These Are The Robots America Needs

While there has been much internet discussion about the current and future role of robots and what it means for American workers, we can all agree that having robots pipette stuff is a good thing. Which brings us to this awesome PlosOne article (boldface mine):

Liquid-handling robots have many applications for biotechnology and the life sciences, with increasing impact on everyday life. While playful robotics such as Lego Mindstorms significantly support education initiatives in mechatronics and programming, equivalent connections to the life sciences do not currently exist. To close this gap, we developed Lego-based pipetting robots that reliably handle liquid volumes from 1 ml down to the sub-μl range and that operate on standard laboratory plasticware, such as cuvettes and multiwell plates. These robots can support a range of science and chemistry experiments for education and even research. Using standard, low-cost household consumables, programming pipetting routines, and modifying robot designs, we enabled a rich activity space. We successfully tested these activities in afterschool settings with elementary, middle, and high school students. The simplest robot can be directly built from the widely used Lego Education EV3 core set alone, and this publication includes building and experiment instructions to set the stage for dissemination and further development in education and research.

The only thing better than a pipetting robot is one made out of Legos.

Do we have video of the Lego pipette-bots? Of course we do!



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