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Welcome to the documentation wiki for our Pipettin Bot project! Let's get to know a little bit about OLA and, specifically, our liquid handling robot, supported by this awesome documentation.

OLA (Open Lab Automata) is a community of people and projects focused on the automation of laboratory processes using open source technologies.

This documentation wiki contains hardware, software, and development information for a fully functional prototype of our open hardware pipetting robot and its software, which we call the Pipettin Bot.

Info

This documentation is work in progress. You'll see notices like this one marking pending work.

Please get in touch if you'd like to improve these docs. All contributions are welcome. ­čśä

Introduction

pipettin1.png

Pipettin Bot is a liquid handling robot that is easy to use, fully open source, highly documented, modular in design, minimal in cost, highly hackable, and meant to integrate well with other lab automation projects. The robot can facilitate multiple laboratory tasks and can be programmed using a very nice web user interface.

One of the ideas behind this project is to create a robot that can allow more people to do more research with their time. In addition, the main benefit is that anyone can make or buy it, as it is accessible, and thus allows anyone who wants to independently study, build or modify the hardware to do so.

This project aims to make Pipettin Bot feasible and accessible to anyone who has to access to its documentation, which is free and open source. The docs are intended to be exhaustive, as we believe that insufficient documentation makes independent reproduction really hard. The idea is that, by making and using Pipettin Bot, you will be able to save time and resources, and become familiar with the whole project in small steps.

While the first version of Pipettin bot's hardware is stable, its new version and documentation are still a work in progress. To access the project's sources, you can visit our git group at GitLab.

Check out the short summary below to learn more about it. ­čĄľ

Demo Video

An overview presentation of the robot protocol is up on Youtube.

It was prepared for the final demo of the Open Hardware Makers program.

Extra eye candy:

ambospipettin.png

The robot on the left is the previous version and the robot on the right is the current one.

Objects are aligned using a simple system of 3D-printed stops or "curbs", placed on the regular grid of holes of the baseplate (which is removable, and self-aligns to the frame). Two tools are parked on the right, the tool carriage is on the left. The electronics are housed in an acrylic box, and fixed to the side of the aluminum frame (bottom right).

captura_desde_2023-10-26_10-52-30.png

There is an awesome web-application to program and operate the robot from your browser (GUI).

Specifications

These are the main characteristics of the "reference" robot:

  • Workspace volume of 600x300x200mm.
  • Tool-changing head, compatible with the Jubilee/E3D tool interface.
  • Liquid handling with adapters for commercial micropipettes (e.g. Gilson's Pipetman).
  • Web interface for writing and executing arbitrary pipetting protocols, and doing so with ease.
  • Evergrowing documentation.

Info

Detailed technical information can be found in the technical overview page.

Documentation

New to Pipettin Bot documentation? You'll find it split into a few handy sections.

By visiting the Getting Started section, you will find quick links to some relevant pages along this wiki. Those are divided into guides and development pages.

If you are looking to dive into the project's documentation right away, you can also visit the Technical Overview section for a quick but effective overview of Pipettin bot's mechanics, electronics, and software.

If you aim to build the robot from scratch you can go directly to the Assembly Guide.

If you are looking for guidelines on how to use the Pipettin Bot software you can either visit the Software & Electronics Setup guide or the Installation guide to check out the installation requirements.

Want to know more about Pipettin Writer? An overview of our fantastic graphical protocol designer web-app can be found in the User Guide. ­čîł

Tip

"Hours of troubleshooting can save you minutes of reading the Manual" (source: Reddit).

About

Audience

This project is currently aimed to people with research, hardware and/or software experience who want to build and collaborate with its development .

Now, we know that right now, we might not be holding the hands of beginners, but we're all about growth and learning. So, even if you're new to the game, keep an eye on us. We're coming out with ideas and plans to make our documentation a welcoming place for beginners down the road!

Check out the Contributions page, where we lay out the various ways you can either contribute or get support.

Motivation

We believe our project will fill a gap in OSH liquid handling robots. By fully complying with OSH definitions, we hope to enable anyone who wishes to independently study, build, or modify the hardware.

The acquisition cost of most pipetting robots (of at least 10.000 US dollars) is still prohibitive for all of our regionÔÇÖs laboratories but the elite.

We want to make a robot anyone can actually make or purchase; enabling more people to do more research with their time.

Objectives

To make a liquid handling robot which is:

  • Easy to use
  • Fully open-source
  • Highly documented
  • Modular in design
  • Minimal in cost
  • Very hackable
  • Integrates well with open science hardware projects.

To these ends, we will:

  • Make multimedia documentation covering most aspects of the project,
  • Continue relying on widely available components, 3D printing, and modularization;
  • Ese cheaper parts and make use of existing equipment (i.e. the micropipettes),
  • Modularize hardware and software, implement a tool-changing system, and interface with other OScH products (thermocyclers, turbidimeters, colony-pickers, etc.).

Licensing

Our Pipetting Bot's hardware is licensed under the terms of the CERN OHL-S v2 and its software is licensed under the terms of GNU Affero General Public License v3.0. Full texts are available on the Licensing page.

This documentation is distributed under the CC-BY-SA-NC license. License text available here.

Get in touch

You are welcome to chat with us!

Social

youtube.png YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@OLA-OpenLabAutomata

instaaa.png Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/openlabautomata/

googlesites.png G-Sites: http://www.openlabautomata.xyz/

Discord chat

You are welcome to join and chat at our Discord server.

Chat with us and tell us about your issues, ideas, and find general support.

This is a developers chat. Please be respectful of others and their time.

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GitLab issues

If you're familiar with GitLab, all issues can be found here.

Alternatively, email our GitLab service desk. This will create a private issue, and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

You can contribute through GitLab, where the project's development lives. If you want to open a discussion about a well-defined topic, related to development, you can post a new issue at the main GitLab repository.

We make extensive use of Issue Boards!

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How to contribute

The growth of the Pipettin Bot project relies on the collective efforts of a diverse community of projects and contributors. We welcome everyone to actively participate and support the development of this open-source pipetting robot, and the open-source projects on which it was built.

There are many areas where you can contribute, ranging from improving the documentation, writing tutorials, submitting bugs or even writing code for new features inside Pipettin Bot itself. Whether you are an experienced technician, a software developer, a scientist, or simply passionate about advancing liquid handling technology, there are various ways you can contribute to the project's growth and impact.

Different personas can contribute in diverse and valuable ways!

A full list of types of contributors and ways to contribute is available here.

Donations and Funding

We are grateful for any donations or funding that can help continue to develop and improve the Pipettin Bot project. Your contributions will help cover the costs of hardware, software, and development time, as well as help us reach a wider audience.

You can donate to the Pipettin Bot project through Liberapay. This is a platform that allows you to make recurring donations to people and projects that you are interested in.

We also welcome investments to the Pipettin Bot project. If you are interested in investing in the project, please contact us through OLA's Discord server.

Thank you for your support!

Credits and acknowledgements

A full list of collaborators is available here

Original development by Nicolás and Facundo:

  • The original web UI and its design.
  • Models for the the CNC frame and pipette actuators.
  • CNC and pipette driver modules for the bot.

Development community:

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We are very grateful to:

  • The developers of GRBL, the greatest firmware for the Arduino UNO + CNC shield.
  • The community behind Klipper, "a 3D-printer firmware".
  • The Jubilee3D folks, for the welcoming and supportive chats.
  • The reGOSH free tech, latin-american network, and the truly awesome people at GOSH.
  • And to the greater open-source community!

We thank the Gathering for Open Science Hardware, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and Fondo de Innovaci├│n Tecnol├│gica de Buenos Aires for their support.

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We thank reGOSH for bringing us together, making the project possible.

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FAQ

  • Can anyone access to OLA documentation?

Yes. Anyone can access to OLA documentation and it's repository, as it is an Open Source Hardware project.

  • Is this documentation only addressed to people who have previous knowledge in electronics, mechanical or other subject relevant to the bot?

No. Even though it might be easier to understand the purpose and functionality of OLA having some sort of previous knowledge, the idea of this documentation is that anyone who aims to assemble the bot can.