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Stanford Researchers Adapt a Diy Robotics Kit to Give STEM Students Tools to Automate Biology Experiments


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The liquid-handling Lego robots are used in experiments for STEM education and research.

Stanford University researchers have demonstrated how an off-the-shelf robot kit can be modified to create robotic systems capable of transferring precise amounts of fluids between flasks, test tubes, and experimental dishes.

Credit: Stanford

Researchers at Stanford University have modified a commercially available do-it-yourself kit for building and programming robots capable of transferring exact amounts of fluids between flasks, test tubes, and experimental dishes.

"We show that with a few relatively inexpensive parts, a little training, and some imagination, students can create their own liquid-handling robots and then run experiments on it-- so they learn about engineering, coding, and the wet sciences at the same time," says Stanford professor Ingmar Riedel-Kruse.

He also says the broader concept behind the project is enabling students to learn fundamentals of robotics and the wet sciences in an integrated way.

Coding the robots is easy, using a simple programming language that lets students place symbols instructing the robot what to do.

Riedel-Kruse notes students acquire multidisciplinary science, technology, engineering, and math skills while gaining a deeper appreciation of the value of robots in life sciences experiments.

From Stanford News
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