Particle physics experiments

The IIIT team develops a remote system to control experiments in the laboratory

Hyderabad: A team from IIIT-Hyderabad has developed a remote system with which it is possible, via a dashboard from the outside, to remotely control the physical set-up of experiments in a laboratory using sensors and actuators.

After receiving a grant for the project, a team of professors led by Dr. Venkatesh Choppella including four professors specializing in software engineering, IoT, natural sciences, and electronics and robotics came together to facilitate access to science experiments.

“We handpicked a group of sophomore undergraduates. They showed promise in their Communications Controls IoT course,” said Professor Sachin Chaudhari, who handled the software engineering aspect.

With just a browser, these labs can be controlled even from a mobile device.

The students performed various experiments in the remote mode – physics experiments such as calculating the gravitational constant g using a pendulum to find the focal length of a convex lens.

The dashboard allows students to choose the experience of their choice.

The user can modify the parameters and then save his observations. “The way the convex lens experiment works is that there is a mirror, a lens, and a screen. I can move the light source around until I get a sharp image of the light on the screen. Then I can calculate the focal length,” Professor Chaudhari said.

Live streaming of experiments and recording of outputs can also be done.

The team of students and professors are building a prototype of the project for an NGO, but they still have to solve the problem of scaling up.

“We want to make it available nationwide. For now, it will continue as a research project, where we will refine its robustness, improve its pedagogy and find ways to scale the solution,” said Professor Chaudhari.