The concept of automating laboratory functions via robotics is nothing new. Worldwide, there are over 100 companies that develop and manufacture such technology. However, LabDroid, the humanoid robot lab assistant that works 24×7 doing the tedious yet critical manual benchwork upon which every lab relies, is the first humanoid robot designed especially for biological research and development use.
LabDroid is a data analytics platform with a rectangular body flanked by dual arms, making it capable of performing testing, sample preparation and other lab activities typically performed by hand. It’s literally the creature of the Robotic Biology Institute (RBI), a Japanese biotech company created in 2015 to design and manufacture robots that can be used to automate end-to-end lab functions to free up labor, eliminate human error, and free up scientists from laborious manual tasks so they can concentrate on scientific analysis and creativity.
Along with Japanese genome analysis company iLAC, RBI and Pacific Biosciences are working together to explore LabDroid’s capacity to automate sample preparation workflows for the latter’s Sequel II and Sequel IIe HiFi long-read sequencing systems. Specifically, they hope to use LabDroid to develop and validate automated, high-throughput workflows for iLAC’s genomic services facility in Tsukuba, Japan. These automated workflows will support whole-genome sequencing, targeted sequencing, and Iso-Seq, PacBio’s isoform-resolution transcriptome application, on the Sequel II and Sequel IIe platforms.
Find out more in the June 2022 issue of Lab Industry Report