During an experiment you may have the need for a user action, for example when a labware has to be placed manually in a laboratory equipment with a specific task (centrifugation, vortex, shaker) or when a cover needs to be put on a plate / microtubes have to be closed. A user action implies a delay in the execution of the following protocol steps / pipetting actions and especially in case of automated execution of the protocol with Andrew+, this needs to be taken into consideration properly. It might also be necessary to inform the human operator when special attention is required at a certain phase of the experiment. Therefore, you need to have the possibility to implement a waiting period in the protocol and to give notifications where needed. This you can do as follows:

First, click on the “Actions” menu button in the Protocol Menu Bar on the left of your screen. The “Actions” menu will pop-up. Then, click on the “User action / notification” button to open the “User action / notification” menu.

Here, you can on the right side choose whether you want to implement a “User action” or a “Notification”. 

In case you opt for the “User action”, you may fill out the “Guidelines” field with clear instructions for the operator. Besides that, you have the option to indicate an estimated time required to perform the action by the operator. This will be taken into account when OneLab will estimate the execution time of the experiment. Optionally, you can also indicate which labware is involved, such that on the Virtual bench the labware will be highlighted with a small icon/label representing a person with an exclamation mark, indicating that you have to take special attention when handling this specific labware. The operator has to continue the experiment, by clicking on the “Continue” button, since the software will pause the experiment during this protocol step even if the timer runs out.

In case you choose for the “Notification”, you should fill out the “Guidelines” field with clear instructions which will be read-out aloud by the software, such that you can hear it during the execution of the experiment. Optionally you can also indicate which labware is involved, such that on the Virtual bench the labware will be highlighted with a small icon/label representing a loudspeaker, indicating that you have to take special attention when handling this specific labware.

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