Transcriptic, a California-based startup, has opened its APIs so that researchers can control its purpose-built robots. The robotos will process, store and analyse their genetic and biological samples, taking the legwork out of life sciences. Researchers will be able to spend less time on the tedious lab work and more time on in-depth analysis of the results, which they can receive from the robots in only a couple of days.
The unique service has been referred to as life-sciences-as-a-service; in conversation with Gigaom, Founder and CEO Max Hodak likened it to cloud computing, only with “robotic work cells” instead of servers on the back end.
Researchers will be able to write code, instructing robots what do to with samples, and send their samples across to Transcriptic’s lab. Current areas of focus include molecular cloning, genotyping, bacteria-growing and bio-banking. As well as easing the workload, utilising Transcriptic’s robots cuts down on the margin for human error.
Caltech, Stanford, Harvard and the University of California, San Diego are amongst the first users. In particular, Hodak is excited about the opportunities his product affords to the pharmaceutical industry. Many pharmaceutical companies are cutting costs by licensing the discovery of smaller, more flexible companies. If Transcription are the ones providing cheap, easy research infrastructure to these companies, they could be on to a winner.