History of Lab Automation

Laboratory automation was made possible through advances in instrumentation, robotics, and computers.

1941-5 First automated laboratory devices (distilation units, automatic titrators, polarographs, recording instruments, water stills)
1946 First general purpose computer
1950s Microtitler plate (microplate) developed
1951 First teleoperated articulated arm
1952 First numerically-controlled machine tool demonstrated
1954 First programmable robot
1960 Transistors replace vacuum tubes
1961-62 First industrial robot (Unimate)
1965 Carnegie Mellon Universiiy establishes Robotics Institute
1967 First robot imported into Japan
1969 First programmable controller (PLC)
1970s 96-well microplate format introduced
1970 Standard Arm designed
1976 Viking 1 and 2 space probes use robot arms and microprocessor incorporated into the design
1983 First microprocessor-based motion controller
1996 Association for Laboratory Automation (ALA) formed
1997 RoboDesign International founded
1997 Mars Pathfinder robot lands on Mars
2003 Human Genome project presented complete version
2005 Let's Go Robotics founded