Web-based 3D Interactive Virtual Control Laboratory Based on NCSLab Framework


  • Wenshan Hu Wuhan University
  • Hong Zhou Wuhan University
  • Zhi-Wei Liu Wuhan University
  • Liang Zhong Wuhan University




Web and internet services, virtual reality, student experiments, control engineering education


In this paper, the design and implementation of a web-based 3D virtual control laboratory with user interaction is introduced. The proposed system is based on NCSLab framework which has a six-tier distributed structure. Users are able to access diversely located resources through a unified user interface. In order to maximum the users’ sense of immersion during the virtual experiments, the 3D models of the practical test rigs are reconstructed in the users’ web-browsers. The 3D images are synchronized with the remote real-time simulation on the server side through the internet data link, so the users are able to sense how the experiment procedures are going on. Moreover, the users are also allowed to interact with the virtual devices. They can operate on the virtual test rigs using the mice and keyboards like turning on/off a switch and changing the valve positions etc. These interactivities are uploaded to the server side where the corresponding internal parameters are updated automatically. The system implementation and deployment such as the 3D web-based interface, 3D modelling, mathematical modelling and internet based communication among the clients, servers and control units are explained in details. To illustrate how a given experimental process is integrated in the system, a classic coupled tank test rig is selected as an example at the end of the paper.

Author Biographies

Wenshan Hu, Wuhan University

Wenshan Hu received his B.S and M.Sc degrees in control theory and applications from Wuhan University, Wuhan, China, in 2002 and 2004, respectively and his Ph.D degree in control engineering from University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, U.K, in 2008. He was a visiting research fellow at Faculty of Advanced Technology, University of Glamorgan, U.K. during 2008-2010. In June 2010, he joined Department of Automation, Wuhan University as an associate professor. His main research interests include networked control systems and network-based control laboratories.

Hong Zhou, Wuhan University

Hong Zhou received his B.S. degree from Central South University of Technology (now the Central South University), China in 1982, his M.Sc degree from Chongqing University, China in 1988, and his Ph.D degree in Wuhan University, China in 2006. He was an assistant engineer in Changshou Power Plant, Chongqing, China during 1982-1985. He has been with Wuhan University of Hydraulic and Electrical Engineering (now a part of Wuhan University) since 1992. He was the head of the Department of Automation, Wuhan University during 2002-2006 and has been professor in the department since 2000. He has worked on more than 30 academic research and industrial technology projects. His main research interests are smart grid and networked control systems.




How to Cite

Hu, W., Zhou, H., Liu, Z.-W., & Zhong, L. (2014). Web-based 3D Interactive Virtual Control Laboratory Based on NCSLab Framework. International Journal of Online and Biomedical Engineering (iJOE), 10(6), pp. 10–18. https://doi.org/10.3991/ijoe.v10i6.3845