Gantry Robot Control System

for Chemical Processing

Project Overview

††††††† The Mass Spectrometry Laboratory (MSL) at Montana State University has an Ettan Spot Picker (ESP), which is a gantry robotic arm system designed by GE to extract molecules from an electrophoresis gel. This piece of laboratory equipmentís primary function is to move a probe to a specified location on a tray, collect a sample, and deposit it in a collection tube. The ESPís current system setup is the following: a camera scans the gel tray placed below the robotic arm for location markers for calibration. Then the spot picker analyzes the images to determine protein locations in the gel, and the user controls which spots to pick via a GUI connected to the ESPís control software. Currently the equipment and analysis software is only compatible with one type of gel and probe; however, the MSL would like to use the ESP for other types of sampling methods which require different gels, probes, analysis methods, etc. They would also like more direct control over the armís movements since currently it can only travel to pre-determined locations chosen by the control software.

The Ettan Spot Picker

Source: Ettan Spot Picker. http://www.gelifesciences.com. Web.