PHARMACEUTICAL AND INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS OF ROBOTS IN CURRENT CLINICAL SCENARIO: A RECENT REVIEW

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About Authors:
Roopesh Sachan1*, Prof. Satyanand Tyagi2, Tarun Parashar1, Soniya1, Patel Chirag J3, Patel Pinkesh3, Devesh Kaushik4
1*Department of Pharmaceutics, Himalayan Institute of Pharmacy and Research, Rajawala, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India-248007.
2President & Founder, Tyagi Pharmacy Association (TPA) & Scientific Writer (Pharmacy), Chattarpur, New Delhi, India-110074.
3Department of Pharmaceutics, Maharishi Arvind Institute of Pharmacy, Mansarovar, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India-302020.
4Territory Business Manager, Diabetes Division, Abbott Healthcare Private Limited, Okhla, New Delhi, India- 110020.
*roopeshsachan@gmail.com, +91-9557469989, 9236167104

ABSTRACT:
In the world of pharmaceuticals, there is a vital role for robotics to play in the complicated processes of research and development, production, and packaging. Justification for robots ranges from improved worker safety to improved quality. Speeding up the drug discovery process is another benefit of robotics. Drug Production Robotics plays an important role in the manufacture of pharmaceutical drugs because, unlike other industries, pharmaceuticals demand higher speed and accuracy. Devices such as syringes, inhalers, IV bags and diabetes testing kits are made with the help of robotics. There is a great potential for the use of robotics systems in the pharmaceutical industry and pharmaceutical companies are gradually injecting more robotic systems into their operations.

Reference Id: PHARMATUTOR-ART-1577

INTRODUCTION
The International Organization for Standardization gives a definition of robot in ISO 8373: "An automatically controlled, reprogrammable, multipurpose, manipulator programmable in three or more axes, which may be either fixed in place or mobile for use in industrial automation applications."

Reprogrammable: whose programmed motions or auxiliary functions may be changed without physical alterations;

Multipurpose: capable of being adapted to a different application with physical alterations;

Physical alterations: alteration of the mechanical structure or control system except for changes of programming cassettes, ROMs, etc.

Axis: direction used to specify the robot motion in a linear or rotary mode [1, 2]. The Robotics Institute of America defines a robot as Re-programmable multi-functional manipulator designed to move materials, parts, tools, or specialized devices through variable programmed motions for the performance of a variety of tasks.

THREE LAWS OF ROBOTICS
1.      A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings except where such orderswould conflict with the First Law.
2.      A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflictwith the First or Second Law.
3.      A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being tocome to harm [3].

ADVANTAGES OF PHARMACEUTICALROBOTS
1.     
Accuracy: Robotic systems are more accurate and consistent than their human counterparts.

2.      Tirelessness: A robot can perform a 96 man-hour project in 10 hours with more consistency and higher quality results.

3.      Reliability: Robots can work 24 hours a day, seven days a week without stopping or tiring.

4.      Return on investment (ROI): There is quick turn-around with ROI. Plus, with the increase in quality and application speed, there are the benefits of increased production possibilities.

5.      Affordability: With the advancements in technology and affordable robotics becoming available at less cost, more pick and place robotic cells are being installed for automation applications.

6.      Production: With robots, throughput speeds increase, which directly impacts production. Because robots have the ability to work at a constant speed without pausing for breaks, sleep, vacations, they have the potential to produce more than a human worker.

7.      Quality: Robots have the capacity to dramatically improve product quality. Applications are performed with precision and high repeatability every time. This level of consistency can be hard to achieve any other way.

8.      Speed: Robots work efficiently, without wasting movement or time. Without breaks or hesitation, robots are able to alter productivity by increasing throughput.

9.      Flexibility: Packaging applications can vary. Robots are easily reprogrammed. Changes in their End of Arm Tooling (EOAT) developments and vision technology have expanded the application-specific abilities of packaging robots.

10.  Safety: Robots increase workplace safety. Workers are moved to supervisory roles, so they no longer have to perform dangerous applications in hazardous settings.

11.  Savings: Greater worker safety leads to financial savings. There are fewer healthcare and insurance concerns for employers. Robots also offer untiring performance which saves valuable time. Their movements are always exact, so less material is wasted.

12.  Redeployment: The flexibility of robots is usually measured by their ability to handle multiple product changes over time, but they can also handle changes in product life cycles.

13.  Reduced chances of contamination: Removing people from the screening process reduces the potential for contamination and the potential for dropped samples when handling them in laboratories. Robotics performs these tasks much faster with more precision and accuracy.

14.  Cost: Paybacks for the purchase of robotic equipment in the pharmaceutical industry, given the fairly high hourly labor rates paid to employees, number of production shifts, and the low cost of capital. A typical robot installation, complete with accessories, safety barriers, conveyors, and labor, could cost around $200,000. If that robot were to replace four manual workers each earning approximately $30,000 per year, the robot would be paid for through salary savings alone in a little more than a year and a half.

15.  Work continuously in any environment: Another advantage in the laboratory is that robots are impervious to many environments that would not be safe for humans. A robot can operate twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week without a dip in accuracy [4-6].

DISADVANTAGES OF PHARMACEUTICAL ROBOTS
1.     
Expense: The initial investment of robots is significant, especially when business owners are limiting their purchases to new robotic equipment. The cost of automation should be calculated in light of a business' greater financial budget. Regular maintenance needs can have a financial toll as well.
2.     
Dangers and fears:
Although current robots are not believed to have developed to the stage where they pose any threat or danger to society, fears and concerns about robots have been repeatedly expressed in a wide range of books and films. The principal theme is the robots' intelligence and ability to act could exceed that of humans, that they could develop a conscience and a motivation to take over or destroy the human race.
3.     
Expertise: Employees will require training in programming and interacting with the new robotic equipment. This normally takes time and financial output.
4.     
Return on investment (ROI): Incorporating industrial robots does not guarantee results. Without planning, companies can have difficulty achieving their goals.
5.     
Safety: Robots may protect workers from some hazards, but in the meantime, their very presence can create other safety problems. These new dangers must be taken into consideration [7].

NANO-ROBOTS
Nano-robots are so tiny machines that they can traverse the human body very easily. When a nano-robot enters into the body of a patient would seek for infected cells and would repair them without causing any damage to the healthy cells. The nano-robot will remain outside the cell while the nano-manipulators will penetrate into targeted or damaged cell thus avoiding any possibility of causing damage to the intracellular skeleton.  Thus these nano-robots when enter into human bloodstream provide cell surgery and extreme life prolongation. Each nano-robot by itself will have limited capabilities, but the coordinated effort of a multitude will produce the desired system level results. Coordination is needed across the board for communication, sensing, and acting and poses a major research challenge [8].

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