Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Around the Globe with Quanser: An Engineer's Travel Log from Singapore and China

From Singapore to China, I wanted to explore how the Quanser control solutions are positioned in Far East. My first stop was Singapore. After a long flight we landed in the Singapore airport. Joseph from i-Math, Quanser’s distributor in Singapore, welcomed us with his friendly smile and drove us to the hotel. The city was noticeably clean! The day after our arrival, we visited the Nanyang Polytechnic University. The impressive robotics labs, where students design mobile robots for a robot competition is what attracted me the most. Various type of mobile robots form snake robot to humanoid dancer robot, all in one collection.

In the evening we have a training session with the engineers from i-Math introducing Quanser new products and QuaRC. The session was well received and I enjoyed the detailed technical discussion such as "How to facilitate QUARC features to utilize a multi-processor system", which reflected the solid engineer knowledge of the audiences.
We toured National University Singapore, SIM University, Nanyang Technological University and our partner, National Instruments' Singapore branch. Of the new educational tools we demonstrated, the Omni Bundle grabbed lots of attention from both professors and students and I received numerous questions and comments about it.

At the Solar Tracker lab at Nanyang Technological University, we met with Professor Chu Yun Chung, who designed and implemented the solar tracking experiments in collaboration with Quanser engineering team. You could see the posters created by students hanging on the walls to describe how the setup works and demonstrate the results.

After Singapore our next destination was China. We arrived in Shanghai, the city of countless high-rise buildings! We visited Shanghai Jiao Tong and Fudan Universities and enjoyed a traditional Chinese dish with the faculty member. Walking through different labs I saw Quanser SRVO2 and its modules sitting among other lab equipment. Interesting enough, the labs were similar in the look and feel to North American labs.

In the presentation on Quanser new products, audiences were asked if they are willing to try the inverted pendulum and Wiimote challenge, students and professors were exited trying this challenge and surprisingly, most students were so good at it!
On the weekend, we did some sight-seeing - thanks to tour guides Shirley and Kevin, Quanser colleague in China. After a four night stay at Shanghai we flew to Beijing to visit our industrial representative Beijing Masterpiece Technology Co. to discuss the possibility of using QuaRC for cutting-edge industrial real-time control applications.
The 10 days Asian trip was a unique, fantastic and bonding international experience for Quanser team!
Stay tuned for more Quanser news from around the globe.

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