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          Institute: MPI für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik     Collection: MPI-CBG Publications 2016 (archival)     Display Documents

ID: 732473.0, MPI für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik / MPI-CBG Publications 2016 (archival)
Software Framework for Controlling Unsupervised Scientific Instruments.
Authors:Schmid, Benjamin; Jahr, Wiebke; Weber, Michael; Huisken, Jan
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2016
Title of Journal:PLoS ONE
Issue / Number:8
Sequence Number of Article:e0161671
Copyright:not available
Audience:Experts Only
Intended Educational Use:No
Abstract / Description:Science outreach and communication are gaining more and more importance for conveying the meaning of today's research to the general public. Public exhibitions of scientific instruments can provide hands-on experience with technical advances and their applications in the life sciences. The software of such devices, however, is oftentimes not appropriate for this purpose. In this study, we describe a software framework and the necessary computer configuration that is well suited for exposing a complex self-built and software-controlled instrument such as a microscope to laymen under limited supervision, e.g. in museums or schools. We identify several aspects that must be met by such software, and we describe a design that can simultaneously be used to control either (i) a fully functional instrument in a robust and fail-safe manner, (ii) an instrument that has low-cost or only partially working hardware attached for illustration purposes or (iii) a completely virtual instrument without hardware attached. We describe how to assess the educational success of such a device, how to monitor its operation and how to facilitate its maintenance. The introduced concepts are illustrated using our software to control eduSPIM, a fluorescent light sheet microscope that we are currently exhibiting in a technical museum.
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Version Comment:Automatic journal name synchronization
Communicated by:Thüm
Affiliations:MPI für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik
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