Join Festo for Feb 7 Press Conference at Lab Automation Show in Boston – Festo Introduces at SLAS 2022 an Open-Source Gantry Robot for Automated Liquid Handling

MC Festo Introduces Modular Gantry Robot 1 400

February 4, 2022


Over the course of the pandemic, Festo has been working day and night with laboratory automation equipment manufacturers on automated sample handling and fluid control solutions. At SLAS 2022, held February 5-7 in Boston, Festo is unveiling new products generated by this program.

The Festo Press Conference, from 4 – 4:30 Eastern, will focus on those new lab automation solutions.

If you are interested and have time, use this link to the live-stream of Festo’s lab automation press conference.

An archived version will be available upon request. Please send your request to Natasha Gosine at

To get you a quick preview of the Lab automation products featured during the 30-minute Press Conference, we have attached the main press release prepared by Festo for SLAS in Boston. It comes with comprehensive information on an open-source gantry robot for automated liquid handling and an automated pipetting system equipped with a Festo onboard PGVA pressure/vacuum. These new solutions were developed at the Festo Life Science Technology Engineering Center (TEC), Billerica, Mass. Established in 2018 as part of the Festo research and development arm, the TEC pioneers the development of new high speed, high accuracy fluid handling and dispensing solutions and collaborates with OEMs to bring their laboratory equipment to market faster and with less risk based on Festo world-class automation components and global technical support. COVID has accelerated both product development and individualized work at the TEC.  


Festo introduces at SLAS 2022 the Modular Gantry Robot platform for laboratory-based automated liquid handling. Open sourced, customizable, and utilizing world-class components, this new solution enables equipment designers to quickly realize their unique solutions with fewer mechanical and electrical engineering resources, speeding time to market. (February 5-9, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Festo Booth #718).

Festo also introduces a complete family of building blocks for developing pressure/time based automated dispensing and pipetting applications. This platform is compatible with a broad range of media, offers exceptional repeatability at high speed, and can be easily calibrated for targeted applications. A core component of the family, the PGVA pressure/vacuum generator, supplies microfiltered air and vacuum for lab fluidic applications, including dispensing and pipetting. A single automated pipetting system equipped with a PGVA can transfer a range of liquid volumes from milliliters on up with + 2% precision. Dispense/pipette heads are available in variants from 1 up to 96 channels for high throughput applications.

These new solutions were developed at the Festo Life Science Technology Engineering Center (TEC), Billerica, Mass. Established in 2018 as part of the Festo research and development arm, the TEC pioneers the development of new high speed, high accuracy fluid handling and dispensing solutions and collaborates with OEMs to bring their laboratory equipment to market faster and with less risk based on Festo world-class automation components and global technical support.

COVID has accelerated both product development and individualized work at the TEC. To speed development, personnel used a strategy of modular building blocks that can be applied quickly and mixed and matched as needed. COVID accelerated development led to the new Modular Gantry, open-loop pipettes, and PGVA air box.

MC Festo Introduces Modular Gantry Robot 2 400

Modular Gantry

Modular gantries feature an open-source motion and fluidic application programming interface (API) with Python, Java, and .NET/C# drivers. Utilizing a library of common drivers reduces the learning curve and enables integrators to easily develop an optimized control strategy for their machine – strategies that support the end-use customer’s success and satisfaction with the machine. The flexibility and ability to customize eliminates the need for OEMs to purchase a generic machine and then adapt their test or assay solution onto it.

Modular three-axes gantry robots can be delivered as ready-to-assemble kits, including cabinet and all necessary supporting components, or as preassembled systems. The Modular Gantry Robot platform follows a Lego-like building block strategy of hundreds of interoperable components designed to be assembled with simple hand tools. Festo Life Science engineers guide customers in the selection of the optimum modules for the target application, including the level of three-axis robot required to handle speed and load. Other modules can include dispense head, pipettes, capper/decapper, and bar code reader. Simple modular Gantries can ship in 8 to 12 weeks, and production scaled up rapidly where needed to suit urgent applications such as Covid testing.

Open-loop pipettes

Utilizing compressed air and vacuum, Festo open-loop pipettes transfer liquid volumes in microliter ranges with up to + 2% precision. The system can provide fast clog detection and liquid level sensing. Sterile pipettes are available with 20, 300, and 1,000 ul tips, with filters and without. They are compatible with Festo dispense heads, gantries, and PGVA, creating the benefits of modular automation. By the end of 2022, Festo will be offering the “smart” closed loop pipette. Programmed easily using a built-in web interface, the smart pipette will be used in applications benefiting from high accuracy and multiple sensor feedback that enables volume verification.

MC Festo Introduces Modular Gantry Robot 3 400

PGVA pressure/vacuum generator

In the PGVA unit, pressure and vacuum are generated by a quiet 50 dB pump and stored internally in individual reservoirs. Air is filtered to -0.001µm purity. Flow is servo controlled by a fast, silent, energy efficient piezoelectric regulator. For easy operation, PGVA can be controlled from any RS232, USB, or Ethernet port. Open-source Python, C#, and Java drivers are posted and supported on Github: GitHub – Festo-se/PGVA-1: Pressure and Vacuum Generator

This all-in-one 24V system has a footprint of 8″x3″x8″. The PGVA received in 2021 an IDEA! gold award and LEAP engineering design silver award.

For more information on Festo LifeTech solutions – dispensing liquids, controlling gases, handling and gripping vials, visit Festo Laboratory Automation. Visit for the full range of products.



MC Festo Logo 1



Related Articles

  • Dynamic Start to the New Year for Endress+Hauser

    Dynamic Start to the New Year for Endress+Hauser

    Endress+Hauser records strong sales growth in 2022 and looks ahead with confidence February 1, 2023 Endress+Hauser is heading into its special anniversary year with momentum. In 2022 the measurement and automation technology specialist increased consolidated sales by almost 17 percent to more than 3.3 billion euros. Nearly 16,000 people are employed worldwide by the Group…. Read More…

Latest Articles

  • NSK Innovation in Dental Handpiece Technology:Reimagining What a Bearing Can Do

    NSK Innovation in Dental Handpiece Technology:
    Reimagining What a Bearing Can Do

    Some people have perfect teeth. For the rest of us, at some point in our lives we will need to get a cavity filled. You will sit down in the chair, your dentist will pull out a dental handpiece, powered by compressed air spinning a turbine, and insert it in your mouth. You will hear a light buzzing noise “bzz bzzzt bzzz” as the decay is drilled away, and shortly after you will have a shiny new filling. Read More…

  • All About Outdoor Fiber Optic Cable

    February 2, 2023 Outdoor fiber optic cables meet many needs, and are suitable for all types of installations, whether residential, commercial or industrial. What type of outdoor cable should you choose from among the different types of size and use according to your needs? Guillevin’s experts can help. All about Outdoor Fiber Optic Cable (outside… Read More…

Featured Article

Access Management for Your Plant and Machinery

With PILZ’s “Identification and Access Management” portfolio, they offer you a comprehensive range of products, solutions and software for the implementation of safety as well as security tasks. Below you’ll discover more about potential applications, from simple authentication to complex access permissions, and access management through to safe operating mode selection, maintenance safeguarding and safeguarding of data and networks. Experience safety and security in one system!

This solution ensures that a machine cannot resume operation while people are still in the danger zone. The maintenance safeguarding system “key-in-pocket” is designed for machines with danger zones, which are protected by a safety fence and which staff need to access – robot cells for example. In comparison with conventional lockout-tagout (LOTO) systems, maintenance safeguarding with the key-in-pocket solution is implemented via RFID keys with corresponding permissions and a safe list in the PILZ controllers. As a result, it provides a purely electronic restart protection and makes both mechanical interlocking devices and warning tags redundant.

Read more


  • Modular Safety Relay

    Safe Monitoring of the Cardboard Feed on Packaging Machines with PILZ’s Modular Safety Relay February 2, 2023 Packaging solutions must often accomplish one task above all: to safely protect operators. The same applies to monitoring the cardboard feed. In this case it is essential to avoid a scenario in which an operator can reach into the… Read More…

  • Reduce Your Cabling Workload – With Weidmüller’s Ready-To-Connect Solutions

    February 2, 2023 Machine and system cabling is becoming an increasingly complex task. Weidmüller provide you with the optimal solution for every cabling task. More Information Weidmüller Custom Cable Assemblies Related Story Single Pair Ethernet Promises a Consistent Ethernet Connection from the Sensor to the Cloud Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) is the catchword when it… Read More…