Volume 583 Issue 7815, 9 July 2020

Robo chemist

Automation is on the rise in chemistry laboratories, but to date this tends to involve custom-made automated instruments or bespoke interfaces to allow robotic arms to work with lab equipment. In this week’s issue, Andrew Cooper and his colleagues show that a mobile robot that might be found in a car-assembly line can be modified to operate alongside humans in a wet chemistry lab, and can use the same instruments as a human chemist. The team programmed the robot with the objective of improving the performance of a polymeric photocatalyst. Over the course of eight days, the robot autonomously performed 688 experiments and identified photocatalyst mixtures that were six times more active than the initial formulations — a task that would have taken humans several months. By automating the researcher rather than the instruments, the team says its approach could find multiple applications in chemistry labs.

Cover image: Ella Maru Studio

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  • Matters Arising

Amendments & Corrections

  • Publisher Correction |

    • Cameron D. Griffiths
    • , Leanne M. Bilawchuk
    • , John E. McDonough
    • , Kyla C. Jamieson
    • , Farah Elawar
    • , Yuchen Cen
    • , Wenming Duan
    • , Cindy Lin
    • , Haeun Song
    • , Jean-Laurent Casanova
    • , Steven Ogg
    • , Lionel Dylan Jensen
    • , Bernard Thienpont
    • , Anil Kumar
    • , Tom C. Hobman
    • , David Proud
    • , Theo J. Moraes
    •  & David J. Marchant
  • Publisher Correction |

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