Wearables in the Wetlab: a Laboratory System for Capturing and Guiding Experiments

Philipp M. Scholl, Matthias Wille, Kristof Van Laerhoven


Wet Laboratories are highly dynamic, shared environments full of tubes, racks, compounds, and dedicated machinery. The recording of experiments, despite the fact that several ubiquitous computing systems have been suggested in the past decades, still relies predominantly on hand-written notes. Similarly, the information retrieval capabilities inside a laboratory are limited to traditional computing interfaces, which due to safety regulations are sometimes not usable at all. In this paper, Google Glass is combined with a wrist-worn gesture sensor to support Wetlab experimenters.Taking "in-situ" documentation while an experiment is performed, as well as contextualizing the protocol at hand can be implemented on top of the proposed system. After an analysis of current practices and needs through a series of explorative deployments in wet labs, we motivate the need for a wearable hands-free system, and introduce our specific design to guide experimenters. Finally, using a study with 22 participants evaluating the system on a benchmark DNA extraction experiment, we explore the use of gesture recognition for enabling the system to track where the user might be in the experiment.


The original data as used in the paper can be downloaded via this link: UbiComp'15 dataset (14Gb). Contained are the original video recordings, activities encoded as subtitles and acceleration data of the wrist.


Philipp M. Scholl, Matthias Wille, Kristof Van Laerhoven "Wearables in the Wetlab: a Laboratory System for Capturing and Guiding Experiments", UbiComp'15, Osaka, Japan, ACM, 2015


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