HomeScope is a digital system. Its brain is a Linux operating system running on a Raspberry Pi computer (RBPi) which is in conversation with two Arduino micro-controllers which are configured as two-state automata; i.e. they can be listening to or executing RBPi wishes. These wishes are transmitted via a custom pin protocol (2 bits per degree of motion) which can be set using the wiring Pi library to read and write to the RBPi GPIO pins.
HomeScope robotic capabilities (XYZ movement) are used to focus (Z axis) the image/video capture plane (image sensor) of the RBPi camera into a plane within the biological texture living within HomeScope’s cell culture and to scan (XY axes) its spatial distribution. Focus and spatial scanning wishes are executed by the Arduino systems: Arduino Z controls a stepper motor via EasyDriver control and use it to focus on the sample. For direct interaction with a user, two Push buttons are hooked to the Arduino. Arduino XY controls the PlotterBot Tiny CNC micro-robot holding our biological sample to scan it by taking image captures at different spatial locations. A user can interact with the CNC system directly via a Joystick and read its servo coordinates via a LCD display.
An optical system, consisting of an optical tube, one objective, and a focal lens needs to be aligned with the Illumination system for magnification of the sample. A single white LED light which is connected to the PWM pin of the RBPi as well as to a potentiometer to control the illumination system. For fluorescent microscopy, a UV LED must be added to the illumination system, while also using anti-UV coating of the focal lens to protect the camera sensor. A RBPi Camera (image) sensor is located at the focal plane of the optical tube and it’s used to capture images and video.