Working in Your Robotic Lab From Home

This week’s blog is inspired by the unique challenges scientists and engineers have trying to conduct research from home while their laboratories are closed due to COVID-19. This article (Scientists Can Work From Home When the Lab Is in the Cloud) gave me some ideas about potential scenarios that just might work for a TV show or movie.

The article explains how companies like Strateos are setting up robotic laboratories so that scientists can conduct biological research and testing from home right now. This idea could have applications to any field that does laboratory work such as astronomy (controlling a telescope), chemistry (testing possible drug combinations), engineering (building and maintaining robots) and even earth science (designing a rover-like robot to take samples at various locations).

I’ve seen examples of robotic surgery where the surgeon is controlling the robot’s arms but the surgeon has always been in close proximity of the robot. Having a robotic lab at a completely different location from the researchers would have its own challenges.

What if one of the robots in the lab breaks? How would the scientist continue their research?

Or

What if one person is quarantined in the lab and they are entirely responsible for keeping the lab running smoothly?

Or

What if a villain takes advantage of this opportunity and hacks into the labs computer system and ruins the research?

Or

For someone who explores their world tactilely and needs to touch and feel the materials that they are using, how would they cope if they couldn’t feel the smooth or bumpy textures?

Or

This idea of remote lab work could be short-term or long. How who that impact your characters and the decisions they make working from home?

Who wants to talk more about how you can use this idea in your current or next story?

[Credit: flickr/rogogo]
E-mail emilie@real2reelscience.com Hours M-F: 5-10pm EDT, EST Weekends: 12-5pm and other times by appointment.
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