In this section you will learn how to update the OT-2 to the latest software. It’s important to do this as the robots don’t ship from the factory with the most recent software version installed.
Updating your software allows you to take advantage of the latest features (and bug fixes) that have been released since your robot was manufactured. Unlike other lab equipment you might be used to, we update the software around once a month and are constantly releasing new features — so it’s a smart idea to keep your OT-2 up to date for the best experience!
Understanding the update process
If you were connected to the internet while setting up your robot, you may have seen an update message when you first connected to the robot. If you already applied the update, that’s great — but don’t stop reading just yet!
It’s important to understand there are two different phases involved in updating your robot’s software:
Updating the Opentrons App on your computer; and
Updating the OT-2 itself.
Caution: Updating the app on your computer does not automatically update the software on the OT-2.
Since you’ve just downloaded the App from the website, it’s already the latest version. So this time, you will only need to update the robot. In the future, you will need to update both the App on your computer and the software on the OT-2 (the custom operating system and API that runs your protocols).
The messages sometimes can look the same, but don’t worry! One is for the App itself and then, once the app is updated to the latest version it will show another (similar looking) message asking you to apply the update to the OT-2.
No internet access?
The instructions below will assume the computer you’re using to control the OT-2 has internet access. If it doesn't — don’t worry, it’s possible to update the robot from a file! To do that, see the detailed instructions here. Unfortunately you will have to remember to check for updates yourself as without internet access, there will be no automatic, in-app messages to remind you.
Update your OT-2
Now that you understand how the update process works, let’s make sure your OT-2 is running the latest and greatest software version!
When your first connect to the OT-2 you should see this message:
The version numbers you see might be slightly different, but that’s OK! The App will automatically choose the latest version for you.
To update the robot you’ll need to click View Robot Update and then Update Robot after reviewing the changes for this software version on the next screen.
There are 3 phases to updating the robot:
1. Uploading to the robot
The App first sends the file to the robot. This usually takes less than a minute.
2. Validating the update
The robot then validates the file to make sure there were no errors in transit.
3. Applying the update
Then the robot applies the update. This step can take up to 3 minutes. During this time you will see the light on the front turn off and then begin flashing blue. You’ll also be able to hear the pipette motors move slightly.
4. You’re done!
Once you see this message displayed in the app, the update has completed successfully and you can move on to the next step in setting up your robot!
We update the software every month or so with the latest and greatest stuff! Future updates will look similar to the message you saw earlier, so be sure to update both the App and the OT-2 for the best experience!
If you miss an update notification in the App (or another user of the robot dismisses it), you can see if there’s an update available by looking for a small orange notification dot on the More button. Clicking that will bring you to a screen where you can select View available update to see the changes and apply the update to the App on your computer.
Likewise, if there's an update available for the OT-2 itself, there will be an Update button displayed on the Robot Information section of the App. Clicking that button will apply the update to the robot.
If you don’t see the success message after waiting for 10 minutes or so, check to see if the blue ring light on the front of your robot is on and solid (not flashing). If the light is solid, this means the update was applied successfully and your computer probably just missed the “I’m done” signal from the robot. This can potentially take longer for bigger updates.
If you aren’t able to reconnect to the OT-2 after closing and reopening the App, reach out to Opentrons Support for help, we’ll get things sorted out for you!