First steps on the way to a remote-controlled laboratory: Until now, the RFID measuring chamber was only accessible to local students, but in the future the laboratory should also be able to be operated from other locations. For this purpose, a robot arm has now been installed, which can place and remove the RFID transponders (tags) in/from the measuring chamber.
The exact locations of the tags and the coordinates of the measuring chamber were programmed into the artificial arm. In the current test mode, the user can choose between two tags, but theoretically, any number of transponders can be selected.
The robot is operated via a local computer. There the user can send text commands, such as “tag1”, to have the transponder at position 1 transported into the chamber. After the measurement, the “tag1finished” command starts the removal process of the tag back to position 1. While these commands currently have to be entered manually, this will be done automatically via the DigiLab4U platform in the future.
However, the robot arm is only one component. Until the laboratory can be completely remotely controlled, the door of the measuring chamber will be enhanced to open and close automatically. In addition, the installation of a webcam should enable the experiments to be monitored. Other topics are currently safety and security, as well as the networking of all components.