Thursday, October 28, 2010

Unmanned Systems Technology Captivated Educators at ASEE's Global Colloquium

Is the new generation of engineers trained to solve grand challenges and advance innovation? As both a supplier to the academic community and employer of newly minted engineers, Quanser demonstrated at the ASEE Global Colloquium in Singapore how cutting-edge, industry-relevant technology can influence engineering education and help nurture students into highly intuitive engineers.

The workshop titled "Innovative Tools for Preparing Effective Global Engineers" attracted many conference delegates. They had a unique opportunity to experience a live demo of Quanser's Unmanned Vehicle Systems Lab - an example of innovative technology already being utilized by Concordia University, Canada; Louisiana Tech University, USA and University of Regina, Canada.

The delegates also had a chance to win an iPad. The lucky winner is Mr. Yeo Chor Lee from the Ngee Ann Polytechnic in Singapore. Congratulations!

Cameron Fulford, one of Quanser's Engineering Managers explains the benefits of this indoor Unmanned Vehicle Systems Lab that he helped to develop.

The Qball, Quanser's unmanned aerial vehicle was demonstrated in flight at the workshop. Delegates could take a closer look at the device on display at Quanser's table.

A Rapid Control Prototyping Laboratory for UVS presented at Unmanned Systems Canada Conference

On November 2 - 5, 2010 Unmanned Systems Canada will be holding its 8th internationally renowned Annual Conference in Montreal, Quebec, to present Canadian and international innovations in the field of unmanned vehicle systems (UVS) technologies.

Unmanned Vehicle Systems are growing in popularity across a broad spectrum of applications including military, search and rescue, environmental, and others. Likewise, UVS research is growing and there is an increasing demand for hardware platforms on which to test UVS algorithms and controllers. At the Unmanned Systems Canada Conference, a Quanser engineer will present
a paper on the fully-integrated, indoor UVS laboratory. In his paper, titled "A Rapid Control Prototyping Laboratory for UVS", Cameron Fulford, Manager for Systems & Control will explain how this extensible and flexible research platform can be used for a variety of UVS research topics including collaborative control, flight dynamics and control, fault detection and redundancy management, vehicle guidance and navigation, formation control, obstacle avoidance, autonomous and supervisory control, and sensor filtering and fusion. Cameron will also present a complete hardware and software description of the UVS laboratory, along with experimental results of fully autonomous UAV and UGV experiments.

The UVS lab consists of one or more unmanned vehicles including open-architecture quadrotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs), a camera-based localization system, a ground station PC, and real-time control software integrated with MATLAB™ Simulink. Each unmanned vehicle contains a small-scale embedded computer with wireless communications and data acquisition board (DAQ) capable of hosting autonomous control algorithms. All vehicle controllers are designed using MATLAB™ Simulink on the ground station PC, which are then downloaded wirelessly and executed remotely on-board the vehicles once launched. Users can monitor and record sensor/vehicle feedback and update controller commands and parameters on-the-fly via the ground station.

Join us on Friday, November 5, 2010 at 11 AM at Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel and Convention Centre in Montreal, Canada. Please contact us at for more details.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

New Peripherals to Power your Plants and Deliver Reliable Results

No matter what plant you use for teaching and research, control peripherals are important components that effect funcion and performance of the whole workstation. Quanser designed and developed a wide range of such components - power amplifiers and data acquisition boards - that allow you to easily interface between your physical plant and the control software to achieve desired results.

Quanser's Data Acquisition Solutions
Based on requirements of your system, you can select between PCI, PCI Express or USB technology:
QPID and QPIDe are versitile and powerful PCI /PCI Express boards ideal for rapid control prototyping. With a wide range of inputs and outputs you can easily connect and control a variety of devices instrumented with analog and digital sensors, using one board. Ultra-low I/O conversion times and simultaneous sampling of each I/O type make these boards suitable for complex control configurations used for research and teaching advanced control concepts with devices such as Quanser's HD^2 high definition haptic device or 3 DOF Gyroscope. QPID and QPIDe are supported by the Quanser HIL SDK, which provides API for C, C++, ActiveX, .NET, LabVIEW and MATLAB.

Q2-USB and Q8-USB represent Quanser's ground-breaking USB data acquisition technology, offering portable and affordable solution for real-time measurement and control. The wide range of inputs and outputs allows to connect and controla number of devices instrumented with analog and digital sensors, using one board. deterministic, close-loop control rates up to 2kHZ make Q2- and Q8-USB ideal solutions for teaching control concepts with systems such as Quanser's modular rotary workstation. Q2-USB and Q8-USB are supported by the Quanser HIL SDK, which provides API for C, C++, ActiveX, .NET, LabVIEW and MATLAB.

Quanser's Amplifiers
The new generation of Quanser's universal power modules - VoltPAQ line - is designed to achieve high performance with Hardware-In-The-Loop implementations. VoltPAQ linear voltage-controlled amplifiers come in 3 variations with either 1, 2 or 4 outputs and therefeore are suitable for experiments with one degeree of freedom, such as rotary Self-Erecting Inverted Pendulum; 2 degrees of freedom, such as 2 DOF Rotary Gantry or multiple degrees of freedom, such as 3 DOF Hover. All three VoltPAQ variations are compact and lightweight, saving space in your lab.

The AMPAQ amplifiers are designed for systems where precise current control is essential for the performance of the system. These high resolution linear current amplifiers eliminate dead-band and reduce noise issues common in PWM amplifiers. AMPAQs are available as models with 2 or 4 analog outputs and are ideal for complex control configurations, for teaching and research in areas such as haptics.

To create more dependable real-time platform, combine Quanser's data acquisition solutions and amplifiers with QUARC control software to drive Quanser's system or other motors and actuators. Contact us at for more details and to discuss your needs.

ASEE Acknowledges Quanser's Long-time Commitment to Engineering Education

For over two decades Quanser has been passionately committed to developing of systems for advanced control education and research. Our core business is focused on engineering lab tools to help captivate students and develop better, more creative engineers. Our passion for engineering education extends to activities beyond our core business: from workshops and presentations to K-12 students to judging and sponsoring engineering competitions such as FIRST Robotics and Student Seismic Design Competition.

Naturally, we felt honored when the American Society for Engineering Education acknowledged our commitment to engineering education by adding Quanser to the list of credible ASEE's Premier Corporate Partners. Other ASEE partners include large multi-national organizations, such as Autodesk, Dassault Systems, HP, IBM, Lockheed Martin, The MathWorks, NCEES and National Instruments. We are flattered to join ASEE and these organizations to continue to make a difference in engineering education.

Thanks to the partnership ASEE, we are able to leverage events such as ASEE Annual Conference and Global Colloquium on Engineering Education to meet with you, engineering educators, students, professionals and other enthusiasts to learn about your needs and challenges you face in your work. The discussions and exchange of ideas help us stay on top of the latest developments in engineering so that we can create efficient and engaging tools for your lab.