As we start to take a more critical eye at our project, we are revisiting parts of the Pioreactor that started as temporary hacks, but now need to be updated. Two really positive changes that we've decided on are our cable assemblies. Let me explain.
It's been a while! We're back at it again after one us took some time off as a new parent. We've got updates on improvements to the experiment workflow, and mechanical improvements. Let's jump back in
Happy holidays! This week we look at our latest iteration of the Pioreactor HAT. New features include cleaner interfacing with the heater PCB, an EEPROM, StemmaQT connection, and more. We've been working on the version 2 of our HAT for over 6 months now, putting together all the improvements, learnings, and ideas since testing our version 1 board. In this post, we'll go through some of the changes that we are most excited about.
Each Pioreactor has built-in heating and temperature sensors. I emphasize temperature sensors, since I've used enough hot plates to not trust a graduated knob to have any reliability. With a combination of heating and temperature sensors, the Pioreactor is able to keep a set temperature for the culture, regardless of the Pioreactor variations in the construction, ambient temperature, etc.
💅 This past week we've done two site redesigns! The first is what you are seeing now - more "purpler", and gives a better impression of our features and better explains how the Pioreactor works.
The second redesign is of our documentation site. It's powered by the really cool documentation library, docusaurus, and hosted on Github pages. There's still lots of work to do on it, but there's probably double the content there now (and it's more rich content) than what we had on Shopify before (btw this is a Shopify site).
We care a lot about onboarding. I've seen enough Raspberry Pi projects that seem to require deep experience in software compilers and package management (don't worry if you don't know what those are...) before you can get started. This is an immediate barrier to your project! From a "funnel" perspective, you may end up losing up a large fraction of your users just at this stage. Can we do better?
This week we explored key-value databases for storing data, and implemented a solution that is designed to get wiped often. At the end of the day, we got some significant performance improvements!
Going forward, we'll try to write weekly blog posts with details about interesting additions, challenges, and ideas we have while building the Pioreactor. This week we talk about a new user-interface for self-tests, and reducing noise in our optical density signals.
The Raspberry Pi is a low-cost, single-board computer that has exploded in both at-home use and in industry. What makes the Raspberry Pi so useful is that it can run Linux, connect to the internet, and has lots of input/outputs - making it very useful for being the "brain" of your system. Makers have put the Raspberry Pi at the center of robots, LED displays, home-automation systems, and more. And in industry, they are being adopted to run subsystems of factories, research tools, and be deployed IoT devices...