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Integration System of Remote Robotics Laboratories (SiLaRR): Remote Laboratory of Robotics, Scalable, Versatile and Modular

Doctoral Thesis by German Carro Fernandez, presented at 31th July of 2014.

In a technological society, as the current, training should use all the tools at its disposal to extend education beyond the physical classroom or the borders of a laboratory.

The UNED from its experience has always been a pioneer in these area and from the DIEEC one of the main goals has been to bring the laboratories where the students are, without prejudice to also use them in situ.

With that goal, three years ago, the research project in the following pages began. The idea of departure finding established a system to use a laboratory; in this case; and initially; about robotics; both remotely, as in person.

As a preliminary step to this project was developed a modelling study to study the time and effort required to integrate a robotic computer on a remote laboratory environment. As a result the SICTER methodology was developed. This methodology allows to decide if the effort and cost required for the integration of a robotic equipment is admissible, or if it is preferable to acquire another robotic equipment easier to integrate. The SICTER methodology was developed as a Thesis Master in the “Master on Research in Electrical, Electronics and Industrial Control” and was successfully defended in October 2012.

This paper addressed using SICTER, and its philosophy has led into SiLaRR or, in English, System to Integration of Remote Laboratories of Robotics, the central pillar of this research. When integration of robotic equipment in remote laboratories is approached, is necessary to consider various factors of several engineering fields: communications, software development, web development, hardware control, integration of electronic equipment, send and get services for data, databases, queue management access, and many others.

Since the philosophy of this project was to simplify the installation and put into operation of remote robotic laboratories, this work has focused on finding those alternatives within the free software and hardware, and integrated them into the system whenever it has been possible, or, to develop specific tools using the philosophy of free software and hardware. Therefore SiLaRR is only a part of the final result. Many developments and innovations generated in the process could provide for themselves new challenges for research in a more comprehensive manner.

In this sense it was decided by the GPLv3 license for the development of this project, allowing disclosure and use it as a starting tool for new innovations.

The above simple installation of robotics laboratories comes from zeal to disseminate knowledge not only from an academic level, but through schools, businesses or even from individuals themselves whose hobby is robotics. Not everyone involved in education have knowledge about electronics, web development, communications, but most of they have knowledge about robotics and many want to help others to acquire such skills in real time using their robotic equipment through the provision of them as laboratories. But while the robot equipment must maintain its capacity and functionality for use in a classroom laboratory if necessary.

To do this, with SiLaRR, intrusion into the systems of the robotic equipment has been reduced to the maximum. With that idea in mind it has developed this project. Always that has been possible, the interactions with the robotic equipment have been made using low cost hardware intermediate directly, or via software. Efficiency, reuse, flexibility and scalability have been the main features of this process.

The results have shown that the value of this work does not have to be only subject to the field of robotics and on respective sections explain and demonstrate its utility for laboratories that have nothing to do with robotics. Generalization is shown as another facet of this system.

The practical utility has been demonstrated for the first time using the initial implementations of this project for: the own DIEEC International Master of RIPLECS project, TechnoMuseum project in collaboration with the University of Zaragoza and the National Museum of Science and Technology of Spain (MUNCYT), or the Go-Lab project of the 7th Framework European network, among others, and its use as a tool for other Master thesis, Grade thesis and Doctoral thesis of that department.

Again, UNED acts as a driving platform of an education without barriers and supporting this research has helped to expand the knowledge using remote laboratories of robotics on real-time from anywhere in the world with a simple Internet connection and a connected terminal from a Smartphone to a PC.

>>Download the Doctoral Thesis on Spanish

>>Download the Doctoral Thesis on English (Available soon)

You can how see the system works on this video (english):

More documentation about SiLaRR from its website:

>>Official website about SiLaRR