Flow Robotics brings automated pipetting robots to North America

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The flowbot® ONE from Flow Robotics changes the handling of liquid handling tasks in the laboratory by automating manual pipetting tasks. (Photo: Business Wire)

Through real applications, the flowbot® ONE increases the overall productivity in the laboratory with fewer human errors or work-related injuries

Flow Robotics, a Denmark-based leading developer and manufacturer of robots for automated liquid handling and the inventor of the flowbot® ONE, has founded its North American subsidiary Flow Robotics, Inc. based in Princeton. The company’s first product, flowbot® ONE, was developed to change the handling of liquid handling tasks in the laboratory by automating manual pipetting tasks. The robot will be presented for the first time in the US at the SLAS 2021 Americas Sample Management Hybrid Symposium from September 9-10 in La Jolla, California.

The flowbot® ONE arrives at a pivotal moment for the laboratory industry, which has been plagued by heavy workloads, burnout and physically challenging conditions recently exacerbated by the COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic created an increased need to collect and process virus samples quickly, safely and accurately.

“We look forward to expanding our operations in North America,” said Annika Isaksson, CEO of Flow Robotics. “Our technology sets a global precedent in the life sciences, healthcare, and science, delivering faster, more accurate laboratory results. The flowbot® ONE helps laboratories achieve a more sustainable setup by taking over many of the repetitive and tedious manual pipetting tasks. In return, the laboratory staff can do other more valuable activities. flowbot® ONE also reduces human errors and work-related injuries, which leads to a general increase in laboratory productivity in which humans and robots can work in parallel. “

Flow Robotics estimates that about half of medical lab technicians perform the same arm movements for at least a quarter of their working day. Manual pipetting is a large part of liquid handling in any laboratory and requires hours of repetitive work in fixed positions. This can put strain on the shoulders, arms and hands. The American Society for Clinical Pathology found that 85% of laboratory workers suffer from burnout; 36 percent struggle with insufficient staffing; and 32% experience a heavy workload and pressure to complete all tests on time.

Flexible usability and adaptability to perform multiple tasks

In contrast to other automated liquid handling robots, flowbot® ONE does not require any advanced programming knowledge, so that almost anyone can set up a procedure. The robot can also be integrated into devices that are positioned on the deck or outside the system. It also supports importing and exporting data.

In addition, flowbot® ONE can play a role in many different pipetting applications and tasks in the laboratory. These include PCR and qPCR, normalization, sample aliquoting, microplate storage, next generation sequencing (NGS), ELISA sample preparation, assay development, screening, reformatting, cherry picking, transfer, serial dilution, plate replication and reformatting.

“We continue to see the need for more flexibility in robotic automation in clinical and research laboratories around the world,” said Craig Cardella, vice president and general manager for the new North American division of Flow Robotics. “I am pleased to bring this ability to laboratories in North America with flowbot® ONE in order to increase productivity and change your business processes.”

“The intuitive and flexible system of flowbot® ONE is used in some of the largest hospitals, biotech and pharmaceutical companies and academic research laboratories around the world, and we look forward to the same success in North America,” continued Isaksson.

Plays an essential role in the fight against COVID-19

Since May 2020 the flowbot® ONE has played an essential role in the fight against COVID-19 by accelerating the analysis of COVID-19 tests while ensuring the safety of laboratory assistants. Today in Europe more than 600,000 COVID-19 tests are prepared every month on a flowbot® ONE, in which the robots pipette the live virus, handle several samples at the same time and all work according to a predefined pipetting pattern.

Significant increase in laboratory productivity

Unilabs, one of the largest diagnostics providers in Europe, uses five flowbot ™ ONE robots to screen sclerosis patients for viruses. The flowbot ™ ONE has helped increase laboratory productivity by 40 percent and reduce patient waiting time for results by 30 percent.

Nordic Bioscience, a biomarker powerhouse that develops novel biomarkers and carries out clinical studies, has automated its clinical laboratory devices with the flowbot® ONE in order to optimize the work process and reduce pipetting for biomarker measurements. The practical laboratory time has been reduced from 2 hours and 15 minutes to 20 minutes when up to 8 biomarkers are running simultaneously in the laboratory.

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