Microscopes on the Internet.
Over the past two
years, a number of groups have begun to experiment with motorized light
microscopes on the Internet for collaborative projects and to market
microscopes. The current implementation of the iScope does not differ
greatly from several of these efforts, and when possible we hope to
collaborate and learn from these other projects.
Leica Microsystems Imaging Solutions Ltd. (Cambridge, England) has had a
motorized Leica RXA transmitted light microscope online for at least 18
months at <www.leica.co.uk/microscope/>. This is a true Internet
microscope available to anyone.
2. The Microsystems Technology Laboratory at
MIT has assembled a system for collaborative inspection of semiconductor
wafers over the Internet. Their microscope, which been in operation since
1996, is part of a collaboration between Stanford, MIT, and several other
institutions. The web site at
<www-mtl.mit.edu/research/microscope.html> includes publications and
figures that describe the design and interface of the microscope. This
system is available only to registered users.
3. The Corporation for National Research
Initiatives (Reston, VA) has undertaken a project similar to our own. They
give unrestricted access to a light microscope and have also made Java
code available for use by other groups interested in Internet microscopy
-MICROSCOPE.html>. This effort
also focuses on collaborative wafer inspection.
4. A group in Germany has a particularly
successful Internet microscope implementation at
<amba.charite.de/telemic/intro1.html>. Most of the major features of
a transmitted light microscope can be controlled. Their interface is
similar to that of the iScope.
5. Manchester University Materials Science
Center has assembled a series of digital micrographs similar to the MBL,
but with emphasis on metallurgical specimens. The image database, with
controls that allow a user to manipulate the images, is at