Automation

Scruffy Biotech has worked for years in laboratory and process automation. Our core automation hardware builds upon Arduino and wifi plugs. We use Python to bind hardware and expose RESTful APIs via Flask.

Arduino and Tinkerkit

Arduino is a low-cost and easy-to-use open source microcontroller that we use to monitor sensors and drive actuators. Most of this is done via Tinkerkit, which provides loads of different sensors (thermistors, pots, tilt switches, …), actuators (LEDs,  servos, relays, …) and shields. Basically Arduino + Tinkerkit makes electronics as easy as clipping things together and coding.

tinkerkit
Tinkerkit driving four pumps via relays

Unfortunately something happened between the people running Tinkerkit such that one day in mid 2014 the Tinkerkit website went offline. Seemingly the project is no more. But the hardware is still available and so is the website courtesy of WaybackMachine. Crucially, someone had the good sense to drop the libraries on Github too.

Wifi Plugs

When we want to control mains-powered devices we can choose between relays or wifi controlled devices like the TP-Link HS100. It’s easy to get high voltage stuff wrong, so we prefer the wifi option.

flash

Here is a description of how to set up a wifi plug to be controlled via a RESTful web service.