It seems like during BenchTalk, Benchling launched a new(ish) instrument connectivity and data integration layer.
What’s great is that they’re using an open standard (this is good and we need more of that)! Furthermore, they also went ahead and open sourced their Python library for converting instrument data into the ASM standard.
With that said, this is a rebrand of their Lab Auto offering which is a separate add-on with an added cost. Two Liquid Handler softwares are being supported out of the gate, Venus & Fluent Control, however the integration appears to be file-based which is an integration of sorts but folks in modern labs might push back on their use of the term integration.
Benchling putting their weight behind ASM is interesting. They’re a major player but there’s no doubt that there are much better products for integration with less of a moat (at the moment) and pricier tools (it can be pricey if you’re not a startup anymore) with a more robust sets of tools. And yet, I’m optimistic about the product because maybe this means that the lab auto side of the industry can start to coalesce around a set of standards that allow for more standardized integrations even if it’s just for the data coming from hardware.
TLDR: Has anyone used it? Thoughts?
Edit: Also just for fun but there already exists a Connect platform by Tecan.