Development of Autonomous laboratory base procedures for accelerated product development and discovery

Lead Research Organisation: University of Liverpool
Department Name: Chemistry


At the University of Liverpool, the Cooper research group is creating the 'Lab of the Future', which will develop mobile robotic platforms and custom-designed automated workflows to provide a step change in the use of automation for the discovery of functionalised materials. This project will focus on this Lab of the Future concept and, specifically, will look for opportunities to transform product development for our partners Unilever by considering the following areas:
1. Identification of suitable product(s) / research challenges to be used in development for proof of concept design. The first step will be to identify operations that can be modularised effectively using mobile robotics platforms or other automated workflows.
2. Design and Development of modular systems for integration into workflow(s).
Customised and dedicated modular systems for specific workflows will be designed, built, and evaluated. Integration of automated processing and feedback for modular systems will also be developed.
3. Development of mobile robotic protocols for safe use in workflow(s) and for human collaboration.
Protocols for the safe use of mobile robotic platforms will be developed to allow interaction with the module stations in the workflows, as well as safe interactions with humans.
4. Automated screening/development using custom designed automated workflow(s).
Demonstrate the use of designed workflow(s) for the development of new formulated products using custom-designed automated modular workflows.
5. Development of closed-loop systems for the self-optimisation of materials toward a specific target property or properties.
Introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithms for the self-optimisation of formulations.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R51231X/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021
1945299 Studentship EP/R51231X/1 01/10/2017 29/01/2019 Sian Baxter