UBC trials drug testing robot at music festival

published on August 15, 2023 in DATAC

Researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) led by Dr. Jason Hein, have created a new, portable drug testing machine, which they tested at the Shambhala Music festival held from July 21 – July 24 near Nelson, B.C.

Since current drug testing tools are not portable, the research group created a prototype that aims to test drug samples with the same efficiency as the machines used by pharmacists and provide results in only 15 minutes. In addition, currently available portable testing techniques need to be operated by technicians, and their detection is limited to five compounds in a sample at a time. In turn, the prototype being tested by UBC uses high-performance liquid chromatography (HPCL) to automate the process.

“We know how to do this for pharma, why don’t we take the tools and skills that we have to build a robot that can do that expert testing?” said Dr. Hein in his interview with CTV News. “Somebody will put something in to it, the robot does its thing, prepares the sample, runs the sample, extracts the data and says, ‘Here’s what’s in it.’”

In addition, Dr. Hein added that he hopes to see a kiosk on the Downtown Eastside…

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