WAS APPS

AUTOMATED

GERMINATION TESTING

Automation of germination testing is a hot topic amongst seed companies. Simply because the advantages and business case of automating this laborious task are evident. To name a few often heard motivations:

  • Quantitative and more dense datasets due to automated high resolution imaging
  • Better and more actionable information for making operational decisions in the seed processing, storage and sales processes.
  • More control, scalability and efficiency on the test execution due to 24/7 availability
  • Opportunity to further optimize and improve the testing procedures and protocols.
  • Freeing up valuable resources from the often repetitive and strain injury sensitive tasks connected to germination testing for other tasks.

At the same time the integration and embedding of automation for these critical tests requires process.

Our family of germination systems allows our customers to store plates and/or trays in different formats and different configurations. Synchron has developed a scalable building block principle system that scales from a few plates to several thousands and from several trays to a thousand, for automated root analysis.

An example of a system for thousands of trays
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The same building blocks can also be configured for storage in media such as agar, soil and Rockwool to monitor the growth progress. The systems can be equipped with liquid handling and a balance to constantly monitor the weight. The software enables you to schedule imaging and automate the entry and retrieval of large batched of plates or trays using a trolley based system.


7 | DOUBLE TELESCOPE TRAYFEEDER

The TrayFeeder is the central part in automation of our germination systems. This unit takes care of the transport of multiple plates or germination supports on a transport tray from/to trolley, shelve and analyser(s). The doubles telescope mechanism enables the pick-up and delivery on both sides of the centre of the system, which double the capacity of the systems.

8 | TROLLEY BASED (UN)LOADING

In all our Germinator systems, the plates, trays of other formats can be loaded intoand unloaded from the systems. The most smallest type system is simply one trolley in a TrayFeeder. The TrayFeeder can be also placed on a rails, to accommodate multiple trolleys enables a larger shelve surface to be automated. Plants can be grown in the dark or under light conditions.

9 | PLANT & SEED IMAGING

Building blocks can configure a storage to monitor the growth progress of young seeds and plants. The systems can be equipped with liquid handling and a balance to constantly monitor the weight. The software enables you to schedule imaging and automate the entry and retrieval of large batched of plates or trays using a trolley based system.

 SEEDPICKING

For many processes in the lab, seeds will have to be individualised for analysis. This can be required for DNA extraction, phenotyping, germination or a range of other analysis.

The SeedPicker will individualise seeds from multiple batches fully automatically. The SeedPicker has fixed stackers or an automated TrayFeeder system for seed containers and corresponding target plates or trays. An industrial, high precision 6-axis robotic arm is the centre of the SeedPicker and automates all movements and transfers. The gripper tool has multiple functions which include a plate gripper, interchangeable picking tools, barcode scanner and liquid handler

1 | HIGH PERFORMANCE FEEDER

Individualizing seeds starts with the robotic arm depositing each seed batch into a trough and using vibration to individualize the seeds on a flat surface that can be imaged. The remainder of the batch in the trough can be collected again into the original seed container.

2 | VISION SYSTEM

After vibrating onto a flat surface, the seeds are imaged using a high-speed camera with on-board processing capabilities. The coordinates of each individual seed are transferred to the robot arm every time before picking.

3 | ROBOT

The 6-axis, high-precision, industrial robotic arm is able to move more than 45 seeds per minute from the separating flat surface into any plate or tray your downstream application may dictate.

SOFTWARE

We believe that software should enable to adapt even the tiniest parameters to enable automation the application exactly how it is required in the lab. We have created a software platform that can be programmed using icons for basic users, but still allows for the incorporation of pieces of code in order to control every individual module setting on the system. The platform is programmed to enable control of different robotic controllers from simple linear axis, liquid handling platforms to 6-axes robots.  It will also allow the integration by third parties to control the WAS systems through their own software.

WAS prototyping the impossible

Here at WAS we believe that close collaboration with technical universities, instrument builders and designers allows us to rapidly prototype even the most difficult modules, required to complete full automation for almost every process. 

Agri automation

The AgBio product suite from WAS has been designed for and with our customers in the seed industry. Automating tasks that traditionally have been performed by laboratory staff, have led to an increased throughput and data collection. Starting from multiple batches with multiple seed types, the SeedPicker can process each seed batch into individual seeds. This process is completely controlled by imaging, barcodes and vacuum measurements during each movement. These single seeds can be placed in microtitre plates for DNA extraction, paper based germination trays, planting in soil or Rockwool trays or be used for individual seed phenotyping. Our DNA extraction system can purify DNA from up to 40,000 samples per day, using magnetic beads. This throughput is accomplished by processing the samples in a semi-serial processing fashion, rather than the traditional, parallel processing of microtitre plates in a liquid handling robot. Analysing the germination process of your seeds can be a time-consuming task which often relies on human, visual interpretation and manual data processing. Using robotics in combination with automated imaging and analysis, our Germinator systems can fully automate the monitoring and analysis of your germination processes. All of our systems can be linked to your LIMS system to ensure a smooth and safe transition through our robots within your laboratory workflow.

PARTNERS

Phenokey 

PhenoKey is specialized in the process of design and integration of automation in crop science environments and organizations. This will ensure the most efficient process from initial design towards integration and embedding within the organization and surrounding infrastructure.

Synchron Lab Automation

Synchron,  a Netherlands based,  and privately held partner have been designing and building innovative custom robotic systems. In Synchron, WAS has a dedicated and experienced partner who can help realise custom modules for the ultimate systems. Synchron offers expertise in all areas of developing flexible robotic automation.

Aris

Aris is world leader with regards to imaging of plants. Over 30 years of experience and with >1000 operational imaging systems for plants has accumulated an unprecedented knowledge and hard- and software tech base from which can be sourced. Besides the standardized radicle emergence solutions there are many options for further add-ons and customizations.

ABOUT US

Combined strengths

Aris, Synchron and PhenoKey have decided to combine strengths with regards to turn-key automation solutions for radicle emergence testing automation. Each partner has it’s distinct specialization in which they excel, and offers the freedom to tailor this to individual needs. The result guarantees the most efficient and robust solution fitted to the users individual needs and ensures a sustained and durable support infrastructure towards the future.

Aris is world leader with regards to imaging of plants. Over 30 years of experience and with >1000 operational imaging systems for plants has accumulated an unprecedented knowledge and hard- and software tech base from which can be sourced. Besides the standardized radicle emergence solutions there are many options for further add-ons and customizations.

Synchron has a rich background in lab automation and offers leading solutions with regards to the seed picking, handling and supervisory controls for the execution of the germination testing assays. This will ensure robust industrial grade solutions, with an excellent support infrastructure for all the handling aspects.

PhenoKey acts as main contractor, and is specialized in the process of design and integration of automation in crop science environments and organizations. This will ensure the most efficient process from initial design towards integration and embedding within the organization and surrounding infrastructure.

MORE INFORMATION

info@weautomateseed.com

CONTACT

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