I'm trying to develop an adaptable robot for use in our biological laboratory. We have access to robots for liquid handling and colony picking (basically touching pins to microbial colonies and moving them to arrays of well with growth medium). I'd like to cobble together something more affordable and accessible using open tools that we and others would be free to develop and modify as we see fit. There are nuances to each application that I won't drone on about right now, but I want to get feedback on what sort of platform seems best suited to the job. We basically need a 3 axis instrument that can travel ~0.5 m in x and y, but substantially less in z is fine -- even 0.1 m would be enough. Resolution is critical, as we need to be able to control very fine movement, ideally down to ~0.01 - 0.02 mm steps with repeatability over the course of a single run. I envision the components that need to be moved around weighing no more than 1 kg. Using an existing design as the starting point seems prudent. It's worth noting there's an "Opentrons" project that launched from a Kickstarter and now sells robots for $2k-$4k. That's certainly not bad compared to other commercial options, but if I can get off the ground for under $1k with the C-Beam or similar, that seems like a better starting point for customization. Based on my initial reading, a CNC machine like the C-Beam seems fundamentally suited to these sorts of loads and specs; a 2 mm pitch lead screw and 1.8° stepper motor should give me 0.01 mm resolution if I've done my math correctly. But maybe another platform (3D printer? something else?) would be a better fit? Thanks in advance for any guidance.