Microscopes are key pieces of equipments in materials and biological laboratories, and facilitate medical diagnostic and inspections in production chains. Traditional microscopy companies provide high quality optics in a solid frame for mechanical stability. High end tools would progressively provide automation capabilities and software control that greatly facilitate the acquisition of information. New technologies have led to the development of consumer grade low cost microscopes that are essentialy webcam or digital cameras with a high magnification objectives. While this image quality is often sufficient for simple tasks in education, research or industry, the ability to automate the imaging process remains restricted to the most expensive range of microscopes.
The development of an open platform for microscopy by our team aims to fill this gap and provide and generic structure to develop custom automated microscopes. It builds on a number of existing tools: beam structure, 3D printed parts, Arduino controllers for stepper motors, Raspberry Pi for imaging and image processing.