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DR. KOICHI TAKAHASHI | Accelerating life sciences by robotic biology



Laboratory automation is key to solving problems in today’s life sciences, including poor reproducibility, inefficient operation of expensive laboratory equipment, poorly conducted research and laborintensive working styles. Although laboratory automation itself is not new, most commercially available products still require human operators who work as the ‘glue’ between machines. In addition to these productivity issues, evident in biological laboratory procedures is a breadth of tacit knowledge, forming a bottleneck in knowledge transfer and reproducibility. The JST MIRAI Project has been developing a formal experimental protocol description language and IoT system architectures to enable coordinated operation of various robots and machinery. It is also creating an AI platform for automated experimental planning and optimization, using data such as cell images to transform biological laboratories into cyber-physical systems. The center has developed an autonomous cell culture system based on LabDroid, a versatile humanoid experimental robot, and succeeded in culture and differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells into retinal pigment epithelial cells. Accelerating life sciences by robotic biology.