Robots are revolutionizing wet labs and drug discovery. Automation is now standard practice in pharmaceutical research environments. However, commercial, off-the-shelf systems are tailored towards high-end, commercial labs and are financially completely out of reach for most basic science labs, which greatly limits discovery power. In the last few years, general-use robotic arms have dropped in price tremendously and are now well within the purchasing power of even starting labs, but no open-source software exists for lab applications. Therefore, academic labs still cannot leverage the tremendous progress made in lab automation.
We here propose to develop an open-source, dynamic scheduling software for lab automation. As a direct application, we will use this platform to screen bacteria-killing viruses and thereby find new ways to combat antibiotic-resistant infections. Furthermore, we expect that the software will be widely used to tackle diverse problems within the life sciences.