Opentrons Labworks unveils AI-powered workflow tools

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Lab automation and robotics firm Opentrons Labworks has unveiled new tools intended to enhance the efficiency of research across the fields of genomics, proteomics, cell biology, and synthetic biology.

The company said its new “no-code” protocol library and tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI) for protocol development will assist scientists by automating workflows to remove the burden of routine tasks.

The protocol library was exhibited at the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) 2024 international conference and exhibition in Boston held from February 3 to February 7.

Opentrons said that it aims to create “the largest open-access set of robust liquid-handling automation protocols to streamline research” across numerous fields.

The new products use the latest modular robotics system, the Opentrons Flex.

The company sells robotics hardware and consumables (such as tips and labware) and services; it has distributed over 6,000 robots in more than 40 countries.

Its AI-powered protocol generation tool leverages large language models to allow users to create novel workflows for Opentrons robots. For example, customers could automate running nucleic acid extractions from tissue samples.

The company told that field-application scientists could write a custom protocol that could then be housed in the protocol library for others to access at no cost.

Without the “plug-and-play” protocol’s automated process, it would take a skilled automation engineer around two days to develop and optimize the protocol, the firm said.

Opentrons said that it was anticipating thousands of users for the protocol.

“Our approach will help scientists unravel the complexities of the genome and accurately capture large-scale genetic variations in disease, especially in areas where there is a growing need for accessible automation solutions, such as sample prep for long-read and single-cell sequencing,” said Opentrons CEO Jonathan Brennan-Badal.

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