Automated Workstation

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A LabAutopedia Definition

A laboratory instrument that is capable of performing a limited set of Laboratory Unit Operations (LUO's) (as few as two) in an automated mode, coordinated by a workstation controller.  Workstations are often reconfigurable within the scope of their defined LUO set, but fewer workstations are designed to expand or reconfigure the defined LUO set.  Today, automated workstations have a very wide installed base.  Manual (sneakernet) transport of samples among a collection of automated workstations has proven to be an effective and flexible mode of automating a laboratory process.  Workstations may also be used as components of an integrated system, with the transport of samples to/from the workstation accomplished via a general-purpose transport device. Common automated workstations range from sophisticated electronic balances, multi-function microplate readers, automated liquid handling workstations, to specialized, multi-LUO sample processing workstations.  Microfluidic systems also generally fit the definition of a workstation.  Workstation controllers are often, but not always a PC.  

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Automated Liquid Handling Workstations
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Various limited LUO workstations

Note: A Device is defined as a laboratory instrument or tool that is capable of performing a single LUO.

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