Elemental Machines is using IoT technology from American telecom giant AT&T in a bid to make its critical lab equipment smarter.
The Massachusetts-based company uses internet-connected sensors and artificial intelligence to help biotech and pharmaceutical firms predict problems.
It claims to have created a network that gives science-driven companies the ability to use data-driven insights to improve lab operations, research, development and manufacturing.
AT&T is providing Elemental Machines with its connected tech and monitoring solutions to make lab monitoring easier, as well as offering more information and consistency.
This approach, according to the companies, can also prevent major research setbacks. Elemental Machines explained: “Imagine a lab freezer that malfunctions overnight. Scientists find their 22 million-year-old ice samples from the Arctic have turned into a pool of water.
“With Elemental Machines’ smart lab solutions, lab staff might receive an alert that the freezer isn’t at an ideal temperature. They could then act quickly to save their samples and avoid this costly catastrophe.”
Right round the clock
The firm’s smart lab product consists of AT&T Control Center and AT&T Global SIM, and is supposedly capable of monitoring assets both on site and remotely right round the clock. Even if there are any Wi-Fi or power problems, cellular connectivity will act as a back up to constantly send data.
The system also includes Elements, which are intelligent, battery-powered wireless sensors. These sensors send data wirelessly to Elemental Gateway Tablets, which run on AT&T Enterprise Mobility Management. They share data with a dashboard for easy access, and the company can provision, manage and help secure specific laboratory data.
Highly capable sensors
Elemental Machines claims that these sensors can track a range of factors in the lab environment, including temperature, humidity, light and air pressure in equipment such as freezers, refrigerators, ovens, incubators and liquid nitrogen tanks.
By gaining access to this data, the idea is that staff can then verify that all the equipment is performing correctly and receive message alerts to inform them about any changes in the environment.
Michael Koeris, who is CEO and founder of food-safety technology firm Sample6, which uses the platform, said: “Our lab operations require a monitoring system that allows our team to track both equipment performance and environmental conditions in near real-time, whether on-site or remotely.
“The Elemental Machines system gives us easy access to performance characterizations of the lab and equipment, immediate alerts if something is amiss or out of spec, and cellular backup so that we can have access to critical data, even if there is a power interruption.”
Disrupting how science is done
Sridhar Iyengar, CEO and Founder of Elemental Machines, suggest that “IoT has the potential to disrupt how science is done by allowing massive levels of data to be collected in near real time – from biotech/pharma to materials science to agritech.
“This requires premium carrier-level services to support the adoption and roll-out of connected systems to various types of users. Offering AT&T’s technology and network gives our customers the confidence to place their trust in our solution.”