Profile of the month: Flow Robotics
What need is your company aiming to meet?
Large and advanced multipurpose robots are designed to automate high-throughput tasks in the lab. But there are still time-consuming handheld liquid handling tasks in most laboratories, as many of these tasks either are too small or change too frequently to make it worth automating them with existing technology.
This became clear to our founders, Professor Kasper Støy and Assistant Professor Andres Faiña, when they coordinated a large-scale EU project involving partners in both chemistry and biotechnology. In this project, they started to develop their ideas of a flexible and user-friendly platform that is suitable for automating simpler liquid handling tasks that change often. This insight became the starting point for Flow Robotics A/S, which was founded in in December 2016.
Describe your solution?
Lab robots with flexibility and ease of use are key words to us.
Our company Flow Robotics has developed a collaborative laboratory pipetting robot, that intuitively can be handled by anyone – lab technicians as well as chemists. There is no need for programming expertise and long implementation time has been eliminated. The development of the pipetting robot has been carried out together with users at a larger biotech company and DTU in an iterative development loop.
Robots always guarantee consistency due to the performance of the exact same movements, speed of pipetting, placement, no matter which day, which hour, or in which order the pipetting is performed. Accuracy must be assured as for handheld pipettes; thus, Flow Robotics has a collaboration with one of the accredited pipette calibration labs in Denmark.
What makes your company unique?
We have brought together experts within three key areas; chemistry, robotics and software – and this is the right time and place to do it. We have Medicon Valley – a huge biotech/pharma cluster and in Denmark, we are at in the forefront of robot development, especially with the cluster of robotics companies in Odense and our educational institution: e.g. DTU, ITU, KU provide IT developers and research. By bringing together experts from these three different scientific areas, we have been able to design and create a small flexible lab robot for handling liquid, taking into account the perspective and needs of the users and bringing new technology such as Augmented Reality into play. With our close collaboration with researchers at the IT University, we continue to develop the robot, so it becomes increasingly precise and user-friendly.