QLabs Robotics - QArm sorting task

Virtual bots…roll out!

by Peter Martin

Senior R&D Manager, Academic Applications | Quanser Inc.

We’ve been talking a lot over the last few weeks about the Quanser Interactive Labs platform and, more specifically, QLabs Controls, which is available as a free trial until June 30, 2020. With QLabs Controls, we’ve been working like crazy to create the best possible experience for teaching control systems through distance or blended learning. What we haven’t shared, until now, is our exciting solution for teaching mobile and manipulator robotics online.

Teaching Robotics Off-Campus

With QLabs Robotics, we’ve created a solution that we believe is the ideal platform to take your robotics course off-campus by providing students with their own open and customizable manipulator and mobile robot. From mobile to manipulator robotics, the QLabs Robotics virtual systems give students an opportunity to learn and experience the world of modern robotics – whether they are in lecture halls, labs, or living rooms.

Mobile Robots Outside Your Lab

QLabs Robotics brings the experience of creating algorithms for the QBot 2e platform to a Windows 10 desktop by providing a completely interactive virtual robot that works the same way as our “real” robots. You can deploy our or your own teaching and research algorithms on the virtual QBot 2e to give every student their own real robotics experience. From measuring simulated sensors, including video and depth data, to interacting with virtual environments, the virtual QBot 2e offers a seamless experience that requires no changes to existing code created for the “real” robot.

 

Robotic Manipulators Where You Need Them

For more traditional manipulator robotics courses and researcher projects, we’re also including our modern manipulator designed for teaching cutting-edge robotics from control to machine learning and Industry 4.0. The QArm is more than just a versatile and dynamic manipulator system. It also includes an Intel RealSense RGBD camera to enable exciting applications, including visual servoing and object identification in MATLAB/Simulink and beyond.

Along with the virtual arm, we’ll also be releasing our QArm curriculum that covers the manipulator robotics topics essential to modern robotics courses, including the basics of kinematics, differential kinematics, path planning, and more. When the physical QArm is released later this year, the curriculum and lab activities can be offered on-campus without any updates or modifications, or combined with the virtual activities to offer a blended experience with the advantages of both approaches.

 

More Virtual Robotics Coming Soon…

At launch, the QLabs Robotics application will support our existing MATLAB and Simulink curriculum, and yours, using a free version of our QUARC Simulink development environment. We’re hoping to expand the offering over the next few months to support even more approaches to teaching and research using Python, ROS, and other platforms. Join me for the webinar on June 25 to find out more!