Environmental testing for Coronavirus using BeagleBone and other open source hardware
At the Open Hardware Summit, the folks at Chai, makers of Open qPCR, spoke up about work they are doing to enable their users to perform environmental testing for COVID-19. The device is based on BeagleBone Black and was released as an open source Kickstarter project shipping since 2016. PCR is a technique for testing for DNA sequences and the CDC has released the primers and probe information for performing the PCR tests. The Open qPCR machine and Chai’s soon to be released test kit using the soon to be open sourced RNA extraction control system and internal amplification control system can be used together to provide a solution that DIY researchers can use to test environmental surfaces. This is expected to greatly simplify the cleanup of public spaces like schools and libraries. The BeagleBoard.org Foundation (US-based 501c3 non-profit) is working with Chai to help get these machines and test kits out to communities and makerspaces through board donations and is interested in speaking with others interested in getting this out to communities around the world.
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