I love the inverted pendulum! It was my first love in control systems as I watched theory come to life and mathematics hard at work. It is an ideal showcase of the magic of feedback and how harnessing the dynamics of a system allows us to stabilize and control an unstable system.
As fascinating as pendulums are, the world of control systems and its applications have ballooned over the years and decades. This broader worldview came to light when we visited three renowned control systems conferences at the ACC, ECC & CDC.
Quanser has developed mechatronics, autonomy and core robotics solutions for decades, yet most of our customers still view us as a control systems company. We started to develop broader robotics solutions in earnest in 2018 with our Autonomous Vehicles Research Studio (QDrone and QBot). On the eve of the pandemic, we launched our second robotics studio in the form of the Self-Driving Car Studio (QCar). During the pandemic, we released our first manipulator robot (QArm), and that was also the first product that we launched virtually first before physically.
Finally, we are on the cusp of launching a revolutionary mobile robot product (QBot Platform) that will showcase more aspects of robotics teaching and research than ever before, complemented by the additional optional manipulator as one of its payloads (QArm mini).
We have shown for decades that physical products that are an ideal way to add context to exciting applications like controls, mechatronics, aerospace and robotics. Beyond that, the pandemic also drove us to release virtual twins of our physical solutions to increase accessibility and to add even more application context. We engineered our virtual twins to give students and researchers great hands-on Quanser experiences where they are without requiring them to be physically in a lab with a physical product.
To complement our physical and virtual offerings, we are incredibly excited about the plethora of applications now accessible with Quanser solutions. With our DNA in academia providing open architecture access, fields like applied AI, machine learning, computer vision, and cyber-security are all within the growing capabilities of our solutions.
Leading up to the pandemic, we planned our roadmap and solution offerings to encapsulate these emerging academic areas of applied AI, robotics, mechatronics, and autonomy. After returning to several fantastic in-person events last year, it has become abundantly clear at Quanser that these themes are not just emerging but growing exponentially!
Regardless of the application focus of our solutions, we will continually increase the accessibility and applicability of our offerings by ensuring the following pillars are always met:
1. Academic Hardware: we are leveraging computing giant Nvidia to power our intelligent systems and complement those platforms with state-of-the-art sensor suites to facilitate these great applications.
2. Open Architecture Software: Continue to partner with MathWorks in ensuring seamless integration with MATLAB and Simulink, as well as adopt and release open approaches to robotics software such as Python and ROS.
3. Hybrid Experiences: Embody a hybrid approach to engineering education and research by promoting virtual + physical experiences with all our solutions.
4. Rich Content: Always deliver a suite of academic content and resources to allow you to hit the ground running with Quanser solutions by building off our research examples and curriculum.
In summary, we at Quanser are excited about this exponential growth in robotics teaching and research applications. We will continue aligning our solutions and experiences to take advantage of our academic approach to enable our customers to bring theory to life with Quanser offerings.
We know these emerging technologies are only the beginning, and we would love to continue to engage with all our customers, old and new, to learn and grow our expertise collaboratively. Together we can ensure we reflect only the best approaches in our solutions and offerings as we boldly go to these new frontiers!