Quanser Self-Driving Car Research Studio

Building a Research Lab for Advanced Robotics Applications

by Zuzana Fabusova

Applications Marketing Specialist | Quanser

Building a robust and maintainable research lab for modern engineering applications can be challenging. Researchers often procure components from different sources – consumer stores, industry suppliers, open-source communities, or build them by themselves. Trying to make such a collection work within a complex application framework can get messy pretty quickly. So what if there was a better solution?

Start your Research on Day One

Quanser’s research studio concept is a perfect response to such challenges. Whether you are starting a new research group or expanding an established research program, you can do it faster. Both the Autonomous Vehicles and the Self-driving Car Research Studios perfectly illustrate the key pillars of our studio approach:

  • Vehicles and robots are function-rich and designed for precision, robustness, and repeatable and deterministic performance. That dramatically reduces the time and scope of skills required to deal with the DIY- or kit-based systems and removes the quality challenges from the equation.
  • All necessary components, in addition to vehicles and robots, are part of the research studio and can function out of the box. That includes computing base stations, networking components, application accessories, and even safety equipment.
  • The studios are designed for research agility, so adding sensors or integrating multiple devices is easier. With the software platform providing a more flexible “software-agnostic” framework, your research groups can use the right tools for their application.

Moreover, you get full Quanser support and our commitment to reliability and maintenance.

Autonomous Vehicles Research Applications

If you want to build an indoor multi-vehicle research lab in a short amount of time, our Autonomous Vehicle Research Studio is the ideal solution for you. The studio features a collection of heterogeneous vehicles for air and ground:

Quanser Autonomous Vehicles Research Studio at Aalborg University
Autonomous Vehicles Research Studio at Aalborg University, Denmark
  • The QDrone quadrotor is equipped with a powerful on-board quad-core computer, multiple high-resolution cameras, and a robust carbon-fiber frame
  • The QBot 2e is an innovative open-architecture autonomous ground robot, equipped with a wide range of sensors and a high-resolution vision system

Working individually or in a swarm, these are the ideal vehicles for your autonomous robotics research applications. Their full power is unleashed by an open and modular software platform built on QUARC for Simulink, providing a high-performance, customizable framework to implement your algorithms quickly and easily.

The success of the research team from Aalborg University in Esbjerg, Denmark, is a great case study. It illustrates how our research studio can speed up research and take your research from concept to published work faster. Setting up their new lab in late October 2018, the Danish team progressed with their work fast enough to submit a paper to the IFAC Symposium on Intelligent Autonomous Vehicles in early February 2019. In July, they will present their paper Vision Aided Navigation of a Quad-Rotor for Autonomous Wind-Farm Inspection. That’s effectively seven months – not bad at all.

Get Ready for the Self-Driving Cars

Quanser Self-Driving QCarIf your interest lays in the sphere of the self-driving cars, our new research studio might catch your eye. At the heart of the studio is the QCar, a 1/10 scale car built on a custom platform featuring the NVIDIA Jetson TX2 module, multiple high-resolution cameras, and a suite of sensors.

The real power of the platform lays in its integration into the Quanser mixed-reality framework. It allows researchers to generate data for a wider variety of scenarios faster than ever before. The combination of the QCar with a platform-agnostic software framework, laboratory infrastructure, and comprehensive support makes the studio the most efficient way to not only achieve research productivity but to build ambitious research capabilities for the future.

Sounds interesting? Then stay tuned! We plan to release the Self-driving Car Research Studio later this year, and you will hear much more about it in the upcoming weeks.

Deploy a Full-function Research Lab Fast!

So, do you want to build a world-class, agile research lab quickly, without the guesswork and frustrations? Do you want to advance the research possibilities of your group and see the results fast? If you answered yes, then talk to our team about the research studios!

Author Bio

Playing on the Quanser marketing team for 12 years, always chasing great customer stories to be shared with the community.