Automation 101: Why Do Drivers Matter?

September 29, 2021  |  Technology

A driver is a software component used to connect and communicate with a device’s Application Programming Interface (API) to control what that device does or does not do. If you’ve ever connected a new keyboard or mouse to your computer, you’ve probably had to wait while the correct driver was downloaded so the accessory could be recognized and installed. It’s much the same for laboratory automation equipment.

In laboratory automation, drivers present a device or instruments’ functionality so that a customer can connect and communicate to it through the primary software. The driver converts the information provided by the customer in the software into instructions that the instrument’s API can interpret and execute.

So, what makes a good driver? The answer to that depends on the API, and whatever functionality needs to be made available through the driver. Drivers should be plug-and-play — readily usable without any intervention — and tailored to the instrument to support a full range of operations.

As scientific innovation progresses, it will become harder and harder to keep aging laboratory automation aligned with the productivity requirements of research. Adding and removing instruments is critical to keeping your laboratory automation relevant and your research goals on track. At Biosero, we have created a library of more than 400 drivers, and we are constantly adding new ones. When customers come to us with requests to connect new instruments, we likely have a driver ready to go in our portfolio; but if we don’t, we can build and implement new drivers in a matter of days.

We also offer a complimentary driver exchange program, where Green Button Go® Service Made Simple members receive up to four complimentary driver exchanges per year. Our entire driver library is available to customers, so they can easily download a driver on their own and get a new instrument up and running without on-site technical support.

Designing reliable drivers is just one way we provide our customers with the best tools available for automating their processes and making that process as seamless as possible. We consider it a success that our customers can run their lab processes easily and effectively, with the latest technologies.