Automated crystal transport orientation and retrieval robot

Automatic sample mounting, X-ray screening and data collection


ACTOR™ is a proven commercial solution for automating routine crystal screening and data collection at both synchrotron beam lines and home laboratories. Compatible with almost any goniometer and detector combination, the ACTOR eliminates much of the physical handling of samples required during crystal screening and data collection.

Rapid automatic crystal screening

ACTOR allows you to screen up to 30 samples per hour. Adding automation to your structure solution pipeline also complements the high throughput needed for fragment based screening projects and structural genomics programs. ACTOR enables you to quickly screen many crystals for optimal diffraction qualities and cryo-conditions and includes ranking software to assist you in comparing samples and finding the best crystals for data collection.

Shorten the crystallization to structure pipeline

ACTOR allows you to effectively shorten the time gap between crystallization and structure solution. ACTOR was the first commercial automated crystal mounting robot and won the 2002 R&D 100 Award for technical innovation. Today over 60 ACTOR robots are in operation in home labs and at beamlines around the world. ACTOR can increase the number and quality of your diffraction experiments, ensuring your success in increasingly competitive funding and IP environments.

Ask for more info


  • Completely automated sample mounting, centering and data collection
  • Integrated sample ranking and data collection strategy algorithms.
  • Choice of dewar base plates for use with either ACTOR, ALS, Uni-Puck sample holders. (Tools and magazines for ALS and Uni-Puck must be purchased separately.)
  • Storage capacity up to 240 samples: 3 Dewars with 80 sample capacity per dewar for ALS and UniPuck (Alternatively, 3 dewars with 60 sample capacity per dewar for ACTOR pucks or 3 dewars with 40 sample capacity per dewar for ESRF magazines)

ACTOR accessories

  • Dewar Baseplate Options: ALS/Unipuck baseplate, Rigaku baseplate, ESRF baseplate with flipper, Kinematic baseplate (multi-magazine support)
  • Laser pin sensor
  • Barcode reader for barcode pin sample tracking
  • RFID reader for RFID pin sample tracking
  • High-speed dryer
  • Software libraries available
  • ACTOR Tool Kit

ACTOR tools

ACTOR tools

ACTOR magazine (puck):

  • Holds up to 12 samples mounted using standard 18 mm Hampton pins. This gives an effective length of 21 mm from the top of the magnet.
  • Magnetized bottom for secure positioning in the ACTOR staging dewar and ACTOR storage racks
  • Constructed of aluminum for frost-free use and durability
  • Slotted for manipulation with the ACTOR magazine tongs

ACTOR magazine tongs:

  • Hemostat-style closure for secure handling of ACTOR magazines
  • Tips fit into ACTOR magazine slots to ensure secure manipulation

ACTOR storage rack:

ACTOR pin tongs:

  • Used to transfer mounted crystal into an ACTOR magazine slot
  • Artery style clamp closure keeps sample secure during transfer from mounting dewar to magazine
  • Maintains crystal at cryo temperatures
  • For use with standard 18 mm Hampton pins

ACTOR pin check:

  • Used to quickly check that sample vials and pins are correctly seated in the ACTOR magazines

There are three styles of pins compatible with the ACTOR robotic system. These include the Hampton CrystalCap™ Copper Magnetic HT, the Hampton CrystalCap™ Copper Magnetic ALS HT and the Hampton CrystalCap HT™ (SPINE).

The pin dimensions for each are described below:


Photos of each of these pins are shown below. They can be purchased from HamptonResearch as well as other vendors. Please check pins from any vendor to ensure that they have been manufactured within the above tolerances. This will ensure that they are compatible for use with the ACTOR system. For questions about ACTOR pins, please contact

If you are unable to view this video, click here to download it (11 MB).

ACTOR applications

  • High throughput X-ray crystallography
  • Automated sample mounting and X-ray data collection for crystals

(Hold down CTRL key
to select multiple items)

Name (first/last):
Phone: Ext:
Street address:
State/Province/Region: (use two-letter abbreviations for US)
Zip/Postal Code:
Additional comments
 (no URLs allowed)

Occasionally we would like to send you news, updates, and special promotions about our products and services. By checking the “I Agree” box and submitting your email address, you are giving us your express consent to send you these types of emails and you are also agreeing to Our Privacy Notice. (click Our Privacy Notice link to review it) and Our Terms & Conditions. (click Our Terms link to review it) I agree