Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, a division of Boehringer Ingelheim, has recently donated robotic equipment worth $700,000 to the School of Engineering of Fairfield University.
The devices that were donated include robotic plate handlers, manufactured by Hudson Robotics, and a BioRad VersArray Chip Writer Pro. The robotic plate handlers are used to hold laboratory micro-plates and transport them on to devices including robotic benchtop dispenser, a Hudson product that dispenses 12 liquid samples simultaneously, and liquid handlers. The BioRad VersArray Chip Writer Pro manages tiny slides and dumps the required amount of substances on the slides.
The school will use the robotic equipment for its automation engineering curriculum that highlights computer system applications to advanced production methods through computer-aided design, computer-aided production, robotics and programmable logic control systems.
Boehringer Ingelheim had donated the equipment via its scientist Anthony Kronkaitis. The school is now in the process of incorporating the robotic tools into its automation-engineering program.
The Robotic Industries Association reported that the robotic equipment orders in the pharmaceuticals, life sciences and other medical domains have increased 54% in the first three quarters of 2010 compared to that of 2009.