Enhancing Mechanical Engineering Distance Education Through IT-enabled Remote Laboratories
AbstractThe use of remotely operated laboratory experiments is gaining credibility to substitute traditional experimentation practices for distance learning students. Universities have been exploring this option to cater to the growing number of nontraditional students who are only able to participate in education remotely. In this paper the authors discuss how recent advances in robotic and network control have laid the foundation for which remote labs can be built and used as a novel educational tool. Models of how to implement remote laboratory experiments demonstrate the important considerations and best practices which would be addressed when developing an experiment. The consideration of network navigation is essential to foster the smooth connection between remote users and local equipment without inhibiting existing system functionality. Firewall communication through static and dynamic IP addresses must be delegated carefully while network and security administrators open channels for communication. Command and control interfaces can substantially reduce this complex orchestrate by serving as a dedicated web server. With the proper pedagogical and technical developments, remote laboratories will become a viable means to provide realistic experiences to anyone throughout the world.
TypeConference or Workshop Items
Hyder, A. C., Thames, J. L. and Schaefer, D., 2009. Enhancing Mechanical Engineering Distance Education Through IT-enabled Remote Laboratories. In: ASME 2009 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conferences, IDETC/CIE 2009, 2009-08-30 - 2009-09-02, San Diego, California.