Device to Convert Lab Courses to Online
Researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) have developed an open source device to convert laboratory courses to an online format. Named PiAutoStage system, the device combines a 3-D-printed mechanism and an integrated camera, both of which are controlled by a central computer. The system permits an experience comparable to using a microscope and has the added benefit of allowing students to examine, not only the field of view permitted in a microscope but an entire sample at once. It can capture the entire area of a microscope slide in a series of overlapping images, which can be stitched into a single high-resolution mosaic image. Teachers can create and deliver online microscopic content that more closely reflects their existing lab courses. In addition, the solution fully integrates with any web server, even the university’s online learning management system, D2L, and works on a desktop or phone.