Around 300 students have already benefited from using Lab@Home to carry out practical course work in the area of analogue electronics, from their homes
Practical, hands-on electronics experience is an essential requirement for telecommunications engineering students. In order to facilitate their remote learning from home or any other location, the UOC has developed an electronics circuit board that works by connecting it to a computer via a USB cable and installing the associated software. This portable lab, known as Lab@Home, has recently been patented in Spain.
The small (15 cm long, 10 cm wide and 2 cm high) circuit board is the result of a teaching innovation project that began in 2009. It is a low-cost device invented by a team from the UOC’s Faculty of Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunications. Germán Cobo, one of the project leaders, explained “its size and cost means it can be used in conjunction with a wide variety of electronics components and measurement procedures”.
The tool allows students to learn about the design and assembly of electronics circuits and how to use signal generator and measuring devices commonly found in an electronics laboratory. “Lab@Home offers a simple and practical solution for taking measurements using instruments such as an oscilloscope, as well as carrying out tests with power sources or periodic signal generators”, said Cobo.
Students doing the UOC’s Bachelor's Degree in Telecommunications Technology who are enrolled on its Circuit Theory and Electronic Circuits courses will receive this portable laboratory at the beginning of the semester as part of their learning materials. Carlos Monzo , another of the project leaders, pointed out “so far the circuit board has already been used by around 300 students and the general feedback has been very positive because it allows students to combine the course's theory and practical elements, and improves the learning process, all in a completely online environment”.
Lab@Home has now been patented with the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office as a Device for the assembly and measurement of at least one electronics circuit and procedure, software program, system and computer system for management of the device. The patent grants the UOC exclusive rights over the invention for a period of twenty years.
Together with Cobo and Monzo, UOC Faculty of Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunications professors David García Solórzano, Jose Antonio Morán Moreno and Eugènia Santamaria Pérez were also involved in the development of the circuit board.
Carles Monzo Sánchez
Professor in the Faculty of Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunications
Director of the Postgraduate Course on Smart Cities; Cities and Technology
Expert in: Smart cities, teaching labs on electronics and telecommunications, signal processing, and telecommunications and e-learning systems.
Knowledge area: Smart cities, telecommunications systems and e-learning.