Addressing low cost remote laboratories through federation protocols: Fish tank remote laboratory


A remote laboratory is a software and hardware tool which enables students to use real equipment -located in an educational institution- through the Internet. This way, students can experiment as if they were using the laboratories with their own hands. There are usually two approaches when designing remote laboratories: relying on small, inexpensive devices that can be deployed anywhere or relying software rich software infrastructures that support high load of users, providing panel administration, access to other institutional servers (e.g. directories such as Lightweight Directory Access Protocol “LDAP”), etc. With distributed remote laboratory architectures, it is possible to have the laboratory server on the former approach, but the management usually relies on the latter. In certain entities, such as secondary schools or farm schools, they may not be willing to buy and maintain a dedicated server for remote laboratories, and therefore the former approach is more adequate. However, a tradeoff is being made between management capabilities and how easy is to deploy the system. This contribution shows how federation could help in solving this tradeoff, and it uses a real fish tank remote laboratory as a case study.