Tuesday, July 8, 2014

How Researchers Use Quanser Systems

With two of this year's control conferences - American Control Conference (ACC) and European Control Conference (ECC) behind us, we are happy to report that Quanser systems help many researchers in their work, providing a platform to validate their theoretical concepts. Here are just a few examples:

Controls Applications in Medicine
Although Quanser's QUBE-Servo rotary servomotor plant is primarily used for teaching controls, it has found its application in research as well. A research team from University of California, Merced, USA and IIT Gandhinagar, India studied the mechanism causing rest tremors in patients suffering from Parkinson's disease, with a goal of suggesting a simple diagnostic tool for this degenerative disorder. The team presented their research results at the ACC 2014 conference, in the paper "Experimental verification of observations relating to Parkinsonian tremor". Using the QUBE-Servo plant, the team recreated tremors similar to those observed in Parkinson's disease patients. Further they explored how observations from simulation studies, suggesting that one of the primary causes of the tremors may be the increased sensorimotor loop delay in patints, can be used for developing and improving diagnostic tools.

Vision-Based Control Systems
Vision-based control systems find increasing number of applications in areas such as industrial robotics and autonomous vehicles. However, time delays that can arise due to image processing can result in undesired behavior of a system, or its instability. In their paper "Time-delayed vision-based DC motor control via rightmost eigenvalue assignment" presented at the ACC 2014 conference, researchers from North Carolina AT State University, USA and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA, present an effective design method for time-delay vision-based motor control. Using Quanser's Rotary Servo SRV02, they experimentally demonstrate effectiveness of using eigenvalue assignment based on Lambert W function method to design PV and PIV controllers.

Unmanned Aerial Systems
Unmanned aerial vehicles attract a lot of attention in the last decade, and the number of applications in civilian as well as military sectors is growing. With uncertainties inherent to dynamic models of these vehicles, their flight control system design is challenging. In the paper "Experimental results on robust optimal attitude feedback control of a model helicopter", presented at the ECC 2014, the research team from China's Beihang University and Tsinghua University addresses this control problem. They propose a robust optimal control method to deal with the attitude control of a model helicopter independently of the angular velocities. Using Quanser's 3 DOF Helicopter, the researchers demonstrate the effectiveness of their control approach, as well as the robust stability and the asymptotical tracking properties of the closed-loop control system.

Signal Shaping
Utilizing the recently introduced concept of signal shaping techniques using distributed delays, the research team from the Czech Technical University in Prague explored a double oscillatory mode suppression. In their paper "Double oscillatory mode compensation by inverse signal shaper with distributed delay", presented at the ECC 2014 conference, they demonstrate that a double mode zero vibration shaper can work well in both the open and feedback loop compositions. To validate their research, the team used Quanser's Rotary Flexible Link system.

For more research papers from the ACC 2014, ECC 2014 and other conferences and research journals, visit www.quanser.com/research_papers.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

ECC 2014: The Places You Can Meet Quanser

The researchers and engineers gathering in Strasbourg, France for this year's European Control Conference, will be quite busy for the next few days. The premier controls event in Europe offers them a packed program from June 24 to June 27.

Throughout the conference, the delegates will have several opportunities to meet with Quanser: in the exhibit area, the Quanser booth will showcase several demos of research platforms used by researchers around the world to validate their theoretical concepts. Some of them are actually presenting their work at ECC 2014. If you are attending the conference, you can joint the session on Wednesday, June 25 at 5.20 pm, when the research team from the University of Southampton is presenting their paper Design of Control Functions for an Internet-Based Tele-Robotic Laboratory.

Quanser devices offer a highly efficient platform for bridging the theory-implementation gap, allowing to adopt a framework of hardware in the loop (HIL) implementation of the control system that integrates a physical system (the plant) with dynamics of sufficient realism for physically relevant testing, and a real-time computational and modeling framework that allows for rapid testing of algorithms and concepts. Using such a combination, researchers are able to readily validate their research concepts with a physical system. To learn more, download our whitepaper. You can also visit our database of research papers.

Friday, June 13, 2014

ASEE 2014: Your Chance to Win a QUBE-Servo Experiment

Talk to Quanser engineerins at the booth 1611
If you are planning to attend this year's Annual ASEE Conference and Expo in Indiannapolis, I'd like to invite you to the Quanser booth 1611 to discuss the exciting developments taking place at Quanser these days. Stop by to talk to our academic solutions advisors how we can help you enhance teaching controls and revitalize the undergraduate control systems lab experience of your students.

You will also have a chance to win a QUBE-Servo, a teaching platform with fully integrated components, ideal for introducing students to basic control concepts. QUBE-Servo comes with modern, flexible and open source courseware that you can easily integrate into your existing course, without having to spend time on developing lab exercises and materials.

Our team is looking forward to seeing you at the ASEE 2014 Conference and talking to you about your teaching and research needs.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Quanser Research Papers Database Available Online

Researchers around the world are using Quanser cutting-edge equipment to help test theories and transform ideas into reality. Quanser platforms became the de facto commercial standard for control research validation, presenting researchers with a framework integrating a physical system with realistic dynamics, real-time computation and modeling that allow for rapid testing of algorithms and concepts.

A wide collection of research papers now available online is an example of research covering a broad range of applications, including flight control, unmanned vehicles, biomedical and rehabilitation robotics, haptics, automation and more. Share your research results with your peers - send us your paper and we will add it to the online database and profile your work in our newsletter.

The online research papers database helps you quickly find research work
related to the area you are interested in, or a specific Quanser system.

Complete with all peripherals and software, Quanser platforms let you spend your valuable time and resources on your core research, not on building and maintaining "do it yourself" test rigs. To learn more about Quanser solutions on research, download the whitepaper "The Quanser Platform for Control Systems Research Validation". To discuss your specific research applications needs, contact Quanser Applications Engineer.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

WEBINAR: From Classic Control to Complex Mechatronic System Design

Traditional control systems courses are based on the mathematical and signal science framework developed in the mid twentieth century. The standard undergraduate course is based largely on characterizing and analyzing system dynamics through differential equations and Laplace transform-based transfer functions. Modern control systems are complex combination of such models and analysis, and system-level considerations from computer control. Often we call such computer control techniques mechatronics and at most institutions, mechatronic design focuses on the embedded programming aspect disassociated from system dynamics.

In the upcoming webinar on June 10, we will present some novel initiatives of Quanser, in collaboration with leading universities, to unify conventional, classic control with systems-oriented mechatronic design.

Join us to discuss best ways to revitalize the undergraduate control systems lab experience. Register today!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

How to Change the World...

What do you do when you want to make a difference, to change the world, to make it a better place? You go to the FIRST Robotics Championship, put on a silly hat and take a photo with the sign that says “I will change the world”, of course! And look, that is exactly what I had done recently!

Yours truly making the pledge to change the world!

On the surface, this might look like a joke, with the silly hat and all. But tens of thousands of people gather at the FIRST Robotics Championship with that exact purpose every year for the past 25 years! Our mission is to change the culture in the world we live in: by inspiring our next generation of youth to be involved with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education… through fun and games no less! For those not familiar with FIRST, here is the official introductory video. Personally, I like this one more because of Morgan Freeman.

At the 2014 FIRST World Championship opening ceremony inside the Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis MO

Education is Quanser’s business. So it is not surprising Quanser embraces the FIRST ideals and supports FIRST in numerous ways. At the corporate level, Quanser partners with FIRST Canada to help spread the message of FIRST by sponsoring and mentoring a FRC team, Team 4001 Retro Rams from St. Robert Catholic High School. In addition, Quanser invites other teams, such as Team 771 SWAT and Team 4252 Cardinal Robotics, to our corporate headquarter for onsite visits. These visits usually involve hands-on demonstrations and discussions with our engineers that help to engage and entice the students into careers in STEM. Also, our very own Tom Lee was a keynote speaker at the annual Robotics Symposium hosted by Team 771 SWAT back in the fall of last year.

Dr. Tom Lee giving the keynote speech at the SWAT Robotics Symposium 2013.

Furthermore, Quanser is the Academic Partner with National Instruments. NI is, of course, one of the strategic partners of FIRST and is the supplier of the existing cRIO robot controller and the new roboRIO controller for the 2015 FRC season. The roboRIO is a close cousin of the myRIO platform, which we, at Quanser, have some prior experience with. So personally, I can’t wait to see what we can do with the new roboRIO platform and to share it back to the FIRST community.

Quanser judges and mentors at the FRC Waterloo Regional Competition (left to right): Tom Lee,
Tim Vrablik, Peter Martin, Yona Baskharoun, Safwan Choudhury, and Gilbert Lai.

At the people level, Quanser encourages our employees to be involved with FIRST as part of our outreach activities. Yours truly and fellow Quanser engineers Peter Martin, Safwan Choudhury and Yona Baskharoun are mentor volunteers for FRC teams. Quanser has traditionally supplied ample number of volunteer FRC judges at regional competitions. This year is no exception. We, the FRC mentors, also doubled up as FRC and FLL judges. In fact, there is a record number of Quanser judges (8!) volunteered at five out of the seven Canadian FRC regional events this year. Our fellow Quanser judges include veterans like Tom Lee, Cameron Fulford, Herve Lacheray, and rookies like Keith Blanchet and Tim Vrablik. Representing Quanser at the World Championship in St. Louis this year is yours truly, as a mentor, and Tom Lee, as a judge advisor.

Quanser "Six Pack" at the FRC Greater Toronto Regional East (GTRE) Competition (left to right): Gilbert Lai,
Safwan Choudhury, Peter Martin, Cameron Fulford, Herve Lacheray, and Tom Lee.

As you can see, I have taken this opportunity to share a few of the photos of us at various events this year to show how much fun it was for us. Having fun is great, but more importantly, we know we are contributing to a good cause while we are at it.

Selfie with Herve Lacheray (left) and Tom Lee (right)!
Judges with FIRST founder Dean Kamen at the FRC Montreal Regional Competition. Herve Lacheray (back row, second from the left) and Keith Blanchet (back row, fourth from the left) are Quanser's representations.

On a more personal level, this is my fourth year getting involved with FIRST. Up until this year, my main involvement was being a mentor for an all-girl FRC team, SWAT 771, from St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School in Oakville, Ontario. Heavily influenced by the veteran judges surrounding me at the Quanser office, I was motivated to volunteer as a judge as well this year. As a rookie judge, I found the experience refreshing and invaluable. The perspective of being a judge is different, yet complementary, to the experience of being a mentor. Not only did I learn a lot from talking to the students of other teams (expanding my horizon), I have gained a lot of experience (and wisdom) from my fellow judges.

More selfie! This time with the banner of my team at the FRC Waterloo Regional Competition.

As a parent to a young child, I was also motivated to start my own Jr. FLL team this year. While the Jr. FLL program is non competitive, the satisfaction in seeing how the young kids learn and explore through Lego and play is enormous. It is truly amazing how the little minds are like sponges, soaking up and learning everything they can. As a geek and engineer, the most fulfilling (and personal favorite) aspect from my Jr. FLL experience this year was teaching them about simple machines. Prior to the simple machine session, I didn’t expect the group would be able to retain a lot from what I was about to teach them. My best hope was perhaps they can recall a couple of the more common and obvious simple machines, like wheels and screws. To my astonishment, they managed to recall all seven of them (We had some debates as to whether there are 6 or 7 simple machines… in the end, we decided to teach all 7 of them: lever, wheel and axle, pulley, incline plane, wedge, screw and gear). In fact, they have now developed a habit of looking out for these simple machines everywhere around them. For example, when we pass by a house, we would stand witness to a very excited child pointing up at the roof and chanting “incline plane” repeatedly; or at the playground pointing at the seesaw and calling out “lever”.

Our Jr. FLL team, the Storm Spinners, showcasing their poster and Lego model at a local Jr. FLL Showcase Event.

What is the lesson learned from all of these experience? When it comes to the education of our youth, never underestimate their capacities to learn and grow, no matter how old they are (especially the younger ones)! FIRST is one of those programs that facilitate a rich and fun environment for the kids to explore and learn. They are learning all of these amazing things without even realizing it. And that is the beauty of the program!

So if you want to change the world like I do, get involved! Volunteer! Or just come out and have fun with us! Hope to see you at a FIRST event soon!

P.S. Congratulations to all of the teams participating in the FRC Aerial Assist game this year! See you again next year!

P.P.S. This year is the 25th anniversary for FIRST. Incidentally, this is also Quanser’s 25th anniversary. To mark the occasion, I brought along the Quanser’s 25th anniversary commemorative jersey with me to St. Louis and put it on our robot in our pit. The SWAT ladies had graciously agreed to pose for the photo. Thanks SWAT!

Quanser was there!

~ Gilbert Lai
Systems, Control and Software Engineer, Quanser

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

"Mesa Vibratoria" Will Help Prepare Future Peruvian Engineers

Located along the South American west coast and circumscribed by the Andean mountains on the east, Peru is a nation that experiences high seismic activity. For this reason, seismic resistant structures are paramount for Peruvians. Consequently, their civil engineers have accepted the challenge imposed by Mother Nature and therefore universities and research centers are preparing future engineers with the latest technologies for this purpose. The most recent acquisition of Universidad Federico Villarreal in Lima, Peru for the Civil Engineering Faculty has been the Quanser Shake Table II, so their students can run simulations of actual earthquakes.

I had the privilege of traveling to Peru for an on-site installation and training on the "mesa vibratoria" at the university, where I met Professor Omart Tello and his students. Professor Tello teaches Seismic Resistance Engineering to Civil Engineering students in their final year. It was clear that these students were very excited and motivated to learn how to operate the Shake Table II system. On the fist day of training, they quickly learned to set up and run the experiments using the two distinct methods: using the Graphical User Interface that Quanser provides for running Shake Table II experiments, and using QUARC/Simulink models. In the following day, the training was focused on recording results for further analysis and downloading and running other earthquake files from the PEER Strong Motion database.
Professor Tello (second from the left) and his team have many plans for using
the Quanser Shake Table II for teaching, as well as research.
Professor Tello plans to use the Shake Table II in various projects the students are working on, one of them being the development of a seismic isolator. Their projects include the addition of the Quanser Active Mass Damper (AMD) to the system. I'm confident that with this new resource for the Civil Engineering labs, students at Universidad Federico Villarreal will further expand their knowledge and research capabilities.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Quanser Shake Table Used for Validation of Sloshing Research

Free-surface dynamics of liquids in tanks subjected to acceleration - also known as sloshing - is an issue touching on many real life applications, including fluid transportation and shipping, as well as design of vibration absorber devices.

Researchers from the Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Chile, Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Argentina, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Chile and Rice University, USA, studied the problem using the finite element analysis, based on solving the Navier-Stokes equations of incompressible fluids using a monolithic solver. To validate the numerical results, the research team used Quanser Shake Table II to control the motion of a rectangular tank with ultrasonic sensors.
Experimental setup with the Quanser Shake Table II loaded with the instrumented tank:
table controllers and ultrasonic sensor
The results of the team's research work was published in the December 2013 issue of the Computational Mechanics journal, in the article titled "Finite element computation and experimental validation of sloshing in rectangular tanks."

For more details on how researchers use Quanser platforms for control systems research validation, visit our website's Research Papers section or download the whitepaper The Quanser Platform for Control Systems Research Validation.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Elizabeth City State University adds Qs to its lab

The Aviation Science Program at the Elizabeth City State University’s Department of Technology is the only four-year collegiate aviation program in the State of North Carolina. Its uniqueness is now underlined by the latest additions of “Qs” to the department’s lab: that is, of Quanser Qball quadrotor and Qbot autonomous robot.

Setting up the Quanser UVS Lab at
the Elizabeth City State University
With these devices and a set of twelve NaturalPoint OptiTrack cameras, Dr. Rawat, Associate Professor and Department Chair can set up a complete unmanned multi-vehicle indoor lab and expand the Control Systems, Mechatronic System Design and Reconfigurable Computing courses, as well as undergraduate capstone projects. Plus the Quanser's Unmanned Vehicle Systems (UVS) lab  will be used for three new courses, begining in the fall 2014: Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robotics, Advanced Mobile Robotics and Aerial Robotics.

The lab will be also used for research in areas such as sensor fusion, multi-agent collision avoidance and SLAM localization. Using twelve cameras, as opposed to a standard setup with six, allows for a larger workspace and makes it possible to expand the number of agents.

Thanks to the complete turn-key solution with controllers included, and on-site setup assistance from Quanser engineer, Dr. Rawat and his students could start their work right away. While all the sensors needed to cover topics of five courses using the unmanned vehicle lab are already on board, the open architecture design of the lab allows for addition of other sensors in the future.

Collaborative mission: first tests of Quanser Qball quadrotor and Qbot unmanned robot
at the Elizabeth City State University

Dr. Rawat also appreciates comprehensive documentation and courseware that come with the systems – that way he doesn’t have to develop all the course materials from scratch, but can reuse materials developed by Quanser. The supplied open-architecture controllers can also be modified for his educational and research needs, saving him time he would have to spend building controllers.

Dr. Rawat also hopes the demonstration of the cutting-edge unmanned technology will help his university attract high school students and excite them for a career in engineering.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

WEBINAR: Enhancing Controls Education with the QUBE-Servo

The Quanser QUBE™-Servo is an affordable, fully-integrated rotary servo experiment designed for teaching students control concepts relevant to real world. Built with the same quality and precision that Quanser is renowned for, the QUBE-Servo provides instructors with a state of the art controls lab that will engage students in any engineering discipline.

In this webinar you will:
  • Explore the QUBE-Servo and its easy-to-attach inertia disk and pendulum modules, as well as USB, direct I/O and the new NI myRIO connectivity options,
  • Learn how to use the QUBE-Servo with MATLAB/Simulink or LabVIEW, and Quanser rapid control prototyping software QUARC or RCP Toolkit,
  • Tour the flexible digital media-based courseware and textbook map that can help you seamlessly integrate the QUBE-Servo into your curriculum.
Seats are limited - register today!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Researchers from Brazil Use Quanser Platform for Control of an Active Suspension System

Quanser's Active Suspension
Researchers from the Control Research Laboratory at the Sao Paulo State University, Brazil, study different approaches to control active suspension systems. They use Quanser Active Suspension platform to simulate and analyze the effectiveness of their control strategies. The team summarized their work in a paper "Sliding mode control for Active Suspension System with Data Acquisition Delay," recently accepted for publishing in the Mathematical Problems in Engineering Journal.

The paper addresses the issue of delays that may occur in the PC-based control of an active suspension system. The signal delays can occur, for example, in a network-based control system or due to slow slow data acquisition. The research team proposes using state predictors with sliding-mode control to take delays into account. Both continuous-time and a discrete-time methods are designed and implemented on the Quanser Active Suspension system. Based on the results from simulations and hardware tests, the paper evaluates the effectiveness of these control strategies.

To learn how other researchers have used Quanser systems as experimental platforms for their research, visit www.quanser.com/research_papers. You can also download the whitepaper "The Quanser Platform for Control Systems Research Validation."

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Queen's University Students Put Quanser’s Digital Control Curriculum to a Test

As an engineering student, I always loved to play with lab equipment. I have fond memories of building my very first controller to swing-up and balance an inverted pendulum in the last year of my undergrad. We were tasked to design a controller from scratch in Matlab/Simulink, test it with a system model and eventually implement it on the real hardware. I remember how I had discussions with other students about what assumptions we are using about the systems, how we could improve our model to get a better response and how to make our controller more “robust” for the real implementation. In the end, it all worked wonderfully well and I was hooked on Control Engineering.

Fast forward several years, lectures and hours in various labs and I am more and more amazed that it all worked. The one thing nobody seemed to have considered at the time was that we’re actually dealing with a discrete system and are using a digital controller to drive the hardware and stabilize the pendulum. Nobody was worried that their controllers designed for a continuous model would not work (or work well) in a digital implementation or that we didn’t have to design analog circuits to get real continuous controllers. Even nowadays, with superfast microprocessors available for only a few dollars, all they do in the end is running according to a (very fast) clock signal, but by no means in actual real-time.

Intuitively, it is clear that a controller’s performance running at a few megahertz will be hardly distinguishable from one that is purely continuous. However, it is also clear that implementing a continuous controller at very slow sampling rates will inevitably fail. In particular for a PID controller, we know that we are happy to deal with the discrete equivalents of the proportional and integral part of the controller, but what about the derivative part, in particular with respect to measurement/system noise and quantization errors in the feedback signal?

Students at Queen's University test the new digital control
curriculum during their Modeling and Computer Control of
Mechatronic Systems Course
To answer these questions (and more), Quanser has started to design a lab sequence to introduce students to common problems that are inherent to digital controller implementations. In particular, we’re investigating what effects different sampling rates have on the performance of a continuous PD position controller for the SRV02 Rotary Servo, how a continuous control design can be used as a starting point for a purely digital controller using the Matched-Zero-Pole mapping method for different sampling rates, and how to design a pure digital controller directly (and what the implications of different sampling rates on the design process). Furthermore, there is also a lab that investigates typical hardware implementation issues such as quantized measurement signals and buffer overruns. The overall goal is to enable the students to deal with real-world control constraints in their own hardware implementations, and therefore include discussions on how the lab material can be implemented in a programming environment (in high level pseudo-code).

My colleague Amir Haddadi and I had the chance to present the first part of the new lab sequence as part of Prof. Keyvan Hashtrudi-Zaad’s course on Modeling and Computer Control of Mechatronic Systems at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario last week. We were able to get the students started with the new curriculum in a hands-on lab on digital control, and the consensus seemed quite positive. A few students pointed out how the lab has helped them understand some of the theory discussed during the lectures and that they believe the labs will be beneficial for their upcoming design and research projects. We’ve also received valuable feedback from the students and TAs on the lab material and will implement it over the upcoming weeks.

At the moment, the first draft of the digital control labs is only available for the SRV02 Rotary Servo MATLAB/Simulink platform. Future releases will include an offering for LabVIEW, as well as for the Quanser QUBE-Servo platform (both MATLAB/Simulink and LabVIEW).

Thursday, March 6, 2014

WEBINAR: Earthquake Simulation and Analysis

The structural dynamics and analysis topics are an important part of the engineering undergraduate and graduate curriculum in various engineering disciplines. Hands-on experiments, such as Quanser shake tables and smart structures seem to be particularly effective for teaching these topics, offering students a valuable extension of highly theoretical courses. Precise, robust, and flexible, they also meet the needs of researchers for reliable, low maintenance and cost-effective devices.

Join the webinar "Earthquake Simulation and Analysis with the Quanser Shake Table II" on Wednesday, March 19, 2 pm EDT and learn from Quanser engineers about the most popular of the shake tables product line, the Shake Table II, developed in cooperation with the University Consortium on Instructional Shake Tables (UCIST). The webinar will introduce you to:
  • Solution overview - Shake Table II hardware, peripherals, and PC software options
  • Running the experiments using the Shake Table II Software
  • Running the experiments through the Quanser's QUARC Rapid Control Prototyping software
  • Simulating earthquakes using the PEER Strong Motion Database data
  • One-Floor Active Mass Damper (AMD-1)
  • Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) of the structure acceleration data
  • Other shake table offerings: Shake Table I-40 and the XY Shake Table III
Seats are limited - register today!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Research Work Using Quanser 6 DOF Telepresence System Published in a Prestigious Journal

Researchers from Imperial College, UK, and University of Calgary, Canada, focus on understanding forces exerted during surgical procedure - a prerequisite to successful design and application of robots in microsurgery. They summarized their results in a paper, recently published by a prestigious International Journal of Medical Robotics and Computer Assisted Surgery.

Quanser 6 DOF Telepresence System
As an experimental platform, the research team used Quanser 6 DOF Telepresence System, combinig HD² High Definition Haptic Device and 6 DOF Denso Open Architecture Robot in a master-slave configuration allowing for high-fidelity teleoperation with haptic feedback.

Click here to access the full paper online.

To learn how other researchers have used Quanser systems as experimental platforms for their research, visit www.quanser.com/research_papers and download the whitepaper "The Quanser Platform for Control Systems Research Validation."

To learn more about the project neuroArm, visit www.neuroArm.org

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Quanser Going for a Ride on a Big Bike

This year our CEO Paul Gilbert will be participating in his 3rd annual Ride to Conquer Cancer. Last year Paul rode over 200km from Toronto, through Hamilton, all the way to Niagara Falls, and helped his team raise just shy of $65K for the cause. Through his personal commitment to this cause, and his passion for social responsibility and community involvement, Paul has sparked a movement in Quanser to get involved and give back!

I am excited to announce that this year will mark Quanser's first year participating in a team fundraising event. We will be taking part in the Heart and Stroke Foundation's Big Bike event on June 5, 2014; our goal is to raise $1,500.00 to support research efforts, and to raise awareness for this cause. We feel like this will be a good opportunity for us give back and support a worthy cause, and to do it as a team is an added bonus.

Quanser is committed to having a positive impact in our community. We have sponsored many programs and initiatives within the academic field over our 25 years, and we have supported various charitable organizations in the past. Our goal going forward is not only to continue this support, but to be more actively involved in our community, and to do it as a team.

We kicked off our Big Bike campaign on February 4th, and we have already signed up 7 team members, and started chipping away at our $1,500.00 goal. If you are interested in supporting our efforts, please visit Quanser's Team Page and donate today! We thank you for your support.

If you would like more information on Quanser's fundraising events, or Paul Gilbert's 2014 Ride to Conquer Cancer, please email me at cheryl.persaud@quanser.com.

~Cheryl Persaud

Monday, February 10, 2014

Doing Control with LabVIEW - Register for the Webinar!


LabVIEW graphical development environment is widely used in engineering education and research for control systems. With the Quanser Rapid Control Prototyping (RCP) Toolkit for LabVIEW, you can simplify and accelerate your control design process in areas from introductory control topics to advanced algorithms.

In the webinar "Getting started with RCP Toolkit for LabVIEW" on Thursday, February 27, Michel Lévis, Quanser Applications Engineer will demonstrate how using this powerful toolkit developed for LabVIEW, you can easily:
  • Interface with hardware to obtain readings 
  • Build a simple PD-based controller to control the position of the servo load shaft 
  • Perform stability analysis and LQR design 
  • Validate the system performance in simulation and implement a balance controller on the actual system
Register today - the spots are limited!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Getting Started with QUARC - Webinar

https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/838710815Getting started with QUARC®, Quanser's real-time rapid control prototyping software? Or want to learn more about how it can simplify your controls teaching and research? Then join Quanser online on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2 PM EST to get an assistance and answers from Quanser engineers.

In the webinar "Getting Started with QUARC Rapid Control Prototyping Software ", Michel Lévis, Quanser Applications Engineer will demonstrate how using QUARC, you can easily:
  • Interface with hardware to obtain readings
  • Build a simple PD-based controller to control the position of the servo load shaft
  • Perform stability analysis and LQR design 
  • Validate the system performance in simulation and implement a balance controller on the actual system
Register today - the spots are limited!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Quanser Joins Experts to Discuss Transformations in Engineering Education

In a few days, engineering educators from around the world will meet in Indian city of Hubli for the International Conference on Transformations in Engineering Education (ICTIEE). The conference, hosted by BVB College of Engineering and Technology (BVBCET) on January 16 - 18, 2014, will offer a forum to share best practices in improving learning outcomes at engineering institutions.

Quanser joins the conference organizers, supporters, including Indo-US Collaboration for Engineering Education (IUCEE), the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies (IFEES), the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC) and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and TEQIP, a program of the Government of India.

The conference delegates will not only have a chance to learn about hands-on lab experiments for controls, mechatronics and robotics education, they will also have a chance to get their own hands-on experience with them during the Innovative Hands-on Lab Techniques workshop on January 16.

During the workshop, Michel Levis, Applications Engineer at Quanser and Keith Blanchet, Quanser's Director of Business Development will introduce new developments in hands-on undergraduate labs that increase motivation and provide industry-relevant skills to students. Participants will use Quanser's new QUBE™-Servo servomotor system, and learn about its functionality and engaging control experiments ranging from introductory to more advanced control applications. They will also learn more about Quanser's rapid control prototyping software and how it helps accelerate controls education.

The second part of the workshop will be focused on curriculum innovations, including modern digital media courseware that allows for efficient way of developing and delivering course material. Participants will experience Quanser's new Visual Hardware in the Loop Simulation approach to engineering systems study, bonding conventional control techniques to motivating real-world applications, in a visual virtual reality-style exercise and without losing the depth and rigor of conventional theory.

The conference delegates can learn more about Quanser's approach to transformations in engineering education at a lunch keynote presented by Paul Gilbert, Quanser CEO, on January 18.