The University of Toronto’s Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS) and York University served as the gathering spot this past April for the NSERC Canadian Field Robotics Network (NCFRN). The event united leading-edge Canadian robotics contributors from academic, government and industrial disciplines. Clearpath Robotics is a member of the NCFRN, along with 13 other partner organizations and 8 Canadian universities.
The field trials are supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) grant, which strives to impact Canada’s economy by increasing research and training in key areas of environmental science and technology, information and communications technologies, manufacturing, and natural resources and energy.
Robotics Thought Leaders Share Ideas
UTIAS and York University were buzzing with excitement on April 17 – 23 2013 as experts flocked to the city of Toronto to participate in presentations and workshops, and observe the trials in action. There were also opportunities for robot-enthused individuals to network and exchange ideas regarding their projects. Of course, some of the buzz may have literally come from the estimated 20 robots onsite.
Starting out at York U’s facilities and moving to the UTIAS MarsDome, robots of all shapes and sizes strutted their stuff – we were excited to see that Grizzly, Husky and Kingfisher came out to play for the day! One of York University’s teams, organized under Dr. Michael Jenkin, presented a Grizzly that had been fitted with advanced sensors to demonstrate its applications in surveillance and excursions. Following the demo using Grizzly, Dr. Jenkin and his team then showcased their developments with Kingfisher on a nearby pond. Last to take the floor (but certainly not least!) was Husky, representing the UTIAS team led by Dr. Tim Barfoot. Husky showed off its ability to navigate autonomously through rough terrain in the MarsDome.
It was very exciting to see the variety of projects these teams have developed from Clearpath Robotics platforms. Full photo coverage from the NCFRN field trials is available here.
What’s it all Mean?
The research program of the NCFRN addresses issues along four themes, each corresponding to a different application: Land, Air, Water and Human. The field trials scratched the surface of these applications and promise ground-breaking developments in future. As such, the NCFRN has mandated that the network will train highly qualified thought leaders (i.e.: researchers, engineers and technicians), who will have the capacity to fuel research and development in Canada.
To learn more about the Clearpath Robotics platforms used at NCFRN, contact us.