Control Sample Swap


Re:Build DAPR Engineering effectively developed and implemented a high-throughput automated lab for biotech diagnostic testing, featuring a Control Sample Subsystem that utilized robotics, custom-designed systems, and precise vision and barcode scanning. The Control Sample Swap function proved successful, meeting the client’s testing requirements and showcasing DAPR’s engineering expertise.

Location: Boston, MA

Product: Biotech Laboratory Automation – Control Sample Station

Industry: Healthcare

Timeframe: 9-10 months


The client approached DAPR with the need for an automated solution to efficiently handle control samples for an automated biotech laboratory. DAPR responded by developing a sophisticated Control Sample Subsystem, featuring robotics, custom mounts, and precision tools, complemented by advanced vision systems and barcode scanning capabilities. Overcoming technical challenges such as precise tube placement and automated rejection criteria, the Control Sample Subsystem significantly improved the efficiency of sample handling processes. Its success lay in meeting high-throughput requirements and ensuring accurate sample placement, demonstrating DAPR’s capability to deliver tailored engineering solutions for intricate applications in laboratory automation.

Challenges & Solutions

  • Complex Timing Study. The subsystem’s timing study was intricate due to the numerous procedures occurring in the cell. To determine the optimal sequence of operations and to ensure the correct timing for various processes, a comprehensive and iterative time study was conducted alongside simulation software that identified critical paths. From these studies, it was decided a regrip nest should be added for flexibility in control rack orientation and to ensure smoother operations.
  • Integration of Vision and Barcode Scanning. Integrating vision and barcode scanning for accurate sample tube placement required flexible mount designs and meticulous testing. Custom mounts with adjustable features were designed for precise vision system alignment. 2D barcode scanners were strategically placed to guarantee continuous sample tracking and prevent placement errors.
  • Custom Design and Integration. Extensive custom design efforts, including mounts, end-of-arm tools, and robot guarding, posed integration challenges. Systematic custom design collaboration, CAD tools for virtual prototyping, and regular client communication ensured seamless integration and ultimately lead to a subsystem that met unique requirements and adheres to safety and lab standards.


Re:Build DAPR Engineering successfully tackled the intricate challenges, like complex operations and timing, integration of vision control, and custom design needs, posed by this subsystem and project and delivered an innovative control sample subsystem for an automated biotech laboratory. The result showcased notable improvements in throughput and efficiency, establishing Re:Build DAPR Engineering’s ability to provide not only automated solutions but tailored engineering solutions for complex healthcare applications.