Abstract: A unique method and apparatus for dispensing tablets having particular application in the clinical analysis of biological samples. A series of containers are advanced past a plurality of processing stations, one of which is a table dispenser in turn. The processing stations are selectively activated by a controller. A sensor is associated with the tablet dispenser and is arranged to detect whether a tablet has actually entered a container. The sensor is activated only when the tablet dispenser is activated. The controller is responsive to the sensor in dependence upon the condition sensed by the sensor.
Abstract: An improved system (10) is provided for providing access to a sealed container (14) which temporarily provides an opening in the closures of the containers, and either removes contents, senses properties of the contents, or dispenses material into the container. In one embodiment, this system includes a carousel assembly (12) which receives sample containers and moves them to a first location. There, a lift assembly (31) moves each sample container upward against a puncture tube (55) of a penetrating assembly (32). This puncture tube provides an opening in the closure of the container. The system takes a sample through this opening or inserts a probe (65) through the opening to measure the properties of the sample. After the system has performed the sampling, sensing, or dispensing function, a stripper assembly (67) strips the container from the puncture tube, allowing the opening to close.