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1. (WO2018081446) POSITIVE DISPENSE VERIFICATION SENSOR
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CLAIMS

1. A system for positive dispense verification, the system comprising:

a plurality of light detectors;

a plurality of light emitters, wherein light transmitted from the light emitters is directed toward the plurality of light detectors;

a liquid dispense device positioned above a light curtain defined by the light directed from the plurality of light emitters toward the plurality of light detectors such that liquid dispensed from the liquid dispense device will travel through the light curtain; and

an amplifier communicatively coupled to the plurality of light detectors, wherein the amplifier generates a signal in response to an interrupt in a transmission of light from the plurality of light emitters to the plurality of light detectors.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein the light curtain is proximately horizontal in relation to a surface onto which the liquid dispense device will dispense liquid.

3. The system of claim 1 wherein the light curtain is proximately parallel to a surface onto which the liquid dispense device will dispense liquid.

4. The system of claim 1, wherein the plurality of light emitters transmit light between 800 nm and 900 nm.

5. The system of claim 1, wherein the plurality of light detectors has approximately the same dimensions as the plurality of light emitters.

6. The system of claim 1, wherein the plurality of light emitters includes an array of light emitters that are distributed in a row and spaced approximately equidistant from one another.

7. The system of claim 1, wherein the plurality of light emitters includes a plurality of arrays of light emitters that are distributed in rows.

8. The system of claim 1, wherein a space between the liquid dispense device and the light curtain is such that a drop of liquid having a volume of at least ten microliters will span the space.

9. The system of claim 1, wherein a droplet of three microliters of liquid dispensed from the liquid dispense device causes the amplifier to generate a signal in response to an interrupt in a transmission of light from the plurality of light emitters to the plurality of light detectors.

10. The system of claim 1, wherein the light curtain has no gaps that would allow a droplet of three or more microliters of liquid dispensed from the liquid dispense device to pass through the light curtain without causing the amplifier to generate a signal in response to an interrupt in a transmission of light from the plurality of light emitters to the plurality of light detectors.

11. The system of claim 1, wherein a space between the plurality of light emitters and the plurality of light detectors is large enough to accommodate a target plate.

12. The system of claim 11 further comprising:

a conveyor configured to position a target plate (a) between (i) the plurality of light emitters and (ii) the plurality of light detectors and (b) below (i) the liquid dispense device and (ii) the light curtain, such that liquid dispensed from the liquid dispense device will travel through the light curtain and fall onto the target plate.

13. The system of claim 12, wherein the light curtain is at an orthogonal angle relative to a travel direction of the conveyor.

14. The system of claim 12, wherein the light curtain is at a non-orthogonal angle relative to a travel direction of the conveyor.

15. The system of claim 1 further comprising:

a latching circuit communicatively coupled to the amplifier, wherein the latching circuit retains confirmation that an interrupt in a transmission of light from the plurality of light emitters to the plurality of light detectors occurred.

16. The system of claim 15, wherein the latching circuit is only on during time intervals beginning prior to a liquid being dispensed from the liquid dispense device and ending after the liquid has been dispensed.

17. The system of claim 15 further comprising:

one or more processors configured to:

verify a positive dispense by reading data stored in the latching circuit; and deactivate the latching circuit after a positive dispense has been verified.

18. A method for positive dispense verification, the method comprising:

providing a light curtain by transmitting light from a plurality of light emitters toward a plurality of light detectors;

positioning a target plate below the light curtain;

positioning a liquid dispense device above the target plate and the light curtain;

dispensing a liquid from the liquid dispense device onto the target plate, wherein the dispensed liquid travels through the light curtain; and

generating a signal in response to an interrupt in a transmission of light from the plurality of light emitters to the plurality of light detectors caused by the travel of the dispensed liquid through the light curtain.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein the target plate is positioned below the light curtain and within a distance between the plurality of light emitters and the plurality of light detectors.

20. The method of claim 18, wherein the liquid dispense device is also positioned such that a space between the liquid dispense device and the light curtain is such that a drop of liquid having a volume of at least ten microliters will span the space.

21. The method of claim 18, wherein a signal is generated if a droplet of at least three microliters of liquid is dispensed from the liquid dispense device.

22. The method of claim 18, wherein the light curtain has no gaps that would allow a droplet of three or more microliters of liquid to be dispensed from the liquid dispense device onto the target plate without interrupting a transmission of at least some light of the light curtain.

23. The method of claim 18 further comprising:

storing data indicating an interrupt in a transmission of light from the plurality of light emitters to the plurality of light detectors occurred when a signal is generated.

24. The method of claim 23, wherein the data indicating an interrupt in a transmission of light from the plurality of light emitters to the plurality of light detectors occurred is stored in a latching circuit.

25. The method of claim 24 further comprising:

turning on the latching circuit before a liquid is dispensed from the liquid dispense device; and

turning off the latching circuit after data indicating an interrupt in a transmission of light from the plurality of light emitters to the plurality of light detectors occurred is stored in the latching circuit.

26. The method of claim 24 further comprising:

verifying a positive dispense by reading data stored in the latching circuit.