The Institute - June 2021 - 65

Rania Hussein, an assistant professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, is shown with the Intel field-programmable gate
array remote laboratory at the school. Students use a Web browser to test their hardware designs on the boards.
Online Labs Give
Remote Learners
Hands-On Experience
More than 100 universities are
running LabsLand's experiments
have grown in popularity now
that schools around the world are
conducting classes remotely or
restricting the number of students
on campus because of the COVID-19
pandemic. The remote options allow
students access to a physical laboratory
to conduct experiments. They are real
labs, not simulations; students use
actual hardware and software.
Some universities have their own
remote labs, while others are using
ones offered by LabsLand, a startup
with offices in Bilbao, Spain, and
St. Louis.
The company provides preuniversity
schools and colleges with access
to a network of 30 university labs that
cover six topics: biology, chemistry,
electronics, physics, robotics, and
Students can learn how to program
an Arduino Uno board, for example,
or experiment with principles of
analogic electronics.
LabsLand and its partner universities
use cameras, sensors, and other
equipment to enable students to monitor
and interact with the laboratory
setups. The students use Web-based
interfaces designed by LabsLand.
The company also can build labs for
schools and provide technical support for
those that operate their own remote lab.
The startup's labs can be integrated
with learning platforms such as Blackboard,
Canvas, Classroom, and Moodle.
LabsLand provides analytics
programs so instructors can monitor
their students' progress.
Schools pay a subscription fee
for the use of the lab network, but
LabsLand provided free access to its
labs from March to September 2020.
Since October it has been offering
discounts on its subscriptions in
certain circumstances.
The startup's founders are IEEE
Senior Members Pablo Orduña and
Luis Rodriguez-Gil.
" Our labs [were] used more than
200,000 times in 2020 by 120 universities, "
Orduña says. " Students are
remotely able to upload their code and
run it. They're able to move switches
and touch key pads and see the effect
in real time of what's happening in the
hardware. "
Companies have also expressed
interest. Orduña reports that Intel
recently started exploring using
LabsLand in its workshops.
JUNE 2021

The Institute - June 2021

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