Weblab: a framework for remote laboratories
Remote laboratories have been proposed and implemented in the past to address a number of issues, namely wider access to high-end expensive experiments, safety, and better resource utilization. However, the existing projects are designed for specific knowledge domains, and normally run in a dedicated access mode. There is a pressing need to share the limited laboratory resources of the academic institutions in India among the universities. Studies have suggested that most of the Indian universities have basic computing and Internet facility. In this work we propose a web-based 3-tier architecture (WebLab) that provides shared batch mode access to the experiments over low-bandwidth network to maximize the laboratory utilization. A generic experiment is modeled as a set of inputs, outputs, and constraints. A lab/experiment registration toolkit is designed to capture the metadata for the labs and experiments. This allows for a rapid and standardized integration of the experiments with the WebLab. A proof of concept lab is implemented on this architecture.
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