Open Hardware: Sidekick: A Low-Cost Open-Source 3D-printed liquid dispensing robot

Elsevier has a bad reputation and rightfully so, but HardwareX is a gem of a journal. It's open access and with a $500 publication fee it's downright cheap in comparison to most OA journals these days. Importantly, it's really about open hardware. So the hardware needs meet the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) definition of open hardware ( and needs to be impeccably described, with all designs open and bills of materials provided.

In this article from the group of prof. Schrier (Twitter: @JoshuaSchrier), we have a liquid handling robot for 96-well plates, with 4 pumps, down to 10 µL dispensing volumes, controlled by MicroPython—all for ~$700. That's pretty incredible. Further, the whole system is small enough to fit in a laminar flow hood or probably in an incubator. I wish I had something like this as a PhD student and then post-doc. Even now, 96-well plate assays are the workhorses, so this would be super useful. There are >55 figures to help guide the assembly process, which relies on a few purchased parts and a lot of 3D printing. Link:

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Peter Sobolewskiabout 2 months ago

If you don't have the need, time, or $ to make this robot, consider this simpler solution to help with pipetting on 96-well plates by Tobias Wenzel (twitter: @MakerTobey)

A 3D printed stand for well plates where you can place under the plate a printed layout of your well plate experiment for easier location of wells.

Sung won Limabout 2 months ago

Oh wow, interesting paper, and thanks for the lead on the journal as well!

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