aBioBot – A robotic lab assistant that can see what it’s doing

By on April 26, 2016
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Dr. Raghu Machiraju is the co-founder and CEO of aBioBot and Professor of Bioinformatics and Computer Science and Engineering at The Ohio State University.  His primary research interest is in developing methods of integrative genomics for cancer subtyping and biomarker discovery that examine data concurrently from histology images, proteomics, and high throughput sequencing. We spoke about his startup, aBioBot and how it is helping bio-scientists in shortening the time to discovery.

At aBioBot, we wish to re-create the flexibility of the familiar wet laboratory bench on a robotic platform. Our lab assistant is a robotic platform combining state-of-the-art hardware and software:


A web browser user interface to facilitate protocol authoring, observe the layout on the bench, monitor the progress of the experiment, and log the protocol on the cloud. The user interface of LabBench is realised in HTML5 and Javascript, and leverages toolkits such as bootstrap.

Yan = Eyes

In our platform, Yan is machine vision that watches over the experiment for you. Yan’s software module learns the layout of objects including wells and provides surveillance of the bench for untoward accidents. Yan is implemented in Python and uses the OpenCV library.

The Bot

Our robotic platform is modified from a 3D printer. The Bot is derived from open source 3D printer hardware and rapid prototyping machinery. We have ported our APIs onto three different hardware platforms which will serve as the prototypes in various labs. We are also collaborating with another open-robotics company to provide much needed software.

Although aBioBot is built on open source hardware and software, both Lab Bench and Yan will be accessible through open APIs and extended as necessary.

Source: aBioBot – A robotic lab assistant that can see what it’s doing

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