The design and implementation of Networked Control System Laboratory (NCSLab) 3-D which is a web-based 3-D control laboratory for remote real-time experimentation are introduced in this paper. NCSLab 3-D is built based on the NCSLab framework which supports the structure that the test rigs are located diversely in different parts of the world. In NCSLab 3-D, the test rigs are cataloged into several sublaboratories according to their functionalities. The laboratory building, sublaboratories, and test rigs are modeled in 3-D and reconstructed in a web-based interface using Flash 3-D engines. Users can "walk into" these laboratories and pick up the test rigs in a virtual reality environment similar to what they do in hands-on laboratories. During the remote experiments, the 3-D models are synchronized with the real test rigs through the network data links. Users are able to zoom in, zoom out, and rotate the 3-D models freely. Therefore, the real-time experiments can be watched from any angles. NCSLab 3-D has been applied to the control engineering education in Wuhan University, China. The results of the teaching practice show that NCSLab 3-D are able to bring great convenience to both users and maintenance personnel and improve the efficiency of the laboratory equipment significantly.
- Control engineering education
- remote laboratories
- 3-D virtual reality
- web-based applications
- LEARNING PLATFORM