QUESTNET2010 Talk on iLabs


Published on

A talk introducing remote laboratories to university IT staff from around Queensland, Australia at the QUESTNET 2010 conference, Gold Coast, Australia

Published in: Education, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

QUESTNET2010 Talk on iLabs

  1. 1. ONLINE LABORATORIES: WE BRING THE LAB TO YOU Mark Schulz Centre for Educational Innovation & Technology The University of Queensland
  2. 2. “If You Can’t Come to the Lab… the Lab Will Come to You!” Jesús del Alamo – MIT, Professor Department of EECS(Earth at 89 GHz; courtesy of J. Grahn, Chalmers U.)
  3. 3. DEFINITIONS• Physical Laboratory• Online Laboratory • Virtual Laboratory • Remote Laboratory
  4. 4. REMOTE LABORATORY • Two basic types of experiment: • Batch • Interactive
  5. 5. ILAB PROJECT AIMShared access to real experimental hardware 24 hours a day/7 days a week from anywhere on the planet
  6. 6. Heat exchanger (Chem. Microelectronics device Eng., deployed 2001) characterization (EECS, deployed 1998)Dynamic signal analyzer ELVIS (EECS, deployed 2006) ILABS AT(EECS, deployed 2004) Spectrometer (Nuclear Eng., deployed 2008) MIT Shake Table (Civil Eng., deployed 2004) Polymer Crystallization Force on a Dipole (Chem. E., (Physics, deployed 2008) deployed 2003)
  8. 8. REQUIREMENTS• Experiment must (be able to) be computerised• Must have access to the Internet• Minimal software requirement at the user end• Minimal use of consumables
  9. 9. WHY USE AREMOTE LABORATORY?• Time Accessibility • Physical Accessibility• Resource Accessibility • OH&S Issues• Location Accessibility • Scalability
  10. 10. WHEN NOT TO USE A REMOTE LABORATORY?• To replace laboratory experiments• Cheap, commonly available equipment• Replaceable consumables requiring human intervention• Continuous human intervention required• Experiment requires proximity and haptic interface• Experiment can’t be computerised
  12. 12. UQ ILABS
  15. 15. WHAT’S “UNDER THE HOOD”? • Only look at Batch Architecture
  16. 16. iLab Batched Architecture Lab Server Campus network Internet Lab ServerClient Service Broker University #1 Databases University #2 Databases
  17. 17. WHAT DOES ILAB PROVIDE?• SERVICE BROKER (web services): • user and access management (single sign-on coming) • local (institutional) management of data storage • scheduler/booking system for access management• LAB SERVER: • access given to each Service Broker • focus on running experiments
  18. 18. iLab Batched Architecture • Special purpose system specific to an experiment • Developed by domain specialist • No user management here • Verifies experiment before execution Campus network Internet Lab ServerClient Service Broker University Databases
  19. 19. iLab Batched Architecture • GUI to lab • Embodies pedagogical experience • Developed by domain specialist • Contains generic modules that are recycled: i.e. graphing, collaboration Campus network Internet Lab ServerClient Service Broker University Databases
  20. 20. iLab Batched Architecture Campus network Internet Lab ServerClient Service Broker • Serves client to student’s computer • Mediates between Client and Lab Server • Performs generic functions: user management, data storage • Single signon access to many labs University Databases • Managed by and located at end user University
  21. 21. iLab Architecture: development responsibilities Lab provider: + develops Lab ServerLab provider: + can customise modules developed at UQ• develops Lab Client + registers this with the Service Broker• registers this with Service Brokers Campus network Internet Lab Server Client Service Broker • provides generic functionality • developed by MIT, open source • has well defined web services interfaces University Databases
  22. 22. Lab provider: • manages Lab Server • sets lab policy • manages groups, not individual usersiLab Architecture:management responsibilities Campus network Internet Lab Server Client Service Broker End-user institution: • manages Service Broker • manages users (registration, authentication) University Databases responsible for user data (storage, archiving) •
  23. 23. iLabs Use Around the World Chalmers NWU Pavia Deusto Carinthia Portland MIT Parma NTU DLUT CMU AUB Cairo CCU Taipei ITESM OAU Makerere UDSM NUS Mauritius Queensland RMIT iLabs has been used by 22 universities on five continents.
  25. 25. USEFUL LINKS• 7 Things You Should Know About Remote Instrumentation• iLabCentral• Lab2Go• MIT Openilabs• UQ OpeniLabs ServiceBroker• Global Online Laboratory Consortium
  26. 26. THANK YOU • Questions?