The Flamingo project is an effort by Huisken to extend the use of light sheet microscopes. There are different considerations around this project (I've listened the Huisken's talk at FOM2023):
- The Flamingo project is not open hardware. Although some things are documented, the scope is not for others to build it
- The project is not going to be commercialized (I have the feeling they are violating an endless number of patents)
- The only ones who can build flamingoes are people closely associated with Huisken
With that in mind, the project focuses on bringing cutting-edge technologies to the hands of biologists. As far as I could understand, the systems are robust, relatively easy to transport, have software that can be remotely controlled for troubleshooting, and the modular design allows for customization based on application.
I think it is an extremely smart move by Huisken to dip his toes in as many collaborative papers as possible. The FAQ on the website states:
- What is the benefit for the Huisken lab? While still fundamentally advancing microscopy, through the Flamingo project we learn what biologists in the field really need. We will then hopefully be able to build more usable and useful microscopes. And, hey, it is a cool optics and engineering challenge to build a microscope that can travel to another lab…
Which forgets to mention anything about authorship on the papers.
Regarding open hardware, it is also very explicit:
- Is this an open source project?
We are more than happy to share details about the software and hardware at any given time. However, it is our greatest hope that people do not focus on trying to copy the Flamingo in its present form, but that what is learned from our projects successes and even its failures will contribute to better tools and new ways to share them for light sheet, for microscopy and maybe even beyond. [...]
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