1. How NOVOLab works?
A low-cost IoT solution to individuals and educational institutions, NOVOLab is a lab-scaled open loop wind tunnel which can be controlled remotely from anywhere in the world to ease study as well as help to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
2. What makes NOVOLab novel?
The proliferation of distance learning worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic has since resulted the shift to virtual laboratories. This has largely and inevitably falsified the laboratory experience for students as it has eliminated the realism of a physical laboratory session due to pre-programmed and non-authentic results. This includes the inability to study experimental errors and calibration, unable to interact with real equipment and resulting to un-honed practical engineering skills. Beyond the pandemic, significant cost of purchasing bulky laboratory setup have also served as a hindrance for institutions and students in most developing countries.
We aim to tackle this problem by introducing an IoT-based laboratory experiment in the realm of wind tunnel as it was found to be amongst the most important design tools used in fundamental engineering to study aerodynamic performance and effects on different bodies such as airplane wings, trains and cars. Introducing wind tunnel experiments to students will therefore contribute to their overall understanding of the multidisciplinary fluid mechanics concepts.
NOVOLab’s innovative selling points:
- Low cost: NOVOLab provides user benefits of a physical wind tunnel experiment while cutting down upfront costs. NOVOLab is also significantly 80% cheaper compared to existing remote wind tunnel in the market.
- Simple software architecture: Using MQTT as a lightweight messaging protocol, NOVOLab also eliminates complex IoT software architecture using open source IoT platform, Adafruit IO and Raspberry Pi as microprocessor, cutting down frontend and backend costs.
- User-friendly interface: No computing experience required; user interface is suited for everybody, even with little to no engineering knowledge.
- Functional features: NOVOLab provides every fundamental feature and variable essential to a lab-scaled wind tunnel experiment.
3. How would NOVOLab be produced?
NOVOLab’s components (sensors, software and structures) are all low-cost and off-the-shelf, making it easily and readily available in large production volumes. In some cases, a physical wind tunnel doesn’t even have to be manufactured, NOVOLab’s software and electronic components can be seamlessly integrated into existing laboratory wind tunnel, transforming it into a remote laboratory easily.
4. Where NOVOLab would be applied?
Countries such as China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia are investing enormously to engineer different types of electric vehicles and innovative aircraft for commercial and defense application. Countries such as Japan, India, South Korea are also investing in the development of rail and marine infrastructures. This will in turn increase the demand for wind tunnel testing services in Asia-Pacific region.
Therefore, educational institutions around the world will be expanding their course outline to match market’s growing demand. This will help students get educated on the local and international market and be more job-ready.
- Educational institutions
- Research institutions
- Online courseware companies
- Engineering companies (aerodynamics-related)
- Private tutors