Robot relieves lab workers, processes coronavirus tests in rapid time

The robot was designed before the pandemic and YET engineers modified it to serve the needs of coronavirus labs

The new robotic COVID-19 testing system created by Yaskawa Europe Technology (YET) can perform 2,800 per day. (photo credit: YASKAWA EUROPE TECHNOLOGY)
The new robotic COVID-19 testing system created by Yaskawa Europe Technology (YET) can perform 2,800 per day.
(photo credit: YASKAWA EUROPE TECHNOLOGY)
COVID-19 checks in one lab in the IDF have become faster and more efficient thanks to a new robotic system developed by Israel-based Yaskawa Europe Technology (YET), according to the company’s president and CEO Arik Dan.
The new system, which was rolled out two weeks ago, can process samples from up to 96 COVID-19 tests in the time it would take a standard lab worker to process one, and up to 2,800 total tests per day. The robot relieves the work-load of skilled workers, enabling them to focus on other tasks.  
"The robot can open a test-tube, scan a code and do a variety of tasks," he explained. “Each robot comes in its own robotic-box to ensure its environment is kept under ideal heat and pressure conditions."
He added that each robot can be modified to suit the needs of the lab or client and it is possible to manage even more tests per day.
The robot was designed before the pandemic and YET engineers modified it to serve the needs of coronavirus labs, as workers across the country were striking and others were complaining that they had reached their limit for developing tests.
The robot, however, does not replace all humans. Dan stressed that YET engineers are present at the IDF lab to oversee any unexpected needs.
“The system we developed can increase the number of tests by over 100%,” Dan added, “which might serve as a turning point to handling the pandemic.”
He said that these robots have global market potential in the fight against coronavirus, though he would not say how much use of such a system would cost in the retail marketplace.
If the IDF lab proves effective, Dan said that the robots could be shipped and tested in other labs immediately.


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