ITU

Cloud-Enabled, Reactive Liquid Handling Robot

Research output: Book / Anthology / Report / Ph.D. thesisPh.D. thesisResearch

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We introduce a robotic system developed to perform artificial chemical life experiments based on droplet systems. These experiments are particularlywell suited for automation becausethey often stretch over long periods oftime, possibly hours, and often require that the human takes action in response to observed events such as changes in droplet velocity, size, count, shape, or clustering or declustering of multiple droplets.
We describe a robotic system designed to automate this type of artificial chemical life experiment. We verify the design by successfully applying it to three different experiments: i) automating an experiment whose purpose it is to measure the movement response of a droplet as a function of distanceto a reagent, ii) aspirating a moving droplet when the droplet speed goes below a specified threshold, and iii) detecting clustering of droplets and dispensing a salt droplet at a specific distance to the cluster. We demonstrate how our robot cannot only automate these experiments, collect data, and interact with the experiments in a closed feedback loop, but also enable chemists to perform formerly infeasible experiments.
Another aspect of our work is that we designed, implemented, and deployed a
cloud-based user interface for a distributed system of liquid handling robots. The user interface is intuitive, as well as being easily extensible for new experimental protocols in biological and chemical laboratories. The user interface developed can controlthe robot on multiple platforms and devices. Remote control ofthe robotic system enhances effective use of time and usability. The open source software for the user interface allows users to customize the experiment protocols based on their requirements. Furthermore, as multiple users use our robotic platform, quality, reusability, deployability, and maintainability of software become central and crucial for efficient use of the robot. Our cloud solution enables users to share experiment code, and reuse already developed protocols for experiments. Therefore, the robotic system can be used simultaneously by multiple users, and users can work on the same experiment collaboratively. Furthermore, a user is able to run experiments on several robotic systems at a time and hence increase throughput through parallelism.
Performing reactive experiments in artificial chemical life research is made possible with this robotic platform. In addition, a cloud-based user interface provides new opportunities by enabling realtime control ofthe robot on multiple platforms, making collaborative work on the robot possible as well as parallelizing experiments.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherIT-Universitetet i København
Number of pages211
ISBN (Print)978-87-7949-005-5
Publication statusPublished - 2018
SeriesITU-DS
Number138
ISSN1602-3536

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