Embedded Systems Home Experimentation

W. Elmenreich, C. Trödhandl, and B. Weiss (Austria)


embedded systems, distance learning, Knoppix.


To cope with increasing numbers of students in embedded courses, providing means for distant learning from the stu dent’s homeplace is an appealing idea. This paper1 presents two approaches for experimentation with real embedded hardware at the student’s homeplace. In the labkit ap proach, the students receive a media bag with hardware and software that can be used at their computer at home. In the remote workplace approach the students connect to a target board via a server on the Internet. An evaluation of two case studies shows that both ways have their justification. Functional requirements like accessibility to wiring, Internet access, and tutor support have to be taken into account. Which approach is more eco nomical depends mainly on the cost of a single board: if a single board is rather cheap a labkit approach is favorable; if a single board is more expensive the remote workplace approach is better.

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