Remotely accessible laboratory for MEMS testing

Ganapathy Sivakumar, Matthew Mulsow, Aaron Melinger, Shelby Lacouture, Tim E. Dallas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


We report on the construction of a remotely accessible and interactive laboratory for testing microdevices (aka: MicroElectroMechancial Systems - MEMS). Enabling expanded utilization of microdevices for research, commercial, and educational purposes is very important for driving the creation of future MEMS devices and applications. Unfortunately, the relatively high costs associated with MEMS devices and testing infrastructure makes widespread access to the world of MEMS difficult. The creation of a virtual lab to control and actuate MEMS devices over the internet helps spread knowledge to a larger audience. A host laboratory has been established that contains a digital microscope, microdevices, controllers, and computers that can be logged into through the internet. The overall layout of the tele-operated MEMS laboratory system can be divided into two major parts: the server side and the client side. The server-side is present at Texas Tech University, and hosts a server machine that runs the Linux operating system and is used for interfacing the MEMS lab with the outside world via internet. The controls from the clients are transferred to the lab side through the server interface. The server interacts with the electronics required to drive the MEMS devices using a range of National Instruments hardware and LabView Virtual Instruments. An optical microscope (100 ×) with a CCD video camera is used to capture images of the operating MEMS. The server broadcasts the live video stream over the internet to the clients through the website. When the button is pressed on the website, the MEMS device responds and the video stream shows the movement in close to real time.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReliability, Packaging, Testing, and Characterization of MEMS/MOEMS and Nanodevices IX
StatePublished - 2010
EventReliability, Packaging, Testing, and Characterization of MEMS/MOEMS and Nanodevices IX - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 25 2010Jan 26 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceReliability, Packaging, Testing, and Characterization of MEMS/MOEMS and Nanodevices IX
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • Education
  • MEMS
  • Remote instrumentation


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