The KMi has provided a real-time link for the past week between a stand at the Earls Court Tomorrows World show and a wind tunnel experiment, set up as part of Peter Whalley’s WEBLAB project at the Open University.
The developers of the revolutionary FanWing aeroplane first contacted the KMi for help from designer Jon Linney with 3D models of their prototypes, having first seen his work with models of the Wright Brothers in the FirstFlight web site. The link to the KMi’s Ultra-Low Speed Wind Tunnel has helped the FanWing’s inventor to answer the innumerable ‘How does it work?’ questions he faced during the show.
The WEBLAB environment is being developed by KMi researchers Kevin Quick and Peter Whalley to help children in local schools share their ‘pre-owned’ science and technology experiments over the web. However the ideas of ‘remote experimentation’ seem likely to take on a general relevance to the many web based distance-teaching systems currently being proposed.