As scientists working with living organisms (from single cells to tissue samples), we are often required to return to work outside of normal hours to maintain our specimens. In many cases, the compounds and solutions we are using in our line of work are stored at 4°C and need to reach 37°C before they can be used. So far, in order to do this we need to return to our workplace early, incubate our solutions at 37°C for 1-2 h, depending on the required volume, and then use them in processes that often take a few minutes. It is clear that there is a lot of room here to improve our efficiency.
This is why we came up with this idea. We are aiming to built a small incubator that we can store in a cold room/fridge, and can be activated remotely to warm up to a defined temperature. This incubator will enable us to safely store our reagents at low temperature and warm them up remotely before we need to use them, saving an estimate of 12 h per week per user.
We are planning to make the use of it as simple as possible. We will develop an app and a Telegram Bot that will give the user the option to remotely set and monitor the temperature, determine the duration of the heating and switch off the incubator.
A safety mechanism will be used to prevent excessive heating, due to the nature of the materials used.
To build our prototype, we used a power supply that can generate 5V and 12 V to power the raspberry pie (5V) and the heating element and fan (12V). A relay connected to the Raspberry Pi was also included to control the power supply to the heating element. A temperature and humidity sensor was also connected to the Raspberry Pi.
The prototype can be already controlled remotely thanks to the Telegram Bot.
The first test of IoHeat in the cold room
⚠️Project status: ALPHA
We are currently working to produce a working prototype of both the device and the controlling software. Some of the components have been selected for their immediate availability and the presented schematics / software repository is intended only to share our progress.
If you'd like to build a IoHeat, we recommend you to wait until our design will be finalized.