Robotic Sample Handling
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As the use of automated systems is starting to take off, it is more important than ever for this community to start an open dialog and share requirements to ultimately cooperate in the development of official standards. While the 18 mm Hampton-style pin has already been informally adopted as a standard it is important that the impact of new measures is discussed.  Moreover, we are lacking any standards for the format of database files and descriptors for entries containing container type, crystal, and screening information.  The adoption of a universal file transfer format and naming scheme will make it easier for scientists to use high throughput systems at different synchrotron sources.  In particular structural genomics initiatives have complex databases containing a huge amount of information associated with each target.  The ability to directly transfer files between these databases and the high throughput screening systems without manual reformatting would be a huge timesaver. 

It is also difficult for many scientists to find information about the current automated systems.  The website associated with this newsgroup will contain a listing of the current sample mounting systems including links to laboratory webpages as well as schematics and vendor information.  We encourage system developers to keep us informed so we may add to this site or modify contained information as appropriate.  In addition to the website, one would be able to use the newsgroup to ask specific questions and receive answers from both developers and experienced users.

This newsgroup will be initially setup as part of the SSRL/SMB website and would use the majordomo email newsgroup software currently supplied by SLAC.  We expect that the scope of this forum will evolve as usage develops and if interest continues to grow, we plan to obtain a specific IP address for this site and setup a full featured bulletin board including fully searchable archives and file sharing.

This endeavor started as an idea shared between the ALS and SSRL system developers.   We hope that this newsgroup will promote greater cooperation and make compatibility a top priority.  Ultimately we expect this will have a positive impact on the general user community.

Last modified: Wednesday, 06-Oct-2004 22:50:17 PDT.