The Electronic Laboratory Workbench (eLabBench) is an interactive laboratory workbench integrating wet-lab biology experimentation with digital bioinformatics analysis .
The main challenges with existing Grid Computing approaches is that they require high technical knowledge and dedicated hardware and software resources. For these reasons, the deployment and operational cost of such grid systems is substantial, preventing their adoption and direct use by non-technical organizations and users, such as biological researchers in a small university lab. Only a relatively few dedicated scientists use the classic grids like Globus; and setting up projects in volunteer computing grids like BOINC is rather centralized and require running a dedicated server infrastrucure.
In contrast to these large-scale grid infrastructures, our goal has been to create a distributed and ad-hoc grid computing platform for scientist to use as part of their work in the biology laboratory.
Context-awareness covers the idea of computers reacting upon, and adapting to the user’s context, e.g. location, time of day, the specific task the user is engaged in, etc. Context is sensed by tracking location of persons and objects, through sensors in the environment, and by trying to understand what the user is doing, by e.g. looking in his or her calendar.