Remote experimentation

The CMU Virtual Lab instructs students in the practical application of Remote Experimentation...
Remote Access
Accessing a computer over a network from a remote location. Remote access connections often limit the types of tasks the user can perform. They rarely allow actions to be performed on devices other than the computer's hardware.

Remote Experimentation
Performing experiments from a remote location. This is an extension of remote access that allows interaction with the physical world. This action is effected by electronic control and monitoring systems external to, but controlled by, the computer. The combined system of computer and external devices allows the user to control anything attached to the computer as if the user were at the computer's location.

The Virtual Lab gives students instruction in engineering and the use of instruments while exposing them to the application and issues of remote experimentation. These principles are important because...

The virtual laboratory concept allows people access to resources they don't have. Engineers and scientists can use large and expensive pieces of equipment from their own office, reducing travel expenses and allowing access to larger numbers of people.
Manufacturing engineers can update product line equipment and correct manufacturing line problems from their office.
Support engineers can troubleshoot and configure products without visiting the site, once again saving time and expense while speeding up customer service.
Humanity can explore space, the ocean, volcanoes... places we would not normally be able to go because travel is not physically possible.

The concept of the Virtual Lab arose out of these future internet possibilities.

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