A LabVIEW-based Remote Laboratory: Architecture and Implementation

A LabVIEW-based Remote Laboratory: Architecture and Implementation

Yuqiu You (Morehead State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-186-3.ch001
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Current technology enables the remote access of equipment and instruments via the Internet. While more and more remote control solutions have been applied to industry via Local Area Networks (LANs), Wide Area Networks (WANs), and the Internet, there exist requirements for the applications of such technologies in the academic environment (Salzmann, Latchman, Gillet, and Crisalle, 2003). One typical application of remote control solutions is the development of a remote virtual laboratory. The development of a remote-laboratory facility will enable participation in laboratory experiences by distance students. The ability to offer remote students lab experiences is vital to effective learning in the areas of engineering and technology. This chapter introduces a LabVIEW-based remote wet process control laboratory developed for manufacturing automation courses. The system architecture, hardware integration, hardware and software interfacing, programming tools, lab development based on the system, and future enhancement are demonstrated and discussed in the chapter.
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As in engineering and technology fields, the laboratory experiences associated with a technology curriculum are vital to understanding concepts (Saygin & Kahraman, 2004). They are also typically limited to a short group session each week due to time and space constraints. Increasingly practical and popular distance courses are hard-pressed to provide realistic lab experience at all. Simulation, which has seen increased use in education, is an especially valuable tool when it precedes instruction, but does not provide the problem-solving realism of actual hands-on experience (Deniz, Bulancak & Ozcan, 2003). Completing a project by remote operation of real equipment more nearly replicates problem solving as it would occur in the workplace and lends itself to teaching the processes and practice that are involved in true experimentation (Cooper, Donnelly & Ferreira, 2002).

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