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;
Download the zipped files from here:
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
config files. There might be other files there, but the two you need to worry about are
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
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:
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.