Overview

The motor controller inside all Opentrons liquid handlers (called Smoothieboard or just Smoothie) will need it’s firmware updated if you are planning to use the Opentrons API and accompanying 2.0 app. The process is simple, and can be done from your computer in under a minute.

To summarize, there are two files on your Smoothie that must be replaced; FIRMWARE.CUR and config.

Download Files

Download the zipped files from here:

https://github.com/OpenTrons/smoothie-config/archive/2.0.0.zip

After downloading, unpack the zip file to view its contents. The latest firmware files are found in folder “v2.0.0”.

Open the Smoothie’s MicroSD Card

Power OFF and unplug your Opentrons liquid handler’s USB cable. Remove the microSD card from Smoothieboard (just above the USB connector on the robot), and connect it to your personal computer or laptop. It will show up as a storage device on your computer.

Open the microSD storage device to see it’s FIRMWARE.CUR and config files. There might be other files there, but the two you need to worry about are FIRMWARE.CUR and config, because these are what we will be replacing.

Select Your Model’s Config

Opentrons come in three models, the Standard, Pro, and Hood. Each model requires a unique configand firmware.bin file to go along with it. Find the files that matches your robot (the folders are named after each model).

** Note: We have release a “Plus” version of our robots, which have faster motors. If you received a robot after April 2017, and if your robot’s Z motor is all black (no silver on the outside) than you have a “Plus” model.

Copy Over Files

Drag both the config file and firmware.bin from the correct folder onto the microSD card. You will be overwriting the old config file, so your computer may ask if you would like to proceed with replacing it.

The contents of the microSD card should now look like this:

Restart

Unmount the Smoothie’s microSD card from your computer, and connect it back to your powered OFF robot. When the robot powers on, it will read the firmware.bin file, then save it as FIRMWARE.CUR. It will then read the new config file, and your liquid handler now has updated firmware.

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