Image Number 4 for United States Patent #7411508.
Methods and systems for automatically locating and identifying labware using radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags are described herein. The methods and systems include a plurality of RFID tags (pre-programmed with unique data codes) that are associated with labware (or labware holders). For example, the RFID tags can be embedded within the locating pegs of the labware (or labware holders). The methods and systems also include a plurality of RFID tag readers that mount near known locations of an instrument deck which receives the labware. The RFID tag readers automatically scan for the presence of RFID tags such that when a piece of labware is added to the instrument deck, and then report to a processing device the specific known location on deck where each tag was found, as well as the unique data code of each tag. Using this information, the methods and systems determine one or more of the location, orientation, and identity of the received labware.