The facility marks the company’s first dedicated healthcare research centre and is expected to be opened in October 2019.

ABB said that its research team would work on the TMC campus with medical staff, scientists and engineers to develop non-surgical medical robotics systems, comprising logistics and next-generation automated laboratory technologies.

According to ABB, highly skilled medical experts spend much of their time doing repetitive and low-value tasks like preparing slides and loading centrifuges.

Through employing robots in automating the tasks, medical professionals will be  enabled to focus on more skilled and productive work and help more patients receive treatment.

ABB robotics and discrete automation business president Sami Atiya said: “The next-generation laboratory processes developed in Houston will speed manual medical laboratory processes, reducing and eliminating bottlenecks in laboratory work and enhancing safety and consistency.

“This is especially applicable for new high-tech treatments, such as the cancer therapies pioneered at the Texas Medical Centre, which today require manual and time-consuming test processes.”

ABB said that analysis of a wide range of current manual medical laboratory processes estimates that 50% more tests are capable of being carried out using automation, by training robots to undertake repetitive processes, which reduces the repetitive strain injury (RSI), in people doing such tasks.

In addition, its collaborative robots, which are already operating in food and beverage laboratories across the world, are said to be suitable medical facilities to operate safely and efficiently alongside people.

The robots are expected to undertake a variety of repetitive, subtle and time-consuming activities including dosing, mixing and pipetting tasks along with sterile instrument kitting and centrifuge loading and unloading.

Texas Medical Centre president & CEO Bill McKeon said: “With this exciting partnership, Texas Medical Centre continues to push the boundaries of innovative collaboration with cutting-edge industry partners by establishing TMC as the epicentre for ABB Robotics’ entry into the healthcare space.

“Operating a city within a city that sees 10 million patients on an annual basis, it is essential to prioritise efficiency and precision and to develop processes that are easily repeatable in nature. By bringing ABB into the fold at TMC Innovation with this first-of-its-kind R&D facility for creating robotics solutions in healthcare, TMC is emphasising its commitment to doing just that.”