INTEGRATED MULTIROBOT SYSTEMS FOR LABORATORY AUTOMATION

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Health and Human Services
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$448,084.00
Award Year:
1992
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
14006
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Automatix Inc.
755 Middlesex Trnpk, Billerica, MA, 01821
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
John E Agapakis
(508) 667-7900
Business Contact:
() -
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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