Automated Colony Pickers

Anyone have any experience with automated colony pickers? Have some tangential experience with QPix but curious what other options are available on the market.

I found this iGEM project where an OT-2 was retro-fitted to be a colony picker and have toyed around with the idea of doing something similar on a STAR:


@Optimize have you used any of the SciRobotics colony pickers?

Also tagging @Shaik and @urishab

1 Like

@LukeWitt - Hamilton offers EasyPick, currently a STARline product, that enables automated colony picking right on deck of a STAR, using channels and tips for picking. I believe this will also be available for VANTAGE soon. It requires addition of an additional channel to the pipettor (outfitted with an integrated USB camera), as well as a controllable light table carrier on deck to provide backlight and contrast for imaging. EasyPick includes a VENUS driver, as well as additional software and machine vision for runtime analysis and processing of images.


Several petri dish styles are supported, and full configuration of colony analysis and picking criteria is enabled through the EasyPick software used by VENUS.

I have used EasyPick reliably for various picking applications over the years both in my customer days, and as part of the Hamilton applications team. Applications ranged from simple for simple to complex picking protocols. Depending on the type of labware used, very high throughput and substantial walkaway time can be achieved.

I always appreciated this being fully integrated into VENUS, as it gives full control of customizing features of the application per the protocol requirements right in the method/workflow, not to mention being able to apply barcode/sample tracking metadata to the picked colonies and their labware destinations, for robust traceability.

Here is an application note with some more information. Let me know if you have any questions!


Singer Instruments has really, really good documentation for their cell picker API. Never used them but the interface seems great.

API docs here:

SciRobiotics partners with Tecan for a very elegant, automated colony picker.
Check out the link below:

1 Like

I have used the singer instrument. Its a nice idea to use extruded 3d printer plastic to pick colonies. On most platforms ive used picking is not the problem, its getting consistent image segmentation. Always seems to require tweaks but prob something you can get right if using regularly.

1 Like

The Tecan Omni colony picking add on came to mind, like what Joan said. Automation removes the colony-picking bottleneck - The Blog - Tecan