The scientific process depends on technology. Without it, experiments cannot be performed and research data cannot be collected and parsed. With that in mind, it’s always a good idea to consider new technologies to integrate into your laboratory. Below is a list of five different gadgets that can improve your lab’s efficiency.
1. 3D Printer
Recently, 3D printers that can be placed on a desktop have become financially viable for a lab of nearly any size. Having a 3D printer on hand can have many benefits. Instead of being limited to creating virtual models for experiments, you can create them in the real world via the power of 3D printing. Many scientific breakthroughs, especially in the world of healthcare, are likely to come directly from 3D printing.
2. Automated Robots
Once the thing of science fiction, robots that can be programmed to do basic lab work are now available for purchase. For example, Hudson Robotics Inc. manufactures robots that can handle liquids and perform colony picking tasks for biological and pharmaceutical research in a laboratory without the need for direct control from a human being. Such robots are also designed for the highest efficiency possible and can do things like download instructions via a Wi-Fi connection.
3. Smart Phone Integration
Smart phones and tablets have been integrated into nearly every level of society, and this is certainly true for the laboratory. Currently, there are a plethora of apps that can allow you to perform complex calculations and test variables like any quality lab computer. The data stored within your regular lab computers and servers can also be accessed from anywhere in the world via a smart phone or tablet app.
4. DNA Analyzer
If your lab focuses on biological or pharmaceutical research, one thing that can make your work more efficient is having a DNA analyzer in house. This will prevent you from having to send samples out to third parties and wait weeks to hear back from them about test results. Thankfully, prices have come down.
5. Document Scanner
One of the most important things to successful lab research is collecting and analyzing data. However, if the data you have retrieved is not already in a digital format, it will have to be manually entered into a database. This can be very time consuming. One alternative is to purchase a document scanner that can immediately retrieve numbers, dates and other information from a paper document and automatically use it to populate a database entry.
Overall, to stay on the cutting edge, a laboratory should always consider investing in new technology. It can make your lab more efficient and improve the quality of your research.