Accelerating Discovery in Natural Science Laboratories with AI and Robotics

celisca will be included in a full-day Workshop on Accelerating Discovery in Natural Science Laboratories with AI and Robotics at the ICRA 2024 in Yokohama, Japan. 

Large-scale, high-throughput experiments and big data are becoming fundamental for scientific discoveries. New discoveries are time-consuming and costly; hence, laboratory automation based on robotics and AI aim to shorten and reduce these factors. Most scientists (Nature 533, 452–454) believe that the lack of reproducibility and scalability of experiments is the main reason for this situation, especially in the fields of life sciences, material and drug discovery. For years, automating scientific experiments has been considered the holy grail for addressing this fundamental reproducibility problem. Most of the existing solutions are limited to rigid and complex devices that can only solve specific experimental tasks that are barely adjustable to experiment protocol changes. With further developments in robotics and intelligent software, new opportunities are opening up to address this in a more task-flexible but human-centric way. However, it is not yet clear how these developments can be applied to accelerate laboratory processes. Specific challenges e.g. manipulation and perception of transparent glassware, system integration with non-digital devices, challenges with deploying mobile manipulators safely in human labs, as well as standardization have not yet been fully overcome. This workshop will provide an opportunity to create new synergies towards addressing these challenges


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