In some cases, after you put two or more reagents together in a labware, a chemical or physical reaction takes place. The reaction will take a certain amount of time and will not be instantaneous. You might in the meantime want to keep the reagent in the same labware while treating it (mix, shake, centrifuge, vortex), to change the temperature (heat or cool) or just incubate before continuing handling this reagent. 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 “Timer” button to open the “Timer” menu.
In the “Timer” menu fill out the amount of time an incubation should be set. From the dropdown menu you can choose to set seconds, minutes or even hours. An optional field allows you to put comments, such that the person executing the protocol understands why an incubation period is necessary. To finalize this step, click on the green “Save step” button at the top right of the menu.
In the “Protocol step list” you now see two new entries (a begin and an end):
The first is labelled “Wait X seconds/minutes/hours”.
The second is labelled “Stop waiting after X seconds/minutes/hours”.
The step that follows the second part of the “Timer” action, will only be executed after the indicated period of time has passed.
If a protocol involves many steps, it might be very advantageous to execute other protocol steps while incubating a reagent. Therefore, it is possible to add actions between the first and second step of the “Timer” action. These steps will be performed while the wait timer continues.
With Andrew+, if the added actions in between the beginning and ending of the “Timer” action, take more time than the time set to wait, Andrew will simply continue with the next step, since the set time is already passed.
In case of Pipette+ or manual execution, you will have to wait and follow the instructions on the screen, or you may skip the remaining time at any point by clicking the ‘Cancel Wait’ button.
In above figure, the “Protocol step list” consists of 6 steps. Step 3 is the beginning of the “Timer” action and Step 5 is the ending. Step 4 will be executed right after step 3 where the timer is triggered (which is instantaneous), while Step 6 will only be executed after 1 minute has elapsed or after Step 4 is completed, whichever takes longest.