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Lab@Home: An Internet Based Real Laboratory For Distance Control Education

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Internet Programming and Applications

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.784.1 - 7.784.11



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Paper Authors

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Nariman Sepehri

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Session 2258

“Lab@Home”: An Internet-Based Real Laboratory for Distance Control Education

N. Sepehri , S. Onyshko, W. Lehn, R. Song , Z. Zheng

The University of Manitoba Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3T-5V6

The Faculty of Engineering at the University of Manitoba completed the development of software drivers and interfacing programs to establish a prototype remote control laboratory station. The station, which can be operated from a distance, is called “Lab@Home” and is becoming a part of core control courses in the Faculty of Engineering. This paper presents the motivation behind this initiation as well as step-by-step development of the test station. Typical results obtained by students are also provided.

1. Introduction The motivation for the construction of this station comes from the fact that the control laboratories at the University of Manitoba are heavily utilized by as many as 200 students each year. At the present time, we are unable to provide the students enough exposure to the equipment due to the increased number of students as well as limited access time (e.g., the lab can not be open after 6:30 pm, a period in which students may have more time to do the experiments on their own time). Lab@Home will allow the students to work with the real system by remotely operating it at any time and from any places, therefore, increasing the exposure to the experimental facility. Compared to other valuable attempts to develop a virtual laboratory for control education, whereby the students deal with virtual (simulated) systems, via Internet, here we allow the students to run a real system remotely which is believed to be more effective. Lab@Home is an interactive setup in which the students can study PID control implementation and tuning issues for typical first- and second- order systems. The goal is to perform actual experiments and relate the findings to the theoretical analyses. The test station allows the students to perform a “do-and-see” approach anytime and from the comfort of their home and thus, they will not be restricted to certain laboratory access times. This gives the students a chance to redo the experiments many times, any time and from any remote computer system. In short, the remote laboratory allows more exposure of the students to an experimental test rig.

“Proceedings of 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2002, American Society for Engineering Education“

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Sepehri, N. (2002, June), Lab@Home: An Internet Based Real Laboratory For Distance Control Education Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10421

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