Teleoplogis, an innovative teleoperated lab for teaching and research­

Academics at the University Autónoma de Occidente (UAO) in Cali, Colombia and the Laboratory of Automation of Manufacturing Systems at the Technological Institute and Higher Studies (ITESM), in Monterrey, Mexico were the driving force behind a collaborative project that has seen little-used cells of machinery reinvented as a shared remote manufacturing teaching and research tool for industrial engineers.

Universities in Colombia and Mexico collaborate to drive innovation in industrial engineering

Educating with technology

The project created Teleoplogis, the Teleoperated Logistics Operations Laboratory, which provides students at both institutions with remote access to technological tools that allow them to recreate activities they will encounter in their professional lives.

“Many of them asked us for simulations or representations of the processes, so now we have simulations on our website. They can also program certain aspects of the cell, which has generated satisfaction, “said Maritza Correa Valencia, an industrial engineer and doctor of information technology, who is currently Director of Postgraduate Courses at the Engineering Faculty of the UAO.

Remote access to the laboratory’s co-located cells for teaching manufacturing is enabled by research network connectivity. In order for the laboratory to be operated remotely and without inconvenience, a high-speed connection to Red CUDI, the University Corporation for Internet Development in Mexico is used, and this is connected to the regional Latin American Cooperation of Advanced Networks, RedCLARA, and to the Academic Network of Advanced Technology RENATA and the RUAV Association in Colombia.

A new phase

“Now, the idea is to propose a second stage of the project, involving UAO computer engineers and multimedia engineers, for the development of a more interactive and secure web platform in programming environments, and to make TV-operation of the cells available to our university community, even with the use of mobile devices,” said Alexánder Aragón, a laboratory instructor and professor at the University’s faculty of engineering, who is also part of the project and has developed the project website.

Likewise, it will be necessary to develop a protocol that allows the cell to be reserved, and, in addition, the provision of technical support for users.

Also in the pipeline is enabling students from the university, who are abroad, remote access to work with the machinery, regardless of the time difference that exists.

“Our practices are very specific for some subjects, so we thought that initially we could share them with the colleagues who use this same approach. However, access would not be open to everyone, since our university community is very large, and we must prioritize it. Contact with Mexico is indispensable, “said engineer Aragón.

Going forward, the intention is for the project to continue collaborating with the the institutions with which they can exchange services, as well as conduct joint research, to generate new developments and attract benefits for the entire academic community.

Teleplogis in action

Watch videos of the Teleoplogis in action:

Published: 11/2016

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