Saving biologists’ time with Raspberry Pi

In an effort to save themselves and fellow biologists hours of time each week, Team IoHeat are currently prototyping a device that allows solutions to be heated while they are still in cold storage.

The IoHeat team didn’t provide any photos with their project writeup, so here’s a picture of a bored biologist that I found online

Saving time in the lab

As they explain in their prototype write-up:

As scientists working with living organisms (from single cells to tissue samples), we are often required to return to work outside of normal hours to maintain our specimens. In many cases, the compounds and solutions we are using in our line of work are stored at 4°C and need to reach 37°C before they can be used. So far, in order to do this we need to return to our workplace early, incubate our solutions at 37°C for 1–2h, depending on the required volume, and then use them in processes that often take a few minutes. It is clear that there is a lot of room here to improve our efficiency.

Controlling temperatures with Raspberry Pi

These hours wasted on waiting for solutions to heat up could be better spent elsewhere, so the team is building a Raspberry Pi–powered device that will allow them to control the heating process remotely.

We are aiming to built a small incubator that we can store in a cold room/fridge, and that can be activated remotely to warm up to a defined temperature. This incubator will enable us to safely store our reagents at low temperature and warm them up remotely before we need to use them, saving an estimate of 12h per week per user.

This is a great project idea, and they’ve already prototyped it using a Raspberry Pi, heating element, and fan. Temperature and humidity sensors connected to the Raspberry Pi monitor conditions inside the incubator, and the prototype can be controlled via Telegram.

Find out more about the project on Hackster.

We’ve got more than one biologist on the Raspberry Pi staff, so we have a personal appreciation for the effort behind this project, and we look forward to seeing how IoHeat progresses in the future.

6 comments

David Wallis avatar

Really not understanding why the fuses are like that, unless its the one in the plug, but even so!

Oscar avatar

yes, its is the one from tge plug.

6by9 avatar

The I2C connections from the Pi GPIOs 2&3 to the display are only required on the very early Model A and Model B.
From the (1)B+ onwards, the I2C connections are all present on the flexi cable from the Pi to the display.

https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/hardware/display/README.md

The second input fuse also seems significantly overrated. The datasheet for the PSU appears to say 130W @ 82% efficiency, therefore 0.66A flat out. Even allowing for inrush current (anti-surge fuse please), an 8x overating seems large.

Oscar avatar

Indeed, it is overrated. It should be much lower. thanks!

Meir Glantz avatar

As a Biology major I can appreciate that tech! It’s so cool that it can be done with Raspberry Pis!!

Andrea Telatin avatar

Pictures… We had some pictures in our GitHub page, we updated the the Hackster.io page as well:

https://www.hackster.io/ioheat/ioheat-a-contained-oasis-in-the-coldroom-fb4dec

Go and check if you want a sneek peek of IoHeat, that atmo it’s only a proof of concept :)

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