There are robots that assist surgeons in precise operations, robots that “pick” and dispense medicines in hospitals, and now there is a robot to help us in the surveillance of infectious diseases. Norbert Herzog and David Niesel of UTMB’s Medical Discovery News discuss the T5000 Universal Biosensor system. Within weeks of the swine flu outbreak, the Galveston National Laboratory received 1,500 swine flu samples. The T5000 can process 12 samples at one time and identify the pathogen in each sample in just hours. That’s almost 200 samples in each 24 hour period - giving us critical lead time to respond to a viral outbreak.