UBC prototype drug testing robot headed to Shambhala Music Festival for test run

published on July 22, 2023 by Casey Richardson in Castanet

UBC researchers are field testing a prototype robot that could change the future of drug testing at the Shambhala Music Festival in the Kootenays this weekend.

Associate Professor Jason Hein said one year ago, his graduate student Sarah Guzman joined the lab and identified a need for quicker, more accessible drug testing. With a background from Health Canada and a lab set up for automation for chemistry, Guzman dove into creation.

“The only reason we’re able to do this is because we’ve been working in automation, robotics and chemistry for the last 15 years. It’s actually part of a larger grant, my lab was one of the participants in what turned out to be the largest academic grants in Canadian history, through the U of T and UBC,” Hein said.

“This grant is focused on using robotics and AI to just massively upscale our ability to do research and development. It’s the first of its kind in Canada.”…

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