Device Control

Let's see how to control the peristaltic pump device that we've just added to our Setup.

Reveal the controls for the peristaltic pump device by clicking:

Devices > peristaltic_pump_000001 > Controls

from the Setup Menu on the left sidebar menu. You'll see some control buttons (reverse, pause, stop, and forward), readouts for the pump's speed in mL/min and a counter for the volume of liquid displaced, mL pumped.

Below a horizontal line are inputs for parameters that control the pump's operation. There are inputs for a rate value, a dropdown to select the rate units, a toggle to select whether to run the pump continuously or for a finite volume, and an input to enter an optional finite value and finite units if finite mode is selected. For instance, if you wish to run the pump for a defined number of milliliters or number of seconds, you would use finite mode.

Enter 10 in the field for mL/min and click the right (forward) arrow to start the pump.

The pump is now operating continuously in the clockwise direction at 10 mL/min. You should see the mL pumped display counter increase with time as the pump displaces more (simulated) liquid.

When you're ready to stop the pump, press the stop button. You should see the rollers on the icon stop rotating and the mL/min display in the control window reset to 0 mL/min.

Next, click the left (reverse) arrow to start the pump in the opposite direction. Again, the mL pumped display counter increases with time as the pump continues to run.

You probably noticed that there are also buttons above the peristaltic pump Icon in the Sandbox Widget. If they're not visible, toggle control visibility by opening the Sandbox context menu (right click) and select:

Display > Controls > Show

These buttons function in the same way as the buttons in the Control Panel and will use the same parameters that are entered in the Panel. Let's use these buttons to run the pump for 1 milliliter in the forward direction at 10 mL/min. Toggle the vertical mode selector to finite, enter 10 in the units entry and make sure that mL is selected in the dropdown.

Now, press the forward button above the peristaltic pump icon in the Sandbox Widget.

Again, the pump will start running, but you'll notice that once the mL pumped display reaches 1 milliliter, the pump will stop.

Summary: Device Interactions in the Aqueduct User Interface

The Aqueduct User Interface provides a consistent and intuitive approach to interact with devices. Whether you are controlling a peristaltic pump, a temperature controller, or any other device, the following key points summarize the device interactions in the Aqueduct User Interface:

  1. Accessing Device Controls: Navigate to the Devices section in the Setup Menu on the left sidebar. Expand the device of interest to reveal the sub-menu, and click on Controls to access the specific controls and parameters for that device.

  2. Inputting Device Parameters: Adjust the device's parameters using the provided controls, buttons, and input fields. Common parameters include rate values, unit selections, mode toggles (continuous or finite), and optional finite values and units.

  3. Multiple Nodes per Device: In some cases, a device may have multiple nodes associated with it, such as multiple channels in a peristaltic pump. A master node controls the operation of all associated nodes. Starting or stopping the master node synchronizes the actions across all nodes within the device.

  4. Sandbox Icon Buttons and Parameters: The Sandbox Widget allows direct device control. Right-click on the Sandbox Widget to access the context menu and select Display > Controls > Show to reveal the buttons associated with each device icon. These buttons function the same way as the controls in the Setup Menu and utilize the parameters entered in the Controls section.

When you're finished running the simulated pump actions, move on to the the next step, where we'll add some Containers and Connections to help us visualize and document the Setup.