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Developing Control Experiments as a part of a Remote Laboratory Facility

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Laboratory Applications of Computers

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.394.1 - 24.394.15



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Paper Authors


Abul K. M. Azad Northern Illinois University

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Abul K. M. Azad is a Professor with the Technology Department of Northern Illinois University. He has a Ph.D. in Control and Systems Engineering and M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Electronics Engineering. He has been in academics for 15+ years, and his research interests include remote laboratories, mechatronic systems, mobile robotics, and educational research. In these areas, Dr. Azad has over 100 refereed journal and conference papers, edited books, and book chapters. So far, he has attracted around $1.7M of research and development grants from various national and international funding agencies. He is a member of the editorial board for a number of professional journals as well as an Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Online Engineering. He is active with various professional organizations (IEEE, IET, ASEE, and ISA) as well as a member of board of Trustees of CLAWAR Association. He has served as Chair and Co-Chairs of numerous conferences and workshops, in addition to serving on the program committees of around 30 international conferences. Dr. Azad is a project proposal reviewer with various national and international funding agencies in US, Europe, and Australia.

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Pramod P. Kaushik Northern Illinois University

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Pramod Kaushik, a graduate from Northern Illinois University, specialized in robotics and VLSI. He had great passion towards robotics and was dedicating his time to implement robotic projects while at school. With a bachelor's in electronics and communication engineering from Anna University, India, Pramod had a strong background in electrical engineering. The ability to learn new tools and software quickly and to use them in projects made him an idea candidate for research assistant under Dr. Abul Azad. Under the able guidance of Dr. Azad, Pramod designed and implemented various projects in robotics and among them, the most notable work is "Developing Control Experiments as a part of Remote Laboratory Facility".

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ASEE Annual Conference 2014 Indianapolis, USA Developing Control Experiments as a part of a Remote Laboratory FacilityRemote laboratories are gaining popularity among researchers and educators, and there are anumber of reported initiatives in terms of system design, technology use, and pedagogical issues.As a continuation of Internet accessible remote laboratory facility development, recently theauthor integrated a couple of control system experiments into the facility. This paper willpresent the design and development of two control experiments and their integration process intothe remote laboratory facility.A remote laboratory facility includes the experimental systems and interfacing with a computer,the data analysis mechanism, the graphical user interface (GUI), and web access of the systemvia the GUI. There are two hardware systems that are used for the reported new controlexperiments. These are a household mobile robot and a robot manipulator system. Both of themwere acquired as off-the-shelf products. The mobile robot was acquired from iRobot and isknown as Roomba Create. The system was modified to facilitate its object avoidance capacity,wireless operation, and remote laboratory integration. The modified system also has a cameraand is used as a wireless controlled surveillance system for indoor environments. On the otherhand the robot manipulator is a single link flexible manipulator system acquired from Quanser.This system consists of a single flexible link connected to a motor at the one end and can rotateonly on the horizontal plane. Experiments were developed for system behavior monitoring aswell as vibration control while moving from point A to Point B.The mobile robot is connected to a computer via a wireless link; the single link flexiblemanipulator system is directly connected with a computer via an interfacing card. Once the dataare collected to the local computer, they are processed using LabVIEW software package. Forboth cases, the GUIs are also developed using the LabVIEW. The backend of the GUIs managethe required data processing; while the front end is for user interaction for various controlfunctionalities. The GUI is the only mechanism for a user to control a system that is connectedto the computer. The LabVIEW GUI has the ability to publish as a web page, and the page canbe accessed from anyplace via the Internet. Once gaining access to a GUI over the Internet, auser can perform all the control operations the same way they can do by sitting in front of thecomputer (that hosts the GUI within the laboratory).The final part of the development is the integration of the developed experiments within theremote laboratory facility. The remote laboratory facility is a portal for providing access to adeveloped experiment. The integration process includes connecting the GUI with a web page,password control, user management system, experience sampling method, and user survey aswell as activating and deactivating an experimentThe full paper will describe the experimental facilities, their modification and integrationprocess, data processing for control experiments, GUI development steps, and finally integrationwith the remote laboratory facility.

Azad, A. K. M., & Kaushik, P. P. (2014, June), Developing Control Experiments as a part of a Remote Laboratory Facility Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20285

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