Industrial Robotics

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Industrial Robotics

Consulting for one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical organisations, we contributed to the successful delivery of a revolutionary laboratory automation platform designed to perform highly-serialised organic chemistry experiments.

The platform consisted of multiple, independent robotic arms that carried chemical compounds across benches equipped with a mix of standard laboratory equipment (microwaves, chillers, mixers, storage units, etc.) fitted with bespoke automation interfaces, and custom electro-mechanical devices.

The software back-end was responsible for coordinating the operation of the robotics and the lab equipment, as well as tracking the location and state of every physical entity flowing in the system, to a high degree of accuracy, determinism and fault tolerance. This was achieved by abstracting away every operation in terms of a complex, cohesive object model and leveraging advanced concurrency and state design patterns.

The platform was completed by a UI that defined experiments as workflows and monitoring their state in the system, signalling potential issues to R&D and technical users.

Technology used included .NET, db4O, ChemOffice. The automation layer involved work with several industry-standard protocols including Modbus and CANopen

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