Compilation of a controller environment for real lab devices

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Dr. Kolumbán Sándor
Department of Automation and Applied Informatics

With the development of information technology and the spread of the Internet new perspectives become possible in education. One of these is the remote laboratory. Solutions which make physical equipment and devices available on the intranet or Internet are called remote laboratories. With the help of these the students don’t have to physically reach the tools. They can use them from outside of the university at a preferred time. This comes with several benefits which can be found in my paper.

A remote laboratory has two main parts. One of them is responsible for the communication with the client. It presents a web page for example and authenticates the users. It manages the uploaded code and pipes it into the other part of the concept. The other part is a framework running on the server. It makes possible to create measurement set-ups, does the measurements and provides the results. Designing and implementing a framework in the subject of control engineering was my task.

I explored some of the existing remote laboratories. I present their architecture and the positive and negative sides of these in the paper. This helps to understand the common concept of the remote laboratories. I give a picture of existing works to be able to compare my work to these.

In the second part of the paper I present the complete framework and some important decisions I had to make during the design phase. With the use of the framework control circuits can be created to which interchangeable modules can be attached e.g. controllers, devices and logging modules. I implemented a PID controller, a file based logger module and the driver of an inverted pendulum. I demonstrate the operability of the framework with these modules and by controlling the position of the pendulum’s cart.

Later I present the several graphical interfaces of the program and the usage of these. I give a review of the architecture and the different classes of the implemented framework.

At the end of my paper I evaluate the work that has been done. I compare it with the existing remote laboratories and overview the aspects of the specification. I present a few ways in which the project can be upgraded and a few steps which are needed to be taken towards a complete remote laboratory.


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