LabOS – A Biomedical Experiment Control System 

Design Aims

Biomedical research, human performance and other laboratories that work with living subjects and perform complex experiments unanticipated by software "solution" providers, must expend significant resources creating & maintaining data acquisition and control (DAQ&C) systems that are seldom useful in other labs because of their complexity or poor documentation, and quickly become obsolete because of design limitations and hardware dependencies.

We have a working prototype of a DAQ&C system, called "LabOS" that [1] is usable at "Operator", "Experimenter" and "Programmer" levels, and provides [2] deterministic ("hard") closed-loop control at kilohertz rates, [3] high speed buffered sampling (eg, for spike profiling), [4] multi-thread, state machine based, data-contingent, experimental protocols, and [5] a modern, richly informative, realtime graphical interface for viewing & controlling ongoing experiments, [6] on multiple platforms, with no dependence on unusual or single-source hardware. We now propose to [1] segment & harden the system so that user modifiable parts are easily & safely reconfigured, and other parts are invisible, [2] generalize certain aspects of LabOS to support its widest possible use, [3] provide data export tools, [4] optimize platform independence [5] produce contextual, reference and tutorial documentation, [6] support a web-based component library, and [7] conduct a beta test program to evaluate the experiences and suggestions of initial users, in an extended development cycle.



LabOS is written in "G" under LabVIEW-RT. The LabOS Console runs under Mac OS X, Windows or Linux.

The LabOS Server & Controller run under Ardence PharLap ETS on any National Instruments™ real-time hardware target, including PXI chassis, PCI boards, and some desktop PCs.


See Also

Complaint to NIH-OMA-DPIMiller JM (2006). LabOS: Closed-loop, Protocol-driven Data Acquisition & Control for Biomedical Experiments – Introduction to a new software system.

Project Status

STTR Grant 1 R41 EB006219-01 to JM Miller (PI) at Eidactics, funded by DHHS/NIH/NIBIB, 2006.07.03-2008.06.30, yielded a working prototype system. Testing and further development was interrupted by the chaos of Smith-Kettlewell's collapse, and has yet to resume.