Visions of Computer Science - BCS International Academic Conference (VOCS)
BCS International Academic Conference
22 - 24 September 2008
Both Robots and Personal Computers established new markets about 30 years ago and were enabling factors in Automation and Information Technology. However, while you can see Personal Computers in almost every home nowadays, the domain of Robots in general still is mostly restricted to industrial automation. Due to the physical impact of robots, a safe design is essential, which most robots still lack of and therefore prevent their application for personal use, although a slow change can be noticed by the introduction of dedicated robots for specific tasks, which can be classified as service robots.
Our approach to service robots was driven by the idea for supporting lab personnel in a biotechnology laboratory. That resulted in the combination of a manipulator with a mobile platform, extended with the necessary sensors to carry out a complete sample management process in a mammalian cell culture plant. After the initial development in Germany, the mobile manipulator was shipped to Bayer HealthCare in Berkeley, CA, USA, a global player in the sector of biopharmaceutical products, located in the San Francisco bay area. The platform was installed and successfully tested there in a pilot plant. This project demonstrates the successful combination of both key technologies: Information Technology and Robotics - and its application in a Life Science pilot plant.