Plug-in Free Web-Based 3-D Interactive Laboratory for Control Engineering Education

Wenshan Hu*, Zhongcheng Lei, Hong Zhou, G-P Liu, Qijun Deng, Dongguo Zhou, Zhi-Wei Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Downloads (Pure)


This paper introduces the design and implementation of a plug-in free online 3-D interactive laboratory based on networked control system laboratory (NCSLab) framework. The system relying only on HTML5 provides full supports for control engineering experimentation. The users are allowed to design their own control algorithms and apply them to the remote test rigs. Using the web-based interface, multiple widgets such as real-time charts, virtual gauges, and live images are available to customize the monitoring interfaces. To enhance the sense of immersion, 3-D animations which are synchronized with the remote experimental processes are also provided. The users can watch and interact with the remote experiments through the 3-D replicas. Various HTML5 based toolkits are integrated seamlessly under the NCSLab framework. NCSLab provides visualized services for the whole process of control experimentation including remote monitoring, tuning, configuration, and control algorithm implementation. As the network delay could disturb the 3-D representation, a communication scheme using web protocols is also implemented. The feedback from teaching shows the general acceptance and effectiveness of NCSLab is notably high. As most existing online laboratories adopt either native applications or plugins, the methodologies and technologies used in NCSLab could be insightful for other online laboratories toward webbased cross-platform systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3808-3818
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


  • Control engineering education
  • laboratories
  • online services
  • remote monitoring
  • virtual reality
  • LAB
  • EJS


Dive into the research topics of 'Plug-in Free Web-Based 3-D Interactive Laboratory for Control Engineering Education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this