The students performed various experiments in remote mode from physics experiments such as calculating the gravitational constant g using a pendulum to finding the focal length of a convex lens. DC Image
Hyderabad: A team of the IIIT-Hyderabad has developed a remote-system with which one can, via a dashboard from outside, remotely control the physical set-up of experiments in a laboratory through sensors and actuators.
After receiving a grant for the project, a faculty team led by Dr Venkatesh Choppella comprising four professors with expertise in software engineering, IoT, natural sciences and electronics and robotics came together to make the access to science experiments easier.
"We handpicked a bunch of second-year undergraduate students. They showed promise in their Communications Controls IoT course," said Prof. Sachin Chaudhari who dealt with the software engineering aspect.
With only a browser, these labs can be controlled from even a mobile device.
The students performed various experiments in remote mode — from physics experiments such as calculating the gravitational constant g using a pendulum to finding the focal length of a convex lens.
The dashboard let students choose the experiment of their choice.
The user can change the parameters and then record her observations. "The way the convex lens experiment works is that there’s a mirror, a lens and a screen. I can move the light source until I get a sharp image of the light on the screen. Then I can calculate the focal length," said Prof. Chaudhari.
Live streaming of experiments and recording the outputs can also be done.
The team of students and faculty is building a prototype of the project for an NGO, but they still have to address the issue of scaling.
"We want to make it available nationwide. For now, it will continue as a research project, where we will refine its robustness, improve its pedagogy and find ways to scale the solution," said Prof Chaudhari.