A key element of any system is the plate storage unit. These devices store microplates and provide incoming storage, in-process storage, room temperature incubation, and outgoing plate storage. For the most flexibility, storage devices should accommodate both standard well and deep-well plates as well as plates with covers. Storage units can be as simple as stationary vertical plate hotels or higher density units such as carousels that automatically present additional plate locations to the robot. Carousel storage units store more plates per foot of robot frontage than stationary plate hotels. One high-density unit from Robocon can store 216 standard well plates, with lids if desired, in a very compact cube that only takes up 400 square inches (Fig. 5).
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