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Robots Lend A Hand With Covid Testing

Here’s a great example of a large NZ organisation using a local NZ company to help them solve a pressing problem.

The Problem

Due to the high and ongoing demand for Covid sample test analysis, lab staff at the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) were suffering Repetitive Stain Injury (RSI) from lidding and de-lidding the COVID test tube samples by hand.

This had become a serious issue as they process thousands of samples a day, including helping the Auckland DHBs out.

A search by the CDHB revealed no off the shelf systems were available to address the problem.

The Solution

The CDHB approached Design Energy, a Christchurch-based robotic automation company, to develop a solution.

The Design Energy team worked with the CDHB lab and technical staff to design and build RoboLAB – a controlled environment laboratory cabinet containing two robots that de-lid and then re-lid Covid sample tubes automatically.

The system processes batches of just under 200 samples at a time, which are then taken to the next process for analysis.  

The Outcomes

Lab staff are no longer suffering from RSI.

Lab staff now have more time to carry out other duties

The process using RoboLab is more accurate and faster. RoboLab is user friendly with staff reporting they love using it.

A NZ tech company delivers another great solution demonstrating the quality and capability of local automation engineers and companies.

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