Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Computers in Education
The Internet of Things (IoT) has added a new element to the world of engineering and technology. With the advent of IoT, a large number of devices are now being connected to the web for data collection, management, and control. As a subset of IoT, remote laboratories allow one to access laboratory equipment over the web to perform experiments. A traditional remote laboratory system involves a full scale computer system along with associated interfacing and web hosting technologies. Sometimes there is significant overhead for the initial commission and subsequent maintenance of a remote laboratory system. To address this issue, this paper reports the design, development, and implementation of a remote laboratory facility using an embedded processor. The embedded processor serves the function of the computer and server used for traditional remote laboratories.
In terms of embedded processors, this project utilizes a Raspberry Pi as the system controller as well as the web server. Raspberry Pi, a small scale computing system with its own operating system, replaces a full scale computer/server, thereby reducing the cost and complexity of remote laboratory design. The developed experiments can be accessed remotely over the web using a suitable graphical user interface (GUI). The GUI is accompanied by a live video feed, using a Raspberry Pi Camera, so the user can have a real time video of the experimental facility. The system is provided with a provision so user can download data to a local system for offline analysis.
This paper describes two remote laboratory experimental systems designed and developed using the described strategy. One is a sensor actuator system the user can manipulate to perform certain laboratory experiments. This will be used to support teaching Python programming for a Raspberry Pi over the web. Students can write their program and upload it on the remote experimental system. The sensors and actuators are an array of light emitting diodes, a temperature sensor, a liquid crystal display, a servo motor, and an ultrasonic sensor. A suitable GUI is also developed so remote users can manipulate the controlled entities with little difficulty. The second experiment is a coupled tank system for preforming process control experiments. The experimental system consists of two tanks on top of each other in such a way that the outlet of one tank flows into the other. The outlet from bottom tank flows to a basin at the bottom. A motor is used to pump fluid to the top tank. By controlling the motor one can control the fluid level at the tanks. The experiment involves the design and development of a feedback control system utilizing the pump and fluid level sensor outputs. The GUI includes the graphical representation of the fluid levels of the tanks, pump current, trigger buttons, and a video of the experimental system. Students can develop their own controller designs and upload them to the system to monitor performance.
Azad, A. K. M., & Demir, V., & Kachadimangalam Ramakrishnan, H. K. (2018, June), Embedded Processor for Remote Laboratory Development Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30368
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