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A Remote Electronics Laboratory For Physical Experiments Using Virtual Breadboards

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Web-Based Laboratory Experiments

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.80.1 - 10.80.13



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Paper Authors

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Thomas Olsson

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Lars Håkansson

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Johan Zackrisson

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Ingvar Gustavsson

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Henrik Åkesson

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Remote Electronics Laboratory for Physical Experiments using Virtual Breadboards

Ingvar Gustavsson1, Thomas Olsson2, Henrik Åkesson1, Johan Zackrisson1, Lars Håkansson1 1 Department of Signal Processing, School of Engineering, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden/ 2Department of Electroscience, Lund University, Sweden


In traditional university laboratories students conduct experiments under the supervision of an instructor. A remotely-operated laboratory for undergraduate education in electrical engineering which emulates a traditional laboratory has been set up by Blekinge Institute of Technology (hereafter referred to as BTH), Ronneby, Sweden. The laboratory is a client/server application and the Internet is used as the communication infrastructure. Most remote laboratories elsewhere are used for fixed experiments but in the BTH laboratory students around the world can assemble circuits simultaneously from electronic components in much the same way as they do in a traditional laboratory. The teacher or a member of the laboratory staff mounts the components to be used in the lab sessions in a circuit assembly robot in the experiment server in Ronneby. Students use the mouse to connect some of the corresponding virtual components on a virtual breadboard displayed on the client PC. Students thus control the robot by means of the wiring on the virtual breadboard. Virtual instrument front panels are used to control and read the instruments by means of remote control. To avoid potentially serious student mistakes e.g. overloading a component the teacher can preset limits to the source voltages which are accessible to students. The teacher can also restrict student circuits by, for example, dictating minimum impedance in loops created with aid of the components provided. The number of nodes provided on the virtual breadboard is adequate for experiments in undergraduate education. The laboratory is always open and can be used by registered students and guest users alike. The time-sharing scheme used allows simultaneous access for up to 8 client PCs. A 56 kbit/s modem and MS Internet Explorer are all that are required. The client software can be downloaded from the laboratory web site at This paper discusses the remotely operated laboratory at BTH; it focuses on the virtual breadboard.


During the last decades there has been a decline in the number of physical experiments in engineering education. In many countries a trend may be observed towards an increased use of

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Olsson, T., & Håkansson, L., & Zackrisson, J., & Gustavsson, I., & Åkesson, H. (2005, June), A Remote Electronics Laboratory For Physical Experiments Using Virtual Breadboards Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15366

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