Remote Labs Overview
Remote Laboratories are designed to allow a student or researcher to remotely conduct real experiments across the Internet. The experimental laboratory space, materials and operating equipment are in one geographical location, while the researcher is controlling experiments from a different, sometimes very distant location.
In education, remote laboratories allow students to understand scientific principles and resulting phenomena through hands-on laboratory experience, “learning by doing,” from wherever they are located. Asking questions, systematically and objectively gathering data, and testing hypotheses to find answers is the essence of scientific inquiry.
The conduct of scientific inquiry remotely has been practiced for years. Look, for example, to the many experiments conducted through NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. However, remote laboratory applications in teaching are newer, and are given significant impetus by growing research in robotics. Increasing demand for online learning similarly drives development, especially with the potential of reaching learners of all ages who are remotely located and without laboratory resources.
'iLabs' offer a new way to add science experiments to online education (Stanford News Service story)