A mobile laboratory is something we can thank science and our determination to avoid inconvenience and be able to work from anywhere for. As the name implies, a mobile laboratory is simply a laboratory that is on wheels. In most cases, a large 15-passenger van or a small recreational vehicle (RV) or even a full-length tractor-trailer is stripped of its passenger seats and other standard features, and then outfitted with counters, sinks, computers, and secure storage for scientific equipment, specimens, etc. Once considered a novelty, today you will find that mobile laboratories are quite common in many aspects of science, from medical science for both people and animals to meteorologists to other types of scientists and researchers.
The purpose of a mobile laboratory is two-fold. First, having a mobile lab ensures that you, the scientist, will be able to conduct your research and other work wherever you are. Secondly, a mobile lab ensures that even if you cannot bring a patient or a specimen to your lab, the task will still be accomplished because you can bring the lab to them. Here are a few real-life examples of mobile laboratories:
- Mobile dentists who visit schools to provide basic check-ups and dental cleanings
- Animal shelters who deploy veterinarians for examining animals, administering vaccinations and performing sterilization surgeries
- Meteorologists who track hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural weather events