What does $5000 get you in lab automation?

We’ve mentioned the Opentrons OT-2 lab robot in our pipetting robots guide before and it’s open source software and flexible configuration but it is worth revisiting as a descriptive piece of equipment in the lower end of the lab automation price range.

For $5000 you’ll not have to have a specially allocated budget for a full lab overall and there is quite a few neat features which should speed up some simple processes in your lab. The 11 space deck fits inside the 57cm x 63cm table and is accompanied by a single pipette or 8-channel pipetting system. The deck spaces are standardised which is claimed to allow you to use pre-existing racks and trays you may already have in your lab. Compatible racks and wells can be found here. The library is for calibration purposes so the pipetting arm will know precisely where to dispense.

Source: opentrons.com

No blocks come with the base price of $5000 nor do any pipettes which is crucial to it’s function. So take for example a robot framework and a single pipette is actually $5900 with more pricey options for 8-channel and dual left and right pipettes. As for the blocks, if you want it to do more than just simple liquid transfers these are an extra $2500-$5000. They offer a temperature module from 4 to 95 degrees celsius for $3000, a thermocycler for $4800, magnetic module for extractions and purification methods for $2400 and a HEPA module for highly contaminate prone procedures for $5000. So really your $5000 does require a bolster to expand it’s features beyond a simple pipetting robot.

The software itself looks very intuitive however and seems to be a good lab mate for a researcher to save the arduous pipetting tasks at minimum. Maybe you also have compatible blocks in your lab and further equipment which could be integrated into the platform.

Specification from Opentrons:

Compact footprint

Pipette configurations

Pipette volumes and specs






Power Requirements

Frame composition

Operating Temperature & Relative Humidity


Fills a 96-well plate in 22 seconds

Accuracy and precision

Single and 8-channel pipetting


Full polycarbonate enclosure designed to limit exposure. The OT-2 is not a sterile environment

Add the Opentrons HEPA Module, or add your own UV lights

API compatibility


Tip compatibility

Labware compatibility


Return Policy


Tip Handling

Liquid Control



Variable Settings