An Application of Remotely Controlled Experiments to Perform Feedback-Damping Control of a Vibrating Beam

M.C. Levesley, P. Culmer (UK), and P. Cripton (Canada)


E-Learning, Remotely Operated Experiments


This paper presents a system developed at the University of Leeds in the UK which allows remote access to real experimental equipment (ReLOAD). The system, initially developed in 2000 has been in use since 2001 to provide improved access to experimental equipment used as part of an undergraduate engineering degree programme. Recently improvements which allow very simple expansion have prompted an increase in the number of remote experiments now in use. Most recently, the system has been used as an integral part of a post graduate distance delivered module in Dynamic Simulation, offered at the University of Leeds. Key to its operation is the ability of the system to serve video clips that record the experiment in progress, providing essential visualisation plus an improved sense of realism for the user. Both student and system evaluation has proved positive, with student feedback being particularly positive regarding the improvement in access to real data it offers. The system is shortly to be used to deliver experiments hosted at Leeds to over 200 3rd and 4th year mechanical engineering undergraduates at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver. The system shows huge potential to allow more efficient and collaborative use of laboratory equipment across the global engineering education community.

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