INTEGRATED MULTIROBOT SYSTEMS FOR LABORATORY AUTOMATION

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 14006
Amount: $448,084.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1992
Solitcitation Year: N/A
Solitcitation Topic Code: N/A
Solitcitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Automatix Inc.
755 Middlesex Trnpk, Billerica, MA, 01821
Duns: N/A
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 John E Agapakis
 (508) 667-7900
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
ROBOTS HAVE BEEN INTRODUCED IN BIOCHEMICAL OR CLINICAL LABORATORIES TO AUTOMATE MANUAL OPERATIONS. HOWEVER, CURRENT SYSTEMS TYPICALLY INVOLVE A SINGLE ARM ON A FIXED BASE (OR WITH VERY LIMITED MOBILITY) AND INTRODUCE RIGID ENVELOPE AND FLOOR-SPACE CONSTRAINTS. SUCH SYSTEMS ARE TYPICALLY OPERATED IN A PREPROGRAMMED FASHION AND CANNOT ADAPT TO CHANGES IN THE ENVIRONMENT. THIS RESEARCH WILL EXPLORE THE FEASIBILITY OF DEVELOPING INNOVATIVE LABORATORY AUTOMATION SYSTEMS AND CONCEPTS THAT INVOLVE MULTIPLE MOBILE ROBOT MODULES MAGNETICALLY SUSPENDED FROM A COMMON OVERHEAD PASSIVE DRIVE SURFACE THAT DEFINES THE OVERALL WORK CELL ENVELOPE. EACH ROBOT MAY BE EQUIPPED WITH GRIPPERS OR OTHER CUSTOM END-EFFECTORS FOR INTERFACING TO LABWARE AND/OR ANALYTICAL EQUIPMENT OR CARRY VISION SENSORS FOR FEEDBACK. THIS CONFIGURATION RESULTS IN MORE EFFECTIVE USE OF THE AVAILABLE ENVELOPE, HIGHER PRODUCTIVITY AND PERFORMANCE THROUGH MULTIROBOT COOPERATION, BETTER MOBILITY, AND GREATERMODULARITY, RECONFIGURABILITY, AND REDUNDANCY. THE PROPOSEDROBOTIC CONCEPTS MAY ALSO BE USED AS TELEOPERATED OR TELEROBOTIC SYSTEMS FOR TOTALLY ISOLATED LABORATORY ENVIRONMENTS. IN PHASE I, AUTOMATIX, INC., WILL ANALYZE RELEVANT LABORATORY APPLICATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS, PROPOSE SYSTEM ARCHITECTURES AND DESIGNS, DEVELOP LIMITED DEMONSTRATION PROTOTYPES, QUANTIFY PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENTS AND LIMITATIONS, AND ESTABLISH THE FEASIBILITY OF THE PROPOSED CONCEPTS.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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