Research and Education Activities in Laboratory Mechatronics

The aim of the REALM project is to create generic network-driven services for access to and use of experimental devices for research and education. The short-term target is an experimental mechatronics (robotic components) facility that is available to engineering students and researchers across Canada. There are two longer term goals of the initiative, however. First, we aim to use this generalized software to improve access of High School science programs to a greater range of experiments. Second, we plan on making the software available to researchers to allow better access to experiments in environments such as undersea, deep space, high radiation, and toxic gases.

The modular software developed here will allow Canadian and other scientists the ability to design entirely new classes of experiments that are particularly challenging in Canada with a severe climate, long distances and may inaccessible locales. This software will allow better environmental monitoring in remote areas of the country, including the coastlines and below the sea. It will also allow physical scientists to conduct experiments in deep space probes and engineers to conduct in situ tests of metallic components in high radiation or corrosive gas environments. Teleoperation/telepresence robotics is an active research area in medical robotics, mining robotics, space robotics, and robotics for operation in other harsh and hazardous environments. The REALM platform will enable fast development of practical solutions for telepresence robotics.