Updated: Apr 2, 2020
The challenge facing engineering schools with the Corona Virus is how do we conduct lab courses online. There are two tools readily available to solve this problem.
Simulation Software and YouTube videos for a specific engineering topic
Using LabVIEW to conduct experiments remotely in the school’s lab.
Simulation and YouTube Videos
Using simulation software requires the students to have easy access to the software at a free or reasonable cost. One solution is for the instructor to provide the students with 3D models of a mechanical apparatus such as a fan, and then have the students download a product such as SIMCSALE to analyze the air flow.
Another source are YouTube video experiments, which actually have someone setting up the equipment in the lab and conducting the experiment. An example is a Fluid Mechanics experiment Flow Over Weirs. There are several similar videos available for engineering topics.
If a school has LabVIEW equipment available in their laboratory, they can conduct certain experiment remotely over the internet. An example would be a Heat Transfer experiment focused on Linear Conduction. The experiment must have a solenoid valve to control the flow of water and a controller that can interface with LabVIEW hardware. An example is the Armfield HT10CX Controller and HT11 Linear Conduction experiment. Learn more about LabVIEW and the remote control of experiments here.
Author: Ron Williams