The aim of this project is to develop a web-based control laboratory to serve undergraduate students in the Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering at The University of Auckland.

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Interim Report, Final Year Research Project 2011

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering

Declaration of Originality

This report is my own unaided work and was not copied from or written in collaboration with any other person.


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand



During the learning process as an electrical engineering student, it is a requirement for students to participant in different practical laboratory experiments. It is often that students are unable to complete the experiment in a satisfactorily level. This may due to time, locations and resource (equipment and staff) constraints. To solve these issues, it is necessarily to introduce a web-based laboratory that students are able to access anytime in any locations. In this report, a proposed web-based control laboratory will be discussed.

  1. Introduction

Web-based laboratories have already been developed in universities around the world, because of its advantages of being able to conduct the real experiment at any time with unlimited access in any locations. It will also save a lot of equipment being use at a time and laboratory instructors.

     With all these benefits from the web-based laboratory, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Auckland has decided to propose a research project which develops a web-based control laboratory. The developed web-based control laboratory will benefit the undergraduate students within the department.

     During the development of the web-based control laboratory, it has been considered that both software and hardware designs are necessarily. This report will discuss the background of traditional laboratory versus web-based laboratory in Section 2; Section 3 will define the project objectives and requirements. Section 4 will address the proposed solution with brief descriptions of the software and hardware implementations. Section 5 will discuss the results that have been achieved up to the current stage. In Section 6 will outline the future work that needs to be untaken over the next couple of weeks and finally a conclusions will finish off in Section 7.

  1. Background

For traditional laboratory experiments, students required to attend in a scheduled time slot and location where multiple sets of instruments and instructors are require. Students very often are unable to complete their experiment satisfactorily within the time period. The reasons being may due to different ability level of students, or lack of instruments and instructors in the laboratory [1].

     Introducing a web-based laboratory will resolve these issues. This will enable students an unlimited access to the experiment in any location with a computer connected to the internet.

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     Since a web-based laboratory has so many benefits over the traditional laboratory experiment. Different web-based laboratories have already been developed by universities over the world.

     In general, a web-based laboratory allows users to conduct the experiment by connecting to the server through the internet, which the server is controlling the real experiment in the laboratory.

     In Figure 1 below illustrates the block diagram of a general web-based laboratory. Users are students who conduct the experiment. They are connected to the server through the internet. The server hosts the web page of the experiment with ...

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