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(Management Application for Remote Internet Experiments)

Application Description

Many people are looking for a solution to remotely control a real process. For example, recording a webcam for tracking purposes, turning on the heating before the weekend arrives, and so on. Of course, there are many professional solutions available today, such as GSM-based modules. However, our aim was to create application solutions that could be used to remotely control physical experiments via the Internet. Thus, controlled experiments are called remote laboratory, which can be used for both direct teaching and independent homework for students. Nowadays there are several solutions for creating remote laboratories, but most of them are very expensive (tens of thousands of CZK per order). Therefore, our goal was to create a low-cost solution that would be useful for most of the necessary applications, achieve similar parameters as previously known solutions, but due to its poor financial performance should be able to be used by authors without the necessary financial background. It is understandable that this solution is not so much "comfort" and a large part of the money saved will have a creator-developer issue in the form of their efforts.

K8055-MARIE web page
Figure 1 – Remote control of the Velleman K8055 USB board from the demo website

Developed by us, K8055-MARIE (Management Application for Remote Internet Experiments) is an application that allows remote (Internet) management of the K8055 USB Experimental Board (see Figure 1). The K8055 Universal Experimental Board is a professional product from Velleman, the board has five digital inputs (two counters with function), two analogue inputs (with attenuation and gain), eight digital outputs and two analogue outputs (both voltage and pulse width modulated). The board is powered directly from the PC's USB port. From a technical point of view, the K8055 board is more than adequate as an extension to the classic PC input/output options. The board is supplied in the form of an electronic kit (900 CZK) or as a ready-made module (1500 CZK). The board is of course supplied with control software including DLL libraries for the development of custom applications.

K8055-MARIE connection
Figure 2 – Diagram of K8055-MARIE applications and client communication

The K8055-MARIE application has been developed (on the original control DLL) for remote control of the K8055 board. This application allows full control of USB experimental boards K8055, i.e. analogue and digital outputs, analogue and digital load inputs, working with the parameters of the counters. The K8055-MARIE application runs on a computer to which the K8055 board is connected, and using web pages on the web server, you can remotely control the K8055 board (Fig. 2).