Hack Chat Transcript, Part 2

A event log for Disrupting Cell Biology Hack Chat

From a styrofoam box to lab grade instruments

LutetiumLutetium 06/05/2019 at 20:040 Comments

David Troetschel12:29 PM
@Paúl who would care that much? Big Pharma?

Paúl12:30 PM
leaving an open port for future expansion is usually a good strategy

sebastian12:30 PM
@Paúl Anyone can do anything they want. Current experimental set ups won't prevent anyone from falsifying data

sebastian12:30 PM
what it would however, is immediately present a flag

Saren Tasciyan12:30 PM
@Paúl Is that a security flaw for RPi?

sebastian12:30 PM
as their data set would immediately be recognized as an outlier

Paúl12:30 PM
sorry, the neural net is unrelated to the raspberry pi

David Troetschel12:30 PM
or "intuitive interface"

Paúl12:31 PM
I mean that the RPi ecosystem is not a particularly "hard" one to crack or break.

Paúl12:31 PM
falsified data is a significant problem:

sebastian12:31 PM
Most data acquisition is done by a system fully customized.

Saren Tasciyan12:32 PM
RPi can't be even encrypted. SD card is all accessible

sebastian12:32 PM
So, in a sense, hack or no hack... doesn't really make a difference

Saren Tasciyan12:32 PM
Did you struggle with patents?

David Sean12:32 PM
that's the idea, it is meant to be accessible/hackable

Noah Tompkins12:33 PM
@Saren Tasciyan we have encountered a couple that we've had to circumvent, but overall it hasn't been a huge problem thus far

Paúl12:33 PM
^ it would not be a primary issue, i agree. just something to think about

David Sean12:33 PM
We chose to keep using this setup over an OEM board to stay part of the community and to remain hackable and agile.

sebastian12:33 PM
@Paúl It is a problem. And we think creating our platform can help alleviate that. Because there's a huge trackable data set of their work

Paúl12:34 PM
how much bandwidth is really required for this type of data acquisition? would something even less expensive, like a Pi Zero, be sufficient?

Paúl12:34 PM
how are you keeping the cost of the optical stack down?

David Sean12:34 PM
for one, it would need wifi/ethernet (so pi zero-W)

Saren Tasciyan12:34 PM
@David Sean Love that! But I have to say that <1% of biologists are aware of the value of Open Source, Open Hardware, Hackability etc

Paúl12:35 PM
you should get in touch with the Melis lab, I bet they would love to try out your incubators!

sebastian12:35 PM
@Paúl We've specifically selected a single acquisition format. 20x, GFP

Paúl12:36 PM
interesting choice

sebastian12:36 PM
Based on my experience, this preliminary set up can acquire much of what people would need.

RichardCollins12:36 PM
If you would write out an agenda ahead of time, you can have a more successful discussion. If there various topics are important to this company's development and they are asking for help, you can break into smaller discussion groups. This software does not support organized discussions of that sort. If the purpose of this chat is to help expose HackaDay.IO members to better methods for commercialization, that can probably be done better by a formal presentation, more sensitive of people's time.

Data collection "is" science - when you store, share, reproduce, verify, cross-link, encourage, teach and provide benefit to society.

sebastian12:36 PM
We won't pretend it encapsulates everything. But it's the beginning.

David Sean12:36 PM
We do a bit of image processing on the pi-side so a pi-zero may be pushing it

Paúl12:36 PM
how many people are on the team?

sebastian12:37 PM
6 people!

Paúl12:37 PM
good size!

Paúl12:37 PM
@RichardCollins are you part of the HaD/hackchat team or just sharing your input?

RichardCollins12:39 PM
@paul My first time in a chat. I am just a member of Hackaday.IO. I am 70 years old and have helped many people with this sort of thing. I am also tired and straining to keep track of the randomly offered topics.

Do you have a good lawyer, outstanding accountant, and good office manager? - in reference to 5 people. Every startup needs these core capabilities, or it fails.

RichardCollins12:40 PM
6 people

David Sean12:40 PM
@Saren Tasciyan I think you are right about the low percentage. open-source tools like ImageJ/FIJI however are pretty well established in the bio community

@RichardCollins - Thanks for the feedback, but do keep in mind that this is an informal chat. We're not here to accomplish anything other than discussing interesting hacks and ideas of a fairly high level. Sort of a "Get to know us" thing.

Noah Tompkins12:41 PM
@RichardCollins we do have excellent people working with us in terms of law, accounting, and project management, but primarily outsourced. Definitely all key to success in business!

Noah Tompkins12:42 PM
We're also a part of a startup incubator called Invest Ottawa that helps with a lot of those services

Paúl12:43 PM
Have you organized a beta test yet (or still in the development phase)?

Paúl12:43 PM
your homepage says there's a beta but i'm curious if you've shipped any units yet

Noah Tompkins12:44 PM
@Paúl yes we do have a beta list! We're still in development phase, but are communicating with our beta list people about feature preferences and such, but have yet to send out physical units.

RichardCollins12:44 PM
@Noah Tompkins Thanks for explaining. I came in a bit late. Cloud based/distributed/virtual organizations are about the only way to succeed these days. You sound like you are doing the right things. It is OK to be selfish and hold onto what you have learned. If you are going commercial, you have to. If you want to start a nonprofit, you can do that. But it is hard to do both.

Paúl12:47 PM
leadership would do well to look at the examples of makerbot, Anki, iRobot, boston robotics, or rethink robotics to see where they took excessive risk!

Josh joined  the room.12:47 PM

jonathan_woren12:47 PM
So from the start of this business till now, what was the most challenging part of building your business?

Josh12:48 PM

Paúl12:48 PM
hi josh!

David Sean12:48 PM
@jonathan_woren making money from selling open-source stuff isn't obvious from the get-go

sebastian12:49 PM
@jonathan_woren Starting from a simple project to a fully fledge business is a very different task

sebastian12:49 PM
it's nice to have an open source incubator for people to play with, but how does that convert into a business

sebastian12:49 PM
and where do we innovate

sebastian12:50 PM
so one of the hardest things was to accept the fact that an open source incubator wasn't going to be enough and we had to think much bigger

jonathan_woren12:50 PM
additional question - at what point did you realize that your idea for the business was viable?

RichardCollins12:50 PM
@Noah Tompkins I have to go, I will design a cheap CO2 detector for you. That is too much to pay. A few dollars is better. Or a few cents. I think you might want to look at plants, they do well with CO2 and there are lots of people growing exotic ones. Best wishes

David Sean12:50 PM
there's also a whole new challenge of figuring out how to handle units that fail in the field. a DIY unit can be under constant servicing, but certainly not for one ready for production

sebastian12:51 PM
the original idea wasn't viable. Which is what actually started Incuvers

sebastian12:51 PM
so innovate... or dieeee

sebastian12:52 PM
we chose the former

jonathan_woren12:53 PM
ahahaha right on!

Josh12:53 PM

I found field service to be the weak point for a lot of the instruments I saw in the lab. Like I said, they were all built as low-volume production runs, and there was no support infrastructure. Just third-party service techs doing their best to keep undocumented machines alive in the field.

Josh12:53 PM
I found a 20,000 dollar cheese grater.

sebastian12:53 PM
@Dan Maloney That's where open source shines. You're absolutely right

sebastian12:53 PM
We're also focused on a single product

sebastian12:54 PM
that applies to every biologies around the world

sebastian12:54 PM

Josh12:54 PM

sebastian12:54 PM
So, we're not making a one off tool. We're building, what we hope, is the next generation systems of incubators

Josh12:54 PM
That's pretty awesome!

sebastian12:55 PM
Ultimately, the future lies in every scientist owning their own system, recording everything they do.

Paúl12:55 PM
have you talked to any governmental authorities about funding or grants?

sebastian12:55 PM

sebastian12:55 PM
we've been fortunate enough to have received a few already

Paúl12:55 PM
specifically medical/biological agencies

sebastian12:55 PM
and will continue to as we move forward

Paúl12:56 PM
do you happen to be using PeerTube for video hosting/sharing?

sebastian12:56 PM
@Paúl Can you be specific ?

Josh12:56 PM
I plan on looking into personal grants and funding for a cubesat

jonathan_woren12:56 PM
me too josh.

Josh12:56 PM

Paúl12:56 PM
e.g. the US FDA, CDC, or Health Canada

sebastian12:57 PM
we'll definitely be looking into it

Conrad12:57 PM
cube sat incubator?

David Sean12:57 PM
@Paúl we are using AWS at the moment,

Josh12:57 PM
Haha X'D

Paúl12:57 PM
@Josh best way to get involved with cubesats is to find an already existing team and join em!

Josh12:57 PM
@Paúl I plan on creating my own. I like to take "risks". ;)

Paúl12:58 PM
in that case, don't expect to fly unless you have a cool $500k lying around! ;D

Josh12:59 PM
Well, I do plan on looking into grants and crowd funding etc.

Paúl12:59 PM


S53MV Microsat transmitters

high-efficiency transmitter

Read this on Hamradio

Paúl12:59 PM
sorry for the offtopic!

Josh1:00 PM

Josh1:00 PM
Interesting link!

jonathan_woren1:01 PM
how are your incubators currently being manufactured?

David Sean1:02 PM
it could be interesting to see zero G incubators floating around one day

Conrad1:02 PM
maybe test radio-panspermia theory with a incubator sat

Well, that was a fast hour! I'm going to call time, but if the Incuvers folks can hang around, feel free to continue the chat. I just want to thanks Noah, David and Sebastian for taking the time out of their day and for the great discussion.

Remember that next week we'll have Vladimir Mariano form Desktop Makes hosting. We'll be discussing "Fusion 360 and 3D-Printing":

Paúl1:02 PM
does incuvers have a public mission statement?