Seeing if the community here has any feedback or experience with the following mobile robotic arm platforms, specifically on ease-of-use to setup and flexibility of software to adapt to wild ideas. The current use case requires a multidimensional arm than the usual Precise Automation plate gripper style arms. Basically roaming the lab loading Cell Analyzers with Samples.
Client prepares several sample plates that need to be ran over the weekend on several Fortessa Cell Analyzers. Right now, someone has to come in on the weekend, go to each instrument, remove the cover from each instrument, place a plate, replace cover, and hit Go on the software side, come back an hour later and repeat the process until all plates are ran. The removal of the cover is a bit tricky and prevents simply using a more basic arm, we will likely be 3D printing a custom cover that is lighter and more gripper friendly or adding a handle to the existing cover. The user will also manually prepare the reservoirs and clean the filters prior to kicking off the run then leaving for the day.
If it was just one instrument a dedicated stationary arm would be ideal, or if the instruments didn’t need to be accessible during work hours by people they could be arranged in a work cell around a central arm (also space is limiting, no room for a work cell).
I think in this case it makes sense from a budget, footprint, and ease of implementation on the client side perspective. For us and the client its a fun, new project to work on together. I agree though if you can build a work cell around a central arm that is always ideal.
Biosero is the current leader in deploying mobile robots. Our set us is typically an Omron base with a custom topper that holds a PF400 arm. Using Green Button Go its easy to program and can be deployed in multiple scenarios. We have seen them used in situations to extend the work day, provide connectivity between several stand alone insturments or islands of instruments, or help automate one off processes that do not justify space on a large workcell.