Single Colony Picking: The Stinger

Up to 40% of lab time is lost on repetitive, menial tasks. Automate your random colony picking and high-throughput screening with speed, accuracy and versatility. Combine the Stinger and the ROTOR to bring your lab zombies back from the dead.

The Stinger is a modular extension of the ROTOR HDA. It is not a standalone product. For a standalone colony picker check out PIXL.

The Stinger Automatic Single Colony Picker

How does it work?

The Stinger uses re-usable, autoclavable pins to sample microbial colonies. In conjunction with in-built ROTOR HDA software, users can select source colonies to be picked, and then re-array those colonies. Flexible colony selection methods, either by importing .csv files or by manual selection on the intuitive Cherry Picker software, are suited for a wide range of tasks, from picking a few strains of interest to rearranging the entire arrays.

What can I use it for?

  • Selectively re-array groups, or individual colonies from large microbial arrays
  • Produce custom arrays comprising functionally-related strains/mutants
  • Random colony picking
  • Generate subset of library arrays to follow-up with initial screening results
  • Accurately and reliably pick colonies from high density arrays
  • Pin large arrays of a single strain from a source library
  • Quickly and easily mate specific colonies of interest from high-density arrays

What is it?

The Stinger is an automated modular extension to the ROTOR HDA robot for easy, ultra-fast rearrangement of high-density library arrays of yeast, other fungi, bacteria, and algae from colonies grown on solid agar or in liquid culture.  It is designed for the picking and spotting of user-specified colonies from high-density arrays onto solid agars in 96-, 384-, 1536-, and 6144-density format.


The Stinger Automatic Single Colony Picker

The Stinger Automatic Single Colony Picker liquid multiwell to agar SBS plate


What does it do?

The Stinger expands the functionality of the ROTOR HDA robot by enabling the re-arraying of specific individual colonies of interest from high-density agar plates and multi-well dishes.  The Stinger allows researchers to easily and accurately produce custom arrays comprising functionally related strains/mutants, or to generate a subset of library arrays to follow-up with initial screening results.

Library Re-array - Singer Instruments The Stinger application

Sub Collection Generation - Singer Instruments The Stinger application


The Stinger High-throughput Screening Colony Picker Online Demonstration



What plates can I use the Stinger with?

The Stinger picks colonies from microtitre plates, SBS standard trays and Singer PlusPlates.


Can I reuse the pins?

Yes. The pins and the cassette itself are fully autoclavable, which makes sterilization a breeze. Additional pins and cassettee can also be purchased to ensure you always have spares around.


What is the size of the Stinger pin?

The Stinger pin is the same size as the RePads 1,536 pin, which measures at 0.75 mm in diameter.


What is the capacity of a Stinger cassette?

One Stinger cassette holds 384 pins.

Is the Stinger easy to use?

Absolutely!  The Stinger uses the intuitive ROTOR HDA software, which means that the simple, touchscreen interface can guide you through a chosen protocol.


How fast is the Stinger?

The Stinger picks and spots a colony in just 19 seconds, which means that as many as 190 colonies can be re-arrayed in an hour at your favourite density format.


Why is the Stinger so fast?

As an add-on to the ROTOR HDA, the Stinger attaches to the fast-moving robotic arm and is able to pick colonies via the shortest path between source and target plates.


Tech Specs

The Stinger Automatic Single Colony Picker - Technical Specs

The Stinger

Product Code: STR-001

Width: 95 mm

Length: 129 mm

Height: 64 mm

Weight: 308 g

Voltage: 24V DC but works off the ROTOR, no additional supply needed.

Pinning accuracy: ± 50 microns

Pin-tip size: 0.75 mm diameter

Pins are Stainless Steel so can be repeatedly autoclaved. The working end is long enough to reach the bottom of a standard multi-well plate and it weighs 765 mg

Singer Shuttle automatic pin collector for Stinger single colony picker - Technical Specifications


Product Code: SSH-001

Width: 176 mm

Length:282 mm

Height: 95 mm

Weight: 1855 g

Voltage: 24V DC but works off the ROTOR, no additional supply needed.


The Shuttle is a powerful accessory for the Stinger to expand its throughput and automation.

The Shuttle enables unattended operation with 768 pins or permits automatic racking of used pins. For runs of 384 pins or less, used pins from the front station cartridge can be placed into an empty cartridge in the rear station. You would never have to handle dirty pins or manually rack pins onto the cartridge.

The Stinger cartridge has a screw on lid and magnetically attached bottom tray.  The bottom tray can carry suitable liquid (i.e. ethanol) to disinfect pin tips.  After a run, the lid is fitted and the cartridge removed from the Shuttle.  The bottom tray can then be removed to expose the trapped pin tips so they can be scrubbed to remove debris. The entire Stinger cartridge, including the lid and the bottom tray, can be autoclaved and made ready for re-use with minimal handling.


Colony Picking Platform

Colony Picking Platform

The Stinger can be purchased as part of the Colony Picking Platform which also includes the ROTOR , the PhenoBooth and PhenoSuite.
Image plates of organisms such as yeast, fungi, bacteria and algae grown on solid or in liquid media using the PhenoBooth. Select hits by phenotypes such as size, circularity, colour or fluorescent intensity using PhenoSuite. Import this data into the ROTOR HDA and use The Stinger to transfer cells from hits onto solid or into liquid media. See the video



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