplitude, and angle of incidence are controlled by software and electronics; the pilot just has to steer the dragonfly – there is no need to coordinate the complex motion sequences. As time goes on, motion system technology transfer from the Festo Bionic Learning Network to medical labs will provide for fresh ideas and new solutions.