Robots bring efficiency to UNR labs

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Robots bring efficiency to UNR labs


William Cunningham, a Hamilton Company employee, demonstrates robotic equipment in a UNR lab.

UNR is partnering with the Hamilton Company, which is based in Reno and specializes in robotics manufacturing.

The company will have access to lab space on campus and the school can use several robotic systems for research.

The lab will include what's called an automated liquid handling station.

Hamilton Company CEO Steve Hamilton says the device automates tedious lab work that drains resources and can be a recipe for human error.

"Imagine a situation where you are in a laboratory and you have to add five or six different chemicals and get a reaction [or] test whole blood for something and you have to do that 400 times before noon, well you could make a mistake and maybe nobody catches it."

Along with avoiding mistakes, automating certain processes will allow faculty and students who frequently do hand-held work to spend more of their time on intellectual pursuits.

"A lot of the people that are hand-held are educated to a level where that's not what they want to do in life, so we do the mundane work and let them do the brain work."

University officials say the partnership allows students in the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Natural Resources to train on industry equipment and network for possible internships and jobs.