Work in Progress: A Booking System for Remote Laboratories – The EXPLORE Energy Digital Academy (EEDA) case study

Abstract: Remote Laboratories are an important tool for digital education, allowing learners worldwide to get a close to real laboratory experimental experience. There is a large body of research in online and Remote Labs, but little attention has been given to defining a service ensuring exclusive access to remote laboratory equipment. Most Remote Labs do not check for exclusive access, thus allowing simultaneous users to interfere with each other. As such, existing systems are mostly for internal institutional use, not for global collaborative use with users from different institutions, countries, and time zones. This paper describes Book4RLab, a new general-purpose Booking System for Remote Labs, providing a secure and flexible interface for any Remote Lab to handle individual slot reservations. The Booking System requires only a small modification of existing server and client-side software. We describe the overall architecture and the Representational State Transfer (REST) Application Programming Interface (API) to use the Booking System. As a case study, we describe its use in the context of the EXPLORE Energy Digital Academy (EEDA), a growing international network for open digital education programs in the energy area, where 14 Remote Labs are under development in 4 countries.

Presenter: Alex Villazón

Conference: REV2022 – 20th International Conference on Remote Engineering and Virtual Instrumentation

Location: Thessaloniki, Greece

Date: 1 – 3 March, 2023


Automatic selection of reference lines for spectrometer calibration with Deep Learning

Abstract: Instrument calibration is a critical but time-consuming process in many scientific fields. In this paper, we present an approach using Deep Learning, with Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) for automatically detecting reference lines required to calibrate a spectrometer with well-known wavelengths of mercury and neon spectra. To train the neural network, we collect a dataset of spectral images by taking images with cameras of different resolutions. Moreover, we prove that RNNs can learn to predict spectra lines in the calibration process with high precision. We match spectrometer measurements to their corresponding wavelengths by fitting a polynomial with these predicted reference lines. We validate our method using a 3D-printed spectrometer and compare the results with the NIST atomic spectra database. The automatic selection of neon or mercury reference lines helps the calibration procedure to become faster, thus avoiding any manual selection. Our proposed technique is suitable for spectrometry applications where the speed is critical and the calibration process needs to be performed frequently.

Presenter: Angel Zenteno

Conference: Smart Tech – IC 2022 – Third International Conference on Smart Technologies, Systems and Applications

Location: Cuenca, Ecuador

Date: 16 – 18 November, 2022


Development of Remote Laboratories: EUBBC-Digital

Alex Villazón PhD, director del CINTI-UPB, y Omar Ormachea PhD, director del CIOE-UPB (conectado de manera remota), expusieron los avances del proyecto e hicieron una demostración en vivo del Primer Laboratorio Remoto de Bolivia (Spectrometry Remote Laboratory), desarrollado por los centros de investigación que dirigen.

Presenter: Alex Villazon & Omar Ormachea

Meeting: EUSL Energy M30 & EUBBC-Digital M18.

Location: Twente, Netherlands

Date: 13 – 17 June, 2022


EUSL-Energy M25 Meeting: Development of Remote Laboratories: EUBBC-Digital

Abstract: We present an overview of the Remote Laboratories under development within the EUBBC-Digital Project. Then we present the latest developments of the Spectrometry Remote Laboratory under development by the UPB Team, which leverages an in-house low-cost smartphone spectrometer technology, the architecture of the remote lab, and a demo (video) of the use of Machine Learning for automatic calibration of the smartphone spectrometer and also the Web App interface. Finally, we present a proposal for a Remote Lab Booking System under development at UPB, that could be used by all Remote Labs in both EUBBC-Digital and EUSL-Energy projects.

Presenters: Omar Ormachea and Alex Villazon

Meeting: EUSL-Energy M25 Consortium Meeting

Location: Negombo and Kandy, Sri Lanka

Date: 07 – 11 March, 2022


A Low-Cost Spectrometry Remote Laboratory

Abstract: The Covid-19 has precipitated the digital transformation in education worldwide and has exposed weaknesses and limitations in laboratory and experimental activities, mainly in the field of engineering.

In this paper, we describe how we adapted our low-cost spectrometry technology (which is based on a 3D-printed mini-spectrometer and a smartphone) to deploy a remote laboratory as a rapid solution, due to the impossibility of using conventional and costly spectrometers, which work only for on-campus learning. This adaptation was helpful, not only to have several spectrometers available for a higher number of students but also to allow teachers to prepare asynchronous activities that can be realized without their presence. We applied Internet of Things (IoT) technology for remotely controlling the experiments and used Machine Learning to automatically calibrate our low-cost smartphone spectrometer.

Presenter: Alex Villazon

Conference: REV2022 – 19th International Conference on Remote Engineering and Virtual Instrumentation

Location: Cairo, Egypt

Date: 28 February – 02 March, 2022