VREL – remote access distant labs

While studying the theory of the Internet of Things whether from the online MOOC course, individually from the book or tutored in one of our courses, sooner or later you will like to test your skills with real hardware. We understand that sometimes it is hard to get in touch with real hardware, because of various limitations like lack of funding, technology fear, imports limitations, lack of space to develop your own IoT laboratory or simply … because you do not want to. Anyway, we strongly advise not to stop your education on the theory or simulation. Playing with real devices is fun, challenge and a great opportunity to self develop engineering skills.

Here is where VREL distant labs come into play.

We offer access to the number of real hardware laboratories that are located across European countries of the Consortium members and partner countries.

VREL node is a distance lab that you observe remotely via web camera(s) and program it remotely through the integrated web interface.

All you need to enjoy interfacing labs are … well, you already have it, if you’re here:  good internet connection and a web browser. We suggest Google Chrome, Chromium and Firefox.

As many of the lab nodes are physically interconnected and related one to another, you may experiment not only with a single node but even construct a solution where one node will control another node, located in another country or nearby on the other shelf! The number of combinations is virtually unlimited as many nodes have direct or indirect Internet access thus you can use them to integrate your project with private, public cloud, your home smart devices, industrial control system and so on. Please remember that devices are shared, so combining them with 3rd party systems may involve severe security and safety considerations coming into play.

We strongly  suggest reading “IOT-OPEN.EU: Introduction to the IoT – Practical Projects” as it contains all documentation and sample codes, including hands-on lab scenarios for nodes, technical documentation and software libraries reference. You can download it for free, see link below.

VREL nodes are pretty complex, both on their mechanical construction and electronically, so we offer an “Introduction to the IoT, Laboratory Guide” book as a PDF file for downloading along with VREL nodes access. It delivers detailed reference of the node’s hardware and hand on-labs with various levels including software samples.

How does a VREL labolatory node works?

Generally, we may write here a long description on how VREL distant, remote  laboratory works but … you had better see yourself.

Note, almost each node is different and they’re physically located in a number of universities in Europe thus you may experience some slowdowns when connecting over low bandwidth network. As we extensivelly use video streams for the observation of the nodes, and it mostly has a 720p resolution (it is required to see the details i.e. what is printed on the LCD screen), your connection should be stable and at least coubple of Mbps.

Some of the nodes are enabled to communicate with Internet or locally via Intranet thus enabling intercommunication and creation of the complex IoT solutions.

Accessing VREL labs

Labs and devices are listed in our external VREL management system here:

To access the VREL labs, you need to apply for the user credentials as below:

Once you get credentials, visit the homepage for the VREL labs and log in there:

Internet of Things Laboratory Guide


This book and its offshoots were prepared to provide a supplementary and practical add-on for the main book on the Internet of Things. The primary goal of this book is to provide the detailed description of the VREL – IoT laboratories with remote access for those, who interface our labs remotely. Its secondary goal is to give ideas on the IoT projects to the bachelor students, master students, technology enthusiasts and engineers.

This book is also a good starting point for teachers, tutors and educators to start preparing of other materials for their implementation of the practical course on IoT, construct their laboratories, develop a module or even full curriculum related to the IoT.

We (authors) assume that persons willing to study this content are already familiar with our “Introduction to the IoT book” or has equivalent knowledge and has at least elementary skills on programming in C, Python and C#.

We believe this manual will help to seamlessly start your work with real IoT devices, whether you have them on your desk or you access them remotely using our VREL model.

Note: Practice makes a master, so enjoy programming IoT!


You can download the Internet of Things Laboratory Guide book as a PDF file, here:

Intellectual output disclaimer and copyright notice

This Intellectual Output was implemented under the Erasmus+ KA2: Strategic Partnership in the Field of Education, Training, and Youth – Higher Education.
Project IOT-OPEN.EU – Innovative Open Education on IoT: improving higher education for European digital global competitiveness.
Project number: 2016-1-PL01-KA203-026471.

Erasmus+ Disclaimer
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. 
This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Copyright Notice
This content was created by the IOT-OPEN.EU consortium: 2016 – 2019.
The content is Copyrighted and distributed under CC BY-NC, free for Non-Commercial use.

About authors

IOT-OPEN.EU consortium partners collective content.

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