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Copan to showcase robotic solution for clinical microbiology

Copan Diagnostics is showcasing a robotic solution for clinical microbiology.

The company says the solution is now launched in North America.

The solution seems to integrate an ABB YuMi collaborative robot and what Copan says is its “latest technology for full laboratory automation”. 

Copan says this is “the next generation” of its “unique solutions in full laboratory automation, applied robotics and use of artificial intelligence”.

Copan says its collaborative robotic solution automatically manages many manual microbiology processes done at the laboratory bench, such as:

  • processing traditional fiber 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-labeled plates or tubes. After the plates are manually seeded, the collaborative robot 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.

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.

Norman Sharples, CEO of Copan Diagnostics, says: “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.

“From a hardware point of view, WASP was followed by WASPLab, Colibri, and WASP-FLO.

“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.”

COPAN’s vision of openness, modularity, and scalability is captured by the mobility of the Collaborative Robot to plug into different Work-Pods within the laboratory. The multipurpose collaborative robot can be easily moved between Work-Pods, as needed, expanding its usefulness.

Sharples. says: “Processing traditional swabs, positive blood cultures, and setting up MALDI-TOF slides and AST/ID panels are laborious tasks in the laboratory but require precision and dexterity.

“In an age of increasing workloads and diminishing resources, those tasks can be performed by Copan’s Collaborative Robot, while highly qualified laboratory professional can focus on esoteric tasks that require their experience, knowledge and training.

“We are very excited for this new addition to our product line and its positive impact on the lab and on patients.”

This innovative Collaborative Robot, along with Copan’s full line of automation, AI algorithms and collection and transport systems, will be displayed by Copan while attending the ASM Microbe 2018 General Meeting, in Atlanta, GA from June 7 to 11, 2018 at booth #2021 and at the 70th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo in Chicago from July 29 to August 2, 2018 at booth #4205.