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
Bioreactors have an advantage of being able to closely control an environment for microbes. Often, we wish for a bioreactor to precisely control a single, important variable, and we observe how the microbes respond. We can even push this variable to an extreme value - to an environment that the microbes are not familiar with, with interesting results. Let's explore the "zoo" of ⋆-stat strategies, what they are used for, how to implement them, and how microbes respond.
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?
Algae have a very different set of living conditions compared to other organisms that we have tested in the Pioreactor. Algae require both light and CO₂ to grow. We had the foresight to think of algae's unique growing requirements during development, hence the Pioreactor has additional pockets for LEDs in the main body. When these pockets are occupied by white-light LEDs, the Pioreactor turns from a bioreactor into a photo-bioreactor.
We just released a new plugin that may be useful for teams that use Slack. The plugin, Logs2Slack, will publish logs from the Pioreactor to a chosen Slack channel, so you and your team can discuss important events in Slack. Installation is quite easy, too!
Optics again! This time we are discussing LEDs performance in different environments, and a major optics change to the Pioreactor.