Opentrons Flex

Hey everyone,

It’s official.

It looks like Opentron is unveiling a 96 head with a gripper next week.

Anyone have more details?



Looks Like an email just came out, and a webpage is live:


Absolute hype, an affordable Liquid handler with a gripper!!

Anyone have an idea how much the gripper module costs?


Yeah I felt like if they could keep a 96 head under 30k that would be huge, and it seems like they did.

Starting is $20k.

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Yeah I felt like if they could keep a 96 head under 30k that would be huge, and it seems like they did.
Starting is $20k.

I think that 20k figure is just the robot with no pipettes / modules, like the standard opentrons (OT-2)

Curious to see what the bells and whistles cost

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Great vid, the Flex looks a lot bigger than the OT-2 which makes sense.

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The video on their front page is super impressive. It looks like they’re going upmarket in a big way.

Their listed pricing has always been rather optimistic. I’m curious what a fully set up system will cost, but I’m betting it will offer a lot of bang for the buck, regardless.

From their press release,

The Opentrons Flex NGS Workstation can automate many popular NGS library prep kits, including tagmentation- and fragmentation-based chemistries, with pricing starting below $50,000; the Opentrons Flex Protein Purification workstation can automate magnetic bead-based protein purification workflows, with pricing starting below $40,000; the Opentrons Flex Aliquoting Workstation starts below $20,000.

It doesn’t say whether that’s the cost with the 96 head or the setup with an 8 channel.

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After looking, some Big Questions I still have are:
• Any improvements to the pipette loading/unloading process?
• Specs for 8 channel and 96 channel Head pipetting?
• How do the Smart Sensors work that support automatic calibration, real time positioning, and error detection?

We have few OT2s, and the pipette swapping process is not easy and can be a two person job. You have to be very careful or you can head up with one end of an 8 channel higher or lower than the other. If they made this simpler (or at least less chance for misalignment), then that’s a big win. If these “Smart Sensors” really will ease the calibration burden that is high on the OT2, then that’s also a big win too.


Interesting, where did you see mention of the smart sensors?

Under Tech Specs, then “Pipette Overview”.

There’s actually a page up for the New pipettes it looks like too, wheres there’s a GIF of the “automatic calibration” occurring…


Interesting! That reminds me of the way that Beckman’s are calibrated and how the newer Formulatrix machines self-define labware.

@Shinedalgarno, are you looking for price of Flex + 96 head + gripper? Without any other accessories?

New Flex with 96-channel pipette and gripper is ~$35K


@UCantBcereus, I’ve only been at Opentrons for a few days, but swapping out is super simple (2 screws).

I’ll make sure to get you some answers on your other questions :slight_smile:

The NGS workstation with 2 8-channel pipettes is just under $50K and the NGS workstation with a 96-channel pipettor is just under $60K!

@MeghanFerzoco Thank you! Look forward to hearing your responses, and very happy to see Opentrons active on the forum! One other question is “What are the plans for Opentrons support for the camera?”. I support these across multiple sites, so an easier way to be able use the camera would be a huge plus.

As far as swapping out pipettes, I agree in concept. However, in execution, trying to hold the pipette straight while screwing it it in is challenging. If I don’t have someone bracing the pipette while another screws it in, I often get cases where i have trouble leveling the 8 channel pipettes properly. We need our 8 channels to do bead cleanups and also set up qPCR in 384 well plates, where proper leveling is key.
It’s likely less a concern with the single channel pipettes.

Maybe others have an easier time with this piece; I’d be interested if others on the forum have had leveling issues as well when attaching pipettes. Or even how many people swap pipettes regularly.

Thanks for the response!

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Our marketing team is actively working on a video of swapping out pipettes, it is MUCH easier than on the OT-2!

What are you looking for the camera to do? There are so many different uses, I guess it’s easiest to just ask what you need!

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Wow ~$35K is really, really good.

That’s probably nearly 50% of what other cheap 96 head systems cost. (I think, someone correct me if I’m wrong.)

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@UCantBcereus For pipette loading/unloading, this is now guided with our touchscreen display. We’ve also modified how the pipettes are mounted and the electronic connections for better and simpler alignment.

8/96 pipetting specs will be released on our website soon, but I can tell you the data is :fire:
-This is something I asked before I joined!

Smart sensors- We’ve added capacitance capabilities for the deck calibration process, making calibration an automated process as opposed to a manual process. Real time positioning and error detection are enabled with new positional encoders on our stepper motors

For camera, the feature that is currently available for our users to access through the API should they need it… MANY more details to come on this in the near future, but some of this is still in dev.

Hope this helps!


@MeghanFerzoco I look forward to the video, and the extra data! The automated calibration is huge too, as that is one of the biggest downsides of the OT2. It runs well when when calibrated and you keep up on the O-Rings, but the time to calibrate needs to be considered!

I think for the camera, to start would be just to record runs, to aid in troubleshooting when something goes wrong. We support OT2s where we are not onsite, and figuring out what happened can be challenging sometimes. I’m sure others here have more elaborate ideas though!

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