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Pathways to Open-Source Hardware for Laboratory Automation

NSF Sponsored Workshop, April 2024

A group of scientists and engineers interested in using open-source technologies for automating scientific experiments will gather, build, and share their approaches in Seattle, WA, April 25–27, 2024.

Organized by Machine Agency and the Pozzo Research Group




6-9p : Introductions and community happy hour at the eScience Institute WRF Data Science Studio


8:30-9:30a: Arrive at Sieg Building, breakfast

9:30a-6p: Workshop: Working with and building open source hardware for laboratory automation.

Discussion Theme 1: Current challenges of lab automation and open hardware

What are the challenges people are facing when trying to use or develop laboratory automation hardware? There are many different tools already available for laboratory automation, some of which are open source: e.g., OpenTrons, OpenFlexureMicroscope, Mothbox, but integrating them into experimental workflows or developing new tools that are compatible with them remains challenging.

Discussion Theme 2: Community Building, Goal Alignment, Calibration, and Shared Standards

Shared infrastructure implies that we could run the same experiments on each other’s hardware, perhaps using common control algorithms. However, for that to be possible, we need to calibrate and optimize the tools such that they are actually interchangeable, flexible, robust and generalizable. Is this currently already happening? Could it happen? How could we improve data exchange, sharing methods, and learning best practices from the community?

6:30-9:00p: Dinner at Big Time


8:30-9:30a: Arrive at Sieg Building, breakfast

9:30a-6p: Workshop: Creating custom science workflows using open-source science hardware/software.

Discussion Theme 3: Where do we go from here?

There are many different (small) communities working on open-source hardware for laboratory automation. Working together could be synergistic, but organizing a larger community also has overhead. What do we think are (realistic) plans for this community moving forward?

6:30-9:00p: Dinner at Big Time


Code, documentation, and other resources used in the April 2024 workshop can be found in this GitHub repository. Other information such as a link to the Google drive should have been sent to participants in emails from Salt Hale.

Travel Policies

Given that sponsored travel is federally funded, there are a number of guidelines which need to be followed. For instance, if you are considering extending your trip outside of the workshop dates, you must provide an airfare comparison and abide by Fly America Act mandates. Additional travel policy details can be found here.

Community Contact

If you are interested in connecting with other lab automation community members, please join our Discord server and our low-traffic mailing list.

Active Jubilee Projects

Below you'll find a list of groups and projects utilizing the Jubilee multi-tool motion platform for automating scientific research.

NSF Funding

This project is funded through NSF: POSE: Phase 1: Award # 2229018.