The MAPLE-PRO robot system from Flysorter automates the sorting of fruit flies for use in research laboratories. In this process, the animals are sucked in between the modules by a suction robot and sorted. Here the company relies on modular automation components from igus. Due to the modular design of the robot system, a variety of tasks can be performed in fruit fly research: behavioural tests, genetic analyses, testing various drug compounds or pesticides for their efficacy, collecting and separating newly hatched flies before mating, and much more.
For research in genetics, development, neuroscience, diseases etc., the fruit fly is one of the most popular model organisms with its small size and easy maintenance. Over 75% of human diseases with a genetic basis alone have an analogue in the fly. There are thousands of fly laboratories around the world, yet much of the research work is tedious and expensive manual work. The demand to automate such manual work and save time and costs is very high.
The company Flysorter, was looking for cost-effective automation solutions to overcome the bottleneck in their experimental process: loading the flies into their behavioural arenas.
The MAPLE-PRO robot consists of standard components as well as some custom-made 3D printed, laser-cut and CNC-machined parts. For this purpose, igus components are used, such as linear rails, bearing blocks, energy chains and customised SLN carriages for the three up and down axes of the robot.
The cartesian robot has three main axes of motion: an X/Y linear robot (flat linear robot) covering the working area of 1000mm x 300mm and three independent Z-axes with lead screw, which move up and down.
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