COPAN launches collaborative lab robot

The collaborative robot automatically manages many manual microbiology processes done at the laboratory bench

COPAN, the pre-analytical collection and transport systems manufacturer, has announced the North American launch of its new Collaborative Robot (CR).

The unit is the next generation of COPAN's solutions in full laboratory automation, applied robotics and use of artificial intelligence (AI).

Known for its safe interaction with humans, the dual-arm collaborative industrial robot is new technology that is used in industrial manufacturing settings.

Pioneered by COPAN, this is the first time this technology is applied to clinical microbiology. Using this robot, COPAN has developed robust applications that can improve traceability, and reduce transcription and transposition errors from manual processes.

The CR automatically manages many manual microbiology processes done at the laboratory bench, such as processing traditional fibre swabs, positive blood culture bottles, tissues, wound aspirates, and sterile body fluids.

Technologists simply scan the specimen barcode, and the robot presents the precise sequence of pre-labelled plates or tubes. After the plates are manually seeded, the CR streaks the plates and places them on the conveyor track to the WASPLab incubators. The collaborative robot can also be used to automatically seed MALDI-TOF slides and setup AST/ID panels.

Norman Sharples, CEO of COPAN Diagnostics, Inc., commented: "Since the first prototype of WASP in 2007, COPAN has continued to push the boundaries of automation and technology in a microbiology setting. We took our experience from our manufacturing floor, including our experience with SCARA robots, and condensed it on a benchtop size instrument for what was then a revolutionary invention, WASP.

"The introduction of the Collaborative Robot is another big leap forward, and it is in line with COPAN's track record of using the latest robotic technology available creatively to advance microbiology and improve patient care."