Until relatively recently, "robo-centric" track based robotics provided the only solution to fully automating HTS assays. In early 1998 several "assembly line style" robotic systems for HTS became available. These new approaches to HTS robotics offer numerous advantages over "robo-centric" systems. Among this group of linear systems, only the Zymark Allegro™ provided complete total and flexible assay automation enabling microplate processing, reading and data organization for UHTS. However, compared with "robo-centric" systems, this platform is costly and large in size when implemented for heterogeneous assay applications. More recently, a new version of the Allegro™ has been released, the Allegro Combo™. Allegro Combo™, which uses the same hardware as Allegro UHTS, enables bi-directional microplate passing, and creates a linear system approach which retains many of the advantages of this style of robotics at aa reduced cost and size. Allegro Combo™ now provides a powerful approach which occupies the same size, flexibility and cost niche as traditional "robo-centric" systems. Zymark was one of Jason Armstrong, Ph.D.'s consulting clients over the last few years, as was Beckman (also mentioned in the article), and other suppliers of robotics for the HTS industry. Much of his time in the last 2 years has been devoted to consulting with pharmaceutical and biotech companies for HTS and robotics.
Armstrong, J. W. (1999). A Review of Linear Robotic Systems for High Throughput Screening - New Developments Result in More Flexibility and Lower Cost. JALA - Journal of the Association for Laboratory Automation. https://doi.org/10.1016/s1535-5535-04-00015-2