ABioBot is a collaborative project between artists, scientists, and engineers to create a bio robotic lab assistant that automates the processes and procedures of working with biological media.
The project was funded by a San Francisco Venture Capital firm and the approaches taken were successful.
We had a dream — a dream of a lab assistant that could eliminate the repetition and errors from bio procedures and protocols so more time would be spent on science and in my case art-making using biological media.
We intend to realize a dream with a robotic lab assistant that offers:
- Reproducible science
- Easy use
- Vision, sensing, and feedback
- Open hardware, open API
- To do the tedious lab work for you
…so you can get back to the intersections of Art and Science with Biological Media
We incubated at the biotech accelerator IndieBio located in San Francisco, CA.
It has been an exciting adventure combining the unique talents of our team in creating this new product against the backdrop of an accelerator.
Process: Find a stable platform to hack.
I chose a Type A Machine (now about of business) a rapid prototyping system that was robust and open-source and would allow me to hack into the system.
I began by looking at the gantry and how I could directly hack into that to allow the attachment of an Eppendorf.
Visuals of how the system was to look. Ideal versions.
We are exhaustively chronicling commonly used laboratory protocols for automation and building systems and processes that guide you through the procedures.
These include DNA extraction, the ELISA assay, oligos-based assay library preparation, PCR type experiments (e.g., qRT-PCR)
and assorted assays (cell toxicity, ChIP for protein-DNA binding, Crispr-cas9, GFP tags, Serial dilutions. etc.).
In the process of doing this project, I began to see the challenges of working to create a project funded by Venture Capital where there was a high expectation of “turning a profit” Like most artists I was never focused on the money, though I was focused on making a system that could be sold for under a few thousand dollars to allow a true open source experiment in robotic biological experimentation.
With moving more toward a need to turn a profit, I lost interest in the project.
Since then my colleague and friend Raghu Machiraju has continued the run the company with this wife Jany Chan. https://www.abiobot.io/
Opentrons has provided the current hardware platforms. Urbity and Knowble designed AbioBot’s UI, as well as building this website. BigKittyLabs used various software stacks to collaborate with AbioBot and create our UX. BiggerTuna developed the lighting platforms required for AbioBot to design Gan.