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Virtual Instrument Systems in Reality (VISIR) for Remote Wiring and Measurement of Electronic Circuits on Breadboard

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12 Author(s)
Mohamed Tawfik ; Spanish University for Distance Education-UNED, Madrid ; Elio Sancristobal ; Sergio Martin ; Rosario Gil
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This paper reports on a state-of-the-art remote laboratory project called Virtual Instrument Systems in Reality (VISIR). VISIR allows wiring and measuring of electronic circuits remotely on a virtual workbench that replicates physical circuit breadboards. The wiring mechanism is developed by means of a relay switching matrix connected to a PCI eXtensions for Instrumentation (PXI) instrumentation platform. The entire equipment is controlled by LabVIEW server software, in addition to a measurement server software that protects the equipment from hazard connections by verifying input circuit designs, sent by students, before being executed. This paper addresses other approaches such as remote labs based on Data Acquisition Cards (DAQs), NetLab, and RemotElectLab, comparing them with VISIR in order to emphasize its singularity. Topics discussed are as follows: the technical description, software, operation cycle, features, and provided services. In addition, the feedback received by students at several universities and the encountered drawbacks along with the proposed solutions are highlighted. The paper finally addresses the ongoing and future challenges within the VISIR community including its integration with Learning Management Systems (LMSs) and iLab Shared Architecture (ISA), its new hardware version release that is based on LAN eXtensions for Instrumentation (LXI), and its new open platform version that supports federated access.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 1 )