Practical Use of Virtual Assistants and Voice User Interfaces in Engineering Laboratories

MJ Callaghan, Victor Bogdan Putinelu, Jeremy Ball, Jorge Caballero Salillas, Thibault Vannier, Augusto Gomez Eguíluz, Niall McShane

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Automatic Question-Answering (QA) systems and speech recognition/synthesis functionality and accuracy has improved dramatically over the last decade allowing the use of voice interactions for increasingly complex tasks. Virtual assistants, based on speech-based services are growing in popularity and are now entering the mainstream. These services and devices come with a set of built-in capabilities and in some instances allow the creation and addition of new functionality and abilities facilitating their use in a range of diverse application areas.Practical electronic and electrical engineering laboratories for undergraduate students are evolving incrementally driven by affordable instrumentation and hardware kit with internet access but remain fundamentally unchanged. This pa-per explores the practical use of virtual assistants and voice user interfaces in electronic and electrical engineering laboratories to tutor and assess students while accessing and controlling test instrumentation and circuits. The re-purposing of existing teaching resources and material for use in this context is discussed and a case study and practical working example of a virtual assistant enabled laboratory demonstrating the viability of this approach is shown.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOnline Engineering & Internet of Things. Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems
EditorsMichael Auer, Danilo Garbi Zutin
Volumevol 22
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-64351-9
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Sep 2017


  • Automatic Question-Answering (QA) systems
  • speech recognition and synthesis
  • virtual assistants
  • voice user interface practical laboratories


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