Called the Classifynder, the microscope was developed by a team at the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology led by Emeritus Professor Bob Hodgson.
It will alleviate drudgery for palynologists who, after weeks in the field, spend more weeks looking down a microscope to count and identify the tiny grains they had collected.
With the Classifynder, a low-resolution stage locates all grains on the slide so that a high-resolution stage can grab images of each grain across nine focal depths. Fluff and detritus can be recognized and ignored, leaving the palynologist to concentrate on the grains themselves.
Eight prototype machines have been delivered to palynologists around the world.
-- By Dave Wilson, Senior Editor,Vision Systems Design