Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Engineering Labs of the Future

Recently, at the yearly conference held by ASEE in Austin, Texas, Quanser and National Instruments had the opportunity to jointly present their combined views on the needs and characteristics of future engineering laboratories.

Keith Blanchet from Quanser and Jeannie Falcon from NI explained how an already growing number of engineering universities are experiencing the benefits of fully supported hands-on laboratories from Quanser. Many of these universities also use LabVIEW in some or even most of their laboratories. Jeannie explained how the current features of LabVIEW can help but also expanded into upcoming features and benefits that will make the solution even more powerful.

National Instruments and Quanser are now joining forces to offer both worlds to the academic community, not only with QNETs on the ELVIS II platform, but also through the R series and cRIO board on all other Quanser plants - rotary and linear.

This new level of collaboration between Quanser and NI can only be good news for the academic community as it will offer added flexibility in how to configure laboratories. In line with that trend, another key element of the discussion in Austin was how the increased educational benefits of a hands-on lab can be made more cost effective through what Quanser calls Integrated Learning Centers (ILC), such as the one at the Queens's University in Ontario, Canada.

The ILC is a concept that has multiple departments combine their resources to make maximum use of their funds by making use of the modular approach proposed by Quanser. This solution allows departments to re-use common components of our solutions such as power supplies, IO boards and development software for all courses while providing the flexibility to tailor the plant to the specific interest and needs of a given department or course.

The result is maximum use of the capital acquisition and better return on investment, better use of real-estate and human resources and student exposure to a wider variety of applications. Now all available with LabVIEW thanks to the expanding levels of partnership with National Instruments.

More exciting news to come in the relationship between Quanser and NI soon…

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