Remote use of laboratory equipment.

(This slide was prepared by Dr Wayne Kaplan.)

One of the most widely used analytical techniques in basic science, industry, and in medicine is scanning electron microscopy (SEM). SEM is currently used by a number of faculties at the Technion, and all universities in Israel. Due to its wide use in Israeli industry, most universities have taken it upon themselves to educate their graduates in the use of SEM. However, it is physically problematic to train or even demonstrate SEM to a group of more than four people.

To overcome this difficulty a number of universities in the USA have developed telepresence microscopy, where full use of the microscope is conducted either through hard-lines or over the net, and the results are projected onto a number of personal computers and/or onto a large classroom viewing screen. Perhaps one of the best examples of such a facility now exists at Carnegie Mellon University in the US, where an entire computer-classroom is used to train undergraduates on the use and operation of electron microscopes. Such facilities also allow for 'virtual visits' of high school students to electron microscopy laboratories, where they can actually operate the electron microscope over the net under the guidance of an experienced operator who is located in the electron microscopy laboratory.