This robot was designed and assembled in a couple of days by one of Gomez-Marquez’s students. A foot-tall Lego tower holds a syringe, controlled by some plastic gears, standing astride a homemade plotter powered by motors scavenged from old computer printers.
The contraption precisely deposits droplets of chemical reagent onto filter paper. The prepared paper can be used in the field to detect pathogens in blood, meaning that any clinic in the world can make quality paper diagnostics for diseases such as malaria and dengue fever with a few hundred dollars in parts.
The professional machine it replaces, called a liquid handler, costs $100,000.