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Collaborative Development Of Remote Electronics Laboratories: The Elvis Ilab

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Conference

2009 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Laboratory Development in ECE Education

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count

17

Page Numbers

14.336.1 - 14.336.17

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/5557

Download Count

32

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Paper Authors

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Adnaan Jiwaji MIT

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Adnaan Jiwaji is a Masters of Engineering graduate in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His thesis was development of remote laboratories for Africa with iLabs. Currently he is a Software Engineer for the Clusters and Parallel Storage Technology group at Oracle.

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James Hardison MIT

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James Hardison is a Research Engineer with the Center for Educational Computing Initiatives at MIT. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT. Presently, he is involved with the management and development of online laboratories at MIT as well as the design and development of the iLab Shared Architecture. He is a member of the IEEE.

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Kayode P. Ayodele Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

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Kayode Ayodele received his BSc. and MSc.degrees in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University Nigeria, where he is presently concluding his PhD. His research interests include the role of emerging technologies in engineering education, applications of sensors with emphasis on
accelerometers, and NARX and state space methods for behavioral modeling of non-linear systems.

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Sandy Stevens Tickodri-Togboa Makerere University

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Alfred Mwambela University of Dar-es-Salaam

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Alfred Mwambela received his B.Sc. degree in Applied Physics in 1988 from the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, his M.Sc. degree in Electronics in 1993 from Durham University, UK and the PhD degree in Industrial process tomography in 1999 from the University of Dar-es-Salaam. He has been with the department of electronic and communication technologies of University of Dar-es-Salaam from 1989. His research interest has been in computing technologies system development. Currently he is involved in development of online laboratory experiments.

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V. Judson Harward MIT

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Dr. Judson Harward is Principal Research Scientist and Associate Director at MIT's Center for Educational Computing Initiatives. He is architect and project manager for the iLab Shared Architecture. He played the same role for the Athena Muse 2 cross-platform multimedia environment and has directed research projects focused on intelligent distributed sensor and decision support systems. He co-teaches one of the large undergraduate computing courses at MIT. His research interests include object-oriented application design and distributed multimedia.

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Jesús A. del Alamo MIT

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Bryant Harrison MIT

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Bryant Harrison is a Master of Business Administration degree candidate at Harvard Business School. He received his Bachelor of Science (2007) and Master of Engineering (2008) degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT. He led a team in Kenya teaching information technology and entrepreneurship in 2004 through the MIT Africa Internet Technology Initiative, and coordinated the activities of the program in Africa from 2005-2008. In 2006 he worked on the OpenAfrica project with Microsoft iCampus to assess the effectiveness of educational technologies in universities and high schools in East Africa. His current research interests include educational technologies and developmental entrepreneurship. Previous research and industry experiences include work in medical devices and bioelectronic instrumentation.

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Samuel Gikandi MIT

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Samuel Gikandi was born and raised in Kenya through his high school years. He got his bachelors and masters degrees in EECS from MIT in 2006. He worked with the iLab Project during his Masters year. He currently builds electronic
trading systems at Morgan Stanley.

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

Collaborative Development of Remote Electronics Laboratories: The ELVIS iLab

Abstract Remote laboratories represent a significant value to engineering curricula in a variety of cases. Whether it is a complement to a hands-on experience or a substitute when a traditional lab is not feasible, remote laboratories can be a valuable educational resource. Since 1998, the MIT iLab Project has worked to increase the quality and availability of remote laboratories. Using the iLab Shared Architecture, developers of new labs can leverage a set of generic support functions and then share those labs easily and with minimal administrative cost. More recently, the iLab Project, in partnership with Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria, Makerere University in Uganda and the University of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania and in coordination with the Maricopa Advanced Technology Education Center (MATEC), has focused on building iLabs around the National Instruments Educational Laboratory Virtual Instrumentation Suite (ELVIS) platform. The ELVIS is a low-cost, small-footprint unit that contains most of the common test instruments found in a typical electrical engineering lab. By coupling the ELVIS with iLabs, a variety of remote electronics laboratories can be built and shared around the world. Using this common hardware/software platform, participants in the iLab Project at different levels of the educational spectrum have developed experiments that meet their individual curricular needs and are able to host them for use by other peer institutions. Not only does this increase the variety of ELVIS- based iLabs, but it also spurs the creation of teams that can then build other, more diverse iLabs and substantively participate in project-wide collaborative development efforts. Through such coordinated efforts, iLabs can provide rich practical experiences for students in areas not previously possible at institutions across the educational spectrum.

I. Introduction

The iLab Project is dedicated to the prospect of increasing the quality and availability of Internet-accessible remote laboratories. Remote laboratories, or iLabs, enable real laboratory instrumentation to be accessed remotely through the Internet, allowing students and educators to carry out experiments from anywhere at any time. In contrast to a traditional lab that requires multiple instrument stations to be placed in a relatively large physical space and attended by trained staff, an iLab can provide use of a single laboratory instrument, housed in a closed research lab, office or closet, to many students. This enables iLabs to provide laboratory experiences at a relatively low cost per user. Further, since users of an iLab do not have to be physically located at the laboratory, iLabs can be a means of providing broad access to rare, exotic or dangerous experiments such as those taking place in a nuclear reactor.

The iLab Project at MIT was started in 1998 by Prof. Jesús del Alamo as a response to a specific educational problem1. Prof. del Alamo, while lecturing an introductory course in microelectronics, lamented the entirely theoretical nature of the course. A traditional, hands-on microelectronics laboratory was not feasible due to the cost of providing the necessary test instrumentation for over a hundred students. However, one such instrument did exist in Prof. del Alamo’s research lab. With the help of an undergraduate student, a web-based interface for this

Jiwaji, A., & Hardison, J., & Ayodele, K. P., & Tickodri-Togboa, S. S., & Mwambela, A., & Harward, V. J., & del Alamo, J. A., & Harrison, B., & Gikandi, S. (2009, June), Collaborative Development Of Remote Electronics Laboratories: The Elvis Ilab Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5557

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