Integration of analytical instruments with computer scripting
Carvalho, MC 2013, 'Integration of analytical instruments with computer scripting', Journal of Laboratory Automation, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 328-333.
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Automation of laboratory routines aided by computer software enables high productivity and is the norm nowadays. However, the integration of different instruments made by different suppliers is still difficult, because to accomplish it, the user must have knowledge of electronics and/or low-level programming. An alternative approach is to control different instruments without an electronic connection between them, relying only on their software interface on a computer. This can be achieved through scripting, which is the emulation of user operations (mouse clicks and keyboard inputs) on the computer. The main advantages of this approach are its simplicity, which enables people with minimal knowledge of computer programming to employ it, and its universality, which enables the integration of instruments made by different suppliers, meaning that the user is totally free to choose the devices to be integrated. Therefore, scripting can be a useful, accessible, and economic solution for laboratory automation.