Collaborative Development Of Remote Electronics Laboratories: The Elvis Ilab
2009 Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings
Remote laboratories represent a significant value to engineering curricula in a variety of cases. Whether it is a complement to a hands-on experience or a substitute when a traditional lab is not feasible, remote laboratories can be a valuable educational resource. Since 1998, the MIT iLab Project has worked to increase the quality and availability of remote laboratories. Using the iLab Shared Architecture, developers of new labs can leverage a set of generic support functions and then share
... s and then share those labs easily and with minimal administrative cost. More recently, the iLab Project, in partnership with Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria, Makerere University in Uganda and the University of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania and in coordination with the Maricopa Advanced Technology Education Center (MATEC), has focused on building iLabs around the National Instruments Educational Laboratory Virtual Instrumentation Suite (ELVIS) platform. The ELVIS is a low-cost, small-footprint unit that contains most of the common test instruments found in a typical electrical engineering lab. By coupling the ELVIS with iLabs, a variety of remote electronics laboratories can be built and shared around the world. Using this common hardware/software platform, participants in the iLab Project at different levels of the educational spectrum have developed experiments that meet their individual curricular needs and are able to host them for use by other peer institutions. Not only does this increase the variety of ELVISbased iLabs, but it also spurs the creation of teams that can then build other, more diverse iLabs and substantively participate in project-wide collaborative development efforts. Through such coordinated efforts, iLabs can provide rich practical experiences for students in areas not previously possible at institutions across the educational spectrum. Figure 6 : The Dozen-Impedance configuration upon which the OpAmp Lab system under test is based.