Robotic arm for imaging system. Part II => RIS.

15 HEC Engineering project


The robotic arm concept was replaced with "bookshelf"-like layout for the Robotic Imaging System RIS The benefit of the system is that:

  1. It has standalone illumination for growth and imaging

  2. Somewhat more stable strategy for picking up plates

  3. Imaging is performed under the same illumination conditions, which makes image analysis much more easy

Things left to be done for RIS before it can be implemented:

  1. Fixing the software (the version provided in the report has bugs)

  2. Fixing hardware (rpi4 case, PSU case, motor shield case,  wires covers, printing numbers on plate holders etc.)

  3. Building the cabinet for the robot

Background and preliminary results

We are interested in  tracking plant development, for this we need to image our plants grown in small Petri dishes within a growth cabinet. To enable high-throughput imaging in a very limited space of the cabinet, two talented engineering students of UU built the first prototype of a robotic arm that can pick Petri dishes from "growth" positions, place them in front of the camera to be imaged and then return them to the initial placement.

The first prototype of the robotic arm

Hardware to be developed in this project 

  • The arm design needs to be optimized to solve the Parkinson's-like tremors it is suffering from

  • The camera(s) need to be introduced into the system

  • The LED(s) for night imaging need to be added to the system

Software to be developed in this project 

  • The software must control  arm movement and be synchronized with camera(s) that perform imaging

  • The robot can be controlled via any method that is sufficiently user friendly, e.g. Ethernet connection to user’s compute, SD card, USB stick

  • The software must be open-source


  • Prusa i3 MK3 3D printer is readily available in our group

  • All running costs will be covered by our group. Please provide us with invoices!


  • All hardware and software developed in this project should be available to our group

  • A comprehensive report should be provided by the end of the project.

  • Top grade: the robot makes at least 90% of the planned images and has a user-friendly interface for coordinates input

  • Medium grade:the robot makes at least 90% of the planned images

  • Low grade: the Parkinson's-like tremor is cured


For more information, please contact us

  • Alyona Minina, Ass. Prof.,  Dept. of Mol Sci, SLU e-mail: alena.minina (at)

  • Jonas Ohlsson, PhD student, Dept. of Mol Sci, SLU e-mail: jonas.ohlsson (at)​​

 © 2021. Alyona Minina