This story was initially published in Spanish on Clinic Barcelona. The following post has been translated and edited for an English-reading audience.
The Biomedical Diagnostic Center (CBD) of Hospital Clinic of Barcelona has incorporated a new Opentrons OT-2 liquid handling robot for performing a massive number of PCR tests. This robot is in the calibration phase and will be operational in the coming days. The arrival of the robot was made possible by the collective efforts of various private and public entities under the Covichain Robots initiative.
The incorporation of the robot responds to the need to boost the volume of coronavirus testing and solve the bottleneck that supports the process of the samples. The Opentrons robots are part of the latest technology with open-source features, which allow them to adapt to the established protocols in each hospital.
The robot, called Opentrons, permit the process of PCR sample testing in a large, scalable way that allows correct diagnosis for the most people affected by COVID-19. In a fast, efficient and reliable way, we can process a maximum of 2,400 daily samples.
This initiative is one of 10 projects developed by a group of professionals since March 13, called Covichain Robots, which has the support of the Alastria Consortium and the CovidWarriors Association.
The purchase of robots and the hiring of specialized engineers have been made possible by the initiative of the employees and management team of MERLIN Properties and ManpowerGroup, who have provided the necessary funding for the project. This initiative has been joined by companies such as Inditex, Correos, Apple, IKEA, LLYC and Telefónica, which have provided the logistics and equipment and infrastructure necessary for the launch of robots.
The Ministries of Finance, Interior, Foreign Affairs of the European Union and Cooperation and Science and Innovation have also joined to facilitate the management of the project.