Depending on the robot you have, you will need to follow separate instructions for how to connect your robot via Ethernet cable. If you are unsure which robot you are working with, please see our article that highlights the differences between the OT-2 and OT-2R before getting started.

Instructions for the OT-2 are shown first, followed by the OT-2R.

It is important to note that due to differences in hardware, direct connection via Ethernet is only supported for the OT-2R. However, if you are using an OT-2, please read the paragraph below before proceeding.

If you are using an OT-2, the normal way to connect to your robot is over USB or over Wi-Fi. But if neither of those are working, or if you have more particular networking requirements, you might want to try an Ethernet cable instead. This method of connection is intended for troubleshooting. If you are not actively working with an Opentrons Support member, you are using this form of connection at your own risk.

Instructions for OT-2

When you connect to your OT-2 over USB, you're actually secretly connecting to it over Ethernet. Inside the robot, there's a USB-to-Ethernet adapter. This guide will show you how to bypass that adapter, avoiding USB entirely.

Materials needed:

  • An Ethernet cable

1. Expose the rear electronics

See: Accessing the rear electronics.

2. Unplug the built-in Ethernet cable

Once the electronics are exposed, you should see an Ethernet cable plugged into one of the circuit boards.

A tab on the back of the connector locks it in place. To unplug the connector, you will need to squeeze that tab.

On the back of the robot, there is a hole (shown below). Stick a hex driver through the hole to squeeze the tab on the connector. While doing that, use your other hand to pull the cable down and out.

3. Plug in your Ethernet cable

Now that the Ethernet jack is empty, you can plug in your own cable. Use that to connect your OT-2 to your computer or router.

Potential problems with long-term Ethernet connections if using the OT-2

As mentioned, this form of connection is only intended for short-term troubleshooting when working with the OT-2. Using this connection method on a long-term basis can potentially lead to OT-2 brownouts, which can negatively impact protocol runs.


Instructions for OT-2R

When you connect to your OT-2R by Ethernet cable, it is a direct connection via Ethernet port. The OT-2R eliminates the internal USB-to-Ethernet converter, which means the Ethernet port on the outside of the robot connects directly to the Raspberry Pi’s Ethernet port internally.

This direct connection improves reliability and reduces connection problems users sometimes experience with the OT-2 due to driver issues related to the internal USB-to-Ethernet converter.

Materials needed:

  • An Ethernet cable

1. Locate the Ethernet port

If you are facing the OT-2R so that you are looking at the front panel of the robot with the swinging door, the Ethernet port is located on the lower left side of the robot, below the power switch. See below:

2. Plug in your Ethernet cable

Plug in your Ethernet cable. Use that to connect your OT-2R to your computer or router.

If you have any questions, please reach out to us at support@opentrons.com or through our live chat!

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