Chemistry robots: Labs can benefit by letting humans and machines collaborate

A new system helps labs determine the most efficient way to produce target molecules by utilising the strengths of humans and robots


24 January 2022

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Scientists working with a robot in a lab

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Chemists have devised a new system to help robots and humans collaborate more efficiently in labs by recognising the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Automation is a growing feature of chemistry labs, taking over the many repetitive, complex and time-consuming tasks required to run experiments and measure results. In so-called “self-driving laboratories”, robots pour, mix, distil and titrate chemicals, while AI pores through data and highlights interesting experimental avenues.

A team from the University of Toronto suggests that a hybrid approach where humans …