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Remote learning has been an increasingly growing field in the last two decades. The Internet development, as well as the increase in PC's capabilities and bandwidth capacity, has made remote learning through the internet a convenient learning preference, leading to a variety of new interfaces and methods. In this work, we consider a remote learning interface, developed in a Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) Laboratory, and evaluate the contribution of different interface components to the overall performance and learning ability of end users. The evaluated components are the control method of the robotic arm and the use of a three-dimensional simulation tool before and during the execution of a robotic task. An experiment is designed and executed, comparing alternative interface designs for remote learning of robotic operation. A teleoperation task was given to 120 engineering students through five semesters. The number of steps required for completing the task, the number of errors during the execution, and the improvement rate during the execution were measured and analyzed. The results provide guidelines for a better design of an interface for remote learning of robotic operation. The main contribution of this paper is in the introduction of a new teaching tool for laboratories and the supplied guidelines for an efficient design of such tools.
Date of Publication: Oct.-Dec. 2011