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The Lab of the Future The importance of remote monitoring and control

MARK D. HOPKIN*, IAN R. BAXENDALE, STEVEN V. LEY
*Corresponding author
University of Cambridge, Innovative Technology Centre (ACS), Department of Chemistry Lensfield Road, Cambridge, CB2 1EW, United Kingdom

Abstract

Chemical laboratories and the equipment withinthem have changed very little over the last two centuries.However, the introduction of enabling technologies and theirimpact on current working practices is starting to redefinethe laboratory environment. In this article the applicationof remote control software applied to real applications offlow-based synthesis are demonstrated and the relatedimprovements in efficiency and safety discussed.The use of webcams to remotely monitor synthetic proceduresis described along with the associated enhancements thatcan be achieved.We envisage that the integration of these techniques withportable devices such as mobile telephones will form part ofthe lab of the future.