The ROTAforMI: a RObotic TAble for Microscopy

I have recently published another STEM oriented robotic project. It is the ROTAforMI device, a versatile robotic device for controlling the position and orientation of a microscope slide using four degrees of freedom. This prototype is a complementary development of the idea behind the Roto-microscope project. It was inspired by related projects of servo motors-controlled micromanipulators and 3D micro scanners.

The device is entirely 3D printed and is actioned by four small servos controlled by one Arduino Nano microcontroller. The device can be controlled manually using two micro joysticks (and possibly also automatically via a programmed sequence of movements). In addition, a Bluetooth remote can take snapshots with a smartphone’s camera.

The device is made modular to use for different purposes. For example, removing the Y-stage should be sufficient to fit it under a stereomicroscope. Although the electronic interface is quite bulky, the device is simple to assemble and use, and the controlling program is still in its early stages. The ultimate goal is to use it for automatic photo stacking or 3D image reconstruction. Still, we are sure there are other possible applications in which small motion in 3D dimensions and a rotation of the observation stage can be helpful.

This is a prototype, and there is a lot of space for improvements. So we hope you like it, and constructive comments and suggestions are always welcome!

If you want trying to build one, please follow to the link given above.