NextSeq 550 XY Stage Notes
I decided to have a quick play with the NextSeq 550 XY Stage. This is a custom design interfaced via USB based around an STM32F103. In order to get the board to power up you need to supply it with ~5V via J3 as shown in the diagram above. A USB serial device is then exposed.
The stage uses an encoder wheel from US Digital. A full encoder assembly from US digital costs ~$100. So the whole XY assembly is unlikely to have a BOM cost of more than $500 in my view, call it $1000 if you like. NextSeq 550 sells for >$200K so this isn’t really a significant cost.
Would be fun it figure out the USB protocol. But I suspect more effort than it’s worth for a quick side project.