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An Architecture For Real Time Remote Laboratories

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Distance, Remote, and Virtual Experiments

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.199.1 - 12.199.13



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Paper Authors


Yaoye Li Stevens Institute of Technology

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Mr. Yoaye Li received his B.E. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Manufacturing from Beihang University in 1996 and 1999, respectively. Currently, he is a pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. His research interests include intelligent systems for design and manufacturing as well as remote experimentation.

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Sven Esche Stevens Institute of Technology

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Dr. Sven K. Esche is currently holding a position as Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, USA. In 1989, he received an undergraduate degree in Applied Mechanics from Chemnitz University of Technology (Germany). After working for three years at Mercedes Benz AG in Stuttgart (Germany), he obtained M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, USA in 1994 and 1997, respectively. His current research interests include multi-scale modeling of thermo-mechanical processing of metals, integrated product and process design under conditions of uncertainty and risk as well as remote sensing and control of distributed devices with special focus on remote laboratories.

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Constantin Chassapis Stevens Institute of Technology

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Dr. Constantin Chassapis is a Professor and the Director of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Stevens Institute of Technology. His research interests are in knowledge-based engineering systems; computer-aided design and manufacturing; structure-property modeling and characterization of polymers and polymer composites as well as in remotely controlled distributed systems. He has been an active member in ASME and SPE, and he has received a best paper award from SPE’s Injection Molding Division, the distinguished Assistant Professor Award at Stevens Institute of Technology, an Honorary Master’s Degree from Stevens Institute of Technology, and the Tau Beta Pi Academic Excellence Award.

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

2007 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition An Architecture for Real-time Remote Laboratories Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, June 24–27, 2007 Li, Esche & Chassapis Paper submitted on 03/07/2007 Tel. (201) 216-5559, Fax (201) 216-8315, E-Mail

An Architecture for Real-time Remote Laboratories Yaoye Li, Graduate Student, Sven K. Esche, Associate Professor, Constantin Chassapis, Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ 07030, USA


The rapid spreading of broadband Internet access is enabling new methods of delivery for modern engineering and science curricula. This paper describes the design and implementation of a remote laboratory architecture, which allows the execution of experiments in real time. Contrary to previous remote-laboratory implementations based on a batch mode of operation, in this new system the students can interactively control the experiments and obtain the corresponding outputs (including raw data, data plots, video/audio streams and recordings) in an integrated browser-based user interface. Furthermore, this real-time system was designed in a platform-independent fashion such that it will facilitate its expansion beyond the boundaries of the original institution. A mechanical vibration setup is used to illustrate the system capabilities.

1. Introduction

Real experiments are indispensable in engineering and science education for developing skills for dealing with physical processes and instrumentation. The traditional way of conducting educational experiment is to go to a laboratory facility, where the experimental setups are located. There, the students typically work in groups (or sometimes individually) at a particular laboratory exercise and may receive tutorial help from instructors present at the site.1 During the last decade or so, Stevens Institute of Technology (SIT)2,3,4 as well as many other colleges and universities5 all around the world have begun to use Web-based remote laboratories. This trend of integrating such remote laboratories into undergraduate curricula is also supported by university administrators. A factor in support of this trend is the fact that physical experiments are expensive to maintain require dedicated facilities to accommodate the experimental setups. The rapid growth of the student populations in many institutions puts additional burdens on the spatial, temporal, financial and human resources required for operating traditional laboratories. On the other hand, due to the rapid increase available bandwidth of Internet, the materials that can be transferred on the network are no longer limited to static text accompanied by some static graphical images but can also include live or recorded audio and video content.6 The use of hypertext, hypermedia and multimedia in Web applications can potentially provide exciting and engaging learning environments, which will then lead to significant changes in the design of pedagogical processes and instructional approaches. Also, recently some evidence has started to be reported that Web-based remote laboratories can complement or even replace on-hand laboratories without compromising the desired learning outcomes.7

The results of a recent study8 showed that the interface of remote laboratories based on the batch mode of operation fail to provide the students a feeling of actual presence. The students felt somewhat disconnected from the remotely located experimental apparatus using, yet they liked the general convenience provided by remote laboratories and the ability to carry out the


Li, Y., & Esche, S., & Chassapis, C. (2007, June), An Architecture For Real Time Remote Laboratories Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2860

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