Much has changed in twenty-five years. We now make our own 3D-printed motorized XYZ system called RetroBOT. The controller is Arduino technology (open source) and provides amazing XYZ control for a fraction of the price one would spend for a conventional motorized stage made by subtractive manufacturing (metal removal) with expensive controller cards and proprietary electronic control boxes. Typical Arduino cards are less than $100.00 today. RetroBOT stages are now 3D printed and made of plastic. These stages are quickly installed on modern upright microscopes. The target market is still pathology and materials science (including geological samples). The big difference today is the much lower price tag and highly efficient software that is useable for digital image stitching and stacking methods. The cameras are all high resolution digital CMOS with global shutters and USB3 connection to a Windows 10 computer. RetroBOT is the only commercial system on the market that is 3D printed and ready for special applications as well as routine image capture and processing. The price for the complete developer kit is about the same price the major stage makers charge for their Z-axis drive!
ENTER RetroZED FOR Z-STACKING WITH YOUR DSLR CAMERA......
Another new Bunton product is called RetroZED (z-axis extended depth). This modular Z-drive connects to just about any coaxial fine focus drive .... upright or inverted microscopes. Main mission: Automated Z-stacking. Dr. Brian Matsumoto was kind enough to submit the great diatom photomicrographs you see below. The first set are single focal plane views of the top and bottom of the 3D diatom structure. He also shows the girdle profile of the diatom! An Olympus BX 51 microscope with 40x DIC objective was used. The second photomicrograph illustrates the fantastic power of EDF (extended depth of focus). The completed stack is composed of about 40 individual focal planes spaced 1 micron apart. Sub-micron stepping of the fine focus is easily achieved for smaller structures when using RetroZED.
We use the Cognisys Stackshot controller and either Zerene Stacker or Helicon Focus software. It is designed for use with modern consumer DSLR and MILC large format cameras. Some of today's large format cameras have sensors the same size as a frame of 35mm photo film .... 43mm diagonal. Megapixel performance of about 50MP is available at a reasonable price. A Panasonic S1r full frame digital camera was used by Dr. Matsumoto for capturing the images you see here. The basic RetroZed kit (less software and camera) is under $800.00. This includes the controller, power supply, cable, cable Z-drive and stand plus the simple connector to use the system on just about any fine focus knob. Different diameter, interchangeable "gripper cups" are available for a nominal price. No tools needed.
A Prior (UK) stepper motor stage is easily sourced on Ebay. These precision stages are usually surplused because the control unit has failed and cannot be repaired. Many times old stepper motor stages will need some TLC by a Bunton service expert but once this is complete we can provide the updated cable sets for use with RetroBOT. Note: the photo above shows the latest Prior-made control unit (left of stage partially hidden) being used with manualWSI from Microvisioneer for semi-automatic WSI stitching duties. The RetroBOT Arduino controller would then replace the need for the stage-maker's original controller.
RRR .... our Arduino controller from RetroBOT can be used with existing stepper motor stages from the likes of Ludl, ASi. Marzhauser and Prior (aka LAMP). We supply the cables and you put these very expensive (when new) stages back in service. They are easily sourced from Ebay or your surplus equipment area. All of the old LAMP controllers are obsolete, inoperable or totally MIA. These additive made stages are usually in need of some cleaning and light lube but our staff can help you on that matter. These stages sold for $3-10,000.00 when new and we propose the use of our inexpensive Arduino controllers to bring them back to life for use with modern computers and cameras. I have seen current Marzhauser stages on Ebay for under $200.00! Send us your old LAMP stage and we will service it and pre-test with our RetroBOT controller.....even add motorized z-focus drive if you wish to do some z-stacking or image stitching. We can also do old LAMP stages that are made for inverted microscopes. Program your stage for scan routines to meet your specific XYZ scanning needs.
RETROBOT IS AN UPRIGHT MICROSCOPE STAGE RETROFIT THAT CAN HOLD A SINGLE 3X1" MICROSCOPE SLIDE. THE KIT INCLUDES THE ARDUINO CONTROLLER AND Z-AXIS STEPPER MOTOR PLUS ALL CABLES AND A POWER SUPPLY. WE PROVIDE THE CUSTOMER WITH THE NECESSARY API AND START-UP INSTRUCTONS. CONTACT US IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT RETROBOT OR THE CORRECT FIXTURE FOR YOUR PARTICULAR MICROSCOPE. ERIC MCGAHA HAS NOW FINISHED THE FIRMWARE FOR RETROBOT...STAY TUNED!
.... a beautiful Finnish-design microscope with a 8" x 8" footprint. Motorized XY and Z (autofocus). The computer is embedded in the physical microscope and interactive control can be accomplished using a tablet, laptop or desktop PC. Windows or Apple. A current 2K or 4K displayer is suggested for full appreciation of the high resolution virtual slide. A clear WiFi hot spot is required for image sharing and cloud viewer uploads and virtual slide viewing. The basic OCUS embedded system includes a 500GB archive component.
A 20x objective (as shown in the photo) is specially made for Grundium and a 40x version was introduced in 2020 at USCAP. The 40x will be ideal for high magnification cytology applications and OCUS will be easily transported for ROSE workstations. Recent improvements in scan speeds and reduction of image file sizes (tif, svs etc) make OCUS a great choice for WSI validation and eventual verification and implementation. OCUS can be supplied with a rugged carrying case and a single bolt secures the motorized stage during transport. OCUS is ideal for use in the frozen section area ....including image archiving for MOHS labs. Real time image sharing with up to eight(8) email addresses of your choosing. Simple annotations and measurement functions are part of the system. ONE WEEK ON-SITE DEMOS BY REQUEST....CONTACT US.
Portable High performace imaging and microscopy systems, The MacroPOD Pro 3D system involves a mordern digital large format camera (DSLR or MILC) that is optimized for Z-stacking methods. We use Cognisys Stackshot controller and motorized rail (USA). Geologist Mark Smith has created a versatile photomacro/micro rig that is easily used in the field or in the lab.
Excellent demos of MacroPOD can be viewed on YouTube and detailed explanations of how the system is set up and configured is fully discussed. Electronic flash is integrated for opaque samples (insects, minerals, small parts, etc.) as well as backlighting options for the thin rock sections in polarized light. Macro lenses on the DSLR may be used as well as dedicated microscope objectives for high magnification Z-stacking. Basic MacroPOD Pro 3D starts at $22,500.00.
GIGAMACRO USA .... the Magnify2 is table top robotic photomacro/micro system for use in the lab. This is the only such system on the market for "stack and stitch". Gigapixel virtual images are created with amazing clarity and depth of focus. Using a modern large format camera (DSLR or MILC) and USA-made robotics, this system combines Z-stacking (Zerene or Helicon) with precision X/Y image stitching. Magnify2 has the sample in a stationary posistion while the camera, optics, flash and auxillary lighting is mounted to a motorized gantry. This is an ideal system for creating virtual images of large or small objects. Museum collection trays to ballistics and electronics .... Magnify2 is ready to handle challenging and repetitive tasks that would be nearly impossible to accomplish manually.
Basic instrument with computer, macro lens, DSLR software and flash starts at $48,000.00.
Feel free to contact me if you might have an interest in becoming a dealer for OCUS here in the USA. Tell me a bit about your company and how you think this product may interest your customers.
We are also seeking early adopters, developers and OEM customers for RetroBOT.
email@example.com - 301-831-3434 in Mount Airy, Maryland
Contact Person: Jim Averill, President
MOTIC'S NEWEST EASYSCAN PRO 6 HAS TWO APO OBJECTIVES AND WILL HANDLE SIX SLIDES OR MORE....STARTS AT $30,000.00 WITH SOFTWARE AND SUITABLE WINDOWS 0/S COMPUTER. ASK ABOUT EASYSCAN ONE "FS" FOR SINGLE SLIDE FROZEN SECTION WSI SCANNING....$20,000.00. NOT PORTABLE LIKE OCUS BUT MAY HAVE THE FEATURES AND COMPETITIVE PRICE YOU SEEK FOR YOUR WSI VALIDATION EFFORT. Visit: www.moticeasyscan.com