An engineer in IBM’s Swiss research department used LEGO bricks and other miscellaneous parts to create a $300 microscope that worked well,media reported. IBM Research has published it. In a YouTube video, the IBM research team details the assembly process with graphic steps.
Yuksel Temiz’s “Lego Microscope” project can be found on IBM’s Github page, which Temiz wrote about in the May issue of IEEE Spectrum. He describes building a sophisticated high-end imaging setup that captures the lens of IBM’s microfluidic chip.
“When the liquid fills the microfluidic channel, I can make eye-catching videos. However, my photo settings took up half of our lab’s workbench and took hours of fine-tuning to record a shot. “
Temiz called on IBM Zurich’s microscope history and decided to try to find a better way, as Marc “Linux Teletype” Verdiell did, applying long-standing advanced DIY experience. “The result is a $300 modular and electric microscope that combines three of my favorite hobbies in adulthood: Arduino, Raspberry Pipi and Lego,” Temiz wrote.
Arduino, a company that makes microcontrollers, is a tiny circuit that contains everything people need to operate a particular system. They are great for simpler devices, such as medical devices or household appliances. In this case, Temiz wants an Arduino chip that he can set up and program to operate his imaging settings.
Arduino is an open source project where people can find its integrated development environment (IDE) online to program microcontrollers. But programmers can use whatever they want to put the C or C code on the Arduino chip. Then Temiz added a Raspberry Pi. But raspberry Pi is much more powerful, with an on-board operating system that can accomplish more complex tasks and is more versatile. In this case, Temiz connects it to the official camera attachment of Raspberri Pi. Then, with the help of a LEGO structure and some 3D-printed parts, he had everything he needed to capture and process high-quality microscope images.
Although the hardware part is complex, it is still within reach and much cheaper than similar commercial microscopes. And, according to IBM Research, an employee’s 7-year-old son immediately got the hang of it. “He’s used to building Lego toys, and as soon as he saw the instructions, he started assembling the device according to the instructions,” says Thomas Gervais, an IBM scientist. “He made it in a matter of minutes, which was amazing. “