Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Quanser focused on collaboration and long term solutions

Quanser is commited to working closely with academia to develop individual projects and support long-term goals. Our involvement with the Advanced Visualization Laboratory project at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is a recent example of this commitment.

The Advanced Visualization Lab is a state-of-the-art digital facility that allows researchers from engineering, science and liberal arts to convert large amounts of data into visuals on large-scale and high resolution visualization walls (VisWalls) or other display devices. As an unusually immersive visual experience, the Advanced Visualization Lab allows researchers to better understand and experience complex phenomena.

Two years ago, Quanser and Brent Nowak, UTSA Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering were having a discussion about Quanser’s HD2 high definition haptic device and the major role it could play in expanding the possibilities of the Advanced Visualization Lab that UTSA was then starting to develop.

The UTSA laboratory features a 14.5-foot-wide by six-foot-tall visualization wall—a 98 Mpixel tiled display of two dozen 30” widescreen monitors, with each monitor offering twice as many pixels as a high definition television. Image courtesy of the University of Texas, San Antonio.

“The Lab’s visualization wall lets us analyze large amounts of data, and zoom in and out to observe a subject such as simulated medical surgery in incredible detail,” says Nowak. “But we also wanted to increase the Lab’s capability by adding a high definition haptic device that could be integrated with both the VisWall and a very large (82”) 3D television monitor, so researchers could‘touch and feel’ the digital models they created in the course of their research.”

Quanser’s HD2 haptic device provides six degrees of freedom motion and five degrees of freedom force/torque feedback, making it an ideal tool to practice surgical simulations and other techniques.Future lab projects include multi-scale modeling for computational biology and biomedicine, development of cancer surgical simulation and real-time monitoring systems, and design and performance of autonomous underwater vehicles, to name a few.

Quanser’s strong reputation was a major factor the partnership with UTSA, according to Nowak. “We wanted to collaborate with Quanser because of its overall reputation for quality—the quality of its hardware and software products, and its ability to integrate its products with new technology like ours. We knew its engineers and consultants could be counted on to work closely with us and support our efforts to break new ground. That’s incredibly exciting and energizing.”

The Quanser - UTSA collaboration is ongoing. Right now, our engineers are working with UTSA to integrate the HD2 haptic device into the lab's Linux environment. Derek Wight and Pasha Javid continue to work at both Quanser headquarters in Markham and onsite in San Antonio, to assist the Advanced Visualization Lab in realizing its full potential.

No comments: