London, May 14 : A robot system conceptualised to guard millions of biological samples in sub-zero temperatures, will be competing for the MacRobert Award this year.
The Polar system has been chosen as one of the finalist for this top technology award, which will be given out by the UK's Royal Academy of Engineering for technological and engineering innovation at a ceremony in London on June 9th.
The system will not only guard 10 million human blood and fluid samples at -80C for 25 years, it will also allow scientists to access them at any time.
Designed by the Automation Partnership, the system is made up of a series of ultra-low temperature compartments, which are meant for holding blood and urine samples that can be accessed automatically by robotic arms.
This liquid-nitrogen cooled store will enable researchers to retrieve or load samples without having to enter a refrigerated area.
Already in use at the UK Biobank, the Polar System is a facility, which will act as a tool by researchers to investigate many debilitating diseases including cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
The Polar system is one of three technologies with potential medical benefits that have been chosen as finalists for this year's awards.
The other finalists are the first commercially available bionic hand, an advanced filter to remove soot from diesel engines and a tiny silicon sensor, which can detect explosives or toxic chemicals.