A Universal Micromanipulation Robot for Crystallography

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R41GM073278-01
Agency Tracking Number: GM073278
Amount: $198,227.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Square One Systems Design, Box 2772, 615 E Hansen St, Jackson, WY, 83001
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (307) 739-0946
Business Contact
Phone: (307) 739-0946
Research Institution
 Federally funded R&D center (FFRDC)
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The accelerating pace of research in the fields of rational drug discovery and structural genomics has created an acute need for efficient, high throughput crystallography automation. While a variety of automated equipment has been developed for crystallization setup, throughput-limiting bottlenecks still exist in the area of crystal harvesting. Square One Systems Design proposes a modular, multi-function robotic system capable of addressing these remaining process bottlenecks. This Universal Micromanipulation Robot (UMR) is predicated on an innovative, articulating arm design that has the precision and dexterity to perform complex tasks that until now have been impractical to automate. An end-effectors exchange capability will grant a single robot the ability to harvest crystals, apply cryobuffers and ligands, perform seeding operations and transfer cryo-pins into storage cassettes submerged in liquid nitrogen. During Phase I, Square One plans to conduct an applied research program in cooperation with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL) Macromolecular Crystallography and Structural Genomics Group in order to establish the feasibility of the Universal Micromanipulation Robot. Manipulators will be evaluated. A controls architecture will be created for the manipulator of choice that will allow the UMR to operate both autonomously and as an extension of a human operator. Task-specific end-effectors will be designed, built and tested. Existing machine vision tools will be refined. Phase I will culminate in the creation of a functional UMR prototype that will be tested at LLNL. If successful, this Phase I effort will serve as the basis for the development of a commercial UMR with expanded functional capabilities during Phase II.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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