Custom project

The collaborative formulator

An open, collaborative platform designed to intuitively formulate coloured products.
Labman custom system: The collaborative formulator

Key features

Smart consumable loadingAutomatic detection of what has been loaded onto the platform bed using advanced object detection and NFC technology.
CappingSecure capping before DAC mixing, with inbuilt detection for defective caps.
Data managementBarcode scanning and automatic transfer of data to LIMS.
Automatic material calibrationQuickly load up to eight separate dispensers. Dispense parameters are automatically calibrated and adapted during a run.
MixingHomogenous mixing in a Dual Asymmetric Centrifuge (DAC).
Easy-to-operateQuick login using NFC and secure access codes, easy-to-operate touchscreen with an intuitive user interface.
Adaptive liquid dispensingAdvanced dispense algorithms with integrated steps for fast, clean, accurate dispensing.
Image analysisAutomatic robot position validation and adjustment.
CollaborativeRobot arm slowdown and pause for safe interaction and live, in-run vial transfer. Colour rings for quick glance awareness of vial status.


A fully collaborative platform that is designed to work alongside operators to formulate coloured products from up to 8 liquid dispensers. The platform consists of an unenclosed workstation fitted with a collaborative robotic arm (cobot). It has capacity for 60 formulation pots, which are loaded into ‘smart racks’ developed by Labman. The rack positions automatically identify and display the status of each pot. The caps are loaded into two removable stacks. A material cartridge is loaded into a dispenser using a quick release connector. The dispensers are easily loaded onto the platform and automatically engaged. An NFC label, that is applied onto the cartridge, is read and the material is identified by the platform. A software algorithm is used to automatically calibrate the dispense parameters for each material. The materials are gravimetrically dispensed. Once all materials have been dispensed, the pot is securely capped and automatically placed into a Dual Asymmetric Centrifuge (DAC) to homogenously mix the product.

While the platform is running, pots may be removed or added to the platform. The platform is controlled from an easy-to-use touchscreen with an intuitive, custom user interface. Run data is automatically uploaded to a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). Safety force limits and height constraints on the collaborative arm, paired with SICK safety scanners that are installed underneath the platform, ensure safe working between the user and the machine. Image analysis is used to; automatically check and adjust the robot positions and identify consumables around the platform.


Person wearing white lab coat and blue glove is working on the collaborative formulator
Close-up of the collaborative formulator screen showing software
Man wearing a lab coat loading vials into Collaborative formulator
Collaborative Formulator smart rack with vials in
Man wearing lab coat and blue gloves standing at collaborative formulator loading vials into the rack
Vial caps being stored
Smart rack on collaborative formulator showing blue lights where there are no vials and green lights where a vial is placed
Robot arm
Collaborative Formulator smart rack with vials in

Other projects you may be interested in

We have crafted hundreds of groundbreaking technologies for laboratories across the globe. Each one showcases Labman's distinctive expertise in tailoring designs to specific workflows and seamlessly integrating familiar tools through automation.
Explore our portfolio

Let’s get your project off the ground

Join the world’s leading companies already leveraging the power of Labman’s technology.
Berkeley Lab company logologo for the company sampled with black text and colouful shapesIDS (Immunodiagnostic Systems) company logoUniversity of Cambridge company logoUniversity of Copenhagen company logo