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’s sub-systems map. view pdf.

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.