ROMIO: a Remotely-Operated MIcrOscope

By love, that first did prompt me to enquire;
He lent me counsel, and I lent him eyes. 

William Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet. Act II.

Another STEM project is avaialbel here on my AUTODESK Instructable site. We could not help but continue to explore our favourite hobby: microscopy. The interest received in our previous microscopy-related projects has encouraged us to propose other ideas and designs based on further elaborations of both the ROTAMI and the roto-microscope projects. For the latter, Arduino was the microcontroller of choice. In this new device, we decided to take a step further to venture into the use of the fabulous Raspberry PI computer. The results paid back all the e orts; the new ROMIO (I hope Shakespeare’s lover will forgive us for using the illustrious name assonance!) is an XY mobile platform for USB digital microscopes controlled remotely by a RaspPI zero 2 W. In addition to the translation movements, it is possible to adjust the focus of the digital microscope with an additional servo motor. We have developed a simple Python program (called RasPyliet) to control the microscope and automatically collect a series of images for stitching reconstruction.

Moreover, using an additional RaspCamera, you can monitor the device’s correct functioning. The project requires a 3D printer, an inexpensive USB microscope and a Raspberry PI zero W (or higher models) version 2. The project could be used as a STEM project or and affordable replacement for more expensive school equipment for biology projects.

The story of ROMIO and RasPyiet did not end up in a tragedy, but as with every prototype, it still has some known problems and limitations, and there is space for improvement. So we hope you like it, and constructive comments and suggestions are always welcome!

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