Walk-Away Specimen Processor™
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Copan WASP®: Walk-Away Specimen Processor is a truly revolutionary instrument for specimen processing for Microbiology. WASP® provides a comprehensive system encompassing all aspects of automated specimen processing, planting and streaking, Gram slide preparation, enrichment broth inoculation and dispensing of antibiotic disks for AST (Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing). Designed to work 24/7, WASP® has a demonstrated throughput capacity allowing labs to expand their workload without a significant impact on the human resources needed. As demonstrated since the launch of WASP® in 2008, Copan vision for its line of automation is to continually introduce new capabilities and applications modules, to respond to customer needs, and maintain the technical and market leadership. WASP®'s visionary modular and open* platform design ensures the lab can measure and achieve a satisfactory Return on the Investment as well as embrace automated solutions through a step-by-step approach.
*In order to grant the reliability of the diagnostic results to which WASP® and WASPLab® contribute and allow the safe and correct functioning of the system, spare parts, consumables and technical support must be provided by Copan (or by our authorized distributors); above all, any third party’s containers and culture plates to be used on WASP® and WASPLab® instruments must be approved by Copan.


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    Can WASP®streak both sides of a bi-plate?

    Yes, WASP®can plant and streak bi-plates, either simultaneously in the case of the dual streak module or one side at a time when using a single loop.

    How many specimens can be processed using the reusable loops?

    30,000 per Biquetra loop.

    What is the plate capacity of WASP®?

    WASP® has 9 silos and it holds up to 378 plates.

    What types of specimens can be processed using WASP®*?

    WASP® can automatically process bacteriology specimens, including swabs, urines, feces, pre-grinded tissues, fluids and sputum.

    Can WASP® plant traditional swabs?

    The ideal way to process swabs using automation is with a minimum of 30µl of ESwab®. If customers need to process traditional swabs, they can process them with the WASP® using two methods.

    How do you verify that a sample has been planted?

    WASP® has a built-in image verification system to ensure the loop integrity and that the sample fills the loop. WASP®DT will attempt to transfer the sample up to three times and if it cannot detect sample in the loop, it will place the specimen in the rejection bin to indicate to the operator that the specimen has not been processed due to insufficient sample.

    Is there a risk of cross-contamination using WASP®?

    No. Individualized specimen management, containment and confinement measures ensure a clean work environment. No open samples are ever next to each other during processing, protecting the integrity of the specimen and avoiding cross contamination of adjacent specimens. The unique architecture of the WASP®DT HEPA filter bathes critical areas with clean air and vacuums away any aerosols to optimize specimen containment and confinement.

    Does WASP® need middleware to report the results back to the LIS?

    No. WASP® can operate as an independent specimen processor or it can be fully integrated with the institution’s LIS system without the need of a middleware.

    Can WASP® process non-liquid samples?

    To maximize the benefits of automation, the ideal scenario is to move to liquid microbiology and standardize the sample containers. But, yes, WASP® can process non-liquid samples using streak-only mode.

    What are the major reasons for sample rejection?

    Insufficient quantity sample and illegible barcodes.

    Do I have to use a certain plate type*?

    No. The system can manage plates from multiple vendors.

    *In order to grant the reliability of the diagnostic results to which WASP® and WASPLab® contribute and allow the safe and correct functioning of the system, spare parts, consumables and technical support must be provided by Copan (or by our authorized distributors); above all, any third party’s containers and culture plates to be used on WASP® and WASPLab® instruments must be approved by Copan.

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    Technological innovation is nothing without human collaboration. That’s why, from the first prototype to the most recent lab to adopt Wasp®, COPAN has solicited input from the Microbiology community. New modules and improvements are a direct result of COPAN’s roots in the Microbiology lab.

    Traditional Reusable Loops

    Microbiology labs have always used traditional, reusable, metal loops, and so does Wasp®. With 1µl, 10µl and 30µl sizes, Wasp® can plant the inoculum sizes that the lab needs. Other automated systems use pipet tips, which can clog with viscous samples or floating particles and cannot transfer volumes less than 5µl, and the difference is clear.

    Automatically Open and Close Specimens, and Perform All Specimen Processing Tasks

    Wasp® automatically opens the sample and recaps. In order to minimize user intervention, the Wasp® is equipped with modules to perform all upfront specimen processing, including planting and streaking, Gram slide preparation and broth inoculation, Kirby Bauer and ID disk application without user intervention or manual labeling.

    Walk-Away System

    The Wasp® loop and tool change system allows it to automatically switch between 1µl, 10µl or 30µl loops depending on specimen type. Samples can be loaded continually onto the instrument without batching, and the container grippers and decappers adjust automatically to any specimen container type. Load, and walk away!

    Classic Streak Patterns

    Microbiology lab staff have been reading the same classic streak patterns for years. Wasp® uses a library of classic streak patterns honed by years of expertise in reading plates. Wasp® also allows users the freedom to independently program custom patterns! These classic streak patterns mean that there’s no need for staff retraining due.

    Open Platform for All Specimen Types, Sample Containers and Plated Media*

    Wasp® automatically plants and streaks most specimen types in almost any plastic container.

    • Swabs
    • Urine
    • Feces
    • Sputum
    • Body fluids
    • Pre-enrichment broths

    Wasp® has a nine silo media carousel, which can hold any manufacturers plated media (up to 370 plates).

    Automatic Loop Check

    The automatic loop check guarantees delivery of sample onto the culture plate, as well as the integrity and accuracy of the loop. If the sample is not visible in the loop, the system will attempt to obtain a sample two more times, moving the loop lower into the container each time. If no sample is detected, the container is sent to a rejection bin making specimens with non-sufficient volume very easy to find by the Technologist.

    Standard Swabs and Solid Samples

    While COPAN strives for a liquid-based specimen approach in the Microbiology lab, with products like ESwab®, Snot Buster™ and FecalSwab™, sometimes solid samples and traditional wound swabs cannot be avoided. WASP® is easily programmed to handle these samples with minimal user interaction.

    Standard Linear Bench Top Design and Individual Specimen Handling

    The Wasp® is designed like a standard Microbiology bench. Specimens are never open next to each other. With no racks of open containers, there is no risk of cross contamination.

    Barcode Driven System and Simple Intuitive Software

    The barcode-driven system reduces errors, improves accuracy of specimen processing, and eliminates transcription and transposition errors. Intuitive software and touchscreen commands make all operations fast and simple, minimizing hands on time.

    LIS Integration

    COPAN has integrated Wasp® with all major LIS providers using a bi-directional or uni-directional interface.

    State-of-the-Art Technology Driven by COPAN’s Unique Resources and Expertise

    The Wasp® system was conceived, designed, built and is supported by the COPAN Group, which has a unique and broad range of assets that include an in-house microbiology team, experts in robotics and automation, mechanical and software engineers. Users have total confidence and peace of mind of COPAN’s in-depth knowledge of clinical microbiology and the demands for a reliable and fully automated specimen processing. All knowledge and experience is in-house and never outsourced.


    *In order to grant the reliability of the diagnostic results to which WASP® and WASPLab® contribute and allow the safe and correct functioning of the system, spare parts, consumables and technical support must be provided by Copan (or by our authorized distributors); above all, any third party’s containers and culture plates to be used on WASP® and WASPLab® instruments must be approved by Copan.

    Automation and Liquid-Based Microbiology

    For over 20 years, COPAN has had its feet planted in the Microbiology lab, and its eyes facing the future. The challenges facing Microbiologists, Lab Techs, Doctors, Nurses and Hospital Administration are many, and without the right partner, these challenges can be overwhelming. The COPAN philosophy is one of collaboration with the community that our products serve in order to maintain the highest level of quality, efficiency and innovation.

    Swabs: Past and Present

    Swab collection and transport systems have been used since the 1940s, and until recently, little had been done to improve on what was thought to be working. Enter Copan FLOQSwabs®! In contrast to traditional fiber wound swabs, flocked swabs use perpendicular short Nylon® fiber strands, which create an absorbent layer. The entire sample stays close to the surface for fast and complete elution of the sample into liquid media. Flocked swabs mean a better sample and have allowed for the automation of one of the highest volume and more challenging Microbiology samples: swab samples.


    COPAN ESwab® comprises of a FLOQSwabs® and 1mL of Liquid Amies. It is a multipurpose, open platform collection and preservation system that maintains aerobic, anaerobic and fastidious bacteria for up to 48 hours at refrigerator and room temperature. ESwab® is the only liquid transport swab system that allows for automated specimen processing.

    Liquid-Based Microbiology Philosophy

    Gone are the days when specimen processors were expected only to process urine samples! COPAN’s liquid-based approach transforms solid, semi-solid and viscous samples into a liquid format and allows for the maximum optimal utilization of Wasp®DT. With the ability to run almost all samples that are sent to Microbiology, labs realize a faster return on investment.

    COPAN’s LBM® line includes ESwab® for swabs, FecalSwab™, which allows for the quick and easy processing of stool specimens, SnotBuster (aka SLSolution™) for liquefying sputum prior to processing, as well as a full line of enrichment broths, all that can be processed using automation.


    Wasp® Instrument

    Dimensions: 43.5 inches wide x 81.5 inches long x 76 inches high (111 cm wide x 207 cm long x 193 cm high)
    Weight: Approximately 1,300 lbs (590 kg)
    Input Voltage: 220V, 20Amps
    Network Ethernet: 100 MB
    Interface: LIS interface available upon request
    Peripherals: Touch screen monitor, external barcode reader, label printer
    Certifications: CE, UL, CSA
    Electrical Receptacle Plug: HBL2321 250V / 20A (for USA and Canada)

    GRAM SlidePrep™

    Dimensions: 28 inches wide x 23 inches long x 49.5 inches high (71 cm wide x 58 cm long x 125 cm high)
    Weight: Approximately 221 lbs (100 kg)

    Scientific Studies

  • Specimen planting and streaking is an important job in Microbiology and needs to be done quickly, efficiently and to a high standard. Reliable and accurate diagnosis depends on the quality of the sample and proficiency of specimen set up. Despite its importance, the task of planting and streaking is a laborious repetitive activity that takes skilled personnel away from important interpretative work, esoteric testing and new assay technologies that require their expertise.

    Laboratory managers around the world face a rapidly aging population of laboratory staff and a higher incidence of unfilled vacancies for skilled workers. In addition to the decrease in skilled staff, Microbiology labs face an increase in workload due to the high prevalence of Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) and the pressure to perform more tests using fewer resources.

    The routine tasks of planting and streaking occupy much of a technologist’s time. Opening, sampling and closing specimens numerous times each day pose a serious concern about repetitive stress and fatigue.

    Wasp® provides a much needed solution that allows the re-deployment of valuable staff resources without compromising the quality of diagnostic testing. Wasp® is designed to mimic the best technologist and to bring a high standard of consistent, reliable and accurate specimen planting and streaking.

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