Sunday, May 08, 2016

Remote Labs and Internet of Things - Brief Review

IOT is also invading the class rooms. This article (What remote labs can do for you) in Physics Today April 2016, pp48-53 describes the many aspects of remote physics laboratories using the IOT. If you can monitor, you can also control and this would be a blessing to many places without physical resources to provide physics education. Of course this can be adopted to many other areas of science and technology. All this is possible because of mobile devices and the internet.

This post reviews some aspects of RL and some of the related mostly European resources.

Most smartphones already have a variety of sensors and most of them are connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi or cellular network.

Remote Laboratories (RL) are laboratory equipment connected to the Internet, the main enabler being the Internet of Things. Web applications are frequently used to connect Labs with students (or class rooms). Depending on the type of equipment, anywhere from Electron Microscope or telescope to routine motorized controls, this can be expensive or cheap.

Luis de la Torre, Juan Pedro Sanchez and Sebastian Dormido argue in this article that the remote labs are the most direct application of the Internet of Things in education.

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This field is expanding as can be witnessed by the number of conferences and meetings in the related area:
Multimedia in Physics Teaching and Learning

Remote Engineering and Virtual Instrumentation

Experiment International

Internet based Control Instrumentation

However, it remains to be answered whether RL can actually be a good substitute for live learning in schools and universities. As we are transitioning from reality to virtual reality, perhaps this is the way to go.

Watch this European Video

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