Opentrons Flex First Thoughts?

@smohler and @MeghanFerzoco hosted a killer launch party last night,

Any thoughts on the capabilities of the new product?


I’m sure folks are in full recovery mode right now but I’m also curious!

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I had a long talk with some folks and it looks like a great step up from OT-2, including many improvements that I’m sure a lot of folks were looking for.

  • pressure LLD (non-capacitive tips)
  • below-deck integration of accessories for z-height clearance
  • Plate movement!!!
  • User auth incoming
  • Same old interface as before - so no change to how accessible the tech is
  • protocol library receiving an overhaul to add (as I understood it) stamps that designate OT-verified protocols and whether the protocol has been verified internally on OT-2, OT-F, or both.
  • The instrument looks sleek, and has a small footprint
  • (edit) I almost forgot to add, but it seems like autocalibration was available as well with a special capacitive teaching tip and receptacle at each nest pos. I assume there’s a similar tool for the 96ch.

The 96ch was not on display - I was told there were some delays but I don’t know specifics enough to expand on that. However, it sounds like there will be capability for offset tip pickup and enough excess X-space to eliminate “dead-zones” that you might see on the STAR, for example. It also seems like that excess space could eventually be utilized for tip-storage to enable higher tpt workflows that require more tips. I assume this refers to non-filtered tips in a stack that would be shuttled by the gripper, but I didn’t think to ask at the time. My question for the 96ch would boil down to liquid level detection capability, pipetting CV, and similarly multidispense performance.

I’m definitely excited.


You can pop the arms (1,8,96) on and off yourself which I dug. I didn’t know that before going, but to me it’s a killer feature.

Hey @evwolfson, thanks for the feedback!

Info on questions you had:
Autocalibration is available for all pipette models and gripper!
There will be offset tip pickup (design construct decision of spacing out SBS positions). There will be an optional staging area on the right side of the deck in the future used for higher tpt workflows (tip/plate stacking, input/output, etc.). It will be accessible by the gripper, but not the pipettes.
96-channel head will have LLD on A1 and H12. VolQC data is being finalized and will be released mid-summer. We will be opening orders for the 96-channel in parallel with VolQC data release. Expected shipments for 96-channel will start in Q4.