Special Issue "Online Experimentation and the IoE"

A special issue of Information (ISSN 2078-2489). This special issue belongs to the section "Information Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 June 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Maria Teresa Restivo
Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Porto, 4099-002 Porto, Portugal
Interests: measurement and metrology; smart instrumented devices for e-health; AR and VR and augmented feedback apps for smart devices; artificial intelligence apps for smart devices; online experimentation using emerging technologies in training and in education; online experimentation and the OiE and society
Prof. Dr. Alberto Cardoso
Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Informatics Engineering, University of Coimbra, Pólo II da Universidade de Coimbra, 3030-290 Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: intelligent systems; data analytics; wireless sensor networks; sensor data fusion; geographic information systems; soft computing; supervision and fault diagnosis; reconfiguration and fault tolerant control
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Information will be publishing extended versions of the most relevant papers presented at the [email protected] Conference 2019 (exp.at’19), dedicated to online experimentation.

exp.at’19 aims to bring together engineers, researchers and industry and health professionals, promoting interactions and contributing to the advancement of science and technology in remote and virtual experiments, smart devices, communication protocols, web interface design, intelligent tutoring systems, collaborative digital environments and virtual and augmented reality, haptics and sensorial device interactions. Many of these subjects are in line with the needs of Industry 4.0.

Automotive control and online experimentation in control, air quality monitoring, remote and digital pneumatics, ocean monitoring, immersive systems and sensorial stimulation, machine learning applications in engineering, smart technologies and interactive media for health, online resources in biomedical engineering and online experimentation in science and engineering education are examples of special focus tracks that were covered at exp.at’19. These special tracks are important seeds to promote contents that are within the general scope of Information.

Prof. Dr. Maria Teresa Restivo
Prof. Dr. Alberto Cardoso
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Information is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Online experimentation
  • Information processes
  • Information applications
  • Information and communications technology

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Active Disturbance Rejection Control for DC Motor Laboratory Plant Learning Object
Information 2020, 11(3), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11030151 - 12 Mar 2020
Abstract
The paper deals with learning objects for introductory modeling of simple dynamical systems and design of controllers with disturbance observer-based integral action. They can be used to illustrate the design process of state controllers, state and disturbance observers, as well as to get [...] Read more.
The paper deals with learning objects for introductory modeling of simple dynamical systems and design of controllers with disturbance observer-based integral action. They can be used to illustrate the design process of state controllers, state and disturbance observers, as well as to get in touch with a popular approach called active disturbance rejection control (ADRC). In both cases, external disturbances along with errors resulting from model inaccuracies are reconstructed using the extended state observer (ESO). In addition to simulation and design of regulators and observers in Matlab/Simulink, the learning objects focus on the development of relevant terminology and competencies in the field of simulation, modeling and experimentation in traditional laboratories, with the support of LMS Moodle and remote control. The main innovativeness of the paper is to clarify the relationship of ADRC to the traditional state space controllers design and modeling by using two types of linear models approximating controlled nonlinear systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Online Experimentation and the IoE)
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Open AccessArticle
A Generic WebLab Control Tuning Experience Using the Ball and Beam Process and Multiobjective Optimization Approach
Information 2020, 11(3), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11030132 - 27 Feb 2020
Abstract
In control engineering education, the possibility of using a real control system in the learning process motivates professors to improve both students’ knowledge and skills, thus avoiding an approach only based on control theory. While considering that control engineering laboratories are expensive, mainly [...] Read more.
In control engineering education, the possibility of using a real control system in the learning process motivates professors to improve both students’ knowledge and skills, thus avoiding an approach only based on control theory. While considering that control engineering laboratories are expensive, mainly because educational plants should reproduce classical problems that are found in the industry, the use of virtual laboratories appears as an interesting strategy for reducing costs and improving the diversity of experiments. In this research, remote experimentation was assumed regarding the ball and beam process as an alternative didactic methodology. While assuming a nonlinear and unstable open-loop process, this study presents how students should proceed to control the plant focusing on the topic that is associated with multiobjective optimization. Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) controller was tuned considering the Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm (NSGA-II) to illustrate the WebLab learning procedures described in this research. The proposed strategy was compared to the Åström’s robust loop shaping method to emphasize the performance of the multiobjective optimization technique. Analyzing the feedback provided by the students, remote experimentation can be seen as an interesting approach for the future of engineering learning, once it can be directly associated with industry demand of connected machines and real-time information analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Online Experimentation and the IoE)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Development of Control Experiments for an Online Laboratory System
Information 2020, 11(3), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11030131 - 27 Feb 2020
Abstract
Remote experiments have been gaining a lot of popularity over the last years. They are available for many areas including control education. The majority of laboratories available via the Internet were developed from scratch and lack modularity, which enables their easier adaptation. Crucially, [...] Read more.
Remote experiments have been gaining a lot of popularity over the last years. They are available for many areas including control education. The majority of laboratories available via the Internet were developed from scratch and lack modularity, which enables their easier adaptation. Crucially, the diversity of experiments that can be performed on a single device is quite limited. Along with the prospect of simple integration of new devices and simulation environments, this approach presents a way to more effectively utilize the available resources. The presented online laboratory system offers a possibility of an easy integration of new control experiments to the online environment. It allows users to define selected variables inside their block diagrams, upload them to the system and later initialize them within the system’s graphical user interface. The system was tested on a new developed air levitation plant that can be controlled via Matlab simulation environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Online Experimentation and the IoE)
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Open AccessArticle
Gamifying Motor Rehabilitation Therapies: Challenges and Opportunities of Immersive Technologies
Information 2020, 11(2), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11020088 - 07 Feb 2020
Abstract
Recovering from a traumatic incident (e.g, a stroke) implies rigorous and demanding therapies to ensure recovery of the lost capabilities. Due to the lack of short-term visible results, stroke patients tend to lose interest in their recovery process and frequently do not follow [...] Read more.
Recovering from a traumatic incident (e.g, a stroke) implies rigorous and demanding therapies to ensure recovery of the lost capabilities. Due to the lack of short-term visible results, stroke patients tend to lose interest in their recovery process and frequently do not follow their therapists’ suggestions to continue performing their training at home, between physiotherapy sessions. This article explores the extent to which common computer games or specifically crafted games can serve as a rehabilitation practice, but also how conventional therapeutic devices might be transformed to be incorporated into games. Furthermore, we propose a platform that follows the opportunity of creating serious games that are designed for stroke patients with reduced upper limb mobility while following the same principles of common therapeutic procedures. This platform was carefully built with the purpose of allowing patients to comply tele-rehabilitation and promoting the execution of the recommended training at home. Following these ideas, we integrated two carefully designed games that have been tested and validated in our previous works, and we added a top-layer characterized by an online back-end application for therapists that allows them to observe their patients’ progress over time and draw different conclusions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Online Experimentation and the IoE)
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Open AccessArticle
Model and Experimental Characteristics of a Pneumatic Linear Peristaltic Actuator
Information 2020, 11(2), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11020076 - 30 Jan 2020
Abstract
Pneumatic linear peristaltic actuators present several potential advantages over conventional ones such as low cost, virtually unlimited stroke, and an easy implementation of curved motion profiles. However, the body of this type of actuators also suffers from high mechanical stress, leading to a [...] Read more.
Pneumatic linear peristaltic actuators present several potential advantages over conventional ones such as low cost, virtually unlimited stroke, and an easy implementation of curved motion profiles. However, the body of this type of actuators also suffers from high mechanical stress, leading to a decrease in the hose wall thickness, which leads to increased leakages between chambers. One way to potentially minimize this problem is to impose the force instead of the displacement between rollers. This paper describes the model and experimental characteristics of a new prototype of a linear pneumatic peristaltic actuator where either the force or the displacement between rollers can be imposed. Namely, experimental friction characteristics and the leakage between chambers are determined in the configuration where the force between rollers is imposed. Lastly, a third-order linear model is experimentally identified. Therefore, this study establishes the basis for future research focused on the service life and leakage obtained whenever the force between rollers is imposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Online Experimentation and the IoE)
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Open AccessArticle
Online Plasma Diagnostics in the Remote Spectroscopy Laboratory for Practical Training and Experimental Research
Information 2020, 11(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11010009 - 21 Dec 2019
Abstract
This paper deals with an integrated Internet-based education laboratory that allows both practical lab sessions and full-blown research projects to be carried out using state-of-the-art experimental facilities. The setup of a system that controls lab equipment via a global computer network is described, [...] Read more.
This paper deals with an integrated Internet-based education laboratory that allows both practical lab sessions and full-blown research projects to be carried out using state-of-the-art experimental facilities. The setup of a system that controls lab equipment via a global computer network is described, and a distributed hardware and software control facility supporting remote lab operations is considered in terms of its structural arrangement and component interaction. We present a computer-aided dispatch-and-information system that allows students to generate their own experiment scenarios, conduct experiments remotely, and store/process experimental results from their personal cabinets. We also discuss the peculiarities of developing a computerized system to support plasma spectroscopy hands-on education and research. Further emphasis is given to the laboratory modernization, regarding both hardware and result processing software. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Online Experimentation and the IoE)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of an Electrohydraulic Variable Buoyancy System
Information 2019, 10(12), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/info10120396 - 17 Dec 2019
Abstract
The growing needs in exploring ocean resources have been pushing the length and complexity of autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) missions, leading to more stringent energy requirements. A promising approach to reduce the energy consumption of AUVs is to use variable buoyancy systems (VBSs) [...] Read more.
The growing needs in exploring ocean resources have been pushing the length and complexity of autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) missions, leading to more stringent energy requirements. A promising approach to reduce the energy consumption of AUVs is to use variable buoyancy systems (VBSs) as a replacement or complement to thruster action, since VBSs only require energy consumption during limited periods of time to control the vehicle’s floatation. This paper presents the development of an electrohydraulic VBS to be included in an existing AUV for shallow depths of up to 100 m. The device’s preliminary mechanical design is presented, and a mathematical model of the device’s power consumption is developed, based on data provided by the manufacturer. Taking a standard mission profile as an example, a comparison between the energy consumed using thrusters and the designed VBS is presented and compared. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Online Experimentation and the IoE)
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Other

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Open AccessConcept Paper
Screening System for Cardiac Problems through Non-Invasive Identification of Blood Pressure Waveform
Information 2020, 11(3), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11030150 - 10 Mar 2020
Abstract
This paper presents the initial development of a non-invasive system for identification of the pulse pressure waveform to be used for screening cardiac problems. The system employs a tonometric method using an off-the-shelf force sensor and custom-designed electronic circuits. Initial results on the [...] Read more.
This paper presents the initial development of a non-invasive system for identification of the pulse pressure waveform to be used for screening cardiac problems. The system employs a tonometric method using an off-the-shelf force sensor and custom-designed electronic circuits. Initial results on the use of the system are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Online Experimentation and the IoE)
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