Seamless Campus: Distance Labs (SCDL)


Embedded Systems education is a vital part of the computer engineering curriculum. Increasing numbers of students stress our lab capacities, time constraints encumber working students whereas handicapped students often have difficulties attending the lab. Our project Seamless Campus: Distance Labs (SCDL) introduces remote-teaching into our hardware-centered courses. These courses are slightly different from other programming courses that focus on the development of typical application software where setting up a development environment on the students PCs is a relatively easy task. A crucial aspect for the acceptance of remote labs is that as much as possible of the “feeling” of the on-site workplace is retained with the remote workplace setup. Within the SCDL-project we investigate the additional requirements that arise for different types of embedded system labs. Basically, we identified two different concepts for remote-teaching:

  • remote access to our existing hardware labs
  • carry-out equipment

Remote access can be accomplished with two different approaches. In the first setup we remotely control existing lab workstations whereas in the second setup remote clients directly control target boards connected to a server. Our carry-out equipment consists of self-developed hardware bundled in our "lab kits". Three central courses from our bachelor study "Technische Informatik"  are used as demonstrators. The "Digital Design" course utilizes the remote-controlled workstations approach, the "Embedded Systems Programming" course the client-server approach. For the "Microcontroller" course we developed our own hardware using the lab kit concept. The distant goal is to support time and location independent learning for all important embedded systems related laboratory courses at the Vienna University of Technology.

To support distance education, we developed a new web portal combined with a powerful backend application, called the TI - Administration system.

On the following pages you will find detailed information about the distance education approach for each of our three courses, the concepts behind and the surrounding environment. Our results have been published at several international conferences on Computer Engineering Education and you can find all documents in the "publications"-section.

Download our SCDL-Folder: 


O. Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. Ulrich Schmid - Head of Group

Ao.Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. Andreas Steininger - Digital Design course
Univ.Ass. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. Wilfried Elmenreich - Embedded System Programming course
Univ.Ass. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. Bettina Weiss - Microcontroller course

Dipl.-Ing. MMag. Markus Proske - Project Management, Concepts  (main contact)

Dipl.-Ing. Günther Gridling - Microcontroller hardware
Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Handl - Digital Design hardware/software
Dipl.-Ing. Christian Troedhandl - Microcontroller/Embedded Systems hardware/software
Veronika Zenz,  Bakk.techn. -  TI-Administration system chief programmer


Our results have been published on several international conferences on Computer Engineering Education. If you want to obtain a quick overview of our work, we recommend reading the two highlighted papers! (List of Publications in BibTeX format)

Voin Legourski, Christian Trödhandl, and Bettina Weiss. A System for Automatic Testing of Embedded Software in Undergraduate Study Exercises. In Workshop on Embedded Systems Education (WESE'05), pages 44-51, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA, September 22nd, 2005.
Bettina Weiss, Günther Gridling, and Markus Proske. A Case Study in Efficient Microcontroller Education. In Workshop on Embedded Systems Education (WESE'05), pages 36-43, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA, September 22nd, 2005.
Markus Proske, Christian Trödhandl, and Thomas Handl. Distance Labs - Embedded Systems @home. Journal of Computational Information Systems, 2(1), Hangzhou, China, 2006.
Markus Proske and Christian Trödhandl. Anytime, Everywhere - Approaches to Distance Labs in Embedded Systems Education. In International Conference on Information & Communication Technologies (ICTTA'06), Damascus, Syria, pages 205-206, April 24-28, 2006.
Günther Gridling and Bettina Weiss. A µController Lab for Distance Learning. In 6th European Workshop on Microelectronics Education (EWME'06), Stockholm, Sweden, June 8-9, 2006.
Wilfried Elmenreich, Christian Trödhandl, and Bettina Weiss. Embedded Systems Home Experimentation. In 2nd IASTED International Conference on Education and Technology (ICET'06), Calgary, Canada, July 17-19, 2006.
Bettina Weiss, Günther Gridling, Wilfried Elmenreich, and Christian Trödhandl. Embedded Systems Exams with True/False Questions: A case study. In 2nd IASTED International Conference on Education and Technology (ICET'06), Calgary, Canada, July 17-19, 2006.
Markus Proske and Veronika Zenz. Far Beyond Simple Administration. In 9th International Conference on Engineering Education (ICEE'06), pages T1A-1-T1A-6, San Juan, Puerto Rico, July 23-28, 2006.
Christian Trödhandl, Markus Proske, and Wilfried Elmenreich. Remote Target Monitoring in Embedded Systems Lab Courses using a Sensor Network. 32nd Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics (IECON'06), Paris, France, November 7-10, 2006.
Christian Trödhandl, Thomas Handl, Markus Proske, and Bettina Weiss. Environments for Remote Teaching in Embedded Systems Courses. Invited paper, DECOS/ERCIM Workshop, Euromicro 2006, Dubrovnic, Croatia, August 29, 2006.
Christian Trödhandl, Bettina Weiss, Thomas Handl, and Markus Proske. Embedded Systems Education using Remote Workplaces. Invited talk, DECOS/ERCIM Workshop, SAFECOMP 2006, Gdansk, Poland, September 26, 2006.


This work is supported by FIT-IT - Embedded Systems, grant 808210.

FIT-IT is a program of the BMVIT (Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology) in cooperation with FFG (Austrian Research Promotion Agency) and managed by Eutema (Eutema Technology Management).