An automatic experiment robot that looks around, thinks and moves its hand
December 25, 2023
Development of an AI system that recognizes the surrounding environment and generates robotic motions for conducting scientific experiments within it
A joint research group of RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research, RIKEN CSRS, and Osaka University has developed an AI system that recognizes non-standardized experimental environments and automatically generates the movement of a robotic arm to carry out autonomous experiments.
Robots and AI have been used as an attempt to overcome the limitations of human manipulation and processing capabilities in experimental science. For widespread use, however, there still remain some issues that need to be solved. For example, the laboratory needs to be “adapted to the robot,” or as a technical problem robots cannot accurately recognize biological samples if shapes vary among individuals.
In this study, the research group has developed an AI system that recognizes the surrounding environment and generates robotic motions for conducting appropriate scientific experiments by combining a robotic arm with a camera and pipette attached with the hand and a 3D model of the experimental environment reproduced on a computer. By using this system, the group demonstrated that it is possible to identify the shape of each plant and automate detailed procedures of experiment, such as adding solutions to individual leaves.
The results of this study are expected to provide a basic technology to realize a new type of laboratories where humans and robots work together, and thus contribute to further development of life science research.
- Original article
- IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON AUTOMATION SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
- J. Zhang, W. Wan, N. Tanaka, M. Fujita, K. Takahashi, K. Harada,
- "Integrating a Pipette Into a Robot Manipulator With Uncalibrated Vision and TCP for Liquid Handling".
- Miki Fujita
Senior Technical Scientist
Mass Spectrometry and Microscopy Unit