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Remote access laboratory framework for engineering education

James Trevelyan
School of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Western Australia
We have developed a comprehensive system to provide staff and students with remote access to laboratory equipment using the Internet.

The aim of our remote access laboratory system is to provide cost effective solutions that can be sustained within normal operating budgets, once the initial investment to build the system has been made. Our experience in building web-operated telerobots since 1994 has provided us with useful models for designing the software to enable collaboration between users. The server and backbone of the software has been designed to provide a rugged, maintainable framework. This allows students to build software modules needed to add specific laboratory experiments to the system. By following templates and simple design rules, they can produce easily maintainable software. The hardware can be maintained by our technicians.

We are not planning to replace conventional laboratory classes. The aim is to provide remote access to enable students to spend more time operating the equipment than is currently possible. Also the tasks assigned to students can be synchronised with lecture and tutorial work to enhance learning effectiveness.

We used this system for two classes in 2002 and preliminary results will be presented.

Please cite as: Trevelyan, J. (2003). Remote access laboratory framework for engineering education. In Partners in Learning. Proceedings of the 12th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 11-12 February 2003. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/trevelyan-abs.html

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Last revision: 16 Jan 2003. This URL: http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/trevelyan-abs.html