Fraunhofer IPA transfers rights to use laboratory robot KEVIN United Robotics Group

KEVIN can be flexibly and intuitively integrated into laboratory infrastructures and automates processes

17-Oct-2023
Rainer Bez, Fraunhofer IPA

(From left to right:) Andreas Traube, Head of the Department of Laboratory Automation and Bioproduction Technology, Prof. Thomas Bauernhansl, Institute Director, both Fraunhofer IPA, Thomas Linkenheil, Co-CEO, Sarah Ostertag and Tobias Brode, all URG.

United Robotics Group (URG) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA have signed a licensing agreement as part of their newly concluded technological partnership. The content of the agreement is the distribution and further development of the laboratory robot KEVIN®, which is produced and distributed by URG.

KEVIN® is an autonomous, mobile laboratory robot from Fraunhofer IPA. It can be flexibly and intuitively integrated into laboratory infrastructures and automates processes. The robot takes over repetitive routine tasks. For example, it transports microtiter plates and so-called racks, racks for sample tubes, or consumables for refilling. It can also supply systems with pipette tips.

The KEVIN® laboratory robot was developed by the team of the Department of Laboratory Automation and Bioproduction Technology under Andreas Traube and brought to prototype maturity with initial test customers worldwide. Under the umbrella of URG, KEVIN® is now to go into series production. To this end, the company has acquired a corresponding license to use and further develop the robot's hardware and software. "We are pleased to be able to create new, promising perspectives for laboratory automation through our robotics solutions as part of this collaboration. This will strengthen our presence in the life science sector - and enable us to effectively address societal challenges such as the shortage of skilled workers and demographic change," explains Thomas Linkenheil, co-CEO of URG.

Using KEVIN® around the clock increases efficiency in the laboratory. In view of the shortage of skilled workers, relieving the workforce is particularly important, as it allows them to concentrate on activities that are particularly value-adding.

"With the new agreement, we have given a decisive boost to the further development and marketing of KEVIN®. Automation plays a central role in the life science sector. It enables laboratories to respond flexibly to different needs. This makes it all the more important to jointly develop suitable solutions for this sector," comments Thomas Bauernhansl, institute director at Fraunhofer IPA.

Personnel change from Fraunhofer IPA to URG

In the course of the technological partnership between Fraunhofer IPA and URG and the transfer of the licensing rights to KEVIN®, there have also been personnel changes. The two IPA scientists Sarah Ostertag and Tobias Brode have moved to the United Robotics Group. Both accompany KEVIN® from the first idea to the market-ready series product. At URG, Sarah Ostertag is UX & Industrial Design Lead + Product Management and Tobias Brode is Head of Business Development Lab Automation.

Note: This article has been translated using a computer system without human intervention. LUMITOS offers these automatic translations to present a wider range of current news. Since this article has been translated with automatic translation, it is possible that it contains errors in vocabulary, syntax or grammar. The original article in German can be found here.

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