Our project is part of an existing workflow in our lab, and during training and orientation we learned about the flow and how we fit in. We also started to test tools that we could use to build our graphical user interface and planned out what we could do with the hardware setup.
A GUI is Born
After testing out tools, we decided to implement a web application using a node.js (operating as a local server) framework. We started ordering parts and 3D printing components to set up the hardware.
We started building Neptune piece by piece. From what was initially a GUI designed only to interact with hardware, the idea of Neptune as a full-fledged toolchain arose.
In the Trenches
We carved out the major components that make up Neptune today. The Specify, Design, Build, Assemble, and Control pages were built with the end functional goal of each component clearly laid out. Many iterations of control infrastructure prototypes were made and firmware was solidified.
Full integration of Neptune software and hardware was made. Neptune software was stress-tested by benchmarks and levels of hardware precision were evaluated and documented.
Programming time dedicated to bug-fixing. We validated our work through multiple test cases including a collaboration with the MIT wetlab team. We released our software and hardware as open source on GitHub and NONA.