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The UOC has patented a device for performing practical exercises remotely, involving control of real electronic circuits

Other potential applications include controlling home automation systems, such as lighting or heating

The UOC has patented in Spain a new device that allows students to experience first-hand what it’s like to remotely control electronic circuits containing real components. The invention “allows students to connect different electronic components located at the University, changing their settings, switching or turning them off”, explained Carlos Monzo, from the Faculty of Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunications and one of the faculty members behind this invention. “This isn’t a virtual simulation that is accessed by a large group of people; each student remotely controls electronic circuits and specific and real devices”, he continued.

The UOC’s Knowledge Transfer and Research Support Office (OSRT) handled the submission of the patent application to the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (OEPM). Among its many benefits, the device will, in Monzo’s words, enable “practical exercises to be internationalized, as students no longer need to be in the same place as the physical device”. As well as allowing students to experiment with real electronic circuits, the UOC’s invention can be used to create a range of personalized practice scenarios.

The device, patented under the title Dispositivo para conmutar una pluralidad de componentes electrónicos, has been created specifically as a teaching innovation for distance electronics courses. As promoters of the invention, Carlos Monzo has partnered with Germán Cobo, José Antonio Morán, Eugènia Santamaría and David García, all of them members of the teaching staff at the Faculty of Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunications.

Compared with other electronic device switching systems on the market, the UOC’s invention stands out for its versatility. Users can make a large number of connections (which can be parallel) or control overcurrents with a system that costs less than other alternatives. Potential applications outside of the educational sphere include controlling home automation systems, such as lighting or heating.