A detail from the McCarthy Group’s OWL LIMS. OWL interfaces with an FluidX XTR 96 rack scanner over TCP/IP; the scan is initiatiated by OWL, the samples tubes are scanned and results are returned. The database is then interrogated and the technician is presented with a display summarizing the changes that have been made to the rack. The technician has the choice of cancelling or committing the rack scan.

The display is designed to give intuitive visual feedback to the user about the physical state of the rack. The featured image at the top of the page is a logic defying test case to showcase all possible states. Actual use cases will typically be much more like the image below in which a single new tube has been added to an existing rack.

Rack scan display from OWL

The single yellow circle is surrounded by a darker outer circle; this indicates an previously empty well into which a new, unallocated tube has been placed. The remaining 95 tubes were previously present and are unchanged.

In the image below we have a more complex use case involving tube shuffles, allocations and no reads. This rack scan should not be committed, the rack should be cleaned and scanned again.

Rack scan display from OWL

Four of the wells (in orange) have not been read, so the rack will need to be rescanned. Three of these wells contained existing tubes. Six of the wells are coloured in blue, which indicates that these tubes have been shuffled within the rack. Nine new tubes have been allocated to the rack, all into previously empty wells.

Images are rendered in browser with SVG using the Snap.svg Javascript library.

I am a software developer and data analyst for the McCarthy Group at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics and OCDEM.

My personal webpage at Wellcome can be found here